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About kaoticturtle

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  • Birthday September 17
  1. The strip of shops by Gloria Jeans has some great wee food places. We looked in Picnic Point for places as well - just ended up on the Revesby side. Its nice and quiet out this way which suits us and we're able to afford a much nicer place to live than closer in to the centre. We'll head out to party but having lived in London we don't mind grabbing the train or driving and we value being able to relax in peace and quiet the rest of the time. Our place is a bit of a walk to the station but I tend to cycle which doesn't take long at all. There are secure bike lockers at the station so I rent one of those. We've never been down to the workers club but I've heard its quite good so I'm sure we'll make it down one day!
  2. Hubby and I are in Revesby, 2212. We've been here just over 4 months and so far enjoying it
  3. kaoticturtle

    Removers Insurance

    We used another shipping company (crown) and while they did quote for our insurance we were under no obligation to take it. The only thing they said was to double check the terms on all our options to make sure we were getting the cover we expected. We found the third party options gave better cover, so went with them. Given how heavily regulated insurance sales are, I would be very surprised if the shipping company can say you have to take their insurance but if they get uppity over it then I guess you need to decide whether you are willing to go through getting more quotes or whether you're ok paying it for an easy life? I'm not sure I'd be happy handing over all my possessions to a company that are a bit pissed off even if I managed to argue the point...
  4. kaoticturtle

    4 weeks in - Canberra/Sydney

    Thanks Bromney! It's great to hear from others that are a few months further on and that are enjoying themselves. After my 10 minute wobble I'm actually really excited to be moving to Sydney. We were back there this week and it does seem like it will be a great place to live. One thing I missed when we lived outside of London was all the lunch options so its good to hear there are plenty!
  5. kaoticturtle

    8 Weeks in Sydney and loving it!

    Glad to hear you've settled in so quickly and well! It's great to hear from people that are enjoying the move. We're going to be looking at rentals in the next few weeks, also out of central a bit but south rather than north, so we're hoping it also won't be too competitive. We have our rental pack all ready though!
  6. kaoticturtle

    4 weeks in - Canberra/Sydney

    Probably not the right places! To be honest, while I have looked outside of woolies etc for meat and veggies we haven't bothered too much with fish so far. One of our good friends from here was rather scathing about the ability to get decent fish in Canberra so given we're only here for a few more weeks we haven't spent the time looking. ​Is there anywhere you can recommend?
  7. kaoticturtle

    Finance Jobs

    I think it is very dependent on the role and the company. I'm an actuary (originally started out with one of the big 4 in London) and have a fantastic job offer 4 weeks after landing. However, my specific skill set is in demand and as far as I am aware there were only 2 of us interviewed. From reading other threads on here, other companies and roles have required different processes (in particular various tests) and the process can take a while. In mid-March we finalised our arrival date for early April so I contacted two recruiters that I had got on well with when I did some pre-move research back in August, and asked them to start the hunt. One got on the case straight away and came back with the role that I have now been offered. The process followed what I would consider a fairly standard model - submission of CV, one interview in person, reference checks and a second "meeting" which wasn't so much an interview as a further chat to clarify the role and to introduce me to others in the team. From interview to offer took about three weeks but could probably have been quicker if my references from the UK hadn't taken so long. I've noted from another post of yours that you're not planning on coming out here until you have a job offer. While I can see why you are taking that approach, one thing I have found here is that the finance industry is very concentrated in a few places (mainly Sydney CBD and Melbourne CBD) and notice periods are very short - generally 4 weeks. That means that employers here seem to be used to having people on hand to conduct interviews and are also used to sourcing staff very quickly when compared to the UK. From what I have seen, you would have to really wow an employer with skills they can't find locally or be able to move very quickly if you want to secure a job from the UK. I'm not saying it can't be done, far from, but it wasn't something I really appreciated before I arrived so thought I'd pass it along. I'm happy to recommend the recruitment agency that I'm working with if you want but I think they are quite insurance and risk focused which may not be your thing. PM me if you want the details.
  8. kaoticturtle

    Health Insurance

    I'm not sure that there is any one policy that is "the best". Unfortunately I think that you just need to take some time to sit down and go through the details of the various options as what works for someone else (e.g. a couple, someone with children, different age) may not be best priced for you. We went with my husbands old provider (nib) as we were told he would get continuity of cover etc but it actually turned out that we didn't... The policy is good though and meets our needs so we decided to keep it. In a year's time when we're more settled and when it comes up for renewal we're probably going to have a good look around and make sure we are definitely on the best one for us though.
  9. kaoticturtle

    4 weeks in - Canberra/Sydney

    Hubby and I arrived on the 9th of April so we've almost been here 4 weeks! We've been based in Canberra as that's where my parents-in-law are but are moving to Sydney ultimately so we've had a few trips up there. The first week was a blur of applying for medicare cards, bank accounts, my tax file number and also catching up with friends and family. Before we arrived, I was in touch with some recruiters and a promising job came along so one of my first priorities was buying a new suit and then getting up to Sydney for an interview on the 15th! My interview was really successful and they came back to ask for references, and for me to go back up to Sydney to meet some more of the team. The references took a bit of time due to the time difference back to the UK, but everything went well and they made an offer for the salary that I'm looking for yesterday afternoon. Yay!!!! The company seems a good place to work from the limited contact that I have had with them, and the role seems to be spot on for what I was looking for. As I'm new to the industry over here I figure that's as much as I can hope for with my first job and once I'm actually working I'll get a better feel for what's what. Having work sorted so quickly is a big relief. We knew that something would come along, but now that it has we can start looking at getting our own place to live and getting back on our feet properly. Prices wise, I haven't felt that things are all that bad. Some things are much more expensive but if you shop around often you can find much better deals. For food, I've found that some things I know are cheap in the UK just aren't over here so rather than carry on buying them, we've switched to something else. One example would be parsnips. We looove parsnips but at $10/kg they are extortionate here! In contrast, you can get pumpkin for $2/kg so we've started adding that to our basket. With meat, we think that the shops here are better value than the UK. The quality seems to be better, and price isn't too bad. Things like lamb forequarter chops are tasty and much better value than the UK. Fish so far seems to be quite expensive but apparently it is in Canberra. Still, we've been able to buy fish its just types that I'm not familiar with and, to be honest, that makes sense when the seas over here are very different to those round the UK. I haven't had a good comparison on clothing costs yet but for shoes, I'm waaay better off over here. The shops seem to stock more shoes in my size (I'm a UK 8-9) so I'm enjoying drooling over shoes that are normal prices We haven't had to buy much in the way of big household goods yet, and even when we get our own place we probably won't have to buy much new as we brought some things with us and we have people over here offering various things from their garages (we scored a fridge/freezer today!). That makes it all so much easier but it may throw our view of relative costs out a bit as we're not factoring these items into our comparisons. Our priorities for the next few weeks are now to get my contract in writing and then start seriously house hunting and organise for all our boxes to be moved up to Sydney. My start date won't be until mid-june so we've got plenty of time and hopefully we'll get to enjoy some of the autumn weather that still feels like mid-summer to us! ​ Overall, my impressions from this first month have been more intense than I was expecting. I've moved over fairly long distances in the past, both myself and since I met my husband, and I've also had to work away from home in other countries and cities for extended periods of time. Given that, I wasn't expecting to find the move difficult and I wasn't expecting to have any problems acclimatising. After all, Australia is an English speaking country so there are no language barriers and, while the culture is different, I'm used to getting to grips with living in other western countries. I also have a large network of family and friends here and I knew that my wage would be more than enough for us to live on even before hubby gets something. Yet, I have still found myself occasionally wondering "what on earth have I done!". I think the distance does make it seem a lot more serious and final than when you move long distances back in the UK or even within Europe. A particularly hard moment was after my first interview when I wandered down to circular quay to spend a bit of time before I had to head back to the airport. The walk highlighted how built up Sydney CBD is, how big a city it is and how small I felt in comparison! We haven't lived in a big city for a few years (although we were in London before that) but in Australia with my line of work big cities are the way we have to go. Sitting beside the opera house I did a quick search for property up on the north shore (as that was where I had heard there were nice places to live) and that was a really bad idea! Up there we would need to spend a huge amount of money on rent to get somewhere with the space we like and I started to get rather scared :eek: A quick call back home had me reassured pronto and hubby suggested some other suburbs that might be more affordable. The sick feeling in my stomach settled when I realised I had been looking at the price of family homes in pretty much the equivalent of Kensington in London! :rolleyes:He also reminded me that once you get out of the CBD, the suburbs very quickly become a lot less dense and free time probably won't be spent in central Sydney. I knew that, and I knew that we could afford to live somewhere fairly nice, but in the rush of the moment my emotions took over and panic set in... I have no doubts about our decision to move over here but I think it just goes to show that no matter how well prepared you are for the move, the enormity of what you are doing will hit at some point. For anyone coming over without a support network in place, it must be hard to get past those moments of panic and see them for what they are. Even with a support network, if you are not used to moving around and restarting in a new city the first couple of months must be difficult and I can see why some people decide very early on that its not for them.
  10. It sounds like you are a medical doctor - so have a graduate degree in medicine. Graduate degrees (i.e. degrees you study at university which only require prior high school/college level education) are also called Bachelors Degrees. A doctoral degree means a PhD, and is a type of post-graduate degree (i.e. you would probably need a graduate degree before you can start one). Its the difference between a doctor you would go to see because you are sick, and someone who can call themselves Dr X because they have done a doctoral research study which could be in something completely unrelated to medicine. PhDs normally take several years to complete. How long did you study for your doctor of medicine? Did you start the course directly from high school/college? I'm not sure how it affects your visa application, but I hope that helps to clarify what type of degree you have!
  11. kaoticturtle

    Bit of a Rant

    You must have the same postie that we did before we left!!! Ours was terrible, and made even worse by the fact that our front door led onto a pedestrian footpath while the back door led to the road (completely back to front!) so we never used the front door. He would leave things on the doorstep right next to path where anyone walking past could see them and would never ring the doorbell. My husband worked from home so was always in, so we know he just dropped them and left! Sooo many things went missing! I once found my contact lens delivery soaked through sitting on the doorstep and it hadn't rained for a few days so must have been sitting for ages with no note and no doorbell ring. He also stuffed packages into the letter box that were never going to fit through and just left them there! This is in contrast to our previous postie who was awesome - always rang the doorbell and would even sometimes come back if he had a parcel and the house was empty because he knew my husband worked from home so was probably only just out for a quick trip to the shops. Awesome
  12. kaoticturtle

    Got the PR - NOW WHAT ?

    We were surprised but the guy in the shop said that its a fairly recent change. I'm planning on double checking it just in case! Last thing I want is to be driving illegally, but he really did seem to be very very sure that I had to wait.
  13. kaoticturtle

    Another "where should I live" thread

    Ah! Thanks for the clarification We'll definitely be taking a cruise round both areas and see what the feel is once we're there.
  14. kaoticturtle

    Got the PR - NOW WHAT ?

    The driving license one seems to very by state - so check what your state's rules are. We went in to change my license in ACT and were told that there is a minimum three month period before I can get an Australian license here. So I was told to go away and not come back for a couple of months! Only other thing I can think of is that as you have been on a 457 for a while then you will be eligible for citizenship soon, but you are limited in the amount of time you can spend out of the country in the last 12 months before applying. Might be worth checking the rules so you know when to apply etc and so that you don't get caught out.
  15. kaoticturtle

    A question in reverse - UK car dealers and VAT

    Definitely, on Autotrader I would expect the price advertised to be the price you pay all up. I would expect it to be very clear if the price excluded VAT. Good luck! Shiny new cars are fun