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LKC last won the day on February 19

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About LKC

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  1. Yes, I made them. I don't sell things, I make them for fun. The white one was the first one I made, the Harry Potter one was for eldest for band camp. I thought about making things to sell at one point, but it can take a week to cut, fuse, line and sew a bag so it isn't worth it for what people will pay.
  2. I collect fabric and notions/haberdashery. I love sewing, I make clothes for the kids, bags etc, and so if I see fabric, zips, hardware etc that I like, I buy and store them away. I packed my sewing machine ready to sell the house and move to the UK, but I miss it. Here are a couple of examples of my bags. The white one is made from an old sofa cover which I had saved.
  3. I don't think that there is anything specifically that I wish we had/hadn't brought with us, but I do wish we'd been more ruthless in sorting out and hadn't brought so much junk! I also wish we'd not hoarded so much stuff here, just case we had a future use for it. We are making the move back to the UK, and I have given, sold or thrown away so much stuff over the past few months. I had two pushchairs that I was keeping, just in case - our kids are 9 and 11 and we don't want any more! I had two suitcases full of baby clothes and washable nappies, a cot, a rocking chair, boxes of really bad photos, from back in the day when you got the whole film printed, even if half of them were blank, a box of random birthday cards and old letters from pen friends I no longer have, and so much more that I just can't remember! We brought most of this stuff with us, and it has just sat in boxes in the garage, in the attic or in suitcases in the wardrobes. I am determined that we are going to go back with less than we came with!
  4. @The Pom Queen No worries, it's something I've been meaning to do forever! I was having a bit of a quiet day yesterday, OH was at work and the kids were watching some awful film about a ballerina, so I decided I'd sit down and get it done! I think I'll do the suburbs by postcode area, that seems to make most sense, rather than splitting them out individually. @Bobj No, unfortunately we haven't been able to see everything we'd wanted to. Last year we used all of OH's annual leave on visiting the UK, the year before that we couldn't afford a holiday, the one before that we went to Tasmania and the one before that we went to the UK, so we've not had the time or the money available. We have promised that we'll come back on holiday though, because I suspect that way we'll actually get to see the things we'd wanted to!
  5. We have lived in Sutherland Shire for a bit over eight years, and although we are currently in the throes of moving back to the UK, I thought it might be helpful if I could write down a few things about Sutherland Shire for those moving to the area. Our reasons for moving back to the UK are not a reflection on Sutherland Shire at all; they are personal/family related in the main. We have in fact been very happy here. I will do a bit of an overview of Sutherland Shire, and then make separate posts on the same thread for individual suburbs as and when I have time. I will add postcode and other information in the individual suburb posts, which can be used to refine searches on the website links I have provided in the general Sutherland Shire post here. Sutherland Shire has had a bad reputation historically. The Shire is seen by many as being a bit Bogan, filled with “real 'stralians who have no need to travel north of Georges River”. The 2005 Cronulla riots did nothing to improve its image either. The average ‘Shirey’ male is portrayed as having a Southern Cross tattoo and a hi-vis vest, whilst women are assumed to wear white jeans, which are heavily ripped in order to meet the latest fashion trends. However, having lived here for a bit over eight years, I feel that The Shire is unnecessarily maligned. All kinds of people live here, from those who are born and bred Shire folk who wouldn’t move away for all of the money in the world, to immigrants just like us, who came to Sutherland Shire in search of the Australian Dream. It is family friendly, convenient and a wonderful place to live! Map Google map of Sutherland Shire. Sutherland Shire Council Sutherland Shire Council Website Sutherland Shire Leisure Centres Sutherland Shire Libraries The Sutherland Shire Mayor, Carmelo Pesce, is very approachable and is a member of numerous Sutherland Shire Facebook groups (listed below), which I would definitely recommend joining once you are here (you need to live in the area to be added to the groups). I have seen numerous occasions where residents have approached him via Facebook and have had their enquiries dealt with. Sutherland Shire Facebook Groups and Pages Sutherland Shire Council Everything Sutherland Shire Sutherland Shire’s This That and Everything Everybody’s Sutherland Shire The Sutherland Shire’s Buy, Sell and Swap Sutherland Shire – Latest News and Alerts There are many other more local groups which I will add on the individual suburb profiles below. Transport There is a really great app/website in NSW called ‘Live Traffic’ which shows live traffic information, including accidents, flooding and roadworks. Live Traffic Website Live Traffic App For trains look at the Sydney Trains website – look at the T4 Eastern Suburbs and Illawarra Line. Sydney Trains There is also an absolutely fantastic transport app called ‘NextThere’ available from the Apple app store. It covers all public transport and tracks trains/buses in real time. Next There Weather I use two websites for weather reports and warnings. Both are available as apps, so I keep them on my phone too. Bureau of Meteorology Willy Weather Housing For real estate listings, keep an eye on the following two websites. Domain Real Estate Schools The MySchool website has information about schools in the area. You can search by suburb/postcode. Please take NAPLAN results with a pinch of salt. They aren’t compulsory and I have heard of schools excluding lower performing students in order to boost their ranking. There is so much more to choosing a school than exam results. You can arrange to visit schools to see whether they might be a good fit for your children before enrolling them. MySchool NSW Department of Education Shopping The main shopping centre in the Sutherland Shire area is the Westfield Miranda site. There are other smaller shopping centres, which I will detail in individual suburb reports. Miranda has a cinema, numerous shops, restaurants and supermarkets. It is sometimes called ‘Miranda Fair’. Westfield Miranda National Park Information Sutherland Shire is home to the second oldest designated national park in the world, the Royal National Park (RNP). The RNP is home to a multitude of walking tracks, beautiful beaches, and enough wildlife to satisfy any nature lover! Royal National Park I hope this and the following information helps those who are thinking of moving to Sutherland Shire. If you have any questions about the area, please feel free to send a PM to me via Poms In Oz!
  6. We live in one of the outlying suburbs of Sydney (southern Sutherland Shire), and our school has been growing in the years that our children have attended. However, I suspect it is due to increasing house purchase and rental prices rather than immigration. There has been an influx of people moving to this area because they are priced out of more central suburbs (even from within Sutherland Shire). The school now has two demountable classrooms, and a couple of other rooms in one of the main buildings have been converted into classrooms too. I have also noticed that there are far more composite classes now than there were when our girls started, presumably because there are more kids at the bottom end of the school meaning that kids have to get bumped up to the classes at the top end of the school.
  7. We live too far away from school for our girls to walk home (it would take them about an hour) so letting them come home alone is impractical for us, and to get the school bus would mean from the school gate to pretty much our door, so there is no independence really required. However, I have started meeting them at local parks on occasion, because I think that they need a little bit of independence. I always choose a park no more than a ten minute walk away, always on a route that they are familiar with (i.e. a park that we've walked to before or after school together), and I always make sure that they absolutely know where I am going to be by not only telling them the name of the park, but also confirming exactly which one with a description (e.g. Suchandsuch park, next to the swimming pool). I also make sure that they understand that they are to walk together. They absolutely LOVE that little bit of freedom, and I truly believe that it is good for them to have it.
  8. Yes, our friends Toufik, Jay, Farah, Rakesh (all Muslim) ate at our home. I have a series of photos of Toufik and Rakesh in the garden of our first home, putting together a barbecue so we could cook (in the rain, as it turned out). My Muslim work colleagues would come to the pub with us after work. I don't remember if they drank alcohol, but they certainly didn't mind if we did. I would like to point out that I did grow up in Birmingham, so multicultarism has always been part of life for me.
  9. I think this is the relevant part of the UK government website https://www.gov.uk/join-family-in-uk. It seems that you can apply from outside the UK, but there are requirements that need to be met, such as a financial requirement which might mean you either need a certain amount in savings or a job with a salary over a certain amount to come to (I think the British partner needs the job). I would second what someone else said about citizenship. It would make life easier if you wanted to return to Australia at any point.
  10. We were lucky with our house. There was a six month long period about eight years ago, when you didn't need to apply for FIRB approval, and we just happened to buy a house during those six months. I think there were a couple of banks who wouldn't loan to us on a 457, but it wasn't too hard to find a mortgage back then.
  11. Yes, I have a few Muslim friends. I've never outright asked about their religion, it's just come up in conversation. The only Muslim friend I have who wears a hijab, converted to Islam from Christianity before she married her now husband (also a friend). I know for sure that she converted and wears the hijab because she wanted to, and not because Mo pressured her to, as people often think about women who wear the hijab.
  12. There is a bit of information on here about the stamp duty situation https://www.homeloanexperts.com.au/non-resident-mortgages/foreign-citizen-stamp-duty/, and of course as DeeTowers mentioned there is a fee for the FIRB approval too. If you decide to go ahead, you might be able to get a better deal on your mortgage through a mortgage broker. This is what we did when we bought our house, although this was about eight years ago. It seems that the stamp duty situation has changed quite recently, and adds a significant amount onto the costs of buying a home. I'll be honest, it would probably put me off buying on a 457. Have you already applied for PR?