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Macquarie Anthro Dept is hiring – 2 more weeks to put in applications!

12 March, 2009
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The Anthropology Department at Macquarie University has extended the deadline to apply for the job of Director of the Applied Anthropology program. The listing is on the AAA website, but it looks to me like there are a couple of mistake. First, the AAA listing says that the salary is in the range of $85,000 a year, but at the level we’re hiring (starting at B1 for those of you who know the Australian system), the take-home pay is actually from about $72,000 Australian, which is the equivalent of about U.S. $46,500 at current exchange rates. I think there are 2 problems: first, the salary didn’t get translated into U.S. dollars, and second, it includes (without saying so) the 17% contribution that the university pays to superannuation. (Superannuation means a retirement fund or something like that — you’ll see it eventually, but not for decades.) Big difference between $85K and $46K.

I’ll look into getting that corrected.

There’s another thing that’s wrong in the listing. It says that “This employer does not offer health insurance benefits to eligible partners” but that’s not right. Macquarie helps all of its international employees obtain permanent residency in Australia which gives you access to free public healthcare, and it will pay for private medical insurance until the permanent residency comes through. (I know, because they did so for my famiy.) Also, residency is available to immigrants’ partners, including same-sex partners.

By the way, there are some people who gripe about the public healthcare system here, but as an American, I just don’t understand why. It’s almost always free and I’ve never been put on a waiting list. When I started getting migraines at quadruple the frequency that I was used to last year, I went to my on-campus doctor who ordered a brain scan. I made an appointment for the next day at the medical imagining center at the nearby mall. I walked over to the mall and combined the quick brain scan with lunch with colleagues. Total cost of brain scan if I did this in the US? A gazillion (U.S.) dollars. Total out of pocket cost here in Australia? $0. And no tumor! The health care system here is pretty good by just about any standard. (Unless you are Aboriginal living in a remote community in the Northern Territory — then you’ll probably die by the time you’re 45.)

So don’t let the $46K salary put you off, because not only do you NOT have to pay for your brain scans, you’ll be living in Australia, so it’s really $72K, and even though Sydney is an expensive city, that’s still enough to comfortably live on. Meanwhile, there are lots of fantastic perks about being at Macquarie that make up for the salary. There is generous start-up funding for new faculty members to do their own research, and a teaching load that is
super reasonable. The department distributes the teaching load on a carefully organized rotating schedule so that everyone takes turns getting semesters off from teaching to just work on research and writing. And it’s a vibrant, energetic, collegial department.

Besides that, we’re in Sydney!  MQ is about 45 minutes away from a dozen beautiful beaches, and an hour away from the first towns in the Blue Mountains, so whether you want to surf or hike or go canyoning or rock climbing or go bird watching or watch footy games or explore the local cabaret scene, it’s a pretty fabulous place to live.

Have a look at the job listing to see what we’re looking for, and spread the word to any colleagues who fit the bill and are considering relocating to Sydney.

5 Comments leave one →
  1. 13 March, 2009 8:48 pm

    I used to gripe about the health care system too, but to my surprise it was better than here in Holland.

    I hope you get lots of appications!

  2. Michaela permalink
    5 May, 2009 12:19 pm

    I think it depends on what sort of medical service your after, The Netherlands is still far superior for giving birth – has one of the lowest infant mortality rates and among the lowest for unnecessary medical intervention during birth – plus they have infrastructure to support home birth and this is covered by medical insurance – Australia is way behind in all of these areas related to birth. But I guess the mandadory health insurace in The Netherlands is pretty annoying and expensive… it pays off over a life time, but for sojourners it is annoying and expensive.

  3. 16 May, 2009 6:47 am

    The women I talked to here (including Dutchwomen) seem to think that the low rates of “unnecessary medical intervention” are a form of Calvinist self-mortification. The idea that any medical intervention is in the first place unnecessary is I am sure cost-efficient, but not very pleasant: you always get the cheapest medicine first, no second opinion, and you have to wait weeks, sometimes months, to get to a specialist. But what I found particularly surprising, considering I had pictured Holland as a welfare state, is that the fact that the costs of medical insurance are fully shouldered by the individual.

  4. Michaela permalink
    19 May, 2009 3:04 pm

    The mandatory medical insurance is high I agree, the way it works out only people that are employed (and are residents) pay this and the steep cost covers those that are not working. Plus how much you have to pay varies according to your earnings if I remember correctly – is that correct or am I confusing this with tax? So that is the welfare state, everyone is covered and those that earn more pay more… it is irritatingly slow and bureaucratic though.

    As for giving birth I heard lots of positive experiences from Dutch women that had given birth in the country and not much negative – but did not go through it myself while living there so can’t vouch for it at an embodied level. It is interesting that you have heard otherwise… perhaps the case is that it is such a personal experience some will inevitably not be retrospectively happy with the experience. Still infant mortality is among the highest and low intervention is generally acknowledged to lead to a more empowering experience of birth where the women giving birth feels more in control and less like the inhabitant of an inconvenient and dysfunctional body. But it is interesting that the ladies you have spoken with have found this approach to be Calvinistic, a system that aims at saving money I imagine this means (as opposed to leaving fate to the hand of God). I guess “unnecessary medical intervention” is a matter of opinion and experience… and any system is criticized most by those that are living within it (where they have the freedom to be critical).

    The Dutch system (like other European countries) also supports paid parental leave for everyone (not limited to some people on some contracts with some companies), which means more time for both parents to adjust to their new roles/identities as parents rather then one or the other, usually the mother. This means that having children does not necessarily mean a choice between career or full time caring but allows for a combination without the salary sacrifice new parents face in systems like that current in Australia – although that is set to change in 2011 thanks to the Rudd gov! But that is another matter…

  5. Michaela permalink
    25 May, 2009 11:04 am

    I meant, infant mortality is among the lowest…. not the highest!

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