On this page
- Enrolling to vote
- Employment advice
- Government services
Enrol to vote
Free and fair elections are the foundation of a great democracy. In Australia once you turn 18 you can vote in local, state and federal elections to decide who the government representatives of your local area, and your state, should be!
You are eligible to vote if
- you are an Australian citizen
- aged 18 years and over, and
- have lived at your address for at least one month.
If you are 16 or 17 you can enrol now so when you turn 18 you'll be able to vote.
You’re likely on your way, deciding what you’d like to do for work, whether that be a long-term career goal or getting your first job. The transition between school, training and work is complex and can be a little confusing. Hopefully the below information on the types of employment, how to decide on a career path, and how to find and apply for a job help you!
Types of Employment
There are three main types of employment: casual, part time and full-time employment.
- Full Time
- Full time employment is when a person works for 38 hours or more per week, on a permanent basis. This is commonly called a ‘9-5’ job. An example is a teacher who works 9am-5pm, 5 days a week, every week.
- Who’s it for? Full time employment is the most common type of employment and is suitable for anyone who’s main priority is working, as opposed to studying or travelling.
- Part Time
- Part time employment is where a person works for a set amount of time each week, but this amount of time is less than 38 hours (full time employment). An example is a person who works at a café three days per week, every week.
- Who’s it for? Part time employment is for anyone who is unable to work full time, such as students, or parents who have just had a baby.
- Casual employment is when a person is employed but not for a set length of time or number of hours per week. An example is a ‘Christmas casual’ job at a clothing store where a person will likely work irregular hours over Christmas as needed.
- Who’s it for? Causal employment is mostly for people who are also studying, looking for short term employment, or who are only able to work a few days a week.
- Full Time
There is no best type of employment: which type of employment is best for you depends on your short-term and long-term goals. To learn more about the types of employment available see: https://www.fairwork.gov.au/employee-entitlements/types-of-employees
How much should I be paid?
You’ve likely heard the words ‘minimum wage’ before. But what is minimum wage? In Australia, minimum wage or the minimum amount you should be paid for employment, has been determined by the government. The amount of minimum wage depends on the type of employment and the industry a person is employed in.
Minimum wage is outlined in what is called an ‘award’ (no, unfortunately you don’t get a gold medal!). An award is a table which outlines the minimum wage for different types of workers in different industries. As a result, there are different awards for different industries and someone working as a casual employee in a retail store may have a different minimum wage to someone working full time as an electrician.
Wow that sounds complex! So how do I find out which award my job is covered under? Luckily the FairWork Ombudsman, a part of the government which helps to make sure people are paid fairly in Australia, has put together an online tool to help.
You can use the ‘Find My Award’ tool on the Fair Work Ombudsman’s website to check which award your job is covered under. The Find My Award tool will ask you questions about your type of employment and age, as these affect how much you should be paid. To use the Find My Award tool follow this link: https://www.fairwork.gov.au/awards-and-agreements
If you believe you are being paid less than your award rate you should contact your employer. You can also contact the FairWork Ombudsman who can provide further assistance if your employer does not resolve the situation: https://www.fairwork.gov.au/contact-us
Helpful Government Services
There are a variety of government services available to you.
- In Australia we use MyGov, a simple online system, to access a variety of government services from the Australian Taxation Office, to Centrelink and Medicare. You’ll need a MyGov account to access these services, and you can learn about how to setup an account here: https://www.servicesaustralia.gov.au/individuals/online-help/create-mygov-account#:~:text=myGov%20help%20-%20Create%20a%20myGov%20account%201,then%20select%20Next%20.%20...%20More%20items...%20
- If you’re out of work, have moved out of home to study, or have an illness, injury or disability you may be eligible for government assistance. To check if you’re eligible for financial or other support contact Centrelink: https://www.servicesaustralia.gov.au/individuals/centrelink
- Australia has a world-class medical system. Medicare is the Australian government system that pays a contribution to your medical costs from General Practitioner visits to surgery and dental. You may be currently covered under your parent or guardians Medicare account, but you can also sign up for your own by following the steps outlined here: https://www.servicesaustralia.gov.au/individuals/subjects/how-enrol-and-get-started-medicare/setting-your-medicare-online-account
- The Australian Taxation Office
- The Australian Taxation Office or ATO is how the Australian government collects your tax and manages your super. You can learn more about the ATO by visiting their website at: https://www.ato.gov.au/
- Getting a Driver’s License
- Getting a driver’s license is one of the most exciting things about being a school leaver! If you want to learn more about how to get your first driver’s license, how long it takes to learn to drive and what tests you need to pass, you can visit the Department of Transport website at: https://www.transport.wa.gov.au/licensing/learn-to-drive-my-first-licence.asp
- Getting a Proof of Age Card
- If you haven’t got a driver’s license yet but still need to prove your age for a job application, buying alcohol, or applying to university, you can order a proof of age card. A proof of age card, or a WA Photo Card, is a card that provides anyone ages 16 or over with a recognised form of personal identity. To learn about the three step process for getting a WA Photo Card you can visit the Department of Transport website at: https://www.transport.wa.gov.au/licensing/wa-photo-card.asp
- Getting a Police Clearance
- Sometimes when you’re applying for a job or university, you may need to provide a police clearance or police check, so the organisation can check whether you have a criminal record. You can apply for a national police check on the Australia Federal Police website at: https://www.afp.gov.au/what-we-do/services/criminal-records/national-police-checks
- You can also apply online or in person at the post office with Australia Post. To learn more visit the Australia Post website at: https://auspost.com.au/police-checks