In this orientation workshop everything important was explained to us.

First was the mail system. We can use the address of Australian Backpackers here in Sydney for all our mail. When something arrives we’ll be informed by email and then can choose between

  • store it for later
  • open, scan and email it to me
  • forward it to me by mail

Next important things were taxes.

We had to fill out a form to apply for a tax file number (TFN), because without it we would have to pay 60% tax.
With the TFN it’s 29% during the first 6 months, afterwards we count as “australian residents” and only have to pay 17% taxes.
For the time after those 6 months we can also claim a tax / super refund, it’s complicated, but the work&travel organization will help us.

Health Care was a short one for me: there is simply no health care agreement between Germany and Australia 🙁
The british guys here are lucky, their governments have: “You care for our people in Australia, and we care for your people in UK”
Since I was told so before, I have got private insurance for everything, not just health care.

Next topic was getting work. We were told where to look for jobs and how to apply, and what’s important to aussie employers.

Then we walked over to a branch office of WestPac, one of the 4 big banks in Oz. We got our account set up and had to put in 50$ to activate it.
At another place with much better rates I exchanged my last € into $AUS.

Now I have to wait for my TFN, my bank card which is a Debit Mastercard and the PIN.

On the way to the bank I felt the horrible aching pain in the muscles of my upper legs, thanks to carrying my luggage up 4 stairwells in the hostel and walking around the whole remaining day before.

Here are the pics I took during the walk to the bank and back:

From 2011-05-18 Sydney. Posted by Philipp Hübner on 5/18/2011 (17 items)

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Category: Australia, Places