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Tips on Australia working holiday visa (hoping to work in the arts)?

(11 Posts)
ThePartyArtist Mon 24-Feb-14 11:49:40


I am based in the UK and considering doing the Australia working holiday visa with my partner. I wondered if anyone else has done this, particularly working in the arts?

My main concerns are that it allows you to work for each employer for a maximum of 6 months, so i am wondering how likely it would be I could get something that'd be career development, rather than just menial work. I'd really love to work in the arts (eg. creative learning, gallery education) which is similar to what i do at the moment in the UK.

Does anyone else have experience that'd help me decide if it's a risk worth taking? I think worst case scenario for me would be going all that way and not getting a job I'm interested in, or ending up doing something which is not career development and therefore puts me in a bad position when I return to the UK?

OccamsRaiser Tue 25-Feb-14 03:36:09

Hi there Artist ... Saw this and didn't want you to feel as though nobody had read it! You might be better posting somewhere like the Living Overseas board to reach more people who have experienced similar.

I am an Aussie myself so haven't had restrictions on working, however I do know several people who are working in the arts (admittedly mostly media production/graphic design rather than galleries etc) and who have mentioned that a lot of the positions do tend to have contract style roles - if you were to take a couple of 3/6 month stints, it might well be possible to continue moving 'upwards' in terms of career development?

MadonnaKebab Tue 25-Feb-14 04:48:15

This visa is intended for people who are primarily on Holiday but need to do some work(e.g. fruit picking ) in order to fund it.
As an employer in Aus I certainly would not even consider a working holiday visa-holder for any job in my business, due to the short term commitment they are able to make.
I accept it may be different in the arts and you may have something unique to offer.
I would advise you to do lots of online job research ( before coming over if your goal is purely career progression.

arabellarubberplant Tue 25-Feb-14 05:06:07

Why Aus?
Which is more important, travelling and working in the arts to gain experience, or the destination?

(Genuine question. I work in the arts but not in Aus, and we have LOTS of internationals and an entire Work Study program devoted to experience in different genres...)

MrRected Tue 25-Feb-14 06:03:22

Don't consider moving to Brisbane, Perth, Adelaide, Darwin, Cairns or any city other than Melbourne really.

Don't get me wrong. I absolute adore my adopted country. Wouldn't swap it for the world. I do however, think that if you are pursuing the arts, you might be considering the wrong country.

SlinkyB Tue 25-Feb-14 06:28:55

No experience of the arts I'm afraid, but am British and went to Sydney on a 12 month working holiday visa in 08-09.

It was extremely difficult just to get a bar or waitressing job, due to the fact that

a) there are thousands of students and people travelling so a lot of competition (think 100+ applications for one p/t waiting job in a café)

b) employers don't like to take on temp visa holders

I only managed to stay for five months, for various reasons but one was that I was earning crap money and rent and cost of living there is extortionate.

My advice would be to make sure you have a job to go to before you get on the plane, and have plenty of savings. Also, I'd focus on the holiday and travelling aspect, and treat any earnings as a bonus.

Good luck!

coffeepot99 Tue 25-Feb-14 06:34:18

I live in Australia and had my cousin visit on a working holiday visa and she found it really hard to find work as all she had done in the uk was admin work and a lot if employers won't take someone in who can I my work for 6 months! Saying that there is lots of people who use a working holiday visa as a stepping stone to finding a sponsor in their field of work!

YouPutYourRightArmIn Tue 25-Feb-14 06:41:54

No harm in contacting museums and galleries from here to see what kind of vacancies they have and to find out if they take in whv holders.

Also impress them during your 6mths with them and you never know they might sponsor you for a full work permit (457 visa).

Alternatively you might be able to find an employee willing to sponsor you from the outset on a 457.

The previous posters are right in that its expensive and a tight / small employment market (in lots of fields) but don't be disheartened! Check out for jobs.

Good luck!!

saffronwblue Tue 25-Feb-14 06:44:11

There have just been some sobering youth unemployment figures released here, If you are looking at early career positions you may have a hard time.

ThePartyArtist Tue 25-Feb-14 11:23:34

Thank you everyone, this is really really useful. I would definitely like to do more research into whether my chosen field would consider people on the Working Holiday Visa. If anyone has any useful websites as well as I'd be really grateful. Alternatively I would consider other countries if better chances of employment. The tricky thing is I have seen jobs advertised abroad but unless you have a visa they don't seem able to take you over a local, so I am not sure what other options are available to me. Thanks so much for all your help!

YouPutYourRightArmIn Thu 27-Feb-14 07:13:11

If you are a strong candidate they may support you. It can be expensive for them and time consuming (which is why they often would prefer a local) bit where there's a will there's a way.

The other alternative is to get a job here with a company with overseas offices where you may have the potential to transfer abroad. Not sure how likely this is with arts-type jobs but you never know.

Otherwise go do your whv anyway too have a year out, travel and have fun. If the work stuff can line up whilst there too great but if not, just enjoy it for what it is.

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