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Everything posted by InnerVoice

  1. InnerVoice

    Education - UK to QLD

    Oh, you did well! 100% agree
  2. InnerVoice

    Education - UK to QLD

    I also lost my father a couple of years before I migrated. It's a very long time ago now, but I too felt guilty about leaving my mum behind, especially as I was an only child, but that's the price you pay as an expat unfortunately. There's no easy way around it, but at least it's easier to stay in touch these days with Skype, WhatsApp, etc. My mum came out a couple of times and when she saw what life was like over here she said I'd made a good choice. If she'd been younger I'm sure she'd have moved over here too! I'm a little surprised that you're coming over on a 491 because nearly every teacher who has posted recently has got a 190, and then been invited to apply for a 189 almost straight away. Australia is desperate for teachers at the moment, as I'm sure you're aware.
  3. InnerVoice

    Education - UK to QLD

    As Quoll said, your daughter will be the correct age to join Y10 in Queensland at the start of Semester 2 next year (July 2024) because it works on how old your child is on 30 June each year, even though the academic year starts in January (different to UK). Although she will be one of the youngest in the cohort I would strongly recommend she goes straight into Y10 and not Y9, assuming she is of average or about average academic ability. I've taught in both the UK and Queensland state school systems and I would generalize that the academic standard in (most) UK schools is notably higher, to the point where Y10 in the UK is the equivalent to Y10 in Australia, even though the students here are on average 6 months older. It would also mean that she'd only need to complete 6 months of school before she starts Y11, which is when the real business starts. Towards the end of Y10 students choose their options for Y11 & Y12, and if they follow an academic pathway they will choose Maths and English (compulsory) and 4 other subjects. I would say that the academic rigour is higher than GCSE, but nowhere near as high as A-levels. If she intends to follow a more vocational pathway, most schools offer practical subjects and Certificate courses, which lead them effectively in to TAFE courses once they complete Year 12. Australian high school qualifications are generally accepted for entry into UK universities and other higher education courses, so it's rather a waste of time your daughter completing her GCSEs and it will put her under unnecessary pressure. That's assuming you will stay in Australia long enough for her to complete Y12 and gain her QCE and ATAR, which she should do if you're here until 2028.
  4. InnerVoice

    Has PIO had it's day?

    If you're a member of a Facebook group you can search it for previously-discussed topics, and it's pretty effective at returning relevant content. The problem with FB is the quality of replies to questions, which often boil down to someone's opinion, hearsay, or what they did in a particular situation, which might not necessarily be the best thing for the OP.
  5. InnerVoice

    Happy Xmas One and All ????

    When I was a kid my family used to put the tree up the second weekend in December, and it seemed like everyone else on the street already had their decos up by then. We'd always take them down on the 6th January, as is tradition, but Christmas is well and truly over by then and it seemed rather pointless having this sad, bald Christmas tree hanging around almost a week into the New Year. Now we put them up the first weekend in December, but I've been ill today so I've only done the tree so far. We take them down on New Years Day, or 2nd January if we're busy. It seems so much more festive to have the decorations up for a bit longer before Christmas, but I've no time for people who stick them up in November - that's just bonkers!
  6. InnerVoice

    Has PIO had it's day?

    I think it will keep on ticking over in it's present form because people will keep visiting for the kind of detailed advice that they can't get on Facebook. Unless you inadvertently reveal your identity you are pretty much anonymous on here, so you can ask more in-depth questions without feeling that you're revealing too much about your personal circumstances.
  7. InnerVoice

    Has PIO had it's day?

    Reddit is a forum, isn't it? I haven't looked, but I assume that there's a 'Brits in Australia' group somewhere on it.
  8. I'd never accept a cup of tea off Putin.
  9. State sponsored terrorism doesn't go down well on the world stage, and it would've been pretty obvious who done it in this case even if they didn't catch the special agents.
  10. InnerVoice

    491 granted - now what

    Then I think you both might like Stanthorpe - there's a place for everyone up here
  11. InnerVoice

    491 granted - now what

    How could you not what to live in QLD? It is literally the best state!
  12. You sound like an expert!
  13. That reminds me of joke I once heard... A man is marooned on a desert island. After a while he begins to get lonely and starts thinking about his girlfriend back home. The only other animal on the island is a sheep. A rather attractive sheep, mind you. As time passes he begins to think more and more about the sheep. One day he decides, all right, I'm going to give it a go - but the sheep plays hard to get. Every time he gets close to the sheep it just runs away. Finally, he corners the sheep at the edge of a cliff. The sheep knows it's luck has run out, but then he looks down and sees a beautiful woman struggling in the surf. He runs down to the beach, swims out to rescue her, and brings her ashore. She's so grateful that she tells the man she'll do anything he wants. "Anything?" says the man. "Absolutely anything." says the woman, with a wink. "Fantastic! In that case can you hold down this sheep for me?"
  14. InnerVoice


    I visited Tasmania back in February and thought Launceston was a lovely place, and one I might consider in retirement - but you've just put me off it now!
  15. InnerVoice

    Netflix & Stan

    We watched this last night on Netflix, and it was excellent.
  16. InnerVoice

    Unsure whether to go or not

    @cg9456 firstly congratulations on your visa, which is a real achievement given how competitive it is these days. With the exception of botched bank robberies and parachute jumps that didn't go according to plan, we generally regret the things we didn't do in life rather than what we did. Imagine how you might feel a few years from now if you're still stuck in the drudgery of UK life, looking out the window at that endless slate-grey sky, and knowing that you had a fantastic opportunity to escape all of that but you didn't take it? Yes, you may come here and find it isn't for you, but unless you try you'll never know. If you're really unsure, you could always rent your house out (assuming you're a homeowner), and find someone to look after the dog until you feel settled so at least you don't end up having to ship him/her both ways. I understand that people are very attached to their pets, but they shouldn't be an incumbrance when it comes to making life-changing decisions. I'm also a secondary school teacher and have been teaching in the Australian state school system for over a decade. It certainly has its challenges, and I don't think that student behaviour is any better here than it is in the UK. Working conditions are definitely better though - we teach less hours for more money for a start, and schools are generally better resourced. Until recently you'd have probably found yourself having to go to the back beyond to do 'country service' for 3 years before you could get transferred to a school in a metropolitan area, but there is currently such a huge shortage of teachers you can pretty much write your own ticket these days. However, as others have mentioned the upside of being in a regional location is that housing costs are far more affordable, and if you're in a remote location you might even be entitled to free housing. It's also worth noting that around two thirds of Australian schools are state run while the other third are Catholic or independent schools, where working conditions are usually much better (although the pay is about the same). I understand the desire to live in mainland Europe because that's something I've always wanted to do. My plan is to move there for the first part of my retirement (while hopefully I'm still in good health), and then return to Australia for the twilight years. I have no intention of working there though as I know the challenges I'd face. Even taking my age out of the equation, there's the language barrier and the fact that many European countries have unemployment rates far higher than the UK and Australia. In the worst case scenario that you really don't like it here, you could think of your Australian experience as a career stepping-stone. International schools value overseas experience very highly because they know you're able to adapt to teaching in a new system, and adjust to living in a different country. It immediately puts you ahead of candidates who only have UK experience. Europe will still be there in five years time if that's what you really want to do, but the opportunity to move to Australia will no longer be on the table. Having gone to all the time, trouble and expense of getting your visas I think you'd be crazy not to give it a whirl, but if you're still feeling really uncertain then head over for a recce first like others have suggested.
  17. Did you seem them float by from your window, Toots? Not for me, I love visiting New Zealand. Not that there's anything wrong with Tasmania but I'd be disappointed to wake up and find myself there instead of NZ.
  18. I had no idea how much a pack of ciggies over here cost until I was at the customer service in Woolies recently, and the person in front bought some. I think it was over $30.
  19. Sounds like you're doing plenty of the right things already. I'd make sure that the cranberry juice is the sugar free variety. I used to drink a lot of it too when I was in the UK, but I haven't been able to find one here that isn't full of sugar so I've given up on it. Don't eat if you're not hungry and avoid try and avoid eating late in the evening. Try and work foods with a low GI into your diet, as energy is released at a slower rate so your body uses it more effectively. Good if you can cut out the lollies but then we all need a few treats or life will get pretty dull. Red wine and cheese is my downfall!
  20. Given that the UK has a population of 68 million and NZ has just over 5 million, I'd hazard a guess that the related healthcare costs are much lower than that. I'm sure someone in their government has done a back of a fag packet calculation and realized how much worse off their coffers were going to be in the long term. I think it was a bold idea and it would've been interesting to see if it had worked, but my concern is that it would've created a black market with older people selling tobacco to the younger generation illegally, and at grossly inflated prices. I'd also argue that the policy was discriminatory because you're giving one group of people different rights to another based on age.
  21. InnerVoice

    Australia mortgages question

    The surprising thing was that suburbs you wouldn't imagine could get flooded (like Stones Corner and Coopers Plains) because they were far from the river were inundated, so just bear that in mind when you're looking at houses in areas that are flat. Here's a video clip I filmed on the 16 December 2010. It rained liked that for the best part of a month until the city was flooded on 11 January. Brisbane Rain.MP4
  22. InnerVoice

    Australia mortgages question

    I was living in Paddington in 2011 and fortunately our place was on a hill, but we knew plenty of people just a stone's throw away who got flooded - some of whom ended up in our lounge for a week! It's impossible to imagine it raining that hard for that long. It was nothing short of biblical.
  23. InnerVoice

    Australia mortgages question

    You should be able to get something for around $700k if you're looking that far out, although be aware there are large areas down there that are particularly susceptible to flooding. Check out the Brisbane flood map... https://fam.brisbane.qld.gov.au/?page=Map---Standard
  24. The chances of getting it again are very low, between 1-4% based on various studies, so I wouldn't worry unless you're immunocompromised or generally in poor health. Since I had it I've only had one reoccurrence where I got a tiny patch in the same area as where the original rash was (which was huge), during a time I felt particularly stressed out and run down at work. Statistically you're now much less likely to get it again than someone who has never had it, so there's one reason to be cheerful. Hope you're feeling better soon!