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Eera last won the day on April 16 2021

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About Eera

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  1. Eera

    Doing UK GCSE’s / IGCSE’s in Brisbane

    There's a massive great tome by the British Council (probably all online now, but back in my Academic Registry days it was physical), which lists every qualification from around the world and the UK equivalent, so in terms of accessing university Australian qualifications aren't an issue as they do translate. In terms of Home or International assessment, it's based on where your ordinary place of residence is, effectively if you've severed residency ties with the UK, you're international - I remember we had a mature student who had moved to Turkey just after his undergrad and was a bit miffed (i.e. very shouty) to find he was assessed as International when he came to do his post-grad. We did have the discretion to assess the circumstances and would waive international fees if the parents had been temporarily posted oversees for work, but generally not just if the student had jack of being overseas and wanted to move back - then it's a case of having to be ordinarily resident for 3 years (in reality it was not that long, 2 years and 1 day counted as three years if the person was back in the country before Census date which was first year of academic term). Bear in mind this was many years ago and there's a high chance things have been modified since. Also we had more discretion than the Student Loans Company who were pretty black/white in how they viewed the residency of a student.
  2. Eera

    What did you do for Christmas?

    Escaped to Italy.
  3. Eera

    Importing ivory

    Not ivory but I have experience in turtle bits during my research years (caveat: 20 years ago and not from Malaysia). You definitely need the certificate. Normally you'd get it from the country of export unless there's been a change in the system: CITES has links to the various authorities on their website. You then send that to the Australian authorities who assess that it meets the right criteria. The authority in Malaysia will tell you what they want; it might just be a stat dec (or the Malaysian equivalent), or they may direct you to a professional antiques person who'll determine the age. It was a bit painful to get the proof together, but it was straightforward to get the certificate and import once we had the bits and pieces.
  4. Eera

    Flight via USA

    Afraid so. Transiting through the US is painful, you need to go through immigration regardless of final destination so you need some kind of visa or visa waiver in place: certainly when going through LA you need to get your bags, go through immigration and check bags in again (at least you did in early 2020 when I had to do it). Qantas has a guide to what to do on their website; your carrier might have as well as I can't speak for whether bags are checked through in Newark or anything on that side of the country. https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/us-visas/other-visa-categories/transit.html This page talks about transiting through and what visa you need
  5. My brother is on the NDIS with ASD: how it works with him is that he's assigned a budget for support services and he elects to have a support worker come round twice a week to take him shopping or go to the cinema etc. For a person with his level of disability it doesn't provide assistance with housing and rent etc - that comes from Centrelink. It took a looooong time to actually get him assessed and considered eligible - nearly two years from memory, as ASD isn't an "obvious" disability if you know what I mean - however that was at the start of NDIS and maybe they've streamlined the process by now. Check the Centrelink disability support pages carefully as there are some stringent non-medical criteria for eligibility for the disability support pension.
  6. Eera

    Heading back to UK with 12yr & 14yr old

    My parents ping-ponged a couple of times and we moved to the UK when I was 13: all the other kids thought I was some exotic novelty because of my accent and there wasn't any issues fitting in - I was regularly quizzed on what was happening on Neighbours more than anything. Kids are adaptable so don't worry about that, just find the right schooling level and they'll be fine.
  7. Eera

    Possible move to Mackay or Townsville

    Honestly? Apply for everything and take the first you get, worry about finding the perfect location later. There aren't any really bad areas in Mackay, just bad streets (The Cove has a reputation and a nickname of Ice Island, but there's many people who swear blind it's a great place. Andergrove used to be the place with the worst reputation but I've not heard anything bad said about it for years now). I assume you mean the Base Hospital rather than the Mater? It's in a fairly central area and really, nowhere in the main town is more than half an hours' drive away (bit more for outlying areas like Walkerston and Marian), but the Northern Beaches area does suffer at peak hours because there's only one road in and out; outside of those times it's a quick and clear run. If you're coming over from October onwards, prepare to sweat. A lot. It's a tropical area and the humidity builds horrendously, the worst is January to March, but the payoff is that winter is just about perfect; in fact most sports run a winter season with only a limited number being over the summer. Picture the summer (Wet Season) being like Singapore, and the winter (Dry Season) maybe like the summer in central France and that's a decent approximation. There's heaps of public pools around, some are free - swimming in summer needs a patrolled beach because of the stingers. We get a lot of rain in the Wet, 100mm a day isn't unusual, but the infrastructure is designed for it and it doesn't bother us too much. However, the insurance companies are scared of us because it's a cyclone zone and we pay through the nose for it (despite the fact we are built to Cyclone standards and Brisbane suffers heaps more damage every time there's a stiff breeze). Also not much choice when it comes to energy providers, and the internet speed is crap. If you're coming from a large city it'll be a culture shock, but in reality everything we need is here, though there are some additional things we'd like - cheap flights for one. If you're after a more laid back lifestyle with short commutes and plenty of uncrowded beaches it'll suit you. Some great hikes and really great spots in the rainforest inland if that floats your boat. There are a number of cashed-up bogans as there's a sizable population making big money in the mines and there's an associated drug problem, but violent crime isn't overly common - though secure your car at night! Feel free to PM me if there's a specific question you've got.
  8. Eera

    Possible move to Mackay or Townsville

    As a fitter he will have no worries at all; there's heaps of town work going if he doesn't fancy the mines. My husband is also a fitter, he worked for Detroit in town for ages before going to Rio, there's Haynes, Cat, Komatsu among the big names, as well as all the service and build companies. Good luck with your application!
  9. Eera

    Possible move to Mackay or Townsville

    Can't help on the nursing front but just want to say the regions will welcome you with open arms. At the moment, just be aware that the rental market is very, very tight in both areas so you might have to put out feelers and see if your friends can keep a lookout for you. What does your husband do for a living? There's a huge shortage of workers so he's likely to find something. I'll just add that if it's been a few years since you've been here, you'll see a difference due to the amount of investment and infrastructure that's gone on.
  10. Eera

    Have you bought any bitcoin ?

    I worked at Lihir for a while, I recall that the main pit was about 10ppm gold. They used to inspect our utes when leaving to make sure we weren't smuggling any rock out - I don't think any of them had done the maths on how much we'd have to be taking to get a return!
  11. Eera

    Credit card refusal

    I think it's pretty common: initially I had to get one for my dad on my account as the bank wouldn't let him have one. He's since managed to get one in his own name but I don't know what bank or what hoops he had to jump through
  12. Eera


    It's an OK town; don't live there but visit often for sports carnivals as it hosts some decent sized ones each year. There's some nice areas inland if hiking and biking are your thing; it's quite a pleasant looking town (at least the older colonial bits, the suburbs are bland but that's the same for every pretty much everywhere). It's not massively far from the sunny coast and major hospitals. It does have high unemployment though, which doesn't look much of a deal for you but might become so for your family, but who can tell what's going to happen down the track? There is a drug problem there, but frankly dig deep and you'll find that in any town. It's going to be like any regional Queensland town: it's not going to have the infrastructure and attractions that you'd have in Brisbane, but if you're not bothered by that then all good - is that going to be a problem for your kids as they grow up though? Some of the regions have a reputation for small-town mentality but TBH I tend to find that gets overstated somewhat.
  13. Eera

    Flights to Manchester

    I've had some pretty average experiences with some of the online agencies, and while people bag out Flight Centre, they've always looked after me. Tip, Flight Centre price match (or at least they did prior to Covid). if you find a cheap flight through an online broker that seems a bit ordinary from the reviews, go through the motions of buying the ticket up until the point where you have to enter the credit card details. At that point, print everything off, cancel the online transaction and take the evidence to Flight Centre, they'll match the price - has to be done the same day though. Recently though, I have found that the direct airline price is pretty reasonable so the flights I've booked this year have been direct with the airlines (which has not been the case for me historically). My experiences over the last couple of years have been that you get your money back with way less hassle should something go wrong when you book direct, however, with things slowly returning to some sort of normal this is going to be less of a concern going forwards.
  14. Eera

    Renewing Australian passport in Australia

    I've just done it in the post office last month; it's quick to fill in the forms etc, you can do all that online, but they also need to see the original copies of birth certificates for the renewal, so you'll have to remember those. It didn't take too long, about 5 weeks all-up. Apparently new passports are taking way longer than renewals.
  15. Eera

    Moving back after 22 years

    How it worked when i was administering International Students (caveat, was a few years ago now), was that as long as you arrived before the census date (which was 31st August) then it was counted as a year, so arrive on the 25th July, or something, as of the 1st September that was counted as an entire year for residency purposes. Universities always had the right to waive international fees; if your son had done his A Levels, you were settled in the country and showed enough ties, then we likely wouldn't have charged them as International - though the Student Loans Company wasn't as lenient. Also bear in mind that the status you are assessed at follows you through the entire university period; if he started, was assessed as International, he'd still be paying those fees at the end of the course. If in doubt, contact the universities directly; ask to speak to the department who assesses fee status; outside of the prime UCAS / enrolment period they'll be pretty helpful.