My name is Olivia, and I’m born and raised in Hamilton, Ontario Canada!

My journey with anzuk began with me working as a CRT in Melbourne, Australia. I’ve definitely caught the travel bug, as I love to visit new places all over the world.

Since returning from Australia, I have worked in several classrooms in Ontario, as well as in Curriculum Development, and Design. I am now currently working with anzuk Education as the Canadian Recruitment Manager.

What was your experience working as a Teacher in Australia with anzuk Education?

Well…look, on day one I was ready to quit, so I am actually going to start this blog with a bit of a Pro Tip for all my Canadian Educators: a ‘bin’ in Australia, is a garbage can. A ‘tub’ in Australia, is a bin… because I had about 50 first year students at the end of the day, ‘put all their work in the bin’- which they threw straight in the garbage can! But in all seriousness, working as a Teacher in Australia with anzuk Education was the most incredible experience of my life! It instilled all the necessary values, tools and practices that has made me the educator that I am today.

Something I loved about working with anzuk specifically, is their commitment to referrals. By the end of my time living and teaching in Melbourne, I was rotating between only two schools that continued to call me back. This really allowed me to feel immersed in the school community, where I truly felt like part of the staff and built amazing rapport with the students – having the students already know you and understand your expectations is a game changer!

What was your experience working in Australian classrooms?

As you have quickly learned, it can be a bit hectic at times, but I became obsessed with the Australian curriculum, student-led learning, team teaching and the cumulating projects these young students were producing.

A couple of things to keep in mind:

  • Open-concept classrooms are very much a thing (hence the 50 first graders on day one – with other teachers in the space but on a rotating schedule).
  • There are no school-boards, each school is self-governed and can be specialised (I’ll get into this).
  • The students will likely call you by your first name (this took some getting used to), there was only one school that addressed me by my last name.
  • Primary School is Prep (kindie) to Year 6 (grade 6), and secondary school starts in Year 7.

Teaching in Melbourne as a city: INCREDIBLE. At the beginning, I was moving around quite a bit in terms of new schools, but I really enjoyed this for two main reasons:

  1. Each school is unique and diverse; they can be streamlined by academics (i.e. arts-based schools, athletics driven schools, special-education schools) as well as by second-language.
  2. It allows you time to explore and experience everything, then figure out what you like! It helps you pick a suburb to look for apartments in too.

My absolute dream school was an arts-based secondary school with a huge dance program. I grew up as a competitive dancer, turned choreographer, turned coach…so this was an amazing experience; I loved going to work every day! And something a bit more rare to find in Ontario schools.

When did you move to Melbourne and why?

I moved to Melbourne in July of 2019, with my best friend, Jackie! We had promised our families we’d be back in 6 months…which we quickly extended to fulfil our full year VISA. Melbourne is the best city to live in and work in. Period.

I did my fair share of travel around Australia…could have done more but COVID-19 unfortunately cut my time short – that’s a story for a different blog!

But having visited other cities, Melbourne is the best choice as an educator. Transit (which was my biggest stress hah) was amazing and reliable – I took public transit to and from work every day. But socially…you just simply cannot be bored in Melbourne, it is such a booming city, with events, shopping, restaurants, (boozy) BRUNCH, and most importantly…the best happy hours (it’s pretty much mandatory to go for an after-work bevvy). Victoria as a state is also beautiful, you can get the full ‘Aussie experience’ with the beaches and the wildlife, only a few hours outside the CBD (city centre).

Why did you choose to leave the classroom?

I actually worked in recruitment for my University (go Badgers!) after graduating and before applying to any school-boards. My role as a Recruitment Officer at Brock University is what inspired the trek and desire to teach abroad, which landed me with anzuk Education; Down Unda! But, I had a goal to work in recruitment on a national level then eventually globally – so I am really proud to have been hired as the Canadian Recruitment Manager.

What are you most excited about in your new role?

Honestly, I am super excited to work on this amazing team and be a part of an organisation that was so impactful in both my personal and professional life. I speak about my experience teaching in Australia at least weekly (even though it’s been four years) and I am eager to meet educators interested in living the same dream I did! Send me an email: TODAY, to connect and get you set up to start your journey.

How did you find your relocation process with anzuk?

I am serious when I say, I unbiasedly would rate anzuk Education 10/10 service. From the team in Canada, providing support and guidance through the entire process of where to get your police check, and when to apply for your visa, to registering for your VIT (teaching license) and answering every question and every email; Gillian and Cooper put all my worries and anxieties surrounding the move at ease. Then arriving in Melbourne, and having already connected and conversed with members from the team there (Camille, Cris, and Shannon…THANK YOU). It was so comfortable. anzuk was like the family I already had on the ground in Australia.

Olivia’s top tips, do’s and dont’s:

Just DO IT!: If you are thinking about it, which you must be if you have stumbled upon my blog…just DO IT.

DON’T let your family talk you out of it: Let’s just say, it took a few pros and cons lists to convince my big Italian family. Back to tip #1: JUST. DO. IT!

GO to the socials: anzuk Education plans the best social events! Definitely take advantage of these opportunities both locally (before you leave) and once you arrive in your teaching destination. This is where I met some of my best friends abroad – who are still my best friends now! You will too.

See as much as you can: The school terms in Australia operate differently than they do in Canada, and are set up PERFECTLY to book in some travel and site-seeing! Work as much as you can, so you can travel as much as you can during the off-weeks.


  • Take a road-trip down The Great Ocean Road
  • Chase all of the sunsets
  • Camp with the Dingos on Fraser Island
  • Hire a Camper Van
  • Scuba Dive the Great Barrier Reef
  • Sail the Whitsunday’s
  • Visit a Koala and Kangaroo Sanctuary
  • Take a Selfie with Quokkas on Rottnest Island
  • See your new city through the clouds…SKYDIVE

Keep up with anzuk: Follow us on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, & Tik Tok, and check-out some more blogs!

Olivia Pilot
Olivia Pilot

Canadian Recruitment Manager

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