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Everything posted by melaniecharlton

  1. Anyone recently had their 173 visa approved? How long did you have to wait? Just about to apply for mum who recently became widowed. Not sure whether to apply offshore on onshore. Thank you Melanie
  2. melaniecharlton

    Home Schooling in Sydney?

    Our family will hopefully be moving to Sydney in April on a 457 visa. We hope to live in the Hornsby area. My husband will be earning $90k per year. We will have to pay the higher rate of tax and full school fees on the 457 visa so there is no way we could afford this as we have 3 children. I think the only option we will have is to homeschool our kids until we gain permanent residency. Has anyone done this before? Is it difficult? Are their complications? Its not ideal as I believe kids should socialize but we have no other option and it is our dream to live in OZ. I think it may be possible to have the school fees waived if one applies however I have read that this is near impossible. Any comments or thoughts will be much appreciated. Thank you kindly
  3. melaniecharlton

    Central Coast High Schools

    Hello, We are going to be moving to the Central Coast next year as we just cannot and will not pay the ridiculous house prices in Berowra. We were thinking of Umina beach or Gosford. This is however all dependent on good high schools. If my daughter cannot get into Gosford selective we need to find the next best thing. Can anyone recommend any good high schools and primary schools? Thank you kindly, Mel
  4. Hi Guys, We have friends in Canberra looking to move near the coast. We live about 40 mins from the Central Coast (Berowra) and often go to the beaches on a weekend. In my opinion the central coast looks beautiful everywhere, however, when I speak to Australians they pull up their noses and say "Boganville". Not sure if they are being nasty or not. Are there particularly nasty areas one should avoid on the Central Coast? I am trying to compile a list of areas for my friends to look for suitable houses and schools. Can you help? Thank you kindly, Melanie
  5. melaniecharlton

    Living In Sydney On 70k (Is It Possible)

    Hi guys, just to let you know that you may not have to pay school fees. My husband earns $90k and we have three children in school. I spoke to the NSW school board and they said that we earn too little to pay for 3 children to go to school. So, we were exempt from paying $13.5k ($4500 each) for all three of them. I reckon that on $70k salary for two kids you too wont have to pay school fees. Its worth finding out.
  6. melaniecharlton

    Cost of living in Sydney?

    I spoke to the school board and based on a salary of $90k we do not have to pay schooling for our three children. If you earn more you may have to pay schooling. Best to enquire with them. Frenchs Forest is a very expensive area to live by the way. Preschool is horrendous. You are looking at anything upwards $76 per day. That is for long day care. For preschools that are only open from 9 - 3 - you are looking at around $52 per day. As we are on a 457 you do not qualify for any help from the government towards childcare. Its expensive here but so worth it.
  7. melaniecharlton

    Cost of living in Sydney?

    Hello, From searching the web and looking at forums I have come up with a spreadsheet of cost of living in Sydney. Could any Sydneysiders tell me if this is about right? We are 2 adults and 3 children. Ages 8 and twins (3). Hope to live in Hornsby. Will come on a 457 visa and earn 90k. Doesnt look like our money will cover 3 school fees. I have attached the excel spreadsheet with all the figures below. See my posts below.
  8. melaniecharlton

    Cost of living in Sydney?

    Hi Clifford, Sorry I only saw I got a message from you today. I am from South Africa too Yes, each state have different laws. In NSW people on a temporary visa need to pay for schooling BUT do check with them first as you may qualify for exemption. We did! Hornsby is a nice area. Berowra is better though - I am just biased! Its right in the bush and has such a lovely community spirit. Our budget seems to be working out nicely for us. We are just careful! Cant be more expensive that SA. I was there for 3 months this year and was completely shocked at the cost of living. Take Care, Mel
  9. melaniecharlton

    Cost of living in Sydney?

    Hi Dave, Congrats on your imminent move to Sydney. We live in Berowra. Basically we just looked at the train line map and chose a nice suburban area. I believe that Parramatta is a slightly dodgy area. Basically anything West is known to be dodgy. On a 457 visa you will have to pay for school fees. They cost $4500 per child. You should however contact the school board in advance to see if you qualify for exemption. My husband earns $90k and apparently this is below the threshold for sending 3 children to school, so we are exempt. Things are expensive but its all relative. I dont think you have to bulk buy things. What were you thinking of bulk buying? Let me know and I will keep you informed. Cheers, Mel
  10. melaniecharlton

    Lafha to be abolished 2012

    I contacted the NSW school board to ask if we could get discount for sending all 3 kids to school. They informed me that our earnings are not enough to pay for school fees - all 3 children are now exempt from school fees! So, do check and see if you qualify. It seems one only pays school fees if you earn a certain amount.
  11. melaniecharlton

    Lafha to be abolished 2012

    Hi Read this: http://www.treasury.gov.au/documents/2235/PDF/CP_FBT_LAFH_Benefits.pdf There is an email we can all write to at the end. If enough of us cause a stir perhaps they will reconsider it. Personally I would be happy if they just let us have free schooling. I have 3 kids. If we lose our LAFHA then I will have to homeschool my twins. This is not on! When Aussies come to Britain we dont charge them school fees. I think its a right for every child to have access to free education.
  12. melaniecharlton

    Childcare Issues

    Hi All, I am a mother of 3 kids. One is 9 and I have 4 year old twins. I am desperate to get back to work but am wondering how this will be possible. Do you know roughly how much before and after school care costs? What on earth do I do with them in the holidays? Are childminders expensive? What about nannies? Any thoughts and ideas would be much appreciated, Thank you kindly, Melanie
  13. melaniecharlton

    Childcare Issues

    Thank you Fashionably late - I will definitely look into a nanny. Dont think I would like an au pair to live with us though. My only concern with a nanny is that they dont get to socialise with other kids much. They dont seem to have as many childminders over here as in the UK. The other idea is to find a term time only job - but they are like gold dust.
  14. melaniecharlton

    Childcare Issues

    Thank you Shusselman - what brilliant advice! It most certainly is a juggling act - and a very expensive one at that!
  15. melaniecharlton

    Childcare Issues

    Ah! Thank you so much everyone. I reckon I am going to have to wait for my twins to go to BIG school before I start work. Being on a 457 visa I wont be entitled to any rebates either. I thought perhaps that I could manage to pay for all 3 somehow, even on a 457 - but this will not be the case. Wish I had my mom here to help out!
  16. melaniecharlton

    New job on a 457 visa

    Hello, My husband got a job transfer through his employer in the UK and we are now living in Sydney. He has been in this job since May. Anyway, a senior exec at work hinted that he should apply for another position within the company that he has always wanted to do. Would this be a problem with the 457 visa? Its a similar role. He is currently in a technical customer service role and the new role is a technical sales role. Its a very small company with only 6 people. They do however struggle to find qualified people in Oz. If he got the sales role they would need to fill his role. Either way, each role is important and needs to be filled. Thank you Mel
  17. melaniecharlton

    The Time has come - how do i tell my family?

    Why dont you try and sell the idea of moving to Oz to your parents? Could they not come out here on a parent visa eventually? If they are South African then the lifestyle would be better suited to them here. I am a South African who lived in the UK for 12 years. We have now been in Oz for 3 months and once we gain PR in a couple of years I hope to get my folks out here on a parent visa. They want to be close to use as we have 3 kids.
  18. Hi 3FatCats, Where are you living in Sydney? I too am not a city person so we decided to move to Berowra. It feels more like a village living here. I have been here for 3 months now and it feels more like home to me than the UK ever did, however this is because I am South African. You just have to get yourself out every day. Dont stay cooped up inside your house. The more you do and see, the more people you meet and the more opportunities to settle down come your way. Enjoy the beautiful scenery, nature and weather. Its surely beats the grey skies of England? Try and stay positive and make it work for you. xxx Mel
  19. melaniecharlton

    Central Coast Beaches - Where to go?

    Hello Central Coasters, I live in Berowra and fancy heading to the beach tomorrow with my kids. Just looking at a map can you rate the following beaches, dont know which one to go to. Can you advise which are good for kids or if I should avoid any? Pearl beach Ettalong beach Pretty beach MacMasters Beach Copacabana Avoca beach Terrigal beach Forresters beach Bateau bay Shelly beach The Entrance Long jetty Toowoon bay Wamberal Thank you, Mel
  20. melaniecharlton

    Central Coast Beaches - Where to go?

    Hi Guys, Went to Avoca and it was FAB! Kids loved the rock pool. Very family friendly. Whats this about the Gosford skirt Fleabo? I will explore the other beaches next. Thanks all xxxx Mel
  21. I am South African and moved to the UK to marry my British husband. I lived there for 12 years. It took me 10 years before I felt truly happy and settled. I was so homesick for South Africa. When I returned to South Africa for a 3 month holiday it did not feel the same. It was as if I did not fit it and was a foreigner. And in the UK I did not fit either. So, I kind of felt extremely lost and that I had no identity. I have now been living in OZ for 3 months and I can honestly say that I feel more at home here than I did in both the UK and SA. It just feels right for me. I can however empathise with your feelings of being emotional and unsettled. I think you should just go with your intuition.
  22. We live in Berowra which is an hour from CBD by train. Its close to Berowra Waters and Hornsby nearby has some decent shopping and restuarants.
  23. Positive Pixie, We too did not have a house in the UK, nor a fancy car. We do however have 3 kids. But we live in a beautiful area of Sydney in a lovely house and have an old banger of a car. The fantastic thing about OZ is that you are not pressured to 'keep up with the Jones' here. Our neighbours have fancy houses and cars but they couldnt care less what we drive. Its soo relaxed here and very unpretentious. I love it! THe kids have the best quality of life - not stuck indoors in a little piddly terraced house - but outside EVERY day in the sun at the park and with nature surrounding us. Its fabulous!
  24. melaniecharlton

    Do we stay or do we go?

    My husband was on about £40k per year and now he is on $90k in Oz. Although the salary is higher it still equates to the same standard of living.
  25. melaniecharlton

    Anyone else feel like me?

    You know it wont really hit you - even when you are here. I sobbed until my eyes were raw leaving my friends and family behind. That was very traumatic. However, when you get here it will just feel like you are a on a long holiday and you always kind of expect to go home but you dont. Its weird. BUT at the end of the day we all live in a house, eat the same meals, have the same routines so it wont feel THAT different from the UK. Its when you go exploring nature each weekend in the sunshine when you feel in awe. The birdsong each morning is also an amazing reminder of where you are: