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Found 357 results

  1. Well......hold on tight...I think this just may be a long one...I will do my best to keep it short and sweet and pain free as possible. :wubclub: We started our journey back in 2006. We talked about coming to Oz. Did the usual, check out our possibilities, and decided to start the TRA process in June 2007. Permanent Residency applied via agents January 2008. Got the Visas DECEMBER 2008....(I know..seemed to take forever)...We validated visa's last year April 2009....and honestly...thought we would never get back...!!...we had some days when we thought we should give up...and then some days where we thought we were idiots..!..and then some days when we just wanted to be here sooooo bad...!!...so many different emotions..!!...:wacko: Like many...we couldn't sell our house...so decided to rent it out..(well.. actually we got full asking price after we dropped £75k)...and decided to take full advantage of the low interest rates on mortgage...!!..decided that we would mortgage our selves silly...( yes..yes..I know..)...and rented our house out...!...rent in...pays for mortgage...and we got some $ to bring with us...!...yay..!!...(we also lived in a tourer caravan for 8 weeks...YES...8 weeks before we came...!!..lol...and believe me...if you ever met me...I really don't do caravans...(..i do now,...lol):mad: So....here we are....5 weeks in...and...so far...so flipping BRILLIANT...!!..The flight here was really great...(singapore airlines)...but unfortunately..because we valiated last year...they wouldn't let us have double baggage allowance...!!.. We sold all our belongings before we left...!!...and I know this isn't everyones cup of tea...but for us...we wanted to start a fresh here..!...(also property in Uk is older...built in 1930's...and some items wasn't worth bringing..!).....and it meant that I got to go shopping...!!....and BOY have i SHOPPED...something i personally think I'm quite good at...lol...!!...:wink: We did however bring 10 boxes over with us...we used U-Bag...very very good...can't fault them...and our boxes varied from 20kilo to 30kilo...and a door to door service worked out about £80 per box..!...We got our boxes in less than a week...which we thought was excellent. Our fist week consisted of endless driving around different suburbs...trying to get the 'feel' for all the areas...and eventually we have settled in the area where our holiday let is...whiich is in Butler. We love it here. for us ...it has everything we need..!... We have found the people here to be soooo friendly......the weather is good..the food is good...and the alcohol is good......the beaches are good....!!...so far...ALL IS GOOD....!!... :smile: We bought a little run a round in the first week....sorted medicare cards etc...validated bank accounts...!!...easy peasy lemon squeezy..!..nothing is tooo difficult...!!... my hubby is also out this week....he is working for free this week..YES...FREE...in the hope of a job offer...and if he doen't get this job..he will get a reference...!...It is hard our here if you are a tradey......Licences are a headache..(hubby plumber/gasfitter)...but we also did our homework and prepared ourselves for it being tough) This week...my girls started school in Butler...and believe me....as a mother...i was having kittens about it...was it the right school...?...would the school be 'good enough'...I checked the reports and school performance tables...blah..blah...:rolleyes:and worried myself to death......I cried all the way home from school yesterday...rang my husband sobbing....and the girls had the best day EVER...and LOVED the school...!!... :biglaugh: I even got my beloved pampered pooch this week...!!...we used petair...and they were superb...can't thank them enough...!...they were the only ones to inform me that when I was getting quotes...Perth qurantine is a small place...!..and that they also had a waiting list...so Petair arranged for the spoilt pooch to be sent to Sydney...did her 30 days there...and then arranged for a guy to 'pop' her on a plane to Perth....!!...(to my husbands delight)... We also have secured a rental...4x2 with a pool...!!...yay...!!...we only managed this though because we offered to put down 6 months upfront...!!...as obviously being newbies...we didn't have any references, and it was something we were prepared to do..!!...(with a pooch..rentall is then limited as some peeps don't like pets)... So......there you have it...!!..sorry if you have fallen asleep during my little essay, and take what you will from it....I have been taking info from this forum for some time and hope to be able to 'give a little back'...:wubclub: I know it is early days for us...and I know so far it has cost us a lot of money.....and yes we are far away from our family and friends,.....but honestly...it has been the best thing that has ever happened to us as a family....!!...I just feel sooooo happy here....and long may it continue.....!!... xxx
  2. Guest

    Sydney - 2 weeks in

    Thought I'd update you all on our first 2 weeks in Sydney! In the first couple of days we ran around doing all the admin stuff like bank accounts, medicare, tax file numbers, driving licence etc. Since then we've been busy looking for a rental property and speaking to recruitment agents, arranging interviews etc. We haven't really had much time to do anything touristy yet but managed to get an afternoon at Bondi Beach yesterday which was nice! Observations.... Rental Rent is expensive. In the UK we were paying £700 per month for a 2 bed apartment. For a similar standard of property in Sydney we're looking at $500 per week (approx $2100 per month or £1300 at current exchange rate) Competition for rental properties in our price range ($450 - $550) is cut throat. We went to some saturday viewings and about 20 other people also turned up. It was like a party! For that budget in the eastern suburbs we saw some really horrible properties that reminded me of my student days. Other viewers seemed keen on them though! In the end we decided to check out some other areas and have now ended getting an apartment in Mosman on the lower north shore. Seemed to be a less competitive area and the apartments we looked at you seemed to get more for your money compared to Eastern Suburbs. Trick is to go to the viewings with all your documents/references ready to go - make it really easy for the agent to accept you. Also, take advantage of not being employed and try to arrange private viewings during the week. Even though we're unemployed we were able to show a decent bank balance and we didn't need to pay more than 1 month of rent upfront. From our kitchen window we can see the Opera house - awesome! Mobile phones Really difficult to get a contract mobile phone as we have no credit history here. Before they'd even consider me I needed my passport, NSW driving licence, Australian Bank statement and an Australian debit card! Even after I had all that documentation they struggled to get me through the credit checks and they had to fudge the system saying I was self employed. Employement (Accountants) Submitted my CV for a few jobs on seek.com and by 9am the next morning my phone was ringing like crazy. Within 3 days of doing that I'd attended 5 interviews! I've had a job offer but it's a slightly lower salary than I want so I'm holding out for another role that looks a bit better. Seems the market is really picking up at the moment. Most agents suggest I should be looking at $100k basic (qualified accountant with 3 years post qualified experience). Exchange rate It's really hard not to be converting everything back to pounds all the time. Each time we do we get a little heart attack! Public transport seems quite cheap, we've got weekly travel passes for $40 that allow us on any bus/train/ferry within the central Sydney area. The biggest surprise to us is how expensive fruit & veg is - $3 for a bit of brocolli, $1 for a single bannana! We haven't even considered restuarants yet, need to be earning first! The people One of the biggest things we've noticed is how friendly and helpful people seem to be. People speak to eachother on buses/trains and people help you out if you look a bit lost. Everybody has been very patient with us as we get to grips with how things are done here. I'm sure we've asked some very dumb questions... What's coming up.... Securing work Moving into and furnishing our flat (we've learnt you can hire fridges / washing machines) Doing some of the touristy things, enjoying the summer! Making some new friends!
  3. boogaloo

    3 weeks in Perth!

    Hi guys We have now been in Perth for 3 weeks and still loving it! Why did we wait so long! We are still in a holiday rental but thankfully we have finally found a long term unfurnished rental and signed the tenancy agreement for 12 months last night - hooray! We move in on 25th November. We thought we would never get one! We are a family of four and my mother is here with us so we wnated something a bit bigger - we hoped that we would register with an agent and they would show us loads of particulars and we would choose one !! oh no!! You go on www.reiwa.com and www.realestate.com and you look every day and when you see something that will suit you ring up to be told sorry that has gone or you go around an open house - lasting 15 minutes - with hundreds of others desperate for a rental then you submit an application and wait to see if you get chosen - we were constantly telling our kids to dress to impress and be polite but the agents are not fussed - they just herd you in and out!! Do not be fooled by the pictures of rentals they take pictures that make it look massive but when you get there you cannot swing a cat! We managed to get our rental with a private landlord and not an agency - so much better! Make sure that you get the The West on a saturday and scour the rentals and phone and go see asap - that is how we got ours! We also offered 6 months rent in advance which works wonders!! We have managed to buy two cars - a little Mazda 2 for mum and I to share and a Camry for Neil to get to work and as a family car! We had to get finance which was really simple! You will need a car here no question! Our biggest pain in the bum has been mobile phones - all we wanted to do was buy an Ozzie sim card for $2 but we had to provide ID, proof of address and sign an anti terrorism form !! Also make sure that when you come over you make sure that your phone has had the network unlocked! We had to pay $40 to have one phone network unlocked and one phone could not be unlocked so we had to buy a new one!! We pay $65 for every consultation with a GP and then claim back £34 from medicare - and it is quite simple once you have done it a couple of times! My Hubby is a bricklayer and got his white card online which was straightforward and he applied for ABN online! You will need a computer when you arrive as everything is done online! Hubby has a job and seems to be enjoying it so far! Our children are in year 7 at St Stepens school in Carramar and have made loads of friends already! Look into children's immunisations before you arrive - our twins are 12 and missed their boosters and cervical cancer jab as planned for after we left the UK and already done in school when we arrived - so you may need to pay! I will keep you all posted - it is a real learning curve but we are so glad we are here - what a lovely life!! Sue x
  4. Well after alot of soul searching, I have come to a decision. Going to be booking our flights for 3 weeks time, only it will be just the 3 of us going back instead of 4. My OH does not want to give up Australia just yet, so he has decided to stay behind, on the hope that he gets a job. I guess at the end of the day, I am the type of person that can't live on a wing and a prayer... far too practical for that, so with a definate job offer in Canada, I am going to seize the opportunity and get some stability back in my life. My twins are over the moon at going back... and I am sure when I tell everyone back in Canada they will welcome us with open arms. Who knows if this is the end of the journey for me... I may turn into a ping ponger especially as my OH does not want to return for us. Thank you to everyone for your support during our good and bad times here. Cheers Karen
  5. the dougans

    3 weeks in brisbane

    hi we have been in oz for 3 weeks now , flew with emirates who were good. stayed with friends for first 2 weeks but now living in springfield lakes in a brand new 4 bed dream house. hubby stared work the day we got own house . he is a carpenter, dont like this tax ,superannuation and self employed things we need to do and sort for ourselves . but suppose will get used to it. daughter started school on monday she loves it and the uniform. waiting to hear if my son can make prep as an early entry he just misses it but getting appealed. i have got a relief job in school as a teacher aide so that great, hope to become perm when job comes up . love springfield lakes it had everything and all new the way i like it. having a ball and love oz but do really miss family and friends . mum and aunt coming in nov though so that good. starting to chill now after all the running aroung organising everything . good luck to everyone !!!!
  6. My wife and I are planning on a 2 week "holiday" to check out a few places in Australia. We're currently 28 and 30 and dont have children yet - If we dont do it now we'll never do it. Plus we're young enough to come back to the UK if it doesn't work out! However, we're unsure where to go to in Oz. My Aussie colleague is from Melbourne and he says to look at Perth, my brother-in-law says Sydney is a no-brainer (even though he's never been) and my employer has a sister company in Melbourne so that could be an easy job opportunity. The other curved ball is that my wife suffers with a circulatory condition whereby she suffers painfully cold legs in the winter. We went to Vegas recently and loved the climate. It made my wife's condition disappear overnight. So, we'd like to look at Perth, Melbourne and Syndey over just 2 weeks! Is this feasible? How many days should we allocate to each? I realise its going to be VERY difficult to see enough in just a few days.
  7. hi there we have been settled for 2 weeks now. Finding a rental in berwick is a mission! Allow 4 weeks. The agents and landlords certainly take their time getting back to you! We were really beginning to worry and were finally offered two on the same day. Expect to be competing with atlest 3 - 10 other families. When you first look at an area, you think, ok, this look alright - shops school, this far to the beach and nearest mall etc etc. Then you get to live there, and it is sooo much fun exploring all the little bits that you did not see when you first decided on the area. Things like the amazing bike paths that seem to be everywhere, the botanical gardens and little parks etc, etc. The group of shops that you did not know was there, the friendly gym that is full of local people to meet. . . . the list goes on! Our girls are 11 and 9 years old, and their settling was my biggest worry. We are from NZ you see. and NZ are always going on about how much they dislike aussie - in a ribbibg kind of way. However, I was worried that the kids would get ribbed really badly for being new zealanders, at school. Well, turns out they don't even give us a second thought! Everyone has only had positive things to say about NZ. However, my husband does have to put up with all the 'sheep' jokes, but he's an adult and he will cope I am sure!! Anyway, both girls had 'best friends' on the first day, and my oldest has started breaking the aussie boys hearts already with her rejections. . . . yes, it all begins at such a young age these days! Schools are highly varied. Be choosy and you will find the one you want. But you will see some that you would not leave your dog in! Some are well resourced and others . . .are not. The aussies that live in the outer suburbs, such as berwick, often seem to come from the inner city to 'raise their families in the burbs' So in many ways they are new and looking for local pals too. There are also lots of great expat families starting over again the the more affordable burbs. So you are getting a great group of people and paying very little for it. - compared to living inner city. They only value to living in the city - is work commute. If you can manage to get a job outside of the city - your living standard will be better and cheaper. (IMO)You will still be able to have superb access to the city via trains and freeways etc in weekends. we are so busy every weekend, There is so much to do here. It is a 35 min drive to places like chapel street and other great locatons, and 45 mins to the centre of the city. There are at least 7 areas directly around the city that we want to explore. Each of these we could go back to quite a few times - so heaps to do in the immediate area. Cars are stupidly expensive. Much more that NZ. I do not know why. Very frustrating at the time, but you come to accept these things as part of the bargin. Everyone drive a bomb here - so who cares!lol. We love Berwick, and would highly recommend it, but there are many many other areas equally as good. It is a matter of choosing what is right for you! Jenny
  8. this thread comes with a green warning.... and might help any one who is a bit anxious. This is my opinion and out look on my situation so obviously might get someone who doesn't agree. Anyway, so far I have found Australia pretty awesome. OK some of the things are more expensive but others are the same if not cheaper - you have to buy wise and always check prices against other places. The variety is great and I have to say I am really enjoying the different shops the Australian malls have. Its not the same old same old high street shops you get in every UK village, each mall has a unique set of shops, I am loving going into the "cheap" shops like the reject shop and hot dollar!! you can get great kids stuff in there for a fraction of the price. Schools are great - well my daughters school is anyway. The uniforms are expensive though, stupidly expensive. But I have to say the teachers, and staff have been ever so helpful and opened the uniform shop just to kit my daughter out. The other parents have approached me and have been very welcoming and helpful. Such a great bunch of people. I personally think the standard is high. My daughter did well at her UK school, she has finished year one in UK and is completing final term of year one in Australia, she is finding some of the work challenging. It could be the long holiday and the fact she has to get into things again, but from talking to the other parents and the teachers the school standard is high and they get great results. I am just loving getting out of bed to the sound of kookaburras and walking my daughter to school with amazing views of the valley and gorgeous trees and birds. Even saw a big blue tongue lizard which my little 3 year old thought was pretty cool!! so, life in Australia - so far meet and rises above expectations
  9. Guest

    2 Weeks in Melbourne!!!!

    We arrived here just over two weeks ago and have been staying in a furnished rental in Bayswater. We were flat out for the first week or so sorting medicare cards, applying for our TFN, looking at long term rentals, getting our bank cards, changing licences at Vicroads, and looking for a car to buy. We got a rental in Rowville (the first one we applied for!) which is great for my wife's work in Dandenong and mine in Ringwood East. Eventually, we would like to live further down the Penninsula (Frankston, or Mornington way) but this will depend on work in the longer term (I think it would be too for for me to commute?) We have taken a bit of time out this weekend (much to our 2 kids delight, who have been sat in the car and dragged around shopping centres and rental viewings for the last 2 weeks!). On Saturday we went to the Moonlit Wildlife Sanctuary and fed the Wallabies (or 'big fat Wobblies' as my 3 yr old said!), then on to Mornington for lunch and a drive up the coast. Today we went to Jells Park (10 mins down the road) for a play and a barbie (alas all the barbies were taken, everyone seemed to be having a birthday part there!), and then this afternoon went to the HUGE market in Caribbean Gardens which was great. I am just so impressed with all the wide roads, space, playgrounds, and feel so lucky to be here! I start work in a couple more weeks, and my wife soon after that, so next we need to move into our rental and check out childcare. The only thing that is stressing us (apart from our 4 year old's tantrums!) is the cr*p exchange rate! Aparently the lowest it has been in decades. Great. We are transferring some money to pay for the car, which is painful. We would have got several hundred dollars more for the same amount a couple of months ago. Still, I know there are lots of others in worse pedicaments than me so I'll stop whinging!
  10. Hi Guys Well were moving back to Melbourne in 5 weeks after returning to the UK 18 months ago & we cant wait. Our dog goes to the kennel in two weeks ready to fly out the 25th Oct. Using Golden Arrow and am so far very happy with them. I start work the end of November - the same job I had when we lived there in 2008/09. They had to sack someone in May and offered me my job back & they have kept it open for 6 months until I could get back out. And we also have our rental all organised. I was browsing on realestate.com on Monday night (as I do all the time looking for rentals) and the first house to appear was the same house we rented when we lived there before. Called the estate agent that night and after giving her all our info the landlord agreed we could let it again! Its so strange to be going back after this time back in the UK especially to the same job & house. Hope it helps the dog settle in, he might recognise it! Anyway were planning to come to some of the meer-ups this time round so may see some of you guys there! :biggrin:
  11. chalkyhill

    Perth 1 1/2 weeks

    We arrived in Perth 1 and a half weeks ago - had a great experience so far. Transperth - The public transport is great in Perth compared to anything I have used in the UK and it seems fairly cheap. Securing a rental - We looked around a few units in Perth and a lot of them were pretty disgusting, managed to secure a clean unit in East Perth 2 mins walk from a red cat bus. It was a private let so I think that made the vetting easier. Food - Some food seems cheaper whilst other stuff seems more expensive. Clothing - The clothes in shops seem to be cheaper than in the UK. Customer Service - Generally the customer service in shops seems to be a lot better than the UK. Vividwireless - We set up a wireless dongle with vividwireless for $75 a month for unlimited bandwith and its twice as fast as my bt broadband back home - plus no need for a landline. I can't think of anything else at the moment - but we are having a great time at the moment and we are looking forward now to doing some touristy things.
  12. After touring the state capitals, I have decided to settle with my daughter in Adelaide. Any new arrivals, or veteran migrants in Adelaide? It has been a cold, grey winter - not what I expected when I migrated to Australia, but as everyone keeps telling me, this has been an unusual winter here. It's picking up now and today we had a beautiful, warm sunny day. We are staying in temporary accommodation while I try and navigate the school system here and get my daughter into a reasonable one. Money is a bit of a worry as the cost of living is higher than I expected. Rents are similar to the UK. Would love to connect with any other Adelaide migrants to share stories and tips.
  13. Guest

    Arrive in Sydney in 2 Weeks!!

    Hey All, I am due to arrive in Sydney in 2 weeks time on an inital 12 months working holiday visa. I seem quite stuck on what I need to be doing before I arrive. I don't have a job as yet, but have appointments set up with recruitment agents. Iv not got accomodation sorted yet, but have a hotel booked for the first week, but then hope to get an apartment sorted near the city. Other than Travel Insurance, is there anything I need to sort out before I arrive, or should I just sort out everything when I get there, ie Bank Account, Tax File Number, Mobile Phone etc. Also, I am coming across with my girlfriend, we are both 25, and was wondering what the best way to meet people was. Neither of us know anyone out there, but was assuming it would be easy enough once we get out and about to make friends etc. Again, does anyone have any advice about this? Thanks Adam
  14. Guest

    Moving out in 4 weeks

    Hi I'm moving to Brisbane in for weeks and been reading some of the messages on here and I'm a little worried cos there are some people say how it's expensive and not what they expected and can't wait to come home (UK) !!! Is it really worth up rooting and leaving all your family and friends for. I know it's something only I can decide myself but some positive feedback would help and why people made the move in the first place. Mine is to try and give our daughter a better quality of life and how nursing is different in Oz Maybe I shouldn't read these messages thanks
  15. Checked our ACS status online and it said the following: Given NameXXX Date Received23-August-2010Event TypeGeneral (PASA)StatusClosedManaged ByXXX GradeApplicant Is it possible to get a positive assessment if the case has been finalized in 3 weeks? :unsure:
  16. mr luvpants

    15 weeks....

    till we go!:chatterbox: Been three years since we started the adventure but 15 weeks to go now!!!! JOHN
  17. Guest

    Two weeks in Victoria :)

    Well we've been here for 2 weeks now so thought I'd give you a little update of our journey so far... Saying goodbye was a LOT harder than I thought it was going to be, tears, tears and more tears but don't worry you'll be ok! As soon as you're on the plane you're getting on with it and its nice to get in touch with people when you're here, no more tears! We flew with emirates who were great, lots of entertainment for everyone and I really enjoyed the meals which I didn't think I would, besides that meal times break up the flight. We had 50 kilos of luggage each and we used every single kilo in fact I think we were a bit over but they never said anything or charged us. This is great for taking as much stuff as possible with you but a little bit stressful at the airport with one of you pushing the buggy:err:. We stopped at Dubai for a couple of hours (crazy, busy airport!) and emirates have free buggys for you to use which is obviously very handy. The only annoying thing the whole flight was having to disembark at Singapore to re go through security. Apparantly they don't make flights leaving Oz do this, but flights inbound they do. I suppose this wouldn't be a problem for most people but when you're stuffs everywhere and you only get told this is going to happen when you've practically landed its a bit annoying having to remove all your stuff and 2 kids just to walk in a flippin circle and get back on again :mad: We arrived early morning and were greeted by a slightly horrified looking Kate (M2M) when she saw our luggage, we had prepared her but she still looked horrified only kidding Kate!! It was nice to be greeted with a big hug after our long, long flight! Kate drove us to our short term let where we were met by our lovely landlady who made sure we had enough food and drinks not to have to leave the house for at least 24 hours (which believe me was an absolute life saver). We slept for the rest of the day (not intentionally!) unpacked, had a drink to celebrate and went to bed. Our landlady picked us up the next day to pick up car hire and we were off! It probably took us about a week to get over the jet lag because of the 20 month old and also because myself and OH were ill for a few days after arriving. As soon we recovered from jetlag I started to feel really up beat and raring to go! We went out with Kate for the day and sorted some things out as well as looking around numerous different areas, I found this invaluable as the place that I decided upon I hadn't even heard of and possiblt wouldn't have come across. So we are now trying to find a rental, we have 2 that we have found and like the last 2 days for $395 a week so are going to apply tomorrow first thing. Theres also another one but its not open for inspection yet. The open for inspection thing is a bit annoying when you're on a time scale and just want to be able to look at the house but there you go. Medicare and TFNs easy to sort out and we have ours already. Customer service here in person is amazing, people are so much more friendly than I'd anticipated, they make you feel so welcome. I haven't come across the sort of fakeness that I hear people talking about on here which is nice. Customer service over the phone hmmmm, if someone says they're going to phone you back, accept the fact that you're never going to hear from them again lol Bearing in mind I haven't been here long, I can only tell you my first impressions. I have found things to be more expensive so far but I haven't had a chance to shop around yet. I noticed for example in K-mart, textiles are more expensive by quite a bit! Crockery though I found to be cheaper as well as irons. Food, nappies toiletries all seem to be more expensive. Although at the Fountaingate you can go ice skating for $7 skate hire included - bargain!! I won't know how it all works out cost of living wise for a couple of months so I'll let you know! Last thing for now, I've read and heard a lot about the ozzies being crazy drivers but to be honest for me its not been that dissimilar to driving in the UK, I've felt v. comfortable driving here (forgot, bought a car - not much more to say on that lol) I'll post more when I discover it and also about our days out and about in Vic, I have photos of Torquay for VickyMel and MichelleH ( I stopped specially so you best like them lol) WAKE UP!!!! How rude :wink: Edited to let you know Mcdonalds have regulatory signs up in there Drive through windows stating that you CANNOT walk through the drive through to get your burger, so if you were coming to Oz thinking you could walk throught the drive through, think again people, it ain't happening, regulations say so
  18. Hi all, was hoping someone could maybe put my mind at ease. I have returned to the UK whilst my partner's 457 application is going through. He's already in Oz on a WHV, and is waiting for the 457 to be approved, and I've been included on his application as his defacto partner of 3 years. His company have hired a really good agent, and all was going smoothly but I recently found out that I am 5 weeks pregnant. We are keeping it quiet at the moment because it's early days, but we're not sure when to declare it to immigration. I thought we should mention it to the agent, but then we would have to tell my partner's work, and he is concerned that it may reflect badly on him and that they may then withdraw their sponsorship as when they offered him sponsorship they didn't expect to have to take on these extras. I think (and hope) that won't be the case, but I really don't know. We have financed our own health insurance, and don't expect the employer to bear any of the costs associated with me or the baby. We're also really keen to do the right thing, and be as transparent as possible, but really don't know how these things work. I guess what I'm really asking is, does anyone know if the pregnancy of a secondary applicant would impact a 457 application? I wondered what immigration's views are in these situations, i.e. would this help or hinder our application? Any help would be greatly appreciated.
  19. Hey folks, it seems like forever since i was last on PIO, we have now been here in Berwick for 3 weeks. I never thought it would be as cold as it has been and lots of rain even hail stones! I wish now i had brought my winter coat and clothes in my case as i shipped them. Didn't think it would be that cold! Well we have been busy buying furniture from Fantastic Furniture, so house is like cardboard city lol Our house is a 3 bedroom unit, its fine for now as my daughter has been enrolled in Kambraya College which is a 10 minute walk for her, so will do for a couple of years. The only problem is the heating is in living room only so the rest of house gets pretty chilly and it has no air con! Bought a Honda Jazz, automatic that i haven't dared drive since arriving, been too scared as the roads look crazy! OH starts work tomorrow so it will just be me and the girls for now. Got the house furnished so its looking more like home. Some things are cheaper some more exp! Early days but its been fine so far, not home sick and hope not to be, just looking forward to warmer weather. Looking to buy a BBQ and table and chairs from Bunnings. Oh forgot to say we flew with Singapore Airlines and they were really good, flight was no problem, entertainment was fantastic, would definitely fly with them again. We never even had jet lag! Gillian:hug:
  20. LukeM

    3 weeks in Brisbane now!

    Where has the last 3 weeks gone? What's happened to the time? I feel like I've been here forever already!! I don't really remember the UK that well. I think if I went back right now I'd think everything was really small and squashed up together and like I had no room to breathe? Here we've got bags of space between everything and it's all nice and open...! It's quite a strange feeling really. Ok, everything takes a bit longer to get to/from, but oh well!! It's shocking, actually, how much has happened. Only another 5 and a bit weeks before my dad and brother join us from the UK. I know my mum would like it to be sooner. It doesn't get any easier but there's a light at the end of the tunnel. Patience is a virtue. The packers were round yesterday so it's all being packed up and on its way soon! Yay, now it feels like it's really happening! :jiggy: Now if we can both count up our successes and failures, most have been successes and undoubtedly we've done more between us these past 3 weeks than we would've done in the UK that's for sure. I've certainly had a few opportunities that I wouldn't be able to have in the UK at the moment. One such being my job! Information Technology Officer for a hospice service in North Brisbane 3 days a week. Already after one day I can see where the challenges will lie! Absolutely couldn't dream of that in the UK at 18 these days without being on some kind of training program/apprenticeship or having done a degree first! Pay's sweet too. Better than McDonald's who I was going to work for before... but have now been able to turn around and "reject" :biggrin: After receiving results on Thursday from having done my A Levels in the UK and finishing them in June, I did of course get in contact with admissions at Griffith University to find out that I should come out with a score of around 92 out of a possible maximum 99! Fingers crossed for entry in early 2011 then. I was even told I could consider applying for a scholarship?! WHAT!? Never would've go that in the UK lol :biglaugh: Now for the not so goods... trying to find a rental around here is a total pain in the backside. We're looking around Fig Tree Pocket/Kenmore/Red Hill/Indooroopilly/Chapel Hill/Taringa/Toowong etc. and so far we have found the Real Estate pictures on the Internet to be somewhat deceiving!! They're very good with their cameras and graphics programs, evidently. All bar one of the houses we viewed on Saturday were either too small or just dirty? As in... really, dirty. Poorly kept!! Disappointing. Got sold a "duff" Sat-Nav by JB Hi-Fi. Now, I'm not stupid, I promise you the rubbish the guy came out with for a response to the fact that it won't charge in the car? "It plugs into the cigarette lighter which gets really hot [no way?!] so the fuse in that could've gone" Errr lots of things get hot. I highly doubt that. Particularly as it's designed to get hot. I Google'd the satnav in question only to find that it's a "common fault". 10 points to JB Hi-Fi for neglecting to mention this. I think it'll be going back there at the weekend to be swapped for a TomTom on the double! Target have also tried to swindle mum out of $15 by double scanning a pair of pyjama pants. They're guilty, the guy obviously knew he did it and didn't even apologise afterwards. Rude! Apart from that, I can't say we're doing terribly. I'm not on cloud 9, promise, cos I never am, but the experiences and such of the past few weeks have sure changed me as a person. Good luck to those who have just arrived and those who are coming in the next few weeks to Brissie. :biggrin: Luke.
  21. Kel1

    5 weeks till we land!

    Oh my god, it's 5 weeks till we get to Melbourne! I'm so excited but also nervous eeek! We are staying at the Coffee Backpackers Hostel to start with, has anyone stayed there? Read good and bad reviews so who knows what it will be like! There seems so much to organise now, banks (any good recommendations?), money transfers, references, aaaaggh! And boxing up all our stuff in our current house...too much to do! Freaking out a little bit!!!!! :jiggy:
  22. Dawn75

    6 weeks in Perth !!

    Hello ! Still cant believe Im actually here in Perth writing this, and Ive been here 6 weeks now ! The time has flown by. Well, we left London Heathrow on Wed 30th June midday with Singapore Airlines. Very good airline, food not bad and good entertainment. My 2 kids age 5 and 4 were very good considering ! They found it hard to sleep so were very tired once we arrived in Singapore. The air crew were great though- even gave them milk and cookies to try and get them sleepy ! Changed flights at Sinapore which was fine, only had 2 hours between so didnt have to wait much then on to Perth. Flight again was fine and we all managed to sleep this time. :SLEEP: Arrived in Perth and I felt wide awake as was so excited to be here ! Our friends who live in Tapping NOR collected us and took us to their house where we stayed for 2 weeks whilst we sorted ourselves out. We got mobile phones, driving licences, medicare, bank cards and found a rental in Butler NOR. It was a busy first weeks but we also managed to see the beaches and parks and so on. Once we got move in date for rental we organised Pickfords to deliver our container and they were very good so it felt great to be in our own home with all our belongings again. The kids loved having their toys back ! Since being here we have had to buy more furniture as our stuff just didnt fill these big open plan houses !! Currently looking into mortgages and where we want to buy next yr. Kids decided they wanted to start school ( they dont officially have to go yet as under 6) but Owen had started school in Uk so he started pre-primary here which is full time but more laid back than UK school. Maddy is just 4 so she goes to kindy 2 days a week which she loves. They have fitted in well and the schools are great for building kids confidence and self esteem. My OH is now working self employed doing carpentry for builders , at moment its just bits and pieces and getting to know how it works and getting his name about, but there are a few house builders interested so will be good if he gets regular work with same company soon. There is tradie work about though for agencies and stuff if he needs to. Enjoying everything about being here so far- stressful on arrival sorting all the boring day to day stuff out but now thats done can enjoy living here and visiting different places and meeting new people. Aussies are very laid back and friendly on the whole and when you start out people seem happy to help and explain things to you. Its winter here so warm in the daytime but chilly at night so you do need jumpers etc ! Find it so amazing when I walk past pink or green parrots on my way to the shops ! So yes was definately worth all the stress of waiting for the visa and the move itself as its fantastic being here !! :jiggy: Will post more updates soon Dawn x
  23. Daffod1lly

    Five weeks in Brisbane ....

    Well.... flew with Singapore airlines which were as fab as ever, but unfortunately arrived to a wet and grey day - not quite what we had in mind! We are staying initially in a beautiful 2 bed Queenslander in Woolloongabba, while we search under 12km west, south and north of Brisbane. Our reccie 18 months ago enabled us to pinpoint half a dozen areas which we liked - some of which were whittled down as we drove around and looked into areas further. We were very wary of viewing rentals as we had read all the scare stories - but the viewing process was much better than we were expecting. I searched realestate and homehound daily and would recommend ringing rather than e-mailing the agents as this way you get an immediate response. We saw some properties alone, while others were open viewings of around 15 mins - here there were only ever a few other couples and never more than 4 or 5. These were all very easy - with no awkward atmospheres or hard sell. If you are interested in the property, the agent offers out forms which you complete for each adult over 18 years. Unfortunately though, many of the rentals were grim and I have to stress that if they seem to be especially well-priced for the area - there is always a reason .... :mad:. Check google maps and streetview and if possible, do a drive past before arranging a viewing - we soon learnt this and saved ourselves some wasted time! I would also probably suggest that you are flexible in your areas and research the availability of rental properties beforehand, as we fell in love with an area and visited a great school - only to find there were no affordable/nice properties in our price range. Thankfully, we have now found a fab rental in Manly - an area which we initially ruled out ..... but the pull of the place soon won my OH over (something I had been hoping for) We opened an Oz bank account while still in the UK and this was a godsend. We picked up our bank cards on the first day here, which was a huge help when sorting Medicare and Australian driving licences. These have been helpful in providing ID for a range of things. The only thing we would probably have done differently, would be to have provided the bank with our initial temporary address, as some places have wanted a bank statement as proof of residency in Queensland. This is difficult to do though when you don't know the set-up/security of the place you are staying in. It delayed us a little with some things – but not enough to cause any real problems! OH has secured a job very quickly - not what we were expecting and while we are very relieved .... I have a feeling he was hoping for more of a holiday (Oh well......) We are having fun here and are overwhelmed by the number of things to do outdoors - the majority of which is free. People here have been so helpful and friendly and the weather – for winter – has been fab! Personally, I am still looking everywhere for spiders and crawlies – a fact which our Aussie neighbours think is hysterical!! They're trying to convince me that there aren't deadly creatures camping out on our balcony with the one intention of sinking their fangs into me …. But hey, a gal just cannot be too careful …. We know the adventure is just beginning and are keen to embrace the Australian way of life. Our son (9 years old) is having a ball and we are lucky in that he has been positive about this move from the very beginning. He starts school next week and I hope that he makes friends and continues to settle well. Our shipping is here (on time) and is due for delivery this Friday, the day we move into our new rental. We are enjoying each day - balancing start up chores alongside making time to enjoy our surroundings. Good luck to everyone doing the same thing and many thanks to everyone here who has supported us on our journey so far. I look forward to meeting a few friendly faces when we move to Manly :jiggy:
  24. loubylou475

    6 weeks in Perth

    Hi everyone - just wanted to share my (our) bizarre and exciting first few weeks in Perth. Arrived after a whirlwind 10-weeks after managing to sell uk home and secure a great sponsorship. Read way too much on here (seriously, before we arrived I'd decided we were gonna live up a tree with a koala - everywhere else seemed to be disregarded by one or another PIO member).... so decided to abandon the site for a while. Our first rental was in Northbridge.... the apartment was immaculate, great for transport links and 15 yrs ago we'd have loved it, but with kids 10 and 8, overlooking Black Betty's nightclub was not the best place for us, especially on the weekend. A couple of phonecalls to the relocation people and we moved just outside of Carlilse near Vic Park, into a lovely modern townhouse. We then spent 2 weeks trawling the northern suburbs for a long-term unfurnished rental for when our container arrives. It's worth noting here that our 'sheffield postcode' home sold at the bottom of the market so we weren't rolling in cash by any stretch of the immagination. We soon came to realise that our dreams of a northern coastal home were not to happen. The rentals we viewed can only be described as being 'tired' and that's polite.... even after upping the max to $800/week. We'd heard nightmare stories of other people on 457's and trying to purchase so it hadn't occurred to us to go down that route. Until we started looking at 'for sale's .... the rental market is way too competitive but we found the buyers market much more relaxed. After 3 weeks viewing and pestering agents, we found a lovely home in Canning Vale and made an offer, which was accepted and we're waiting for the keys!!! The main purpose of my post is to say that we arrived here 6 weeks ago - hell-bent on living the dream in the northern coastal suburbs but we've found that we quite like being close to the river - still only a short trip from the coast and although south of the river we couldn't be happier!! I've already met so many friendly people - the locals are great for advice on places to visit and eat out etc and basically we have managed to buy a 4-bed home with no problems - the FIRB part was dead simple to do online and was approved in 8 days. Spend some time researching whilst still in the UK but please please don't set your heart on looking for the impossible, or be put off by negative experiences on here or elsewhere. Make your own journey unique, the adventure exciting, and embrace all that beautiful WA has to offer and you'll find your own way, every time. Lou:chatterbox:
  25. Rhian1

    Melbourne in 8 weeks!

    Hi, new to the forum! My husband and I are moving to Melbourne on the 7th October. We are 27 and 28 years old. We have a 175 visa as I am an Occupational Therapist. My husband is a journalist. We don't have jobs yet but have secured meetings with employers when we get there. Lots of jobs for Occupational Therapists coming up all the time so not too worried about that yet!! The reason I am posting is for some advice on suburbs to live in. We have had a look at the rental websites and as we don't know the area yet its hard to choose. We are hoping to work near the CBD or surrounding areas and will not have a car at first so public transport is essential. Any advice? We are young and want to enjoy life as much as possible. We have seen properties in Reservoir but have heard not great?? Any advice would be fab! Thanks