Yesterday I woke up, bright and early and started my job hunt. I walked throughout the malls, the downtown, and even into coffee shops to apply for any position that was available. I am trying not to be picky with what sort of position comes my way, as we are only here for a month and want to bank as much money as possible.
The first thing you need to do before you start applying for jobs in Australia is a bank account and a tax file number. You need a tax file number, so you your employers don’t take 44% of your wages away, and you need a bank account in order for them to directly deposit your wages into your account. To get a tax file number, we just had to fill out a few forms online. For our account, we opened one at a bank called Westpac. We also opened a savings account, which offers 5% interest! (It’s about time a bank gave me something back!)
Automatically, your employer takes away 9% of your income and puts it in an account called superannuation, also known as a pension account. Since we are not Australian citizens, once we close this account, we will then be able to finally take that pension out of the account and take it home with us.
The minimum wage here is about 20-22 an hour, and the average job runs from about $20-$25 an hour. This seems really generous, but the cost of living is quite high, so once you make this amount it sort of equals out the same.
The Australian government seems pretty smart, but has recently sunk to a new low. While I was on the Blue Mountain tour, our guide informed us on a skeleton in the government’s closet. Aboriginals of Australia have been suffering for many years from alcoholism. This has been quite the problem and the government has found that they cannot hold their liquor, and become quite violent. In an attempt to solve this problem, the government has decided to cut their wages in half, so that they no longer can afford to buy alcohol. The average aboriginal now is set to make only a cap off of $8 an hour, compared to the average man’s $22. To make matters even worse, the government has yet again split their wage in half and they are only allowed to receive half in actual wage and the other half is automatically transformed into food stamps. Now if I were an Australian Aboriginal living under these conditions…wouldn’t this make you umm…drink more?! This was just something I felt I needed to share, as our tour guide seemed to be extremely passionate about it, and wanted more people to be aware of it.
So far, I have one trail meeting with a call center for a gas and electric company… hope it works out. Wish me luck!