Working in Australia?

Discussion in 'Community' started by notjustjay, Aug 27, 2005.

  1. notjustjay macrumors 603

    notjustjay

    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2003
    Location:
    Canada, eh?
    #1
    I hope I can get some feedback from the Australian members of MacRumors, of which there appear to be quite a few (or perhaps just one or two who have established notoriety :D)

    I am just finishing up my Master's degree (I studied multi-agent systems, i.e. RoboCup) here in Canada and I'm starting my job hunt. One of the companies I applied for is a software company headquartered in Sydney, Australia.

    I've never been Down Under but I hear a lot of great things from friends who went, and it had always been a dream to travel down there, so this might be an opportunity!

    I was just wondering if we could talk about what it's like to live and work in Sydney. Also (and this is a tricky one) could anyone give me an idea of what to expect or ask for in terms of salary range? Cost of housing, food, living?

    Thanks for any insights you could give me... :)
     
  2. cooknwitha macrumors 6502a

    cooknwitha

    Joined:
    May 5, 2005
    Location:
    London
    #2
    I'll answer as best I can. :)

    Of the two big cities, I personally prefer Melbourne but Sydney does have the 'it' factor. Beautiful harbour, beautiful city and pretentious people (sorry, Sydney people. :))

    As for income, I can't speak from experience but my sister moved there a few years ago and started on $35k and was stuggling a bit. That said, she was living in Bondi which is fairly pricey.

    I'm sure some other Sydneyites can help here. But Australia is a beautiful country. Just make it clear you're Canadian when you arrive. ;)
     
  3. krollster macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2002
    Location:
    London
    #3
    I have no idea what salary you should expect, but if you do a bit of googling and find some online job sites in Aus they should be able to give you some ballpark figures. Seek.com.au is one I've used before, but there are others.
     
  4. neocell macrumors 65816

    neocell

    Joined:
    May 23, 2005
    Location:
    Great White North
    #4
    I was there a number of years ago (8), and living expenses, especially cars, was a fair bit more than home (Can). Obviously things have changed since I've been there, but I'd expect you'd probably want at least 10% more than what you'd make in Canada. Yeah, and as cooknwitha says, letting them know you're Canadian helps (many gruff responses to me at being an American only to be completely changed once I indicated I was Canadian)
    Great place, great people, would go back in a heart beat
     
  5. cazlar macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Oct 2, 2003
    Location:
    Sydney, Australia
    #5
    As with any city, some parts of it will always cost more than others. In Sydney's case generally the Eastern and the Northern suburbs are the most costly in terms of housing/rent/cost-of-living. I've always lived in the Inner West (ie anywhere between Broadway and Strathfield generally) and it's a good compromise of close to the city, with good public transport, yet not too expensive.
     
  6. .Joel macrumors member

    Joined:
    May 10, 2005
    Location:
    Australia
    #6
    I live in Melbourne, I am a full time student, however also earn $26 000 a year. As a student I can't complain, considering I have 34 contact hours at uni over 4 days a week :D

    I.T. salaries are said to average around $75K here. That is a load of rubbish. Most people here with IT degrees are earning between $38K and $40K, with a chunk in the $50K-$55K group. Well below the proclaimed $75K group.

    Living expenses over the past 3 years have risen. Fuel when I was completing my VCE was 88c to 96c a Litre. Now we are paying $1.26 a litre thanx to our pitifull Howard led government, but don't get me started there.

    Cost of food and generally everything has risen considerably. So to be able to minimise debt look to earn atleast $50K a year or yes, you will struggle.

    I know of a number of IT Network employers who lease their staff out to companies for $140 an hour, and pay the staff out of that $28 to $35 dollars an hour. So as you can see, IT is profitable if you are your own boss, not a pleb in the drawing field.

    We have alot of people with IT degrees here looking overseas for work, and Singapore (spelling?) seems to be a popular destination.

    Regards,

    Joel
     
  7. 748s macrumors 6502a

    748s

    Joined:
    Dec 14, 2001
    Location:
    Tiger Bay
    #7
  8. aswitcher macrumors 603

    aswitcher

    Joined:
    Oct 8, 2003
    Location:
    Canberra OZ
    #8
    Well I am a Sydneysider so I might be able to help.

    Aside from the legalities of working, which I concur are to be respected, you need to consider a few other things:

    Sydney is a big/spread out city so try to rent somewhere thats either close to work or on a good train or bus line to same. Trains are cheaper and more comfortable but buses are a bit more reliable and safer. If you want to see Sydney you need to travel about, so a car is good. But if your working in the CBD then parking is so expensive you are better off on public transport. Utimately a car is going to get you places public transport wont or is too much of a hassle. Reliable second hand cars though probably cost you $2-3K AUD + 3rd party insurance and registration.

    There are a few suburbs like Bondi that are filled with backpackers. This can be good to share experiences and do things together. It can also mean you dont really get out there and meet many aussies.

    Sydney is a city with mild to hot temperatures. We have been pretty dry the last few years so the weather has been good for getting about.

    Internet access is quick if you pay for it. ADSL can be had for $50 a month for 1500/256 and a 20 gig cap. New Unwired plans might even be a better solution for you in just Sydney, a bit more expensive but no phone line needed and mobile if you plan to move about. Free wireless can be found but hasn't really taken off. Some cafes do it but most hit you for silly money to log on.

    If you dont have a mobile phone you are probably going to need one in Sydney because its a culture where most people have one. Plans are cheap and for the cost of a monthly landline rental ($33?) you can get a prepaid phone cheaply. Careful about brining a Canadian phone because your phone reception bands may be wrong for Aus. www.aca.gov.au
    Virgin are a cheap carrier with feeebies like voice mail etc
     
  9. sambo. macrumors regular

    sambo.

    Joined:
    Jun 2, 2004
    Location:
    outback, far from the surf
    #9

    kk: Sydney is frighteningly expensive. If you want to live somewhere "nice" in Sydney your looking at roughly $100/w/bedroom+$100. last place i lived there was a $360/week 2 bedroom apartment (ok, ok, so it WAS right on Manly beach). However salaries tends to reflect this. Share-Housing is pretty common.

    living in a "cheaper" area could wind up costing more, especially if you find yourself using some of the Toll Roads on a regular basis (from Manly to Liverpool was $13/day in Tolls alone (+fuel....) depends where the company is based.

    Food: ok, this CAN be where you save $$$, just don't eat out in The Rocks or anywhere that "looks" expensive. thankfully, there are heaps a great little "mum&dad hole-in-the-wall" eateries, you just have to find them sometimes.

    if you want to enjoy yourself, you'll need $50k/year minimum. :eek: however, Sydney can be a great place to live (just don't live in Minto)
     
  10. krollster macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2002
    Location:
    London
    #10
    Good point. Whilst it's debatable as the whether you'd really want to meet any Sydneysiders (joke), it's quite sad when you speak to people who've gone overseas and all their experiences involve hanging out with people of their own nationality (such as Aussies who go to London and spend all their time getting smashed at one Walkabout or another). If you get out there and befriend some of the locals you'll learn a lot more about the country and people than you would any other way.
     
  11. Abstract macrumors Penryn

    Abstract

    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2002
    Location:
    Location Location Location
    #11
    If I had any idea as to what a Robocup or multi-system agent was, I'd be able to give you a better idea of what to expect, seeing as how I'm a Canadian who's probably around your age, studying at a University 1.5 hours away from Sydney right now. But no worries, because I always go to Sydney (2-3 times per week).

    Generally, I'd say things cost around 20% more in Sydney. Houses/housing costs 50% more, beer costs 50% less, and.......petrol.....petrol is a bitch. Its around $1.20 per litre right now. That is quite a hike-up if you're moving from Canada. A 500ml bottle of Coke.......$2.50 to $3 AUD. Yikes. Beer costs between $3 to $5, depending on happy meals, student prices, etc etc. I rarely pay $5 for a beer here. :) If I were to give you a comparison similar to The Economist's "Big Mac Index," a medium sized Big Mac combo costs around $5.70 here, although the drink and fries portions are smaller than in Canada (think Euro portions, not American). The Big Mac is the same size, though. You'll need to get a large combo if you're going to get a drink and fries that are the same size as a medium fries and Coke in Canada. :(

    I'd say if you get your Masters and it's in something engineering related (and from "Multi-system agent," it sounds like it could be), you would make between $5 to $10k (it's probably around $7k ) more per year living in Australia, so it does offset the cost of living somewhat. Taxes are less, too.

    Ask me if you have any more questions. :)
     
  12. macartistkel macrumors 6502a

    macartistkel

    Joined:
    Aug 7, 2005
    Location:
    Portland, Oregon
    #12
    "Yeah, and as cooknwitha says, letting them know you're Canadian helps (many gruff responses to me at being an American only to be completely changed once I indicated I was Canadian)"
    --------------------------------------------------------------------
    Hey, Just wondering why Australian's don't like Americans that much?? I have never heard of any hostility towards the US from Australia. Again, just wondering if there is some major reason this is so! :)
     
  13. mj_1903 macrumors 6502a

    mj_1903

    Joined:
    Feb 3, 2003
    Location:
    Sydney, Australia
    #13
    Not to defend the Howard government but the slowly declining stock of oil, inflation, changing weather patterns in the gulf and the middle east conflict play a huge part of that price change.

    As for living in Sydney, my office is a spacious studio apartment in North Sydney (lower North Shore) which I rent for $250 a week. It is probably more than it is worth but it is quite possibly what you would be looking for.

    Expect a wage of around $40-45k a year. I would advise you use public transport as it generally ends out slightly cheaper (factoring in fuel, insurance, repairs, etc.). My weekly commute ends up being $20 a week which is really nice.

    As for being a nice place to live, you really couldn't ask for much more. I have travelled all over the world and Sydney keeps dragging me back. Melbournians, I have yet to travel to your city so I wont comment. :)

    I think that can be explained pretty easily. Your leadership is a bunch of twats that bully (invade) people around so that they get what they want. The "Free Trade Agreement" is a perfect example of the US ignoring what Australia needs and putting themselves first in every regard. That is not how you win friends and influence people, that just creates more "terrorists".
     
  14. krollster macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2002
    Location:
    London
    #14
    This will probably not come out right, but here goes...

    Bad Aussie tourists wreck our name in Asia. Bad English tourists wreck their name in Europe. Ignorant, rude, loud and outspoken Americans have a similar effect in Australia, and help stereotype the people as a whole.

    Of course, a lot of Aussies don't like American (and Australian) foreign policy, but the whole thing about not liking Americans has been around for a while.

    The good news is that if you don't live up to the stereotype then most Aussies won't care where you're from. I don't know any of my mates who wouldn't want to have a beer with you just because you're from the States. Of course, if you were a total tosser then that would be a different story altogether!

    Hope that clarifies things a bit.
     
  15. Lord Blackadder macrumors G5

    Lord Blackadder

    Joined:
    May 7, 2004
    Location:
    Sod off
    #15
    Interesting...I spent part of this summer working on an archeology project with a Phd. student from Sydney and I asked him whether it would be worth my while to look into doing some graduate work there. He replied it would be expensive for an American, but I could get hired by the government doing historic preservation work. Seems like a great place, as long as I can figure out how to pay the bills. I'd like to do some work in OZ or the UK since their historic/archeological preservation legislation is more progressive than in the US (although that is slowly changing).

    My friend from Sydney never said anything about open hostility towards Americans. I suppose there is always a risk of ant-foreign sentiment anywhere.

    That would be ironic - Aussie thugs beating me to death with cricket bats, screaming anti-American phrases while I plead "NO, NO, I VOTED FOR KERRY! REALLY! :rolleyes:
     
  16. macartistkel macrumors 6502a

    macartistkel

    Joined:
    Aug 7, 2005
    Location:
    Portland, Oregon
    #16
    Krollster, you did clarify it a little better for me! And Mj, you also helped me understand a few things as well! Thanks so much! :)
     
  17. krollster macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2002
    Location:
    London
    #17
    If they did manage to kill you then at least we'd know someone in our country still knows how to bat :D

    An even better idea would be if they'd use their thuggery skills on Matt Hayden, take his place in the first XI, and then bring us glory in the 5th Ashes Test against England.

    I really should be a selector...
     
  18. aswitcher macrumors 603

    aswitcher

    Joined:
    Oct 8, 2003
    Location:
    Canberra OZ
    #18
    When looking for an address to live / work, use www.whereis.com.au to find it. This should give you an ok idea of how far the walk is.

    Sydney buses www.sydneybuses.info
    Sydney rail www.cityrail.nsw.gov.au

    Looking for stuff in Sydney www.sydney.citysearch.com.au

    Local paper www.smh.com.au and www.news.com.au

    Weather www.bom.gov.au

    National Apple group www.appletalk.com.au

    Apple store chain http://forums.whirlpool.net.au/index.cfm?a=wiki&tag=Mac shops

    Broadband choosing and internet issues http://bc.whirlpool.net.au/

    Free to air TV guide www.yourtv.com.au
     
  19. cooknwitha macrumors 6502a

    cooknwitha

    Joined:
    May 5, 2005
    Location:
    London
    #19
    Just to expand on my off the cuff comment on Americans. The way I see it, Americans are like bees, individually lovely but get them in groups and they can be rather annoying.

    That said, by saying you're an American no Australian would dislike you or anything like that. It's more Americans as a collective. The issues I have with America as a collective are:

    - The political leaders
    - The "be like us or be our enemy" foreign policy
    - Views on guns, conservative attitudes and capitalist approach to life.
    - The fact our prick of a Prime Minister is trying to make Australia the 51st state of the US.

    But I think it's like any nationality, individually you get rated as an individual. No prejudice. Honest. :)
     
  20. DeSnousa macrumors 68000

    DeSnousa

    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2005
    Location:
    Brisbane, Australia
    #20
  21. DJY macrumors 6502a

    DJY

    Joined:
    Dec 20, 2003
    Location:
    Canberra AUST
    #21
    We love Canadians here!
    I have several Canadian mates, or ex-pats or new Canadian Australians!

    Sydney you will love!
    Amazing city - great harbour - always lots happening - and huge range of lifestyles to enjoy!

    Being Canadian you will have less problems converting currency - as the CAD to AUD rate is quite similiar (versus say USD - AUD).

    Salaries will be quite varied dependent on experience / skills / and company... promotions can be quite quick though - bonuses / pay rises and performance linked cash are all available in different companies as well and especially in IT.
    as will most other things... accomodation, food prices, modes of transport, etc. If you get the chance I would DEFINITELY take it!
    There are more international residents in Syd than you might anticipate!

    I prefer Melb over Syd as well - but love visiting.... no desire to live there... due to cost of living, frentic congestion of traffic, time it takes to get around, plus a whole range of factors. If you can afford it live central or near where you work. Harbour / beaches are great!
     

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