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bkmf

Moving to Geelong From UK! Best areas for schools, local shops etc

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Hello!

I am looking for just some general advice and knowledge please! My partner and I are both 25, he has just managed to get in an application for a 457 visa before they get officially abolished. We will be moving to Geelong sometime this year (we are provisionally looking at August/September) but it just depends on how long the application takes to process.

We will be moving with out two boys who will be 5 and 1 (very nearly 2). I'm really struggling to find good schools and areas to live in. My partner is a mechanic and will be working in Belmont, which in itself seems lovely and the schools seem to have good ratings. But just reading things written on google isn't giving me much reassurance. 

Im just basically asking if anybody would really recommend any areas or schools. I've looked at places like Armstrong Creek, the houses seem really pretty, modern and new, but it seems very far away from everything? Id like to be able to walk to the majority of places and be within a nice little community. I've seen people post things like "Newtown is good for schools and a great place to live". But I'd like to know more, why is it so great? what is there? are there local shops and parks? coffee shops? supermarkets etc. 

I just really need some advice on family life, areas to live, schools, etc. I'm having a huge wave of panic and feel totally out of my depth, we have only ever been to Perth before.

Any advice or general stuff that anybody would like to share would be so so appreciated!!

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Hello!

I am looking for just some general advice and knowledge please! My partner and I are both 25, he has just managed to get in an application for a 457 visa before they get officially abolished. We will be moving to Geelong sometime this year (we are provisionally looking at August/September) but it just depends on how long the application takes to process.

We will be moving with out two boys who will be 5 and 1 (very nearly 2). I'm really struggling to find good schools and areas to live in. My partner is a mechanic and will be working in Belmont, which in itself seems lovely and the schools seem to have good ratings. But just reading things written on google isn't giving me much reassurance. 

Im just basically asking if anybody would really recommend any areas or schools. I've looked at places like Armstrong Creek, the houses seem really pretty, modern and new, but it seems very far away from everything? Id like to be able to walk to the majority of places and be within a nice little community. I've seen people post things like "Newtown is good for schools and a great place to live". But I'd like to know more, why is it so great? what is there? are there local shops and parks? coffee shops? supermarkets etc. 

I just really need some advice on family life, areas to live, schools, etc. I'm having a huge wave of panic and feel totally out of my depth, we have only ever been to Perth before.

Any advice or general stuff that anybody would like to share would be so so appreciated!!

Hey! I don’t know how much help I will be but I’ll give it a go! Haha.. so we moved to Geelong in August 2016 from UK we are the other side to where you are currently looking though. I work in Belmont and live in Lara (25 mins commute) honestly I feel everything is ‘far away’ compared to the UK. There are many good schools here, I hear good things about the schools in Belmont, but also your oldest child might not even be going to school until the next school year (Jan 2019) when we left UK my daughter was due to start year 2 in England, and came here to prep! (She was 6) and my youngest daughter (currently 3) won’t start prep until Jan 2020, so also nearly 6. If you have any general questions I am More that happy to chat

Also, me, my husband and kids LOVE it here, and haven’t looked back

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I don't know Geelong but keep in mind that many areas that people live in in Aus cities are not walkable distances to shops etc like you may find in a small/large UK town. Often the residential areas are just that, residential and there are not many small sets of shops or corner shops. Mostly its a jump in the car to the local mini mall or some such. You can probably find a school within walking distance (we walk to ours, its almost 2km, 20 mins each way and fine apart from when its really hot)  but be prepared other facilities like shops, doctors etc may be a trip in the car. Unless you happen to move just round the corner from those facilities and even if you do, the choice may be limited and you end up going further afield anyways. For example, my nearest local shops (butcher, chemist, PO, bakers, 1 take away, doctors, dentist and small supermarket) are a 3KM, 5 minute drive by car. Thats a 40 minute walk each way. So clearly the car wins there, although cycling is also an option. The bigger set of shops (also with vet, grocers, hairdresser, opticians, pub, few more take outs and restaurants, gym, library, kindy and 2 big supermarkets) is about the same drive but longer walking as its really hilly. And no way would I walk it, especially in summer. 

FWIW, I was well used to this sort of thing as lived rural in the UK and it was a 4 mile round trip for a pint of milk and any other local shops and facilities on a small village scale. And a 40 minute round trip if we wanted Chinese/Indian/pizza takeout or large supermarket. Or cinema. Or swimming pool. It was what it was there. It is what it is here. If you are not used to it, it can be quite a difficult thing to get to grips with but hopefully you can adjust the mindset and work with it :) 

 

 

 

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1 hour ago, laurenday said:

Hey! I don’t know how much help I will be but I’ll give it a go! Haha.. so we moved to Geelong in August 2016 from UK we are the other side to where you are currently looking though. I work in Belmont and live in Lara (25 mins commute) honestly I feel everything is ‘far away’ compared to the UK. There are many good schools here, I hear good things about the schools in Belmont, but also your oldest child might not even be going to school until the next school year (Jan 2019) when we left UK my daughter was due to start year 2 in England, and came here to prep! (She was 6) and my youngest daughter (currently 3) won’t start prep until Jan 2020, so also nearly 6. If you have any general questions I am More that happy to chat emoji16.png

Also, me, my husband and kids LOVE it here, and haven’t looked back

Aw thank you so much! Honestly we had never even heard of Geelong before, but when the job opportunity came up we couldn't turn it down. We had originally been looking at Perth as two of my brother in laws and their children are there, but the opportunities where slim for us. 

Can i just ask what Prep is? Finding decent info with regards to schools and the policies with coming from over seas is something in struggling to find. I know they start the school years in January. (which works in my oldest ones favor as he is august baby, he is currently the youngest in his school!) Do you pay for their schooling when your are not a resident? (for a non private school)

Would you say that two cars are 100% a must?

Really glad to hear you love it so much, we are so, so excited but really nervous having not visited before! Luckily one of my other brother in laws in travelling oz at the moment and had a quick trip into Geelong whilst he was in Melbourne, He is also going to come back and meet us once we arrive, which I am so relieved about. 

 

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1 hour ago, snifter said:

I don't know Geelong but keep in mind that many areas that people live in in Aus cities are not walkable distances to shops etc like you may find in a small/large UK town. Often the residential areas are just that, residential and there are not many small sets of shops or corner shops. Mostly its a jump in the car to the local mini mall or some such. You can probably find a school within walking distance (we walk to ours, its almost 2km, 20 mins each way and fine apart from when its really hot)  but be prepared other facilities like shops, doctors etc may be a trip in the car. Unless you happen to move just round the corner from those facilities and even if you do, the choice may be limited and you end up going further afield anyways. For example, my nearest local shops (butcher, chemist, PO, bakers, 1 take away, doctors, dentist and small supermarket) are a 3KM, 5 minute drive by car. Thats a 40 minute walk each way. So clearly the car wins there, although cycling is also an option. The bigger set of shops (also with vet, grocers, hairdresser, opticians, pub, few more take outs and restaurants, gym, library, kindy and 2 big supermarkets) is about the same drive but longer walking as its really hilly. And no way would I walk it, especially in summer. 

FWIW, I was well used to this sort of thing as lived rural in the UK and it was a 4 mile round trip for a pint of milk and any other local shops and facilities on a small village scale. And a 40 minute round trip if we wanted Chinese/Indian/pizza takeout or large supermarket. Or cinema. Or swimming pool. It was what it was there. It is what it is here. If you are not used to it, it can be quite a difficult thing to get to grips with but hopefully you can adjust the mindset and work with it :) 

 

 

 

Thanks so much for your reply, I think as long as I can walk to school most of the time I will be happy. I currently live outside Hull in the UK and have to drive everywhere because there ins't really much local to us, even school. From looking on Google and reading things which other people have said, I was kind of getting the feeling nothing was easily reachable. But that's totally ok! Its nice to just hear what people have to say about life over there, Its quite daunting going into the unknown haha! 

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Aw thank you so much! Honestly we had never even heard of Geelong before, but when the job opportunity came up we couldn't turn it down. We had originally been looking at Perth as two of my brother in laws and their children are there, but the opportunities where slim for us. 
Can i just ask what Prep is? Finding decent info with regards to schools and the policies with coming from over seas is something in struggling to find. I know they start the school years in January. (which works in my oldest ones favor as he is august baby, he is currently the youngest in his school!) Do you pay for their schooling when your are not a resident? (for a non private school)
Would you say that two cars are 100% a must?
Really glad to hear you love it so much, we are so, so excited but really nervous having not visited before! Luckily one of my other brother in laws in travelling oz at the moment and had a quick trip into Geelong whilst he was in Melbourne, He is also going to come back and meet us once we arrive, which I am so relieved about. 
 

Geelong is honestly amazing, got the beach one way, Melbourne the other! We were really lucky we wanted to come to Geelong and I got offered a 457 (so similar to you!) we have just applied for our 186 to stay
Permanently!
So prep is what I think of as our reception it’s there first year of actual school,
Before this they do kinder - which is optional
Yes, you pay school fees whether you are a resident or not, private or public
My daughters August too!!
It’s different to the UK for sure, but we adapted well and my girls honestly love here
We went 8 weeks with one car between us, but as soon as my husband started work we didn’t have a choice but to get 2 cars,
But Lara is still classed as ‘rural Geelong’ and I think the closer you are to Geelong city the public transport is much better!
Yep, it’s nice to have a friendly face
When you get here!

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I lived in Drysdale on the Bellerine Peninsula up until 5 years ago. It’s lovely.

Maybe try Geelong West or Newtown. You might be close to Pakington Street then which has nice cafes and independent shops. 

As snifter says suburbs are usually just housing and I would definitely recommend 2 cars. 

The schools were all very welcoming and happy for you to look around prior to signing up.

I think it is a good place for young families so hopefully you will be fine. Exciting times for you!

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16 hours ago, bkmf said:

 Can i just ask what Prep is? Finding decent info with regards to schools and the policies with coming from over seas is something in struggling to find. I know they start the school years in January. (which works in my oldest ones favor as he is august baby, he is currently the youngest in his school!) Do you pay for their schooling when your are not a resident? (for a non private school)

Would you say that two cars are 100% a must?

Prep is the first year of school for kids in Vic it seems. So like reception in the UK I guess for many. 

http://www.education.vic.gov.au/school/parents/primary/Pages/starting.aspx

It does vary state to state, the state I live in call it reception. 

There are some great resources for schools. This site is a good starting point

https://myschool.edu.au/

Then there is this for Victoria

http://www.education.vic.gov.au/school/parents/primary/Pages/choosing.aspx

http://www.education.vic.gov.au/school/parents/financial/Pages/parentpaymentfaqs.aspx

You can check here re the 457 and if you need to pay international fees or not (I don't recall Vic being a state that charges but it could have changed). If international fees are not applied it would just be the standard school fees that all parents pay at state schools. It will vary a bit between schools possibly. We pay about $400 per year per child but some schools charge less and nearer the basic minimum amount IYKWIM. Some may charge a bit more. TBH $400 is probably at the high end in our state but we did notice a considerable difference in the facilities etc between our first school here that charged the bare minimum and our present one that charges a fair bit more. Our present school has far better facilities etc. The myschools website can give you financial info that may help. 

http://www.education.vic.gov.au/Documents/school/principals/curriculum/osschstudfee.pdf

And re cars, we don't run 2. I'd be appalled to have to run 2 cars for our family tbh but that is my trying to live with a more planet friendly approach. We have been a one car family for almost a decade now and moving to Aus 5 years ago didn't change that. In fact, we have downsized each time we have gotten a car in the past 7 years :P We manage just fine with one car and no plans to run a second. However, I get why for others its not manageable but with some planning and adjustment, it can be possible. We are inconvenienced about 3-4 times a year I'd say running only one car. And we usually find a solution for those times. For the rest we manage fine. We all have bikes, walk to school daily and husband cycles for his work commute. We'll also use the train to get into the city or sometimes a bus if the car isn't an option as its being used by the other. Weighing up costs, its far more cost effective (and kinder to the planet) for us to do this than run a second car.

 

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Really depends what you are looking for. I’m in Geelong West and I love it, bars cafes and shops five minutes walk one way and the train station five minutes the other way and the waterfront and cbd another five minutes walk
That said it is more expensive than some of the farther out suburbs

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Maybe look at Highton or Wandana Heights - about 5 minutes from Belmont (if that).

www.realestate.com.au is a good resource.

More specifically (Belmont is also postcode 3216): https://www.realestate.com.au/rent/in-vic+3216/list-1

Good luck (from a resident of Highton)!

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Happy for you to private message me at any time if you have any questions. 

I was born in Melbourne although moved to Geelong 4 years ago. 

I know alot about schools and areas.

Really depends if you want catholic.... they are zoned to areas and public are zoned.

Newtown is lovely. The nicest suburb in geelong it has the old homes from late 1800 to mostly 1920 bungalows etc. You will pay alot at least 850K plus in Newtown. And rent is more expensive. 

Roughly 550 a week for something half decent. 

The schools are great in Newtown- st John's lutheran is a private and excellent small school of 200 students from prep to grade 6. 

Chillwell is meant to be good. And fyans park. 

Montpellier primary in highton. 

The list could go on. 

It all comes down to your child and how it suits him. Do some tours. 

Highton is my fav suburb out of them all.... it's honestly safe and friendly and so so so quiet.

 

Edited by Melby
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8 hours ago, Melby said:

Happy for you to private message me at any time if you have any questions. 

I was born in Melbourne although moved to Geelong 4 years ago. 

I know alot about schools and areas.

Really depends if you want catholic.... they are zoned to areas and public are zoned.

Newtown is lovely. The nicest suburb in geelong it has the old homes from late 1800 to mostly 1920 bungalows etc. You will pay alot at least 850K plus in Newtown. And rent is more expensive. 

Roughly 550 a week for something half decent. 

The schools are great in Newtown- st John's lutheran is a private and excellent small school of 200 students from prep to grade 6. 

Chillwell is meant to be good. And fyans park. 

Montpellier primary in highton. 

The list could go on. 

It all comes down to your child and how it suits him. Do some tours. 

Highton is my fav suburb out of them all.... it's honestly safe and friendly and so so so quiet.

 

Ah thanks so much, we’re not looking for catholic. Im really liking the look of highton and newtown, the houses are just stunning. 

Weve been given an option to temporarily live in Armstrong creek with my partners work, have you to any opinions on it? (I’m open to the good, the bad and the ugly. So throw it at me if it’s negative) 

obviously we don’t want to be moving around too much, but we will be temporarily renting until we find somewhere we want to settle. It really will depend on the schools though, I would prefer him to go to a good school and have to pay slightly more for a house. Do you have any recommendations for schools in highton/newtown/ (possibly Armstrong creek just Incase we end up staying there and maybe for longer than planned) 

 

thank you for your help! I can’t tell you how much I appreciate it! 

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On 06/03/2018 at 09:59, bkmf said:

I am looking for just some general advice and knowledge please! My partner and I are both 25, he has just managed to get in an application for a 457 visa before they get officially abolished. We will be moving to Geelong

 

? Well you lost me at "Geelong"..............aka, "the arsehole of the universe" ......

  • Confused 1

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27 minutes ago, Tootsie said:

? Well you lost me at "Geelong"..............aka, "the arsehole of the universe" ......

....

 

BUT

 

Do NOT be put off by that assessment....

 

Think long term........Geelong arse end of the universe...........

 

Soon equals the whole of Australia in a positive light

 

?

Edited by Tootsie

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