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About Loopylu

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  • Birthday October 12
  1. Loopylu

    WHV and mental health

    The only thing you need to worry about is your travel insurance. If you have experienced any mental health issues in the past or are currently taking medication to manage a condition (eg anti-depressants) you must declare it and pay any additional premium otherwise if you relapse or suffer any other health issue (ie not just mental health) while travelling, it is likely that the insurer will not cover you if you need to make a claim.
  2. Loopylu

    Extinction rebellion

    I have a bit of insight into Extinction Rebellion as my ex-bro in law, Roger Hallam, is one of the founders and his ex, my sister and her family are also heavily involved. My 48 year old sister was one of the half-naked protesters in the public gallery.... XR has only been going since about September 2018 but has membership all over the UK and around the world. There are branches here in Australia and some XR members were responsible for stopping a coal train going to Port of Brisbane the other day. Not much media coverage and the authoritarian Queensland police have thrown the book at the "offenders". A far cry from how the UK is treating those arrested in London - only a small proportion of the 900 arrested have actually been charged... What is interesting about this organisation is that it is attracting people from all backgrounds - not just long-haired vegan hippies (of which my ex-bro in law is one!!!). There are very respectable older people involved who are regular church goers, much to my niece's surprise and delight. My ex-bro in law has been a serial campaigner. He did time for breaking into Greenham Common when a student in the 80s. He was also jailed fairly recently for climate action activities and went on hunger-strike. I too am not very optimistic about change happening too quickly but the more people who tell politicians that this is a major issue then the more likely they are to listen. Will be interesting to see how many votes the Greens get on 18 May.
  3. Loopylu

    1 month+ Recon in the UK - where to check out?

    I found your comment on class and wealth interesting. From my 11 years of living in Oz, I think there is a much bigger division in Australia between those who have money and can afford private schools (approx 50%) and private health and those who can't. I personally think there are more measures in place in the UK to assist the poorest in society such as free school meals, no charge for textbooks and other school materials, no requirement to buy expensive school uniforms (you can buy cheap ones in the supermarket), the NHS (including free and accessible dentistry for the poorest and subsidised for the rest of the workers, much lower caps on prescription charges or no charges if you are on welfare, no GP gaps etc) and so the list goes on. Personal examples: my Aussie mother in law waited 5 years for a hip replacement in the public system and only got one because she fell over and broke her hip so they had to do something. I've heard of 12 - 24 month waits in the UK bu never 5 years! My daughter waited 3 years for an ENT appointment in the Qld public health system to get adenoids and tonsils removed. Took 5 years all up to get the work done. In the UK my twin sons were seen within 3 months and operated on 3 months later (and at the same time). If you have money in Australia, life is probably easier than in the UK. But if you are working poor or unemployed, you are bottom of the pile and vilified as being a bludger....
  4. Loopylu

    PRs who never bother to take out citizenship

    Wow - this sounds just like my situation except is was my Aussie hubby who was homesick after 15 years in the UK. I have now done nearly 11 years here but desperately hope to return to the UK once the kids are off our hands. My hubby is also fine now with a return as he found Australia and Australians were not as good as his memories. He thinks the country is too Americanised now.... As my husband took UK citizenship while living in the UK and our kids are dual nationals, I thought it best to hold the same citizenships as the rest of the family so we can all come and go at will.
  5. As a lawyer, I would guess that you have done your research on the 461 Visa and the conditions and the timeframes for grant of the visa (minimum 18 months). In case you have not, one of the key things to be aware of with the NZ special visa arrangement that your husband will be on is that you are effectively on your own and, if you are out of work, there is no entitlement to any benefits. On the 461 Visa you are required to have full medical insurance in place as you cannot access Medicare on this visa. However, there is a question about whether, as a UK citizen, you can access Medicare under the reciprocal healthcare arrangements. These reciprocal arrangements allow UK citizens to access Medicare for acute conditions but not for elective surgery/ongoing chronic health conditions. Just make sure you have plenty of money in the bank before coming to Australia in case it takes you some time to pick up employment.
  6. I don't know what area of law you currently specialise in but you might be able to find a job in a law firm if your skills are in demand. I practised as an overseas qualified lawyer until I got admitte. However, I worked in Energy and Resources where there was a shortage of experienced lawyers in Brisbane in 2008. The firm I worked for sponsored me and paid relocation. You may be able to pick up work in the government sector (eg applying regulations, enforcement action etc) while requalifying. I know another UK lawyer who has done this and she is in no hurry to requalify as she really enjoys the work and can't countenance going back to private practice. I am currently working in house for a government owned corporation (electricity distribution, retail and new technologies) which is a great, relatively stress free environment but less pay than the private sector. It certainly beats the top tier law firms in Brisbane which are not very diverse, are run almost exclusively by middle aged white privately educated men and where mental health issues are rife due to overwork and a bullying culture etc. Coming from Worcestershire, the cost of housing was eye-watering around Brisbane even in early 2009 when we bought and we live out in the area recommended by Ramot. We tripled our mortgage and only gained a fifth bedroom.... If we'd stayed put we would have been mortgage free by now. Just make sure that you do your research before taking the plunge if you currently enjoy life in Scotland, your legal jobs are bearable and you are comfortable financially.
  7. Loopylu

    Bayside Living

    Hi Jane Not sure a move to the Bayside will remove the feeling of "clickyness" - I think that is a general Qld thing as Qlders are very insular and tend to hang out with friends from primary school and rarely extend their friendship groups. We don't live in The Gap but know a lot of UK and NZ expats who do. They tend to gravitate to each other and socialise as the Qlders are not welcoming. The Gap State High has a very good reputation and excellent results which may be hard to match on the Bayside in the State system. Wynnum can be a bit rough in areas hence it is cheaper than Manly. The only thing I think you'll gain from a move to this area is the sea breezes.... Hope whatever decision you make makes you happy!
  8. Loopylu

    Bringing Cat into Brisbane Area

    The laws in Queensland are very different to the UK. In the UK, cats (unlike dogs) have the right to roam but the owner is liable if their cat causes damage or injury on someone else's property. Here in Qld it is against the law to let your cat off your property. As mentioned above, there are some nasty people out there who trap cats and take them to the pound. Also there are people who bait cats with substances such as antifreeze so they die a horribel painful death. Aussies are much more dog than cat people. I read somewhere statistically it is feral cats that cause 90% of native animal deaths but Aussies think that the average pampered puss is the main culprit. We do everything we can to make sure that our cats are in at night but on Sunday our male cat decided to disappear. We found him on Tuesday in the local pound as someone had deliberately trapped him and taken him there even though he had a collar. It cost us $250 to get him back. He was severely traumatised by the whole thing and has taken about a week to settle down again. To be honest, if I had known about the law here before we got our rescue cats, I probably would not have adopted them as I think it is cruel to keep cats indoors 24x7 unless they have always been indoor cats (ours weren't) and it is nigh on impossible to keep a cat in your yard without putting them in a cage. We tried putting anti-escape devices on our fences but our Houdini cat can still get out.... I think dogs are far more anti-social pets to keep and I am sick of our neighbours' dogs barking and whining every time I set foot in the yard to enjoy my garden. Or they escape and defecate on our front lawns... However, I would never stoop so low as to catch said dogs and take them to the pound although I have been sorely tempted....
  9. Loopylu

    Port Douglas / Cairns

    Depending on your interests, you might enjoy travelling up to the Atherton Tablelands and visting the various scenic waterfalls. We spent a day mozeying around up there in April 2017. Our boys (and their father and grandfather) enjoyed the Australian Armour and Artillery Musem which is just north of Cairns. Great if you are into tanks and APCs. It is the largest such museum in Australia. Hartleys Crocodile Farm is also a fun day out with lots of other Aussie animals there to see as well as the crocs. You can hand feed the cassowaries if you are there early enough in the morning. There is also an Aquapark in a lake with large inflatables at Smithfield just north of Cairns too near to where you get off the Skyrail. Palm Cove is a lovely spot to visit with good restaurants. You can go kayaking around Double Island and see turtles and dolphins. If you are there for the first Sunday in the month then the craft markets at Palm Cove are also worth a visit.
  10. My husband has steroid injections into his knee to manage pain caused by arthritis. He sees a consultant in a public hospital and so the procedure is free. If he got the injections done by his GP who bulk bills (ie no out of pocket costs for an appointment), they cost about $350. For some reason, the steroid injections can't be bulk billed by GPs but you can get them done for free in hospital. I suggest that when you get here (and subject to your visa allowing you to access Medicare) you get a GP to refer you to a consultant in the public system. I googled 489 Provisional Visa and it appears you will need private health insurance. You will only get the essential treatment cover that Marissa mentioned above under the UK/Australia reciprocal agreement which would not include elective procedures such as the steroid injections.
  11. Loopylu

    Most friendly/welcoming town or village to live in England?

    Hi Pingpong - the weather in that part of Wales is very mild as it benefits from the Gulf Stream warming effects (similar to Cornwall/Devon). It certainly does not get as cold as the Midlands and the East of England where temperatures can frequently go sub-zero in winter.
  12. Loopylu

    Most friendly/welcoming town or village to live in England?

    How about Wales? Some beautiful green rolling countryside similar to Northern NSW to be had in Carmarthenshire (where my folks live) and not so far from England as Scotland.... There is a similar vibe to Murwillumbah around small towns like Llandeilo with plenty of alternative lifestyle people (eg Tipi Valley).
  13. Loopylu

    Areas North of Brisbane

    Hi Gypsie24 We live in Eatons Hill which is close to Albany Creek. It is a lovely area to live in with access to good schools and reasonable transport options. We have buses to the city and Chermside/Strathpine (large shopping malls). Buses to the city take typically 50 minutes to 1 hour as they stop alot and the traffic is quite bad during rush hour. It is about a 10 minute drive to Strathpine Railway Station for trains north to the Sunshine Coast and Redcliffe Peninsula and south to the City and beyond. Trains to the city take about 25 minutes. There is a mixture of housing options with houses on acreage (large blocks), older 1970s housing on reasonable blocks and much newer estates also on good sized blocks. We live in one of the newer areas on 888m2. The area is very popular with people from the UK, NZ and South Africa. The local state high school is in Albany Creek and seems to have a good reputation. Our teenage kids travel a bit further to go to Wavell State High. We selected this school as it had a much greater choice of subjects. We have been happy so far with the school but have friends who have been equally satisfied with Albany Creek State High. There are also a number of private schools in the area if your budget stretches to that. In recent years a lot more infrastructure has been built on the main road that skirts Eatons Hill and there is quite a good hub around the new Woolworths and Eatons Hill Hotel. In the older shopping areas there are hairdressers, dentist, GPs and most other things you would need. There are various local groups for people who are new to the area such as New2Northside and Northside Womans Book Club that you could joion. If you PM me I can send you details. As far as the other areas you have mentioned are concerned, here is my impression: Bridgeman Downs - area established in 1960s/70s with big houses on large blocks. It is a fairly well to do area and within Brisbane. There are a lot of new developments being built at present on blocks where a single house is demolished and replaced with multiple new house. and as a result these are quite close together. Carseldine - area established in 1960s/70s with much higher density housing than Bridgeman Downs. Again this area is in Brisbane. Good connections to the city as has lots of buses and its own train station. Downside is that some areas are starting to get a bit run down and there was a large drugs bust (Ice) the other day in this area. Warner - this area is fairly close to Albany Creek and Eatons Hill. It is in the Pine Rivers area of Moreton Bay Shire. It was originally an area with acreage properties. About 10 years ago, the dozers came in and removed most trees (destroying important koala habitat) and high density housing was installed around "lakes". They are still building... It looks very bland as a result of removing the old trees. Eatons Hill was built around the old bush areas and therefore appears much greener. Lots of young families live in this area. There is a bus that links to Strathpine railway station. Albany Creek - another 1960s/70s area with a wide range of housing styles and quite a lot of amenities such as restaurants, craft beer bars and supermarkets. Again, in Pine Rivers. The same buses that service Eatons Hill service Albany Creek. You would probably drive to Carseldine if you wanted to get the train to the city. I hope that the above information helps.
  14. Loopylu

    Increase in migrant intake ?

    And Southern Qld could get day light saving if we got rid of the northerners!
  15. Loopylu

    Brisbane citizenship applications query

    There are serious delays in processing citizenship applications now - average of 13 months. https://www.sbs.com.au/news/anger-as-wait-times-for-australian-citizenship-blow-out