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roflie

Melbourne 4 months report!

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Long time no speak

 

Hi all, Firstly can I apologise for not being active on here since my move to Australia around 4 months ago, as you can imagine Its been a busy old time and with a 1001 distractions I’ve not had time to sit down and type out something meaningful.

 

To recap, I’m a 27 year old lad from the north east of England and having secured a job in a hospital way back in Feb I embarked on my visa mission to get myself on a plane to Australia….. Work arranged a company to process my visa and the agent was quite helpful but at times didn’t seem to know everything you would expect them to know (she advised I need a medical/health check up as I was going to work in a hospital but after a little bit of reading online and speaking to you guys on here it turned out not 100% of people needed this check up so when the agent looked in to it a little further turns out I didn’t need it and saved myself a few hundred pounds in the process)… Anyway after accepting the job and getting together all of the paper work I lodged my e457 on 11th April 2011 and after submitting some further information (It was a travel insurance document to prove I was covered for medical on my arrival in Aus – I didn’t bother with private medical, still haven’t, just got a cheap 20 pound travel insurance policy online) on 27th April I heard the great news that my visa application had been successful on 4th May 2011 (24days from it being lodged!)

 

I booked my flights through Singapore airlines and flew out of Heathrow. I managed to negotiate up to 30kg by sending the customer services an e-mail – they could not have been more helpful! I had never been to Australia and I didn’t know anyone out here so it was a bit of a leap in to the unknown but I eventually boarded the plane (and sat delayed on the run way for 2 hours!!!) 15th June and away I went. I had managed to set up some accommodation before I left using easyroommate.com.au….. basically I was to be sharing with 2 kiwi’s and an aussie on my arrival and just paying for the room and bills all inclusive on a short term deal until I could get something for concrete. This was based in Cheltenham to the South East of the city.

 

The journey over to Australia could not have been smoother…. The check in staff were great and I can’t praise Singapore airlines enough. I was flying on one of their air buses and could only get a seat on the lower level for the leg to Singapore but luckily I had a vacant seat next to me which made everything that bit more comfortable, especially considering the longest I had ever spent on a plane was 5 hours!! The food was great and the staff regularly popped round offering refreshments…. The little touches like the touch brush/tooth past/mouth wash/hot wet towels all just added to a splendid journey..... I took a small netbook on to the plane with me but hardly used it. The onboard entertainment was enough to keep my occupied, although the excitement probably helped, but with my standard travel plug the netbook kept its charge for use whenever needed.

 

Due to our delay out of London we had a quick turnaround in Singapore…. We got through the internal checks relatively quickly and just wondered straight up to the departure gate… I had checked my bags all the way through and was grateful for this as it meant I could relax for 30mins and stretch my legs whilst waiting to board the second leg to Melbourne…. This was on time and I was lucky enough to get on the dog deck and had once again a vacant seat next to me (felt like I was in business class!!)… both flights were about 80 – 85% full but I guess I was just lucky having the seats vacant next to me….! I didn’t sleep much and landed in Melbourne bang on the expected time, early in the morning on the 17th June.

 

The weather wasn’t great on my arrival, the typical Melbourne winter really… bit of cloud, the odd splash of rain and the sun trying hard to make an appearance but it was nice and cool and I was just happy to have negotiated my way there without any problems… Due to the fact we were one of the first to land in the morning the queue’s for customs weren’t too bad. I declared prior to going to Australia on my visa that I had been fined by the police in the UK about 5 years ago and I mentioned this on my customs form (which they ask you to fill in on the plane!)… I got asked what this was for after I had passed through the main customs desk (nothing scary like some people had reported about being hauled off to a darkened room and interrogated) by a nice guy who was happy just to take note of this and let me on my way. My bags were waiting for me after I had passed through customs and I wondered straight through without any problems…. The Beagle sniffer dogs are pretty cool… one woman just in front of my in the queue had food in her bag (fruit I think) and the dog sniffed it out no problem… 

 

I was greeted by my new boss at the airport and hitched a lift with him to the rented accommodation I had lined up in Cheltenham after a spin round the City. It took around 30mins (from memory) to get in to the city and a further 40mins+ to make our way down to Cheltenham.

 

As mentioned I hadn’t ever been to Melbourne and I was impressed by the city and all of the big buildings. Everything felt a little bit strange to start off with, like I was on holiday but when I arrived at my rental accommodation I soon settled in and began to enjoy suburban Melbourne. Cheltenham is quite well placed on the Frankston train line and has an express service running in to the city centre (about 30mins)… I was also luckily situated quite close to the Southland shopping centre (a large indoor purpose built centre with three floors of shops and everything you would ever need) which was great and really handy for my first bits and pieces I needed. I was going to be working in the city and in East Bentleigh and without a car I have found the public transport to be more than tolerable…. Its not the most posh/comfortable ride but I’ve found it to be a load better than the public transport on offer in the north east of England and its very affordable… you can get round Melbourne all day for $11 (that’s zone 1 and 2) which is cheap compared to the price of everything and the wages. On a Sunday they do the same ticket for $3.40ish which provides an even better excuse to get out and about. I haven’t got a car yet so not sure how much they cost (does anyone know how I go about sorting my driving license out or if I can drive on my uk one whilst over here?), they seem more expensive but again that’s expect and they are probably proportionate when you factor everything in. Dental is expensive so get everything check out and fixed if needed before you arrive… clothes and shoes can be pricey if you want a brand or a name… that said a few of the shops in the uk deliver over here now (I’ve personally used topman who only charge 9GBP and it took 8 days to arrive) if you ever needed a few cheaper bits and bobs and you know they are going to fit…!!

 

I would recommend Cheltenham as a suburb to anyone…. Its quite peaceful and quite with not a great deal going on but it has great links to the city with the major Nepean highway running through and the train line too. There seems to be a big push around Melbourne’s inner suburbs to upgrade single storey houses to doubles or big flat complex’s but Cheltenham has survived this to an extent which is nice as you get a feel of being away from the city. I regularly ran to Sandringham beach which took around 25mins or so… Its beautiful and every time I have been (granted its been winter over here) its been deserted… even when the sun was out… Little things like this have made being here great.

 

I’ve settled in really well and met some really nice and friendly people. It hits you straight away how genuinely nice the people here are, especially when compared to the UK… I love England but everyone seems very busy worrying about their own little world to just say hi to a neighbour or just G’day (I was the same to be honest) for no other reason but to be nice and polite…. I’ve found settling in really straight forward and any advice/help I’ve needed I’ve been able to find or get quite easily.

 

The price of things was probably the most difficult to get my head around…. I know there is always a big debate on how expensive things are here when compared to the UK but I do find when everything is considered that Australia is fractionally more expensive. This might be because I have had to set myself up with a lot of ‘home’ type stuff which we tend to get quite cheaply in England. I like to shop around, get a good deal and have a handle on what things cost so I’ve sort of enjoyed the whole experience of a new country in that respect. Whilst I think day to day things cost more I am earning a lot more than I was in the UK and at the end of each fortnight (fortnightly pay is a dream and its pretty much he norm over here I’m lead to believe) I have more in the bank than I ever did back home and that’s with all of the start up costs and everything which comes with moving countries…..I’m even using moneycorp (free transfers for PIO members) every once in a while to send some money back home (although the Aus banks do like to charge you for it!!) 

 

I signed up with commonwealth bank, they are one of the big four, and whilst they have been fine I am looking at moving to one who charges less for international money transfers…. They hit you with a $22 charge initially and they pass it on to a third party bank who charge you $25….. I have heard one bank does offer free transfers if you deposit a set amount each month but I’m nt too sure who (any advice appreciated on this one!?)… The bank account was really easy to set up. As was the Medicare card. Just turn up in the shops and away you go… just have your I.D. handy when you go out and about the first few weeks as I needed it quite a bit to sign up for various things. Another I got straight away was a sim card…. $2 a sim card and I top up $30 for 30days and it gets me $300 credit… its about $0.50 a text back to the UK and about $2 per minute ringing friends on their uk mobiles so it works out really cheap (this is just a convenience pay as you go deal with Optus one of the big mobile/comms companies out here so I am sure you can get a better deal). I haven’t bothered with a 12/24 month contract but when I enquired they wanted a bank statement with 10 transactions on before they would accept me as a customer.

 

There is so much to see and do in Melbourne, whilst I’ve been busy at work and really trying to get my head down I’ve hardly touched the surface

I’ve been to the Aussie rules (I’m a St Kilda fan now!) and soccer, the aquarium and recently the Caulfied Guineas…. They love their horses over here!! A must do if you are coming here is the Australian animal sanctuary in Healesville…. Its amazing… They pretty much have all the usual Australian animals and then some!! I signed up for a years zoo pass as they have the Melbourne zoo and a safari type zoo/park and you get unlimited access for a year ($100 I think). I’m probably missing out loads so feel free to ask…. I shipped over 3 big boxes (about 25kg each) with Transglobal express… they were fine and very competitively priced although I did get a 100GBP fine for having some shaving foam in my box… hey ho… They used DHL for the delivery and I had my boxes within 10days (quoted 5 days but delayed due to the shaving foam and the delivery at this end was sub contracted to someone who wouldn’t arrange a time for delivery which was a bit of a pain!)

 

….Downsides are few and far between… there is a lot of graffiti in the city and on the trains/buses but you almost forget its there after a short while…. Alcohol is expensive where ever you go (even supermarket), even when you factor in the inflated wages you are on over here (a standard crate of 24 costs around $40 - $50 depending on what you go for) …. Speaking of supermarket, Coles is really good and stocks a decent range…. Aldi is great for cheaper items and there are fresh fruit and veg shops in every suburb so I shop at a range of places to keep prices down…. Furniture is expensive too….

 

I’ve recently moved away from Cheltenham (a little too quiet and away from the city for me) and now live in a flat with a couple of friends I have met since being here. There’s a lot more going on and its only 15 mins in to the city. Loads of good restaurants (the Asian food over here is simply amazing, loads of variety and slightly different twists which is great as I love my food) and just a busier type vibe to it which suits me a little more…. I’ve not really come across any problems as far as crime/violence/hoodies/chavs are concerned, there’s not the massive binge drinking culture on show over here (I’m sure it exists in pockets but its not thrust in your face in the street or through the media over here) and I haven’t seen any nasty wildlife… which is great as I’m not a fan of spiders!! The birds over here are pretty noisy but I don’t mind it… they are way more pretty and colourful than back home and it makes me smile when I see a pair of the green/blue/orange parrot things sat squawking away as you really do feel a million miles away from home but in a good way….

 

I haven’t found anywhere to play soccer regularly yet but there are loads of parks to go for a kick around….. We have foxtel (same as sky) so I get to catch up on every premier league game from back home and its got a good selection of programmes, incl some of the British stuff!

 

I know I will have missed loads out and probably the important bits which people want to know about but I’m happy to comment on anything I’ve written or may have missed or any questions/queries anyone has…. All of this is just my opinion and I just wanted to share it with the forum as it was a great help to me when I was moving over that I should have tried to get this written sooner… I guess it’s a testament to how good Australia is treating me that I haven’t had a great deal of time to sit down and get it done…. All of this and we are just getting in to the spring months and the warmer weather!!

 

Cheers

 

Roflie


e457 lodged 11/04/11 - further info requested 27/04/11 - Info submitted 03/05/11 - VISA APPROVED 04/05/11 (24days!!) :biggrin: - Flying out to Melbourne on 15th June!! In Melbourne and loving every minute of it.... bring on the summer!!

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Good on you!!!!


And the end of all our exploring will be to arrive at where we started, and know the place for the first time.

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What a great update Roflie thank you for coming back and sharing.

It sounds like you are having a ball.


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 jaffarms

Dear Roflie, very lengthy but informative post, appreciate your efforts in this regards and really its impressive. Keep up the good work buddy...

 

Cheers

Jaffar

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What a great post!

 

I was just starting to panic about our decision to move after reading some posts about people having a hard time in Oz! however you post has just picked me back up again! I understand things will be hard to start with, but after reading your post i feel like it can also be pretty great at the same time!

 

I now cant wait to get to Melbourne!!

 

Thanks

Lou


175 Skilled Visa - Agent appointed 29.07.11 Positive Skills Assessment (03.10.11) IELTS Passed 22.10.11 W 8.5 R 8 L 8.5 S 9. Visa Application Submitted 15.11.11... Case Officer assigned 11.04.12 Medicals 17.04.12 Police Checks sent 30.04.12 VISA APPROVED 01.05.12

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What a wonderful post! Very informative, lots of detail. And it sounds like you've definitely made the most of your time over there so far!


OH's front loaded application (309 visa) received at AH 13/04/2011. CO assigned 20/04/2011. Original documents returned 26/04/2011. Visa approved 11/08/2011! Arrived in Adelaide 3/11/2011

 

Second stage (permanent) visa applied 2/04/2013. Visa granted 14/05/2013.

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thanks for the great post! had to come back 3 times to finish reading it! very informative :)

 

Melbourne here we come! :)


Chicken, gave me a bad coupon.

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I know it was a bit lengthy - i should have been updating as i go but i've just been caught up with everything there is to do here and all that is involved in moving so far away.

 

...I've been lucky that the guys i work with and the people i have moved in with are really decent people... As i said i can only comment on my experiences and it will be different for everyone but it really has been a great move for me.

 

I do miss friends and family but Skype is a god send.... it really is brilliant. I've been lucky enough to have a decent speed broadband (which seems the norm now in Melbourne's surrounding suburbs) since i arrived here and keeping in touch has been relatively straight forward.

 

I should have mentioned my latest move was to Carnegie which i'm really enjoying as there is quite an asian vibe with lots of asian food shops and restaurants.

 

If you are coming here with an open mind and can afford to set yourself up initially (definitely take the option to ship as much stuff over as you can as you will most likely have it bought and shipped for less than you would pay over here!) then i think Australia (i can only comment on Melbourne) will be good to you.... A lot of my little worries an anxieties turned out to be silly but i guess its natural to feel that way when you are making such a big move... I only had myself to worry about getting over here so no doubt it will be more tricky with a family but i'd recommend it to anyone...

 

England and the UK doesn't feel half as far away as i thought it would and whilst i do look forward to eventually going back for a holiday possibly next summer i don't miss it anywhere near as much as i thought i would

 

Cheers

 

Roflie

 

P.s. berries are expensive (blue, black, strawberries etc) and takeaways tend to be a similar price to the restaurant menu as there's not many places that are solely takeaways rather than just restaurants who offer a takeaway option..... There are a load of restaurants that offer BYO (bring your own drink) and just charge you a small corkage fee which i've found can really educe the price of eating out if you like a drink with your meal. Wine tends to be expensive in the restaurant but if you shop around and by by the case of 6 rather than single bottles it doesn't work out too bad... I'm paying around $10 for a bottle (i used to go for something around about 5 pound back in the uk straight off Asdas shelf) and its average stuff... i'm not really a fussy wine drinker but i know if the wine is rubbish... you can always pay more or less and if you have time to shop around you will find decent deals.


e457 lodged 11/04/11 - further info requested 27/04/11 - Info submitted 03/05/11 - VISA APPROVED 04/05/11 (24days!!) :biggrin: - Flying out to Melbourne on 15th June!! In Melbourne and loving every minute of it.... bring on the summer!!

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Really great info here!! We are so looking forward to coming to Melbourne next year!!

 

 

Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk


Jane (Main App-Podiatrist) & Dale (Contracts Manager) ¦ Flying to Melbourne 9th July 2012.....a new life :)

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Feels like reading a blog! We just got back from Healesville for a day trip yesterday (friend's bday party but we didn't visit the animal sanctuary, only made it till the souvenir store an hour before they are closed for the day). Lots of wineries there, did you check out some?

 

Yes, we find eating out is rather pricey as well, so only once a week or so. Average eat out cost usually set us back to $60 for both of us - no drinks. Weekdays, I cook curries and bring the leftover to work for lunch, this is a habit since years ago when I was really tight on money and food takes up most of the expenses anyway! Wow, sounds like i'm a cheapskate :D

 

I had my first blueberries last week (fresh ones) and was disappointed that the insides are not blue, LOL. Now waiting for the blackberries to go on 'SPECIAL' at Coles so I can buy them. We don't get much fresh berries in Malaysia (where I'm from)... and I'm loving it here.


309/100 - Submitted and CO assigned 29/11/2010. More info given on 3/12/2010. Medicals requested on 16/12/2010. Went for medicals on 20/12/2010. Granted 30/3/2011. Arrived in Melbourne on May 2011. Second stage submitted end of Oct 2012, PR granted 12/02/2013!

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Guest jimmyblogs

Great post Roflie... This is really informative and also reassuring. Thanks.

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Guest rickydavey

Very informative

Keep it coming

 

Cheers

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Hi Rolfie

 

Great post, really enjoyed reading it and very informative. Cant wait to go home to Mellie next Summer with my own Pom, missing it so much.

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Great info Roflie.

 

The friendliness of Melbourne people seems to be a theme on everything I've read about the city. We're also from the north east so would be interested to hear your impression on who are the friendliest; geordies or Melbournians ? :)

 

I'm an equipment project engineer in the pharmaceutical industry so it looks as though we need to heading to Sydney or Melbourne.

 

What is the weather like in Melbourne ? The stats suggest it's wetter than the UK and sounds pretty unpredictable which worries me a little considering this is the great BBQ country of the world.

 

Thanks agains for an informative post !


EA Skills Assessment 3/11/11, NSW SS 28/2/12, 176 lodged 29/2/12, CO appointed 29/3/12, Visa granted 30/4/12, Arrived 6/11/12 and loving it ever since !

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Great info Roflie.

 

The friendliness of Melbourne people seems to be a theme on everything I've read about the city. We're also from the north east so would be interested to hear your impression on who are the friendliest; geordies or Melbournians ? :)

 

I'm an equipment project engineer in the pharmaceutical industry so it looks as though we need to heading to Sydney or Melbourne.

 

What is the weather like in Melbourne ? The stats suggest it's wetter than the UK and sounds pretty unpredictable which worries me a little considering this is the great BBQ country of the world.

 

Thanks agains for an informative post !

 

Its not wetter than the UK in fact its one of the drier cities in Australia if you look at the weather site BOM. The reason its been wetter at times is because we have just had 12 years of drought and boy we were always looking for rain. We had harsh water restrictions for a long time and this is the first year our trees have had a proper drink for years.


Petals

:ssign15:taking no prisoners :wink:

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Sorry lost my sense of context. It's just been snowing and -1 here today :no:

 

I know where I'd rather be !


EA Skills Assessment 3/11/11, NSW SS 28/2/12, 176 lodged 29/2/12, CO appointed 29/3/12, Visa granted 30/4/12, Arrived 6/11/12 and loving it ever since !

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