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School Leaver Guide 2011

Contents 5-8





Sexual health


Dealing with stress


Working overseas


Credit cards


Photo ID


Being road-wise


Finding a job


Training courses


Buying your first car


Drugs and alcohol


Your Medicare


Managing Editor Grant Quarry Contributors Jesse Gentzen, Natasha Stamos, Olivia Kostandinov, Jennifer Sheridan Art & Design Fran Standen, Nicole Tattersall

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Tel: (03) 9421 4499 Fax: (03) 9421 1011 Address: 2-4 Bond St Abbotsford, Vic 3067 Postal: PO Box 1079, Richmond North, Vic 3121 Printed by: Spot Press Disclaimer: The views in this supplement do not necessarily reflect the views of the publisher. Privacy Policy: To receive of a copy of our privacy policy write to the address above.


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Budgeting job or have picked up extra hours to suit your hectic study schedule. Many people believe that money is something that needs to be dealt with when they buy their first home or start a family. The truth is, the habits we create now can impact the rest of our lives. So start thinking about a budget, jump on board the savings band wagon and start on a rewarding path to financial independence. Why the need for a budget?

Money you earn and money you spend

A budget is a tool to help you keep track of your income and your expenses. It ensures that you can actively monitor your spending, whilst being able to cover the necessities, like train tickets or study expenses. It also allows you to enjoy a social life and start saving for your future as it puts you in control of your money.

Your income is the money coming in, so things like your pay from work, youth allowance or that $20 your Grandma slipped into your hand when your mum wasn’t looking. Your expenses are all the things you are committed to paying for regularly, like phone bills, train tickets and groceries.

Keep it simple Budgeting needn’t be as painful as a trip to the dentist, the key is to be organised. Plan ahead and most importantly, stick to it. Showing just a little restraint now will pay off in a big way down the track.

Budgeting in four simple steps • Open a new Word doc and in two separate columns list both your income (money coming in) and your expenditure (money going out). It is also important to note whether these transactions are occurring weekly, fortnightly or monthly. • It’s up to you whether you estimate these things in one hit or type them in as they happen. Make sure you’re including those trips to

In the New Year, do you plan to a) Trade two wheels for four? 5


It can be hard work dealing with money, especially if you’ve recently started a full-time

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the DVD store or your monthly celeb mag fix. • Y our final step is to subtract your expenses from your income. The amount that you have left is known as your disposable income. You can save this money or spend it on those amazing new shoes that you’ve been eyeing off. •O  nce this list is finished, you will be able to actually see where your money is going, as well as tracking your reoccurring money habits. Check in with your budget regularly and adjust it when needed.

And now for something completely different... If the idea of budgeting with a pen and paper sends you to sleep, why not budget your way to success with a smart phone application. The ‘MyBudget’ application (available at the iTunes store) is a great tool as it breaks down your expenses individually, it’s also colour coded and easy to use. It really is budgeting on the go. Commonwealth Bank also have a very handy ‘Student Budget Calculator. Check it out at

Budgeting can take a while to get the hang of, so here’s a few tips: • Set yourself small and realistic goals to keep you motivated, even if it’s putting away as little as $10 each week. • Get your savings off on the right foot —

set up a separate bank account with an automatic money transfer. Many of the big banks now offer high interest savings accounts and student banking options. • Take advantage of regular discounts, check out a movie on a Tuesday, flash your student card or look online for special offers. Little savings soon add up. • Learn to say no — if you can’t afford it, don’t spend it.

b) Fall in love OS? 6

Pre-Paid Is best for… people who want to pay as they go.

The last thing you want hanging over your head is a costly mobile phone debt. Often people make the mistake of not choosing the right product for them, resulting in a bill that they simply cannot afford to pay or leaving them unable to recharge their service.

The Pre-Paid option ensures you are in total control; there are no nasty surprises here as you only load your phone with the amount that you agree too. The one sacrifice you may have to make is the flashy handset, these come at quite a hefty additional price tag, basic model handsets start at around $99 and this service can be topped up with credit at a range of different retail outlets.

Plan Is best for... people who use their phone frequently and want extra services/ features. The plan option ensures you have the best of everything; it usually includes a data allowance and a superior handset. Almost all providers now offer caps, where you are charged a set capped fee for your usage. It is important to be aware that it is only capped to a certain amount. Example being; you pay $49 for $500 of included usage, when you

reach the $500 limit, you are billed for the excess usage. A contract will also need to be signed. Also, if you fall behind in your payments it could actually impact your credit record, which is checked when you apply to borrow money for such things as credit cards. Be wary of additional charges for internet usage and premium services. It is best to speak to another person before signing anything, as contract lengths can be locked into a contract for up to two years.

Shop Smart From time to time you will find yourself under the bright lights of your local shopping centre and that voice inside your head will not stop screaming “spend!” Your best option is to get out whilst you can, but if you can’t bring yourself to do so, try to follow these tips to ensure you don’t tarnish your new found budgeting success. • Before entering the shopping centre, arm yourself with a list. Stick to the list and cross items off as you purchase them. • Think ahead and ask yourself questions like, ‘Will I eat the cheap, but nearly expired, tuna by the end of the week?’ • Be wary of deals — sure the second pair of jeans are half price, but do you really need two pairs?

c) Hit the books and get a degree? 7


Mobile phones The Pre-Paid vs. Plan dilemma


So you’ve blown the budget? Uh-oh... Three friends turned 18, your phone bill was unexpectedly high and you had to make an unexpected trip to the dentist. The budget has gotten a little out of control — your first instinct is to panic. Instead of shuddering in fear; make some phone calls and enquire about extending the payment terms on some of your bills. Furthermore — speak to someone you can trust and never bury financial problems, as they have the potential to become a lot worse. Learn from this experience by breaking down your budget expense by expense, and take a closer look at where you went wrong.

Handy websites: Australian Securities and Investment Commission

d) Wave goodbye to your parents? 8

Whatever your answer, we’ve got you covered. Whether it’s trading your pedals for something with power, catching the travel bug or getting your own pad – we can help. Choose a NetBank Saver to get a competitive interest rate without having to lock your money away. Or opt for the GoalSaver account, which could give you a bonus interest rate on your savings, helping you reach your goals sooner. If you’re not sure what you’re after, just pop into a branch and see one of our Saving Specialists. They’ll point you in the right direction. Find out more from the Bank of the Year at

Terms and Conditions issued by Commonwealth Bank of Australia ABN 48 123 123 124 are available at You should consider whether these products are appropriate for you. CBC2639



With Year 12 drawing to a close, a new chapter of your life is about to begin. Whether you choose to study at a tertiary or TAFE level or enter the workforce in a full time role, quite often this transition means that school leavers need to find alternative living arrangements. It can be a daunting experience for some, as often it means moving away from a support network of family and friends. The following is a guide to the different options that are available to you.

UniLodge Student accommodation in Australia and New Zealand


Main Benefits

This would suit someone... who is looking for convenient and cost effective accommodation either on campus or close to their university/college/ TAFE. Taking up residence within student accommodation is fantastic fun and can be a great way to make lots of new friends who are also studying either at your university/ college/TAFE or one close by! The set up of this accommodation differs between properties, ranging from studios, to one bedroom apartments with private kitchens and bathrooms to shared units/apartments with up to five students living together. Student accommodation is known to be a great environment for students to live as their neighbours are also students and are experiencing the same pressures at the same time. There is therefore a high level of support offered to students, not only by the property management, but also other students in the property.

• Student accommodation is generally located either on campus or close by to ensure students have convenient and cost effective lifestyles. •M  any run interactive social activities with the aim being that students can build stronger friendships and experience new things. • T he facilities are tailored towards students, libraries, study areas and recreation areas are often featured within the property.

UniLodge is one of the leading student accommodation providers in Australia and New Zealand. With 26 properties in seven capital cities, UniLodge cater to over 8000 students every semester. Visit www. for more information. Further information about student accommodation options in your state can be found by visiting and clicking on education then following the link to Student Accommodation. Alternatively, contact the student housing service at your chosen institution to see what options are available to you.

Flatting This would suit someone...who had highly reliable and trusting friends and a steady weekly income. It’s every school leaver’s dream to move in with a few of his or her best mates. The lure of freedom and a new sense of independence make for an exciting time. In most circumstances this living arrangement works out, just ensure you give some thought to the compatibility of the flatmates that will be sharing the house. Great mates don’t always make great ‘flatties’, and flatting is notorious for ending friendships.


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Student accommodation


A few things to bare in mind about flatting: • Y ou will be governed by a rental agreement, rent must be paid in full by a specified time. ( Weekly, fortnightly or monthly) • Y ou will need to pay the first month’s rent up front, as well as paying a ‘bond’ of roughly the same amount. ( Your bond protects the landlord in the event that the terms of your tenancy contract are not fulfilled.) • Y ou are liable for any damage to the property, so ensure that your potential ‘flatties’ share the same values as you and respect the property, otherwise the bond will be forfeited and you will all be liable to pay for the damage bill.

The rental market is tough and highly competitive. Be professional and act in a responsible manner when meeting with the estate agent. Make sure each of your future flatmates are present for the inspection and always remember to ask questions before signing any documentation. To start enquiring about properties, visit your local Real Estate and pick up a copy of their rental listings, these are usually released twice weekly. Alternatively you can visit or as these will give you a good idea of the properties available in your area as well as rental pricing.

• E nsure that the location and price range is universally agreed upon, you don’t want to be one house-mate short within a very short period because it wasn’t what they expected or what they were looking for.

UniLodge More than just a place to live!


Share-housing This would suit someone... who didn’t have a rental history and was keen to meet new people. Without a rental history it is often difficult to secure a lease, this is where a share-house option makes it easier, as you are moving into an established household.

Three steps to share house success: • Scour university bulletin boards, windows of local cafes and talk to your friends about possible leads. Sometimes the best share houses can be found in the strangest of places. • When applying for the share house, introduce yourself either by phone or email, ensure that you are honest, up-front and that you ask all the important questions during your first meeting. • Look for houses with people of a similar age and with similar interests and lifestyle to you — make sure you’re not moving in with party animals if you’re a study bunny. You may need proof of income to get signed onto the lease, and check what you’re responsible for with the bond — it may have been a rolling lease for a while and you don’t want to get whacked with five years of wear and tear if the lease finishes while you’re living there.

UniLodge e! om h om fr ay aw e om h your UniLodge is a leading and trusted provider of student accommodation in Australia and New Zealand. Each semester we provide a home away from home for more than 8,000 students across Adelaide, Brisbane, Canberra, Melbourne, Sydney, Auckland and Wellington.

Come and stay at UniLodge and you’ll find our accommodation is: • More than just a place to live. Students feel a sense of belonging through UniLodge’s supportive and friendly Community Spirit Program; • Safe and secure; • Tailored to your needs and is conducive to study; and • Conveniently located with easy access to your campus, public transport, shops and cafes.

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Boarding is a similar option to a share house arrangement, however, it is common that your living arrangements would be separate from the household itself. There may be separate independent quarters for you also. Advertisers should make it clear whether they seek a housemate or a boarder; if in doubt, question the conditions. Websites such as www. and http://www.flatmate are great resources as they can match you with suitable housemates based upon the information that you provide.

What about staying at home? This would suit someone who… wanted to save money and still have a family support network close by. Where viable, staying at home is a good option. It’s considered to be one of the cheapest options and there is no sense of feeling unsettled. If you do enter the workforce on a full time basis, your parent or guardian may ask that you pay board (money to contribute to the household to cover expenses). You might not have the liberty of throwing an impromptu 3am party after you return home from a night out, but at least you’ll have plenty of support and understanding if you’re finding things a bit tough at university or if you’re struggling to adjust to a new lifestyle.

UniLodge Visit our website and give us a call to find out which UniLodge will suit you best!


Australia’s #1 condom brand

Ansell LifeStyles® and ZERO® are registered trademarks owned by Ansell or one of its affiliates. © 2011 All Rights Reserved. ALWAYS READ THE LABEL. USE ONLY AS DIRECTED.

Sexual health The term ‘sexual health’ encompasses a whole range of things. It includes everything Sexual health

from knowing about your body and how it functions to understanding the changes that occur physically, socially and emotionally during puberty. It also includes everything from pregnancy and ageing to keeping yourself and others you care about safe, and, importantly, knowing how to find information and support when problems, like unplanned pregnancies or sexually transmitted infections, occur. What’s the hurry? Before you start having sex, make sure you’re fine with the idea. While you might think “all” your friends are “doing it”, in reality many people wait until their late teens or early 20s before they have sex for the first time. Before you start having sex it’s important to make sure you’re ready and listening not only to what your body is saying, but also your brain. Remember, it’s OK to change your mind, no matter how fast and far things may be going. It’s also essential that you talk about your thoughts on sex. At the

Condoms are the only contraception that protects against most Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs), as well as pregnancy.

right time and in the right circumstances, talking about these feelings is useful. Who you talk to, of course, is up to you. It might be your parents, friends, your doctor or maybe a combination.

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All of these people can give you different, informed perspectives. Also, make sure you talk to your partner to make sure that you both feel ready and have the same expectations. By starting

Sexual health

to talk about it now, you’ll both be comfortable discussing it in the future as well. Check out, find/issues/sex-pregnancy/ sex?kt=info for some things to consider before having sex. Don’t be pressured into anything. Anyone who says they need you to prove yourself by having sex isn’t ready for an adult relationship. Staying safe There are a range of different types of protection. Some STIs, like genital warts, can be passed on from skin-to-skin contact. So for condoms to be

most effective, they need to cover the whole penis. STIs are no joke — they can make you infertile for life, put you at risk of death or just make things seriously uncomfortable in your jocks/dacks/ underwear. Other STIs, such as Chlamydia, are on the rise in Australia so it’s more important than ever to stay safe (see www. Other types of protection like the oral contraceptive pill, implants, or injections can prevent pregnancy but won’t protect you from STIs, so are best for when you’re in an exclusive relationship and both of

you have been tested. If for some reason you didn’t practice safe sex, the condom breaks or you think you took your pill too late, there are emergency contraception options available from chemists within the first 120 hours. You should also visit a sexual health clinic to get tested for STIs and get advice about not infecting anyone else. For more info on contraception and sexual health checks, try www.likeitis. or for a list of sexual health clinics. You can also freecall 1800 003 707 or even text 19SEXTXT with your questions.

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Survey 09/10

Sexual health

In 2009, Ansell commissioned a major study of almost 600 young adults aged between 16 and 23 years in Australia in relation to their attitudes and behaviour to do with sex and condom usage.

Sexuality Leaving school is a time when you’re exploring all aspects of your identity, including sexuality. These days people’s attitudes about sexual orientation are far more open, but if you’re confused or concerned about your choices, try talking to someone you trust or someone trained to help you through your issues. Have a look at sexuality-coming-out/coming-out?kt=info for information and a list of help lines if you want someone to chat to. There are also plenty of support groups out there who aim not only to support young people who identify as gay, lesbian, bisexual or queer but their family and friends as well, as they provide a comfortable environment for discussion. Sites like Gay:Lesbian/search or au, will help you find these support groups in your local area. Checking out a website like www.notsostraight. can also be helpful, as it covers a range of topics like coming out, religion and how to’s, as well as information for straight people who want to gain a better understanding.

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What’s normal? You might be shocked to know, but not everybody is having sex. Based on Ansell’s 09/10 study, nearly half the under 20s (47%) were not sexually active, but by their early 20s around 8 in 10 young adults had had sex at least once in the past two years — but mostly more! So, if you’re in a relationship, when the time is right for you, it will happen, and sometimes when you least expect it. Nearly 80% of young adults said that the best way to describe what they think and feel about

sex was in terms of love and relationships. Attitudes were similar between males and females, but there are some interesting differences: • Females are more likely to associate sex with ‘love and care’ or as ‘part of a relationship’ than males. • Males are more likely to see sex as a way of building the relationship. Safe and sound Using a condom brings extra confidence according to 51% of young adults. Contraception continues

to be the main reason young adults use condoms, with concerns with STIs (Sexually transmitted infections) at less than half this level (16%) Being on ‘the pill’ is not safe sex, and 55% of sexually active females are on the pill and using condoms as well. Interestingly, around a third of young adult condom users said they hadn’t read any part of the condom pack or the instruction leaflet inside. And if the condom doesn’t feel right (around 20% said so), try a different brand or type to find the one that’s right for you.

Sexual health

The study was conducted over three phases between October 2009 and March 2010, including weekly measures using SMS, and when more detailed responses were required, the survey was conducted on-line.

Helpful links: education

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Dealing with stress Getting through exams, choosing subjects or uni’s, moving out of home, starting work, turning 18 and travelling are all really big milestones in your life. During the next few months you may experience not just one but many of these changes which can be Dealing with Stress

really exciting but also potentially quite daunting. It’s normal to feel a little anxious and nervous about change. We are more likely to experience stress and uncertainty during times of change which can leave us more vulnerable to mental health difficulties. Mental health refers to someone’s emotional and social wellbeing. With good mental health we manage the normal ups and downs of life but if our mental health declines it can affect our feelings, thoughts and actions. Exams and study It’s about this time of year that exams and studying can be really stressful. To help reduce stress and to be as ready for exams as you can be, try some of the following:


• Stay focused. When studying, switch your phone and email off, and sign out of Facebook to stop the distractions. Try to keep a focus on your health and wellbeing by not using drugs or alcohol; they can make it much harder to study. •B  e prepared. Ensure the way you study leaves you feeling prepared. This may mean writing or reading the same piece of information three times — so it sticks. You could look at previous exam papers to see what kind of questions have been asked before or use coloured pens to help with your memory. Have a study plan and set goals for each day/week.

• Look after yourself. Plan activities you enjoy which help you out with stress, make sure you allow time for these activities in your study plan. Regular exercise will help you to keep focused and energised. • Rest when you need to. Work out what time of the day you have the

most energy and plan to study then. Don’t study for more than 40-60mins without a short break. Even a five minute one will help. •Ask for help. Ask your teachers the best way to study for each subject, get feedback, and ask questions.

Tips for a healthy headspace

•K  eep yourself healthy by eating well, exercising regularly and getting enough sleep. • T hink about things you can do daily which can help keep you calm and prevent you from becoming stressed, such as breathing techniques and meditation. • T he process of setting goals can help you choose where you want to go in life, or perhaps just what you want to achieve this week. It can help prepare you for assignments and exams and make you feel more in control. This process can be incredibly motivating and can have great benefits on your mental health. • S ometimes we just need to know that we are not alone in the way we feel. Reading others experiences can help.

Dealing with stress

There are a number of ways we can look after and maintain our own mental health and wellbeing. Recognise the change and challenges, both positive and negative, which lie ahead of you and be honest about how you feel. Try these tips to help cope with stress:

Change affects rently us diffe It is important to remember that the changes and experiences may be really exciting for you but could be really stressful for others. If you’re struggling with decisions, stress, or worried about exams, there is help and support available. See your welfare officer or counsellor at school, or find your nearest headspace centre which has doctors, youth workers and counsellors at Otherwise, there is online counselling available at


Working overseas It’s time to explore the steps you need to take to turn your working holiday dream into a reality. Parties, travelling and must do’s like Oktoberfest, Tomatina or the Running of the Bulls in Pamplona are the fun part, but you also need to sort some important stuff before you go — like visas, where you will live, organising a job and deciding

Easy options: The UK has for generations been the most popular place for your first working holiday, while Canada is the second most popular

destination. Australians are eligible for one two year working holiday visa for the UK and unlimited one year visas for Canada (up until your 31st birthday). Both countries sport very large Australian expat communites.



Applying for your UK visa is not as complicated as you may imagine. However, it is worth noting that approximately 40% of applications are declined each year, with the majority of these unsuccessful applications being attributed to errors on the application form. Read the application process carefully before applying and don’t leave it too late — the usual turnaround is 4-6 weeks at least and often longer in January and February.

Unfortunately, most of you are going to have to work to fund your travels. But working can be fun too! For school leavers and people with limited work experience the competition for entry-level jobs can be tough, so look for a ‘soft landing’ service from a company that can offer you the support and guidance you need to help you get a job quickly. Companies like The Working Holiday Club (www.theworking offer

! g in h t y r e v e is e c n ie r e Exp

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Working overseas

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Working overseas

get Ready packages to place you in an entry level job before you arrive. This will help you get onto the workforce and start building your work experience early on in your stay. Once you have worked for a few months you will find more and more opportunities opening up, hopefully increasing your income.

Getting it right: Research your potential earnings in relation to your work experience, so your salary expectations are realistic. Do your homework on the cost of living, for example, travel costs can be quite high if you live in a cheaper area. Look at sites like www. to get a real idea of the cost of a room. If you have limited work experience you need to

keep all your living costs as low as possible, as you will most likely start off on minimum wage. Consider a live in pub job as an option to preserve those hard earned savings!

Money Getting the money together to go on a working holiday can be hard and take a long time. Try and increase your

Accommodation: As a newcomer to the UK you will find accommodation rather different to what you are used to. Sharing’s the way to go, not just for your budget but for the friendships you build living in a shared house. Remember the Olympics are coming to London in the summer of 2012, so competition for cheap rooms to rent will be tough. Look at booking this before you go. Visit they have an awesome package called Jumpstart London that gives you the opportunity to secure a room in a share house before you even arrive in London.

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WHC hospitality or customer service workers and you will be on your way. Set your target at $5000$6000 for your working holiday fund. The more you have, the easier the transition will be. The less you have the more you will have to rely on getting jobs and accommodation via a programme to help you generate cash flow quickly.

Travel blogs

Summing up... In short, planning and research are the two key elements to a successful overseas experience. Spend as much time on the web as you can, decide what it is you want to get out of your adventure; is it travel and parties or an opportunity to further your career?

Speak to friends and family; see if you have relatives you can stay with or a mate’s brother with a sofa. Network with everyone and anyone you can. There are many companies vying for your $$, research them fully and be sure the products and services you select are correct for your circumstances and plans.

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Working overseas

opportunities for work by asking for more shifts, work on weekends and ask friends or family for extra jobs to beef up that travel fund. If you’ve never worked, try approaching McDonalds or any high volume food outlets, this experience is highly sought after both in UK and Canada for the hospitality industry. Aim for six months as

Choose an apprentiCeship or traineeship a great way to start your career Apprenticeships and traineeships are a great way to start your career. Gain a recognised qualification while you earn money and learn new skills. There are some great careers and industries out there. Do some research; find out what interests you; find the boom jobs and plan your future.

Check out these sites: career and job prospects information site career options and educational information listed by industry

Nearly every industry offers apprenticeships or traineeships to help people get started. There are ove r 500 of them . There is bound to be one to help get you on your way. career options, job descriptions, resources for advisors

For everything you need to know about apprenticeships and traineeships go to or call 13 28 11.

The plastic fantastic? Credit cards can be a friend or foe, depending on whether you know how to use them. It’s also important that you choose the right card for you. Here we take the guess work Credit cards

out of the many cards on offer and help you make some good, informed decisions. Paris Hilton has one, your parents have at least one and your best friend is getting one, too. Now you are considering one. No, not a Teacup Chihuahua like Paris’s; but a credit card. A magical, plastic card; which seems to give you an endless supply of money. How enticing! Yet as innocent as it may sound now, in a month’s time when you’re tearing your hair out whilst looking at the bill, you’ll realise that this magical card was nowhere near as much fun as you had anticipated it would be.

Like many other school leavers you might just have learnt the very fine line between credit cards being

your supportive, helpful friend and your friend who convinces you that the wasabi on the dips platter

is actually guacamole. So it does actually pay to be informed and do your research before making the big leap to the ‘dark side’. Are you ready? There are many ways you can test if you are ready for the commitment and responsibility of a credit card, and as childish as it may sound; they can put you on the path for a life of harmony and bliss, whether that be with or without an extra piece of plastic in your wallet. It may be worth asking

Dinner with your date. 29

get Ready

Which one is for me?

Credit cards

Student Credit Cards: Many banks like the Commonwealth Bank offer student cards, which have special features to benefit students (these vary from card to card). They are great for students moving out of home and for emergencies. your parents or a close friend to buy something for you and then pay them back as if you are paying off a credit card; that is, with all the fees and interest included. This way you can get an idea of how repayment and interest can impact on your bank account. It may help to also include working out a pay schedule that coincides with when you get paid from work; and making sure you will still have money left over for all the necessities until your next pay-check. The next step, if you are still thinking it is a good option, is choosing which one is more suited to you. This can be a bit like choosing the right topping to go on your ice-cream sundae.

Reward Credit Cards: These cards allow you to earn points while you spend. You can redeem these points in discounts, vouchers, frequent flyer points or simply in cash back. Remember, though, that the point of these rewards is getting you to spend more. Low Interest Cards: Cards with low interest mean that you pay your debt back at a lower interest rate. Interest is basically a fee that credit card users pay to banks for lending them the money. Interest is a calculated percentage and varies between banks and cards. Cards generally have an interest free period (mostly of 55 days), which allows you to pay back the money without being charged interest. If you don’t think you can clear the balance within this time, a low interest credit card is a good option. Credit cards with no annual fee: Like the name suggests, these cards have no annual charge. They are good for people who keep their credit card for emergencies or pay the balance off every month. These cards generally lack reward schemes or perks.

Cab to the gig. 30

Debit cards: These cards act like a credit card by allowing you to make purchases online or over the phone, but you actually use your own money. They have lower fees than credit cards and are a great way to control your spending because if the money isn’t there you can’t spend it! Regular, responsible use of a Debit Card is a great way to show that you are good at managing your money. This will prove helpful when applying for a credit card with borrowing facilities, as banks will look very carefully at your financial history when you apply to ensure you can keep up with the repayments. You can demonstrate that you are able to manage your existing finances effectively by making sure you don’t overdraw your account. By doing this not only will you be saving money on fees but you’ll also create a good account history.

fine print

What’s next?

Band merch online. 31

Credit cards

Once you have done your research, if you decide a credit card is right for you, you will need to apply for one. You can do this online or go and speak to someone at the bank (a better option if the process seems a little confusing). They will ask you to read and fill out some forms — mainly a PDS, or Product Disclosure Statement, which is full of all the nice and nasty things that the credit card has to offer. This is the time to pull out the magnifying glass and read all of the fine print to see exactly what you are getting yourself into and what the terms are. The other thing that will

happen is that you will undergo a Credit Rating Test. Don’t worry, it’s not anything you have to study for; and it is nothing like the Beep Test in PE either. However they will delve into your account history to determine your financial ability and whether you are in a position to pay money back. This information is your ‘credit rating’, it starts from the minute you get your credit card and is valid for seven years. It’s a good idea to keep track of it. It’s also important to build a history of good account conduct with any other company that offers credit, from mobile phone companies to internet providers. All of these organisations report to

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Pay bills

Credit cards

a central credit reporting agency that will be contacted when assessing your loan application. So, it’s important to always pay your bills on time. Many banks have made paying bills and transferring money easier than ever with apps for mobile phones and also internet banking facilities.

Helpful links: Credit Card Finder (lists and compares cards as well as explaining them): Credit Cards Australia (shows information for all cards across all banks) Money Buddy (talks about credit cards in an understandable way)

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Sorting your id Photo ID has become an important part of adult life. You will need to be able to prove who you are, your date of birth, your address and even your signature. Many people consider photo ID important only for hitting the clubs and pubs, or buying alcohol. In reality, photo ID can be needed for much more – many occupations and training opportunities, opening bank accounts, finding accommodation, flying interstate,

Photo ID

obtaining a police check, hiring DVDs, renting equipment and much more, require ID.

What’s right for you Acceptable ID includes: Keypass, Proof of Age card, Learners Permit/ Drivers Licences and Passport. If you’re under 18, you may need photo ID to prove you are young enough for concession rates, or old enough for MA15+ movies etc. Keypass has the only validated photo ID for people under 18 years of age. Nothing could be more annoying — or embarrassing — than enjoying the prospect of a night out with your friends, only to be refused entry to the


If you’re caught using another person’s ID you face very heavy fines to start with or worse! Things can get ugly.

latest 3D - Shark Night flick because you don’t have proof that you’re 15 or over... * Note: having a Medicare card, a credit card, or a debit card identifies who you are, but because none of these have a photo on them, no-one can really tell whether it’s your card or someone else’s. NEVER use fake ID Carrying fake ID is such a bad idea for so many reasons. It’s illegal for starters. If you use a fake ID to access a nightclub under false pretences, you’re breaking the law.











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Protecting your ID It’s important that you look after your ID — to lose it is expensive and a major inconvenience. Losing it may invite someone else to steal your identity. Keep it in a safe place, in your wallet or purse, somewhere where it can’t simply fall out or be an easy grab for a pick-pocket. Don’t put it in your jeans pocket and NEVER lend your ID to someone else. If that person does something wrong, you’ll be blamed for it!

have your heart set on, you can forget it. Never use someone else’s ID

What happens if I lose my ID? If your ID is lost, you need to let the people who provided you with your ID card know, and if it is stolen, notify the police. This way you can quickly get a new ID card, but importantly, if something criminal happens and your stolen card is involved, you’re not implicated.

If you’re caught using another person’s ID, you face very heavy fines to start with or worse! Things can get ugly. Why is KEYPASS a good idea? KEYPASS is the only private company that produces photo identification that has government recognition. There are emergency contact details on the back and with care your KEYPASS card can last for many years.









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Call 1300 304 614 (landline only) or 03 9614 3441

Photo ID

You’re not allowed to be on licensed premises if you’re under 18 (unless accompanied by a parent or guardian – and your best friend is not considered to be your guardian!). It’s illegal to consume alcohol if you’re under 18, and you don’t have to have bought the alcohol yourself to be in strife. You run the risk of being heavily fined and that won’t go down well with your parents. If the result is you end up with a police record, that’s only the beginning of your woes. In many instances you can’t even apply for certain jobs with a police record. And if travel is something you


Application forms available at Police Stations or 35

Call 1300 304 614 (landline only) or 03 9614 3441 K










Application forms available at Police Stations T U R I

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The road, the law and you Getting your licence is an adventure. It’s a journey that starts the day you get your learner licence and continues until you reach your open licence. While a licence On the road

means freedom and independence it also means potential danger. To ensure you stay safe on the road, and on the right side of the law, here’s some essential info. Hitting the road – safely There’s a heap of things you can do once you have your provisional licence – like enjoying the freedom of going wherever you want, whenever you want! But to get there, there’s also a few things you can’t do. Apart from all the standard stuff all drivers have to follow, like always wearing a seatbelt, not speeding, drink driving, or driving tired, there

are special requirements learner and provisional drivers must follow. In Queensland, learners have to log 100 hours of on-road supervised driving, have a zero blood alcohol content at all times while driving, and follow strict rules banning all mobile phone use — even relating to passengers and supervisors not using speakerphone functions. Provisional drivers also have a bevy of rules to

follow aimed at reducing your risk on the road. In addition to zero blood alcohol restrictions for all provisional drivers regardless of your age, provisional drivers under 25 in Queensland are restricted from driving high powered vehicles. For the first part of your provisional licence, as a P1 driver under 25, you have restrictions on the number of passengers you can have when driving late

at night, and a total ban on mobile phone use. And you also have to pass an online hazard perception test before you can upgrade to a P2 licence where your mobile phone and passenger restrictions then disappear. * Note that the rules for learner and provisional drivers vary from state to state, so check with your local transport authority for the rules relevant to you.

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Authorised by the Queensland Government, Brisbane


On the road

Do you need professional lessons? It’s a good idea to seriously consider doing lessons with an accredited driver trainer throughout your learner phase. When you first start learning, professional instructors are great at teaching you proper techniques that you can use for the rest of your driving life. They are also great to check you while you are logging your required hours and before your big driving test to help correct any bad habits you may have developed that may interfere with you passing. And in Queensland, you have the added bonus of claiming triple time logbook hours for the first 10 hours you do with an accredited driver trainer. Your driving supervisor/s may also consider taking a lesson either with you by sitting in on one of yours as a passenger, or on their own as the driver to brush up on their techniques. Check out the national Keys2Drive program at

QUEENSLAND for info on how to apply for a free lesson for you and your supervisor. Choosing safe wheels Driving a safe car is equally as important as driving safely. Buy the safest car you can afford. Car safety ratings are available at www.howsafeisyourcar. This site provides essential information on both new and secondhand cars. The higher the numbers of stars, the safer the car is. Particularly check for the number of airbags and other safety features like electronic stability control. And don’t forget to check the vehicle’s safety certificate to make sure there are no nasty surprises. If you can afford it, it’s also best to do a V-check which will reveal if the vehicle is currently written off.

Department of Transport and Main Roads Phone: 13 23 80 Website: Victoria VicRoads 13 11 74 NSW Transport Roads and Traffic Authority 13 22 13 NT NT Transport Group 1300 654 628 SA Transport SA 1300 360 067 WA Dept of Planning and Infrastructure 13 11 56 Tasmania Transport Division, Dept of Infrastructure, Energy and Resources 1300 135 513 ACT Road User Services 13 22 81

New Adult Proof of Age Card Authorised by the Queensland Government, Brisbane 38


Sore eyes? Zoning out? Yawning? Pull over to a safe place and rest.

Driver Fatigue: Wake up to the signs. Authorised by the Queensland Government, Brisbane



Volunteering is a great way to gain valuable employment experience, but also to help others and the environment at the same time. Across Australia, Conservation Volunteers has over 2000 different conservation projects to choose from including activities like tree planting, seed collection, endangered species protection, weed control, flora and fauna surveys, walking track construction, fencing and environmental monitoring. You can volunteer for a day, a weekend or longer and training, transport and equipment is provided.

Kiera Crosariol



Volunteering overseas is a wonderful way to travel. It’s a cultural immersion, adventure and work opportunity all rolled into one. If you’re thinking of travelling, there are some great ways to include volunteering. Conservation Volunteers have a huge range of world conservation programs where you can experience another country, culture and community and assist in worthy conservation efforts across Africa, Asia, Europe, South, Central and North America. In fact, what are you doing this summer? You could join the California Youth Program in January 2012, visit amazing


National Parks and experience the pristine wilderness of California.

Local inspiration. Bonnie Jackson from Victoria has always been an ‘outdoors person’ but didn’t really think about employment and career options related to conservation. Bonnie joined a National Green Jobs Corp program through Conservation Volunteers this year and loved the hands-on experience. Her achievements included repairing pathways in nature reserves for access for people with disabilities, building fences and planting hundreds of trees. “It’s very cool to see the results of your efforts at the end of a day. You feel a real sense of satisfaction,” she says. Bonnie’s highlight was tagging and observing some of Australia’s rarest endangered species like the Rufous Bettong, Spotted Quoll and Eastern Barred Bandicoot. She’s now using her new skills and knowledge to pursue her ambition of working in wildlife conservation. “Don’t just sit and think about it. Give it a go and see what you like,” she says. If you have a passion for the environment, volunteering is a fantastic way to translate your passion into action. Shehadeh Fahel and Kiera Crosariol wanted to contribute to their community and “put something back” when they volunteered on a local park rejuvenation project. Their group transformed a local reserve degraded through clearing, farming, dumping and severe weed invasion by replanting

Shahadeh Fahel

480 shrubs, trees and grasses to restore it as a habitat for wildlife. Kiera also finds personal fulfilment from her volunteering and is sussing out a career path in environmental management. She’s gaining valuable field experience, networking and “getting her hands dirty”. Shane Sorenson in Queensland has no doubt volunteering has given him a real edge in work and life. He saw how his volunteering made an impact after joining flood recovery projects helping farmers re-fence around the town of Goondiwindi. “When the farmer said ‘Thank you’ at the end it made the work worth it,” he says. “We built 1200 metres of fence so I felt great about what we achieved. I learnt a lot about myself, that I am a leader and that the other team wanted to work with me. I learnt how to build fences and work with young and old people whilst we stayed away and helped farmers. It was cool to meet people I wouldn’t normally meet.” When asked about his job prospects, Shane had no doubts “Employers see that you have volunteered and they are impressed that you will make the effort”.


Finding a job Like it or not money makes the world go around. Unless you’re blessed with a money tree planted in your backyard or a genie in a bottle, most school leavers will need to find some form of employment. Whether you’re looking for a full time career, need to earn a few extra bucks for bills or are looking to work around your university timetable, this section is full of tips and tricks to get the jump on your fellow job-seekers. Where to start?


The idea of finding a job for many can be a little overwhelming. You have just knocked your final year of schooling on the head and it’s left you feeling as free as a bird, until you realise that even a bird needs to support itself. The first piece of advice is not to panic, but to sit down and work out which type of job will best work around your future study schedule and lifestyle. The flexibility of casual and part time work means that it will fit around your study commitments. Part time positions will often include paid sick leave, casual jobs will usually not. If you’re keen to jump into a ‘career’, full time work is your best bet, usually working a 38 hour week across five days,

it does include the perks of paid four weeks leave annually. Conditions and benefits will differ between industries and employers, so it’s best to query this during the application process. Scoring the right job Everybody wants to get some satisfaction from their job, so perhaps first look for jobs in your interest area. If you love your sport, then working at a sports complex might be right up your alley. Similarly, if you consider yourself a movie buff, working at the movies may be just the ticket. Whilst working at Maccas might not be everyone’s dream career, think of the valuable skills you will be learning and the extra

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money you will be pocketing. Paid traineeships or positions advertising for ‘juniors’ provide great on the job training and after their completion, will often lead to qualifications, which will improve your future career opportunities. The right job fit also comes down to the location and accessibility of the job. Sure, that dream office

job in the city 40 km away sounds great, but with 15 hours of study commitments it really isn’t a viable option. The key to making it work is being realistic. Where do I look? Newspapers and the internet: The employment section of the local papers lists loads of job vacancies,

Every day is Open Day


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but the internet is the best tool. Sites such as seek., or are fantastic — simply put in your details and you’re on your way to finding suitable job matches based upon your skills and job location. Register with these sites to receive handy alerts sent to your email inbox. Technology is your best friend when searching for a job. Shop Notices: This may seem a tad old school, but really is excellent to land those few part time or casual shifts weekly. Cafes, independent supermarkets

and small businesses will often place signs in windows looking for people and chances are they’ll want someone to start straight away. Career advisors: These guys/girls at universities and training organisations are experts at dishing both the advice and handy resources. Give them your details and something could well come up. Centrelink: Casual job information and resources are available at these centres. Visit www.centrelink. to find out the

Being job ready It’s one thing to say you want a job, but preparation plays a huge part in not just entering the land of employment, but landing that great job over one that ‘just pays the bills.’

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location closest to you. Government resources including the Myfuture website at www.myfuture. provide great tips on finding your dream job simply follow the links on the homepage. Do the ring around: Employers love initiative and can often be swayed by prospective employees with some get-up-and-go...

Network: Use your contacts. You may have more than you ever imagined. Have a conversation with your parents, friends and extended family and they may be able to line something up with their contacts and put in the good word to boot. Sorting that killer resume A resume is one of the most important tools to ensure that you start out on the right foot. It needs to be around two pages in length and appealing to potential employers. It should be typed up in an easily read font and should be broken down into sub headings including ‘achievements’ and ‘previous experience.’ It is essential that you showcase your strengths. If you have no previous experience in the workforce, focus on your prior educational achievements. Include two referees (a referee is someone that a potential

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employer can contact to receive information on your strengths and weaknesses). It is a good idea to get a friend or a parent to have a look over your resume as they may find mistakes that you have missed and will be able to give you some pointers about the presentation and content.

Five steps to nailing the interview

 

Come prepared. Head online and research  the company and look into the role and the duties involved. You’re hungry for the position, so let it show.

Create a cheat sheet with questions that  may be asked of you during the interview. Get your mum or dad to play interviewer and practice a few times to get a feel for the interview process.


Cover letter

A cover letter is important as it adds a summary of your core strengths and does so in a personalised way. Ensure that the content is relevant to the position at hand. Include information such as your educational background, previous experience and age. You should aim for it to be 2-3 paragraphs in length.

Presentation is important. Wake up that  hour earlier, use your antiperspirant/ deodorant, brush your hair and take pride in your outfit. Relate your outfit choice to the job environment and position at hand .

Arrive 15 minutes early to the interview.  It is important to show you have strong time management skills. If you’re running late, be sure to call the interviewer and let them know.

Inter view

Communicate strongly. Speak slowly and  take a short breath, before answering each question. This will give you time to finali se your answer in your head.

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Tertiary profiles and more

OPEN fee help


tafes open days



One website has everything you need to know about choosing the right tertiary institution for you Where every day is Open Day

Training courses So you finish school soon, but the question is ‘where to next?’ Maybe you can’t wait to get your teeth straight into a job. You could be thinking uni – right? Well, maybe, but have you thought about vocational education and training? A certified training course with a vocational education and training provider may just be the stepping stone you’re after to get you into your chosen field and start earning the big bucks, sooner than your friends at university in most cases.

Training courses

Uni’s not really for me Who can blame you if you’re not thrilled by the idea of sitting in a massive lecture theatre taking copious amounts of notes for years. Sure, you want to continue studying and gain some qualifications before you enter the workforce; but would prefer a course that has a more practical approach to learning and allowed you to be more hands on. Maybe you should consider enrolling in a diploma, short course or certificate with a vocational education

and training provider. Whether you have dreams to study building and construction, information technology, event planning or hospitality: it has never been easier to increase your knowledge in a trade or learn directly from an industry professional. There are a multitude of courses on offer to prepare you for many different industries and give you job-ready skills to enter the workforce. So, no need to fear about a first day where you don’t know how to do anything. Most don’t

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It has never been easier to increase your practical knowledge, learn from industry professionals and be job-ready sooner. 1300 30 8233

Maybe later? Decided that you want to attend university after all? Not a problem! In fact it might be easier to get into a university degree having some previous vocational study already in the bag. If you have finished a vocational education and training course you can sometimes transfer ‘credit’ to get a head start in a uni degree. Universities have different names for this, like ‘advanced standing’, ‘credit transfer’ or

‘articulation’. Whatever it’s called, it means you could potentially finish your university degree sooner. Many fields do offer pathways to degrees including tourism, architecture, agriculture and health. Whether you are looking to gain skills in media, community welfare, engineering, aged care or science, studying with a vocational education and training provider might be the right choice for you.

The contacts below provide you with a range of course options and information to help you start planning now.

Training courses

even require any prerequisites, so nothing is in your way to becoming anything from a beauty therapist, mechanic to even a pet groomer. Many institutions also offer a wide range of short courses for professional development or to help you accelerate your career. These courses usually offer more flexible study options too — giving you more time to complete it so you could potentially work alongside studying. Some institutions even offer to help you find a suitable job after finishing your course. TAFE Queensland delivers over 800 nationally recognised qualifications in a vast range of industry areas that can be studied on campus or online to suit your learning style — not to mention your lifestyle! TAFE Open Learning specialises in flexible off-campus and distance delivery with its education partner institutes in Queensland.

Career One Career Information TAFE Queensland TAFE Open Learning Training - A joint initiative of Australian State and Territory Governments TAFE MADE

Enrol now 1300 30 8233


Anything’s possible TAFE Queensland offers over 800 of the latest courses taught by established industry professionals. Which means you’re getting working knowledge at the cutting edge of industry training. With over 70 locations and affordable, flexible training options, now it’s even easier to join the ranks of the TAFE MADE. Erin Barrett, Diploma of Sport Development, Queensland Training Awards regional finalist and Gym Manager, Health Zone Fitness 1300 30 8233

Buying your first car The time may be approaching where you’ve had enough of public transport or mum and dad driving you around and want to invest in your own set of wheels. This is an exciting time in your life, though there are a few boxes you need to check before you can drive off into the sunset.

My first car

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My first car

Whether you have been saving since you could say the word “car” or you just want a box on wheels that can get you from A to B, talk to your parents and ask them to help you decide on a budget. Once the bar has been set, try to stick to it and not get side-tracked. Look at something you can afford as opposed to drooling/ crying over a Ferrari F4 — which is not likely to be in your budget.

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How will you be using the car? Think about where you’ll be driving the car, how often and how many passengers you’ll be taking. You may have only recently earned your licence and have passenger restrictions — so maybe a huge people mover isn’t for you. For many, the main purpose of their car is to get them to university and/or work and so they only require a small car — which is generally more economical and drinks less petrol, saving you money. Generally, the larger the car the bigger the upfront and running costs — so your needs and wants must be prioritised. Sadly, the hottest car might not be the most suitable. Younger drivers may also have restrictions on cars with big V8 engines or similar.


Doing your research It doesn’t matter if you’re buying a new car or second hand, if the only lemon you want to be buying is the one for your drink it is vital that you do your research on every aspect of buying and owning it. Take your time doing your research and determining your

options. Don’t rush or feel pressured to make a decision — because it is a big one and can sometimes require CSI Miami-style detective work to scout out your perfect car. Consider things such as cost, maintenance fees, insurance quotes and also safety ratings. Safety ratings should be high on your list and it’s pretty

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easy to find new and old cars on the ANCAP site. Other sources can offer insightful reviews on new and second hand cars and can give you an idea of what to expect. If you’ll be leaving the car at a campus, train station car park, or late night workplace, avoid models popular with thieves — a simple Google search can

Boxes to tick • Mileage: Aim for the lowest mileage available. • No rust: Tip-top bodywork is important if you want the car to last and be safe in a crash. • History: A seller should be able to show you a history of any servicing, and ask if it’s been in any major crashes or had any major parts replaced. • Registration: A car should obviously be roadworthy, and if rego’s due soon after the sale, you might be able to bargain down the price. • Inspection: Paying for an independent inspection is as essential as a test drive.

My first car

save you a lot of heartache and, “Dude, where’s my car?” moments. Mileage is another thing you should be looking out for. Keep in mind that the average car does close to 20,000km per year. Compare this figure to how old the car is to work out an average and remember that it takes around 200,000 to 300,000 before the average transmission dies. The older the car and more kilometres, the more maintenance it will require. You can research and compare over 200,000 new and used cars at, as well as read the latest news and reviews. The carsales editorial team provide unbiased reviews on each car and include “green” and safety ratings, as well as average fuel consumption.

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My first car

Shopping around This is the fun — and often daunting — part; inspecting a potential vehicle. Only go once you have done all your research, bring a parent or friend who also knows a bit about cars — they don’t have to be like Vin Diesel’s character in Fast & Furious 5, but a basic knowledge of engines and cars is important. If no one is vaguely Vin Diesel worthy then get a professional mechanic to inspect it; paying for someone to independently inspect the car is highly recommended. Don’t be afraid to ask 101 questions so you get the full history of the car. Take the car for a test-

drive or get your parent/ car knowledgeable friend to if you do not have a licence yet, as some sellers and dealerships do not let learner drivers take their cars for test-drives. Listen for any unusual noises, look for blind spots and try out the brakes. Do the ‘walk around’ and closely inspect a car as if you were looking for clues — take note of any rust or dents or other disfigurements that would suggest that the car isn’t roadworthy.

Find it and buy it Check online at sites like, CarPoint. and You can even search on your mobile.

Don’t be afraid to ask 101 questions so that you get the full history of the car.

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The three main players There are three types of sellers, each with pros and cons. Things differ between states so check the deal with your road authority, but these are the norms. Private sellers:


These are more commonly known as ‘used car dealers’ and are associated with greasy hair and cheap suits. When you’re in a car yard make sure the paper attached to the car refers to the car you’re interested in buying. It may be a good idea to ask for the previous owner’s details — by calling them you can find out more about the car. Always ask them for a cheaper price — they may say no, but you can always negotiate, and it’s worth a try if it’s going to save you some coin.

They’re often bit cheaper, but with no statutory warranty or cooling-off period. Make sure you check things like registration, whether the person selling you the car can legally do so and if the car has been written off by authorities. When buying a car from a private seller you have the advantage of being able to ask loads of questions and get a good idea of the previous owner.

This option is cheaper and riskier again. In some states these deals will have barely any paperwork, in others you’re better protected, but you probably won’t get a test drive. When buying from an auction, turn up as early as possible so you can get a good look at the car. Pick a budget and stick

to it — this is especially important at auctions as people get caught up in the heat of the moment and you can see your buying competition. Stick to reputable auction houses and be wary of any warranties provided by auctions as they have a lot of exclusions.

My first car

Licensed Traders:

For more detailed advice on buying a car and what your rights are as a buyer, check out the Help Centre:

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Drugs and alcohol As a young person in the last years of your secondary schooling, there’s a fair chance you’ve experimented with legal and illegal drugs and alcohol; just be aware of what you’re putting in your body. If you are determined to try something you could save your life or someone else’s by being well informed about managing your experience.

Get the facts on Drugs Long term consequences can include: impotence, high blood pressure, heart failure, chronic sleep problems, extreme mood swings, compulsive repetition of actions, paranoia and anxiety, depression and panic attacks/seizures.

These can include cannabis (marijuana), alcohol and heroin. How they work: The opposite of stimulants, these slow down your central nervous system. Effects on the body: Depressants can slow the body down so much that it brings on an overdose — a major consequence of this is death. People diagnosed with depression or schizophrenia are strongly advised not to take depressants as they can have an adverse effect on their mental state. Behavioural impacts: Concentration levels are reduced, increased mood swings and reduced coe rewards as

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Depressants (also known as downers)


Drugs and alcohol

These can include ecstasy, cocaine, speed, ice and even caffeine. How they work: Stimulants work by speeding up the central nervous activity including heart rate and breathing. Effects on the body: They can cause panic attacks, anxiety, or psychosis — where you might flip out, think people are following you, see or hear things that aren’t there and be convinced that everyone is out to get you. Behavioural impacts: Stimulants can often lead to people becoming violent. If this behaviour occurs in someone that you know, try to get them

to a safe, quiet location. Proceed to call 000 and ask for an ambulance if the person is unwell, drowsy or unconscious. If anybody’s safety is being put at risk during this situation, always ask to speak to the police.

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Stimulants (also known as uppers)

get Ready ordination are common, as are anxiety and panic attacks. If there’s a history of depression, bi-polar disorder or schizophrenia in your family, then it’s a bad idea to try depressants. Imagine a door in your brain with mental health problems behind it — for some people cannabis can effectively unlock that door, and once it’s open it can never be closed. Long term effects: Prolonged or heavy use can cause: addiction, impaired sexual function, chronic sleep problems, respiratory depression and respiratory arrest, and death.

Hallucinogens are also referred to as psychedelic drugs, and include: trips, magic mushrooms, LSD or acid. How hallucinogens effect a person depends on many factors, including the person’s size, weight and health, how much of, and how the drug is taken, whether the person is used to taking it and whether other drugs are taken. The effects of hallucino-


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A few others: Steroids

gens also depend on the environment in which the drug is taken and the mood and expectations of the person taking it. For example, whether the person is in a good mood or feeling anxious, is alone, with others or at a party. Effects on the body: Blurred vision, increased breathing rate, euphoria, sense of relaxation and feeling of well-being, hallucinations and distorted sensory processing, including visual, auditory, body, time and space perception, disorganised thoughts, confusion and difficulty concentrating, thinking or maintaining attention, anxiety, agitation, paranoia and feelings

of panic, dizziness, impaired co-ordination, increased heart rate and blood pressure, nausea and vomiting, increased body temperature and sweating, which may alternate with chills and shivering, and numbness. These will make you think you can see, hear, smell, taste or touch something that isn’t really there. Some of the scariest sideeffects of these drugs are having a bad trip, where all the things you imagine are bad, scare you or make you paranoid, and having flashbacks, where you’ll be visually transported back to the experience, sometimes years later.

Steroid use has risen amongst young males in the last decade, despite being illegal. Many guys use them because they think it’ll help them bulk up at the gym, but they’re more likely to stunt your growth, make you aggressive, impatient and moody and you can have problems with baldness and fertility later on in life. Prescription drugs Sometimes people illegally use prescription drugs. Many in the benzo or opioid families are very addictive, can have some nasty side effects and will interact badly with any other drugs you use. Others, like ketamine — an anaesthetic used by vets — can cause convulsions, erratic behaviour and depression. Legal Ones Turning 18 opens up your access to legal drugs like alcohol and cigarettes, but these have their own problems if you abuse

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In an emergency If something goes wrong for you or a friend while drugs are involved you might be freaking out about calling in help, but don’t worry, ambulance officers will treat people with confidentiality. The only time they’ll call the police is if someone is dead or the situation is getting violent. Always call 000 and get help if you think someone’s reacting badly to drugs. Also, make sure someone stays with a friend at all times.

bad about yourself and being embarrassed by your actions, losing friends or loved ones as a result of your behaviour and losing money after reckless spending on alcohol.

dehydrate your body, sometimes to dangerous levels. Combining them with another stimulant, like ecstasy, means you’ll be looking at higher risks and a far increased danger of overheating.



Some drugs seem pretty innocent, like the caffeine found in energy drinks, but they’re a pretty heavy stimulant, and when combined with a heavy depressant like spirits they can mess with your body — particularly your heart. Plus caffeine and alcohol are both diuretics which

One drug kills more people in Australia than any other: cigarettes. Nicotine is super addictive and has plenty of long-term side effects like emphysema, infertility, and vascular disease that can lead to amputation. Smoking also increases your risk of numerous cancers. e rewards as

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Drugs and alcohol

Alcohol Alcohol is a depressant, so mixing it with other depressants can make you overdose. Alcohol also impairs your decision-making, and makes you far more likely to be violent, take risks, do something you regret or have a serious accident. You can also start to depend on alcohol to relax you for social occasions, or lose the ability to know when to stop. Alcohol is the most widely used recreational drug in Australia. One of the biggest problems associated with alcohol is binge drinking. Binge drinking or ‘drinking to get smashed’ is drinking heavily on a single occasion, or drinking continuously over days or weeks. Binge drinking can be immediately and directly harmful to your health. It can expose you to injury or to unnecessary risks to yourself and others. As well as having adverse short-term effects, binge drinking can also cause long-term effects on your

health and well-being. Physical effects include: hangovers, nausea, shakiness, vomiting and memory loss, injury to yourself, alcohol poisoning. Alcohol is a major cause of injury and death among young people. When you’re drunk, you’re more likely to put yourself in risky situations, like getting into a car with someone who’s been drinking, or being the perpetrator or victim of violence. Long term effects can include: physical and psychological dependence on alcohol, significant damage to the brain and liver, risk of cancer of the mouth, throat or oesophagus, possible increased risk of neurological disorders, heart problems, and sexual problems (especially male impotency), risk of emotional and mental health problems developing, such as depression and anxiety, problems at school, work and with relationships. Behavioural impacts: can lead to you having unprotected sex, or unwanted sex, which may lead to unwanted pregnancy, or STIs, feeling

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them, combine them with other drugs or get hooked on them.

To get info on drugs, alcohol or counselling services, ring 1800 250 015 or try your local help line. ACT 24-hour Alcohol and Drug Telephone Line (02) 6207 9977 New South Wales Alcohol and Drug Information Service (02) 9361 8000 1800 422 599 (rural) DRUG ARM (Awareness, Rehabilitation and Management) (02) 9755 0596 Northern Territory Alcohol and Drug Information Service 1800 131 350 (NT only) Darwin (08) 8922 8399 Alice Springs (08) 8951 7580

South Australia Alcohol and Drug Information Service 1300 131 340 (SA only) Adelaide (08) 8363 8618

Victoria DirectLine 1800 888 236 DrugInfo 1300 858 584 Family Drug Helpline 1300 660 068 ( Vic only) Youth Substance Abuse Service (YSAS Line) (03) 9418 1020 1800 014 446 (rural Vic only) Western Australia Alcohol and Drug Information Service (08) 9442 5000 1800 198 024 (rural WA only)

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Drugs and alcohol

Queensland Alcohol and Drug Information Service (07) 3236 2414 1800 177 833 (rural)

Tasmania 24-hour Alcohol and Drug Information Service 1800 811 994 Hobart (03) 9416 1818

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Information about Human Services Portfolio payments and Information Information about about Human Human Portfolio payments payments and and services for students is nowServices aServices mousePortfolio click away. services services forfor students students is is now now a mouse a mouse click click away. away. Student Update is the latest hub to access information relevant Student Student Update is is the the latest latest hub hub toto access access information information relevant to youth,Update students and organisations who want to knowrelevant more. toto youth, youth, students students and organisations organisations who want want to know know more. more. You can simply likeand our page or followwho us to get to the latest You You can can simply simply like like our our page page ortoday. or follow follow usus toto get get the the latest latest updates and start networking updates updates and and start start networking networking today. today. Student Update Student StudentUpdate Update

AH2367.1106 AH2367.1106 AH2367.1106 AH2367_1106_FA2.indd 1

9/09/2011 1:38:43 PM

Medicare made easy— what you need to know Medicare’s here to help you. Here’s some info on getting your own Medicare card, find out what health services you can get through medicare—especially if you’re travelling overseas—and check out the ways you can lodge a Medicare claim, you may be surprised.

Your Medicare

Still on your parents’ Medicare card? Get your own—it’s easy Having your own Medicare card will make it easier when you see a doctor or get medicine from a pharmacy. Simply fill in a Copy/Transfer application form and visit your local Medicare office with a form of ID. Forms are available in Medicare offices or online at > Popular forms > Medicare copy/ transfer application form. Want more ways to claim from Medicare? Did you know that some doctors can lodge your claim for you at the practice? You can also

Going overseas? What happens if you’re sick or injured? No matter how well prepared or healthy you are, you can still get sick or injured while overseas. Overseas medical costs are not covered by Medicare, however you may be

lodge your claim online for five of the most common GP consultations. Register your bank account details with Medicare to have your benefit paid into your account — saving you a trip to a Medicare office. To register your bank

entitled to help with the cost of treatment in Belgium, Finland, Italy, Malta, New Zealand, the Netherlands, Norway, the Republic of Ireland, Slovenia, Sweden and the United Kingdom. If you visit one of these countries and need to go to hospital:

account details — call 132 011*, visit a Medicare office, go online at www.

• let the medical staff know you want to be treated under the Reciprocal Health Care Agreement; • provide the local authorities with a copy of your Australian passport and valid Medicare card.

and fill out a bank account details collection form or logon to Online Services if you’re registered.

For more information go to or call 132 011* * Call charges apply.

Medicare’s here to help—go to call 132 011 or visit your local Medicare office. 62

Medicare MedicareTeen TeenDental DentalPlan—giving Plan—giving teens teens aareason reasontotosmile smile We’re We’rehelping helpingeligible eligibleteenagers teenagers aged aged 12–17 12–17 years years with with a a $159.85 $159.85voucher vouchertowards towards anan annual annual preventative preventative dental dental check. check. IfIfyou youstill stillhold holda a2011 2011voucher, voucher, make make anan appointment appointment with with your yourdentist dentisttoday todayand andtake take advantage advantage of of thethe voucher voucher before before it it expires expiresonon3131December December2011. 2011.



For Formore moreinformation informationororeligibility eligibility details, details, callcall 132 132 011 011 or go or go to to

Goodbye monthly fees. Hello extra cash. If you’re a student, apprentice or under 21, you can enjoy our Everyday Account with no monthly account keeping, or electronic withdrawal fees*, which means you can spend your money on the things you actually want. You’ll also enjoy access to the biggest bank ATM network in Australia, and 24/7 access through Mobile Banking and NetBank. So no matter what you’re doing, or where you are – we’ll have you covered. Find out more from the Bank of the Year at

Terms and Conditions for Everyday Account and Electronic Banking issued by Commonwealth Bank of Australia ABN 48 123 123 124 are available at You should consider whether this product is appropriate for you. *Excludes non-Commonwealth Bank ATMs, overseas ATMs, EFTPOS transactions overseas or involving currency conversion, third party payments within a payment group, international money transfers and separate services such as bank cheques, periodic payments and transfers/deposits to other banks. CBC2639

Get Ready: School Leaver Guide (2011)