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Found 357 results

  1. Bath2Brisbane

    6 Weeks in - the story so far!

    So, here we are in sunny Brisbane! We (OH and daughter) landed on 29th June and to be honest I've not had time to itch since we arrived (so glad it's not mosquito season!)..... It all started when, after a fleeting visit to Oz last year, I was offered a job in February with Guide Dogs Queensland. Visa arrived in April and GDQ wanted me to start 1st July, so we spent some hectic months sorting out our house to rent, selling two cars and gleening lots of helpful information from this website. We opend a bank account with NAB who have been fab, before we came, and used John Mason for our shipping. It's yet to arrive, but the UK side of things were faultless so I would highly recommend them. The weekend before we left was my Mum's 80th birthday. It was a fantastic family affair and so good to be able to say goodbye to everyone without all the attention on us (as it had been at a fair few farewells!) We had a driver to Heathrow (present from my Mum) which was great, he knew all the back roads when there was a traffic jam and we arrived in plenty of time, calm and rested. A little hicup at heathrow when they seemed to think that my daughter's visa was not valid..:arghh: I went a whiter shade of pale, so when the lady came back she just asked how many bags we had (8) and said "just keep them coming", not weighing them at all (and they were over the 30 kgs each - ooops!). Then we were through security and on our way with the wonderful Singapore airlines who were SO helpful (we had flown with Etihad last year, and although ok, SA were MUCH better). We arrived in Brisbane in the evening and joined the long queue for passport control (note to self and others - next time go to the loo before landing so you can just go straight to queue). All bags arrived safely, we declared our Marmite which they laughed about (but thanked us for declaring it) and waved us through the quick line, and out to our friends who scooped us up and took us to their home in Ashgrove. The following day we sorted our bank cards out and did some shopping and then recovered before I started work full time with Guide Dogs at Bald Hills 3 days later! Since then we have changed our licences (apparently our birth cirtificates did not count to our points as they are not australian??????:wacko:). We needed two bank cards (signed), we had one aus card and one uk card, drivers licence, and our friends signed a form to say that we were resident at their address. TFN (tax file number) can be applied for on line and takes about 10 days to come through. Medicare, just take passports, proof of residence and visa to Medicare shop and they give you temp cards and then send others through post. Schools were on holiday when we arrived, but having been in touch with a couple of schools in UK, we went to visit them the day they opened. The one that we really liked was Bardon Primary, so when the Pricipal asked my daughter when she would like to start, she said "Now?". So they opend up the uniform shop for her there and then, she got changed and off she went without a backward glance - :biggrin: It's a small school and she has really settled well. She is the youngest in her class, being a June baby, but is doing fine and has made lots of freinds - phew! We have spent many hours looking for a house to rent; this area is expensive and some of the houses are quite grotty (bit frustrating when we think of all the sweat and tears we put in to getting our house up to scratch in UK). Anyway, we have found one in The Gap, been accepted and move in next weekend - sadly our shipping wont have arrived but friends are lending us beds etc - thank Goodness for friends! Ours have lent us their home while they are in UK, and their car (cars are very expensive here!); I really don't know how we would have managed without them. So, we still have quite a 'to do' list left.... buy a car, OH to get a job etc but I am loving my job, my daughter is happy and the sun is shining (well it was when I started this epic account). Last weekend we met some friends at a beach, lit one of the many bar-b-qs available and enjoyed a lovely afternoon - and this is winter :wink: I hope this may have been useful to one or two of you about to embark on this journey - good luck to you all, and to those of you already ensconsed in the Sunshine State, a date for your diary for any dog lovers - October 2nd Strathpine Park - October Fetch with GDQ. Be lovely to see you there. Best wishes, Nikki
  2. I'll start at the beginning but it could be a long one! I lived in Melbourne from aged 2 until my parents divorced when i was 13. My mum and i returned to Oldham in the UK. I am now married with 2 girls aged 16 and 11. I have always wanted to return to Australia, but having kids and buying houses there always seems to be something else to pay for. In 2005 my dad (who is still in Melbourne) offered to pay for us to come over for a month in the August. This would give me time to show my family around and decide what we wanted to do. It was the wettest and coldest august with snow and everything but we all loved the way of life. That was the start of our application. We returned and looked into how we could get there and discovered that because my parents had not got me citizenship when i was a child we could apply for a 47SV Former Resident Visa subclass 151. This involved us gathering evidence of my relationship with dad and other family and friends to show i still had close ties to Australia. It also said that i had to have returned and visited which i hadn't. We then discovered that my husbands naughty past was also in the spotlight. When he was a kid he got into a lot of trouble and went to Youth Offenders more than twice. We also found out that we should have declared this on our arrival card in 2005. We thought his convictions were spent. The good thing was he had not murdered anyone and that it was nearly 20 years ago. Back when the kids were younger i phoned agents in Australia - NONE of which frequent this forum - and was told that we did not stand a chance of getting in. Well, i don't know if i was just determined or just out to prove them wrong but in August 2008 we decided we had enough evidence to apply. I had letters from my old schools, photos of friends and family going back to me being 4 years old. I had phone bills from 2002. I jumped through every hoop or it felt like it anyway. We got references from higher standing people in our community regarding my husbands convictions and he did a 4 page letter explaining what went on. It took me 3 weeks to compile the application and it was not for the weak hearted. To be honest i could not have done this without the forums. I had decided not to use an agent for a few reasons, mainly that all those years ago noone had any faith in us. But when compiling the application i really did doubt this decision. I didn't have anyone to say i was doing the right thing or that everything would be alright. This was our one chance and i didn't want to blow it. I sent the application on the 10th of August by DHL and tracked it all the way to Canberra. 3 weeks later we didn't have an aknowledgement letter and i began to panic. I phoned Canberra and discovered that i had sent the wrong currency in my cheque!!! OMG could you believe it? The guy from immigration - D, was fantastic. He emailed me and told me he would keep hold of the application until i returned the cheque in $$$. DHL saved the day again and i tracked it all the way to D. I phoned him as arranged when it arrived and he took it to the correct section in residency. We had front loaded the policechecks and medicals as this was the advice on the visa application so the waiting began. Just off to the beach so will continue later :wink:
  3. Applying for a spouse (309) visa, our progress so far.... 20/4 - sent off application (frontloaded). 21/4 - money taken 27/4 - email from C/O confirming receipt of application 29/4 - received all the evidence we'd sent back in the post 05/5 - phoned C/O who infromed they didn't require anything else but there was a backlog of apps and it could take 3 months to hear. Has anyone else who's applied in the past couple of weeks heard anything? or been granted a visa?
  4. Hi I thought I would share our experiences from our first 4 weeks in Perth, some of it may be useful and some not but these are things that we have encountered since we arrived. My husband and our 3 children 11,8 & 5 arrived on the 30th of May, we had arranged a few things before arriving so I will try and break it down into the "what we done" and "what we wished we had done". Before arrival: We booked a 6 week furnished rental, to give us time to find a more permanent rental. - This worked out well and we are due to move into our new unfurnished rental in a week. Shipped some boxes of stuff over although not our furniture - wish I had brought more stuff with us as we have had to go and buy beds, tables, sofa's the lot, having said that prices for stuff like that seems quite reasonable and there are end of season sales on at this time of year so bargains to be had. Job - my husband had a job offer before we left the UK, however we did not get any relocation etc as most companies are nervous about doing this as they have been burnt before so they will look to tie you in for a couple of years if they do give a relocation package. After Arriving: We hired a car for first 2 weeks - this was fine and cost us around $30 a day so not too bad - We have since bought a car on finance rather than outright to ensure we have a credit rating in Oz, no issues with this as long as you can prove your job, visa and bank details etc We are living in Quinns for first 6 weeks which is nice but a good 10 min drive to the train station and school in Clarkson - so new rental is in Clarkson for a lesser commute. We got the kids enrolled in a Private Catholic School - which works out at around $3000 pa for all 3 - what we didnt account for was the cost and strictness of the school uniforms with just the winter uniforms costing $400+. We then had to buy all their books including jotters and stationary which then came to roughly $100 per child!! Biggest hurdle was getting the kids to wear the black school shoes lol General observations: Its harder to get a contract mobile than it is to buy a car!! Make sure your first rental has broadband or you will like us have to use a mobile dongle- hopeless !! and you need the internet to research houses etc! Be prepared for the cost of things - it is expensive compared with the UK for most things eg bananas x 4 $10!,! chocolate bars - $3, beer x24 bottles $50, on the other hand a bottle of Jacobs creek rose $7, steaks/butcher meat etc are quite cheap. Supermarkets - they stock a lot of brands that you recognise but they dont open late especially at the weekends with most closing at 4 - 5pm Train service and Bus service - are very good with regular trains and spotlessly clean - takes about 30 mins to get into the CBD from Clarkson ( last station on the Joondalup line) Weather is lovely during the day just now at around 22 degrees, however gets very chilly at night and the houses are designed to be cool so can be a bit cold! Bring all your clothes, shoes, boots etc with you, as not a great selection here and for up to date styles can be a bit expensive! High school - they all do it differntly and you need to enrol well in advance of the kids leaving primary. Lots of great things to do and places to go with the kids, parks, zoo etc Drivers Licence & Medicare - very easy to do, just need to go in and fill out forms with some ID, passport, visa etc and you get a temp card/ licence and then a week or so later your permanent one arrives in the post. Nice Areas (in my opinion): To be fair most areas we have looked at are lovely and have lots of positives, however we are trying to be handy for a train station and the school and the beach!! Mindarie - north, close to marina Clarkson - north, good transport, 10 min drive from beach Butler - north Quinns Rock - north, near beach Kinross - north Jindalee - north, near beach Mullaloo - near beach Ocean Reef- near beach Sorrento - near beach Subiaco - near CBD All are lovely and we will be hard pushed to decide where we will buy/build! and of course the closer to the CBD or the beach the more expensive the house!! I hope this helps someone out there and if i think of anything else i will add it, if anyone has any questions feel free to ask on here or pm me. Cheers PS apologies if this is boring and or useless!!:biggrin: useful site on Perth - http://www.perthpoms.com
  5. HI We are coming to Perth for 3 weeks on 20th July for a "reccy" on areas etc, before making the permanent move at the end of the year, visa permitting..anyone fancy meeting up and giving us any advice on what to do in the coming months... We are interested in possibly settling in the Mindarie area, and would appreciate any info on this area, schools etc My hubby is a sparks so any sparks out there who can give him info first hand on what to expect... i believe he will have to work for nothing initially!! Lisa (HR consultant) Mark (sparky) and Olivia 8 :biglaugh:
  6. 163ALLOUT

    3 weeks on the Sunshine coast

    This could be a long one, I am known for waffling. if you’re interested, sit back, get a coffee and a few extra ciggies, if you smoke that is, this may take a while. We arrived on the Sunshine Coast on the 29th June to be greeted with the coldest weather they have had here for a long time and plenty of rain!!! Thankfully didn’t last too long and after a couple of days the sun came out and we have had warm (22/23c) days with blue sky in abundance, it’s still mid-winter!!. We spent 4 nights prior to arriving in Singapore to recuperate from the stresses of leaving the UK, It was wonderful to relax for a few days and take stock of where we were at before embarking on the next whirlwind of setting up a new life. Having arrived at our holiday let we soon realised we had made a mistake in the location, the house wasn’t the best either so we prioritised a more permanent let and spent the first week touring round until we found the right place. We found the house we have now lived in for a week (Pelican Waters) by driving round and around areas, we spotted a for rent sign in the garden would you believe, like most people we spent hours and hours searching realestate.com.au from the UK which in hindsight was a waste of bloody time as the house wasn’t even on the internet. You need to be here to judge the places properly, I’d disagree that the camera never lies when you see some of the places that look great in picture but aren’t in reality. We also made a mistake by securing our holiday let for 4 weeks and paying for it up front, a bit of wasted money there too. We chose to take it on the chin and move on with no regrets. Should have booked a week and then took it from there but hey, hindsight’s a wonderful thing and I’m sure we’ll make more mistakes along the way. As they say you live and learn!! Lifestyle Best way to sum it up was when I went into LJ Hookers and got talking to an original 60’s £10 pom. After asking me how long we’d been here he said “ welcome to paradise”. So far I’d agree with him. I have to keep pinching myself that we actually live here. It really is a lovely place to live. Cost of living A real mix bag is probably the short answer. Petrol is $1.35 (90p)a litre is a lot cheaper. I would say rentals are on a par with the UK, there are cheap places and expensive places, it all depends on your budget and what you can afford and want, we wanted a wow factor when we arrived so we’ve gone and rented a waterfront home, just need to sell a kidney to stay here longer than 6 months! Food is more expensive, you can shop around and get better value for money than the Coles/Woolworths of this world, it’s just takes time to find the places. They are out there though. Cars, bloody expensive! Second hand cars cost an arm and a leg compared to the UK. Tip of the day. If you can invest and buy a luxury European car like a Porshe, Bmw etc back in the UK 12 months before you leave then bring it with you. You can sell it here for double what you’d have paid for it in Blighty. I know not everybody can but if you have some cash then you’ll not regret it. You need to read up on the removal and tax costs but it’s well worth it. Check out the Red book in Australia which is the equivilant of our classes guide book. Furniture and household goods aren’t that bad, it depends where you shop. Like the UK you can buy a sofa for $800 or $8,000. It’s down to choice and quality. We've bought some basic stuff at A-Mart while waiting for our container and they were no dearer than the UK. We also found a second hand washing machine for a 100 bucks!! Bargains around if you look and ask!!! House prices are falling, lots for sale and no buyers, another 12 months before I’d even consider buying anything. It is cheaper to rent believe it or not, they have negative gearing which allows landlords to offset rental losses against their tax, bizzare but true. Overall I’d say it’s certainly not cheaper here than the UK but you can find bargains if you look. Economy Not been here long enough to get a full picture, first impressions talking to locals is that there is definitely a two speed economy here. Mining sectors booming everything else struggling a bit. There’s a lot of conjecture regarding interest rates, some of the banks are now saying that rates will have to come down to stimulate the economy, that in turn would greatly help the exchange rate if you have £’s. There are one or two who reckon rates will still go up, that will have a devastating effect if they do, a bit of a knife’s edge scenario at present. There’s some big infrastructure projects in the pipeline though that will give the construction industry here a much needed boost. It just seems the Pollies (Politicians) are on another planet and way out of step with ordinary folk. Mind you could say that about the Uk’s as well. I’m over here on a 163 business visa so I will bide my time for a short while and see how things pan out before jumping in The Locals Have to say the Aussies we have met are the most helpful and nicest bunch of people you could wish to meet in our experience. As long as you put yourself out there and communicate with people they are great, when we went to the bank to sort out our account they couldn’t have been more helpful. The lady dealing with our account even took us around the shopping plaza showing us where certain shops were. Can’t see someone from Barclays Bank doing that! We have also met up with an English family who have been here 3 years. Met them on this forum and they have been great, been out a couple of times with them which we have really enjoyed, they’ve even lent us a telly until ours arrive from the UK. Their eldest son is a similar age to mine and we’ve just had our first sleepover guest. If the kids are happy and settled it makes a big difference. Kids have now done there first week at school. Too early to tell on the quality of education but first impressions are that they are a little bit behind the UK. Time will tell though. The Teachers have been most welcoming though and first reports on class mates has been V good. My eldest has hooked up with a few new mates on facebook already so good signs. My eldest in an English lesson had to take turns in reading aloud for the class, when it was his turn the teacher kept him reading for ages compared to his other class mates. The Teacher apologised after and said she just loved hearing his accent! Lol. Summary Very positive start for us, lots still to do and very early days for us. I just think that if you’re going to be skint you might as well be here with no money than in the UK!! It’s bloody warmer for a start off. If you stuck with the thread then thanks for reading, if you haven’t then sod you (you won’t be reading this bit anyway) Lol. Best regards from The Sunshinecoast Jon
  7. Hello everyone, I wonder if anyone can help me...a month ago my husband accepted a transfer to Brisbane. Everything has happened really quickly and I am starting to panic a bit now as the move gets closer. We have three children, 4,3 and 1 1/2. I have so many questions! Can anyone advise me about northern suburbs with good state primary schools and kindegartens? Mark will be working in the cbd and will rely on public transport to get there. Ideally he would be within 30/40 mins commute. We are hoping to find a house for about $600pw. is it worth contacting agents before we leave? We have accomodation for 4 weeks and are sure to need to extend this while we wait to receive our shipment. However we need to enrole our oldest in school before the start of term on 24 th of jan, so will need a tenency agreement fairly early on. Any thoughts on good agents to contact? Sorry to inundate you with questions!!! I meant it when I said I needed help! THank you, thank you.
  8. redlee71

    Berwick 12 weeks in!!

    Hi All So I thought I would give a little something back. We arrived in Oz on 27th August 2011, by we I mean me and my 4 children, and by Oz I mean Berwick (a beautiful suburb of Melbourne). My hubby was already here and had been since March. We travelled via Singapore where we meet hubby for a long weekend/family holiday. Must admit it was a much needed break. Weather when we arrived was crap, damp and cold but think that was because we had just come from Singas, anyway our container turned up the day we arrrived which was seriously bad timing but nothing we could about it. I think I walked around in a daze for the first week or so, collected my car so we could all get around. We explored as much as possible, I think hubby wanted to show us all the things he had discovered. During this first 2 weeks my eldest (18yrs) decided he didnt want to remain in Oz and time then was tense for everyone, lots of arguements and tantrums. 3 weeks in we gave in and bought him a one way ticket back to the UK, not knowing if this was the right thing to do but knowing he had to spread his wings and find his own way. As a mother that was heart wrenching and to be honest didnt see the point of us staying if our family was fragmented. But life went on and the other kids (16,14 and 12) started school. I was determined when we got here that I had to hit the ground running, so I contacted Poms in Oz and a very kind lady put me intouch with other lovely ladies and before I knew it I was being invited here there and everywhere, BBQs, parties, lunches etc etc hubby and my son even got involved with a 5 aside footie team. We have been lucky that we have met some truely wonderful people that have supported us through our ups and downs. I have wobbly days, normally Mondays, but I am learning to put things in place to help myself through those days. One of those is to learn to be kind to myself, to remember we have only been here 3 months and everything is still so new. So in a nut shell we have more friends now than we had in the UK which means at times a hectic lifestyle, which is fine by us. We spend more time together as a family. Dont get me wrong its not all a bed of roses and learning to adjust can be hard at times. Remembering not to compare everything to the UK is the best place to start, after all it isnt the UK. Yes somethings are more expensive here but at the sametime its not everyday I would eat banana prawns in the UK and be wowed by how cheap they are!! Life in Oz is what you make it, with some hard work, an open mind and a little bit of the no worries attitude then its mostly great. I know before I left the UK I was reading everything I could and once I was here this website was an absolute godsend, so if my post just helps 1 person feel more at eaze then thats great, and if anyone has any questions, not promising I will know the answer but I am sure I will find someone in my cirlce of friends so far that will. Good Luck!!
  9. surhythms

    2 weeks in Canberra - Our thoughts so far

    Well guys ........................................................... We have been here 2 weeks now so just to give you all an update on how we are doing. We arrived in Sydney and stayed in a hotel for 3 days in Darling Harbour and it was really nice. Sydney is a really nice place to visit and we needed the break before we got to Canberra because it has been HECTIC!! We drove down from Sydney in our rental car which was somewhat underpowered for the size of it!! Luckily enough we have managed to buy two cars now which is great. The journey took 3 hours and we drove right into Tuggeranong (Calwell) to our short term accommodation. The drive down was not very exciting so I slept in the car while the OH drove! Our short term accommodation (Langley Heights) in Calwell is really nice – it has European heating which we are spoilt with at the moment. The accomodation has everything you will need even down to an ironing board and hairdryer which really impressed me! Most of the houses don’t have heating like we do in Ireland and it is quite cold at the moment so bring your winter clothes if you are arriving soon. The first week we sorted out our TFN, Medicare, got mobile phones, mobile broadband and drove around every inch of Canberra searching for houses and schools (government secondary schools). We also met Quoll (Angela) for coffee and she gave us lots of really useful information and in my opinion has been spot on with pretty much everything she says. Thanks Angela J Last week we went to the Catholic Private Schools and searched more houses. We have now found a house, a school, I started work today and the OH is looking for work at the moment in IT. Our first impressions of Canberra were “ Well this is different” but isn’t that why we came? For something different and new. We didn’t come with any expectations of what it would be like really and I have to say 2 weeks in I don’t regret doing it one bit – I am so glad we haven’t spent more time thinking WHAT IF!! It has been a good move so far! We haven’t done one bit of sightseeing or any touristy type things but we have LOADS of time for that so Im not too worried that the last two weeks have been a hard slog. Tip: Bring EVERYTHING you possibly can !!!!! Some of the stuff is expensive so if you have it already don’t bother buying it again if you can manage it. You can get great deals at the moment because of the half yearly sales on at the moment and there is really no point converting everything because it just doesn’t match up. Grocery shopping is costing us about AUD 200 per week for the 3 of us and we aren’t overly spending or anything of the sort Cars Visited a few dogdy dealers that I didnt like the sound of! One of them even questioned why we wanted the VIN number of the car which I thought sounded slightly fish so we ended up buying our cars from Pickles Car Auctions in Fyshwick. We got 2 good deals – one at a fixed price sale and another at the auction. The auction was an experience and a bit of fun and nerverecking aswell as I have never put a bid on anything of the sort before.You need to register your car which will cost about 900 dollars - registration needs to be done every year and you need to get a cert from a garage to make sure it is roadworthy Pay stamp duty which is 3% of the sale price get your own private insurance which is about 3-400 dollars. You will definitely need 2 cars in this city- we thought we would get away with one but there is no chance of that happening! Schools: We visited 4 government schools and 4 privates. . If you have teenage kids I would say to go to public and privates just to look at the options and make up your own mind on the schools. Not every school will suit everyone but we have enrolled the daughter into a Co-ed Catholic Private. The fees are ok but we feel the fees are worth it and if it doesn’t work out for her sure we can always change! In some of the schools the classroom doors are locked for "security reasons" - the kids can get out of the classrooms but if you want to get in the door has to be unlocked with a key. I found this really off putting. Not all schools do this and I did raise the question as to why this happens. Because we are doing the private school thing we did have to look at our finances from a renting perspective which has tightened our budget a little aswell. Suburbs: Gunghalin – This is not really for us. Ok the blocks are new, modern, have ducted gas heating but we could find somewhere like this in Ireland. We want to live in a more ozzie type house. If new, modern and brand spanking new is up your street you may want to consider this option. Belconnen- really liked Belcoone and my favourite areas are: McKellar, Aranda, Hawker, Weetangera – The rents are quite high in these suburbs for a nice house and there were only a few around. We realised that our 4 bed, swimming pool dream was shot down in a flash. Some of the houses are pretty big and unless you plan to clean your way through the weekend maybe think again – plus there is the thoughts of heating the place in winter. Inner North – Ainslie, O'Connor and Hackett were my favourites here but a little pricey for us although there seemed to be some good deals around if you search for them and are flexible with your needs Inner South - they have some really nice houses here but to be honest I didn’t even consider inner south and it was way too expensive for us anyway! Weston Creek - too far out - no bus service and very little facilities for kids getting to and from school outside the Creek Woden - We liked Lyons, Curtin, Mawson the best – we put an application in for a house in Curtin but we decided not to go for it in the end. Tuggeranong - this is where we are staying and the views of the mountains are just fab. Our favourite suburbs are Calwell and Fadden. Anything further than Calwell is just too far for us. It took me an hour to get to work this morning from door to door. Something that I am not used to (it took me 5 mins in Ireland). This is the sacrifice I am willing to make though to live on a hill. We are just about to sign our lease for a 4 bed house in Calwell – its not overly expensive either which is a bonus Dont be fooled by the pictures of houses on the internet - they look about 20% worse in real life plus until you get to the actual street you wont know what it is really like. The house may look ok but then you see the real street and may change your mind!! Quolls advice on “check out the neighbours” really springs to mind and we were told by someone else to drive around the area at night which we did. Houses You can get really big houses if you like and some of them are just amazing!! None of the houses have real insulation so I have been told so bring oiled filled radiators, blow heaters, electric blankets - whatever you can for winter! The people here are really lovely and everyone so far has been so helpful and nice to us. I was quite shocked by people generosity overall. As I said already we haven’t really explored much over the past couple of weeks because the aim was to find a school, car and house and we have found them all. We went out walking up the road from where we are staying last Sunday to be met by about 30 kangaroos - it was really amazing!! A kangaroo also jumped out at us when we were driving aswell which was funny and a shock aswell. Lucky we were going slow or the poor kangaroo would not be bouncing around anymore. I think they are amazing so if wildlife is your thing you will love it here. There is loads of bushland around aswell which I love and the views are spectacular. All I would say to people is don’t rule anything out before you get here. We were dead set on living in Belconnen and I guess if a house came up that we liked and suited us we would be living in Belconnen or Inner North but it hasn’t panned out that way so I guess all I would say is be realistic in your expectations, be willing to compromise on your ideals and don’t be too shocked about the price of duvet covers J Suzanne
  10. And lovin it! the weather has been varied, nice and warm one day and a bit of a chill the next, evenings are still chilly enough to have a fire on. We have also had a couple of very windy days and some rain - well they do say you can get all four seasons in a day in Melbourne. We are living with my sister in Essendon, a short walk to the Keilor Road with a good range of shops, banks, post office, library, everything you need. We have sorted out medicare and taxfile numbers No worries about accomadation or car as these have been sorted by my sis, very lucky for us. We have contacted agencies about jobs, hubby is a welder/fitter and I work in childcare, all looking positive so far................................ Had to take my niece to A&E after she had an accident when a carousel ride broke at the Melbourne show jarring her back, she was seen within 15 mins of our arrival by triage and by a Doc about 10 mins after that, very similar to our experience here in the UK but the waiting room was not as busy and the wait was shorter, can't remember which one we went to but not the one near the city, so that may have had an impact on the waiting times. oh and I found out that they have Nurse on call which is like the UK nhs direct, you can call and ask advice. Dad also had to go to the Doc's yesterday as he came back from the UK coughing, we finally got him to go on Sunday, to a walk in clinic in Moonee Ponds - he was seen within about 10 mins (cost him $60, of which he will probably get $30 back from medicare) he is on a year tourist visa. He has been for a chest x ray today and then back to the Doc's after waiting half an hour for his x rays. The difference here is the paying and claiming back and the need to have private medical insurance to cover ambulance etc I am not very clued up on that yet so any info would be gratefully recieved. Driving around is ok, still getting used to the fact that people undertake and it is OK ! and I need to remember to watch for trams on certain roads but I think I am going to have a lesson with an instructor just to familiarize myself with Oz highway signs and markings and the hook turn! would rather have my first go at that with someone who knows what they are doing in car. I love the markets, the veg is good quality and I have been able to get wheat free products much easier here, most of the cafe's we have been in have the option for gluten free bread or toast. The fresh meat and fish is good quality and a good price, especially if you are there near closing and it is Grand final day! they were giving it away on Sat! Bank account was easy, started the process in the UK and went in to the bank to show our I D a few days after arriving, no money over here yet! hoping for good rate over the next few weeks, but we have our cards and we are ready to go. can't think of anything else now, will check back in a few days, it is surprising how little I seem to get on the computer these days, the waiting game is over - time to start living the dream LOL Karen X
  11. Nicole Eire

    Rent furniture for few weeks?

    Hi all, hoping someone can help. We will land 1st Jan and we have our new rented house ready for us. Our container with our own furniture will arrive 1st or 2nd week of feb and we will need to get by til then - bed, washing machine etc. Is it possible to rent any of these for a few weeks only? Any website I've looked at has a min 12 month rental :eek:
  12. AaronS

    About 6 weeks here now

    Things are starting to settle down so the stress level is going down as well. The rental is feeling comfortable now. Our stuff made it to us about a week ago which helped the comfortable feeling. Only had one picture broken out of the entire shipment! Everything else made it intact (HIGHLY recommend Crown Relocation). Had to adjust to using portable A/C and heating units but that's all sorted out now. We have two Lorikeets that show up in the backyard everday to be fed. The kids have them eating out of their hands now....literally. Our oldest is loving school here and making all kinds of friends. Got driving on the other side of the road down and so does the wife. Finding our way around is getting easy too, starting to remember the major roadways and where they go. Our neighbors are awesome...they have kiddos too and all of them run back and forth from the houses playing (live on a cul-de-sac so it's safe). I got hired on with a sound production company and the owner is great.....he and his wife actually invited us for Christmas dinner. I've been titled "the American" in their conversation and half the time they call me "Texas" instead of my name. Enjoying the beaches more now too. Went to Dee Why beach for the first time this past weekend and we really loved it there. Much more open and natural areas than Manly was. Plus the playground, pool and the cliffs on the other side of the pool give a lot more to do than just hanging out on the sand. Parking was much easier there as well. It was rough at first and we had thoughts that we had made a mistake, but now things are falling into place nicely and we are really loving it here.
  13. Hello wonderful POI'ers! I've secured a job near Mandurah and now need to my rent house out and move family in just 4 weeks time!! Need to organise and book everything I'm so gonna be posting lots over the next few weeks! Your help is appreciated as always. Immediate issues are:- 1. One way flights around 29th Dec. + Extra baggage allowance. 2. Need a Short term rental for 2 adults & 1 child (How long do we book it for?) 3. Buying a car / Loan. 4. Shipping just the basics - 2 Sofas, Bed, Wardrobes, Table Chairs, TV & Coffee Table. 5. Long term rental. Thank you sooo much!
  14. Guest

    7 weeks in Kal

    Haven't been on here for a while due to being very busy trying to sort ourselves out! We arrived in Kalgoorlie on the 1st of October to the bizarre smell of cabbage, and cold and rainy weather! My boyfriend's company who sponsored our relocation put us up in the Tower Hotel apartments, which is where we stayed on our first stint in Kal when we arrived as well. We started searching for a rental property straight away as friends had told us what a nightmare it is, and they were not wrong. many of the houses I went to see were in terrible states of repair and decor, and it got me really depressed for a few weeks. We need a garage or big shed for Andy's motorbike and tools, which made it extra hard. After 3 weeks of fruitless applications I happened to look on Gumtree and came across a private rental. It is just about perfect - 3 bed older house with polished floorboards, large living areas and 2 garages. We're paying $475 a week, would have been well over $500 if it had been through a rental agent. So we've been in the house nearly 3 weeks now, got all the utilities sorted just waiting on our iinet broadband to be connected. We've been using Telstra mobile broadband which has been really crap! Bought our car 4 weeks ago, a brand new Suzuki Jimny 4x4 which was cheaper than buying a year old one. People laugh at us as the car is so much smaller than the landcruisers and hilux's but we don't need any more space. We wiped the grins off our friends faces when we all went off-roading. The Jimny cruised through a deep washout and their hilux got well and truly stuck! Haven't said a word since! Things have certainly been made easier thanks to our friends here, some of whom we've known for nearly 10 years and who have lived here up to 6 years. That includes numerous BBQs, lifts, lending etc etc. Our shipping has been delayed significantly, now it won't even arrive in Freo until the 26th of December. Andy's company delayed paying the shipping company hence nothing happening for 6 weeks. We were pretty angry about that and nearly considered going back home because of it! Considering they're an international company they certainly don't know how to move people internationally. We've finally got driving licences, medicare and banks sorted out, but nothing seemed to be straight forward. So much has relied on us having proof of address which at one point we didn't think we would have for months thanks to the rental situation. Other than that all is going well. We were both pretty excited to see how much money landed in our accounts on payday, and started making plans to making extra payments on our mortgage in the UK (which is finally rented out after 8-10 weeks!). We're already getting bored out of our minds on weekends, which will hopefully be alleviated when our stuff arrives. Andy's planning on building a climbing wall in one of the garages, and I like crafty hobbies ideal for the hot summer months. And whatever anyone says, you don't generally spend any more time outside than in the UK. We don't anyway, due to the heat (particularly over the next few months) and mosquitos (seem to be more here this time due to the rain). In the UK we did rock climbing, surfing, horse-riding, walking, and hockey. We can only do these things here during the winter (well, surfing and climbing we can only do if we drive 4+ hrs to the beach or cliffs). So summer activities are limited to swimming at the local pool, BBQ's and indoor hobbies. But we knew that anyway, and for us this isn't really a lifestyle move, it's more about making some hay whilst the (hot) sun is shining. Sorry this is a bit long-winded! Will try and update in a few months or so.
  15. lkquick

    8 weeks and counting !!!

    we've flights booked, current house sold, notice given in with jobs and counting down to 23rd jan when we fly!! all scary but very exciting. job in Ipswich and gonna be living somewhere?:jiggy:
  16. ghost

    Perth 9 Weeks In

    Well we made it, and we are living here. I posted after about 3 weeks and I thought I should do an update. Things arent so good after nine weeks. I guess im just posting on a bad day, but im feeling a little frustrated. I dont want to be a "whingeing pom" but I guess its good to put these things down so that people coming know what to expect. I love the place, I love the beaches, I love how friendly people are. Im getting frustrated with the "starting over" status. Phone line, cost me nearly £200 ($300) to get a phone line put into our house, we had to have one as part of our rental agreement. We cant get internet, as there are "no ports" available in our area. The only option was mobile internet. This is going to be inscuffcient as I am supposed to be starting business over here , and also with being freshly over here we want to skype with our family etc. So decided to to g0 with mobile for now , but couldnt get credit on a $60 a month mobile card, with no equipement because I dont have a job (was taking 6 months off) Actually finally got it in my wifes name, I think it was her occupation as housewife that did it. Tried to get a drivers license but cant do that without the visa sticker in the passport, even though the visas are linked to the passport number( easy enough to get put in once you arrive, just another hurdle) We have had issues with our agent letting a builder into our house when we werent there to fix something. My youngest daughter (11) seems to be getting on fine at school, but seemed a little unhappy this week. My middle daughter loves it (14) altho I wonder why that is, she did tell me that during one lesson they just played in the sea, the teacher brought in his surfboard and went surfing. My olderst Daughter is 17, was 3/4 through her apprentiship as a hairdresser, but they want to start her from year one here which is frustrating (they dont have to pay as much) shes adamant shes going home at 18, which is another concern which hope will change. TO top it all the contents of our house has been in customs for 3 weeks. I bought a motorcycle over, and I had a few spare pairs of handlebars I shipped over. Seems that customs want to tax me on the bars as part of the bike, which means the shipper has had to sift through our things to find them, and ultimately nothing has been released yet. Seriously thought this morning about calling them up and telling them just to send everything back. It seems that its the small things that are beating us, but it gets you down. Everythign was pretty well sorted in the uk. Im sure it will get better once our bits get here and we sort all these mundane things out that you take for granted.
  17. Hi Everyone, I am looking for temp work in Brisbane, I don't have transport which seems to be an issue. I need work in the city centre or North where I am staying or somewhere easy to get to on public transport. Back home I was a development worker for a charity, but I am just looking for some temp admin work to do me until Christmas or better yet beyond that. I have registered with a few agencies and have been applying direct for jobs through SEEK but have had no joy so far. Does anyone have any advice/contacts etc? Any help would be appreciated. Thanks Kirsty
  18. yazzee

    4 weeks on...

    Hi A little update on how things have been for us (hubby and seven year old daughter). We landed in Melbourne 14 October and stayed in a nice little unit in Box Hill. A good area for getting trains and trams to the city and lots of Asian markets nearby. If anyone is looking for accommodation we used HomeAway and I can forward you the details if you would like. The price was $750 per week which is ok for Melbourne. My husband is a printer and spent the first couple of weeks following up leads from the Uk and going to recruitment agencies. Myself and my daughter spent time at Box Hill swimming pool and joining the library. Anything that did not cost too much money! It was expensive during the week to catch a train because we were in Zone 2. My husband was offered a job in Melbourne but it was not on a contract so there was no security. He was then offered a job in Brisbane and a contract so at the end of the 3rd week we jumped on a plane and here we are. We managed to find accommodation for 17 nights at Upper Mount Gravatt East, if anyone wants the details please let me know. Hubby started work straight away and my daughter has started school - its a state school and already she has made lots of friends. I am immersing myself in the local school by helping out in the classroom and making sandwiches for the once a week tuckshop. After the long summer holiday I hope to find paid work. We have managed to rent a property at Upper Mount Gravatt and move this coming Monday. We have also bought a 2nd hand car which we have had for one day and it started to leak. We bought it from a dealer and they have just replaced 2 hoses. Fingers crossed it will be ok if not I will have to give them some bad publicity... Our lives have been hectic and it is not slowing down yet because we need furniture which is not being shipped. Our container has been diverted from Melbourne to Brisbane for an extra cost. I now realise that I have far too many jumpers and coats due to arrive from the UK - it is a lot hotter up here. If anyone is doing anything similar then let me know and I will try to give you some advice. We are not living the dream yet but we are on the journey.
  19. Hi newbie Dave here, I have only about two weeks left in the uk before I leave with my Aussie partner for australia. Is there time to apply for residency ( de facto ) in London-offshore ( forms 40SP and 47SP) . Or should I wait and apply in Brisbane? I understand that there are some possible issues- Applying in the Uk means I have to get permission from CO to leave for aus. Will I have one to ask in time? Applying in Australia means I have to be there at the time of the granting of visa. What happens if I want to travel to the uk say after a month of application being lodged? At present my circumstances are : I'm on a tourist 676 visa. I have a defacto relationship with my Australian partner of some 25 years and we have a 5 year old daughter together(dual citizenship). Plenty of proof of the ongoing relationship etc. What are the chances of being granted a permanent (100) visa straight away? Any advice would be appreciated.
  20. harrietotbot

    Moving to Brisbane in 3 Weeks

    Hi All, I have just joined this forum. My husband, 2 young children (5 Years & 18 months) and myself are moving to Brisbane in 3 weeks. As yet we do not know where we are going to live, husband will be working Mt Gravitt area any suggestions?
  21. hi my name is jacob i am 11 :cool:and moving to perth soon we will be staying sor. i like playstation 3 i like football my favourite teams are chelsea and shamrock rovers. is any 1 moving at the same time as me :tongue:
  22. Hy guys ,me and my family are hopefully only 4/6 weeks from getting the verdict and start to a new great life for me and the family , Job is ready and waiting ,brother already living in williamstown ,which may come handy haha Read some great stuff on here and some worrying stuff as well ,so plenty to go over ,ie renting and schools,but as some one on here keeps saying just roll up and it be fine Anyway spk soon ,Andinchez
  23. 2Posh2Push

    9 weeks in Brisbane

    Hi all, Mr push here (Craig). I have been reading the posts on here for ages and just wanted to share my experiences to date. As the title says, we have been here for 9 weeks now and came over on a skilled 136 visa. It only seems like yesterday that our home was being packed up in England, we used Mark Chudley (Mark Chudley international shipping, furniture transport & storage) to ship our stuff and I must say they were excellent and I would highly recommend them. That was at the end of August and we flew out on the 3rd of September with Singapore Airlines who were fantastic with our 3 kids (6, 3 & 2), had a stop over for a few days, which was well needed and landed in Brisbane on the 7th. We had a day flight from Singapore which enabled us to see some fantastic scenery as our flight path was over the middle of Australia. We have friends and family who moved to Brisbane last year, so had some help and a bit of familiarity on arrival. We did find it difficult to find a rental as there was not much about at the time, so we ended up in some holiday rentals which did help us to decide on where we wanted to permanently settle and have made Narangba our base. Its just north of Brisbane and takes about 40 minuites to do the commute, we are 40 mins from the Sunshine coast and 20 mins from Bribie Island which both have some wonderful beaches. We have been lucky enough to find a brand new rental with a pool that overlooks a large lake to the front which is a massive improvement on our house in the UK. We had not been to Australia before, so did not know what to expect, which I suppose that has its good and bad sides. It has been a great help using the forums to get all sorts of information both good and bad which has helped us to prepare for our new life down under. I have been fortunate enough that a job came up in Brisbane with the company that I was working for in the UK, so that was one major worry out of the way. I do get paid slightly less than the UK, I work as a service engineer and have a company car which I am not taxed on here, so with this and the family benifit, we are better off financially. It's so far so good for us and I'm sure that there will be more hard times ahead, but we are determined to give it our best shot and make it work. We moved for a number of reasons, but the main one was to give our kids the chance to experience a different way of life. Sorry for the essay, but I just wanted to pass on my thoughts as when I was preparing for the move I found these threads most useful. There is loads more I could say, but I will save that for my next post. Cheers Craig
  24. paisleylass

    Less than 4 weeks til we go - eek!

    So much to do, so little time! The past few months have really flown by, and I anticipate the next 26 days will go even faster. I'm keeping an Excel spreadsheet with a 'to do' list, happily ticking things off every day. Still have tons of forms to fill in for shipping, letting, tax blah blah. Sorted landlord insurance and cancelled normal house insurance, cancelled o2 contract, cancelled Virgin Media. Phew! Hubby left work yesterday so can take over getting rid of junk. I leave Thursday next week, and am already emotional having said goodbye to colleagues who've gone on leave. Gonna be in bits next week! Will be adding loads of facebook friends ) Next weekend going to Berlin, a trip that was organised before Australia was on the radar! Followed by 3 days of getting ready for the shippers. Shipping out 14th October. Family (hubby's) leaving party 15th October, followed by meals out with folk who won't be there. Goodbye trip the following week to Liverpool (where I lived for 16 years) and see my wee brother in Yorkshire plus a diversion to Manchester to see Glen Campbell on his farewell tour! Then we have 5 days at our sparsely furnished home to finish cleaning, painting and packing. Then... 5 days of pure relaxation in LA en route to Brisbane. Gonna need that! And after a direct 14 hour flight from LA to Bris we'll have finally made it. Arriving early morning, we'll be going straight to temp accommodation. Well worth paying an extra night not to hang around! And then I guess we start normal life - grocery shopping, househunting etc. Just needed to get that off my chest - it actually helps to get it all written down :biggrin:
  25. .....a warning. unbelievable eh!
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