Au Pairs in Australia

The number of families hosting au pairs is on the rise in Australia with au pair agencies unable to meet the demand (CAPAA). Most au pairs enter Australia on Working Holiday subclass 417 visas and, accordingly, tend to be aged in their 20s. Importantly, au pair work is seen to be a matter of cultural exchange, as opposed to employment. Au pairs receive ‘free’ accommodation and meals along with what is often termed ‘pocket money.’ This project examines the experience of au pair work, the intersections of reproductive labour, cultural exchange, home and mothering, and intersections with domestic violence. The research will assist relevant stakeholders to develop and implement new strategies to protect this under-researched cohort of vulnerable workers.