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Do this to achieve ATAR success in December

Your big hairy audacious goal might be as vague as “To have an amazing life”.

No matter how big your dream goal, you will need a plan to succeed. If you are an ATAR student you will need a plan that leads to a great ATAR score.


SMART goals are different to big hairy audacious goals. SMART goals are not about dreams, they are about nailing down your dreams into specific, measurable goals.


Example: I will improve my English result by 10% next term by asking my teacher, each week, for feedback and advice about what to work on next.

SWOT Analysis

Once you have your SMART goals, do a SWOT analysis. The SWOT will help you to understand your capacity to improve your ATAR score.

Brainstorm your ideas. Have a friend help or just do it alone.

  • Do STRENGTHS first.
    • Do WEAKNESSES second.
  • Do THREATS last.

Don’t think about your ideas. Just write them down as dot points.

Do a USED Analysis to get your action keys to success

You create a list of actions by doing a USED Analysis on the list of ideas from your SWOT.

Take 10 minutes to go through the ideas in your SWOT.

See how you can Use your strengths. Stop your weaknesses. Exploit your opportunities and Deny any threats.

At the end of your USED analysis, your ideas are a list of actions. These actions are your key to success. By undertaking these actions, you will achieve your goal.

Success Planning

Your USED analysis has given you a list of tasks that will lead you to your goal. Work with your list:

  1. Choose the task that you want to do first. (Break it down into smaller tasks if necessary.)
  2. Figure out WHEN you are going to do the first task.
  3. When will it be finished?
  4. How will you know you have done it successfully?
  5. Create your plan for four actions that you want to do first.


    You are now well on the way to achieving your best possible ATAR score. You have your plan. You know what to do.

    Subscribe to In Focus Careers News to find opportunities that help you to find where you belong.

    Cover of July In Focus Careers Magazine
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    Alternative Paths to uni in WA 2024

    All universities have developed lots of pathways to their door. The choices can be confusing.

    Alternative Pathways to Uni in WA 2024  collates information on all the different pathways and provides:

    • tables of courses offered by each university

    • links to more detailed information for each pathway.

    What’s good about alternative pathways?

    Alternative pathways are frequently free.

    As you do the course you find out about uni life and about a range of degrees that are available. You may find out about less expensive ways of doing your degree or about scholarships. 

    Courses like medicine, which have strict quotas, are not available through alternative pathways, but most courses will be open to you. 

    Although each course is different there are usually 4 subjects like….

    • Academic Writing

    • Research Skills and Information Literacy

    • Communication Skills

    • Essential Maths

    You will meet new people, talk about courses, costs and career options with them, explore the campus and libraries and get familiar with the uni IT systems. 

    How to choose a university

    Pick a university that you would like to belong to. 

     Is it close? Are your friends going there? Does it have a great course? Do you like its ranking by past students

    • Go to that university and meet with a career advisor. Tell them what you would like to study.

    • Ask them what is available to help you to meet entry requirements. They will point you to the best course for you, or design one that meets your needs. 

    Check out Which Uni is Best for You? for a quick overview of West Australian unis.

    Final Tips

    • Students can calculate their anticipated ATAR HERE

    • Students can check the Lowest Offered ATAR Rank in 2023 to see if they have a chance of getting in next year.

    • If something goes wrong in Year 12, you could apply for special consideration through the TISC Access Scheme

    Get your copy of Alternative Pathways to Uni in WA 2024

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    Give yourself every chance to succeed – ATAR Revision Programs for Senior Students

     Most senior students undertake some form of extra revision during the holidays to give themselves every chance to succeed.

    ATAR is still important

    Final ATAR results are still important as:

    • final offers are made on actual rather than estimated ATAR results. 

    • courses with lots of applicants for limited places will offer those places to the students with the highest ATAR scores. 

    • academic scholarships are usually based on ATAR results. 

    Many schools offer revision programs

    • Your school newsletter will identify revision programs or additional support that your school will be offering. 

    • You can often find semi retired teachers, who have been expert advisors on exam content and style, who are available as tutors. Ask at your front office if they have a list of available tutors. 

    • Some of the best programs are offered by subject specialists who advise on the style and subjects of the exams. Ask your specialist ATAR teachers if there will be an ATAR Exam Information session on their subject.

    Private Providers

    Several organisations specialise in tutoring students in preparation for ATAR, OLNA or NAPLAN exams.


    ECU has run ATAR revision programs in the past. You can find the 2023 program here. 

    Academic Task Force    Academic Group     Academic Associates

    Academic Task Force Holiday Revision Courses are designed specifically for students looking to revise ATAR course content and practice exam-style questions in preparation for exams.

    Students will increase their understanding, receive fresh insights and gain intensive revision of their subject during this short course. Each subject is taught by a  highly qualified and vaccinated ATAR teacher with a strong background in marking and writing exams to increase their performance.

    • Rossmoyne Senior High School 

    • Churchlands Senior High School 

    • Duncraig Senior High School 

    • Perth Modern School

    • Online 

    Enrol HERE.


    Master Classes are one hour sessions conducted once a week in term time. Each week they reteach, revise and reinforce the topics and areas of study that the students are dealing with in their classes at school.

    Masterclasses offer students

    •  Ongoing academic support

    • More confidence at school

    • A better chance of success in assessments

    • Individualised help solving specific problems

    • Small group classes

    Find programs for students from Years 7 – 12  HERE.


    ReviseOnline offers specifically designed multiple choice, short answer and extended response questions in a range of Year 11 and 12 courses which match the format of ATAR exams.

    Once you submit a completed test or exam you’re provided with ATAR-standard sample responses and can evaluate your answers against a fully-worked marking key. All our courses are up to date and WACE specific, so each question you complete is improving your exam skills and ultimately boosting your ATAR!

    Check out the courses HERE.

    The Exam Experts

    Nailing the ATAR and getting the results you are hoping for isn’t necessarily about being the smartest kid in the class. It’s about being well-prepared, knowing what to focus on and understanding what questions are most likely to come up in the exams and how to answer them.

    With the help of T.E.E. Consultants’ July holiday intensive exam revision program, Year 12 students can access ten hours of additional teaching per subject, to truly understand the course curriculum and perform better in exam conditions.

    Students are invited to enrol in up to five subjects in Week One of the July holiday period. Country students can access heavily discounted, full board accommodation packages which offer safe, secure, supervised accommodation on-site for regional students who enrol in at least three subjects.

    Courses are run at UWA and at Murdoch.

    Check their programs HERE.


    At inTuition, each student undertakes an assessment and programs are customised to meet their needs. Tutors are qualified teachers or experts in their fields.

    The office is based in Osborne Park

    You can find their programs HERE.

    To keep up to date with news for West Australian school students, subscribe to In Focus Careers Monthly News

    Email for details.

    Save Time Get Better Results with Study Coach

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    These university accommodation scholarships could help you in 2024

    Staying in uni accommodation on campus is brilliant. You meet new people. There are mentors to tell you what to expect. There are tutors and counsellors and you don’t have to fight for parking on campus or catch a bus.

    It costs over $20,000 to stay in university accommodation. See sample fees and charges HERE.

    These scholarships will make uni accommodation more affordable.

    Regional Scholarships

    The cost of travel and living in the city stop students from the country going to university. This isn’t news. There is lots of financial support available to help overcome this problem. Check out the financial support listed here.

    Relocation Scholarships

    The Commonwealth government supports students who need to relocate to undertake further study. Find more information HERE

    Country Education Foundation

    You can find it’s Scholarship Guide HERE.

    Curtin Regional Accommodation Scholarships 

    The purpose of this scholarship is to support regional students from low socioeconomic backgrounds who are experiencing financial hardship and have contributed to their local community. 

    Check the Curtin Alumni Regional Scholarship HERE. Closing Date: 26 Nov 2021

    Curtin Harry Perkins Memorial Scholarship 

    For students who need to relocate from a regional or remote area to commence an undergraduate degree at Curtin University, who are from a low socioeconomic background and are experiencing financial hardship. Find more at  Harry Perkins Memorial Scholarship.

    UWA Regional Accommodation Scholarships

    The Convocation of UWA Graduates and The University of Western Australia (‘the University’) are providing a scholarship to assist an eligible regional or remote student with the cost of accommodation at University Hall or other college affiliated with the University.

    Find more at Convocation Accommodation Scholarship.

    UWA has a range of scholarships. Check them out HERE.

    UWA Harry Leaver Scholarship

    The UWA Harry Leaver Scholarship assists eligible regional or remote students, preferably from Moora or the Mid West region, with the cost of accommodation while they commence and pursue a Bachelor of Science at UWA.

    The UWA Harry Leaver Scholarship provides $15,000 per annum to support accommodation fees at University Hall, and is administered and awarded by the University of Western Australia.

    Check out these scholarships.

    ECU Regional Accommodation Scholarships

    ECU provide scholarships which have been established specifically to assist students who normally live in a rural, regional or remote area of Western Australia, or in some cases Australia wide, who are having to relocate in order to study at University.

    These include the following scholarships for undergraduate students:

    You can visit ECU Scholarships to find information on opening and closing dates, or to search for other available scholarships.

    Murdoch Regional Accommodation Scholarships

    High achieving regional students are encouraged to apply for a scholarship that will help them with their living costs when they move to the city to study at Murdoch University.

    The George Alexander Foundation (GAF) is offering six scholarships to the value of $24,000 which successful applicants can use towards the cost of their living and accommodation expenses while in Perth.

    Notre Dame University Accommodation Broome

    Notre Dame has limited accommodation support for any students wanting to study nursing in Broome.

    Find out more HERE.

    I will research all accommodation scholarships at West Australian universities and write them up in a separate post.

    Sign up to Infocus Careers News to keep up to date with West Australian career opportunities

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    Planning a gap year? Don’t “waste” your time. Here are 3 gap year stories to inspire your thinking

    Once you step off the education treadmill, you will have time to look around and check out the world. 

    Here are 3 gap year stories to give you some ideas.

    Story 1: Equestrian Centre in the South of France


    Ariel finished school with an ATAR of 93. She didn’t know what she wanted to do although she generally liked sciences rather than arts.

    When she was in Year 10 Ariel went on a holiday to Spain and France with her mother. She loved travelling and discovering other countries.

    While she was at school Ariel made money by babysitting. She had done babysitting for a family of doctors since she was in Year 10. She used the money she made to support her equestrian hobby.

    The Plan

    Ariel decided that she would take a gap year. Work for 6 months to save money to travel to France where she would work as a nanny. 

    What Happened

    She signed on to a couple of French sites, like Seek, searching for jobs as a nanny. She got her babysitting employers to write her a reference. While she was searching she found an advertisement for a job working at an equestrian centre in the South of France.

    She applied for the job and got it.

    She travelled to France and worked for 6 months, earning very little, but learning French, working with horses and seeing lots of the country. 

    After 6 months she came back and is currently studying paramedicine.

    Story 2: Volunteering Abroad


    Chloe studied Certificate II in Hospitality while at school and worked part-time in cafes.

    She comes from a migrant background and is interested in other cultures and the struggles that people go through in other countries.

    The Plan

    Chloe wanted to volunteer abroad. She contacted a couple of the organisations that organise young volunteers abroad and found out what sort of experience she needed and what sort of work she could do. 

    Chloe worked several jobs in coffee shops and cafes in the months after she left school and attended meetings to find out more about volunteering requirements and opportunities. 

    What Happened

    Chloe applied for several opportunities in Africa and Cambodia. After a few months, she was offered a 6-month position working in an orphanage in Tanzania.  

    She paid for her own airfare but her accommodation and meals were paid for. 

    Meeting the orphans and working with them was fantastic. The workers at the orphanage were friendly and helpful.

    Chloe had a single room in a  share house with other volunteers. Her work was mainly caring for children aged 4 – 7 years and cleaning and cooking. She had to walk 3 kilometres to work and back each day and it was hot. The mosquitoes were plentiful. 

    During her 6 months, Chloe made friends with other volunteers from the USA. She learned how tough and corrupt life can be for some children. She also got to visit Serengeti National Park on the way home. 

    Chloe is now buying a share in a cafe that she is managing.

    Story 3: Fashion Design in New York


    Georgia finished school with an ATAR of 73. She is very stylish and spent much of her childhood living in a resort that her parents managed.

    Georgia has a keen interest in fashion and considered specialising in Fashion Design at Curtin University where some of her friends had enrolled in different courses. 

    The Plan

    Georgia saw a career advisor and then began working on a plan to work for a family friend in a resort for 6 months, before going to New York to do a 6-week fashion and design course.

    The cost of doing the course and of living in New York was prohibitive so Georgia got in touch with the College and they were able to arrange for her to share accommodation with some other students.

    What Happened

    Georgia got in touch with the students she was to share with and found out who they were and where they lived. She arranged to rent a room in their accommodation. 

    She borrowed money from her mother as a safety net, then flew to New York a week before the course started. 

    The course was fantastic. New York was fantastic.

    She met people she could never have met in Australia and learned about the New York fashion industry. She also learned practical design skills and about marketing in the fashion industry.

    She had a brilliant time. 

    Chloe returned to Australia and began working in a holiday resort again to pay back the money she borrowed from her mother.

    She has completed a Diploma in Hospitality and has credits to do a Hospitality Degree. 


    Teachers who want to help West Australian students to discover career opportunities need In Focus Careers News

    My quest is to democratize career opportunities in Western Australia by broadcasting opportunities and advice to all who will listen. You can tap into my work. 

    To subscribe email me: 

    Bev Johnson Director, In Focus Careers

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    It’s Career Expo Time – Don’t sign anything! 3 tips for the Career Expo

    Tip 1: Don’t sign ANYTHING

    Many visitors sign up for thousands of dollars worth of training based on a noisy 5 minute discussion in the crowded Convention Centre.

    The Careers Expo is great fun. There are lots of giveaways. There are glossy brochures and high-tech displays.

    People on the stands are friendly and helpful.

    Of course they are!

    You aren’t going to buy something from someone grumpy. 

    The biggest, most professional-looking displays, closest to the entry, with the loud music and happy staff, are investing a lot to get you to sign up for their products.

    Tip 2:

    Don’t wait until you get to the Expo.  Find the exhibitors on the Expo Page before you go.

    If you are interested in having a Gap Year check out which exhibitors will have information that will interest you.

    If you are interested in Trades, check out the ones that will be of most interest.

    Make the decision about which ones to visit and what you want to know. 

    You could also ask….

    • How much will it cost?

    • How long the course will take.

    • What are the entry requirements.

    • How long it takes their graduates to get a job in the industry?

    • What sort of work do graduates get?

    Tip 3 See your career advisor after the expo

    If you don’t know a career advisor, go to a Jobs and Skills Centre and talk with them or make an appointment with a uni-based career practitioner. It’s FREE. The Jobs and Skills Centres are usually based in TAFE colleges, they also have information about unis.

    Each month In Focus Careers News helps West Australian teachers to guide their students towards career opportunities. You can subscribe HERE.

    Bev Johnson Director, In Focus Careers

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    Year 12 – Choosing Your University: Tips and Advice for Open Days

    University open days are great fun. They give you a window into what your life could be like when you leave school

    Take your time. Spend 3-4 hours to get the feel of the campus.

    Get a Feel of the university

    University open days give you an opportunity to experience the campus and the university environment. You can get a sense of the university’s atmosphere, the types of students who attend, and what it might be like to study and live there.

    Gather Information

    Attending an open day offers an opportunity to ask questions to academic and support staff members, and also to current students. Students can ask about the courses they’re interested in, entry requirements, career prospects, financial support, and other relevant topics.

    Building Confidence

     Attending open days can help you to build confidence in your decision-making process. By gathering information and asking questions, you can feel more confident in making informed decisions about your future.

    Compare Universities 

     By attending multiple university open days, students can compare different universities and courses, and weigh up the pros and cons of each. This can help them make a more informed decision when it comes to applying for university.

    Going to Uni in WA 2024            

    Going to Uni in WA 2024  is an essential resource for students and parents navigating the complex process of getting to university in Western Australia. It collates information from universities, government bodies, and educational organizations to provide a comprehensive guide for Year 12 students in Western Australia.

    Pick the Best Bits Before You Get There

    • As the day draws closer, each university will finalise its schedule of events, campus tour, displays and classes. 
    • Check the Open Day Program and plan your day.

    On the Day

     Don’t rush. Plan to spend 3 – 4 hours at the Open Day.

    • Book a campus tour.
    • If there are overarching welcome events, make sure you go to those. 
    • Go to course information sessions.
    • Go to subject taster sessions

     Pick Me! Faculty Stands

    Every faculty wants you to enrol in one of their courses.

    Some questions you could ask:

    University lecturers are the experts at the faculty stands who you need to approach with questions like:

    • Why do you love working in this field?
    • What are the career opportunities in this field?
    • What are the entry requirements and pathways available?
    • How long will it take to get the degree as a full time student?
    • What subjects can you choose from?
    • What support is available to students.
    • If you qualify within any support group ask about financial and other support that the university provides.

    If you do not have course prerequisites or think you may not achieve the required ATAR, ask about alternative pathways.

    Find Current Students at the Stands

    There will be current students at most stands. Ask them what course they are doing and what they love and hate about it.

    Optometry pathway for WA students - Optometry Australia
    Curtin University Optometry Pathway

    Ask a student ambassador if they are willing to have a coffee with you.

    • Ask why they are doing the course and if they are going to achieve the outcome they hoped for.
    • Find what extracurricular activities there are. Are there any clubs or teams that you can join now?
    • What can the union offer to students?
    • Find out what they have done about fees, financial support and scholarships.

    Early Offers

    You may be invited to enrol on the spot. Don’t do this.

    Don’t make your career decision based on a brochure and 30-second discussion. If there is a crowd at the stand when you visit, ask for an appointment.

    Don’t sign up at an Open Day. 


    If you plan to stay in university accommodation:

    • Tour at least one of the accommodation colleges
    • Ask where you can find accommodation scholarships and financial support.
    • Watch In Focus Careers News for information about scholarships.

    Book an appointment with a career counsellor

    Even if you are one of the few who knows exactly what course you want to take, book a free appointment with a career counsellor at the university. They may know of:

    • different subjects that you might love
    • support services that you can tap into
    • sports and clubs you can join now
    • financial systems that are available. 

    Get:  Going to Uni in WA 2024

    Going to University in Western Australia: A Comprehensive Guide” is an essential resource for students and parents navigating the complex process of getting to university in Western Australia. It collates information from universities, government bodies, and educational organizations to provide a comprehensive guide for Year 12 students in Western Australia.

    Subscribe to In Focus Careers News

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    Going to uni in WA in 2024. A Comprehensive Guide

    This is my second edition of this Guide which aims to guide Year 12 students towards going to university in WA next year.

    Pathways to University in Western Australia: A Comprehensive Guide delivers all of the updated information about going to university in WA in 2024. 

    It is an essential resource for students and parents navigating the complex process of getting to university in Western Australia. You can get your copy HERE. 

    Subscribe to In Focus Careers News

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    Don’t get on the uni bus unless you know where it’s going

    At a recent university seminar for career practitioners, one speaker complained about West Australian school leavers not going to uni. 

    No wonder they aren’t going.

    • There is such a critical skills shortage happening that employers are ringing schools asking if there are any suitable students for great jobs with career prospects. Students can walk out of school and straight into a job with an okay salary.
    • The State Government has been pouring money into vocational education and training. There is a bigger variety of courses, they are cheap or free and many give credits to uni degrees.
    • Uni courses are expensive.

    Why would you go to uni?

    Those who are not sure what uni to go to, or what they want to study, still get onto the uni bus because:

    • Their friends are going to uni and they don’t want to be left behind.
    • The uni bus came for them while they were at school so they bought a ticket.
    • Their parents told them to get on the bus.
    • Teachers knew about the uni bus and talked about their experiences in a positive way.

    Just because the university bus is ready to pick you up from school, doesn’t mean that you have to get on.   Maybe you want to get on the backpacker bus. Or the Harvest Trail bus. Or the VET bus. Or the job bus. 

    Very few students are 100% sure of the university course that they want to take. About 30% realize that the course they are studying is not the right one for them, and they change direction. Others drop out altogether and end up feeling like they have failed. 

    Check out Leaving  Year 12? These gap year ideas may interest you

    If you are not sure what to do at uni, DON’T GET ON THE BUS.

    The uni bus fare is expensive

    Buying a uni course is not like buying a car. You can’t sell your used course to the next buyer who comes along.

    • If you get off the bus before you get to the destination YOU STILL HAVE TO PAY. 
    • If you fail, YOU STILL HAVE TO PAY.
    • If you change courses, YOU STILL HAVE TO PAY for the part of the course you used before you changed direction.

    You can estimate how much your degree is going to cost you by using the UWA fees calculator 

    Defer uni for a year

    If you are not sure what course you want to do, you can still apply for a place at uni and, once you get offered a place, defer taking it up for a year.  

    After working for a year you will have a clearer idea about which units to enrol in.

    Check out the ideas in Going to Uni in WA – Mind Map for Year 12

    Vocational Courses

    Vocational Education and Training has been the winner in the post-school revolution in Western Australia.  In an effort to support industry, the West Australian government has been introducing short courses, skills sets, and employer subsidies. Industry has been partnering with training providers to deliver skills on the worksite.  There are hundreds of courses available. If you are unsure what course you might like to do or how to enrol find a Jobs and Skills Centre  near you for careers guidance. It’s free. They can tell you what courses will give you credits at uni. 

    You HAVE to do post-school learning

    You can’t just leave school and never study again.  Okay, you can, but poverty could be your lifelong friend.

    • People who have post-school qualifications earn more money and have more life choices.
    • The world isn’t going to stop changing just because you aren’t learning new skills.

    You need to keep up with changes in the world of work either by learning on the job, or online or in a classroom. Getting tickets, qualifications, and recognition for your learning will help you to have choices and steer your career in different directions. The skills you gain may even get you credits in some units at uni. 

    Take Your Time

    More haste less speed is an old saying.

    It means, don’t rush into things. 

    If you are not sure what direction to take, slow down and look around. There are many directions to take as you leave school. Uni is just one of them. 

    To keep up to date with career news for West Australians, subscribe to In Focus Careers

    Bev Johnson Director, In Focus Careers
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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