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A Good Year

Postcards from #Canada150

My girlfriend and I decided to do our working holiday together in 2015. We had stayed in Sydney a few weeks before making our way to Melbourne, falling in love with the culture, the people and the weather (yes I know the weather changes every hour). We rented an apartment in Fitzroy North and began our job hunt.

I got a job at a local craft beer bar and honed my knowledge for the industry. Previously cutting my teeth with Oliver & Bonacini in Canada, I had the service background but was unprepared for the beer community family. As my role grew, I was eventually offered a visa to stay in Australia full time as the General Manager for the largest craft beer bar in the country.

From there, I managed a team of 20+, with the majority being on working holiday visas. We helped facilitate International beer launches, Melbourne Good Beer Week events, and became a hub for great beer and good people.

My girlfriend landed a job with Michael Page Recruitment where she met friends she will hold for life. As a result, we are travelling to England for her best friend’s wedding in November.

We stayed in Melbourne for two years and eventually moved home due to the distance from our family.

My experience from Australia got me my dream job with Collective Arts Brewing (CAB) back home as their Business Development Manager. CAB is one of Canada’s fastest growing breweries. With my contacts in Melbourne, I was able to send our Canadian beer to Australia.  It was a proud moment for me to see my two worlds collide.  We now ship quarterly into Australia, with our beer reaching venues from Adelaide to Sydney.  In the future, CAB is looking to build a brewpub facility in Australia.

Contributor: Daniel Johnston
Occupation: Business Development Manager, Collective Arts Brewing
Hometown: Georgetown, Ontario Canada
Working Holiday in Australia: 2015

Start your life-changing International Experience Canada (IEC) adventure today!

This is one in a series of stories shared by International Experience Canada participants from the 1970s to present to celebrate Canada 150.

IEC began in 1951 as a reconciliatory cultural exchange between Canada and Germany following World War II.  Today, IEC supports Canada’s interests by administering Youth Mobility Agreements (including Working Holiday) with 33 countries and territories. The agreement between Canada and Australia started in 1975 and is currently reciprocal in the number of inbound and outbound participants.


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Canada Down Under is an on-line portfolio of Canadian-Australian stories produced by the Consulate General of Canada in Sydney and other contributors.

Canada Down Under est un portefeuille en ligne d'histoires canado-australiennes produites par le Consulat général du Canada à Sydney et d'autres contributeurs.

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