architect plan

I have always been inspired by Australian architecture and design. The architecture and design featured in the country is relatively modern because it wasn’t settled by Europeans until the late 16th century. This means that there is less worry about fitting the modern with the traditional (which is a major hurdle in England). My infatuation with the Sydney Harbour Bridge and Opera House have existed long before I decided to pursue this career. That meant that I was thrilled to accept a temporary job working on an Australian project with a local architect. There were some challenges that I had to overcome and my biggest challenge was trying to understand the retirement pension scheme, known as superannuation.

The basics

Basically superannuation is a compulsory pension fund and your employer pays a set amount (currently 9%) on top of your wage into a superannuation fund. This money is invested in this fund, members are given basic investment options to choose from, and cannot be accessed until you reach the age of retirement. I’m sure that you can see that it is a great system for permanent workers in the country, but can be a major problem for those working temporarily in the country.

Visa holders

Getting a working visa for Australia was easy because my employer sponsored me. However, to work in the country I also needed a tax file number and super fund. The tax file number was an easy process, but choosing a super fund was much more difficult. Partly because there are so many options, the number of super funds in Australia is in the thousands, but also because I really didn’t understand superannuation or how it worked. Fortunately, the architecture firm I was working with was able to explain superannuation to me and they helped my choose a provider. I found that the best way to choose a fund was to compare superannuation funds via the internet . This way you can ensure that your super fund has the very best performance.

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Work

Once I had completed all of the necessary steps I was able to get started working on the project. Working with Australians was a great experience and they really are very accepting of people from other cultures. They also enjoy a laugh or two during work, which makes for a really relaxed office. Interestingly, Australians also enjoy hanging out after work and I was invited to many outside work functions from my fellow colleagues. This was a nice change from some of the stuffy architectural firms that I’ve worked with in the past and I felt so welcome in Australia.

Working in Australia was an experience that I will never forget. I made some great friends and worked on a project which will, hopefully, last a lifetime. I also got a chance to explore the country and see some of those amazing architectural designs that have inspired me since childhood. I would recommend anyone that gets the chance take the opportunity to see this great country and, if possible, stay for a bit longer and work with these great people.

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