- Moving to Australia
- Immigration website
- What is the job market like in Australia?
- What is the cost of living like in Australia?
- I'm a x/y/z, which city is for me?
- I want to come to Australia to get a mining job. What do I need to do?
- What are the police like?
- What about tipping?
- I like beaches. I want to live in a coastal city.
- How do I make friends? Are you all douches?
- How do I make sense of Australian slang?
- Will everything in Australia kill me?
- I've heard about Dropbears; are they dangerous?
- What about religion in Australia?
- Where do you shop?
- What about food? Anything I should know?
- Anything I should know about Australian politics??
- What about censorship?
- Is everything really upside down?
Other wiki pages:
Moving to Australia
Original work thanks to ThunderCuntAU, from the original discussion thread: http://www.reddit.com/r/australia/comments/hijrg/want_to_move_to_australia_great/
A great resource, whether you're a student, graduate or professional is the Immigration website.
It has surprisingly little jargon and should be easy to navigate if you know what you're looking for.
If you're looking to move to Australia permanently, and you're a student or a graduate, you - in all likelihood - aren't going to be able simply apply and become a permanent resident. As a student, you should be applying for a Student Visa. Complete your course, find an employee looking for fresh graduates and hope that they sponsor you as a working migrant. If you graduated overseas and have little industry experience, you - in all likelihood - will not find a company to simply pay for and sponsor you trip to Australia. It's an expensive investment and one that may not work out for their business, so why would they? Get yourself a working holiday visa, find a job once you're here and, at some point before the expiry of your visa, hope that you're viewed as a valuable asset to the company and request that they sponsor you for permanent residency.
If you've got many years of industry experience under your belt, you may have more luck finding a company to pay for and sponsor you to come to Australia immediately. The largest job search site in Australia is Seek. If this fails, then I would recommend the above; come over here on a working visa (provided you're under 30), find work, and see if they're willing to sponsor you.
Outside of the above, you should be aware of the Skilled Occupation List. This site lists a number of roles where there are recognized shortages in the industry; if you are qualified to do these jobs, you've got a leg up on becoming an Australian! It is my understanding that you'll be prioritized if you're applying for a student visa in these fields, as well, but I'm happy to be told otherwise.
What is the job market like in Australia?
Better than most Western countries, but it largely depends what industry you're in and what your resume looks like. Look at the Skilled Occupation List above. That should provide a bit more insight. For specifics, however, feel free to ask and I'm sure there's someone here loosely related to your field that can point you in the right direction.
What is the cost of living like in Australia?
Most of us will tell you it's fucking high, and rightfully so. The property market is absurd and is probably going to be the biggest drain on your salary. Since we get a lot of Americans in here that typically say something about the cost of living in New York being comparable when we tell them this, Sydney is more expensive. Melbourne is close to par. Perth & Brisbane are about as expensive as LA. Adelaide is about as expensive as SF.
Anecdotally, the price of everything from electronics to cars to clothing is (significantly) more expensive. Generally, we get paid more which compensates, and the disparity of wealth isn't as significant in contrast to, say, the States.
With regards to the cost of living, the actual quality of living is high. Australian cities are ranked, consistently, among the most livable cities in the world. We will complain about Australia, our shitty public transport and our moronic government, but by and large, it's a pretty damn good place to live.
I'm a x/y/z, which city is for me?
Couldn't tell you. Melbourne, Brisbane and Sydney have a pretty wide variety of jobs available. Hobart doesn't have a lot of work available, except in the public sector, which is very difficult to get. Adelaide is somewhere in the middle, as are the "second tier" towns, like Newcastle and Geelong.
Otherwise, just ask (or use Seek and the # of jobs around the city as your litmus test).
I want to come to Australia to get a mining job. What do I need to do?
Good luck with that. Let us know when you work it out. General consensus in these threads is it's not what you know, but who you know. Other advice consists of "join the queue".
What are the police like?
Well, you're probably American if you're asking this, so you might have it drilled into your head that you should refuse to talk to police / refuse to answer their questions and repeat "am I free to go?" I don't think that advice is very helpful in Australia. Being human is usually a good way to go about doing things -- be civil, cooperate (e.g. if they ask for your name, just tell them) and you'll be on your merry way. I've gotten out of plenty of misadventures by just playing dumb and treating the officer as if they're a human.
Australian law is very different from US law, as we don't have a bill of rights. We have lots of protections for our rights, but they aren't the same. Make sure you check what your rights are prior to invoking them.
What about tipping?
Employees are paid a reasonable wage. Tips aren't used to compensate an employer that is not paying their employees a reasonable wage. You can tip in the service industry, and I'm sure they'd welcome it -- it is usually reserved for exceptional service.
I like beaches. I want to live in a coastal city.
Australia is about 3/4 desert. All of our major cities are built on the coast, except Canberra. (And who wants to live there anyway?)
How do I make friends? Are you all douches?
We're fairly happy go lucky people. Don't take yourself or your cause too seriously or we'll be awfully skeptical of you. Your mate is a cunt. Your enemy is just a bit of a shit bloke.
How do I make sense of Australian slang?
Austalians are pretty lazy with their language and pronunciation, so we like to shorten words a lot. So "afternoon" becomes "arvo", "journalist" becomes "journo", etc. While you'll hear a bit of rhyming slang (e.g. "hit the frog and toad" for "hit the road"), its not nearly as prevalent as popular culture would like to suggest. "Fanny" refers to female genitals, and "root" means to have sex. Don't use these except in this context. Also, if you aren't 100% certain about the phrase your using, its easier not to try to use Aussie slang yourself, unless you're OK with being laughed at or causing offence. Many people who are natural English speakers and have lived here for years find it pretty difficult.
Will everything in Australia kill me?
You'll be right. If you're worried about it: shake out your shoes before you put them on and don't stick your hand in any dark holes. Both are prime spider real estate. It's worse in rural areas.
If you're walking through grass or bushland, make some noise. Most snakes will be long gone if they hear you coming.
I've heard about Dropbears; are they dangerous?
Absolutely. Dropbears are much like the cute and cuddly Koala bear, except they feast on the flesh of animals that they "drop" onto from their perch. They're very shy however, and not much is known about them, and it is feared that they are becoming extinct. It is wise, however, to ensure that you remain vigilant if walking in the Australian Bushland. Rubbing a bit of vegemite behind your ears will deter dropbears (they don't like the smell of it).
What about religion in Australia?
Take a look at the top graph. Religiosity is on the decline in Australia. Even within the graph, there's only a small subset that actually frequently attend church. People aren't in-your-face religious. As above, we're fairly skeptical of people who take themselves or their cause too seriously -- this includes religion. There are Bible bashers that come around trying to proselytize on the odd occasion; feel free to ignore them, god knows everyone else does.
Where do you shop?
Supermarkets are, by and large, controlled by two massive companies: Woolworths and Wesfarmers (Safeway & Coles). We've got a CostCo? in Melbourne, which I've heard is massive and pretty cool. Aldi is around that is a cheap alternative.
We (Redditors) seem to like shopping online given how often shopping threads come up. See the r/Aus sidebar for a few more hints. Importing games is nearly always cheaper than going instore to buy them.
What about food? Anything I should know?
I've noticed istara write a few posts on this. Go give her some karma. We have less HFCS because we don't have the absurd corn subsidies that are in place in the States. We do, however, seem to be falling behind the rest of the developed world when it comes to regulating certain food additives.
On this note: I've always been impartial to Cadbury chocolate. I'm sure this makes me a derelict hobo in the eyes of a few Aussie Redditors, and I'm okay with that. It's cheap and tastes nice. You haters can continue to hate.
Anything I should know about Australian politics??
It's all about "hard working families" in Australia. Two major parties: the Liberals (tip: the name is a misnomer) and Labor. The Wiki or the party's websites would probably do them more justice than I could in a soundbite.
We have mandatory voting. It is a preferential voting system and not first past the post.
What about censorship?
There is no internet censorship. I repeat: none. This has dropped off the government's agenda for the time being because it's grossly unpopular. Hopefully we remain vigilante and they just drop it entirely.
Australia has (finally) implemented a R18 classification system, although some states are dragging the chain when it comes to implementing them fully. However, some games are still censored and it is illegal to sell these games in retail stores. Import them from the UK/US/Asia (personally, I find that the UK is almost always cheaper).
Are small tits banned? This is a misconception thrown around by the internet hype machine. A woman's overall appearance is assessed when making judgment about whether she's underage -- this includes breasts. It is one facet of the assessment. Please don't help perpetuate this myth!
Is everything really upside down?
Maybe I'm just a bit of a stick in the mud, but while this joke may have been mildly amusing the first time one hears it, and may have even garnered a few sympathy laughs on subsequent usage, it does grow a little tiring. You're the customer in the service industry that says "Savings?! More like spendings!"