May 2018 | Death in the sun: Australia's 88-day law leaves backpackers exploited and exposed

Date: 21 May 2018

Source: The Guardian 

Martin Hand knew something was wrong as he watched a fellow backpacker stagger down the road in the searing heat of a Queensland summer.

Hand, a British traveller, had been picking pumpkins on a farm near Ayr, a small country town 10km (6 miles) from the coast, along with other young backpackers including a 27-year-old Belgian, Olivier “Max” Caramin.

The day was hot – the temperature had reached 35C – and the field where they were working was in a bowl; very humid with no breeze. Nor was there any shade on the trailer that was used to take the boxes of picked pumpkins to the shed.

“It was really hard to cool down,” Hand says. “We told [Max] to get into the shade of the trailer, but then I seen Max run past me. His complexion was completely different to when I last saw him, his eyes were crosseyed and he was running like newborn deer, with his arms and legs all wobbling.