Hayley Rivers, 24, from Essex is a previous Work Australia participant who loved the experience so much she ended up getting a visa to stay for an extra year – dedication!
I saw someone doing outreach in Bondi Junction and asked if they were hiring. They passed my number on to the manager and the rest is history.
I worked for Fitness First as a membership consultant, firstly in Sydney and then in Melbourne after my travelling. The job was based around selling gym memberships and making appointments for people to come and see the gym. It was pretty full on and sometimes involved long hours and working on weekends but was rewarding financially. You're paid a base wage and also commission for sales. There is a week of training at the start so you're pretty prepared before you start. Plus, Fitness First has gyms all over the country so there is the potential to relocate as I did!
I'm interested in fitness and have a degree in sport and exercise science so thought it would be great to try out working in a gym and see if I liked it. It was good to be selling something that I'm interested in and that I use myself. The people I worked with were great and I was always meeting new people. The free gym membership was also a perk!
After living in Sydney for 4 months I travelled up the coast with Oz Experience stopping in various places along the way. By far the best experience I had was on Fraser Island. I met a great group of ten people and went to some amazing sights like Lake and Rainbow Beach. On my way up the coast, I went on a pirate ship and sailed around the Whitsundays, did a bungee jump in Cairns, jungle surfing in Cape Tribulation and white water rafting on the Tully River! After my travels up the coast, I headed to Alice Springs and went on a 6 day trip from Alice to Adelaide. On the way we stopped at Uluru, the Olgas, went looking for Opals in Coober Pedy and slept under the stars in a swag. Brilliant experience!
I'm now living in Melbourne on my second year visa. To get this I found an ad on Gumtree for jobs in Shepparton in the Victorian countryside and contacted the owner of a working hostel there. The owner had contacts at some of the fruit packing sheds in the area and was able to get me a job in one of those. Once my first visa was up I went back to England for a month and applied online for my 2nd year visa there.
Do it! I met so many new people and had so many amazing experiences and going through BUNAC meant it wasn't as scary as going alone and figuring it all out myself. Plus, the people at BUNAC and at the IEP offices were so helpful and friendly. They helped me find a place to live in Sydney, set up my bank account and phone and can also help with finding jobs and trips.
Work Australia is?
Definitely the best thing I've ever done!
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