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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

    Family advice

    Gladstone is a typical small to moderately-sized central Queensland town: you'll love it or hate it. While the industrial bit is all smelter-y and got a nice big coal pile and a residue lake to look at, the town itself is more than that and the suburbs are pleasant. You'll find exactly the same issues with bored teens, petty crime and vandalism in any town so don't let reports of that put you off. Gladstone has a thriving sport scene for kids and there are some lovely places nearby; we always stop in Mt Larcom when we are driving south, the bakery there is fantastic. Agnes Water and 1770 are both tourist destinations. Every time I've been through there's been major roadworks at Benaraby; I have no idea what they're doing there but they are taking a long time about it. Small town QLD is a very different beast to anything metro, or indeed small town UK as the distances are way larger. A few years ago when we were involved in the construction of Curtis Island LNG plant the house prices got ridiculously high there, I don't know whether they have fallen since but I'd imagine they have. What are you working as when you say alternatives to Gladstone? Do you have the option of FIFO (which comes with its own set of [dis]advantages).
  2. My parents were ping-pongers and moved from Aus to the UK when I was 13. I resented the move at the time but long term there was no affect on me whatsoever - my age cohort at school had a lot of questions due to my accent (mainly along the lines of "what's happening on Neighbours?" - this was when the UK was 2 years behind), but there was never any bullying or anything. My autistic brother adapted very well also - he would have been 16 but because of his special education exams and things weren't an issue. As previously said, you know your kids and how adaptable they are.
  3. Eera

    Decision making.. Career & Location

    You might find your skills transfer to a similar industry in buildings consulting. We do dilapidation surveys quite commonly; but the most recent one we did was for a stretch of road before a major construction job so the contractor could prove damage (or not) caused by his trucks. We also do them on council infrastructure like fire hydrants etc. In fact a friend came out of the army and set up his own business do building dilap surveys with drones and is doing quite well.
  4. Eera

    Flight via USA

    The only person I know who has had to do an in-person interview has a minor criminal conviction (was caught with a joint in his possession a few years back and got community service, but apparently it's enough to trigger the need for a proper visa). The ESTA is completely online if you're eligible for one.
  5. Eera

    Children's football in Darwin

    yes, there's a junior league; football is increasingly growing in appreciation in Australia, you can find the details here: https://www.footballnt.com.au/# The football referred to in the link is soccer rather than AFL or rugby.
  6. Not quite the same boat as my own are in high school, but I'm thinking of my friends with adult children - I'm having trouble thinking of many who haven't moved away from their hometown. They're all doing OK, but they're doing it in other cities and countries. With them being the age when they can get working holiday visas or have dual citizenship they're taking full advantage, time will tell if they choose to come back to be near to their parents.
  7. Eera

    Is it still worth it?

    I'd be very wary of depending on companies allowing WFH to continue; certainly mine has been OK with it for the last couple of years but talking to managers they're about to pull the pin. Apparently there are HSE implications for setting up home offices on an effective permanent basis. I'm in engineering consultancy, and a few years ago my State manager pulled me into the office and effectively said "at your level you're expected to work some Saturdays unpaid, so when are you coming in." I basically told him to f*ck right off: my husband works 7/7 in a mine and I don't have a partner at home running the house for me. They never brought up the issue again but it does show that in some areas there is that expectation. Saying that, we've been bought by a large international corporation and their attitude is very much work / life balance is the go, so they'll not be putting that on the table any time soon, so it might be more a specific company thing.
  8. Eera

    Flights to UK Christmas time

    If you have specific times that you have to book, especially at busy time like holidays, jump on them. If you can shoulder the flights a bit (i.e. leave before the holidays and come back mid-January) you'll save there considerably. Depending on the amount of muck-around you're willing to do you can get cheaper by flying out of alternative airports; my brother saved about $1000 by booking easyjet to Paris and flying from there from Sydney, instead of from Heathrow, but you have have the extra time and run-around doing that.
  9. 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.
  10. Eera

    What did you do for Christmas?

    Escaped to Italy.
  11. 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.
  12. 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
  13. 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.
  14. 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.
  15. 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.