How can I correctly fill out my fortnightly forms and dole diary without jeopardising my art practice?
The maximum jobs in any one area (including the Arts) Centrelink allows is around 1/3rd. They can check there’s no more than this, but I haven’t actually heard of it. But use this fact to put down a full three art jobs in your diary each fortnight (two on your fortnightly form): this includes grants you’ve applied for, galleries you’ve approached, gallery proposals written, et cetera. At least it’s productive to your long term prospects, and you’re genuinely doing this stuff anyway.
That leaves six un art jobs per fortnight you need for your dole diary – it’s up to you what ideas you have to get these. Remember merely asking people HOW they advertise, or if they have plenty of staff at the moment, is okay – you don’t have to ask straight out if they have a job for you that you don’t want.
Centrelink can sometimes check if you have put down a minimum of one job per week on your form/ diary from physically going into your Job Network provider. But really it just means did you get a job from the computer. To avoid having to go in especially, make a habit of printing one job from the touch screens when you drop in your form, for next week. Or make a bookmark on www.jobsearch.gov.au to your local area jobs and just do it from the net. If you get stuck, you can always say that one of your jobs came from the newspapers at your Job Network place, or they recommended trying somewhere.
This might sound too obvious, but always use a few different pens and writing styles to fill out your dole diary. I have an artist friend who was very conscientious to always fill out his diary, every couple of days, using one pen he kept for that purpose. When he handed it in at the end they wouldn’t believe that he hadn’t done it all on the same day.
How do you avoid Centrelink’s queues?
Find out the fax number for your local Centrelink. If you are saying that you are volunteering more than 20 hours a week (eg. At an artist run space or art gallery) they will often let you fax in your form rather than waiting in those awful queues, they can’t be good for any of us.
How do you avoid my-life-is-shit, Centrelink sucks feeling?
We think that while you’re going through all this Centrelink stuff, you might as well try a few things out from this site, see if you can grab some extra tips, write everything down and send it all to this site for other artists. There’s nothing like getting a good look on their screens, chatting to someone who’s on the ‘inside’ for advice, or getting hold of a secret Centrelink-eyes-only form (they’re out there). We’ve personally found it really is a way of feeling like all of the grief doesn’t really apply to “us” – and it makes it feel like it’s constructive, some sort of ARI arts benefiting, activity.
Another artist said “Most importantly I reckon, make sure that you don’t let them make you feel like being an artist is not a career. You know why you chose it, and more often than not you are providing a much more satisfying and enlightening service to the community than they are.”
2:57 am by Intern in Uncategorized
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