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Salient. An Organ of Student Opinion at Victoria College, Wellington, N.Z. Vol. 13, No. 4. March 23rd, 1950

Australian vacation employment scheme — I Was There

page 3

Australian vacation employment scheme

I Was There

I Think everybody found the student organised trip to Australia a valuable experience. At least everyone I spoke to seemed to have had a wonderful time—which is Just about the same thing. A tew Otago girls didn't even want to go back to Dunedin, Certain parts of tan scheme could be improved, hat these difficulties are of minor nature, and will be ironed out in the next few years.

Oar advice to students is "go if you possibly can—it is well worth the time and the money." I hope these notes will help you on your way.

Mr. Frank Curtin, (VUC) managed this end, and Mr. Allan Beatty (Sydney) the other. Both appeared to do a capable job, but were hampered by the fact that there was a change over in management during the year. Mr. Beatty told me that many of the difficulties which arose this year will not recur, as the organisation has been vastly improved.

Mr. Curtin arranged the ship berths satisfactorily, although one student complained to me that the letter telling him where to pick up his ticket arrived the morning he left for Wellington to catch the boat. As soon as we landed in Sydney those who were staying in that town contacted Mr. Beatty at Sydney University. He found our board, near the jobs provided for us by the permanent employment officers located in the universities. This permanent organisation, which is not found in New Zealand, gives the Australian students more, and more various Jobs.

In Melbourne the organisation was even better, and the students tried to make the New Zealanders feel at home, with cocktail parties, and so on.


Few of us bad any idea what our jobs would be until we reached Sydney. But the university employment agencies had plenty of varied jobs. Most of the women had jobs in hospitals, factories, offices or restaurants, while the men mainly had agricultural jobs, as bean crop inspectors, (no previous experience necessary) fruit pickers, or harvesters Engineering, farming and science students had no difficulty in finding employment in their specialised fields. Those who had jobs for a limited period had no trouble in finding others. I was assured, that if you name the employment you want, the vocational employment people will have no trouble in placing you. What they need most is specific Information.


If you want to do some sightseeing the vacation trip will cost you money. How much depends on yourself—if you are prepared to hitch-hike or not, for example. One [unclear: ch I know did the trip on] about [unclear: but most spent a little more that the boat fare of] £37/10/- is a big hurdle in itself.

Wages ranged from-£5 a week to £15 a week, and are generally higher than those in comparable New Zealand positions But the cost of board and food is also much higher, 35/- a week for bed and breakfast is quite usual in Sydney, while meals are from 3/- upwards. The best type of work la that which supplies full board. The general opinion on the boat was that no one paid their way, but that they could have done so, had it been really necessary.


Most students spent a good deal of time sightseeing. Nearly all saw something of Victoria, New South Wales and Queensland, and a few reached South Australia. One physics student worked at Alice Springs for some time. We travelled by the easiest and cheapest method—hitch-hiking—where possible.

Two O.U. girls hitch-hiked from Melbourne to Brisbane, and back to Sydney. But even planes were used if the people concerned happened to be financial at the time.

Students Congress

This was held at Gan-Gan. near Newcastle. N.S.W., and about six New Zealanders attended. They thoroughly enjoyed themselves, learning much about Australian universities and giving what information they could about New Zealand. They also met some of the 110 Australian girls there, and were very impressed with their beauty.

To sum up, we all had such a great, time that we'd all like to go again. What are you waiting for?—P.W.