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Kiwi -pom

Work in ACT

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I am a kiwi living in the UK.  My hubby has been offered a very good job in Canberra and we are both very keen to move.  We love the idea of being closer to NZ and our girls being raised in leafy laid back Canberra (we have an 8 an 10 year old).  Our only reservation is me getting work.  As a kiwi i cannot work for govt -i will be on a special category visa which is automatic but i am considered a temporary resident and there is no pathway on this visa to citizenship.  I am a lawyer in trade marks (2nd career approx 3 years PAE) -and have completed post graduate in the UK in this area as well. 

Can anyone advise what the job market is like?  I should add my hubby has not been treated well in his current job and it has affected his health where he has collapsed due to exhaustion and stress so i dont want him.to stay in his role anyway.  Just wanting to give the bigger picture.  But still the job market is worrying.  Interested in how others have found it?  Am i worrying needlessly?


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You could try these people, they're in Canberra. They might help with organisations who work with them, rather than being directly employed by a Fed agency.   

Fed govt do employ foreigners through agencies in some fields, not sure about your skill area though.

I think if you're well-trained and obviously already have working entitlement, you should be ok to find something to get started...then it just moves from there. 

Matt Hancock on TV, crying like the stepfather appealing for the return of the daughter he knows is buried under the garage floor.


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Honestly? Yes I think you are right to be worried about your career. It’s a very niche market so you could strike it lucky and be just the person someone needs in which case there can be departmental waivers to allow non-permanent residents to apply. OTOH, and more likely, it’s going to mean you taking a significant career hit or can your career morph into something else in the private legal sector?  I’d suggest one of the professional agencies when you arrive. I’m not sure if Cantlie is still going but my DH used them at one time and they were pretty good. If you can do a belt and braces job and take a career break with your current role that’d be sensible.

Be wary of the “laid back” Canberra meme, it’s far from that, unfortunately, with lots of ambitious people jostling for positions. I don’t know how things are now but when we left, the levels of workplace bullying were increasing significantly (some sectors worse than others) so I hope it’s not a case of frying pan and fire for you. But forewarned is forearmed.

Have you got your UK citizenship, just in case? 

Otherwise, Canberra is not a bad place to bring up kids so hope you’ll be very happy there!

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