... Working Holiday
The Working Holiday program in Australia allows young people between 18 and 32 years of age from specific countries to have an extended holiday in Australia. The visa is a once in a life time opportunity* and valid for 12 months after entering Australia. It allows you to work up to 6 months per employer or specific job so you can top up your savings to spend on your travels in Australia. Holidaying in Australia is supposed to be the main purpose being on this visa.
*please see below conditions for a 2nd Working Holiday Visa
Australia has no specific AuPair visa (like e.g. America). Therefore the same purpose and conditions apply for AuPairs. Therefore a long term AuPair position with long working hours, which won't leave you with any energy left to explore your surroundings or going on outings on the weekends with your friends, contradicts the purpose of this visa.
Being an AuPair, however, is a grey area - with all shades of grey. It is the discussion whether an AuPair should be properly employed or if it is rather a domestic arrangement where an Australian host family provides a young adult from overseas with a cultural exchange. Anyhow, it is unheard of that an AuPair has been removed from a host families home because she has stayed there for more than 6 months.
The difference between the Backpackers and the AuPairs on a Working Holiday Visa in short and very abbreviated are:
Backpackers arrive, have a few nights in a hostel and then try to land a job somewhere and hopefully soon and well paid. Certain professions find it easier to find well paid employment, however, a large percentage is using a gap year between school and university. Backpackers are known on saving money and surviving on instant noodle soups and pasta as their main nutritional staples.
AuPairs are being picked up from the Airport and welcomed into the warmth of a family home with excited children, their own room and home cooked meals. AuPairs usually have the better deal, the nicer welcome, more comfort, great insight into the Australian culture and a home away from home. However, being an AuPair is still far away from easy as it is emotionally draining. But: Families are usually going quite a lot out of their way to ensure that you are comfortable as your are helping with their most precious - their children.
AuPairs need to find the balance of workload and duration of stay with a family. Once the time is up with a family it would be a great experience to not just travel but also to dive into the backpacker life and try to find a job here and there. This can also be a short term AuPair stay in another family somewhere else on this beautiful continent. With our Facebook group Au Pair Surfing Australia we have created a platform where referenced AuPairs can find short term stays with other Au Pair families, also for just a night or two on the couch during their travels.
You need to decide whether you would love to integrate into your host family or rather stick to your work schedule and responsibilities ... and you need to find out from a potential host family how they are really seeing your stay. This is especially important to figure out if you are rather an employee - which defeats the purpose of aupairing - or if you have a domestic arrangement with the family.
We cannot recommend anything as you need to find out, what your preferences are, what kind of personality you have and which arrangement would suit you best to make your stay successful. You might even figure out, that you would be better off backpacking, however, once you have entered into an agreement with a host family you should fulfil your part of it.
If you have any problems, we are not far away and honestly, you learn more about yourself if you deal with problems in an appropriate way than having a smooth ride.
AuPair-Assist assist assumes that AuPairs are helping out within a domestic arrangement and therefore an AuPair, having no formal Australian qualifications, will rather be considered like a volunteer who makes the most out of the stay in Australia.
Even tourists are allowed to work as volunteers as long as they
- work as a genuine unpaid volunteer (you can be reimbursed for out-of-pocket expenses such as meals and accommodation),
- but only if an Australian resident would not otherwise be paid to do the work.
You can read this up here, go to "Visa Holders" and then "What this visa lets you do".
What you agree with your family what is to be regarded out-of-pocket expenses or normal living expenses is up to you.
Being an AuPair please do not expect that you would be able to safe up on what you get as pocket money as in fact this is mostly spend on normal living expenses like outings with AuPair friends, visits to the movies or tours around where you live. This is especially true if you live in one of the big cities where you would usually also start spending from your savings.
AuPairs with school age children can easily look for an extra job during the day if the family agrees to it and top up their pocket money for their travels and all can look for employment during their travels like any backpacker and make the most of your stay.
If you cannot find employment while being an AuPair but you have quite a bit of down time, why not finding a volunteer position with a not for profit organisation. You will learn a real lot and meet the locals. This is of course open to all backpackers and also tourists alike.
For detailed questions and expert advice you should consider becoming a member of AuPair-Assist