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Recently moved to Canberra

By notoriousft - 1 April 2009 27

We have recently moved to Canberra because of my wife’s job. It’s my 5th month in Australia. We were in Melbourne up until a few days.

I am a chemist and used to work as a research scientist before coming from overseas. I would kindly request your recommendations on how to find a job in ACT and to get driving license quickly.

Any suggestions highly welcome.

P.S. Sorry for my English. It’s only my 5th month in Australia.

[ED – racists and xenophobes will be moderated without mercy]

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27 Responses to
Recently moved to Canberra
jessieduck 2:15 pm 01 Apr 09

The examiners are fair and reasonable folk- takes an hour-hour and a half and covers off all the usual competencies- you can pick up a Competency Based Training and Assessment Scheme (CBT&A)log book from any of the government shopfronts- that has all of them.

notoriousft 2:04 pm 01 Apr 09

Thank you all: SheepGroper, jimbocool, Danman, Thumper, Jim Jones, NoAddedMSG, Tisme, Mike Crowther, grundy, Holden Caulfield, Ruby Wednesday, neanderthalsis for your kind and prompt help.

I have made a note of all your useful suggestions and will act on them accordingly. You`ve been more than helpful.

If you don`t mind: I have one more specific question. I have a Learner Permit from Victoria and have a one-off chance to get an ACT Provisional license by a drive test. Could anyone who has sat this test recently comment on what to expect in the test? That is, how long the test is, and whether the examiners are generally fair or harsh etc. ?

Thanks in advance.

neanderthalsis 10:45 am 01 Apr 09

There are plenty of Industry Associations here in the ACT that use people of a scientific bent in research and/or policy roles. Try Plant Health Australia, the Australian Petroleum Production & Exploration Association, the Pharmacy Guild or maybe even the Wine Makers Federation.

grundy 10:43 am 01 Apr 09

I know IP Australia has resorted to recruiting from overseas, so I’d still suggest he contact them. That requirement may just be specific to that job ad I linked to.

Ruby Wednesday 10:30 am 01 Apr 09

IP Australia have the same caveat that 99 per cent of government jobs do:

Applicants must also be Australian citizens and have not taken a voluntary redundancy from a Commonwealth agency in the previous 12 months.

ACT government doesn’t have this requirement and will accept permanent residents. I don’t know about other visa classes.

As for driving schools, it depends on your current licence and agreements between countries. A visit to a government shopfront or a look at their website should help.

Good luck with your search. As someone married to a once immigrant (now citizen), the job thing is always a challenge, particularly in this town.

Holden Caulfield 10:28 am 01 Apr 09

A chemist hey? Maybe the Rebels OMCG could employ your services.

grundy 10:09 am 01 Apr 09

IPAustralia is always looking for qualified people to examine patent applications.
They would love to get their hands on an experienced chemist.

They provide all the training you need to start examining patents and starting salaries are quite generous.

Good luck!

Mike Crowther 9:51 am 01 Apr 09

With the upsurge in biker related warfare it will surely only be a matter of time before one of them loses a valued chemist and seeks a replacement.

Tisme 9:33 am 01 Apr 09

The Migrant and Refuge Settlement Service might be useful.

Location: Theo Notaras Multicultural Centre, 2nd Floor, North Building, 180 London Circuit Civic, Canberra
Postal Address: GPO Box 697, Canberra City, ACT 2601
Tel: 02 6248 8577
Fax: 02 6257 7655

NoAddedMSG 9:31 am 01 Apr 09

There is not a lot of chemistry work in Canberra unfortunately. There is the Research School of Chemistry as has been mentioned, but there really are not a lot of jobs there, especially if you do not have a PhD. These people ( may also be interested in chemists. Note with the university, not many jobs are widely advertised, the only way you will find out about a lot of them is by approaching the researchers directly.

CSIRO do not have much for pure chemists, but if you are on the biological side of chemistry, they might have some jobs available. The Therapeutic Goods Administration and the Vet Medicine and Pesticide Authority people hire lots of chemists (some lab positions, but mostly office jobs requiring a science background). There are some issues with them hiring non-Australain citizens though.

In terms of industry, Dyesol out in Queanbeyan are the only industry I have come accross in the Canberra region who hire chemists. There are probably a few very small places around. Kelly Scientific are a recruitment company which specialise in finding people for science jobs, but I don’t know anyone who has used them, so I don’t know if they are any good.

Jim Jones 9:12 am 01 Apr 09

The Business Office at the Research School of Chemistry at the ANU would be well worth talking to (phone: 61253637). Just let them know what you can do and with a bit of luck they’ll keep you in mind for anything that might pop up.

Also probably worth scoping out the CSIRO (, although they’ve been shedding staff over the past few years.

I gotta admit that I don’t know much about chemists – would a temporary move to a commercial chemist (the pharmaceutical side of things) be a viable option?

Thumper 9:12 am 01 Apr 09

Just head down to the ACT shop front and ask them what you need to do. They’ll be able to help you with a licence, or at least, the procedure you need to go through to get one.

Danman 9:10 am 01 Apr 09

SOS recruitment in Manuka, top darts for them, they got me my job over 3 years ago and I’m now permanent.

Avoid Drake, they just liked to bolster numbers but not actually find anyone work. If you like free movie passes they are the go anyway.

jimbocool 9:07 am 01 Apr 09

Not sure about jobs – although I would think that the various Research Schools at the ANU would have something going.
Drivers licence – unless you have a licence from one of the countries recognised by the ACT you will have to pass the knowledge test (to get your Learner’s Permit) and then the practical test (to get your licence). Go to for the details.

SheepGroper 9:06 am 01 Apr 09

Apex Driving school for the driver’s license, I highly recommend them.

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