Most Australian workplaces will have a social element. For example, your daily morning tea and lunch breaks can be a great opportunity to get to know your colleagues. Some workplaces will also facilitate social and recreational events during or outside of work hours, as a way of creating team spirit and promoting comradery.
Such events are designed to strengthen relationships between colleagues or clients, and provide an opportunity to establish friendships and contacts. Events might include informal social gatherings at the end of the week, on the weekend, or around holidays, birthday celebrations and farewell events. On such occasions there may be a collection of money from staff to buy a gift. It is up to you as to whether you want to contribute.
On some occasions there may be catering or people might share food and drinks including alcohol. It’s not an expectation that everyone drinks alcohol – this is your choice. People may be asked to “bring a plate” to a work lunch, or to celebrate a special day. This means to bring a plate with some food on it to be shared at an event. If you have dietary requirements due to cultural or health reasons, you can always discuss your needs with the event organiser or the person in charge.
Let’s hear from some international WIL participants about their experiences socialing during WIL.
Western Australia. Department of Education and Training. & Australia. Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations. Employability skills and workplace culture in Australia: a guide for new migrants to Western Australia planning to enter the work. 2008
West, Barbara and Frances T. Murphy. G’Day Boss: Australian Culture and the Workplace. Abbotsford: Tribus Lingua, 2007
Understanding Australian Workplace Cultures: Thriving in the Australian workplace
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