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milliem last won the day on November 19 2014

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About milliem

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    Irish in Oz

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  1. milliem

    Positive Emigrating To Australia True Life Stories

    We have now been here six years last November when I arrived just myself (teacher) and my son (then 15) To say the first couple of years were a little rocky would be an understatement. I had a regional visa so could not live or work near my sister and family so I found myself a little isolated in a regional town near the Sunshine Coast. We said despite how miserable we felt, we would give Australia 5 years, then go home if we still didn’t like it. The private school I worked there in was mostly made up of farming kids so not many were heading to university. However, it was a nice friendly and safe environment for my son (Aspergers) to complete his last two years of high school. There was nothing to do there so I spent my spare time as a rural firefighter, playing bridge and doing as much professional development as I could fit in. I also saved like crazy as we had arrived in Australia with very little money. I budgeted just 60 dollars a week for our food. Rent was cheap and the rest went in the bank. These were quite dark times. I didn’t see much of my sister, the whole point of coming to Australia and we didn’t make many friends locally. As a single mum who worked there were not many avenues for meeting people and making friends. Thankfully fellow firies were very friendly so I enjoyed getting out there. After two years there I had had enough of being stuck there and having gained 5 more visa points I decided to spend another 10k and applied for PR. I started frantically applying for metropolitan jobs. I was a little over zealous and was quickly offered a role in a beautiful school on the Gold Coast. Things were finally looking up. The bad news was that my current visa would not let me work on the Gold Coast. They held the job until December but still no visa. So they readvertised. I was beginning to think I was stuck forever. Then I did the crazy thing of just resigning anyway. I figured I now had some savings to keep us going. I moved out of my house and put everything in storage. In early December I got a call from an agency asking if I was free for a semester contract in Brisbane. I said no and told them about the visa problem. They said let’s not tell them about that for now but go along and chat with them. It turned out to be a top school and the interview went so well, they said they would wait until the week before term 1 for my visa. At this point I didn’t even tell my family as they already thought I was crazy throwing a perfectly good job away. I headed off to the states on holiday with my sister. 15th January I returned and no visa. I found several voice messages from the school saying contact us urgently. I couldn’t bear to turn another good job away just yet. On the 19th I finally emailed them, 2 days before school start and said, no visa but I expect to have it in two days. The latter statement was a lie but hey. They said okay. That night I drowned and lamented in red wine about what might have been. Next morning I woke up and there it was. The golden email! I could not believe it. The gamble had paid off and I now had a job at a top school. My family were in shock and so was I. That resulted in much more red wine. A week later, I found myself working in a place alongside people who really were at the top of their profession and teaching highly dedicated and ambitious students. I learned a lot and enjoyed every minute. My son went to college and made a few friends. This was the turnaround for us. My next move, we built our own house on the Gold Coast. In the Uk all I could have bought was a 2 bed apartment in a crappy part of town. This was a big stretch financially so I started a side business from home which added a good boost to my income. I also did lots of other jobs around the coast. I commuted to Brisbane for a while for my main job but then I took a chance on another temporary contract in a great private school on the Gold Coast. Two years later I still work there and am now a head of dept so my main income has also had a boost. so things are much better now. We are just looking at building a pool in the next few months. I have not relaxed quite yet, I still have the side business which my son helps out with but this is home for us now. As a young country Australia is very much a land of opportunity if you are prepared to work hard. It made a difference for us. We also got a fresh start in a new place. We joined a tennis club and a gym and occasionally get to the beach. We love the variety of the all parts of the Gold Coast and Brisbane is just up the road. As soon as we got our new house we also adopted a rescue cat and she had a hard time before she came to us. She is all good now and we love her dearly. 3 years later, she is still the cutest Millie
  2. milliem

    Teachers Moving or Living in Australia

    No not at all. 489 shouldn’t be an issue. I was hired in the first job I applied for on a 489. Australia is in general quite transient and people are often on the move so they are used to temporary visas. However, if there are 150 applicants as it can be for some popular roles, then it could be a factor. Many get hired here permanently from temporary contract as well so don’t shy away from the role just because it’s a semester contract. I left my first Aussie school (permanent position) to take a semester contract with a top school and then stayed there two years. This high profile role was a good launch into the metropolitan school network. People automatically make assumptions and this seems to happen a lot here. The next job I applied for, they only asked me two questions at interview then offered on the spot.
  3. milliem

    Changes to pathway to Citizenship

    Done. I also send a copy of my correspondence to my local MP.
  4. milliem

    Changes to pathway to Citizenship

    I am thinking I might apply anyway I started an application back in January 2017 as that's when we became eligible under the old rules I might just finish it off and submit it if it will let me. Millie
  5. milliem

    Changes to pathway to Citizenship

    it will really suck if we have to sit another IELTS.
  6. milliem

    Get Medical first? disabled child

    I have messaged you.
  7. milliem

    Teachers Moving or Living in Australia

    hi there yes they will count it. There are some organisations which do not count part time contracts but she will in most cases get full credit for the time she has worked. She should be at the top of the scale. I am not sure how the scale works in Victoria but it should be pretty good. Good luck with the new job
  8. milliem

    grammar schools for the privileged few

    Again, you didn't read the reasons I provided and I am not planning on repeating them. I never claimed to be the most experienced; that was your inference. I have been in the business a long time but still very open to other valid and informed opinions.
  9. milliem

    grammar schools for the privileged few

    Err, :rolleyes:I already answered that question as well. Not much point in having this conversation if you insist on not reading informed opinions and actual first hand experience which addresses and in most cases answers your concerns. Just continue to make sweeping statements and believe the hype that started this thread.
  10. milliem

    grammar schools for the privileged few

    Well if you read my post PB, these days there are many additional options for committed students to opt for a more specialised route throughout schooling. So what might have historically been a closed pathway for some remains a possibility for throughout schooling years. I taught a boy who transferred in to us from a regular secondary. He had spent all the last two years of his core classes in an online classroom fed from another school because he was working at a level well beyond his peers. If the student is suitably capable and committed, many doors are opened.
  11. milliem

    grammar schools for the privileged few

    I really don't see what the issue is here. Grammar School is a misnomer in any case. They were so called because Latin grammar was taught. I sat an 11 plus and I was one of only two in my primary school who did. I was not disadvantaged nor tutored but people were not as a whole that interested attending grammar schools where I lived. The curriculum cannot feasibly continue to be pulled in all directions to become more broad, more balanced and more inclusive. In doing so, schools would need astronomical budgets to incorporate the technologies with the 3D printers and work rooms, sports halls with the ergonomic equipment, the arts, vocational and pure academic routes. Schools used to have one gym which served as the theatre, the dance hall, the exam hall and assembly hall. Now the equipment and resources are vast. There are some schools that try very hard to do all of these things well but trying to be all things often ends up displeasing someone or being a cluster of chaos. Reinstating grammar schools would be spending less money, not more. There are pupils out there who do not want a broad curriculum. In Aus we have very specialised state schools which are highly selective and pupils sit an examination to enter. It works incredibly well. I have taught in one. These schools are small and have a narrow academic curriculum and few facilities outside of that. Some pupils travel for up to an hour and a half each way to attend. No one is moaning, it's not hitting the press and no one wants to take down the government because they are selective. Pupils can enter at age 11 or there is another route at age 14. If a parent really wants a child to have a top academic grounding in the UK it is within reach for all. Pupils who are 'late bloomers' can easily access a higher academic level via the school or take up the opportunity to transfer to a more academic route later. Pupils can even exit at year 11 to study the rigorous International Baccalaureate at a further Ed college. I have some friends whose children did this in the UK - all free. Someone said that middle class parents have more time to access the appropriate information and to coach their children. This is rubbish. As a single mum who has always worked full time, I had almost no spare time and yet I still managed to sort it out. I just made it the top priority. This included a 2 year period when there was absolutely no suitable option. I slashed our clothes, food and lifestyle budget to pay for private fees so that he could be safe and happy. We went without. There is an absolute huge array of free online tuition for any child who wishes to practice for any type of entrance examination. You only have to log on to khan Academy, Bright Storm or Socratic and it will start basic and develop more detail as a student needs. I have taught many 11 year olds who had already mastered quadratics and derivatives because that was their choice. Some have to work twice as hard to keep up with the others but that is what they have chosen. A student who has been coached to pass a one off test as some call it will follow one of two routes. They will either up their game and study extremely hard to match the others, in which case they deserve to stay there; or they will move on quickly and the place will go to someone who should have it. A motivated student with good home support will excel in spite of schools and teachers and not because of them. So I would like to bring back the 'Grammar' schools because I think a narrow academic curriculum works for some. Going a step further, I think Latin should be taught as a core subject as it broadens understanding in almost all subjects. If people don't like their situation, they can change it. No need to moan about it
  12. milliem

    176 visa lodged March 2012

    Awesome Leanie and ToOz Well done on getting this close. We are not far off. Another few months to go. I am just about to start my 3rd new job since arriving. We were living in Brisbane but bought a house on the North Gold Coast. It made sense to go for a job closer to home. My new job is just a one year contract. After that we are planning to do one year outside Oz and rent the house out (assuming our citizenship is all done by then) and then return. We like Oz but in need of a small temporary adventure to mix it up a bit. Let us know how it all goes
  13. milliem

    Teachers Moving or Living in Australia

    That's okay I am working near there so if I can help let me know. Millie
  14. milliem

    Teachers Moving or Living in Australia

    hi there you should be fine to find something for term 4. We always need more Physics / Chem. I am Biol/ Physics / Maths and just signed a new contract on Gold Coast (been teaching in a top school in Brisbane and commuting) It was fairly straightforward to find something else. With the new external assessment in 2017, UK experienced teachers are in demand for core subjects. Agencies can be a bit slow so I would continually check school web sites as they all do their own advertising. Interviews are much shorter and less formal than in the UK, with no requirement to teach a class. They often check referees during shortlisting. I notice you have a 489 visa. Does this mean you will need to work in a regional postcode? I previously had this visa but upgraded to a 189 prior to moving to metro area. let me know if I can be of any help Mille
  15. milliem

    Will you be voting on the uk referendum

    when you register, you have to put your last known voting address. I haven't received my confirmation yet so I am not sure what restrictions might be on it. it's worth registering though just in case you can get it sorted later Millie