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About mattster155

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  • Birthday 15/05/1970
  1. After living in Australia for two years I have to say that budgets made in England go out the window when you arrive. I would say $400 in rent will not get much and be mindful that you will want to move into a good catchment area to be able to get a place in a good reputable school. I have have just paid our High school resources bill for two children that came to $800 and now the government have withdrawn laptop support that means we need more money for laptops. Prescriptions are also not free for children over here so if anyone has a regular prescription you'll need to pay for these too. You'll need a contingency fund in case the car goes wrong or white goods that become faulty, I'd say $150 for shopping each week is going to be a hard budget to stick too even if you shop in Aldi. I'm good with food budgeting but I can't manage to get my shopping bill under $180. You'll notice a real difference in price and choice over here, it's certainly not like Tescos. Dental fees are very high so best hope any children you have don't need braces because that will set you back $6000.($7500 in our case) We live in Queensland and they do have a yearly dental voucher for children that should cover the basics but not orthodontists. I think in all honesty we wouldn't be able to survive on $55,000. We have two children age 14 and 11.
  2. mattster155

    How to handle reluctant kids!!!!

    We were in the same position 20 months ago now. My son was 13 and seemed ok with the whole migration thing until his last day at school and then it all went down hill especially when we landed in Singapore. I think you may need to prepare yourself for some turbulent times ahead. We've had anger, tears and home sickness and its been a very unsettling journey for him. Those first few weeks starting High School were one of the real low points that stick in my mind, he found that not everybody was as nice and friendly as he was led to believe. I'd say it took a good six months to settle at school and find some good friends but he doesn't have the same connection as his friends that he grew up with in the UK. We went back to the UK in August and it probably wasn't the best decision however we had to return for a family wedding. Seeing him reunited with his friends bought a lump to my throat and did make me think what we'd put him through. However he is now doing brilliantly at school and has a good network of friends and he's busy out and about most of the time. Saying that we came back from our trip feeling very unsettled and have been discussing the pros and cons of living so far away from our family. My son now nearly 15 is adamant that he will return to the UK when he is 18. I know a lot can change between now and then but I'm not keen on the idea of being so far away if he did decide to return. My daughter however was 10 when we came and although she did suffer with occasional bouts of homesickness now loves living in Australia and has no desire to return. I think there are cultural differences between teenagers in Australia and teenagers in the UK some good some not so good. Schooling is very different and I find education here a bit behind the UK. All I can say is good luck and try and listen to how he's feeling and offer plenty of encouragement and understanding, it's a difficult age without having the extra stress of moving to a totally new country that just happens to be a long long way away from everything they have ever known.
  3. That's promising news as my son isn't even due to start year 10 till January 2015 he's only just turned 14 and I'm really hoping to get him back to the UK by end of March and that's at the very latest. He would have missed 7 months of year 10 work (but that includes Xmas and half terms) but as there is less coursework I'm hoping that it won't be too difficult to catch up, of course I'm going to check with the school he will return to. If he needs extra tuition then we can help with that too. He cannot wait to return to the UK education system so is prepared to work hard.
  4. Unfortunately our family live an hour away from where he would be going to school so sadly that's not an option. He wanted to stay on till year 12 in Oz so would be looking at doing A Levels in the UK then possibly University. Year 10 in the UK would have just started and if we could get him in early on in 2014 I think with some extra tutoring and catching up he'd be ok. I hear they have changed the way GCSE's are sat in the UK with less modules and coursework to one final exam. I think I will touch base with the UK school and get their opinion on it. I do not want to damage his education due to our decisions however I do not want to feel trapped in Australia because of this. If we stayed until he finished year 12 then my daughter would be startling year 9 and I feel for her it wouldn't be ideal to move her back to the UK as she has settled well into the Australian Education System and would find it difficult to adjust.
  5. This is an interesting post for us as we are in a similar position. We are thinking about returning to the UK possibly at the end of the year or the middle of next year. My son is 14 and will be going into year 10 in January in Australia. This is not an ideal time to move him but life doesn't always work out the way you want it to. I'm thinking of emailing the secondary school to ask questions about the best time to return and what they can do. My husband wants to wait until he gets a work bonus which is in April which will help us with the costs of going back. My son would return to the UK tomorrow if he could and do whatever it takes to get himself back into secondary school for his G.C.S.E's. The question I suppose is do we wait until he finishes year 10 in Australia or move him sooner. He is a clever Boy who has excelled in School here although I do feel that the education in Queensland is behind the UK.
  6. mattster155

    Kidney stones anyone?

    Ouch.....I've had them since I was 18 years old. I currently have two in my left kidney and am under the consultant at the hospital here in Oz I'm now waiting for a CT scan. Over here they use laser or Lithotripsy. In both my pregnancies I was admitted to hospital with kidney stones. The doctor told me the tubes that come from your kidney to your bladder inlarge slightly so your more likely to pass them. I passed several stones whilst pregnant so I've never had to have any treatment. Mine were agony and you'll know if you pass them. Hope you get it sorted.
  7. mattster155

    Collecting dog from Sydney quarantine?

    We used Jet Pets to fly them from Sydney to Brisbane. We have two dogs but wasn't that expensive compared to what we paid to fly them over from the UK. We found them very good they will give you a quote on the phone. They pick them up from quarantine take them to the airport and let you know when their safely on the flight and what time it's due to land then you go to a holding station near the airport and they bring them to you in their crates (they use the same crates that were used to fly from UK to Sydney) such a stressful time for us but all so worth it to see their tales wagging and excitement when your reunited.
  8. Hi, we are selling our Hyundai IX35 LM2 Active 2L Manual car only bought last year brand new in May 2013 it has 18,000km and has 4 years warranty left with free breakdown cover. It's vanilla white and in very good condition. We have had the paintwork/interior treated and the windows tinted this is also under warranty. It also has a brand new tow bar just fitted. It's just about to have its first service at Hyundai and is registered till May 2014. The vehicle is located in Hope Island - Gold Coast. $23,500
  9. mattster155

    Returning to Oz after trip back home

    Great thank you. Our visa is electronically linked to our passports and has plenty of time left when we do return.
  10. mattster155

    Returning to Oz after trip back home

    We are currently living on the Gold Coast on a Permanent Residency Visa. We are travelling back to the UK for three weeks in August. We are travelling on British Passports. Does anyone know if we will have a problem at immigration when re-entering Australia. Someone has told me today we need to get a visa that will allow is to re-enter Oz. Many thanks
  11. mattster155

    Making the move with not much time to spare!!

    We arrived in Australia April 2013, our visa only had a couple of weeks left on it and we had no problem at immigration at all. It was a close call for us but we checked our visa and as long as we entered Australia before the expiry date we would be ok.
  12. mattster155

    14 Year old wants to go "home"

    Newjez, my children's happiness is one of the most important parts in all of this and I am aware how hard they sometimes find it. I keep all lines of communication open so he knows that how he feels is important to us and does matter, there are always other options to consider if he continues to feel like this. Sunshine, more money and a bigger house were certainly not a part of why we came to Australia and I am constantly aware that I have taken my children away from their other relatives which is why we plan to go back later this year. I know going back may not be the best thing but I need to see my family and they need to see us too. I'm a true believer that nothing lasts forever and circumstances change all the time.
  13. mattster155

    14 Year old wants to go "home"

    You are right fensaddler. We are not yet committed to staying and I feel that this has contributed to him feeling unsettled. We said we'd try for two years which I feel now wasn't the right thing to tell him as this gives him a get out clause. I have now tried to change my mind set and be positive about our experience and ignore his negative comments made about his life here.
  14. mattster155

    14 Year old wants to go "home"

    Who knows what will happen and how we'll feel , I know that he is literally counting the days down till we fly back and this keeps him going. He has three weeks planned with his friends. It will either backfire and make him worse or make him appreciate what he has here in Oz. I'm constantly telling him that some of his friends could only ever dream of living the life he has. If only we'd done this when the children were younger as it would have been so much easier. Take each day at a time and listen to how he feels and try to understand as difficult as it may be. I'll let you know how we go. Louise x
  15. mattster155

    14 Year old wants to go "home"

    Hi, Unfortunatly we are in exactly the same position as you. We've been in Oz 10 months and have had such struggles with both our children. My son is 13 nearly 14 and has always wanted to return back to the UK. He misses his friends and old school so much that at times he gets so upset about being here. We've often thought that he just doesn't try to make a new life here. My son is doing well at school but he has had many struggles along the way. He has met friends but obviously he's only known them for a short time his friends in the UK he grew up with since he was 3. At times it's been so upsetting watching him struggle and makes me feel unsettled to. My son has a lot of friends in the UK and had a very busy social life, he was very involved in street dance which took up a lot of time but won't continue it here. He has joined a local gymnastics class which he enjoys but other than that is not interested in joining anything else. Watching him bored in the summer holidays was hard to as I know if he was in the UK he would of been with his friends. He gets up early to play X Box with his UK friends and is always talking about them and rarely mentions anyone from school in Oz. My daughter is 11 and is already saying if we decided to stay as soon as she's old enough she's going back. We are flying back in August and hope that it will be a turning point for us all. Taking him back in 2015 would be a nightmare for his education as he would have to go back a year to start his GCSE's. I don't know what will happen when we return to Oz after our trip back. We've tried everything to make our children feel more settled we've bought a boat and do many things we could only ever dream of doing in the UK but for us there comes a point where out children's happiness will take president on wether we decide to stay long term or not. We've just purchased some land to build a house so we're tied to Oz for a couple of years and I'm happy about that. I agree that we all look back with rose tinted glasses especially our son but he knows best or so he thinks. I completely understand your worries but I think 13/14 are difficult years wherever you are. I wish you good luck.