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Hi Everyone 

I have been lurking around the forum over the last couple of weeks and thought I would reach out and say Hi to see if anyone can direct me to the information I've not stumbled upon yet!

My hubby applied for a work secondment to Sydney (without telling me -as you do!) and has been offered a position, from what I understand so far they are offering him a 482 visa with us on dependants visas that would mean we have unrestricted work and education for me and our children (10 + 13 school years primary 5 and secondary ).

I have found a lot of information on the schooling which is a mine field in itself given that we would be supposed to be heading back to the UK when our son was starting in year 11 😞  One thing I haven't so far made sense of is if we would be eligible for school fees from what I can see and have assumed is that we would - if anyone could confirm that would be great!

The other thing I keep coming up with mixed opinions on is the cost of living in Sydney itself we have estimated to live within an hour commute to CBD (for hubby) if we estimate around $700 a week for somewhere while not easy it may be a doable figure? 

Another concern for now although I have a million in my head is health care and health of my little one, perhaps naively I have always assumed in Oz the air would be fresher than in the UK my little one has allergy induced asthma his allergens are dust mite and tree pollen. From what I can see we would buy medications as they would not be covered on any health insurance policies we take out,  although I have to confess i'm still researching how healthcare works over there. 

Thank you if you have read my somewhat disjointed and thought dump post,  any advice, posts worth reading for info, or general reassurance that its an opportunity worth taking would be welcome.

This site is amazing and has been all i have read for days although I think i'm scrambling info in my head now there is so much to learn 🙂 xx  

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Posted (edited)

First, health.   I have allergy induced asthma with allergies to dust mites and pets.  I migrated to Australia 30 years ago thinking I'd grown out of my asthma years ago.  Lived in country Victoria for a year without a problem.  Moved to Sydney and my asthma flared up dramatically.   

I was tested and I'm not allergic to anything else, so the problem was the higher concentration of dust mites in Sydney.  The problem is that, apparently, paradise for dust mites is a humid climate with a temperature of of 20 degrees or more - which is Sydney most of the year (in fact, most of the East Coast of Australia).   

Every asthmatic is different, but if dust mites are his main allergen then I would be concerned.  If you haven't got one already, get a peak flow meter and start recording his flow regularly so you get to know his normal stats. Then if it starts to flare up when you arrive, you'll see the trend and can take action before it gets bad. 

You should look for a house on the coast (because the sea breezes reduce the humidity considerably - the further inland you go, the higher the humidity).  Unfortunately, houses on the coast are more expensive. Check realestate.com.au and domain.com.au (if it's available to rent in Sydney, it will be on one of those sites!).  Take the photos with a pinch of salt as real estate agents here are notorious for photoshopping them. 

The good news is that houses here are more likely to have hard floors, and you'll be able to live with the windows and doors open because most houses have fly screens.  You may find he doesn't have the same problem with tree pollens because the trees are different (and usually asthmatics aren't allergic to ALL pollens, only some).   Also, because asthma is more common in Australia than in the UK, you'll find some of the best asthma specialists in the world here, so if his asthma does react, you'll have the best of treatment.  The Royal Prince Alfred in Sydney has an excellent asthma clinic.

 

Edited by Marisawright

Scot by birth, emigrated 1985 | Aussie husband applied UK spouse visa Jan 2015, granted March 2015, moved to UK May 2015 | Returned to Oz June 2016

"The stranger who comes home does not make himself at home but makes home itself strange." -- Rainer Maria Rilke

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Thank you so much for your reply! 

Your experience is quite similar to what I had discovered, We do track his peak flow so would be able to see changes easily, it is reassuring to know that the specialists are good as here in the UK they can be very hit and miss. 

I will look at the websites you have suggested and see how much we would have to stretch the budget for something coastal.

I'd love to make this opportunity work if we can as I know it is something my hubby would love to do but, I just want to make sure with the high costs of living we aren't compromising on everything and especially the kids can have a good quality of life.

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I’d echo what Marisawright says about the climate/humidity in Sydney. The air isn’t really fresh at all, particularly inland, and it can feel a bit like trying to breathe soup if it is humid. I have never had respiratory troubles until I lived there, turns out I’m allergic to mould spores of which there are plenty, being a damp place. I used to get two to three colds a year, and would be plagued with a chronic cough for weeks on end after each one.  That said, we were slightly inland and surrounded by bush.

As far as I can see, yes you would have to pay school fees. You need to look carefully at the schooling, because the curricula between the UK and Australia aren’t directly comparable, which may cause difficulties with your eldest son in particular, given that he would be starting year 11 on your return. Our girls grew up in Australia, we moved to Scotland when they were 11 and 9. Scottish children start school slightly later than English children, so ours went into P5 and P7 - in England eldest would have gone straight into secondary, where here she had almost a full year of primary first. This gave her time to fill in any gaps in her knowledge (of which there were many - simply because the two countries are out of sync with each other, not that one is better than the other) before she hit high school. With year 11 being a very important year, I would very carefully consider your choice of schooling and so on.

We left Aus 18 months ago, so I don’t really know what the rents are like now, but finding somewhere decent for $700 per week would most likely be a bit of a challenge in many parts of Sydney. If you look at some of the southern suburbs, for example those in Sutherland Shire, it might be doable, but you’d probably struggle to get anywhere on the coast for that. Sydney became extraordinarily expensive in the years we lived there. We were in the Engadine area, which is a nice family-friendly part of Sydney, about a 20 minute drive from the coast. 

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We lived in Sydney for 7 years and my son has asthma and eczema with the exact same allergens you mention.  We lived in north west Sydney (west pennant hills)  I found his eczema cleared up completely. His asthma was slightly better but I think that was because we were in the suburbs, lot of houses and manicured lawns, not much in the way of countryside.  Our house had hardwood floors throughout. It was a very dusty environment and I had to dust a lot more inside the house.  We were told by locals to avoid the south west area as it had very poor air quality.  I applied through centrelink for a healthcare card which we got and then just paid a flat rate for all his inhalers and medications.  You may find that the school fees you have to pay for a public school could be equal to a private one so I’d advise check out both.  700 a week is a bit on the low side.

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Just remembered though we had permanent residency as soon as we got there so that mY have been why we got the health card .. sorry if I misled,

 

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Temporary visa holders have to pay for schooling in Sydney even at the state schools... at least my friends did when they lived there. I don’t know what it cost but I know it was a burden to my friends and ultimately they went home because they couldn’t afford to stay there.

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On 11/04/2019 at 21:54, lillmissb said:

I have found a lot of information on the schooling which is a mine field in itself given that we would be supposed to be heading back to the UK when our son was starting in year 11 😞 

There are schools in Sydney offering the International Baccalaureate:  this  may help  if your son transferred to a similar school on your return to the UK.

https://bettereducation.com.au/Resources/IBSchools.aspx?state=nsw

General information on cost of living in Sydney - by multiple contributors:  (don't live in Sydney myself so can't vouch for its accuracy)

https://www.expatistan.com/cost-of-living/sydney

These websites will give an idea of rental costs in different areas:

https://www.realestate.com.au/rent/

https://www.domain.com.au/?mode=rent

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