Welcome to Ballarat, here is some info to help
•There are four distinct seasons in Australia summer, winter,
autumn and spring. A Ballarat winter can be quite cold and you need
to be prepared and have warm clothes and blankets to keep warm at
• Police assistance is
available 24 hours a day in Australia. You can approach police
officers in the street or walk into a police station.
• For life threatening emergencies (police, fire and
ambulance), call 000 and request an interpreter if you need one.
000 is a free call.
• You are also able to contact these offices for information
that you may require when it is not an emergency:
Ballarat police station
ph: (03) 5336 6000
CFA Head Quarters: (03) 5329 5500
Rural Ambulance Victoria (03) 5338 5200
SES Head Quarters: (03) 5339 1122
If you or someone you know requires translation in an emergency
situation call 1300 665 010
• Nurse on call: Is a service that you can
use if the situation you are in isn't an emergency or if you a non
emergency medial question call 1300 60 60 24
Doctors and Prescriptions.
Australia has both a private and
public [Medicare] health sector
In an emergency, call an Ambulance or go to Accident &
Emergency at either of the local hospitals. [If it is not an
emergency you may wait for a long time at Accident &
To visit a doctor [GP] you need to make an appointment,
there may be a fee for service and you may need to wait a couple of
days for an appointment.
Finding a GP in Ballarat can be difficult - you can access two
medical centres in Ballarat. No appointment is necessary, but you
need to go early in the day and be prepared to wait. You may also
be able to choose to see a female or male doctor but you may need
to wait a little longer.
Eureka medical Centre [14 Albert Street Ballarat] which
is open 7 days a week or Medicaid [23/25 Raglan Street North
A prescription is the paperwork you
will need to access prescription medicines. A GP can give you a
prescription, which you take to the chemist to get the
Some medications are avialable 'over
the counter' - where you can buy them from a chemist without a
prescription. Everything you say to the doctor is confidential and
they can not repeat this information to anyone else. You may have a
choice of 'generic brand' medication. In these medications the core
ingredients are the same, the medication is cheaper in price.
University of Ballarat also has a
doctor that is available 5 days a week for Fed Uni
Traffic Conditions and Transport
• In Australia, traffic drives on the left of the
road. Seat belts must be worn by the driver and passengers at all
• Take care when crossing roads - look left, right and left
again for cars, buses, cyclists and other pedestrians.
• Always validate your ticket when travelling on public
• When travelling on public transport, sit close to the
driver or with other passengers, especially at night.
• If you require a taxi call 131 008 and you will need to
provide your address and the number of people that will be
Changing your License
The requirement to change your overseas driver license to a
Victorian driver license depends on whether your stay in Victoria
is temporary or permanent. If you are in Victoria on a temporary
visa, you can drive on your overseas driver license for as long as
it is current providing it is in English or accompanied by an
English translation or International Driving Permit. There is no
requirement to get a Victorian driver license.
If you have entered Victoria on a permanent visa issued under
the Migration Act 1958, you may drive on your overseas driver
- six months from the date you first entered Australia if the
permanent visa was issued before you entered
- six months from the date when the permanent visa was issued to
you if the permanent visa was issued to you whilst
If you want to continue driving in Victoria after this time you
must change your overseas licence to a Victorian driver
Visitor Information centre is somewhere you
are able to go, get information or ask questions on landmarks
or activities in Ballarat.
Visitor Information Centre
43 Lydiard Street, BALLARAT
1800 44 66 33
• Keep your wallet, bag, mobile phone and other personal
belongings secure at all times.
•If you are approached by a person asking for money, it is your
choice to donate money or to say no and walk away.
•The legal drinking age in Australia is 18 years. Drinking alcohol
in public places is not permitted in many public places.
•It's illegal to have more than a small amount of alcohol before
driving. The blood alcohol concentration is .05 for people on their
full license. If you are on P Plates you must be .00 and have had
NO alcohol. Don't drink and drive or get into a car with a driver
who has been drinking.
The unit of currency is the
Australian dollar ($ or AUD) (100 cents=$1.00). There are six coins
$2 and $1 are gold, 50cents, 20cent 10 cent 5 cents which are
silver. There are five notes $100, $50, $20, $10 and $5. Each note
is a different colour and has a distinct picture the value of the
notes is written on them.
In Australia, all non essential items attract a GST [goods and
services tax], which is 10% of the item or service cost.
Tipping for a service provided in not a particlarly common
occurance in Australia, but is something you can choose to do if
you feel like it.
To open an Australian bank account
you will first need to select the bank you would like to open an
account with. You will need to take a range of forms of
identification with you. Click on the links below to find out more
information for each bank.
The main banks are ANZ, Commonwealth, Westpac and Bendigo
ANZ 9:30am-4:30pm Monday-Thursday
Commonwealth Bank 9:30am-4pm Monday- Thursday
Westpac 9:00am-5pm Monday-Thursday
Bank 9am-5pm Monday-Friday
Bank of Melbourne
9.30am-5pm Monday - Friday
Loans 9am-5pm Monday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday
9.30am-5pm Tuesday & 9am-12pm Saturdays
NAB - 9.30am-4pm Monday - Thursday
•When withdrawing money at an autobank, put your money in your
wallet before walking away.
If you are eligable to work in Australia, you will be required to
apply for an Australia Tax File Number [TFN]. There is no cost to
apply for a TFN. If you start working you must tell your employer
your TFN. Your employer will take tax from your pay and you will
need to complete a tax return at the end of the financial year
International students and dependants in Australia on students
dependant visas who are residing in Australia automatically recieve
permission to work when their visa is granted Holders of a student
visa can work no more than 20 hours per week during university
semesters and full time during university holidays.
Centre for Multicultural Youth (CMY)
Ballarat is very lucky to have a Centre for Multicultural Youth
located in Ballarat. CMY offer a range of different programs and
services to young people who are newly arrived in Australia and
might be finding it difficult to settle in their new
Contact CMY Ballarat Office - (03) 5317 7172