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About Breezer

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  • Birthday 01/12/1972
  1. Breezer

    A Year of living in the ACT - Reflections

    Hi Jonord1, I agree with you totally about ACT. We emigrate just over 2 years ago and moved to the Gungahlin Suburb. Now bought our own home in Nicholls and are keen to stay here for the long term. Great to hear your views which are very accurate. One question though when I applied for work within a Govt division I was told I couldn't until I was a citizen as a PR did not qualify. Has this changed recently? All the best with your new life here in ACT and maybe bump into you and your kids in Yerrabi Park (we have a 3yr and 8yr old).[ Cheers BreezerQUOTE=Jonord1;1936623269]Hi, My family and I have now lived in Canberra for around 15 months. This website was quite a big help to us in planning our move, so thought I would repay the favour and hopefully help some people out who are now planning the move. First up, we're a British family who moved from the North East (near Durham). My wife and I have two kids, who are 2 and nearly 4. We were granted a PR visa (old 176) on my skills as a Policy Analyst, although I understand that this is no longer on the list. Where to start? We arrived in Aug 2013 and used serviced apartments in Braddon (inner north), until we sorted out a longer term rental in Gungahlin. This is a relatively new development in the North of Canberra, which is popular with families with young children. It has really good facilities and good public transport access into Civic for work. I was fortunate to get a good job with the ACT Govt and like it there very much. As a Perm Res, you can work for State & Territory Govts. Rentals are very easy to get and I think its getting easier, certainly a lot of media talk seems to be about prices dropping. We love living here. I genuinely don't understand why the rest of Australia has a go at Canberra, it remains a total mystery to me. At our stage of life, it really is a fantastic place to raise children. There are so many things to do, places to go, events on (usually free) and the city is so well served with parks. The city is safe, people are usually polite, educated and quite wordly, so we've found it quite easy to mix and meet new people. I find it quite odd that Canberra's safety is sometimes used as a criticism of it, as though it is not edgy enough. When you have kids, I've found that the desire to live in an edgy neighbourhood tends to fade. The fact that so many people have come here from somewhere else contributes to the ease to meet people in my view, although there is no doubt that having kids has made it easier to mix with people. The city also feels as though it is developing and even in a year we can see positive changes. There are loads of good quality restaurants and cafes too, with more coming all the time. It has to be one of the most naturally pretty cities I have ever seen too, with a very laid back feel and nowhere is too far away. We are also only 2 hours (very easy drive) from some of the most fantastic coastline that Australia can offer. From Wollongong all the way to the Victoria border is simply stunning. Loads of vineyards and high quality food production locally, so great for seasonal eating. If you eat with the seasons and are prepared to use markets - I think you can eat quite well, for quite reasonable prices. I think clothes shopping is quite poor, but then with two toddlers you don't particularly feel like going shopping very often. To be honest, I find clothes shopping in Australia quite poor compared to the UK, so I'm not sure anywhere in Australia will impress you if you are used to the UK. I like the climate here. Winter is cool, although the days are invariably crisp and sunny. I've found that more modern houses are built better and cope with the cool night perfectly well. Sure, I can understand that if you are from Darwin, winters are cold here, but poms shouldn't have any worries with the winter. Due to Canberra being the bush capital, which is an accurate description, spring and autumn are really beautiful and a really nice temp. Summers are hot, although the dry heat is more comfortable to me than, say, Brisbane's humidity. Thats it for now, if you have any questions, please feel free. I hope this is helpful. Anyone moving from the UK, or recently arrived, who wants to meet up and chat, drop us a line. Thanks.
  2. Breezer

    Want to play Futsal this summer?

    Hi Raelm, Good to hear from you. It looks as though you are out of luck for this seasons Futsal as we have confirmed a team. However I have asked the team organiser if we can add one more player. I will let you know asap as our first game is this Sunday at Nicholls (Gold Creek School hall). Can I suggest you register in the mean time with the FFA for an FFA number. Without this you cannot play football/Futsal etc as yu wont be registered and insured. Yes insured, as Australia takes insurance seriously. Click in this link to register: http://www.myfootballclub.com.au/index.php?id=38 It might be worth contacting them in the event another team is short of a player to register. We have registered to play in Div 5 (the lowest to start with) which is held on Sunday between 4-7pm (times change each week but are in between this time). Some of us are considering playing for Gungahlin United FC Masters next season, so if you have your FFA in place this is the most local team to where you live. Their home ground is at Harrison playing fields. I will get back to you asap about Futsal. Cheers Breezer
  3. Breezer

    Want to play Futsal this summer?

    Hi Everyone, we are a group of Dads whose kids play soccer for Gungahling United FC and we are itching to play Futsal (5 a side) this summer starting in October 2014. We have 5 players already but we need at least one more to register our team. we are planning on playing Men's Division 4 league on a Wednesday evening at ANU pitches. Times would be between 6:00 and 9:45, only one game would be played and the kick off time varies week to week. Please let me know ASAP. look forward to hearing from you. cheers Breezer
  4. Breezer

    Liverpool ** fan clubs/meeting places in Canberra

    Hi Guys, life has been hectic for me of late. Finally bought our first home here in ACT. Move in this weekend. I'm up for watching the City and Chelsea games, subject to family commitments and work as some games are shown early Monday morning. Maybe a little closer to the game I can confirm this. How would The Gungahlin Lakes suit everyone? Its usually open until 0400hrs. Great result beating Spurs 4-0. Top of the EPL. Maybe, just maybe..... Cheers
  5. Breezer

    Liverpool ** fan clubs/meeting places in Canberra

    Guys bad news can't make it to see the big match tonight between Liverpool v Arsenal. If any one watches it hope the Pool are victorious. YNWA.
  6. Breezer

    Liverpool ** fan clubs/meeting places in Canberra

    Hi Guys, I will see if I can get a pass out from my Good Lady on Saturday night to wqatch LFC v Arsenal. It will be agreat game. I will keep you posted. I would suggets The Lakes Gungahlin as a good spot to watch it as its open until 4am. Unless anyone else has a venue they can recommend? YNWA Breezer
  7. Breezer

    Moved to ACT in June 2012 - feedback for other migrants

    Hi Commandermaxil my experience of recruitment agents in ACT has not been the best. Prior to emigrating they didn't want to know me and told me to wait until I got here then contact them. I visited a large recruitment agent in Civic shortly after arriving and was told to leave my Resume (CV to us but resume here in Australia)at reception who will pass it onto an agent. Guess what- no call back. The best agency for me was Mosaic Recruitment based in Curtin, South Canberra. They were very helpful and supportive and even better out me forward for an interview shortly after registering with them. The job was permanent and I am still in that job. Even better I love my job and employer. Contact them and ask for Edwina or Sarah Tamasi. Both were of great assistance to me. Website: http://www.mosaicrecruitment.com.au You are right about Govt jobs if you are not a citizen it is almost impossible to gain employment with them. Best of luck with Mosaic. Regards Breezer
  8. Breezer

    Liverpool ** fan clubs/meeting places in Canberra

    Hi Steve I'm in Bonner so The Lake could be a good venue? Or Siren in Gungahlin opposite the Cop Shop. Keep me posted please. Cheers Breezer
  9. Breezer

    Liverpool ** fan clubs/meeting places in Canberra

    Hi Steve Great to hear from you. Ouch - I note the big games are in Red thus you are unable to make it. Family first though I totally understand! Let me know what venues you find for the above dated you can watch the match and I will have a look at which one's I can make it to. Cheers Breezer
  10. I emigrated to ACT in June 2012 on a 176 visa (Permanent Resident). The following is my truthful feeling about ACT/Canberra with some guidance regarding food and house prices (rent and buy). A lot of people, Australians and other migrants that migrate to other states, are negative to ACT. I had never been to Australia although my wife had been in 2000 so I didn't know what to expect. When we boarded the aircraft in London to fly to Aus the stewardess's asked if we were going on holiday. When we told them we were emigrating to ACT they asked "Why?" This didn't reassure me we had don't the right thing. When we arrived in ACT we didn't have accommodation (a long story I wont bore you with) so we stayed in a Hotel for 2 nights before renting a 1 bed apartment in Barton (400m from the Parliament Building). Within 3 weeks we found a rental property in the North of ACT (Gungahlin suburb) and are currently still in the same house. ACT is a little like London in the North/South divide. You either live North or South and never the twain meet (sort of). My personal opinion (and don't shoot me) is the South is more established with older houses (generally) and the North has newer houses especially in Gungahlin (nicknamed "Nappy Valley"). ACT is split into suburbs with the North mainly consisting of either North Canberra, Belconnen or Gungahlin suburbs. The South has Woden, Tuggeranong, Weston Creek and South Canberra. ACT is the only State/Territory in Australia not to have a coast line. It does however have beautiful parks, kids play areas with BBQ's which are free to use, skate parks for little and big kids, plenty of swimming pools (a brand new one is being built in Gungahlin Town Centre along with a brand new Oval for Rugby League and Aussie Rules games). ACT is approx. 2.5hrs to the nearest coast (subject to how fast you drive) which is Batemans Bay, 3 hrs easy drive to Sydney and approx. 3hrs to the snow fields of Perisher and Thredbo. The season past saw great snow especially in Perisher however its not cheap to stay and ski. Plenty of golf courses. There are eight 18 hole golf courses in ACT alone and a few near by in NSW. Recruitment agencies - I am not a lover of recruitment agencies and my experience of them since arriving in ACT has not been the best (excluding the agency that actually treated me as a person, 'thought outside the box', kept me informed all the way in the process and ultimately I secured the job which I totally love. As a migrant without an employer sponsor you will find it difficult to gain employment. To work for the Commonwealth/Federal Govt you must be an Australian or New Zealand Citizen. Unless you have an exceptional quality/skill they won't even look at your Resume (CV in UK). Jobs in the private sector will be easier to secure however many put you through the competency based interview process of which I am not a fan. Even if you can secure a temporary job this will help you gain a reference from an Australian employer which can be of assistance landing your next job. The following are rough prices in Australian dollars for renting in Gungahlin suburb: 4 bed house from approx. $500 per week - most rental agencies/lessors want rent paid fortnightly however weekly or monthly can be arranged. The following is site that you should review before you emigrate showing rental and selling properties for all ACT - www.allhomes.com.au. Another site is www.domain.com.au. Food and drink is slightly expensive (again my opinion). A loaf of bread (not fancy bread from a bakers but from supermarket) costs between $2 and $6. 3 ltr milk costs $3 (subject to where you buy but this is the cheapest I found in the supermarket - own brand). Sliced ham in the supermarket deli ranges between $16 and $24 per kilo (common measurement used here). Butter/spread is $3 when on offer. Fresh vegetable and fruit prices fluctuate daily. I have seen green or red peppers (Capsicum as they are called here) cost as little as $2.50 per kilo up to over $9, I even saw the price jump $7 per kilo within a day. Soft drinks are commonly on offer and not badly priced so shop around. Beer and wine is pricey. A carton of Carlsberg lager (24btls) normally costs $46 to $50. I bought a box for $38 last week which was on offer and the cheapest I have ever seen it here. Hahn Super Dry lager is around $50 for 24 btls. Castlemain Gold XXXX costs around $38 for 24. Wines - cheap cask wines are about $12-$15 for 4 ltr (Stanley brand). Bottles of wine start at approx. $8 to over several hundred per bottle. Hardy's Stamps is approx. $8.99 for 1ltr bottle. Cars are pricey and hold their value especially 4x4 vehicles. Check out www.carsales.com.au and compare the price of what your vehicle is worth in UK/Ireland compared to what it is worth in Australia. A friend who emigrated to WA sold his Nissan Patrol (not brand new nor in excellent condition) and wishes he hadn't sold it but imported it as they cost a fortune out here. Petrol is approx. $1.54 per litre for 91RON petrol. I bought 95RON (normal unleaded in UK) today and it cost $1.64 per litre. Diesel is about $1.79 per litre. Please note prices above are from major supermarkets (Coles and Woolworths). Do I like ACT? YES. Am I glad we made the move? YES. Will I move back to the UK? I hope not as life is never certain. Would I recommend ACT? YES, especially to families. Couples and singles might find the night life a little un-Australian compared to Sydney however its only a short drive away and then you come back to a clean and pleasant area that of ACT. Do I miss my family back in Ireland/UK? YES, but I made the conscious decision to emigrate for the greater good (lifestyle, etc) of my family. I hope the above is of some assistance to readers. I am not often on this site as life is busy settling in and with family which I love however I will try and answer questions as I know how nervous we were when we emigrated. Best of luck to you all. Breezer.:biggrin:
  11. Breezer

    Liverpool ** fan clubs/meeting places in Canberra

    Hi Everyone, Really sorry for not being on here sooner and replying. Thankfully I have been busy with my work and family settling in to ACT. I read a reply to my initial message about LFC opening/accepting International LFC Fan Clubs. I contacted LFC who did update me last year (I think I mentioned the criteria for setting one up) and I never followed through with it. I note some LFC fans mentioning about meeting up and watching a game or two. I'm happy to meet and get behind a great club , albeit 11,000 miles away! If anyone wants to see a particular game this season place a message on this thread and maybe a few of us could meet and watch the game? Great to see the Pool doing so well this season. YNWA! Cheers Breezer
  12. Breezer

    Liverpool ** fan clubs/meeting places in Canberra

    Hi Everyone, Thanks for your patience. I received a reply from Joan at LFC who stated that she no longre handles the supporters club. She kindly gave me a link to the OLFC who I have contacted with regards our LFC supporters club. The club is reviewing its Official Supporters clubs around the globe and currently haven't decided what to do. Basically we are on a waiting list. Once I hear from them I will update this site. As some of us have mentioned it would be good to get a few LFC fans in ACT to get together for a match and maybe a few beers. Any ideas as to when and where? Cheers Breezer YNWA
  13. Breezer

    Irish Group/communties

    Hi everybody Been here in ACT for 7 weeks and love everything so far. Great meeting the locals but would also love to meet up with people from the Emerald Isle. I am sure this thread has been posted a million times but would really appreciate it if I could be pointed in the right direction. Ideally I am living in the North of Canberra but South isn't a million miles away! Look forward to hearing from you. Cheers Breezer
  14. Breezer

    Reverse Cycle Aircon

    Its Fujitsu control and the external units are the same.
  15. Breezer

    Liverpool ** fan clubs/meeting places in Canberra

    Hi Anotherfinemess You are correct, I added 3 hours rather than take 3 hrs away. Well noticed. Cheers Breezer