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  1. Since I got my visa loads of people have asked me how I went about it (says a lot about teaching in the UK). Below is something I did for a few people I work with to get them started. This may be out of date or bit's not 100%, but it's what I did and I now have my visa. Hope it's some use to someone. :biggrin: My easy (lol) guide for teachers to get their visa for Australia. 1) Check the http://www.immi.gov.au/skilled/general-skilled-migration/visa-options-outside.htm website to see if you qualify for points. Check to see if you qualify for state sponsorship (as this will up your points and really speed up your application). 2) Make sure you know where the whole families birth certificate, marriage certificates and passports are (make sure passports have a while left on them – we got our oldest sons renewed before we applied). 3) Book your IELTS test, make sure you do the academic test (you may not need it, but it gives you extra points and I needed mine for state sponsorship and teacher registration). See http://www.ielts.org//test_centre_search/search_results.aspx?TestCentreSearchSubRegion=01502ae9-cf4b-46ba-8214-c5d4331a543d This cost me £115. 4) Practice for the IELTS and remember spelling matters. 5) Get all your documents ready to apply for your skills assessment; they want loads including university transcripts and number of days teaching practice completed. See http://www.aitsl.edu.au/assessment-for-migration.html they want to know everything, so it’s better to send too much rather than leave things out. 6) Get all your documents signed by someone off the approved list and send it off, the application was $450 when I did mine. This should take 8 weeks from when they receive everything, but it starts again if you miss any documents. :arghh:Keep an extra copy of this as you’ll need it for your teacher registration once you’ve got your visa. 7) Once you have your IELTS and skills assessment apply for state sponsorship to the state you want to go to (if doing a 176 like we did). South Australia http://www.migration.sa.gov.au/sa/immigrate_from_overseas/visa_options/gen_skill3/criteria_for_state_spons.jsp West Australia http://www.dtwd.wa.gov.au/skilledmigration/detcms/portal Victoria http://www.liveinvictoria.vic.gov.au/visas-and-immigrating/state-sponsorship ACT http://www.sponsorshipaustralia.net/sponsorship-australia/why-you-should-consider-act-for-australian-state-sponsorship Northern Territory http://www.migration.nt.gov.au Queensland http://www.workliveplay.qld.gov.au/dsdweb/v4/apps/web/content.cfm?id=3998 For SA we filled in a form on line and then had to send hard copies of all the documents requested to them. It was supposed to take up to 8 weeks, but we got it through much quicker. It was free for SA, but I believe you may have to pay in other states. 8) Once your state sponsorship comes through you only have 30 days to get your visa applied for. We did ours online and then scanned all the documents and uploaded them. We needed to scan the following all birth certificates, passports, marriage certificates, IELTS certificates, skills assessment certificates. http://www.immi.gov.au/e_visa/general-skilled-migration.htm 9) Let the state you have got sponsored know as they need to get in touch with immigration so you get the extra points for being state sponsored and you get processed quicker. 10) Wait for your application to be allocated to a case officer. 11) Once asked send off for your police checks for all applicants requested this is £35 per person. http://www.acpo.police.uk/NationalPolicing/ACROCriminalRecordsOffice/PoliceCertificates.aspx 12) Once asked book your medicals http://www.immi.gov.au/contacts/overseas/u/united-kingdom/panel-doctors.htm 13) Wait for your visa to come through. Good Luck
  2. Hi all, I am posting this as there is so much miss information on this site about the process of how to import your car into WA I want to help others to ensure they do not suffer the problems of people claiming they will register their cars for them and then not doing anything to help. The process is a problem as there is nobody who can tell you exactly what you need to do so here it is. The process is as follows: 1) Obtain visa entitlement to live in Autaralia 2) Obtain import approval - you will be sent one copy of the import approval to a UK address 3) Valet and stem clean the car before shipping in the UK. Especially underneath and all the seeds in the radiator and plant matter under the bonnet. 4) Once you have an Oz address request the four original copies of the import approval be sent to this address. 5) Ship vehicle. 6) Shipping agent clears cars with customs and you pay duty and GST plus luxury car tax 7) Quarantine inspect vehicle and pass or request further cleaning. If cleaning required expect to pay about A$300 and wait a week for re inspection 8) Once cleared the vehicle can be moved by transporter or by personal temporary movement permit - either 48 hour permit or 28 day. 9) Arrange vehicle inspection at department of transport "pit" 10) If it fails carry out modifications required 11) Re inspection - it will fail this as you still have one more hurdle to go! 12) If everything is ok as inspection you send the completed import approval off stamped by the pit inspection for a personal import plate (pip) 13) Send off application for PIP 14) Receive PIP in post and affix to car 15) Book re inspection at pit 16) Receive final "green" form that everything is now in order and vehicle has passed pit inspection 17) Register vehicle and pay registration fee (varies according to weight of vehicle) and receive registration plates 18) affix registration plates and drive car away! Notes: a) In WA temporary movement permit covers third party insurance only b) If you want fully comp insurance Shannons are good and will insure the car on a VIN number only. c) Re inspection fee is A$60 d) Don't expect anyone to know what they are doing !!!
  3. cartertucker

    An idiots guide to ~ Medicare

    Please help ~ I know that once we arrive, we need to register But what im confused about is: What are we expected to pay :confused: Say for an example (all I can think of) How much would a typical 10 minute Doctor appointment about a possible throat infection cost?
  4. Flake

    UK Salary Guide?

    Does anyone know of a reliable source to find out UK salary guide?
  5. <TABLE id=entries><TBODY><TR><TD class=word>wowser </TD><TD id=tools_3229649 class=tools>60 up, 2 down</TD></TR><TR><TD> </TD><TD id=entry_3229649 class=text colSpan=2>In Australia, it is a derogatory word denoting a person who saps all the fun out of any given situation. Derived from the temperance movement in Australia and New Zealand at the turn of the C20th, when it was hurled as an accusation towards conservative teetotallers who were too prim and proper to relax and socialise, it has become a more generic term that can be assigned to any straight bore lacking a sense of humour, especially petty bureaucrats and Aussies politicians. Cool chick: Coming to the party? Nerd: No, I have to write an essay for uni. Cool chick: C'mon, ya wowser! Forget the essay and let's party, mate. Nerd, slowly de-nerdifying: Y'know, you're right. Let me at that party. Verily. </TD></TR></TBODY></TABLE><TABLE id=entries><TBODY><TR><TD class=word>wowser </TD><TD id=tools_3229649 class=tools>60 up, 2 down</TD></TR><TR><TD></TD><TD id=entry_3229649 class=text colSpan=2>chick: C'mon, ya wowser! Forget the essay and let's party, mate. NIn Australia, it is a derogatory word denoting a person who saps all the fun out of any given situation. Derived from the temperance movement in Australia and New Zealand at the turn of the C20th, when it was hurled as an accusation towards conservative teetotallers who were too prim and proper to relax and socialise, it has become a more generic term that can be assigned to any straight bore lacking a sense of humour, especially petty bureaucrats and Aussies politicians. Cool chick: Coming to the party? Nerd: No, I have to write an essay for uni. Cool erd, slowly de-nerdifying: Y'know, you're right. Let me at that party. Verily. </TD></TR></TBODY></TABLE>
  6. cartertucker

    An idiots guide to ~ Dentists

    How do dentists work in Australia? :confused: Do you 'pay as you go'? What would 'typical costs be'? :unsure:
  7. VISAS A person holding a Working Holiday visa (class 417 or class 462) is generally referred to as a backpacker. He must be under the age of 30. He (or she) is legally entitled to work during his holiday in Australia. He is entitled to remain in Australia for 12 months, work for half of that time but must not stay at any one job for more than six months. While in Australia, he can apply to have his visa extended from 12 months to 24 months. Australia has reciprocal Working Holiday (class 417) visa arrangements with UK, Ireland, Canada, Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Finland, Estonia, Belgium, Netherlands, Germany, Italy, Malta, Cyprus, Japan, Hong Kong, Taiwan and Korea. Australia also has Working Holiday (class 462) visa arrangements with Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand, Bangladesh, Turkey, Chile and USA. A backpacker can also apply for other temporary work visas or even a permanent visa while in Australia provided, of course, that he otherwise qualifies. The most popular visas applied for by backpackers whilst in Australia are a) permanent residency visas and b) employer-sponsored temporary work visas. If a backpacker applies for a permanent visa, then in judging his eligibility, he will be awarded extra points for having spent time on a working holiday in Australia. A backpacker who applies for permanent or temporary residence will stand a strong chance of obtaining it if a) he has professional or trade qualifications, b) he has some years work experience in his profession or trade and c) he speaks fluent English. It generally takes from 5 to 8 months between applying for a work visa and obtaining it. Further information regarding obtaining permanent and temporary visas can be obtained at the Immigration Department's website. Applications can be made online. MEDICAL EXPENSES Australian residents carry a Medicare card. This entitles them to free or subsidised medical care. Non-residents are not entitled to subsidised medical care. But Australia has concluded reciprocal medical agreements with the following countries viz. UK, Ireland, New Zealand, Italy, Malta, Norway, Sweden, Finland, Netherlands, Belgium, Slovenia. Residents of these countries, with the exceptions of New Zealand and Ireland, mostly have access to health care on the same basis as Australian residents i.e. they get free public hospital care, subsidised prescriptions and a refund of 85% of doctors' fees. The can also apply in person at at any Medicare office and obtain a Medicare card similar to the card carried by Australian residents. Many doctors charge only 85% of the set fee ( i.e. "bulk bill") so the patient has nothing further to pay in those cases. Residents of New Zealand and Ireland are also entitled to free public hospital care and subsidised prescriptions but not a refund of 85% of doctors' fees. However, they can have free access to a doctor by attending an out-patients' clinic at a public hospital. Backpackers who are not residents of any of the afore-mentioned countries will have to rely on their travel insurance to get a refund. If a backpacker has paid medical expenses in Australia and he is entitled to a refund, he can obtain the refund by applying in person at any Medicare office or online. He should take his passport with him when claiming the refund and also when attending for medical treatment. For example, assume Fiona, a UK backpacker, sees a doctor who "bulk bills" and pays her a $25 consultation fee. She obtains a prescription for "the pill" from her. Next she goes along to her nearest Medicare office, presents the doctor's receipt and her passport and then obtains a cash refund of the $25. Then, she goes along to her local pharmacist and pays him the standard prescription charge of $34.20 to have the prescription dispensed. SUPERANNUATION Non-residents are entitled to receive a refund of superannuation contributions paid by their ex-employers on their behalf. "Superannuation contributions" is the Australian term for "retirement pension contributions". All employers must contribute a compulsory 9% of wages to an approved superannuation (pension) fund. The backpacker is entitled to a refund of this when he has left the country. However, the refund is subject to a tax-deduction of 30% i.e. the taxpayer receives the refund less 30%. Application for the refund must be made from outside the country. However, it can be applied for online from outside the country. Some superannuation amounts will be held by the Tax Office. Other superannuation amounts will be held by the respective superannuation funds. Accordingly, details of superannuation funds that the backpacker has contributed to must be provided to the Tax Office. The Tax Office then will send details of your application to each of the Funds that you have nominated. They, in turn, will contact you directly and pay you the refund, normally within 28 days. The Tax Office maintains a register of lost superannuation accounts i.e. person for whom the superannuation funds have no longer a valid address. It is probable that a quite a few backpackers are on this register. The register may be consulted online at the Tax Office's SuperSeeker site. Accordingly, before leaving Australia, a backpacker should 1) contact all of his former employers, 2) from each employer request a tax Payment Summary (Group Certificate) if he has not already received one and also ascertain from the employer a) the name of the superannuation fund to which the employer has contributed and b) the employee membership no. Let us take an example of a typical backpacker superannuation refund. Fiona earned $5,000 as a fruit picker during her working holiday in Australia. Her employer contributed 9% of $5,000 i.e $450 in superannuation. Fiona will get back $315. i.e. 70% of $450. TAXATION Backpackers not holding a Working Holiday visa are generally not entitled to work under the terms of their visa. If they do in fact work, then they are subject to Australian tax in exactly the same way as Working Holiday visa holders. Before starting work in Australia, a person must obtain an official Tax File No.; otherwise tax will be deducted from all wages received at the rate of 46.5%. When applying for the Tax File No, proof of identity must normally be supplied. An application form to obtain a Tax File No. can be obtained from any Post Office. However, a backpacker can now obtain a Tax File No. online from the Tax Office's website. This has the added advantage that under this arrangement proof of identity does not have to be supplied. If a backpacker expects to be self-employed during any part of his stay in Australia, then he should obtain an Australian Business No. (ABN) from the Tax Office. Otherwise tax will be deducted at 46.5% from his payments. The ABN can be obtained online. To sum up then, if you are going to Australia on a working holiday, be sure to apply for a Tax File No. ( and an ABN, if necessary) before seeking work. After obtaining a Tax File No. and before beginning work, an employee must complete an Employee Declaration form. This requires the person to state whether he is a tax-resident or not. If he is not a tax-resident, the employer must deduct tax at non-resident rates i.e. 29%. Later, when completing his Tax Return, a taxpayer must also state whether or not he is a resident. The Australian financial year runs from the 1st July to the 30th June. Every backpacker should file an Australian Tax Return as soon as possible after the 30th June each year. If the backpacker is leaving Australia before the end of the financial year i.e prior to 30th June, then he can complete a Tax Return for the year in advance and lodge it with the Australian Taxation Office. A backpacker can now file his Tax Return online and, of course, from anywhere in the world. A backpacker does not need a tax clearance certificate from the Tax Office before leaving Australia. When completing the Return, it should be noted that the deductible expenses available to Australian employees are more generous than for many overseas countries. For example, taxpayers can claim as deductions from income "all expenses incurred in earning income". This will include travel on duty, protective clothing and footwear, washing and laundry of protective clothing, cost of training courses, trade union fees, tools, business use of private phone, relevant books and publications, licences and registration fees, stationery used for work, bank charges re deposit of wages, tax agent fees, donations to charities etc. A backpacker cannot claim the cost of his living expenses in Australia as a living-away-from-home deduction or allowance. A taxpayer can claim up to $300 in work-related expenses before he will be required to provide receipts to the Tax Office if audited. Most people in Australia engage a Tax Agent to lodge their Return. The Tax Office will send any refund to the Tax Agent if an agent has been engaged or to the overseas address of the taxpayer otherwise if the taxpayer has left Australia. Tax Returns can be lodged from an overseas location as well. In such a case, the best solution would be to contact an Australian-based Tax Agent through the Internet. As previously mentioned, a backpacker can also file his Tax Return online. GST tax is the Australian equivalent of VAT tax. It is 10% added to the sale price. It should be noted that all persons leaving Australia are entitled to a refund of GST tax on goods taken out of the country. The goods must exceed $300 and must be carried as hand-luggage. The refund is obtained at the airport at departure time. For example, a week before departure from Australia, Fiona buys a laptop computer for $660. Later at departure, after clearing passport-control at the airport, she presents a) the invoice and b) the laptop to the Customs officer at the refund-booth. The Customs officer arranges to have a refund cheque of $60 sent to her home address (i.e. 1/11th of the purchase price). How does the taxation of backpackers differ from the taxation of Australian workers in general? First, it must be observed that, under the present interpretation of the law by the Tax Office, backpackers may or may not be deemed to be tax-residents of Australia. Tax-residency is quite distinct from immigration-status residency. The Tax Office now has a calculator on its website to determine whether a person is a tax-resident. You should use this to determine whether you are a tax-resident. You should keep a copy of its findings, if possible. Who is regarded as an Australian tax resident? This is a complex area of taxation law. But it can be summarised in a nutshell as follows: a) those who come to Australia solely to work, even for a short period, will be regarded as tax-residents; b) overseas students will be regarded as tax-residents; c) holiday-makers will not be regarded as tax-residents; e) those combining a holiday with work will sometimes be regarded as tax-residents and sometimes not. An example of the latter class is a person holding a Working Holiday visa. In general, travellers will not be regarded as tax-residents. But a backpacker who abandons his wandering ways and successfully applies to the Immigration Department for permanent residency or a temporary work visa will be regarded as a tax-resident from the date of his application. Further information regarding tax-residency can be found in the relevant tax Ruling at the ATO website and also at Residency. For example, Fiona, a nurse, decides she does not want to go back to the UK but wants to remain permanently in Australia. On the 1st May, she applies to the Immigration Department for permanent residency status as a skilled migrant. She decides to settle permanently in Sydney and she rents a flat there. She obtains a job as a nurse with the promise of the position being made permanent when she obtains permanent residency status. Subsequently, Fiona hears from the Immigration Department that she has obtained permanent residency status. Fiona will be regarded as a tax-resident of Australia from the date she filed her application for permanent residency i.e. 1st May. What difference does it make if one is not regarded as a tax-resident? Residents are taxed on their world-wide income. Non-residents are taxed only on the income arising from Australia. Residents pay no tax on first $6,000 of annual taxable income and pay tax at 15% on the next $31,000. Non-residents, however, do not get the concession of a tax-free allowance and are taxed at a flat rate of 29% on the first $37,000 they earn in Australia. As they can only work for 6 months of their 12 months stay, they are therefore unlikely to earn more than $37,000, so as a general rule they are taxed at a flat rate of 29% on their earnings. Thus, a resident who earns $37,000 in a year will pay tax of $5,115 (including levy) but a non-resident backpacker will pay tax of $10,730 on the same income. In addition, non-residents are not entitled to Tax Offsets for dependents etc. e.g. maintaining a spouse, child etc. Australia has concluded Double Taxation treaties with many countries. Most of these treaties provide that the following categories of persons are not subject to Australian tax but that they are subject to their home-country taxation regime. The categories are: a) self-employed professionals working in Australia for less than 183 days and who do not have their own office or branch in Australia, b) ordinary employees in Australia for less than 183 days and working for an overseas company that does not have a branch or office in Australia and c) teachers teaching in Australia for less than two years. Few backpackers will be able to avail themselves of these provisions. What advantages do non-residents have, tax-wise? 1. They are exempt from the Medicare levy. The Medicare levy is 1.5% levy on income which all residents have to pay to cover medical costs. 2. They do not have to pay Australian tax on income arising outside Australia. 3. In most cases, they pay tax at 10% only (and not 29%) on interest derived from an Australian bank account. This arises from the provisions of the Double Taxation treaties. Let us take an example of a typical backpacker income-tax refund. Let us continue with the previous example of Fiona who is regarded as a non-resident and who earned $5,000 as a fruit picker during her working holiday in Australia. Her employer deducted tax at the regulation 29% from her wages i.e. 29% on $5,000 =$1,450. Fiona has the following tax deductions viz. protective clothing and footwear $300; implements $100; sun-protection products $100; bag $50. Total deductions are $550. Fiona lodges her Tax Return after the end of the financial year and employs a Tax Agent to lodge it for her. His fee is $120. Fiona's refund is calculated as follows. Fiona has a refund of $159 out of which the Tax Agent's fee of $120 comes, leaving Fiona with a net refund of $39. In effect, Fiona has received a refund at 29% on her deductions of $550 less the Tax Agent's fee. However, in most cases, work-related expenses would not exceed $300. Information kindly provided by: http://members.iinet.net.au/~patrick6/default.html
  8. The Pom Queen

    4wd Dummie Guide

    Ok I'm a woman but is there a dummies guide to driving a 4wd. I have no idea what I'm doing, I nipped out today and couldn't even get up a hill which was only about 10% gradient I kept pushing all the buttons and nothing happened it kept stalling, yet my ordinary car got up there in wet season, I had lights flashing at me everywhere. Anyway I pressed and pulled a few more knobs and it finally got up.:wub:
  9. Hi all. Please can anyone give me an up-to-date account (roughly) of monthly expenses for a family of 5 moving to Brisbane. I have looked on lots of other threads but theres not much up-to-date. Things such as ... household bills medical expenses food bills car expenses internet/phone/sky etc etc. Just would like to get a rough idea please. Thanks, Mandy:wink:
  10. In Dymocks today I saw what looked like a really helpful & interesting book Perth Suburbs Guide for Migrants and Newcomers It had really interesting maps showing 'People like us' showing where people of different nationalities settle and maps showing levels of income and education. I'd dived in to get a road atlas so didn't have time for a long browse but I think it would be worth a look when deciding where to settle. I haven't been able to find it online but it was in the travel section, A4 format & prob 200 pages. Jules PS All the poms really are NOR with only Canning Vale SOR having a notable number
  11. Sydney city break guide Our expert, and Sydney resident, Mark Chipperfield offers an essential guide to Australia's largest city. Overview Attractions Sydney Hotels Restaurants Nightlife Shopping Optimism comes easily when you live in one of the world’s most blessed harbour cities It’s not difficult to see why Sydney inspires such jealousy Alamy Sydney’s most obvious tourist attraction is also one of its most delightful Alamy Sydney Opera House, one of the greatest buildings of the 20th century Alamy The city has just about everything a visitor might desire Alamy .bodyTop P { DISPLAY: block}.bodyBottom P { DISPLAY: block}DIV.cruiseShipReview H3 { FONT-WEIGHT: bold}DIV.destination H3 { FONT-WEIGHT: bold}.hotelReview H3 { FONT-WEIGHT: bold} Why go? Vain, spoilt and superficial. Sydney has been called all of these things – and far worse – but mostly by people who live in less glamorous parts of the Australian continent. It’s not difficult to see why Sydney inspires such jealousy. Apart from its made-for-television harbour, this city has just about everything a visitor might desire: great surf beaches, world-class cuisine, a flamboyant nightlife, high-end shopping, art galleries, museums, grand Victorian parks – not to mention the Sydney Opera House, one of the greatest buildings of the 20th century. Like the perfect all-rounder at school, Sydney manages to juggle a busy commercial life with an active sporting routine – jogging, surfing, tennis, golf and cycling are all popular – and the demands of a busy cultural program. The Sydney calendar is packed with arts and film festivals, popular outdoor concerts, quirky art shows and, of course, the exuberant Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras. Despite its reputation as Australia’s most affluent city, recent financial events have ushered in a more frugal approach to life. Eating out, one of the city’s major pastimes, has never been cheaper as restaurants simplify menus and trim back their prices. But Sydney is not the sort of place that cares much about past disappointments – as always, its gaze is firmly fixed on the delights and triumphs still to come. Optimism comes easily when you live in one of the world’s most blessed harbour cities. When to go? For obvious reasons, most visitors from the northern hemisphere want to jet into Sydney’s long, hot summer (December to February), but many locals argue that the city is equally pleasant during the winter months (June to August) when the climate is still pleasant but less humid and the beaches deserted. For dedicated partygoers, however, the Christmas holiday period, with its long hot summer nights, is when Sydney really hits its straps. Getting there Flights Qantas (0845 7 747 767, www.quantas.com.au), British Airways (0844 493 0787, www.ba.com), Emirates (0844 800 2777, www.emirates.com/uk), Malaysian Airlines (0871 423 9090, www.malaysianairlines.com), Singapore Airlines (0844 800 2380, www.singaporeair.com) and Etihad (0870 777 0793, www.etihadairways.com) all operate flights from London Heathrow to Sydney’s Kingsford Smith airport. Return economy tickets cost from £773. Normal flying time is just more than 22 hours. Kingsford Smith (www.sydneyairport.com.au) is the country’s largest transport hub and occasionally feels the strain. Expect queues from the moment you land. Be warned: Australia has very strict quarantine laws – it’s safer to declare everything than be hit with a fine. Bus, train and taxi transport are all available at the airport. If you are in a hurry, take a taxi – the city is only 10kms away and fares are modest (around $25). Private shuttle vans will also drop you at your hotel – expect to pay around $17. Otherwise take the train, which is slow and inexpensive: single tickets are $15 (adult), $10 (child) Cruises The city is hugely popular stop for cruise ships, with the ships able to dock in the heart of the city. The cruise terminal is located at Circular Quay and ships dock beneath the bridge. From here you have the option of water taxis, trains, ferries, taxis and buses which all regularly from the wharf area, serving downtown Sydney and all the suburbs. Mass transit options abound from Circular Quay. Trains (there's a stop across from the terminal) are easily accessed as is the monorail, which serves downtown Sydney. You can get anywhere in the city centre for less than $10, but expect to pay $20 upwards for the suburbs. Rental car agencies, such as Avis and Hertz, have downtown Sydney locations. Rates start at $45 per day. Find a cruise Getting around Sydney nomenclature is complicated. The “city” generally refers to downtown Sydney (shopping precinct) or the Central Business District near Circular Quay. Sydney is also a geographical designation covering the inner city area, but with sub-divisions such as Chinatown, East Sydney, Woolloomooloo, etc. Buses, trains, ferries Sydney now has an integrated bus, train and ferry system (sort of). The easiest thing is to buy a SydneyPass (available for three-, five- and seven-day periods), which provides unlimited travel across the central area of the city. Three-day passes cost: AU$116 (£72) for an adult, AU$58 (£36) for a child and AU$290 (£180) for a family. Many buses are now cash-free. Taxis You can flag down a cab almost anywhere, but not around 3pm which is “change-over” time between shifts. Sydney cabbies are often geographically challenged. Don’t be afraid to suggest where the Opera House or Bondi Beach might be. Despite its fun-loving reputation, Sydney is a competitive, hard-working city. Don’t try to travel during morning or afternoon peak hours when commuters can get surly and even abusive. A ferry ride on Sydney Harbour – preferably to Manly or Watsons Bay – is still one of the best things to do in Sydney. Go on Sundays and the whole family can enjoy unlimited ferry travel for just AU$2.50 (about £1.50) each – “Family Funday Sunday” tickets can be used on buses and trains. Know before you go Essential contacts British High Commission: (00 61 2 6270 6666, www.UKinaustralia.fco.gov.uk), Commonwealth Avenue, Yaralumla, ACT 2600. Police, fire and ambulance: Dial 000. Sydney Visitor Centre at The Rocks: (00 61 2 9240 8788, www.sydney.com), Level 1, Corner Argyle Street and Playfair Street, The Rocks, NSW 2000. The basics Currency: Australian dollar. Time difference: +10 hours (+11 during British Summer Time) Flight times: Around 22 hours. The Sydney Airport website carries all international arrival and departure times: www.sydneyairport.com.au Local laws and etiquette Australia has a common law system and drives on the left, so most UK visitors will feel right at home. But Sydney is a relaxed society – don’t call anyone “sir” and don’t tip taxi drivers (who can take offence). It’s considered polite to call someone “mate” even if you have never met them before and have no interest in doing so again – even women call each other mate. Males should not wear a tie at night, which is regarded as stuffy. Give fake didgeridoos the flick; buy something uniquely Australian. Most people are fairly honest, but watch out for taxi drivers who insist on taking you the scenic way to the airport or Bondi Beach. Be wary about walking around Kings Cross or Darling Harbour in the early hours of the morning – better to jump in a cab.
  12. Guest

    Cool kids guide to Australia

    Check out this cool kids guide to Australia-my kids loved this on the plane ride over and teaches them all about the new country the are moving to! http://www.family-travel-scoop.com/fly-it-quiet-activity-packs.html There is lots of info on the site about things to do in Oz as well
  13. Being the good Husband I am I kindly bought my Wife a Kindle E reader for her birthday. I have been looking at the amazon website and I found a great book with some great readers reviews. Didgeridoos and Didgeridon'ts: A Brit's Guide to Moving Your Life Down Under. I downloaded the book and its great.. Easy to read with some great links and advce. Well worth a look in my opinion..anyway here is some links I found that are for the book, the writer Vicky Gray's blog and a magazine that I had not heard of before http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/1905430531?tag=leanmarketing-21&camp=2902&creative=19466&linkCode=as4&creativeASIN=1905430531&adid=0ZHNB0PWBE5291YAMVCN& http://australiauncovered.com/ http://www.australiamagazine.co.uk/ http://www.getmedownunder.com/ I haven't looked through all the sites so cannot comment on their content but they looked quite helpful to me
  14. tonyman

    The Movie Guide ..........

    ive had some good movies out recently.......and the odd dodgy one too ......but just a s a guide we can help each other im watching a lot of horror and thiller at the moment ,...... Autopsy Spree the human centipede and many more to come .......:goofy:
  15. Ok guys and girls, I've not posted since I arrived and, to be honest, I'm happy about that. It's a different person writing this from the scared little mouse who boarded that flight to Perth. Let's have a little background...failed engagement (sucks to be him :biggrin:), miserable time in Ireland & London and generally unhappy about life. In my mid-twenties, I'd done my 2 year WHV and loved it. Started my PR application but said Irish fiance came along and, well, things changed (doh!). Within a couple of years the relationship broke down and our shared dream of returning to Oz was over - I had been relying on him to be the PR applicant. 6 months later I picked myself up (pathetic I know :wink:). My Australia dream was foremost in my mind and, despite the economic crisis in Europe, I became fixated. Approx 150 Seek ads later, a positive result. A skype interview followed (note to self...next time, change out of Mickey Mouse PJ's...you never know when they might want the webcam turned on!) And eventually a job offer :biggrin: The 457 apps went in and 8 days later I had a visa. Cue mayhem...boxes, suitcases and shoes everywhere! I flew out 10 days later with the rest of my belongings to follow. And this is what I think is the important stuff: - remember that you are in a different country. Things work differently here - don't fight the Aussie way of life....its way tougher than you! Embrace it, its fun! - Don't limit yourself to PIO or ex Pat friends. That will not make it easier to settle. - Appreciate the differences. We can all learn from them. I have integrated pretty well into WA life and, had I not previously spent time in SA, this would have been surprising. Once again, I have found the Aussies to be nothing but friendly, welcoming and helpful...as long as you treat them with the respect they deserve. And more importantly, I'm not Bridget Jones anymore :biggrin: Ladies...and gents...emigrating/moving/relocating....whatever you want to call it, is never easy. Take a bit of time to think of you motivations AND your goals before you make the leap. Don't expect it to be like home with sunshine.
  16. dobclai

    Darwin SS time guide

    Hi all, hope your well? I am hoping that someone can help me? I have just applied for state sponsorship for Darwin for my self, my OH and our son, and i have been told by the case worker that it will take 30 weeks to process my application :arghh: Has anyone experienced the same or had their application back sooner?? Any advice would be appreciated. Thanks in advance Claire
  17. Both kids go to these groups here and have asked if they can still go if we move over. Does anyone know if there are any in either Mornington or Mount Martha?
  18. The DIAC refund the VAC for invalid applications and ceased applications. Acceptance of a 'cap and cease' VAC refund offer would constitute a withdrawal of the visa application and would create an estoppel. Affected parties might want to Consult a Top Gun migration lawyer. The Ombudsman (paper tiger) has no powers and can only make suggestions. If an issue has not attracted the attention of the press, as in: deporting Australian citizens, imprisoning permanent residents of Asian appearance and children, there are unlikely to be any suggestions to the DIAC. The Ombudsman can do nothing about a ministerial decision, notwithstanding that the minister is not mentioned in a complaint.
  19. Just thought it might be handy if people recommended places where they live for anyone moving or visiting there,dont know how much interest there'l be because i know a lot in oz tend to socialise at home(according to pio anyway),but i'd be interested anyway,i prefer the pub to peoples houses tbh,PROPER pubs,with bands/the craic pls:wubclub: I would particularly be interested in places in south australia meself:jiggy:. Ok if visiting liverpool,coopers and the globe,the top beehive (theres two)near the Adelphi hotel,anywhere in mathew st,the grapes is sound if you smoke(outside area),flannagans irish pub,the cavern on a saturday afternoon has some good bands on [YOUTUBE]M6k6yLRgz5k[/YOUTUBE] Flanagans irish pub [YOUTUBE]xRZuWA1aEQ8[/YOUTUBE] the philarmonic for its world famous toilets:laugh:
  20. Guest

    Pub Guide

    Apart from working twice as hard for half the money ,property prices going through the roof, interest rates rises, barefoot weirdos with mullets the greatest disappointment to me has been the lack of decent watering holes so I have unselfishly made it my mission to seek out good pubs and let you lot know about them. I can only do this in my own manor so I have started this thread so others can post their own reviews of pubs in their own locale. Here's what i know about the area around Springwood, Daisy Hill, Logandale, Redland Bay, Beenleigh: Chatswood Tavern (Chatswood Hills): Pros: good beer. Cons: Sterile, no atmosphere, unfriendly patrons and staff, Totty Rating 1/5 Barra Bar (Springwood) Pros: Good Beer. Cons: Sterile, no atmosphere, unfriendly patrons and staff. Totty Rating 2/5 Sundowner (Beenliegh) Pros: Nice staff (young female), good beer, friendly regulars, friday "Tradies Day" lingerie promotion girls and staff. Cons: A bit out of the way. Totty Rating 4/5 Redland Bay Tavern (Redland Bay) Pros: Good family pub with enclosed play area (lock em in), friendly staff, good beer, live music, nice location, Totty Rating 4/5 I have more to come but need to go back and re-evaluate.
  21. Guest

    Where to live in Melbourne guide

    Hi their Me and my wife are considering moving to Melbourne and would like to know abit more about the area. We were wondering if anyone had a copy of the Where to live in Melbourne guide and if you would be kind enough to email us a copy please. Thanks Lee & Tracy
  22. Hi all, I have applied for 175 application, I am now applying for South Australia state sponsorship I have used agent to do my application for subclass 175 and I do not want him for my state sponsorship application Do i need to mention his details in my online application for south australia It asks there.. "agent used yes/no" Kindly guide me Please also tell me if i could switch from subclass 175 to subclass 176 as i get state sponsorship ?? :unsure:
  23. We're at that stage now where we need to sort out our finances prior to moving to oz and would really appreciate people's experiences. We've sold our house and the proceeds are in a savings account. So what do we need to do next? I presume whilst we're still in the Uk we open an Australian bank account and then transfer money to it as and when we need it or when the exchange rate dictates? Many people use a money transfer company, why is that? Any info greatly appreciated, thanks.
  24. Can anyone please guide me the procedure of HEC verification of degrees from Australian High Commission in Islamabad. It is very urgent and I need it to be done on highest priority. Please guide me as early as possible. Regards,
  25. theandersons

    Where to live in Melbourne guide

    Hi I have seen a few mentions of the"Where to live in Melbourne guide" Does any one know where I can get it or have a copy they could email me? Thanks Sean
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