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Found 19 results

  1. Ive just finished my accounting degree in australia and was thinking of applying for a skills assessment and then permanent residency, but i just noticed that i'm caught in a bit of a catch: 1) i need a skills assessment to apply for a visa 2) all three accounting bodies ask for a copy of my degree, but i wont get that until may (when i formally graduate) 3) if i apply for a skills assessment in may, then it would probably be june before i get the result, then it'd be more than 6 months from the completion date of my degree! and then ill need to have work experience!? has anyone faced a similar problem? or does anyone know if the accounting assessment bodies will assess my skills with jus a transcript and not the degree itself?? any advice from anyone about the accounting skills assessment would be much appreciated! thanks!!!!
  2. Since the "QLD SS - where are you now" thread has been finished and everyone on the list have been completed by QLD I am going to arrange for it to be closed. You have all said it would be nice to stay in touch on one thread so we can all continue to share stories, general chit chat or let off some steam. Therefore, I have opened up this new thread so that we can all come and have a catch up here. I am looking forward to you all joining me on here!:wink: And any newbies are welcome to join us too... Thanks Tasha x:wubclub:
  3. JoandJon

    Job offer - but there's a catch

    Ok guys, I need some help. and your thoughts so I know what to tell my hubby! It's just the two of us and the Satchdog, but my family are all in Melbourne... We're moving to Melbourne - that bits sorted because I have a job in Melbourne that I've always wanted to try. BUT Hubby has just been offered a job in Sydney from an ex-colleague. It's a short-term contract (probably to May-June next year). He was offered the job weeks ago, but turned it down because it's in Sydney, but they've upped the ante! They're offering him $100k, plus super, plus $16k car and are happy to negotiate commuting hours (He's asked if a 9 day fortnight or 4-day week would be acceptable)... Still finding out if the $100k is per annum or for the 6 months (if it's for the 6 months then I've told him to take it and don't be stupid we'll sort out the details later!) He also gets a $10k bonus if he stays to the end of the project...... So given I'll be living in Melbourne, what are the pro's and con's of him considering this job? How much would it cost for him to rent (or share) a furnished flat in Sydney? What about flying to and from Melbourne most weekends? Not sure exactly where, but it's for a paper mill that's closing down next year (he thinks it's south of the city somewhere) Help? What do we need to consider?
  4. A pastor with a well-thumbed Bible. A smartly dressed businessman in suit and tie. A British pensioner with a cool box full of fish and meat... Can you guess which one is trying to smuggle illegal contraband into the UK?* Adam Luck joins the frontline battle to secure Britain's borders (*Answer: It's all three) An X-ray image of a Caribbean woman arrested at Gatwick Airport. Pellets of cocaine, ringed here in red, were spotted by UK Border Agency officials when the woman went through the full body scanner With a nonchalant shrug of the shoulders, a thirtysomething South American opens his suitcase. He looks cool and calm. Inside there’s an apparently anarchic collection of jackets, men’s T-shirts, children’s trousers and a woman’s dress jumbled up alongside computer cables, phone chargers and assorted odds and ends. The suitcase doesn’t reveal any obviously damning evidence – no drugs, weapons or animals are visible. But 29-year-old UK Border Agency (UKBA) officer Richard Franklin can see beyond the chaotic contents of the luggage, and alerts his colleagues that they have a potential drug mule in their midst. We are in the green customs channel of Gatwick Airport’s North Terminal on a Wednesday morning and tanned passengers coming off the Thomson Airways flight from Jamaica’s Montego Bay are shuffling through with their duty free shopping. Five UKBA officers are standing by with arms crossed – some wearing rubber gloves – under the watchful eye of chief immigration officer Paul Kidd, but for the time being they are happy to let their colleague deal with it. At the same time as he unravels the tangled innards of the suitcase, Franklin also unpicks the complex itinerary of the stocky Venezuelan man who talks in halting English as he tries to explain his journey and his bag. ‘A woman gave me some clothes,’ he says. ‘I was in Port Of Spain. I take them for her.’ The reason why is never made clear, but what is plain is that this passenger’s itinerary has set alarm bells ringing because of his circuitous, expensive route from Venezuela to London. Starting in Caracas, the man travelled to Trinidad’s Port of Spain and on to London, and he was then scheduled to continue to Amsterdam. His ‘holiday’ was supposed to last all of four days. ‘His route is highly unusual and suspicious,’ says Franklin. ‘Why would an ordinary Venezuelan travel along such an expensive route and spend only four days on holiday before travelling back? He also admitted he had never been to Amsterdam before. It made no sense. ‘His bag also fits the profile of a “dummy” case that we often see with couriers, who are either swallowers or who conceal drugs in their baggage. They then throw together any clothes or items to make it look as if the trip is legitimate. But why would he be travelling alone with women’s and children’s clothes?’ With no signs that the suitcase had any concealed panels Franklin begins to suspect that the South American may have swallowed dozens of cocaine-filled condoms in order to smuggle them into the UK. The size of cocktail sausages, these tiny packages are swallowed one at a time. The average is between 80-110 packages per person, which can equate to up to 1.5kg of cocaine. Once mixed with cutting agents, this would have a street value of up to £300,000. Experienced swallowers can carry even more pellets. The Gatwick record, which is held by a Jamaican woman, is a barely believable 205 pellets – almost 2.5kg of drugs. A Spanish-speaking UKBA officer is called for, and the man is told he can volunteer for a full body scan or face the prospect of being detained and missing his connecting flight. With a nod the suspect is taken through a door in the back of the hall and ushered into a narrow corridor well away from other passengers, before being taken into the scanner room. Franklin takes his seat alongside a colleague behind a desk with two screens. The suspect, who looks surprisingly sanguine, is instructed to sign various forms while the UKBA officers start up the scanner. Wearing a pair of jeans, jerkin jacket, blue-and-white-striped shirt and black slip-on trainers, the close-cropped South American empties his pockets before stripping down to his trousers and socks. In the small airless room the suspect moves towards the scanner while he is instructed to breathe in and out. Within seconds amazingly clear images begin to flash up on the screens that lay bare the man’s body in intimate detail. If he is a ‘swallower’, then tell-tale circular shadows will show up in the man’s stomach. There are none on this man: he is clean. ‘The thing is, a smuggler can be anyone,’ says Paul Kidd, walking out of the room. ‘We have had them wearing suits and looking like the perfect businessman. They do not always fit into the stereotype.’ In April they even had a pastor. ‘He really looked the part and had all these well-thumbed Bibles in his suitcase. I think he was a genuine pastor,’ says officer Johnson Awoyomi. ‘He had flyers for his services and said he was on his way to Nigeria for a revivalist conference. He had flown in from Antigua but lived in Trinidad and was just passing through the UK. We asked him if he would voluntarily go through the scanner and he agreed. He was a swallower. He just sat there looking genuinely bewildered and kept saying that he was a “Good Christian”.’ Those caught with condom pellets are funnelled back into the corridor where a cell awaits them just 20 yards away. They will be detained until they ‘pass’ their drugs into the stainless steel ‘Drugaloo’. Some swallowers refuse to cooperate in the hope that they can conceal the evidence but this can mean a long wait. ‘One guy wouldn’t eat anything,’ says Kidd. ‘We were getting a bit fed up waiting for him to pass the pellets so in the end some of the staff ate fish and chips outside his custody suite. He got so hungry he had to eat and, in the end, it all came out. But the price these couriers pay can be very high. A couple of years ago one lady collapsed and died here. The drugs had leaked out from the pellets.’ According to Richard Franklin, fewer than one in ten stopped are found to have swallowed drugs. ‘You look at their profiles and any inconsistencies in their stories but there is never a guarantee of a result,’ he says. Instead of taking a left out of the scanner room towards the Drugaloo, the South American takes a right and finds his way back into the customs channel and freedom. He will travel on to Amsterdam and then home. The chances are that he will be back in the future. Whether he will be stopped again is far from clear. Created in 2008, the UKBA merged the Border and Immigration Agency (BIA) with the crime busting functions of Revenue and Customs (HMRC). The logic underlying its creation is that since the organised criminal groups who smuggle illegal immigrants into the UK are often the same people who smuggle illegal goods into the country it makes sense to have a unified agency. Although there are currently 25,000 staff at the UKBA the agency is expected to take a 20 per cent budget cut as part of the Government’s spending review, with nearly 7,000 staff expected to go over the next four years. The unions have predicted that this could lead to even greater illegal immigration, but as alarming is that the UK’s borders could be compromised when it comes to detecting and seizing illegal drugs, weapons or worse. Indeed, the rush to deal with public concern over illegal immigration may have serious repercussions. Recent reports by John Vine, independent chief inspector of the UKBA, suggest that too often detection of contraband came second to the crackdown on immigration. Given the explosion in global trade and travel into and through the UK, this is no idle threat. One of the downsides of globalisation has been the parallel expansion in transnational networks of criminals and international terrorism. At Gatwick there are around 560 staff who focus on immigration and detection, whether it is freight or people. Gatwick is Europe’s ninth busiest airport, with 31 million passengers passing through last year. Any chance that the UKBA staff numbers could be depleted and performance impaired shouldn’t be taken lightly because the stakes are high. Just how high can be seen in the green customs channel at Gatwick. The Cyclamen gate, which passengers routinely walk under, is a radiation scanner designed to prevent the importation of so-called dirty bombs by detecting nuclear and radiological materials that could be used by terrorists. The machine was introduced in the aftermath of the radiation poisoning of Alexander Litvinenko. Russian agents were suspected of bringing in radioactive material through Heathrow Airport. As soon as an alarm sounds a CCTV camera starts taking images of the suspect. Thus far no one has been arrested at Gatwick for triggering the alarm but Cyclamen machines have now been deployed across Britain’s ports and airports. The Itemiser is another detection machine, which tests samples of luggage and clothing for traces of heroin or cocaine. A simple swab is fed into the machine which can register ‘drugs detected’. Anything above a one per cent trace is taken as serious enough to warrant closer inspection and such is the sensitivity of the machine that it can detect drugs in the sweat of swallowers, which can often be found in and around their shoes. They are joined by full body scanners, which can help identify Class A drugs concealed under clothes or inside the body. But however much technology is introduced, you still need the trained eye. Back in the customs channel at Gatwick, Kidd and his team are getting on with their jobs. One passenger, who looks East African in origin but holds a British passport, has been stopped by officer Pravin Patel. His suitcase contains packets marked ‘Sildenafil Citrate’, more commonly known as Viagra, but the packets hint that these are counterfeit medicines. Boxes of Benson & Hedges and Embassy cigarettes also exceed his personal allowance, so he loses all the boxes. At an adjoining table a Polish man, with heavily accented English, is arguing the point with Johnson Awoyomi over his large cache of cigarettes and bags of biltong, which he has brought in from South Africa. ‘I take a chance…’ admits the passenger. Awoyomi eventually sends the gentleman on his way minus his cigarettes and dried meat. ‘He knew he was taking a risk. You don’t have three cigarette brands for personal use.’ Passengers who try to bring in more than their allotted amount of cigarettes are logged on a computer and if they are caught for a third time they can find themselves arrested and charged. Biltong, however, is just a very modest example of the strange and exotic items that Patel and his colleagues come across. ‘I had a headless monkey once,’ says Kidd. ‘It was a man from Sierra Leone who had been held up for immigration reasons. We opened the case and there was this monkey. I think it had been cured or smoked. ‘You get all sorts: rotting fish used to be quite common; people would bring them in from West Africa. Once we had someone come in with 20 bags of manky fish.’ But some of the passengers moving along the customs channels at Gatwick have far more illicit contraband on board. At 64, Patel is one of the oldest and most experienced officers. He has seen it all. ‘One South African couple came into the terminal at 7am,’ he remembers. ‘They had flown from Jo’burg via Dubai. They had 40 kilos of cannabis in blocks on them. He pleaded guilty. ‘Another time we had a retired British couple. He had been a London Underground driver. They went to Kingston, Jamaica, and came back with two cool boxes. They used fish and meat to cover six kilos of cocaine. Their story was just not right, which is why we stopped them. The lady got 13 years.’ Patel has become immune to the temper tantrums and insults. ‘You sometimes get shouting and bags being thrown but we have a lot of power here. I know how to calm them down: I just ignore them and carry on with the work. When you pull someone you start talking to them and the bells start to ring if the story does not match. You ask questions around drugs, allowances, baggage, the nature of the journey, their employment, how often they travel and where they go. You also have a look in their passport because the stamps usually tell you a story.’ As he talks a young African man walks by waving a piece of paper and smiling. Kidd pipes up: ‘We allow temporary admission to allow further enquiries by immigration officers. We take their passport while we check out their story.’ The UKBA also has staff abroad to help profile potential suspects. Often the luggage and the passenger will already have had their fate sealed before they are reunited on the baggage carousel because sniffer dogs paw over the mountains of bags being brought out of the aeroplane holds. Clare Honeyman and sniffer dog Flynn are on duty at Gatwick. Flynn, who has been trained in-house, has been working his beat for a year. ‘Spaniels are the best because they have the drive and motivation,’ she says. ‘It is a good game for them: they smell the heroin and cocaine and they get to play with a tennis ball as their reward. Our best haul was six kilos of cocaine last year. 'If we get a positive the bag goes back on the belt and is watched in the baggage hall before the passenger is pulled as they walk through the customs channel.’ Once customs detection officers and immigration officials at Gatwick were strictly delineated, but the UKBA now wants multi-disciplinary teams that can attend to both tasks. This multi-tasking kicks in this summer, but some officers are concerned about the long-term implications. ‘What we are looking for has not changed but the priorities of the management have because of politics,’ claims one officer, who asked to remain anonymous. ‘At the moment it is all about illegals. I feel like we have all our eggs in one basket with immigration, which is why so many drugs are on the street.’ For the Gatwick officers dealing with the realities of an ever-shrinking workforce and ever-increasing numbers of passengers and freight, such developments may appear largely academic but they are aware of what is at stake for the UK. After 20 years in the job Kerry Smith, 40, is still as dedicated to defending Britain’s borders today as the day she started it. ‘I want to do the best I can,’ she says. ‘We all do. I just hope that the politicians are listening.’
  5. Hi I was wondering if anyone else was missing going out with the girls for lunch etc since they moved to Perth. I am married, no kids yet, and have been in Perth for two months. We have finally moved to a long term rental south of the river so feel like we r getting settled now. I work as a nurse so do shift work. Would love to meet some new faces so if anyone fancies it then please let me know, I look forward to hearing from you
  6. Sad I know but can I watch my programmes on bbc i player etc?!!!
  7. andymitch7

    Catch 22.............

    Hello, I’m new to this site and could do with some advise please. My family and I (Partner and 2 children) are hoping to migrate on a employer sponsorship 457 visa, due to my profession not being in demand. Over the past couple of years I have applied for literally 100's of jobs. The majority didn't reply and those few that did, wanted someone with a visa in place. But without a job I cant get a visa and without a visa i cant seem to get a job, Catch 22 eh? Is there any migration agent or organisation which assist in helping find employment as well as giving the employer some assurance the visa can be processed? I would really appreciate any advice or information as things seem be going nowhere.:sad:
  8. Goochie

    Pets that catch spiders

    We have a Labrador cross and a cat who like to chase spiders in the UK. They act as a tag-team with the dog bopping the spider to render it helpless before the cat moves in the the kill. Occasionally the dog will part-chew it and spit it out onto the floor. In the UK this isnt really a problem and keeps the cobwebs down! However, we're a bit worried what will happen if they take on Aussie spiders? Are we right to be worried ? Do the nasty pet harming spiders come into the house often?
  9. Guest

    Aldo - Catch Up

    I know you've all been thinking of me (especially geffrey and his wife Tracey123) and have read the recent posts speculating about my return to PIO but unfortunately these are a little premature. I've been peeking in recently and knoticed how much more "peaceful" the boards are apart from the od mauling of poor old chris (and others) for their positive views on the UK it has been extremly fair and balanced:notworthy:. I'm glad SMNW is still there, (your doing a great job SM:notworthy:) i know you can't wait to here what i've been upto lately can you? Well, been busy all summer working outside in high 30s tempretures and now its cooling off i'm all quite Thats ok though because i've learned to play poker and getting right into it, got a poker night in my house tonight as it happens.. Got to see an old contact Monday morning about some work and he has said he has plenty for me so no worries there really. Not much else to report really... oh its p!ssing down today but its ok because its that good rain that is really needed that the farmer like (must have come from Australia ).. forcast for tomorrow and monday too!!!. Never mind, its not raining in the terrace bar and its only 2 euros a pint in there. OK. catch up over, thanks for listening.. ♥ edited to add: Thanks for all the PMs x
  10. Hi We live in the inner west of Sydney and wondering if any others would like to catch up through the week/weekend...... I am originally from england and my mam now lives here helping us look after the kids.... She is in the 50 - 60 category - so any others out there have mams/dads who would like to catch up (or get rid of them on a weekend :laugh:)..... Only joking mam if you ever read this...... But seriously - if any others have elderly parents who would like to play some bingo, have coffee, go far a walk/ferry or a drink/coffee please respond to this post with details and see if we can get something organised...... It is quite difficult for their age to meet people so hopefully this will work - she is here until June next year then maybe longer? Cheers Richy
  11. Hi, any advice would be greatly appreciated about this catch 22 situation. I work for the Bureau of Meteorology as a Meteorologist and have been for nearly a year on a 457 visa. I want to apply for the subclass 131/856 employer sponsored visa to get PR. The Bureau really want me to stay (shortage position). However to get the 131/856 employer sponsored visa you have to be offered a permanent job of 3 years or more. If the Bureau create a position they have to advertise and then lots of Australians already working for the Bureau will apply and they have to be given the job because they Australia in preference to me (government rule). Any ideas how to get around this situation? They need me and I want to stay but seems the rules don't allow it. Don't really want to stay on the 457 visa. Thanks so much for any advice!:jiggy:
  12. I rest my case :swoon: canadaeast.com - Fishy find: Australian teens hand in A$100,000 after surprise catch on angling adventure | THE ASSOCIATED PRESS - Breaking News, New Brunswick, Canada
  13. Guest

    just a catch up and say hi

    hi guys it has been a long time since i was on this site as you know we have had our own probs to deal with what with the TB stuff but i must say it does look a bit brighter for us now we are trying to do the house up ready to go on the market but with not alot of dosh this is very slow i know some have already gone to oz and i wish you all the best:smile: i know some have just got there visa too so its all systems go for you i also wish you the very best luck:smile: and to dawny kangaroo bruce souix and a view others i wish you all the best and all the happyness in the world for your new lifes go enjoy susanxxx
  14. apparently, singapore airlines are the best. they have loads of facilities like tellies on the back of the seat in front. known to be playstations, but you cant rely on that! i know 3 people that were going to a wedding there. they each took a different plane to aus to see which was better. they all soon voted singapore airlines, they said it was excellent. hope that helps with some people choosing what airline they will suit and be most comfortable in. Great for kids as well! remember to pack loads of things to do on the plane, you'll soon have nothing to do :biglaugh: best wishes emmy x
  15. Guest

    catch 22 situation

    Here goes, my first post on PIO. My partner and I want to move to Australia but seem to be hitting a brick wall whichever way we turn. I've been involved in IT support for the last 6 / 7 years but it wasn't my official job title so I'm told it doesn't count:nah:. I have the ECDL (Microsoft office user) course under my belt and am studying for my MCSE (systems engineer) which I should have in about 18 months and I have been self employed fixing, maintaining and building PCs (though not for very long). Unfortunately although I've been perusing the agencies and such for some time looking for sponsors, I cannot seem to find anyone willing to even undertake a telephone interview. The area I'm training in is supposed to be in demand. My partner is also in an occupation in demand (hairdresser with over 20 years experience including running her own business for at least 6 years) but she has been told (not in so many words) that she is too old (44), she took some time off to raise our daughter as there is no family near to look after her it is being held against her. Are we just unlucky or can someone help?
  16. Guest

    Catch 22.....

    Hi everyone! I went for an interview on Saturday with a reputable car accident repair group who have 21 body shops in the Melbourne area. I have 10 years experience as a car bodyshop manager, and I was interviewed by the owner of the group who was a really nice down to earth guy and offered me a fantastic package to go to Melbourne and manage one of his repair centres.... as they said, to manage a successful bodyshop for 10 years is all the proof they need that I am more than capable of doing the job. BUT..... as I have no formal bodyshop panel beating qualification they will struggle to get me a visa, so the outcome is, I have the promise of a great job package, which they will confirm in writing once I tell them I can get a visa which I have to sort myself or employ a migration agent. Anyone have any ideas? and as to what my chances are?? :arghh:
  17. Guest

    Billy's First Catch In Oz

    Well what can I said Billy's first fishing trip & he caught 2 fish thankfully one got left at his friends but here's the other one :wacko: Yes he is totally pissed :biglaugh: Janette
  18. Guest

    need a catch up

    hi all, i have not been able to get on here in about a week, i have been having withdrawals, when i came on tonight i have missed 1200 posts, so i thought instead of me spending 3 days reading through them and forever being behind i would ask that if anything major important happened to you, tou could fill me in, i hate not knowing whats been going on, thank you all, and did vod get her meds passed at last!!!!!!! thank you kelly.
  19. Guest

    Catch 22

    We are new to this forum and joined to find out if anyone has found themselves in our predicament. Firstly let me say we have both spent some time in Oz and we are desperate to live there. We are under no illusions about the place and we know we would have no problem settling there. The problem is that I am over 45 so do not count in the Visa process, my wife is over 40 so we are struggling for points age-wise. My wife is a Project Manager working for the Government mostly on IT projects. Our agent thought we may be able to get sponsorship from Victoria as my wife's skills were on their requirement list. They turned us down for some obscure reason but said they may reconsider if my wife had a job offer. We then tried for regional sponsorship from SA, but they have told our agent that they will not sponsor us unless my wife has a firm job offer first (Project Management). Has anyone out there found themselves in a similar situation and is so how did you resolve it ?.