+ LIFESTYLE- WHAT SHOULD I KNOW ABOUT WORKING IN A REMOTE COMMUNITY?
We could expand on this one forever, but for now, these are the most common questions we're asked about day-to-day life on remote communities.
If you've got some other questions we haven't addressed here, you can contact us.
>> FAQ Home
Q: What kinds of accommodation are there and how much does it cost?
A: There's no straight answer here! Again, all communities have arrangements for accommodation, with varying conditions. Houses, units, transportables are just some of the options. Rentals can range from $7.50 per week to $75.00 per week. Generally, most rents include power, water etc. Some communities provide a rental subsidy, whilst others may also issue allowances for telephone, air-conditioning etc. Most accommodation includes basic furniture.
Q: Can I bring my dog?
A: More than likely. Some communities have no problem with this but it is something you should discuss with the employer when making first contact. Indeed, if you intend to take any pets you should ask about it during the interview.
Q: Will I need to learn another language?
A: Would you learn another language if you went to work in another country where English is maybe the second, third, or even fourth language? Given that this is the case in most remote Aboriginal communities it's certainly something worthy of consideration, however not essential. Remember that local people will always help you to learn their languages, and there are great resources and courses offered through the Institute For Aboriginal Development in Alice Springs.
Q: Are friends and family allowed to visit me whilst I am employed on a remote community?
A: Yes, of course! However some communities require that your visitors obtain a relevant permit before they enter the community or it's surrounding lands. It's also a courtesy to speak with a community representative regarding this.
Q: Are all communities "dry areas" and can I bring alcohol in anyway?
A: First of all, you should remember that most "dry" communities are designated as such by law. Breaches of guidelines relating to the consumption and possession of alcohol are punishable by law. You should ask about these conditions when communicating with the employer. Not all communities are "dry".
Q: Will I be able to have internet access from my accommodation?
A: Well, if you have a phone line then the answer would be yes. However not all ISPs offer local call access for dial-up connections. Many communities now offer high-speed net access. Additionally, Telstra's NextG network is now available on many of the larger communities, offering wireless broadband.
Q: What about groceries and other shopping?
A: Most communities have a store (or one at a neighbouring community) - but prices can be somewhat expensive. You can usually set up a "bush order" account with a major supermarket in the nearest regional centre, and delivery can be arranged in a variety of ways - you'd need to ascertain which method is used by other employees in the community.
Q: Where does the water come from and is it safe to drink?
A: It all depends on the location, but generally communities rely on bore water for their supply. Whether it's palatable is a subjective matter, but it's usually safe to drink (and is usually monitored by an appointed individual or agency).
Q: Are there medical services?
A: Most communities have a clinic, staffed by a registered nurse or nurses. However, small locations may only have visiting nurses or a nearby community with a clinic.
Q: What's the shopping like?
A: Unfortunately, community store prices can be high, particularly for fresh grocery items. Many community workers access "bush order" services provided by larger stores in regional centres. Others have a friendly arrangement with their colleagues visiting towns on days off etc.