Psychology Downunder

Your chance to ask for advice on any aspect of career development that doesn't fit in any of the above categories
Roquet
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Psychology Downunder

Post by Roquet »

Hello all,

I'm at an exciting point in my life where I've decided to turn and run from all this doom and gloom of the 'current climate' and head to Australia for a year's working holiday. Now I know at 27 with five years worth of relevant experience in the pre-application game that this might not be the smartest move to pull in an increasingly competitive sector but I figure it's now or never and jumping ship for 12 months might mean returning to a wealthier and more job plentiful national health service (wishful thinking/downright deluded maybe??)

Anyhow, I'm heading there with my partner who is a primary school teacher and we're fairly confident she can secure regular supply work with agencies. I on the other hand have no post grad qualifications of note with which to play but was hoping to do something even a little bit relevant to the psychology path. Under my belt I have 3 years as a project worker in service development, a year as a recovery worker on a secure forensic ward and most recently a year as a research AP, with a couple of publications and experience of neuropsychometry tests.

So...does anyone have any experience of working in the psychology/mental health/research sectors in Oz? Any practical advice in terms of agencies/contacts would be appreciated. Free boomerangs on my return as a reward!

Roq x
The sky is full of snakes but I didn't see them
wanabe
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Re: Psychology Downunder

Post by wanabe »

Hello Roquet!

I'm new to clinpsy and just came across your post. I'm having similar thoughts to you about moving to aus and I'm wondering how you're getting on?! I'm not very far along in the process (mainly just time spent looking wishfully at job adds!). I would be moving alone so I don't know if I would go without first having some potential work lined up. Have you made the move yet? Have you found work? Any advice you have would be gratefully received! :D

wanabe
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missvanwilder
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Re: Psychology Downunder

Post by missvanwilder »

Hey,

I did exactly that between late 2008 and early 2010. I went travelling in general, but a year of that was spent in Australia. Having spent AGES searching whilst over there myself, one of your best chances is to look for support work (I don’t think I ever saw anything resembling an 'assistant psychologist' position outside of universities, and even then, they prefer their own I think...).

I worked in North Queensland for the child protection agency. However, I should tell you that this kind of work is VERY time consuming!!! Generally all the other workers I knew (full time), only saw their families a couple of days a week (3 maybe) as its more 24-7, than 9-5. This worked fine for me as i travelled for a few months, then worked 24-7 (this isn’t an exaggeration) for a couple of months, travelled again, worked...etc. You don't HAVE to do this, but I found it better, because I earned a lot quickly and didn’t have to pay for accommodation during this time, PLUS living in a hostel with fellow backpackers and working shifts wouldn’t have worked well at all!!!! I just mention the hours because you mention that you’re going with your partner... If you'd like to talk to the agency I worked for, PM me and I’ll send you over the details. You need to apply for a police check and a 'blue card' (if in Queensland - essential for working with kids), but the agency paid me back for this.

I think I ended up with good experience from it; I worked with a diverse group of clients (aged 4-18, most of whom were aboriginal), as well as a broad range of professionals. ALSO, Australia pays you a LOT more for this kind of work than you get here!!!

Anyway, this kind of thing might not interest you, but if it does, give me a shout :)
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Will
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Re: Psychology Downunder

Post by Will »

Missvanwilder, would you please PM me with details of that? I haven't got imminent plans to get over there but really want to at some point.
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Roquet
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Re: Psychology Downunder

Post by Roquet »

Many thanks to missvanwilder for replying with such useful info!

I'm setting off on Sunday and hope to be working within a few weeks. Should I get lucky and find relevant positions I'll be sure to post them wanabe so you too might partake in psychology downunder!! Hmm sounds like an interest group in the making.
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Goats
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Re: Psychology Downunder

Post by Goats »

Someone today mentioned that you may be able to practice in Australia or New Zealand with a UK ClinPsyD, is this correct?
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Will
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Re: Psychology Downunder

Post by Will »

My understanding is that you have to demonstrate equivalence, which can be quite a lengthy process.
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missvanwilder
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Re: Psychology Downunder

Post by missvanwilder »

Goats wrote:Someone today mentioned that you may be able to practice in Australia or New Zealand with a UK ClinPsyD, is this correct?
Fairly sure you can practice as a 'psychologist' over there without having to go through all the rigmarole we have to go through. I think you have to complete a psych degree (4 years over there) and then do 2 years practical/ supervised experience. I think people fairly often do this as part of a masters degree and maybe increasingly doctorate degree, but its def not as strict as it is over here/ there's more than one strict way of getting to the end result.

Having a UK doctorate most probably gives you a very very good chance, but yeah, I guess you'd have to prove equivalence.
Bantam
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Re: Psychology Downunder

Post by Bantam »

missvanwilder wrote: Having a UK doctorate most probably gives you a very very good chance, but yeah, I guess you'd have to prove equivalence.
I've been checking this out lately and Australia have a similar doctorate qualification to the UK. I've also been talking to somebody who has qualified in Aus and moved to the UK. They were able to get equivalence through the HCP without having to do any extra placements on arrival to the UK. Although it can take up to 6 months from submitting the application to acceptance.

I know that my psychology conversion qualification (PG Cert and PG Dip in Psychology) are accepted as equal to a 4 year psychology degree in Aus. So if the doctorate's are similar (as they appear to be) I imagine it's just a matter of paying the APS a fee to get a UK doctorate recognised for practicing in Australia. The qualified pay actually looks pretty good comparatively to the UK. Plus Clinical Psychologists are on the list of professions granted visas See here
wanabe
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Re: Psychology Downunder

Post by wanabe »

wow! very impressive response to this forum! thanks everybody. :)

Best of luck Roquet! Have a safe trip. I'd be delighted to hear how you get on. With yor experience I'm sure you'll have no problem. Happy travelling!

Thanks for all the info missvanwilder. I've sent you a pm about your agency.

With regard to the skilled visa. I filled out the visa bureau assessment form for it and even though I passed and some of our 'foot-in-the-door' type jobs are on the skilled workers list it's still probably not the best option. I spoke to somebody at the visa bureau and they said that it could take up to 18months to get a skilled visa and that it costs over 4000 dollars! I think I'll be opting for the work and travel visa as it costs a few hundred. Previously I thought there were restrictions on who you could work with or the level of responsibility you could have on the work and travel visa but apparently not.

Also some of the 'psychologist' roles seem to be what we call assistant psych. They seem to require a four year degree, one or two years experience in the field and they work closely with 'senior psychologists'. Maybe they expect more of you than would be expected of an assist psy here. I don't know much about this, its just the impression I've gotten. If anybody knows better please correct me!

It doesn't appear to be as difficult as I first anticipated....let's all just move to aus, Britain doesn't appreciate us!

wanabe :D
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Jem88
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Re: Psychology Downunder

Post by Jem88 »

I too am very keen to get some working experience abroad. Australia seems the most logical area to head towards seeing I don't speak any other language and don't really fancy America.

Just one question though.. I've been having a browse through jobs (social care workers, counsellors, psychologists, RA) and all posts are advertised as permanent. What's the chances of me getting a job if I'm only going on a one year visa? Has anyone been successful in getting a job before they go over? Or has anyone had any luck in tracking down temporary posts?

Just a wee enquiry, haven't given a lot of thought to it but I'm looking for a bit of change in my life at the moment and would love to consider this!
sally
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Re: Psychology Downunder

Post by sally »

wanabe wrote:...They seem to require a four year degree,..
The Australian degree system is similar to the Scottish one - 3 years is a pass degree 4 years is honours. I imagine they'd accept a 3 year UK honours degree as being equivalent.
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heatherb
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Re: Psychology Downunder

Post by heatherb »

Hi I've just seen this thread!

I'm a UK graduate and came over to NZ initially travelling, and have wound up doing a PhD here :)

You're right about the degree system - 4 years is honours (same for NZ and OZ) but they'll accept a UK equivalent (although I did get some confused looks when explaining how I got an honours degree in 3 years!

The masters system is also slightly different, you have to do one year 'postgrad' (so like our PGDip) and then another year to get your masters qualification. PhDs work exactly the same as the UK.

Regarding working, definitely try the uni's if you're into research. It's not the same here, as you don't have posts like APs - I know to do the clinical doctorate in NZ you only need to have some experience within mental health (so say working at Samaritans/support worker) and you can apply to study the doctorate (in NZ anyway) - only difference is it's not funded like the UK one currently is.

Good luck and enjoy OZ - you'll have to hop across the water some time and check out NZ :)
Shaz
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Re: Psychology Downunder

Post by Shaz »

Hi Everyone,

I lived in Oz for a year in 2007 (admittedly not doing psychology-related jobs) and I'd say for anyone who is interested, go for it! Best experience of my life and I learned and experienced so much more than I would have in the UK.

However, Jem88, I'm not too sure on which visa option you're thinking of, but when I was over I had the working holiday visa and one of the restrictions was that you couldn't work for the same employer for more than 6 months. I'm pretty sure it is still like that now, but there may be ways of getting round it. This might be a big factor in getting offered permanent jobs.

Good luck everyone thinking of heading out that way! :D
janewah
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Re: Psychology Downunder

Post by janewah »

Hi all. Great thread, lots of useful info! :D

I'm lucky enough to be half NZ-er with citizenship, and am currently doing my passport application (ironically the hardest bit is finding a Kiwi I've known for over a year but isn't a family member to be my witness..). I've decided I may head out next year for a while, no set plans yet but starting to save up the cash. Things haven't turned out the way I imagined after uni, and I'd be daft not to take advantage of dual nationality. Just doing some investigation into what work to pursue while I'm there. It's been 3 years since I graduated so I'm not sure I'd get very far applying for uni research stuff, and going back into studying might be too expensive.

Part of me wishes I could just get a job in a beach bar and be done with it. :wink:
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