I’m at the very end of my year in Australia, and it’s certainly bittersweet. I’ve always longed to visit and live in Australia as long as I can remember. Everyone asks “Why Australia?” I think I’ve had a fascination with
a) the good weather.
b) the beaches.
c) the people.
(Although I chose to settle in Melbourne, where the beaches are sparse and the weather is not great – but it really was one of the best cities I’ve lived in, with a top notch foodie scene.)
So when Australia announced late 2018 they were extending their age bracket to 35 for working holiday visa for Canadians – it was a true manifestation of my life long dream! Because I had been sponsored in London prior, (and I was loving every minute over there) I missed the age bracket boat at the time, which was only offered to Canadians under the age of 30.
It really was a “now or never” moment, and I did not want to miss that boat again, so I decided it was time for the next chapter. I will always have a love for London as it truly is one of the best cities in the entire world, but ‘Straya here I came! I luckily met some great connections working in London that really helped me through the big move. Now, alot of people ask – what type of work did you do living abroad? Surely you aren’t progressing your career. Which , given the work restrictions on this visa (only allowed to work with one employer for six months) would seem plausible. It was VERY difficult to find work, especially working full-time. I poured my heart and soul into contacting anyone and everyone to land work including reaching out directly to any agencies I loved – which turned out to be highly successful. After one full year, I established six strong relationships with recruiters that I received contract offers from on a very frequent basis, a lot of times having to turn down because I was already on a contract! I worked for six design agencies (most repeats) and did two in-house roles over the year.
It was slow at the start but once I began building relationships, it was great to be invited back to these agencies again and again. I learnt so much in my one year, and am extremely happy I did it. I was pushed into new territory, where Australia’s markets are really different than what I have experienced in the UK or Canada. I worked on a lot of property, FMCG and experiential design projects. So above is a summary of just SOME of the projects I had worked on – some not included as they are under a NDA Agreement are Hisense advertising, beer (Tinnies/Ewe Beaut), wine (James Busby) and liquor (Native Spirits Dry Gin, Archie Rose) advertising, Packaging (Target/The Reject Shop), Property Sales Centre 3D mocks , EDMS, Retail POS (Reece stores), brochures and annual reports for RMIT and other property clients.
Co-vid had cut my year a few months short, but it really was an incredible year besides that fact. No matter where I end up, Australia will always have a huge place in my heart. From the people, to the atmosphere and pace of living – it really is an incredible place. Beaches or no beaches.