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About Tychen

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  1. Tychen

    Move to Sydney

    I recommend these two blogs. Completely subjective of course, but I find that a blog author's intuitions about a suburb are often a better guide than someone merely crunching stats - and definitely a lot more helpful than a real estate website's write-up which is only aimed at selling houses to you. www.travelwithjoanne.com www.sydneycompletion.com
  2. Tychen

    House Purchase - Broadband, Gas, Water, TV etc

    Not in Adelaide but we recently went through something similar in Sydney, so trying to help: Broadband - we went with an NBN plan through Aussie Broadband because they have great, Australia-based customer service. They were really good at sorting out connection, arranging NBN engineers etc. We discovered afterwards though that Optus is slightly cheaper across the board for the same plans. Utilities - generally yes. In Sydney the water company will contact you because your details would have been given to them as part of the house settlement. Same with council tax. But you can choose your own electricity and gas companies. TV - we got a cheap "Laser" branded set top box from Officeworks which has worked fine with our UK TV. It plugs into the normal Aus aerial connection at one end and via an HDMI cable to the TV at the other end. It generally works well, but there are more expensive models out there.
  3. Tychen

    Sydney - where to live?

    Hi, I realise this is an old thread and you've already made your decision, so this response is more for the benefit of anyone else researching the same topic who is in a similar situation. So, I would actually recommend thinking about Strathfield and surrounds. Because it's a major hub station, you are about 20 minutes by train from the city centre and only 5 minutes more to North Sydney. It's also near the intersection of a few A-roads, so you are also close to other centres by train or by car if you end up working in say Parramatta or Macquarie Park. Surf-wise, it looks inland but you are actually only about 30-40 minutes drive away from the southeastern beaches like Coogee or Maroubra. Lots of other sporting facilities in the suburb and nearby - multiple golf courses, tennis courts and bike tracks, and Sydney Olympic Park and Bicentennial Park are only a couple of minutes drive away, and there are little bays and beaches on the Parramatta River. Strathfield town centre itself is very Korean, but there are a variety of cuisines and nice cafes in nearby suburbs like Homebush. Budget-wise, the grand houses in the "Golden Mile" of Strathfield are going to be beyond your budget, but you should be able to get a house that ticks your boxes in the surrounding areas at that price - say the south end of Strathfield, or next-door suburbs like Homebush, Strathfield South or Enfield - where you are still only a 15 minute walk or short bus ride from Strathfield station.
  4. Tychen


    It's meant to be both, if you are thinking about big picture long term strategic development... The current government strategy for Sydney divides it into "three cities" - essentially an eastern one that includes the city centre, north south, east and Inner West, with the traditional Sydney city centre as its main centre, and a second one that includes the western suburbs beyond the Inner West, with Parramatta as its main centre. There's a third one further out west, focussed around the future airport development. So Parramatta is meant to be its own regional centre within the Sydney region - with its own concentration of jobs and a high rise CBD, etc.
  5. Tychen

    Places to live recommendations

    If you want accessible, affordable AND beach, but are okay to compromise on a harbour / river beach rather than an ocean beach, I would recommend the waterfront suburbs of the Inner West. The harbour / river beaches are smaller but the waters are calm and so are good for younger kids - also boating if you are into it. Check out for example Concord / Cabarita / Breakfast Point, or Abbotsford / Five Dock / Drummoyne. These areas are all great in terms of parks, shops and cafe culture, and have some of the best public (and private) schools in Sydney. The prices aren't cheap in the scheme of things but you are much closer to the centre with its concentration of services and jobs.
  6. See this page: https://www.gov.uk/register-a-birth You will of course have a local registration, the additional step of registering with the UK authorities is not compulsory before you apply for the British passport. BTW, the same is not true for an Australian child born outside of Australia. Our first child was born in the UK and we had to apply first to get Australian citizenship for her (we are dual citizens) and then apply for the Australian passport.
  7. Tychen

    Tourist Tax Rebate Entitlement

    I claimed some VAT back on a watch when leaving the UK recently, at Heathrow Airport. They wanted to see evidence that I was moving away permanently (the rule is you can't be coming back into the EU for 12 months, I think: see second bullet point here: https://www.gov.uk/tax-on-shopping/taxfree-shopping). In this case my one way plane ticket and Aus employment contract was enough. VAT is 20% so if the retail price was the same you theoretically get more back in the UK, BUT in Aus you get the whole 10% GST back whereas in the UK the admin is outsourced and the contractor takes a chunky cut, so you should check with the shop how much you will actually get back.
  8. Tychen

    UK overseas voter attestation

    Ok thanks, that makes me think it won't be worth the effort of hunting down someone to do the attestation...
  9. Hello! I'm new here (to the forum and also to Australia - got here two weeks ago). I'm having some difficulty with registering as a overseas over in the UK, just wondering if anyone here has done it recently and might be able to help me navigate the process! I used the UK government's online form and supplied the usual details and the form was passed on to the local authority where I was last registered to vote (Islington). Just yesterday I got a letter (by email) from the council claiming that they could not verify my identity, and saying that I needed to send them a completed "attestation form". The attestation form apparently has to be signed by another British citizen living overseas AND who is a registered voter. I don't personally know anyone who fits that bill! Has anyone done the overseas voter registration recently? Did you have to do an "attestation" or did you convince them of your identity in some other way?