Working in Australia

Australia : Land of adventures, vast spaces, discovery, extraordinary animals, joy AND work. Yes, coming here with the WHV (Working Holiday Visa) is a good plan since we can visit this huge country and work for financial security. It’s way easier to travel this country with money in our pockets. It is possible to stay one year in Australia without working as long as you have the savings and depending on your desires and your plans. For us, it was way easier to just work from time to time to replenish our bank accounts.

It’s not very hard to find work in Australia, on the contrary, we found it was easier than back in France. Of course, it depends on your motivation, on the time of the year, the area you are in and the work you are ready to put in to find a job, but you shouldn’t be frightened. To be completely honest with you, we were also very lucky regarding jobs : we had barely started looking for work that we already had a contract to sign !

We found our first job with the help of people that we met in Bowen. They managed to plan an interview for us in a small pub-restaurant on the same day that we met them ! We went to the interview on the following morning and on the same evening, we had our very first shift as a cook and a waitress. Easy !
If you are interested in working in a pub-restaurant : Denison Hotel, Bowen.

For our second job, we had just printed out our curriculums in english. We wanted to spend the day looking for a place to apply. However, we wanted to start the day off with a small reward (for printing out our curriculums, not a very good reason for a reward but still) and so, we stopped to drink tea in a small Lavender farm. Once inside, we decided to apply here also, just in case. And a few days later, we started working there as a cook and a waitress, once again !
If working in a touristic Lavender restaurant interests you, or if you just want to visit this place : Port Arthur Lavender, Port Arthur, Tasmanie. (Note : They only need workers in summer, from November/December to February).

Useful information :
1) He never had any experience as a cook before working in Australia. We lied a bit during our first interview regarding his previous working experience and everything went well, nobody noticed !
2) My waitress salary : 24 $ AUD/hour on weekdays, 29 $ AUD on saturdays, 34 $ AUD on sundays+ 44 $ on public holidays
My cook salary : 29 $ AUD/hour on weekdays, 34 $ AUD on saturdays, 39 $ AUD on sundays + 49 $ AUD on public holidays

Of course, it’s not the same everywhere ! But salaries in Australia are usually quite good, especially if we don’t have a rent to pay because we live in a van !

It won’t always be so easy to find work in Australia, but you just have to make a good impression, have motivation and give your all when looking for a job. It’s always easier to get a job if you go present yourself at the workplace directly instead of doing it on internet or on the phone. However, websites like Gumtree have a lot of different job ads. You also have some visitor information centers or hostels that can give you the name of companies that often are looking for travelers to work for them.

Based on our experience, areas where it is easy to find a job for travelers are restaurants, bars, hostels (not always a good choice though, be cautious), construction jobs (lots of roadworks in big towns : you can apply in temporary employement agencies), au pair jobs and of course picking jobs (depends on the time of the year and the area you are in). If you have experience in a certain field, you’ll have even more opportunities !

If you prefer doing Woofing, HelpX ou Workaway, you’ll need to have the same visa (WHV) for security reasons. These aren’t really “jobs” but more an exchange or volunteer work. The idea is that you help a family doing daily chores and projects and they offer you free accomodation as well as free meals (this depends on the families but all the details will be on the “job” ad). Most of the time, you work about 4/5 hours a day (only on weekdays) but that also depends on the family you are in. It is sometimes possible to work 10 hours a day and to have a small salary in addition to meals and accomodation, but it’s more rare. It’s up to you to find what type of exchange you’d like ! We did several Workaways and we are so happy to have done so, wether if it’s short term or long term, it’s always so interesting to be in a local family and it’s such an enriching experience !

To be authorised to work in Australia (as a French citizen), it’s quite simple :

– Of course, you’ll have to have a valid visa (WHV).

-You also need to have an Australian bank account (if you want to be able to have your salary!)

– Finally, you’ll need a Tax File Number (TFN). The Tax File Number is necessary if you want to work in the Australian territory. You can ask for a TFN by internet, by mail or in person.

These are the only three things you’ll have to do before starting your job search. Another important information is about your Australian retirement : the SuperAnnuation. If you work in Australia a certain amount of money (with WHV it’s 9% of the salary) automatically will be taken away from your weekly salary. This will be your Australian retirement savings. You can have a small piece of it back only when you leave the Australian territory. However, your SuperAnnuation will withdraw a certain amount of money (65% of YOUR savings) if you ask for a taxback. We decided to ask for a taxback and it is very easy to do. You can do it on internet on the Australian government official website.

In conclusion, working in Australia shouldn’t be a problem if you give it all you’ve got. Some jobs will be better than others, you just have to choose what’s best for you !
Remember, after a few weeks/months of work, you’ll be back on the road again and you will feel again the freedom of traveling !

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