They call Australia ‘The Lucky Country,’ and as the pandemic continues to rage outside our little South Australia bubble I’ve never felt more lucky or grateful to be a resident of Adelaide and Australia.
Five Reasons I’m Grateful I live in Adelaide, Australia (especially in 2020)
1) Universal Health Care
If ever there was a time to appreciate having access to universal health cover, it is this year. Thanks to Medicare, Australia’s universal health care system, if I become unwell, my first concern is about getting better not how much it will cost me. I cannot overstate how much of a relief it is to have access to affordable emergency and preventative care.
2) Leave Entitlements
Australia has several kinds of federally mandated minimum work leave – this is a big deal to me having moved from the United States where there is no federally mandated pay for time not worked (it’s left up the employers and having good leave entitlements is considered a competitive edge of a desirable workplace ).
My favourite Australian leave entitlements are:
- Annual Leave: 4 weeks paid recreational leave for every 12 months. This is awesome when you love to travel.
- Personal Leave: 10 days of paid personal (sick) leave or carer’s leave per year. This means I don’t have to worry about my job or my income if I do get sick, and like with universal health cover, this is a massive relief.
- Long Service Leave: Recognition for long periods of continuous work. In South Australia, we get 13 weeks of long service leave after 10 years with an employer (and can take some pro rata after 7). I’ve never made it this long at one company yet but hope to. Three months paid leave from work is such a cool benefit!
Super is another amazing entitlement provided to Australian workers, and it means that I don’t have to decide between paying for today’s living expenses vs saving for tomorrow’s. In some countries, saving for retirement is a luxury or a confusing decision, but Australian employers are legally required to contribute to an employee’s Superannuation fund (or ‘Super’) in addition to the regular pay. Currently, employers must contribute 9.5% of an employee’s income. There’re rules around when you can access your Super as well, so you are guaranteed to have an income when you retire.
4) Cost of Living
Adelaide has the lowest average cost of living of any major Australian city. This includes general entertainment activities like eating out or even inner-city parking, and the big expenses like housing. People pay more for a 1-bedroom unit in Sydney or Melbourne’s suburbs than we paid for our three-bedroom home with views of the ocean. I certainly prefer my spacious home to a shoebox.
Adelaide is one of the safest places on the planet. We don’t experience major natural disasters, we are fairly isolated and safe from international threats, and we have contained coronavirus (we currently have zero active cases).