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The Get the life you love Campaign (Including National Career Development Week) — the Australian Experience




by Karen Penrose


The aim of the Get the life you love campaign (including National Career Development Week) is to promote public awareness of career development. The campaign encourages all Australians to develop the skills to manage their own life, learning and work across the lifespan. The campaign is an initiative of the Career Industry Council of Australia and has been funded by the federal government since 2006.


Although the celebration week (National Career Development Week) is held in the third week of May each year, the campaign is a yearlong initiative which supports careers events held throughout the year.


In Australia today it is of increasing importance to link education and training to the world of work and support young people to make informed choices about their future education, training and employment options.


From the beginning of the campaign it became apparent that while careers advisers in most Australian educational institutions have career development qualifications, most did not have “event management experience” and many found it a challenge to develop creative ideas for events and activities—especially events to engage young people. Consequently, the campaign provides not just encouragement but also the ideas and easy-to-use resources to people working with Australians of all ages to organize career development activities. While a large percentage of registered events each year are organized by qualified careers advisers, approximately 25% are organized by people working in community programs and government departments.


Feedback has indicated that the most significant reason for the continued and growing support of the campaign has been the provision of easy-to-use resources that have been developed by the campaign and which are available for download through the campaign website. These resources include:

  • Career Factsheets—including 13 student Career Factsheets; 10 workforce Career Factsheets, three Career Seminar and Expo Factsheets/Worksheets as well as Event Templates
  • Videos (28 career development message videos on our YouTube Channel—AusCareerWeek)
  • Downloadable Chatterbox activities (for younger students)
  • Event ideas and “How to” Templates to help people to organize a career development event or activity

Feedback is regularly received that these resources have provided “the confidence to organize activities.”


In the early years, the campaign was based solely on the provision of the inspiration and resources, however to assist in the development of our understanding of the requirements of careers advisers and everyday Australians, a “direct-engagement” approach has been incorporated into the Campaign. This has resulted in the campaign team hosting a career development information booth at National Careers Expos and the team organizing a series of Get the life you love Community Forums around the country. This interaction with students making career decisions and adults in career transition has assisted us to develop new resources for the campaign.


The Community Forums were designed to inspire students and individuals to Get the life you lovethrough understanding that they need to know their interests, skills, options and opportunities to make a successful transition into an increasingly complex labour market. The Get the life you love Community Forums have been extremely successful, with students reporting an increased “motivation to investigate their career options” as a result of attending the Forum. The Forums, hosted by a well-known MC, include three celebrity guest speakers (TV, radio or sportspeople— that students recognize and respect) and six local “every day” people with inspiring career stories.  Guest speakers are asked to draw from their own personal career journey to inspire and motivate students.


Karen Penrose is the Project Director of the Get the life you love campaign (including National Career Development Week). Karen has over 15 years experience managing national careers projects. She has written, edited and published national careers and recruitment publications and developed career resources including factsheets, templates and video resources. More information about the Australian Get the life you love campaign (including National Career Development Week) is available on the campaign website—



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