“Backpackers” Fire Safety
Know your Room
In case of fire:
• Know the evacuation plan for your
• Read the “Emergency Procedures”
in your room
• Know where your nearest exit is
• Make sure the door is not blocked
• Make sure you can find your key easily (in the lock is best)
• Know if you can open the window easily to escape
Be Prepared for an Emergency
• Your room should have a smoke alarm
• Test your smoke alarm (use a broom
handle to press the test button.
Hold for 3 seconds)
• The ‘Beep, Beep, Beep’ sound can save
your life. It tells you there is danger from
smoke in your room
Plan your escape
If a fire occurs:
• Get down on the floor, crawl to the door
• Get out of your room
• Close the door.
• Alert others
• Go outside and stay outside
• Phone 000 (zero,zero,zero)
For more information on Fire Safety:
Metropolitan Fire Brigade
Community Resilience Department
Telephone: (03) 9665 4464
In an emergency, phone 000 (zero, zero, zero)
Work, Work, Work
I can hear you groaning, but if you’re on a working holiday visa you’ll have to start at some point. Don’t worry if something doesn’t come up straight away because there are plenty of job opportunities around. Working Holiday Visas allow you to study for up to four months and restrict you from working more than 6 months with the same employer. For additional information on visa requirements and restrictions, visit www.immi.gov.au. This is enough to put some employers off, but then again it’s not unheard of for backpackers to get sponsored. Before you start work you must register for a Tax File Number (TFN). Pop into a post office for an application form and make sure you tick the box to claim the tax-free threshold otherwise you’ll be taxed at a higher rate
Working Holiday Visa Extensions
If you complete three months of specified work in regional Victoria, then you’re eligible to extend your working holiday visa for an extra year. Specified work includes: plant and animal cultivation (including harvesting and fruit picking), fishing, mining and construction. For further information on types of specified work, visit www.immi.gov.au.
Hospitality is big in Melbourne, be it waiting on tables or bar work. There are agencies aplenty to find you admin and office positions, as well as call centre work. Nannying is also popular. Most agencies are located in the CBD. Click on www.aussieweb.com.au/directory for a comprehensive listing of over 1,000 Melbourne agencies. Also check out the following websites:
Saturday’s Age newspaper also has a comprehensive employment section.
For the majority of hospitality and construction jobs in Australia, chances are you’ll have to complete a course before you’ll get hired. But don’t despair, most of these are only a day long and cost less than $130. Overseas qualifications are as good as an empty pint glass over here, and the courses listed below mainly cover health and safety but will significantly boost your chances of finding employment. Before you start a course, always make sure it’s valid for the state in which you want to work.
There are courses in Pub Skills. This won’t teach you how to down a yard of ale in under a minute, but you’ll gain a useful insight into the mechanics of running a bar. White cards are required to show that you know about occupational health and safety on construction sites. Food and Beverage Service courses are useful for people just entering the hospitality industry, as is the Barista Skills course for all wannabe coffee makers.
Forklift Drivers Licenses are recognised Australia-wide.
How do you serve alcohol responsibly? By not spilling a bloody drop, that’s how! Victorian state law requires you attend an RSA course in person, however if you have completed one in another state they will aloow you to do an online refresher course. Quality Hospitality International runs an online, nationally accredited RSA course. They specialise in correspondence and classroom training and because of their links with industry bodies such as Liquor Licensing Victoria and the Department of Gaming, Racing and Liquor in WA, doing a course with these guys is a good leg up into the Aussie hospitality industry.
For more information about the courses they provide as well as their training calendar and prices, log onto www.qhint.com/promo/
Undoubtedly one of the most popular forms of seasonal work undertaken by working holidaymakers is fruit picking. The bulk of fruit picking work is in
central northern areas of Victoria such as Shepparton, Wangaratta and Rutherglen, where the season is generally from November to April. Alternatively, in northwest Victoria around the NSW/VIC border towns, Swan Hill and Mildura (located on the Murray River), harvest work is available year round.
There are vegetable picking opportunities in Bairnsdale or Red Cliffs (near Mildura), with seasonal vegetables ripe for the picking much of the year. Between February and April the vines are heavy with grapes in wine regions including the Yarra Valley, Beechworth, Rutherglen, as well as Mildura and Swan Hill. Grape pruning work is available in the same regions from May to September.
March and April sees apples in the trees. Head out to the Mornington Peninsula or Buckland Valley and climb a ladder. Cherries are ready to pick between November and January in Shepparton, Rutherglen, the Yarra Valley and the Mornington Peninsula, and oranges are ripe for picking from May to January in Mildura, Swan Hill and Red Cliffs.
Further information on harvest work opportunities in regional Victoria can be found at the Harvest Trail website jobsearch.gov.au/harvesttrail.
While orchards are a great place to meet fellow travellers, be prepared for physical work in warm weather. Depending on what you’re picking, you may be up a ladder, kneeling, laying, sitting or standing. Ensure you protect yourself from the sun; wear a hat and sunscreen and carry plenty of drinking water. Pay is usually calculated by how many baskets/bins you fill during your shift. Many hostels (especially those in Mildura) can organise fruit picking for you.
An invaluable resource to find seasonal picking work is the National Harvest Guide. It’s free and packed with loads of useful information, listing all areas in Victoria where there is fruit and veg to harvest, the location of these towns, useful contact numbers, when to go, how to get there, and any general
requirements. To pick up a copy either visit www.harvesttrail.gov.au or else call 1800 062 332.
Safari Pete’s Studying Tips
Many international students are drawn to studying in Australia due to the high standard of Victoria’s institutions, academic teaching and quality of living. If the course you’re interested in is longer than three months, then you’ll have to apply for a student visa. To be eligible you must:
· Have proof of sufficient funds to cover living expenses
· Obtain Overseas Student Health Cover (OSHC)
· Be applying for a registered course
(log onto cricos.dest.gov.au for a list of these)
Visit the Victorian Government’s international student website
www.studymelbourne.vic.gov.au for information on finding a course
(including English language courses), scholarships, student accommodation, jobs and more.
Holders of a student visa will have access to student health cover and will be able to apply for permission to work part-time. For more information on the process, log onto www.travellers.com.au
Conservation Volunteers Australia
CVA focuses on involving people in conservation projects so be prepared to get your hands dirty. Project activities include trail maintenance in national parks, planting shrubs along sand dunes and weed removal.
The WWOOFing movement
(Willing Workers on Organic Farms) began in the ’70s and is a great way to
experience life on a farm and meet fair dinkum rural Aussies. You won’t earn a wage, but accommodation (you will stay on the farm) and food are covered, and a unique Australian experience is guaranteed. It’s also a great opportunity to learn about different aspects of farming.
Check out the website and choose from over 1,200 organic farms.
Summer Fire Safety
Victoria - Bushfire Basics
The state of Victoria is recognised as one of the most bushfire
prone regions in the world. Fire can threaten suddenly and
so you should always be ready to act.
• Observe local fire restrictions
• Adhere to Total Fire Ban Day regulations
• Listen to local radio for updates
Total Fire Ban Days
Are declared by the Country Fire Authority (CFA) and
announced the night before through all major media
outlets. These are days of high fire danger with high
temperatures and strong winds.
On Total Fire Ban Days no fires are allowed in the
open including campfires and barbeques using
wood, heat beads.
Know which Total Fire Ban District you are in.
Avoid driving in areas where there is fire activity and on high fire danger days. Roads are extremely dangerous during a bushfire. If you see smoke, turn around and drive away from it. If you continue and become trapped your life will be in danger as your car offers very little protection from radiant heat.
When travelling in country areas, make sure you stay informed about bushfires.
Fire Danger Ratings
A Fire Danger Rating provides information on the type of threat bushfires may pose to life and property on any day given the forecast weather conditions
A Fire Danger Rating will alert you as to the actions you should take on the day. It will be in newspapers, broadcast on radio, television and on websites.
Listen to ABC Local Radio, or the areas emergency broadcaster for updates and warnings during the fire season
For more information on Summer Fire Safety:
Download the FireReady app
Follow CFA on Facebook or Twitter
Victorian Bushfire Information Line 1800 240 667 (TTY: 1800 122 969)
In an emergency, phone 000 (zero, zero, zero)