If you don't get the chance to open an account before moving to Australia, you will need to go to a bank when you arrive. Before arriving in Australia, be sure to check what documentation (passport, previous bank statements, visa etc) you need to set up your new bank account. Westpac, Commonwealth, ANZ and NAB banks are the biggest ones
Local regulations require Australian employers to pay a percentage of an employee’s income into a fund for retirement, and this is known as ‘superannuation’. Overseas workers are also entitled to this payment. Temporary residents can access their retirement savings (superannuation) upon permanent departure from Australia. For more information, visit theAustralian Taxation Office's website.
Medical treatment in Australia can be very expensive and it is advisable to have both travel and health insurance.
It is strongly advised that you take out private health insurance to cover yourself in Australia.
iSelect can help you choose the best health insurance for your needs.
The Australian Government has signed Reciprocal Health Care Agreements (RHCA) with the governments of the United Kingdom, Sweden, Belgium, the Netherlands, Finland, Norway, Malta, Slovenia, Italy, Republic of Ireland and New Zealand which entitles you to limited subsidised health services for immediately ‘medically necessary’ treatment while visiting Australia. For more information visit Medicare Australia.
If you intend to work in Australia, you must obtain a Tax File Number (TFN). If you begin working before getting your TFN, you have will have 28 days to provide it to your employer. You can apply for this in person at the Australian Tax Office, or online at theTax Office's website.
You will need to complete a compulsory tax return, when your working holiday visa finishes or you stop work. You may be eligible for a tax refund. Ask your employer for a payment summary, showing your total income and the amount of tax withheld. Many specialists in tax return services can assist you with your tax return.
The amount of tax withheld can often be of significant value so it is important that you investigate getting it returned.
Australia is fortunate to have a large range of jobs available for backpackers. Jobs can include hospitality, retail, farm work, fruit picking, construction, nursing and many others depending on your experience and qualifications.
Dress appropriately and approach prospective employers in a professional manner. For example, to work in hospitality, it is expected that you will have a basic ‘hospitality uniform’ of black shoes, black trousers and a white shirt.
Make sure you can leave employers with your contact details. A mobile phone and email address are the best options. Make sure your phone is switched on!
Have copies of your resume printed or make some business cards with your name and contact details and leave with everyone you speak to.
Get a copy of your resume/CV on USB or the web so you can email it to employers.
The Harvest Trail website provides working holiday makers with important information about harvest work opportunities, working conditions, transport and accommodation options in the key harvest areas around Australia. For the latest up-to-date information, visit the Harvest Trail website or call the National Harvest Labour Information Service on 1800 062 332.
If you are planning to do agricultural work, check out the useful information in this guide from the National Farmers Deferation
Check hostel noticeboards and local newspapers for employment opportunities.
Provide proof of all qualifications, especially for skilled jobs such as nursing.
Be aware that for some professions, registration or licensing may be required (e.g. health professions, construction work, responsible service of alcohol). Some licensing requirements are state or territory-specific.
You may need to undergo health and/or character checks (e.g. working with children).
Be honest and reliable – let employers know how long you are available and give them notice when you plan to leave. Don’t promise to stay for a set period of time then leave after a short period. By doing so, you will be doing future backpackers and working holiday makers a disservice.
You will need a permanent Australian mailing address to apply for your tax file number, Medicare card and Australian bank account. More information above.
Remember, be flexible. You are a Working Holiday Maker, and there are hundreds of you all looking for the same job at the same time! Be creative, sell yourself and be persistent.
In the end, most jobs you will apply for as a backpacker will require a great personality over qualifications. Be sure to let the bubbly, well travelled and friendly version of yourself shine through to potential employers.