I am a NZer and currently live in the EU. I know several pilots personally. While AU and NZ run a similar progression to the US (with much stricter medicals and stuff), the EU for airline pilots does not. We must start with small planes, then get a instrument ratings, turbine ratings etc. Accumulate quite a few hours before we can even consider than an airline will take us on for big plane rating.
In the EU you do like a uni degree in commercial airlines and 3 years later your rated for the big stuff. Out of the blocks with far far less hours flying that we would have.