What are your Australian freelance rights?

We hear a lot about the challenges facing business, large and small. But what about Australian freelance rights?

Who knows better than us as to what the kinds of challenges we face? That’s why we’re committed to advocacy for Australian freelancers by Australian freelancers.

The two ways we’re currently looking into advocacy are through surveying the lay of the land and making some noise.

Professional freelancers have long been ignored under tax, fair work and minimum wage legislation. It’s time for us to put our big boy pants on and demand to be heard as a viable, sustainable industry, separate from small business and the “gig” economy.

Nicole Leedham

Australian Freelance Advocate

The lay of the land

The Freelance Jungle began with a survey in 2010. Through the original Australian freelance survey and the hail and hearty responses of 166 other Australian freelancers, an insight into the challenges faced was obtained. This grew into the Freelance Jungle of today.

The survey was repeated again in 2016. This time, 319 freelancers shared their insights. We could see a shift in the landscape.

In 2019, we’re repeating the survey with updated information. Our hope is that we can show all manner of commercial and political entity where we’re at, what we need help with and advocate for real change.

Let’s make some noise

Years of working with all kinds of Australian freelancers has taught us some home truths about our industry.

The search for Australian freelance rights and a clear map towards autonomy has shown us an awful lot of challenges.

The main one is we’re not seen as an industry. That’s what we need to change. 

Any Australian freelancer is welcome to respond to the survey.

You may be able to identify with some or all of the following statements


Try as you might, you cannot find your place in existing unions or advocacy groups charged with championing your cause


The stresses, physical health issues, life impacts and mental health issues brought about by your freelance business are rarely addressed in national or state strategies or as distinct by peak bodies charged to help you


You often attend events, read news articles and attempt to participate yet feel there are limitations on how well tailored they can be to your experience as a sole trader or person who freelancers that outsources to others.


The assumption is you freelance because you’re not suitable for other workplaces through a lack of skill, attitude or application – or all three.


Sometimes, you’re not sure who or where your industry actually looks like or what it stands for in the wider world in the eyes of others.


You reject the title of freelancer as you see the word as making you sound less professional


When you work with small business clients, they often talk about their challenges, their cashflow and their inability to respect your workflows without realising their impacts are passed on to your business too


You’ve noticed a lack of clarity surrounding issues that may influence how you do business through a lack of industry recognition and coalescence

We’re beginning the journey towards proper Australian freelance rights by creating industry recognition.

As part of this process, we are making a commitment to:

Reach out to local, state and federal government on your behalf

Investigate how we can activate peak bodies to better able define Australian freelancers and in turn, cater better to our needs in the long term

Encourage freelancers to take the title with pride, knowing it sends a positive message to the Australian business community

Address the common myths and misconceptions associated with freelance life.

Create an industry definition that is as distinct, professional and applied as you are

We need to recognise ourselves too

As part of the journey to Australian freelance rights, we believe we also need to change the conversation about our perception of our own industry. That is why the Freelance Jungle is launching a dedicated freelance award. And not just any awards. These awards embody the principles of self-care, community, education and camaraderie we wish to build throughout the Australian freelance landscape.

Find out more about the Freelance Jungle awards.

Press and political party enquiries should be addressed via our contact page:

We’re by Australian freelancers for Australian freelancers because we believe as a community, we know our challenges and needs better than anyone else. 

Our aim is not to sell you a new way of doing freelancing. It’s to help you find how to put your best foot forward.


Mailing Address:
The Freelance Jungle
PO Box 68
NSW 2528