You foreigners need to understand that all governments are not the same. Government jobs in America are not "real jobs." Our government is a value-subtractor, a net drain on the economy. American government jobs are sinecures at best--the employer of last resort, middle class welfare. At worst they do a lot of harm by interfering with the private sector. The public sector in America is a miniature communist economy--except it ain't so miniature, it "employs" about fifteen million people, close to ten percent of the workforce. It rakes in money for which it is totally unaccountable, and spends it frivolously. Its employees receive salaries that have no correlation with what they produce. It's a gigantic wealth-redistribution scam like communism. And like communism it destroys wealth rather than producing it, by taking it from people who produce and basically flushing it down the toilet. I too was a naive leftist when I was your age and proudly embarked on a career in civil "service." For the first few years I worked furiously on projects that achieved nothing but I learned a lot about I.T. Then as I rose through the ranks I noticed that many times an entire year would pass during which I did literally nothing, and believe me I'm not exaggerating. Eventually I grew a conscience and bailed out to use my wealth of expertise in the private sector. It worked out well for a few years, but then the economy turned sour and now I find myself working for consulting firms who have contracts with the government. Forty years later I'm right back where I started. I spent last year with a company that developed a really nifty project management system for a federal agency, built on Microsoft Project Server--I wrote the documentation. When we left the whole thing was sitting unused. And it's easy to be certain of that because they didn't retain anybody to support it and you can't do that with software. This year I'm doing something similar for another agency, and I've already noticed that. . . . well I suppose I'd better shut up in case one of my co-workers has followed me here and figured out who Fraggle Rocker is. Mine is the only car in the lot with a Muppet in the back seat. If your government agencies in Australia actually add value to the economy then I'm happy for you. You should do everything you can to keep it that way. It doesn't happen automatically.