Proud Experiences

Joyce (2015 Australia)

Q: Where do you come from?
A: I come from Hong Kong.

Q: When did you go on your working holiday?
A: 2015.

Q: Where did you go for your working holiday and why?
A: I went to Australia for working holiday. I chose Australia because the application of working holiday visa to Australia opened throughout the whole year and it was easy to apply. There were different types of job opportunities in Australia including catering, tourism, construction, food processing industries and farm work so I could try different types of jobs. I also hoped to travel around Australia to see the beautiful scenery.

Q: What kinds of jobs did you do, and what kinds of courses did you take during your working holiday?
A: I worked as a housekeeper and a kitchen hand in a beautiful resort near a beach where wild dolphins came every day. I also stayed in an animal farm for two weeks and I worked in exchange of food and accommodation. My tasks in the farm were some simple cleaning jobs and animals feeding, including pigs, dogs, chickens, horses, cows and sheep.

Q: Tell us one of your most unforgettable memories in your working holiday.
A: One of my most unforgettable memories would be the one month camping tour in Western Australia. I joined a one month tour travelling from Perth to Darwin and we did camping throughout the whole trip. It was really interesting and amazing to see how the weather and landscapes changed along the way to the North, from cool weather in Perth to very humid and hot weather in Darwin, and from beach and sand to gorges and waterfalls. We experienced the outback life of Australia and I did many things for the first time in my life. We made pizzas in the camp fire, went fishing in the beach, camped in an area near a river where there were lots of crocodiles, swam in the waterfall and did snorkeling, etc.

Q: What is the greatest reward you have got from your working holiday?
A: The greatest reward would be the memorable experience in Australia. The working and travelling life in Australia is very different from the life I used to have in Hong Kong. I am very proud about what I have experienced in Australia.

Q: Can you give 3 tips for young people who wish to visit the working holiday destination of your choice?
It is good to live in hostels when you firstly come to Australia. Some people choose to live in a share-house instead because it is cheaper than staying in a hostel. But there are far more benefits of staying in a hostel. Firstly, hostels are conveniently located and you can go to supermarkets, banks and metro in walking distance. It is better to stay in a place which is convenient when you are a new comer to Australia and you don't know much about the transport system. Secondly, you will have a lot of chances meeting new people in hostels and it is easy to make friends there. Thirdly, you can just quit the hostel if you don't like the place or you get a new job in another place. It is easier for you to move from place to place if you stay in a hostel. When you get a new job or plan to stay in the place for a period of time, you can move into a share-house.
Working in exchange for food and accommodation would be a good experience in working holiday too. "HelpX" is a good online platform, listing host organic farms, non-organic farms, farmstays, homestays, B&Bs and even sailing boats who invite volunteer helpers to stay with them short-term in exchange for food and accommodation. It would be safer to find the hosts through these platforms as you can read the reviews from the previous backpackers. As you don't get paid, the tasks usually are not too demanding and you will have lots of free time interacting with the Australian family and have a taste of how Australian life is. The hosts may take you to the local attractions and they are very willing to teach you English.
You have to be prepared that working holiday is fun but it is also very challenging. As most of the backpackers jobs are physically demanding, which is a lot different from the office work in Hong Kong. Be mindfully and physically prepared that the jobs can be very tiring.

Q: Is there any extra thing you would like to tell us?
A: /

Note: The views and comments expressed in individual sharings are the authors' own and do not reflect the views of the Labour Department. Working holidaymakers are advised to research thoroughly and check up for updated and verified information before departure.