Canberra: the place to live and work for Graduates. Who knew?

Posted 7 Feb 2017

Story by CBR Canberra

At the end of each university year, Australian graduates eagerly try to break into the workforce.

Fortunately for twenty-four-year-old Stephanie Beckedahl, Safe Work Australia offered her a place in their 2017 Graduate Programme.

Steph was thrilled with the offer, however, there was one thing holding her back; what lifestyle could Canberra offer her.

“I guess I had this perception that it’d be full of suit-wearing middle-aged male politicians and that it would just be forever cold and dark,” she said.

Her own sense of doubt was matched with her friends who repeatedly pointed out that it’s cold in Canberra.

“Apparently, people aren’t aware there is more than one season here,” Steph said.

Disregarding the naysayers, Steph packed up her things, said goodbye to her family home on NSW’s Central Coast and said hello to the Nation’s capital.

Although Steph came into Canberra by herself, she found comfort in knowing there was a handful of fellow graduates joining her in the programme.

“The fact that you’re with a group of people, around your age who are just as clueless and scared, makes the whole transition easier,” she said.

Securing the position with Safe Work Australia has meant Steph is ‘no longer a poor uni student’.

“I can finally make a break from eating two-minute noodles for dinner,” she said.

Over the past few years, the nation’s capital has blossomed into a culturally rich, confident and sophisticated city with an impressive food and wine selection.


“You can head to the lively streets of Braddon and enjoy anything from a quick bite to eat, to a fine dining experience,” she said.

“If you venture down the highway you will find some of Australia’s most beautiful vineyards, with 30 wineries within 35 minutes’ drive from the city.”

That’s the beauty of Canberra, it doesn’t take long to get from A to B.

When she was living on the Central Coast, Steph never had this luxury, the drive from her house to Newcastle University was at least an hour.

So, when she was looking for apartments in Canberra the priority was proximity to work. It didn’t take her long before she realised that you can almost get anywhere in Canberra in under 20 minutes.

“I love it here because everything is so central, and yet it’s easy to escape the city whenever you want,” she said. There are so many hiking trails to explore and the bike tracks are a nice way to get around.”

Steph is also a keen snowboarder, the first thing she did when she received the job offer was purchase a year-round ski pass.

“I’m really excited, as soon as it gets cold enough I will be jumping in the car on a Friday afternoon and heading to the slopes,” she said.

So, what’s Steph’s verdict on the Canberra lifestyle now that she’s here?

“I’m really enjoying myself – I’ve found so much to do on weekends, so many restaurants and bars to explore, everything is central and easy to get to, and there are many young people who have all made the same move. There’s sporting teams, groups and events that are tailored to people my age, which is really cool,” she said.

If you want to kick start your career, why not give Canberra a go? Like Steph, you might just be surprised by what it has to offer.

Have you got a Canberra story to share? Send it through for a chance to be featured!