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Leaving Year 12? These Gap Year ideas may interest you


“Sometimes you just have to take the leap and build your wings on the way down.” ― Kobi Yamada                                                             

It takes courage to take the leap from school and out of a supportive education and training world. These gap year ideas may help you to build your wings.  

Volunteer Overseas

Projects Abroad

With projects based on the edge of the world’s best safari and close to Mount Kilimanjaro, it’s no wonder that Tanzania is one of our most popular destinations.

We’ve been based in Tanzania for over 12 years, giving us time to cultivate meaningful placements. Why not explore this magical country and leave a positive impact of your own?

In Tanzania, you’ll help support Maasai communities. Consider the following options:

These projects are available to people of all ages, so get involved! For more insight, read Laura’s story of her experience volunteering in Tanzania.

Check out opportunities HERE. 

Work Overseas

LetzLive has opened up its working holiday opportunities in the UK, Thailand, USA and New Zealand. 

Check out the programs provided by LetzLive.

Travel Australia

Harvest Trail

The horticulture industry relies on people to pick their fruit and veggies. In the past the pay and conditions have been shocking, but the pandemic caused the industry to change work practices. The Harvest Trail is a more regulated employment trail for nomads. 

You can find Harvest Trail jobs HERE.

You can apply for Relocation Assistance HERE


If you’re 18-25 and looking to start a career in a meaningful and exciting industry, an AgCAREERSTART gap year will help you gain skills and knowledge to grow the farms of the future.

4 young farm workers walking and talking, next to a red vehicle

Over 10-12 months you will live in an exciting regional location, earn a nationally recognised qualification and build life-long industry connections.

  • Get hands-on experience

  • Increase your confidence

  • Work outdoors and discover rural and regional Australia

Find out more HERE

CBH Employs 1000 people on the wheat bins

This is from the CBH site:

Working as a CBH harvest casual is a great opportunity to explore, live, work and immerse yourself in regional Western Australia (WA) for a short period of time while earning decent wages.

CBH manages sites all across regional WA where our growers deliver their grain once it has been harvested, and each year we recruit a pool of harvest employees to help us keep these sites moving, getting growers and transporters in and out safely, quickly and back to harvesting.

Check out the opportunities HERE. 

Hospitality and Tourism

The boom in tourism within Australia is being slowed by the shortage of workers in resorts, coffee shops, motels, road houses and caravan parks.

Sandfire Roadhouse

Look for these jobs on sites like Seek or phone/email the local tourist bureau and ask where to find a job in the area.

If you are 18 you can earn more money serving alcohol than cleaning or serving in a cafe. You will need your Responsible Service of Alcohol certificate to be able to work serving alcohol.

If you can find a job in a resort or motel chain, take that, it is more likely to pay sick leave, holiday pay and superannuation. Wherever you get a job, make sure your pay and conditions are legit. Ring or email the Fair Work Ombudsman if you need to check.

Work on a Station

Can’t ride a motor bike or muster cattle? Maybe you can make scones or serve coffee. 

Ellenbrae Station, halfway between Derby and Kununurra, sells thousands of scones to tourists who travel up the Gibb River Road every year.

Ellenbrae Station Scones

Most stations supplement their incomes through tourism.

If you can clean you can probably find a job supporting the station tourism industry. Look for jobs on sites like Seek.


Gap Year in Defence (skip this section if you don’t want to try defence opportunities)

The Australian Department of Defence provides a structured, paid path to discover lots of stuff. 

You meet lots of new people from different places and find out about their lives. You will probably make friends for life with people you meet at this time.

You get to leave home without having to pay for rent, electricity and food.

You learn new skills. Trying lots of different roles and learning new skills will help you to decide what you like and don’t like, without spending time and money at uni or TAFE.

You find out about life in the army, navy or air force.

You can check out Defence Force Gap Years HERE

Army Reserves – if you would like to serve part time

If you want to do something really different on a part time basis, while helping the community and giving something back to our country, you can apply to join the Navy, Army or Air Force Reserve. There are a range of Reserve jobs in every category, so please check the entry requirements on each job page. Find out more HERE.


Need Experience?

Once you leave school it is tricky getting work experience as employers aren’t insured to cover unpaid volunteers.

In Western Australia you can apply for volunteer work through Volunteering WA. People put in requests for volunteers to them and they place people and cover them through the Volunteering WA insurance.

The Volunteering WA people said that when you first start with them they are careful of the sort of work they let you do until you have proven yourself.

Free Tips

Youth Central 

Check out Youth Central. It’s a Victorian Government site that has clear, unbiased tips on taking a gap year.

How to Prepare for a Gap Year – Tips from Omio

Omio has sent me a link to their Gap Year Guides which delivers great resources to prepare for a Gap Year.

The guide contains detailed information on:

  • The benefits of taking a gap year

  • How to organize a gap year step by step (e.g., accommodation, transportation, entry requirements & travel restrictions)

  • Itinerary suggestions and tips for travelling in Europe on a budget

  • Volunteering in Europe (10 suggestions)

  • How to successfully find and apply for an internship in Europe

You can find all the articles here:

Good luck with your plans for 2023.

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Bev Johnson Director, In Focus Careers


1 thought on “Leaving Year 12? These Gap Year ideas may interest you

  1. […] A comprehensive Guide to Gap Year Ideas that may interest you […]

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