My decision to become an Australia Veterinary Nurse…
After far too many episodes of attempts from my friend ‘the eternal traveler’ to persuade me to travel I finally succumbed and took the plunge, I started seriously looking into joining Hayley on her adventure and planned to join with her Australian leg of her adventure around the world. As soon as I started telling people what I planned to do I got an entirely positive reaction (with minor guilt tripping from my family tasked with looking after the 2 dogs and 1 kitten I’d be leaving behind), with almost everyone telling me to grab the opportunity with both hands.
First on the list was a visa.
Surprisingly, getting a visa for a working holiday was much simpler than expected. After trawling through the small print to find no serious complications the online forms to complete wasn’t too taxing and within a day I had an email telling me I was allowed into the country. No trip to an office hidden away in London or long periods on hold waiting to speak to someone, just a few clicks and you’re away.
Next, book flights, easy, another item crossed off the list.
Thirdly planning where to stay.
I’ll admit to not doing much in this department since I had someone better positioned to sort this out as family commitments had stopped me flying out at the same time as Hayley. It’s worth mentioning that we actually changed our plans from spending most of our time in Sydney to flying to Melbourne on somewhat of a whim and while our flights were all into and out of Sydney there are internal flights going all over the place at very reasonable prices. There are loads of backpacker hostels to start your trip in but for a more permanent stay there are plenty of flats to rent or ‘house shares’ to be had.
The next item on the list proved much more difficult, finding a job.
There is an abundance of work to be had if you’re flexible but being part of a pair of Vet Nurses made this more difficult since we were planning to rent a flat or a couple of rooms in a house share together. This limited each of our locations but I’ve been told many a time that Australian public transport is pretty extensive and reliable. A lot of job hunting can be done from the UK before you leave via email and skype interviews, Vet link are a great agency based in Australia who email you jobs tailored to your specific area as they get them and work somewhat like Recruit4vets in the UK do, along with providing loads of helpful hints and tips for working in Australia. Another great resource is the Kookaburra website which lists jobs per region and even acts as a platform to advertise yourself.
One word of warning when job hunting, know your location and check the local rules for practicing as a Vet Nurse. For most of the country no registration is required, although it’s probably wise to take a copy of any qualifications you hold with you, however the West coast requires registration with the Veterinary Surgeons Board of Western Australia which doesn’t seem to be an overnight task.
So now I sit here nearing the end of a horrendously long plane journey. I’m not going to sugar coat being stuck in a seat for 20 odd hours.
(Tip, don’t skimp on those in-flight luxuries, buy that neck pillow!).
My poor knees and back are protesting louder by the hour and I’ve had about 4 hours sleep the entire journey, but despite this, I’m holding onto what one of the many strangers you meet when you travel alone said; “Work hard, play hard.”
After all, I’m not planning on doing this journey too often, who knows, I might never come back…. watch this space.
Nikkie Woolmer RVN
Thinking of Australia but struggling to save? Locum work could be your answer!
We have a number of locum roles available to help you save your cash in a short space of time and take the plunge, just like Nikkie has.