Western Australia is a genuine paradise… a pristine coastline where Australia’s sunburned country disappears into the azure Indian Ocean. From the beautiful red dirt and bushland in its north, to the world-class vineyards and surfing spots in its south, WA offers a huge spectrum of the Australian experience. Known to be laid-back and lifestyle-driven, the state’s twin cities – Perth and Fremantle – offer the perfect balance between the excitement and possibilities of a metropolis, and the relaxed pace of a small country town.
For hospitality and tourism workers, Western Australia is a goldmine of opportunity. The WA government is currently seeking a range of workers to fill vacancies in the state’s many hotels, restaurants, bars, cafés and tourism hotspots. This means chefs and cooks, baristas and bar staff, hospitality managers and event coordinators, right through to front office and guest services, tour guides, general management and beyond. These opportunities exist not only for skilled workers already in the industry, but for newbies that are looking to sink their teeth into an invigorating career change.
WA has many outstanding established and traditional venues that locals call home, as well as the emergence of an exciting new and progressive style of establishment that is taking over the state. A great example is Running With Thieves – a counter-culture brewery/distillery in Fremantle that houses a restaurant, bar and retail outlet right on the city’s famous South Beach. Run by passionate owners with an emphasis on creativity, Running With Thieves is the spearhead of next-gen bars dedicated to locally-sourced ingredients and in-house production.
“Fremantle was always where we wanted to start,” says Scott Douglas, the manager and co-founder of Running With Thieves. “It’s this pretty cool little city on the coast with a harbour. It’s got a really rich and diverse gritty history – full of a lot of artists and creators. So we were pretty lucky… we secured this 120-year-old warehouse right across from the beach in South Fremantle. You can walk up off the beach in your boardies, you can have a gin and tonic, you can have some dumplings and smash beers.”
Which sounds like a massively fun way to spend summer. In fact, that word sums up the Western Australian experience better than any other… from the weather, to the beaches, to the people; WA is a fun place to live. Scott says this pursuit of fun is what makes living and working in WA so incomparable to other states – even bigger ones with bigger cities. “Perth’s unpretentious. There’s not the arrogance or the attitude that goes with it. Everything is still focused around that lifestyle piece… just having fun, and not taking themselves or what they are doing too seriously.”
As well as this emphasis on good times, with so many emerging hubs of food, drink and festivity, WA is also becoming an increasingly-profitable home base from which to forge a career in the hospitality and tourism industries. Running With Thieves is just the tip of the iceberg. With some of the world’s best pop-ups and multi-purpose venues, Perth and Fremantle have plenty of unique and exciting opportunities up for grabs. All you need to do is ask a local, and you’re sure to find one of the cities’ hidden gems, best kept secrets, or old school favourites.
Scott has his own picks for must-visit bars and eateries around town. “Definitely for coffee and breakfast there’s Good Things if you’re in Mosman Park or in Fremantle,” he says. “In summer, along the coast, I’m a fan for either Il Lido or Canteen. Definitely check out Will Street in Leederville, or if you wanna go and hide somewhere and smash cocktails; Darling Darling is definitely a favourite.”
So the future of hospitality and tourism work in WA looks brighter than ever – especially for people who don’t want to sacrifice their lifestyle for their career, or live in a city they don’t love, just to get ahead. People who want to live the dream – that perfect equilibrium of work and play – are spoiled for choice in WA… the kind of place where you can work and party on the same beach.
“I think there’s this emerging confidence now with the next generation that’s coming through, that they can compete on the world stage but they can do it in Perth,” Scott explains. “There’s definitely this lifestyle balance that you don’t really get around the rest of Australia. Everyone’s priority, as soon as summer hits, is hitting the coast or being on the water. ”
If you are a hospitality or tourism worker, have an itch to travel, or just fancy getting in on that idyllic WA lifestyle; visit westernaustralia.jobs to register and find out how you could make the greatest change of your life. Be fair warned though, once you’ve experienced life in WA, you’ll never want to leave.