Jump to content


  • Content Count

  • Joined

  • Last visited

Community Reputation

63 Very Good

About NZStidz

  • Rank
    Senior Member
  • Birthday 09/05/1971
  1. NZStidz

    Queensland HS and Primary opinions and advice

    I am biased as I live here but the Southern end of the Gold Coast is certainly not crime central. Varsity College has a great international program and also an Academy of Maths and Science - I don't think the catchment would apply if you were here on an international basis. My kids have been going there for 4 years and I am very happy. Not sure what you have read but PBC (Palm Beach Currumbin) is getting better and better every year and has an academic excellence program and a sports excellence program. I wouldn't touch Miami with a ten-foot pole, it is well-known for being a school that kids go to who don't like the discipline of other schools.
  2. NZStidz

    Sunshine Coast or Auckland

    I've lived in both and you need to bear in mind that salaries are way lower in NZ, but the cost of living is similar to Aus. Very difficult to make ends meet, and as for the rain... 18 weekends in a row one year, drove me nuts!
  3. Just asking for a bit of advice, I have just found out about the new visa fees and we are in the midst of preparing an ENS 186 application. The employer nomination was lodged and paid for in May - does anyone know if the new fees will apply for our application (I suspect they will) or if, as the application has been started, so to speak, the old fees will apply?
  4. Hi Joanna, I am a teacher here on the Gold Coast - so hopefully I can offer you some "real world" experience. I am a pom and moved to NZ in 2002. Whilst there I did my B.Ed at Auckland Uni and after graduating my husband's employer moved us and our 2 children to the Gold Coast. I went through the process of registration, which was much easier for me as they have a Trans Tasman agreement with NZ so it was a case of converting my registration, if you like. I put in a teacher application which was acknowledged and then the hard work started. I registered with Tracer, which is the Government's supply teaching agency and made myself available to every school within 50kms. Nothing. I went to the 20 or so schools nearest me with my resume asking (begging) for supply work and they all nodded, smiled, took my resume and I never heard from them again. I hounded the school my kids go to mercilessly and happened to get lucky one day when they asked if I could work that afternoon. For the next 8 months I worked like that, getting called (or not) at 6.30am to work that day. I worked my socks off, never complained and never turned down a day's work. During the next school year I got term by term contracts - I treated each class as though it were my own and invested myself in their progress and made sure students and their parents were happy. This paid off as finally this year I was given my own class for the year. But the problem here on the Gold Coast (and in S.E Qld in general) is that there are NO permanent teaching positions available. Not 1. So you will be on a contract (if you manage to get one) and here on the GC it is very much a case of who you know. Not having done any pracs here or not knowing any other teachers made it very difficult to get in to any schools. After 3 years on continuous contract you are eligible for permanency but it can be anywhere in the state so you could very well get an offer for somewhere a 24 hour drive from Brisbane! It has been a hard slog for me and I am still very unsettled as next year they could decide there is no spot for me (or be inundated with transfers back in to the school or people coming back after 7 years maternity leave...) and I will be back to square one. Persevere and it will happen but boy, do you have to be patient!
  5. NZStidz

    461 Visa - a few questions

    If she were to come here, say, on a 12 month visitor visa and live with us, then apply in month 10, she would be resident with us... I see what you are saying about the dependent thing but the visa is designed to allow family members of Kiwis join them in Oz. It includes partners, children, grandchildren and any other relative. Does anyone have any actual experience of using this visa other than as a partner or child? [h=1]About this Visa[/h]The purpose of this visa is to allow non-New Zealand citizens to travel to and live in Australia with a New Zealand citizen family member who is a Special Category visa holder. The Special Category (subclass 444) visa is a temporary visa automatically granted to New Zealand citizens who arrive in Australia who do not hold a permanent visa. [h=2]Who is this visa for?[/h]This visa is for family members of Special Category visa holders who are not eligible for a Special Category visa because they are not New Zealand citizens.
  6. Hi there We are a family of NZ Citizens living in Australia. My mum (British citizen) would like to join us as she is not managing financially or emotionally in the UK on her own. We would like her to live with us - my question is would she be eligible for a 461? The website says: You are eligible for this visa if you are a member of the family of a person who is either: in Australia as the holder of a Special Category (subclass 444) visa outside Australia, and will be accompanying you to Australia on entry, will be the holder of a Special Category visa. You must be related to the Special Category visa holder as one of the following: their partner their (or their partner's) dependent child the dependent child of their (or their partner's) dependent child their (or their partner's) relative who meets all of the following: is widowed, divorced, separated or has never married or entered a de facto relationship is usually resident in the Special Category visa holder's household is dependent on the Special Category visa holder. As far as I can see she would be eligible but would it be best for her to come first and apply once she is living in my home as a dependent? Any help would be much appreciated as all I can find in the way of advice refers to spouses and children, not parents. Our other option would be to get PR but my understanding is that lately is isn't as easy as that! My husband was moved here from NZ by his employers and has worked for them for over 10 years but his job is not on a skill shortage list - would this matter? Sorry, lots of questions as we didn't have all this visa trouble, just arrived with our NZ passports! Many thanks in advance.
  7. NZStidz

    Ashmore Palms Holiday Village

    We stayed there for a month when we arrived from NZ - very clean and friendly (and cheap) and the kids loved the pools, but it is situated down the end of a kind of industrial street so don't be put off. Also the local area is not a great example of the Gold Coast, make sure you get to the beaches and the hinterland - I found the local shops a bit "grotty" but we had a car so just went out - found somewhere to live and a school in Varsity Lakes and here we are, 20 months later, happy as larry!
  8. NZStidz

    Premiership Football

    Thanks everyone for your suggestions! The pub isn't really an option with most of the games because of the timing but I will definitely try the other sites mentioned - thanks again for your speedy responses!
  9. NZStidz

    Premiership Football

    Can anyone help me? We can't get Austar ( long story/boring cabling issue/rental property) - hubby is an avid Arsenal fan and desperate to watch the games. I subscribed to laptoptelly.com but this is only good for BBC/ITV and it is Sky in the UK who have the games. Any other ideas on how we could watch?
  10. NZStidz

    Oz compared to New Zealand

    Hi there I lived in NZ for 9 years until hubby got promoted and we moved to the Gold Coast just over a year ago. And quite honestly, by then, I couldn't get out of NZ quick enough. The low salaries vs the high cost of living meant that we pretty much lost everything and came to Aus with just our belongings. The attitude of "it'll do" drove me crazy and the disinterest in progressing the country was also frustrating. Although it hasn't been easy here (I am a teacher and there are NO jobs on the Gold Coast) and sometimes the incessant form filling drives me nuts, I wouldn't change it for the world and I see Australia as my "forever" home. I could go on but don't want to be too negative about NZ, even though I would be happy to never set foot in that damp, drab third world country ever again!
  11. Hi there, we are moving from rental to rental and stupidly gave back all our moving boxes to Crown when we moved here from NZ. Does anyone have any moving boxes in the Gold Coast/Brisbane we could borrow/have? Many thanks in advance:cute:
  12. I am just curious but how do people judge what is a "good" education? I often find that parents cannot quantify it but I think it is important to note that these days we are not filling children's heads with facts but encouraging independent learning and critical thinking. In my experience, education in the US is very "textbook" and children learn historical dates, facts etc from a textbook but here in Aus we are teaching children to be able to find out information for themselves as the facts in books are often out of date by the time the books are published. I often hear parents judging primary teachers on the homework they hand out, whereas the reality is that time and time again it has been proved that homework in the primary years does not raise student achievement. Most teachers hate giving it because they know this but parents want it (but don't know why they want it!). I do find as a teacher lots of people think they know everything about education - mainly because they went to school themselves.... Sorry to hijack this thread!
  13. NZStidz

    NZ vs Oz Education Systems

    Very happy, both as a parent and as a teacher! Highly recommended and love the area. We live north of Lake Orr, on the high school campus side and love it.
  14. I have also found it difficult, as a newly qualified teacher from NZ. I finally got my Qld registration in April and registered with Tracer. I went into my son's school and said I was looking for supply work and they took my resume - a couple of weeks later I had heard nothing so I went in again and they said, "can you work tomorrow?" So I did, and left a note for the teacher thoroughly outlining what I had done that day, complimented her on her class and left my business card. Slowly but surely I have built up to getting short contracts (max 8 days, min 5 days) but don't seem to be able to crack the elusive long-term contract. Apparently there are literally no permanent jobs in SE Qld so a contract is the best you can hope for. As a side note, the teachers will see you as their competition so don't keep on to them that you are after longer term supply, save that for the deputy principal. Never say no, always be available (I am often called when a teacher goes home sick in the day and am there within 5 minutes) and I often ask to attend PD sessions and pupil-free days on a voluntary basis. It is a very depressing situation and I cannot believe that I spent years doing my B.Ed and am now in this situation. We moved here when my husband was promoted and we love it here but I am also considering an alternative career. I am currently studying a TESOL course as there always seem to be jobs at the language schools - not ideal but at least it is teaching.....
  15. NZStidz

    NZ vs Oz Education Systems

    Hi there, just found this post and thought I might be able to help. We moved to Australia (Gold Coast) in January of this year after over 8 years in NZ. We have found the standard of education to be higher in Australia - both of our children have had to "pull their socks up" despite being in "good" schools in NZ. Remember also that what they call "Year 1" in NZ we call "Prep" here in Australia, so it isn't that the children start high school any later, the year name is different. At my sons' school they actually move up to the high school campus from year 7 which is what all other Qld schools will be doing from 2015. I am a teacher and have been relief teaching at their school and can definitely say that the standards are higher, having done my teacher training in NZ. Hope this helps to reassure you. Don't worry about them being put in lower classes - most classes have extension activities available for many subjects - for example my current class have science extension, sports extension, chinese immersion among others.