Advice and information - Working Holiday Australia

Travel Forums Australia / New Zealand & The Pacific Advice and information - Working Holiday Australia

Last Post This thread is marked as being about Tourist Visa (Australia)
1. Posted by shannoncollyer_ (First Time Poster 1 posts) 5w Star this if you like it!

Hello! I have just joined this forum website - I’m 22 (23 soon) and currently work as a Medical Secretary in a GP surgery. I have been thinking about saving some money, quitting my job, getting a visa and working in Australia.

So, with regards to starter packs with companies for a week when you get to Aus, is this worth the money?

I'm also unsure of where to start out... Sydney, Melbourne, Perth? If anybody has any tips on where to start, and where to travel next.

Thank you!

2. Posted by Andrew Mack (Respected Member 664 posts) 5w 1 Star this if you like it!

This has been asked and answered a few times here.
The general opinion seems to be that it isn't necessary as Aus is an easy place to both meet fellow travellers and to mix in with locals. However some people really need a hand to hold and if you're one of those people then only you can decide if the cost is worthwhile.

3. Posted by Sander (Moderator 5324 posts) 5w 1 Star this if you like it!

As for "is it worth it?" - purely in financial terms, I'd say a strong no. (Speaking from experience of having done everything myself, in a time before the concept of these packs took off.) All the starter packs are offering you things you can either 1) do for free - or much cheaper - yourself, or 2) don't need.

For example the packs that offer arranging your WHV for you - they'll have to pay the same amount for the WHV application as you yourself need to pay, and you'll need to give them the exact same information as you'd otherwise have filled in on the official website of the Australia government. Since they need to make a profit, and pay their staff, you're guaranteed to be paying more for going through them. Setting up a bank account is trivially easy. Same for getting a Tax File Number. Etc, etc.

The remainder of these packs consists of activities - that sure, will be very nice (I have no doubt you'd have a good time with them), but are completely superfluous. Trust me, your life will be just as complete without jet boating in the harbour, and if you wanted to take surfing lessons, there's a gazillion places that offer introductory lessons at very good rates - but I respectfully submit that this is maybe more something to do after a month or two when you've settled down for a stretch of working and can then go on for a longer course if you find that surfing appeals to you, rather than cramming it in with everything else in your very first week.

So, what then remains is the "hand-holding" these companies offer, and the certainty of a group of people who're all interested in said "hand-holding" and will be around for a full week (or however long the pack lasts), so that you can get to know them a bit better. If that is enough of a selling point to make the pack "worth it" is a question only you can answer. From experience, as an alternative to those selling points, I can tell that reception staff at your hostel will generally be more than willing to lend you a hand with any practical questions you'd have, and those very same hostels will be filled with fellow backpackers also just starting out, who will be more than happy to swap tips and tricks and maybe do activities together. (Yes, there'll be a bit of a barrier to getting to know them out of the blue - but don't forget that they'll be facing the same.)

As for where to start - I wrote a longish answer to that just last month, so rather than repeating myself, I'll link you to that post. (TL;DR: it doesn't matter much, except that you probably don't want to be in the north between December and March due to the wet season).

Oh, btw, medical skills are always on the "in demand" skill list in Australia. I don't know about "medical secretary", but I can easily imagine that you should be able to find work in that field, too, rather than having to go for one of the regular backpacker jobs. If you can, that should be quite helpful for your career long-term, as international experience in your field is pretty much always a big plus. It's probably worth researching beforehand if there's any type of certification / requirements that you should be aware of, there.

[ Edit: Edited on 12-Jan-2019, at 04:37 by Sander ]