I do think the 2000s were a good time to go to uni in Australia. The housing bubble hadn’t properly inflated yet so there was plenty of old houses for students to share and rent was cheap.
The university places were capped based on perceived job demand so degrees had high value. Now it’s unregulated and they can churn out as many degrees as the students demand.
Immigration (and foreign student numbers) was much less and there were a lot more part time jobs.
Government allowances did cover the majority of expenses.
And before the Global Financial Crisis circa 2008 you could actually get a decent entry level job. Internships weren’t a thing.
I had a couple of part time jobs but nothing crazy like 20+ hours a week to make ends meet. Engineering degree was like a full time job.
I also did paid student work experience one entire summer which in hindsight is nuts. Such good money for a poor student.
And the best bit is the HECS scheme which lets you pay your student loans off out of future earnings once you hit thresholds. And the loan is interest free (only matches inflation).