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One Year Update - Brisbane - long thread!

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Hi all

 

Well we’ve been here 1 year already and its flown by. We emigrated from the UK to Brisbane on 8 February 2010. Our family consists of me (Sam) Martyn and 2 children Katie and Kyle who are 9 years and 4 ½ years old. We had all the usual ups and downs before moving wondering if we were doing the right thing etc, sold house car etc then started looking at houses again in UK wondering if we were doing the right thing. My hair started falling out and also started having palpitations all through stress. It was unreal the amount of stress you go through so can sympathise with anyone who is making the move now. Husband handled it differently by retreating to the bedroom playing computer games in any spare time he had just to stop thinking about everything we had to do which sometimes seemed insurmountable. We flew with Singapore airlines and they were brilliant. It is a very long flight though and we have 2 children who were kept entertained with all the films and games so didn’t need the pull along trolley that we’d stuffed with loads of toys/games to keep them occupied. We stopped over at Singapore airport for 3 hours and its an amazing airport very clean, seemed to me like 5 star hotel, free massage chairs as well which is very welcome after hours on plane. If you stop there check out the butterfly house and the koi pond (all of which are free) as well. Upon arriving in Brisbane we collected the hire car from the airport and found our short stay accommodation with the use of GPS. I would like to say this was a nice place to stay but it wasn’t really as it was an ensuite bedroom purpose built onto someone’s house. It was also February as well which was really hot with no aircon and no air flow going through. Anyone who lives in Qld will realise you need a property that has good airflow at this time of year as its extremely hot and humid. The people weren’t very helpful either and after a 24 hour journey we were met with a hello, were given the key and then was told “I’m off to bed” no help to bring in our 7 suitcases or anything with 2 extremely tired children. I wouldn’t recommend the place and found they weren’t very helpful at all but I wont mention the place on this forum.

We had a hire car for 3 weeks, visited our bank (Commonwealth) to sign the paperwork after having opened this account from England. We moved our money with Moneycorp and the money was transferred in time for our move here. We sorted Medicare, Martyn found a job via Hays Accountancy and started 11 days after arriving here and its a very good company and he’s still there enjoying his work. We also registered with Medicare, organised a Qld driving licence which was just a matter of completing a form and having a picture taken – too easy as they say here. We also registered with Centrelink and because we were permanent residents found we could claim family assistance payments. We also found a rental and received rent assistance through Centrelink. During this 3 week period we also purchased a used car.

In our first few weeks we made contact with Kev (itcouldbeworse) on this forum and he offered to show us around his suburb (Bracken Ridge) as doing the research on the internet is not the same as someone who had lived there for 15 years telling you what the area is like, where the local schools were, where to shop etc etc. His help and advice proved to be invaluable and helped us greatly and for that we will always be grateful. It really is difficult landing in a country and not knowing a soul. He also invited us round to a bbq to meet his lovely family and even put us all up for a week in the period before we could take up our rental accommodation as we just had to get out of that tiny room we had initially rented as we were going stir crazy in there. We are now friends with him and his family and have even spent some of christmas day with them which was lovely. They have become like our family here in oz. He still gives us advice too when we need it :)

 

We decided to rent in Bracken Ridge as it seemed like a nice area to start a life. We enrolled our eldest child, Katie, in the local state school (Norris Road State School) she really did not want to go to a new school. Katie didn’t want to emigrate as well and we were really worried about what impact all this upheaval would have on her, but 1 year on she is a happy and well balanced girl with lots of friends, and though she still misses England and her family and friends she is happy.

Our youngest Kyle wasn’t old enough to start school. I had initially decided to take 3 months off work to settle him in nursery but it ended up being a year. There is no free nursery as such here which I found a shock. They have a kindergarten (kindy) system here which you have to pay for and the fee for a full day is $60. They wont let you register for ½ days or anything like that as you still have to pay the full fee regardless of the hours they stay there. I enrolled Kyle in the local kindy but they only had 1 day available per week which was no good to me. I then looked at another kindy who also only had odd days so it meant I would have had to use 2 or even 3 different childcare places if I was to find a full time job. I decided I didn’t want to do that as it would have been confusing for Kyle to go to lots of different places so took time out from work to stay home with him and settle Katie into school etc. Kyle has now started prep school which is full time and I’m now looking for work. You can organise child care from England but you need to focus on which area you are going to live to them register your child. You would then need to make contact to put your child on a wait list and usually pay a holding fee, sometimes $10. I tried to do this in England but wasn’t sure what area we were going for and the kindies I did make contact where miles away from where we ended up renting.

 

In the time we have been here we’ve experienced so much. We’ve done lots of sightseeing which is exciting. We’ve visited Mount Coot-tha lookout, picnicked at Slaughter Falls, visited lots and lots of beaches, Redcliffe and the manmade lagoon there, Mooloolaba, Bribie Island, Australia Zoo (6 times as bought a yearly pass) been to Dreamworld and Gold Coast for days out. We’ve been to various beaches along the sunshine coast including Noosa, went to Eumundi market which is a great day out, Yandina Ginger factory, we’ve been to an Ekka Day (Brisbane Festival held once a year) visited Montville a beautiful place with unusual shops and a lookout point and so much more too many things to mention. In all this time I’ve seen one lot of wild kangaroos and one wild koala. I kind of imagined Crocodile Dundee types everywhere and tumble weed blowing in the wind with kangas bouncing everywhere and koalas in all the trees but its not like that at all. It is a very clean and beautiful country with lots of local wildlife such as ants, frogs, dragonflies, bush turkeys, crazy looking spiders and the odd snake. Here its so clean and bright and its a pleasure to be here. The parks are clean and well maintained. You regularly see the grass being cut in parks and the equipment being tested by council workers. I’ve found the people to be pleasant and helpful. The aussies are quite forthright and say what they mean and sometimes I’ve found some of them rude but they were only saying what they thought and its quite refreshing really. One example would be I went to a butcher shop that I hadn’t been to before to buy some chicken and it was quite expensive $5 more expensive per kilo compared to my usual shop so when the guy came up to me I said “oh its a bit more expensive than what I normally pay” and the guy said “well you’d better go to where you usually go then hadn’t you” to which I replied “yes I think I will” and walked out the door embarrassed at how rude I thought he’d been, which he wasn’t really that’s just his price and I would have probably said the same if it was my shop.

Not sure if this thread will be helpful to anyone making the move. I can answer individual questions if it will help anyone making the move such as where to look for rentals etc? I will say that its a more positive lifestyle, the air is cleaner the skies are brighter, its a lush green landscape. Our quality of life has improved because of such things like:

More things are free, eg great parks and the weather is great

Kids are not treated as a nuisance like they were in England

We can take picnics out and just relax

The beaches are beautiful so had lots of beach days out

We have made friends in the time we have been here, friends that are more sociable such as inviting us round for drinks/bbq/days out to explore – our weekends are packed most of the time. I will say it does take time though so even though it is extremely lonely when you arrive it will get better.

Kev lets us use his pool (a big plus in summertime)

More laid back lifestyle

News isn’t all doom and gloom – it has a positive vibe to it (I think)

People are more accepting of you, it doesn’t seem to matter as much as to what job you do or what car you drive its about you and you as a person.

Friends tend to make the effort to keep in touch. You may think this is a strange one to put but I’ve had lifelong friends in UK who haven’t really bothered to keep in touch since we moved and we find 99% of the time its us making the contact, this goes for some family members too.

Financial things now: We brought £10k out with us and went through this in very little time. It worked out at $17,500 with the exchange rate at the time. It was a good job my hubby found a job so quickly. When you factor into this: Buying a car $5,000 its quite difficult to find a reliable(ish) car for less than this, rental bond $1640, 2 weeks rent up front $820, car hire, cant remember but it was hundreds of dollars for 3 weeks rental, buying a GPS, buying food and things you need such as pots pans utensils until your container arrives, bought a fridge freezer and a washer, cost of driving licences as well, petrol as you drive everywhere when you first arrive looking at areas etc. School uniform and book lists even though its a state school you still need to find this money as well think it was about $150. These are just some costs off the top of my head but it is an expensive time. We do have a friend who came out with less than this but they were helped greatly by a friend of theirs who let them rent cheaply and didn’t have to pay bond and got a bargain price on a second hand car so it can be done with less I would say.

I find the cost of buying a property to be expensive. We haven’t bought yet but I do worry how we are going to be able to afford to buy. Average cost, I find, in Bracken Ridge for 4 bed property is about $450k for something nice, not too nice tho even at this cost. Rentals are expensive for us at $1640 a month when there is only one wage. I would say that its a good job we receive Centrelink and rent assistance otherwise would really struggle as husband on an average salary here. I find that when it comes to food shopping its wise to shop around. I tend to go to the butchers, to the fruit and veg markets and then maybe Aldi or Woolworths for my other shopping needs. It is more time consuming if you are busy working but I find this the best way for us to save money.

 

Will say to end the thread that its awful when you say goodbyes and if I were to have any regrets at all its that we are so far away from family as really miss them and this feeling is still here after 1 year. Sometimes get tearful and sad and then another day comes and you perk yourself up and try to think why you did this in the first place. My mum visited in October and stayed for 3 months and really enjoyed her time here, so much so that she would like to come live here so looking into making this possible now. My mum has seen the quality of lifestyle here for us and the children and says we must be mad if we went back to the UK now but it still doesnt make it easier saying goodbye and knowing you're miles away again. We're going to have 3 more lots of visitors this year and hope to have a brilliant time with them and after will start saving like mad to go visit them.

Sam

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Guest guest30038

Thanks for putting the time in on this thread Sam..........I'm sure it'll prove useful to those wanting to come here.

 

May I say, it's been a pleasure to count you and your family as amongst our friends, but if you think you're gonna use the pool each day, just because you're looking at the rental next door???????????????? :wink: Only joking :laugh:

 

kev

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Sam what a great post, thank you for sharing, and thanks to Kev for making your initial arrival such a pleasant one, it really does make a difference when you have someone who is willing to go to great lengths to help.

Glad you have settled, it sounds like you are all very happy.

Kate


If you are depressed you are living in the past. If you are anxious you are living in the future. If you are at peace you are living in the present.

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Guest siamsusie

As Kate says a great informative post Sam. Having Kevin being so supportive must have been amazing for you guys, and this is the beauty of Poms in Oz, the "bringing together" of people which is a large important part of this forum.

 

Hopefully I will get to meet you one of these days when I come to taste Kevin's meat at one of his BBQ's !

 

The world is a better place with people like Bobj and Kevin thats for sure! Very best wishes for a happy and successful future here in Australia.

 

love Susie x

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Great post, glad you have all settled well apart from missing family obviously. Best wishes for a long & happy life in Oz. :yes:

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Guest Taylor72

Hi Sam

what a lovely information packed message, so thankyou xx

We have just got our 176 visas granted and should hopefully be booking our flights soon, fingers crossed if our house sells, we hope to be there about end of July. Weve had some good viewers so keeping positive .

We are also moving to Brisbane, we have friends in caboolture up near the sunshine coast and also friends in wulkaraka who we will initially stay with . Scarey exciting times ahead.

Glad to hear your settling in well with the help of KEV, how nice is that !!

Take care lovely and if you dont mind i may PM you with a few questions xx

Ta

Annette x

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Guest The Ropey HOFF

Hi Sam and great post, long yes, but well worth reading, kev and Brigit are brilliant aren't they?

 

it was really nice meeting you at kevs when we were there, sorry if i seemed slightly drunk all the time, kev kept plying me with beer, lol. Bracken ridge is a great place and you seem to be settling in well and i hope things keep going great for you, Martyn and the kids.

 

love jim, Helen, Daniel and Samantha.

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Guest BrightonBoys

What a great post... thank you!

 

If all goes to plan then we hit Brissy airport two months today!!! (thats if witch-susie is right about my visa :biggrin::biggrin:

 

It is spooky reading your post, as we hope to fly with Singapore with a 3hr layover as I was reading I kept thinking thats us soon!!

 

We are aimiong for the Sunshine Coast vias Bribie... but have just applied for a job in Ipswich so who knows!!!

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Guest Guest47308

This really is a fantastic post, and i am soooo pleased that you seem to of settled.

 

Thank you for sharing your experiences with us.

 

Can i ask, what type of visa did you go out to Qld on?

 

PP

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I'm always delighted to read peoples experience's in Oz I really do find all the information really useful especially your experiences with kinder garden my son is 4 so I think I should start looking into suitable ones now, Thank's.

Delighted its all working out so well for you.

 

Maria.x


TRA Jan 2010, Visa application, 7th MAY 2010, Visa granted 18/02/2011.

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What a fantastic post. Thank you for taking the time to do that.

 

You will do fine here, I am sure. I hope you can get your mum out here too. That will help.

 

Some of the details vary for us, and we did have family to come to, but in many ways we feel much the same about this wonderful land!

 

OK Kev, when is the BIG PIO barbie happening at your place?


XXX

Annette, Steve, Ben and Buddy the dog.

<>< :wubclub:

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This really is a fantastic post, and i am soooo pleased that you seem to of settled.

 

Thank you for sharing your experiences with us.

 

Can i ask, what type of visa did you go out to Qld on?

 

PP

Hi

 

We came out on a 175 permanent skilled visa

 

Sam

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Guest guest30038
What a fantastic post. Thank you for taking the time to do that.

 

You will do fine here, I am sure. I hope you can get your mum out here too. That will help.

 

Some of the details vary for us, and we did have family to come to, but in many ways we feel much the same about this wonderful land!

 

OK Kev, when is the BIG PIO barbie happening at your place?

 

Whenever you're down this way chook :yes: Any PIO members are welcome any time...............well most of 'em anyway :wink: :biglaugh:

 

kev

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Fantastic post and enjoyed reading every word, totally agree with you about how quickly the money goes when you get here, it feels like your spending monopoly money and it's quite scary!!!!

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Awesome post.. My wife, son and I are doing a reccie in April to validate visa and then hopefully move for good at the end of this year. Thanks for all the info within the post. Answered a few questions i had. Hopefully someday we will be able to sort a PIO BBQ for all to meet up.. Enjoy


ACS RPL Application Lodged 15/01/2010, ACS 2231-79 (Network Security) Granted 25/02/2010, IELTS 20/03/2010 Band 8.0, 175 CSL Visa Online 08/04/2010, CO assigned 07/06/2010, Medicals Finalised on 18/07/2010, Docs changed to MET 5/08/2010, 175 Visa granted 23/08/2010

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Great post, informative and genuine. It shows you need to be realistic with your expectations when you go to Aus. It does amaze me that people think that they can swop a 3 bed semi in the UK and expect to get a four bedroom detached with a pool and a couple of acres with direct access to the beach. The days when Australia was a cheap place to live have long since disappeared, what you do get is a fantastic lifestyle.

We have visited 6 times over the last ten years and are finally moving properly from the Midlands to the Sunshine coast in June. Can't wait

 

Regards

 

Jon

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Many thanks for your very detailed thread, I do feel for you, because both myself, wife and two boys are now in that very same position of moving. We have the green light and are looking at shipping costs etc, but as we get closer looking to go in August 2011, I do feel as though I am wavering, due to a variety of things - Eldest (boy) 8 years doesn't really want to go and leaving parents behind, along with the prospect of finding jobs etc.

Can I ask what made you give it that final push and one final thing we are still undecided between Brisbane and Melbourne, why did you choose Brisbane.

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We wavered lots on this and at one point gave up entirely to hear of a friend of a friend going and then we felt jealous (daft isnt it). One house we looked at we considered putting an offer in on it and found out it was a deceased estate and the daughter had inherited the property and had come over from Perth to sell it so that for us was a bit of an omen. And the final thing that did it was the feeling that we would always regret not giving it a go and that all these waverings we were going through was just our way of backing out. We felt that with skype (its briliant way to keep in touch and still see each other)/ telephone calls and visits to each other that we should just go for it and if we ended up coming back we could sit back and said least we had the courage to try.

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oh we also chose Brisbane as had researched weather was better than Melbourne. Melbourne more of an english climate tho I do believe you get some good hot weather but its very much 3 seasons in one day. Hubby went to Melbourne recently on business and said it was freezing and that he was glad we chose Brisbane.

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Thanks very much for this post. It's really very helpful.

Although me and my partner have both been to Oz on working holiday visas we are still a little concerned about the move and I'm also worried about missing friends and family. We're planning to give ourselves two year before we return to the UK so hopefully all feelings of home sickness will have dissolved by then and we'll be settled with new friends and a new lifestyle. We're not expecting it to be easy at all but it's what we've been after ever since we came back from Oz in 2008.

 

Thank you again:smile:


OH Bricklayer GSM176, agent Nov 09, Vetassess May 10, WA SS submitted 20/12/10, WA SS approved 03/02/11, Visa lodged 07/02/11, CO 08/03/11, UK PCs uploaded 28/03/11, NZ PC uploaded 01/04/11, Medicals done 26/03/11 All finalized 06/04/11, Visa granted 08/04/11:v_SPIN:

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Guest MaybeOz

Great post, thanks for taking the time to share your experiences, especially as Brisbane is one of the places we are considering :yes:

 

All the best.

 

K :wubclub:

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Thanks very much for this post! We are moving to Brisbane at the end of June and so your experiences in the first weeks of arriving are particularly helpful. I have drawn up an annual budget, and also estimated for the cost of the move, and initial costs, but it's only ever going to be an estimate (which I keep trying to refine as I find out more info, I will post it separately for comment) , the rest is going to have to be a leap of faith! Fortunately I have managed to line up a job starting 2 weeks after arrival, so that is one major obstacle out of the way.

 

My wife is really starting to stress out now, stomach cramps, a bit more ratty than usual :), and I'm escaping into my little world of computer games :laugh: so we could really identify with your post!

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Guest IlkleyMoorBahtat

Just wanted to thank you for posting your experiences, thoughts and feelings. It really does help. If you get a minute and don't mind sharing I'd be really interested in a rough estimate of your monthly outgoings there seems so much variation I'm worried we're miles out!

Our agent has just applied for our 457 visa and we've been told to expect it approximately w/c 4th April. We will also be heading to Brisbane and from what we've seen and heard we have Redcliffle/Scarborough top of the list of places to check out when we get there.

I'm really excited about the move but my little boy who is 3.5yrs said to me tonight he will miss his friends but it's ok because Henry (his 4y old school friend) could get on a bus or plane or something and come and visit him. I nearly cried!

 

I hope things continue to go well for you.

Louise

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Hi you asked about outgoings and here is a rough list of them:

 

Monthly

 

Rent for 4 x 2 house 1680

Electric 100

Foxtel 72

Telephone/broadband Telstra 50 gig 85

Petrol 120

Train expenses - husband works in CBD 120

Food 600

Mobile pay as you go 20

hubby's is free as work phone

 

call it 2800 per month

 

I think that's roughly it. There are other expenses such as RACQ yearly 160 and car insurance about 350 and car rego every 6 months works out at 360 but I dont calculate these as monthlies just pay for them when they become due. Also school books/stationery about 150 due in January (state school). Cant think of anything else at the moment.

 

Sam

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We also registered with Centrelink and because we were permanent residents found we could claim family assistance payments. We also found a rental and received rent assistance through Centrelink.

 

Great post, thanks for sharing Sam! :smile:

 

Now, I am surprised that you could claim for family assistance and rent!? I thought that there is a 24 month wait before one can claim any assistance.

 

Has this maybe changed since a year ago? Maybe I better re-check :unsure:

 

Cheers

B!K3R

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