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Dear year 12: you’re starting a career at the end of the world – so why not follow your


When I got my VCE results almost one hundred years ago (in 2000), I had two goals: to be imminently drunk, and to do something that would become a “real job”. As the eldest child of university graduates and impressive overachievers, there was no question in my mind of doing anything silly like “something I loved” or “following my dream”.

I wanted to be a writer. Of course I did; I had been writing about my feelings since I was little, and English was the only subject that gave me anything resembling academic pleasure. But writing was, as far as I knew, a pretend job. A good way to spend every month scrounging for coins between couch cushions to put food on the table.

That’s a reasonable assessment, by the way. Writers in Australia earn just $18,200 annually, on average, from their writing, which falls wildly short of the poverty line.

So, I enrolled in a business/arts double-major degree instead and, while I was in the process of flunking out of that, I became a web developer. I wasn’t a great or even a good web developer but it meant I could get a reliable job in a…



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