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Living in Brisbane?

(7 Posts)
doasIsaynotasIdo Sun 19-Jun-11 12:23:49

Hello, I am hoping to get some info and advice about Brisbane. We have just been offered by a colleague a good job there to start in a years time, totally out of the blue. The job would be on a good salary, and Brisbane itself looks lovely. My questions are mainly about schools, and general quality of life. We all love where we are living now, and are really settled and happy here. The kids are in an excellent school and are thriving. We were not looking to move, but feel that the job offer is one which we cannot dismiss without serious consideration as a much as we love it where we are now, there is one fly in the ointment and that is that the long term prospects of my husband's current job are not great as there is little room for promotion with his current epmployers, and other jobs in his field are in very short supply locally so it is highly unlikely he could get the same position but with different employers here. So, do we leave a place which we all love and are completely settled and happy in but cannot give us any job security and go to Brisbane? Yes we would gain job security, but would run the risk of not being as happy in our family/home life as we are now, as we all love, love, love where we are now. The job on offer is in the St Lucia part of Brisbane so we would probably look to live round there if it were possible. Where would be a good place to live, and what about schools? Our kids are currently in an excellent international baccalaureate (IB) primary school which is one of the big issues putting us off moving, as they are so happy there, and are all getting loads out of going there. What are state/private schools like in Brisbane, and also do you get the IB program in Oz? Are they really hard to get in to/ long wait lists and so on? Any information would be greatly appreciated, as our heads are spinning with question after question after question! Thanks for any help, it is much appreciated. Think I need a brew!

doasIsaynotasIdo Mon 20-Jun-11 06:41:29


roary Mon 20-Jun-11 12:56:32

Hopefully this will bump for you - don't know Brisbane but yes, there are IB programs elsewhere in Oz. And generally the quality of education in Australia is excellent, both state and private.

The key to emigrating happily is to know yourself: are you the sort of people who will throw yourself in to a new place, work really, really hard to meet new people, and can cope with minor day-to-day change? (by which I mean working out new supermarkets, banks, the whole works). Also I think it is worth pointing out that culture shock can be an unexpected problem in Australia, which people tend to forget because it is an English language country. You'd expect culture shock moving to Zimbabwe but somehow it's more surprising in a place that's superficially familiar.

I say all this as a relatively reluctant migrant - DH is Australian. But there are huge benefits to living in Australia - one massive benefit is the outdoors lifestyle your kids will be able to enjoy, so fi you like that sort of thing you'll be very happy.

gotobedsleepyhead Mon 20-Jun-11 13:07:31

Hi doasisay, I am a brisbanite and love it. I can't advise you on schools, but my experience is that I came here as a backpacker 8 years ago and loved it so much i'm still here. Dp and i did actually go home for 2 years, but the minute we got on the plane we decided to come back. I cannot speak highly enough of Brisbane, but I would say that it has been more expensive moving back here than I ever imagined it would, so that is definitely something to consider. St Lucia is very close to the city itself, so a bit more pricey, but there are some gorgeous (and more affordable) places probably no more than a half hour commute away.
Is this a temporary move? And is there any way you could come for a holiday beforehand to see what you think? (sorry if you have already answered these questions I can't scroll back on iPhone app).
I will keep posting if as I think of things!
Lifestyle here is really great for kids especially if they enjoy the outdoors.

zzlondongirlzz Mon 20-Jun-11 13:41:02

Hi doasisay, not sure how much I can help as I'm still quite new to Brisbane (6 weeks). I have two very small, one nearly school age children but I have done quite alot of research on the school front recently. I'm rubbish at doing 'links' but its worth looking at and then calling the Queensland education people. I spoke to them with reference to my eldest and starting school and they were helpful (will try to do a link!). Generally people seem very happy with the state school system BUT if you intend to come just for a few years then return to the UK you will have to consider that school starts later here so your children might find themselves 'behind' their peers in the UK. That said, there seems to be alot more flexibility in the state system itself so if your children arrive and are 'ahead' they will consider moving them up grades etc. The whole primary school catchment area thing seems alot more user friendly than the UK i.e. you can only go to your catchment school (unless there is some exceptional reason) - thus you don't get a choice at a local state level (not sure this is the same for secondary). The catchment areas are also very clear - with street names and numbers (none of the 'as the crow flies' malarky!') According to QLD edu, most Brisbane state schools are not full so there is no apparent issue about getting in. Re private schools, there are many in Brisbane. Waiting lists can be very long at some of the 'top end' ones (Churchie, Somerville House, , Moreton Bay, Cannon Hill Anglican College, Brisbane Grammar SchooL boys, plus one for girls) - these are the ones that I was told about by an Australian friend but there are no doubt others. There is alot of movement of people though so its defo worth calling schools to ask about occasional vacancies. Schools are a hard one when you don't have all the background 'gen' you have in your home country about a school.Hope that helps a little. As for Brisbane itself, I agree with' gotobed' that the lifestyle particularly for children is wonderful - it really hit home this weekend (whilst sitting on the beach!) that my children are so lucky to be able to experience all of this and as a parent it feels amazing to be able to do this for them!

chloeb2002 Mon 20-Jun-11 21:52:54

Hello, we have been here 4 years... Ive found the public system for schools leaves alot to be desired...but i have high standards.. hpwever dd goes to a lovely small private school, and its great! Nearly all private schools here are religious, dd's is lutheran and we are non church going individuals but they do gain quite a bit about life, rights and wroungs from the god content and we liked lutheran as its alot about having morales. Its alot cheaper than uk private schools. Generally the Ib isnt taught.. well ive not found it around here. Living in the city is great if thats what you want. Many people commute as living centrally is very expesive, especially if you want to buy a gooid family home and certainly our reason for coming was to buy space ( we have 5 acres of it) that we couldnt afford in the uk.. also a great lifestyle for kids but yes it is sporty and yes it is competitive but they are bits we like. So many things for kids to do there will be something they enjoy and are good at. DD does trampoline it costs $6 a lesson with an accrediated coach. DS does kindy gym thats $5 a go. DD swims in squads it costs $5 a swim again with a good coach. No she isnt the best swimmer but she gives it her best shot and places at school carnivals which is all she wants to do.
Depending where you go would depend on the wait list. Brisbane is growing fast and i have my kids names down now for our choosen schools. They are in ther feeder primary for the high school we want so they will get a place automatically.
The qld schools are currently in catch up with the rest of aus.. with this year bearing the brunt with kids doing a year and a halfs work to get on track. so that should level out. Its linked to the later start kids had in qld untill prep was compulsary.

We feel cost of living is probably about the same on the whole here but what you get is better quality.
The brisbane climate can be very wet and humid in the summer (and stinking hot) yet now in winter we are freezing .. down to 3 degrees over night but nice dry warm 20 degree days. Fab beach lifestyle but in the city you may not get there that often in reality. We are 10 mins from the sea and go probably once a week in the summer as well as taking the dogs for a run other days.

doasIsaynotasIdo Tue 21-Jun-11 10:54:57

Thank you all so much for these fantastic replies, we are really grateful for the time and effort you've all put in. Sorry not to have thanked you before now, the kids have run me ragged these past few days (don't they always?!)You are all very positive about Brisbane, and from all the other reaseach I've done on the net as well as Mumsnet, the same feeling comes up time and again, that Brisbane is a fab place to live, especially if you like the outdoor lifestyle. We are currently in Hong Kong so the hot and humid weather would not be a problem as we are used to that from being here. I feel I've also done quite well with intergrating myself in a new community from when we first arrrived here, so the thought of doing that all over again does not really put me off. The outdoor lifestyle would be great, as there is precious little opportunity for that in HK as space is so limited and the weather is so hot during the summer months. Pleased to hear the schools are good, and the idea of having space around us really appeals, especially with 3 very energetic boys! The beach sounds great as well, we go as often as we can out here. The job would not be to start until nov 2012, so we have ages to decide, and will try and make a trip out there nearer the time to have a scout around. I would just feel so sad about leaving HK as we are all really, really happy here, but if we do have to leave, it sounds as though Brisbane would be an excellent place to move to. Thanks again everyone, much appreciated, I feel much more positive about it all now.

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