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sgperry

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sgperry last won the day on May 14 2010

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  1. hi natalie, you'll love it here - do you know whereabouts on the sunshine coast you will be settling? cheers sg
  2. hi Loop, I moved back last July after living in London for 21 years. I am also an Aussie. I was born and bred in Sydney but on coming back, we decided to live in Queensland, on the Sunshine Coast. I wouldn't say it was a walk in the park, coming back. But worth it? Definitely, in our view. I'm a project manager by trade and it was probably the biggest project I have embarked upon, as we sold our house in london, shipped a container load of stuff back (including two vespa scooters), sent our two cats over and then had to get ourselves over here and into somewhere where we could re-group, then buy a house and get jobs. With all that stuff involved, we were expecting lots of pitfalls and glitches - fortunately for us, it was actually fairly trouble free though. Then on arrival, of course, we had to figure out all the processes here for getting drivers licences, tax file numbers, medicare cards, car registration, getting our scooters registered, etc etc. It was different for me being an Aussie than for my partner, who came over on a permanent visa and is British. Some of the rules for Aussies are different to those for immigrants. Fortunately I had a medicare number back in the 80's but to get it re-activated I had to sign a stat dec for the Medicare Dept to say I would never leave Australia again - bizarre, I know, but there is it. Luckily my dad had kept some of my papers for all those years and so I could find my old tax file number. Something to be aware of once you get back is to sort out your medicare and to also register with a private health fund within 12 months of doing so, esp if you are a high income earner, to reduce your tax and health costs in future. I've just been sorting all that out this week. You need to get a Lifetime Health Cover letter from Medicare to confirm you've lived o/s. The letter gives you a date by which you need to join a private health fund to avoid paying a big excess. Otherwise, if you are over 30 (I think), you get slugged 2% for every year after age of 30 that you lived o/s (didn't pay into a health fund) once you do join. E.g. if you are 40 but don't join a fund for a few years after you get back, once you do join you would technically have to pay 2% extra for 10 + years. Its ferocious. Plus you have to pay 1% anyway if you earn above $77k and don't pay into a private health fund. (Two separate taxes.) I believe this 2% levy only applies to returning Aussies (ie. not immigrants). I'm no expert in this area and would suggest you make it a priority when you get back to sort it out. Any of the private funds can explain it to you (better than I did above!). It was the lady in MBF who told me to go to Medicare asap and get the above letter. I got it on the spot once I showed my medicare card, seems to be pretty standard thing to request (if you know about it!). Beyond govt stuff, my general observations as a returning Aussie: - British men are far more polite - on the whole, Aussie men don't tend to wait for ladies to enter or exit lifts (or trains) before them, hold doors open, do other courteous things that British men seemed to do as second nature. Its just something I've noticed. - Food costs about the same, though the quality of fruit and veg and meat is far far better (stands to reason though, huh) - internet, telephone and cable / satellite tv costs loads more on the whole than UK costs - council tax here seems to be less, petrol / cinema / parking definitely is - on the whole, my take home pay for a similar job in Brisbane to what I was doing in London is about 20% more and after setting aside money for mortgage, bills, food, etc we still have money for savings etc. - So I would say that where the cost of living is concerned, its swings and roundabouts and depends on your lifestyle but for us, we are probably around 10% better off than we were in London - Work can be hard to get as employers take no notice really of your non-Aust employers, cv, etc. Many seem to take people on as contractors / casual and then decide after a bit whether to offer you a permanent job. Probably sensible when you think about it, from their view. Depends what line of work you are in. - Another thing I've observed is that Aussies tend to be far more into pommie bashing than Brits are into Aussie bashing. Living in London all those years never once did I hear of anyone bashing the Aussies apart from jokingly re sport. Yet here there sadly still seems to be a bit of an anti_Brit undertone among some people, its odd. My partner, a Brit, had a terrible time when she first started working here, almost bordering on xenophobia. It took a month or so before it died down a lot. Maybe its Aussies testing Brits out, don't know but it wasn't pleasant. We've slowly settled into a lovely home, right near the beach and in a beautiful part of Australia (well, we think, anyway). We've almost been here for a year now and its only been in the past couple of months that we really do feel a lot more settled. Finding friends and meeting up with people - fellow ex pats especially - has helped loads. Going out to surf clubs and having picnics with them, etc. Also setting up routines and making our house a home. But overall - if London in 2010 was the same as London in the early 90s, we probably wouldn't have left. The reasons for us moving back were mainly around the fact that London had become too overcrowded, too dirty, too violent and too over controlled (e.g., congestion charging). We wanted to move somewhere that gave us those freedoms and peace of mind again and Australia seemed like the logical choice as I am an Aussie. But it wasn't about the heartstrings pulling me back, best of luck, regards sg -
  3. hi Roger, glad you're loving life here. cheers sg
  4. hi TeamEv, like many places outside major cities, the Sunshine Coast doesn't have a huge number of job opporutnities, e.g. you would find a lot more probably in Brisbane (and many people commute from the SC to Brisbane daily to work). However, there are jobs available but not in all sectors and the money isn't particularly great (compared to say Brisbane rates.) have a look at this site http://www.seek.com.au regards sg
  5. hey Rakesh, nice to meet you. Try and come along to the barbeque next weekend! Good opportunity to meet lots of folks, regards Sue
  6. hi everyone, this month our barbeque will be at Currumundi Lake on 8th May, from 12 to 3pm. We will have red and white balloons to make it easier for folks to find us. Everyone is welcome, just bring along what you'd like to eat and drink. There is also a coffee shop close by, as well as barbeque facilities and kids play area. come along and meet folks who are enjoying living on the sunnie coast! cheers sg
  7. sgperry

    18 Months from now?

    I guess whatever happens to change the exchange rate it would probably have to be quite dramatic. eg. UK to suddenly start raising interest rates, at same time Australia to start cutting theirs. I can't recall for certain but I think the rate took about 18 months to drop from around $1.90 to $1.50 ish. So I suppose in 18 months it COULD go back up again - but see above.
  8. sgperry

    Daily Telegraph (UK) Blog - moving home

    I do find it curious that some people feel the need to run down the country and the people they are leaving when they decide to return to wherever "home" is. There are many of us who have lived for long periods of time in the UK - but I'm not sure how many of us would write about how awful life in the UK was. Sure there are challenges, but frankly, if we really disliked it we should ask ourselves why we stayed so long in the first place. So, Robert, if you didn't like Australia and Australians, why did it take you 12 years to figure it out?
  9. I agree with Michelle. It really does depend on what industry you work in, I think. I also work in IT. I found my current job via an agency that hadn't even advertised it. What some of the agencies do here, it seems, is review cv's for general suitability, do phone interviews and then put people forward to employers. There doesn't have to be an actual vacancy as such. I was sent for an interview with FlightCentre and they offered me a job within half an hour (phoned me while I was waiting for my train home.) So things CAN move quickly here. If I can suggest, perhaps think a bit more widely when it comes to using seek.com.au. Don't just consider specific jobs that are advertised, contact agencies when you see ANY roles in your general area. e.g. if you see an advert for a project manager but you are an analyst, phone the agency anyway and see what other roles they have. My friends in the UK used to say that the best jobs are never advertised on the job boards. I think that's also true here.
  10. sgperry

    seen this?

    Pommie anger over 'jobs lemon' | Sunshine Coast News | Local News in Sunshine Coast | Sunshine Coast Daily anyone know this guy?? Interesting story.
  11. hi all, for everyone planning to come along to the barbie today at Bulcock Beach, just to confirm its definitely on. From 10 am, meet near the kids' play area. cheers sg
  12. sgperry

    why??

    I think a lot of it depends on your career, lifestyle, interests and ability to cope with change. And I think age and your level of ties to the UK also has a bit to do with it. If you have a solid career or trade that there is plenty of work for here, if you are happy with nature and the outdoors rather than lots of history, galleries, theatre, shopping and so on, and if you come with the right frame of mind that says you won't quit easily when things get tough (as they will), you'll be fine. Also, if you've got not much to lose by coming over and giving it a go, then you'll probably find it easier to settle (what option do you have, etc, except to return and is that really an option, etc.)Its less easy to pack up and go back at the drop of a hat. Better to have tried and failed than never to have tried at all. And remember, for every person on this forum that says its hard going, there are many more who have come over and done really well. Don't come with visions of buying a home for 100 quid, of seeing kangaroos wherever you turn, of the women all looking like Elle mcPherson and so on. Like Britain, we have our problem areas with juvenile crime, drinking and so on. The whole country cannot be described as being like Sydney Harbour during new years eve. Also, things overall are at least on a par cost wise (food, transport, petrol, rates, energy, etc all taken as a whole). So don't look on it as a way to stretch your sterling. We've been here since July and things are going well. But the most important thing for us is that our lives are different and less stressful - and had we stayed in the UK, we know they'd have been exactly the same since July. best of luck with whatever you decide to do - its a personal choice, of course.
  13. Just another reminder about our sunshine coast ex pats barbeque next Sunday at Bulcock Beach. see you there, whoever is going to be coming along :-) cheers sue
  14. hi, we are mainly looking for web front end guys - strong html, css, javascript and other scritping skills. cheers sg
  15. hey all, open to both regulars and newcomers, the next sunnie coast barbeque will be at Bulcock Beach, Caloundra, on Sunday 13th March. meet near the kids play area from around 10am, bring your own food to barbeque and wear some comfy shoes as we usually go for a beach walk afterwards. I think there may also be a morning market at Bulcock Beach. and if you have probs finding us, my mobile is 0400 497 080 looking forward to seeing you / meeting you, cheers sg (sue)
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