I do not wage labour, therefore I apparently not very am.


Photo on 13-03-12 at 2.13 AM #4


I was lucky enough to be the recipient of an Australian Post-graduate Award Scholarship (~ $20, 000 per year) for the first three and a half years of my PhD. I would not have been in a position to embark on a PhD without it.

Unfortunately three and a half years pass fairly quickly in anthropology. While I may have a full-draft, I have been finding it increasingly difficult to make financial ends meet.


“Okay Bree . . . so do you work at all?”
“I’m just finishing my PhD at the moment, in Anthrop –”
“So you don’t work — is what I’m asking?”
“Well not paid work, no, but I am only months away from finishing my thesis, which is definitely a full-time –”
“So you’re not working — is what I’m asking.”
“Okay, thanks.”


The Australian welfare system does not recognise a PhD as a legitimate undertaking or enterprise. One must provide evidence they are looking for waged work to be eligible for any such benefits. Hence having found myself in my current situation — living on $244 a week while trying to finish my thesis, while also applying for full-time work.

I have added a Paypal donation button to the right hand side-bar, down below. Any such gesture of support will be received gratefully, and will go some way to helping me cover basic living costs as I embark on this final leg of the PhD.

I hope that I might be in a position to help others in the same way some day.


Kindliest of Regards,







Filed under Anthropology, Current social issues

4 responses to “I do not wage labour, therefore I apparently not very am.

  1. roadsideservice

    Have you tried using the 12 weeks of sick leave up? I managed to use mine all – in part legit, in part grey areas – but this helped stretch it out another 3 months, which, you know, is something. Got nothing now though and it is shit. :/

  2. Unfortunately my scholarship days have been well and truly exhausted. I am tutoring first semester though, which should bring some financial relief. That, and hoping for a brilliant post-doc position! 🙂

  3. roadsideservice

    did you see the AIATSIS ones going? email if you haven’t.

  4. I did! It looks a brilliant opportunity to work with a pretty amazing team. I’m working on my application at the moment!

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