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A million questions....

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Hi everyone.

 

The hubby has been offered a job in canberra and a subclass visa. They are hoping to have the visa complete within 4 weeks. Is this possible? not leaving us much time to get organised but the company are desperate for him to take over!!

 

At the moment i work part time and between us we earn almost 80k euro. The company is offering at present 120k aud. Is this a managable amount for a family of 3 to survive? looking at prices etc...everything seems much more expensive. We would be renting for a few months at least.

 

We thought it would be sydney so researched there and now canberra has sprung up!! which is the best areas for schools and families? how do you all find living in canberra? Is canberra a friendly city? we would love to find a nice family street where the kids can get out to play and ur neighbours might say hello :-)) do these places still exist? lol...

 

Can anyone recommend an estate agent as we are going to have to find a house that will accept our 2 little mutts too.

 

Thanks for any advice....first drink is on us if we get there :-))

The scottish family living in rural ireland tho only 20 mins to city.

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Guest SandP
Hi everyone.

 

The hubby has been offered a job in canberra and a subclass visa. They are hoping to have the visa complete within 4 weeks. Is this possible? not leaving us much time to get organised but the company are desperate for him to take over!!

 

At the moment i work part time and between us we earn almost 80k euro. The company is offering at present 120k aud. Is this a managable amount for a family of 3 to survive? looking at prices etc...everything seems much more expensive. We would be renting for a few months at least.

 

We thought it would be sydney so researched there and now canberra has sprung up!! which is the best areas for schools and families? how do you all find living in canberra? Is canberra a friendly city? we would love to find a nice family street where the kids can get out to play and ur neighbours might say hello :-)) do these places still exist? lol...

 

Can anyone recommend an estate agent as we are going to have to find a house that will accept our 2 little mutts too.

 

Thanks for any advice....first drink is on us if we get there :-))

The scottish family living in rural ireland tho only 20 mins to city.

 

 

Hello Scottish Family living in rural ireland

 

We have been in Canberra now for 7 months and so far so good. We have two daughters aged 9 and 5 and they love it. There is plenty of space for bike riding, dog walking etc and park play equipment can be found everywhere.

 

With regards best area I guess it depends where your hubby will be working and how far you want to travel. That said it takes a max of 50 mins to get from one end of Canberra to the other so nowehere is going to be horrendous. The issue you will have is finding a house to rent a) that allows pets and b) is available. Unfortunately it does get quite busy in teh rental markets from November to Jan with Uni students I believe. Also you can't get a rental til you apply in person unless the company will rent one for you.

 

We are in the North where the properties are newer and there are new suburbs being built. If you prefer more establish areas you may be better in teh South or Inner North/South but the closer to the centre you get the most expensive the rents.

 

As for the money again it depends on your living expectations. Rents will be between $550-$700 a month depending on how many bedrooms and area you choose. With teh 3 of you I am guessing a 3 bed max will be sufficient so the lower end of that bracket shoudl cover you. I spend on average $200 a week on food, $50 a week on petrol but utilities are quite high - on average my electricity is $100 a month but gas can be up to $300 a month in the winter months. My telephone/mobile/internet package is on average $115 a month. If you choose a private school you will need to allocate the fees as well. Am guessing if you live carefully $120k is enough to live and maybe even put a little bit by but you would need to remember insurances and rego for cars etc.

 

There is part tiem work around but childcare is difficult to get and quite expensive and as your visa sounds like a 457 or similiar temporary you will not qualify for child benefit assistance. That said I have a part time job in the evening and my hubby looks after the kids so childcare is free.

 

Living here can be what you make it so I would recommend giving it a go - it doesn't have to be permanent just an exciting adventure.

 

I hope I haven't blown your mind with my response!! If you need anything else please feel free to PM me

 

Sara:biggrin:

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120k is just about liveable. Take home pay (assuming this figure includes super) will be about $6500 a month. Making a $500 a week rental around a third of your take home pay.

 

Something to be careful of is that you are going be at least initially on a temp visa and will be liable for school fees of $4.5k per child per annum. Some employers add this to the package.

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Rents will be between $550-$700 a month

 

I think you meant week, otherwise I'm getting ripped off by my landlord :biggrin:


Moved to Oz 02/2011

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Can anyone recommend an estate agent as we are going to have to find a house that will accept our 2 little mutts too.

 

Your best bet is to go to All Homes (http://www.allhomes.com.au/). 99% of agents in Canberra list their properties on the site. If you tie yourself to 1 agent, you are severely limiting your options. Most posting on the site will let you know if they are dog friendly or not. If there is no mention, then its worth contacting the agent to find out.


Moved to Oz 02/2011

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I imagine you'd be fine on $120k. We're surviving as a family of four on considerably less but we only go out to free events. You should cover your bills and expenses fine, it really depends what sort of hobbies and lifestyle you have and how much money you want to spend on activities and the like.

 

If anything kills our budget, it's running two cars for sure!!


It is not economical to go to bed early to save the candles if the result is twins - Chinese proverb

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Guest SandP
I think you meant week, otherwise I'm getting ripped off by my landlord :biggrin:

 

 

You are indeed correct - wouldn't it be fab if my error was reality!! Thanks for highlighting it though I wouldn't want to mislead any newbies.:embarrassed:

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Thank you everyone. We dont want to move halfway round the world to a lesser standard of living. Good to hear everyones ideas and all suggestions welcome.

 

Sand p i almost gave the hubby a good kick up the backside regarding rent. He was showing me housed at 600 a week. Pmsl :-))

 

i dont think we would pay school fees as his is a wanted profession but i might be wrong!! think we will push for more money..we know 120k health insurance and bonus so far tho we dont know how much that is yet!! he has final chat with vp this week so all that will be covered. I hope. What is the tax like on 457 visa?

 

So truthfully how is everyone finding it? did u all settle in and make friends? when we make it over def barbie at ours tho knowing our luck we will end up in a tent at the side of the road!! :-))

 

I was looking at the forde area. Any insider info on the area?

 

Thanks again everyone :-))

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Actually the school fees in ACT for temporary visa holders are closer to $10k pa than 4.5k pa (that's NSW) if your occupation is not on SOL - and even so I would be making darned sure with an email to the International Students Section of the department. You may find the Catholic system cheaper at around $3k pa

 

Canberra isnt really a very friendly place TBH and there arent that many family areas like the ones you hope for - most families are two income to make ends meet and there is a good deal of rush as kids go to planned activities. I have noticed far fewer kids playing in the garden/street in the past 10+ years than we had previously when, say, my lads were growing up. Lots of kids are wedded to their wiis and the playgrounds are woefully underutilized. A non working mother will be a bit of a rarity!

 

Personally I am an inner north girl and wouldnt venture out into the boondocks but the price you pay for inner north/south living is that the houses arent up to much and the rents/house prices are exorbitant.

 

The further out you go, the smaller the blocks get and the bigger the houses get. You will want to check out http://www.allhomes.com.au for accommodation which can be really tight especially at this time of year!

 

Schools are much of a muchness really although I personally dont have much time for any of the Tuggeranong schools - not their fault per se but they were all built in the era of 'open space learning' and flexible teaching areas with a result that the ambient noise level of 4 even very well controlled classes is often too distracting for many kids - and also they still 'classroom' them and the resultant space is smaller than it should be for 25 big kids. There is a parallel Catholic system and nearly 50% of parents choose to send their kids to Catholic schools or other private schools (over 50% in HS this year). Avoid Charnwood, Richardson and Narrabundah (Fyshwick side) as a general rule but always check out the neighbours as Canberra has 'salt and pepper' public housing and you never know who is going to live next door!

 

Gungahlin does nothing for me but Forde is up and coming - I would have thought a bit more yuppie than family but give it a go (IIRC it doesnt have a gov PS but Burgmann were heading that way)

 

120K is a reasonable income, you should make ends meet on that.

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I was looking at the forde area. Any insider info on the area?

 

 

Not sure if you saw my previous post or not:

 

http://www.pomsinoz.com/forum/act/130261-any-advice-forde-area.html

 

We live in Forde, and think it is a great area. The only school in Forde is the private school Burgmann. (http://www.burgmann.act.edu.au/aboutus/fees2011.html) Otherwise the kids we end up at Amaroo public school I believe.


Moved to Oz 02/2011

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Not sure if you saw my previous post or not:

 

http://www.pomsinoz.com/forum/act/130261-any-advice-forde-area.html

 

We live in Forde, and think it is a great area. The only school in Forde is the private school Burgmann. (http://www.burgmann.act.edu.au/aboutus/fees2011.html) Otherwise the kids we end up at Amaroo public school I believe.

Hi mat. So u like forde then? Whats the neighbours like? are there many kids around?

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The interesting thing about Forde (I think) is that it has it's own shops. Wheras in comparison most of the new build suburbs around Gungahlin don't seem to have their own shops and are supposed to use Gungahlin.

 

I took a drive out that way the other day to be nosey because I'd heard they've got quite a good park for kids. I have to agree, it looks pretty good in comparison to the other little parks I've seen around and there were a group of women with kids at the picnic tables which were under a large sunshade.

 

Having said that, I also think Forde is quite pricey with 3 beds renting for over $500. Amaroo which has been built and is the next suburb...has 3 beds going from $450. I'd be the sort of person who lived in Amaroo and just drove over to Forde to use the facilities. :biglaugh:


It is not economical to go to bed early to save the candles if the result is twins - Chinese proverb

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Hi mat. So u like forde then? Whats the neighbours like? are there many kids around?

 

I love Forde. We dont have kids, but see quite a few kids around the place. Our neighbors are very nice, and will do anything to help if you need it. There are several playgrounds, basketball court etc for the kids to play in. We even have our own Dog park that has a variety of agility equipment.


Moved to Oz 02/2011

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The interesting thing about Forde (I think) is that it has it's own shops. Wheras in comparison most of the new build suburbs around Gungahlin don't seem to have their own shops and are supposed to use Gungahlin.

 

 

The Forde shops are currently being completed, and were scheduled to be open in November, but I think it will be December. There will be a supermarket, chinese restaurant, coffee shop, and a couple of other things. Not huge, but convenient.

 

Also, they are building a Woolworths, and a few other shops, across the street in the Bonner neighborhood, which was also due for completion in December.

 

I took a drive out that way the other day to be nosey because I'd heard they've got quite a good park for kids. I have to agree, it looks pretty good in comparison to the other little parks I've seen around and there were a group of women with kids at the picnic tables which were under a large sunshade.

 

 

Yeah, there are several little parks, lots of green space, the nature reserve, and a couple of little lakes with BBQ areas.

 

Having said that, I also think Forde is quite pricey with 3 beds renting for over $500. Amaroo which has been built and is the next suburb...has 3 beds going from $450. I'd be the sort of person who lived in Amaroo and just drove over to Forde to use the facilities. :biglaugh:

 

Hehe.. yes, Forde can be a little pricey, $500- $650/w for 3-4 bedroom houses. But, in my opinion, worth it.


Moved to Oz 02/2011

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Guest Dominick
Actually the school fees in ACT for temporary visa holders are closer to $10k pa than 4.5k pa (that's NSW) if your occupation is not on SOL - and even so I would be making darned sure with an email to the International Students Section of the department. You may find the Catholic system cheaper at around $3k pa

 

Canberra isnt really a very friendly place TBH and there arent that many family areas like the ones you hope for - most families are two income to make ends meet and there is a good deal of rush as kids go to planned activities. I have noticed far fewer kids playing in the garden/street in the past 10+ years than we had previously when, say, my lads were growing up. Lots of kids are wedded to their wiis and the playgrounds are woefully underutilized. A non working mother will be a bit of a rarity!

 

Personally I am an inner north girl and wouldnt venture out into the boondocks but the price you pay for inner north/south living is that the houses arent up to much and the rents/house prices are exorbitant.

 

The further out you go, the smaller the blocks get and the bigger the houses get. You will want to check out www.allhomes.com.au for accommodation which can be really tight especially at this time of year!

 

Schools are much of a muchness really although I personally dont have much time for any of the Tuggeranong schools - not their fault per se but they were all built in the era of 'open space learning' and flexible teaching areas with a result that the ambient noise level of 4 even very well controlled classes is often too distracting for many kids - and also they still 'classroom' them and the resultant space is smaller than it should be for 25 big kids. There is a parallel Catholic system and nearly 50% of parents choose to send their kids to Catholic schools or other private schools (over 50% in HS this year). Avoid Charnwood, Richardson and Narrabundah (Fyshwick side) as a general rule but always check out the neighbours as Canberra has 'salt and pepper' public housing and you never know who is going to live next door!

 

Gungahlin does nothing for me but Forde is up and coming - I would have thought a bit more yuppie than family but give it a go (IIRC it doesnt have a gov PS but Burgmann were heading that way)

 

120K is a reasonable income, you should make ends meet on that.

 

Would I be correct in assuming these school fees would apply to our daughter when she starts primary school. We would be on a 457 visa.

 

Thanks

 

Dom

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Would I be correct in assuming these school fees would apply to our daughter when she starts primary school. We would be on a 457 visa.

 

Thanks

 

Dom

 

You would. If your child goes to a government primary school and your occupation is not on SOL http://www.det.act.gov.au/school_education/international_students then you will get a bill - AFAIK they require a term's payment up front. Fees are on the application form linked to that page BTW - if you have a child in preschool then they should be being charged around $3.5k pa according to that list

 

If, however you opt for the Catholic system then you would be charged the local rate of fees ie around $3k pa

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Silly question...but do u have to be catholic to send ur child to catholic school. Bearing in mind we live in southern ireland and all the schools are tied in with the local priest we just opt her out of the holy procedures such as communion. I just wondered :-))

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Hello

 

We have been here 2 weeks. My husband was on the SOL list (457 visa) so we got a fee waiver on our school fees. I have done a load of school visits to both private and gov schools and Cathlic schools. You dont have to be Cathllic to go to all the Catholic schools but some are really full and have waiting lists and give priority to those who are Catholic. I would say all the "good" private schools have waiting lists and we have put our son and daughter on a waiting list which could take 2 years before they get a place. I did the schools visits first so we could then focus our housing hunt in catchment areas where the gov Primary school was a good one. Let me know if you have any questions as I was wondering exactly the same things before I got here!

 

Angela

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Guest Hannifc

Im in exactly the same position and need help,

Just New to this site.

Have a job offer in Canberra, Does anyone know anything on the 457 Visa regarding School fees, Medicare tax excemptions etc. what exactly would ibe liable for and how much? finding it very hard to get factual info.

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Hello

 

We have been here 2 weeks. My husband was on the SOL list (457 visa) so we got a fee waiver on our school fees. I have done a load of school visits to both private and gov schools and Cathlic schools. You dont have to be Cathllic to go to all the Catholic schools but some are really full and have waiting lists and give priority to those who are Catholic. I would say all the "good" private schools have waiting lists and we have put our son and daughter on a waiting list which could take 2 years before they get a place. I did the schools visits first so we could then focus our housing hunt in catchment areas where the gov Primary school was a good one. Let me know if you have any questions as I was wondering exactly the same things before I got here!

 

Angela

Hi Angela,

 

Any chance you could share your assessments of the gov primary schools with me? Like you, we'll probably be basing where we live on the quality of the local school.

 

cheers,

Scott

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Hi everyone.

 

It's really tough organising everything from thr other side of the world. You kinda dread getting there and realising u have based ur search in the wrong areas. We ourselves have decided on the belconnel and surroundings. Fingers crossed we get something mind u it would be handy having our arrival date :-(( .

 

You will find everyone on here really helpful and its great knowing people have done it and survived. I def reckon when all the newbies eventually arrive we should organise a glass or 4 if wine and a hello. Though the way ours is going it could be bloody next november before we get there!!

 

Does anyone have any info on the tax rate for people on 457? is it just at thr norm oz rate?

 

Thanks again.

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Tax rate is the same. You might qualify for LAFHA (google it or look elsewhere on this site) but this is something that your employer probably would have brought up.

 

You will live fine on that salary, and if you decide to work part-time then I would say you will find things very comfortable.

 

Canberra isnt really a very friendly place TBH and there arent that many family areas like the ones you hope for - most families are two income to make ends meet and there is a good deal of rush as kids go to planned activities

 

Quoll - why don't you think that Canberra is a very friendly place? My experience completely contrasts with this. I find Canberra to be an extremely friendly and welcoming place to live.

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Quoll - why don't you think that Canberra is a very friendly place? My experience completely contrasts with this. I find Canberra to be an extremely friendly and welcoming place to live.

 

Dunno, I lived there for 32 years and can count on the fingers of one hand the real friends I have (and I am wondering whether some of those I thought were real friends will stand the test of time and a move to another country now that I am not there for them to lean on!). For the most part friendships have been work or child development related and have not stood the test of time - more acquaintanceships than anything. A lot of interactions have been more based on what they can get out of you than a genuine desire to be a friend. I dont consider myself an unfriendly person but I do have a resistance to being 'used' and that has happened to me more times than I care to remember. The 'you must come over for a barbie' is a throw away phrase rather than a genuine invitation.

 

I dont find the casual interactions to be as friendly - rarely have I been able to have a bit of banter with someone else in a shopping queue for example.

 

Suburbs vary but for the most part the sense of community in a neighbourhood isnt there - we have one exceptionally good neighbour and have tried to connect with those around us but they are usually heads down, bum up doing their own thing (unless they are very long term residents) and working hard to service their mortgages or they are happily smoking their pot and having loud parties.

 

I have noticed a big change in the 'school gate' community over the past 20 years or so as well. There used to be quite a good community of mums waiting for their kids to leave the classroom but these days they are more likely to book them in to after school care and pick them up at 6pm - schools generally struggle to get the helping mums that they once had quite freely on tap.

 

However, I dont know that it is any different from the rest of Australia really. The closest communities seem to be those in smaller towns and they are quite different.

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Hi everyone.

 

It's really tough organising everything from thr other side of the world. You kinda dread getting there and realising u have based ur search in the wrong areas. We ourselves have decided on the belconnel and surroundings. Fingers crossed we get something mind u it would be handy having our arrival date :-(( .

 

You will find everyone on here really helpful and its great knowing people have done it and survived. I def reckon when all the newbies eventually arrive we should organise a glass or 4 if wine and a hello. Though the way ours is going it could be bloody next november before we get there!!

 

Does anyone have any info on the tax rate for people on 457? is it just at thr norm oz rate?

 

Thanks again.

 

 

I wouldnt decide on an area until you get there - you really have the freedom to look anywhere in ACT and people usually focus on where they will be working as a good starting point. You may have set your heart on Evatt but decide that Chapman or Hackett is going to be much better for you once you have tooled around the suburbs for a few days. BTW avoid Charnwood if you are heading out to Belconnen

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Hello

 

Well, I did a load of research first from the UK in terms of "good" schools - alot of info came from this forum and alot came from other forums. I have a son who is gifted in Maths so I really wanted a good school for him. I do think you need to visit the schools when you get here. The list of schools I visited were:

 

Gov schools:

 

Curtin Primary

North Ainslie

Aranda

Kaleen

Torrens

 

Private schools visited:

Emmaus Christian School

Holy Trinity , Curtin

St Peter and St Paul, Garran

Montsorri, Holder

Girls Grammar School

 

I wanted to visit more. Garran and Chapman Gov schools will not let you visit unless you have a confirmed place to live and paperwork to prove it in their Catchment. Both are EXCELLENT schools with excellent NAPLAN results but we could not visit them. There were more private schools I also wanted to visit but they were full and therefore did not want even a speculative visit for going onto a waiting list.

 

You can check the results of a school my going to http://www.myschool.edu.au/ and finding the school you want and clikcing on NAPLAN on the left hand side. I would look at results in "numbers" as the graphs and others are confusing. I would also not take the results completely to heart as its a relatively new thing - but I do thnk its fairly good indicator of things - some may disagree. In the end I just wanted more than just "reputation". Schools sometimes dont like to discuss the results (even if they got good results) but I found it a good guide in terms of where to focus my efforts in terms of arranging visits.

 

All the Gov schools I visited were good and I would not be worried if my son went to any of them however not all were best fit for him - some had an Arts focus and were creative, some focussed on other areas etc...but once I had a short list of favourite schools we narrowed our search on houses to certain areas.

 

I have to say if you look at the "ranking" of the schools I visited, they all had relatively good results so Im not sure how the other schools I did not visit were so cannot comment... All schools received a massive grant of around $1,5 million dollars when the world went into recession, to inject money into the local building trade so they all have a new gymnasium, library or hall or something. This applied also to private schools.

 

In comparison to the Private schools, I would say places like the grammar school are in a class of their own but I did not choose it as they had this strange policy of wnating to put my already advanced son back a year into Pre School instead of Kindergarten which is where his age allows him to be, simply because he was a boy and therfore may not be "mature" enough!. Im sure if I pushed it they would have said ok to Kinder but it was not for us in the end..

 

I really liked Emmaus and have put both my kids on the waiting list there and my son will go to North Ainslie. Some private schools are definately better - just better equipped, better results, seem better organised, facilities are newer and the libraries are lovely. That said Torrens primary had a gorgeous library and I though this was an EXCELLENT government school and was definately in my short list and would have chosen this over some of the private schools I saw. its all a matter of taste and what your child need.

 

The problem with the very good private schools is that they all have MASSIVE waiting lists and I mean a year - 3 years long at least and so we did not have any choice. I like Holy Trinity in Curtin but Curtin Primary which is a government school was just as good in some ways. If we lived in Curtin I would have chosen Holy Trinity simply on the fact that it was smaller in size but eveything else was the same and Curtin has a good "gifted" scheme.

 

When we arrived we looked at houses in ALL areas (except Tuggeranong) and we looked at things like commute to Civic/public transport as well as the area of the shortlisted schools. We loved the space in the massive houses in Gunghalin but the schools results were ok but not great and the area looks like a building site. Plus it would be a massive commute for my husband and we wanted to try and get away with having one car (Cars are EXPENSIVE) hence choosing the Inner North in the end. We liked Belconnnen and looked in Aranda but no houses came up and I think this is what you also need to consider.

 

My husband came on a 457 visa and we were advised my Saskia Hancock at the Dept of Education here that unless we were on the SOL list, we would have to pay an annual fee of 9.9K$ for going to government school. Private schools are cheaper but the probelm is getting a place. Holy Trinity, St Peter and St Paul had space, Radford who I approached did not, Emmaus does not, St Josephs who I approached did not... We just did not want to take a risk!

 

As it happened, my husbands work is on the SOL list so once we had found a property on a long term rental, we emailed Saskia Hancock stating we wanted to register Ethan at North Ainslie as we were in the catchment. She issued us a waiver, told the school of this and we enrolled him directly with the school.

Hope all this helps...

Sorry for the rambling post, happy to answer any more questions you might have...

 

Angela

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