Australia? perth, brisbane ?

(16 Posts)
LeMousquetaireAnonyme Sat 29-Oct-11 11:14:17

Hi, we are looking for jobs again! We are expats already. We are finding quite a lot of jobs matching DH profile in Australia, mainly near Perth or Brisbane, of course we could push it to Sydney too.
Any advice?
What about visas? should I apply independently from him so I can work in the future? Or should we go as a family and I would be allowed to work when the time come?
What is a decent salary? Everything is marketed as gross salary and we have heard that the taxes and health insurance are very expensive, so we are not sure of how much is left after that.

OP’s posts: |
tefal Sun 30-Oct-11 07:02:04

First thing is see that one of you qualify for a visa. Australia has become much harder to gain entry to in recent years. If your husband qualifies for a visa your whole family would go under the one visa and vice versa.

What is it you do for a living?

It sounds very new to you so I'd suggest a good read of the british expats forum for Australia.

LeMousquetaireAnonyme Sun 30-Oct-11 08:00:07

Thanks tefal, we checked and we both qualify for a visa. DH is the main breadwinner though, as I can't match is salary, and I have been a SAHM for a while now, DD2 is only 20 months and we have moved around a lot in Europe.
But I don't want to go all the way there and find that I will never been allowed to work IYSWIM.
He is an environmental engineer (has experience as a managing director) so plenty for him to do.
He will apply to job offers we are not going there without having the job first.
If I google british expat forum australia, It doesn't come with any interesting sites, mostly tedious yahoo types, any recommendation?

OP’s posts: |
tefal Sun 30-Oct-11 10:02:09

this one

If you go on his PR visa you will be able to work no problems.

Many employers want to meet you face to face. That said my SIL's sister got a job in nursing before she arrived in Perth last month so it can be done.

Perth is very isolated. You are closer to Singapore than you are to Sydney and Brissie but we prefer it to the other cities. Wonderful place to bring children up but then so is Brisbane!

roary Mon 31-Oct-11 11:57:27

Yes, no problems with you working and I'd say it's a good idea for meeting people, etc.

I am about to relocate to Perth for DH's work, have spent a fair bit of time there - we lived there for a couple of years a while back and I spent the northern summer there this year. we have very good friends who have lived in Brisbane who say the two cities are very similar indeed. Both great climates, both a tad parochial. Big differences are the isolation that Tefal mentions (although this does mean you are quite a lot closer to Europe) and the booming WA economy, which means that there are a lot more jobs.

My advice to anyone thinking about relocating though is that you must at least visit - I think lots of English speakers (I am Canadian but have lived in the uk for 7 years) assume that Australia is culturally similar - and it is, but it also isn't, so you'd have to figure out it if it is for you. But if you have moved around a lot in Europe it sounds like you are a flexible person and that's important.

Tefal are you in Perth?? Have not noticed many MNers in Perth.

roary Mon 31-Oct-11 12:03:55

PS the expats sites are good, Poms in Oz is another one. People often throw around figures about how much the salary needs to be to be equivalent to a UK one.

My view on this though is that Perth is eyewateringly expensive: when we returned to the UK I found Marks and Spencers felt positively cheap as chips compared to shopping in a standard Tesco's style shop in Perth. Australia has always been expensive but this has been masked by the favourable exchange.

That said Australian salaries reflect the high cost of living and there are other intangibles (weather!) that don't have a dollar value. Some things are substantially cheaper, and for us in Perth although I think the kids will ultimately go to private school they will stay in the state system till about age 11, which for a variety of reasons was not going to be an option for us in the UK.

trappedInYorkshire Mon 31-Oct-11 16:49:05

Hi there, we're in process of applying for our visa for state sponsorship to Western Australia, hoping to get to Perth next year. We've been looking at suburbs and want somewhere we can commute to CBD as we both work in IT, been looking around Joondalup but think that may be too expensive for us, would you know about the areas around it though, such as Craigie or Edgewater? These seem a bit more afforable. Also, both our kids will be in school by then, do schools tend to offer much in terms of breakfast clubs or after school care?


tefal Mon 31-Oct-11 19:11:57

Hi. I'd personally not live in Craigie. Edgewater is nice and right on the rail line into the city. You could also look at Woodvale. TBH, the burbs are all expensive!

Bubbaluv Tue 01-Nov-11 07:19:18

With the salaries remember there is a compulsory superanuation (pension) deduction of 9%. Top tax bracket is about 47%. Some companies will pay health insurance out of your pre-tax salary.

In terms of getting a job, I don't know much about environmental engineering, but the unemployment rate is only 5% and the economy is really strong, so you shouldn't have too much of a problem.

I'm in Sydney (which I love) so can't give too much detail on Brisvegas or Perth, but really it comes down to what you like. If you like bigger cities then Sydney or Melbourne will suit you better. Brisbane feels less remote than Perth. Both Perth and Brisbane have some great features and qualities as does Sydney.

I could do Perth for a year or two, but I think I'd go a bit stir crazy after a while and I'm a bit scared of the sharks. Brisbane is nice, but somehow I just don't feel like I fit in there. You should really come and look around before you make too many major decisions. Remember they are a LONG way apart. Kind of like choosing between London and Moscow.

LeMousquetaireAnonyme Tue 01-Nov-11 11:47:41

Thanks for the views so far.
We know Perth is geographically isolated, but I thought it was a big town, so a bit confused, do you mean there is no theatre, cinema, restaurants, museums.... no proper health care and school? Or just that you have to travel far to get somewhere else and/or the mentality is a bit provincial? (I don't mind that either if they are nice. All the australians I have met are nice people, a bit naive sometime, but really nice)

Most jobs in environnement seems to be in Perth or Brisbane, and difficult to fill from the australian point of view hence the call for expats. We will go where the jobs are. I was expat (and not british) before I met DH and he has been too, then we moved again together so our expectation are a bit different and probably more realistic than most people.

Also the salaries seem good but we have no idea about the real outgoings.. so 9% pension + 47% taxes + health insurance for 2 years + visa... not much left then unless the rent is quite cheap (it doesn't appear to be). Does it mean that we have to count on 40% of the gross salary left to pay for the rent, bills...?
In france the jobs are advertised (or used to be, I left a long time ago) net because TBH a gross salary means absolutely nothing.
Is there a site where you can calculate your probable gross pay or is it as complicated than the UK tax system?

How much of your net salary should you devote to your rent? In france it used to be not more than 1/3, in the UK it was 1/2... in australia?

What about the schools? and some non english speaking expat community? DD1 is trilingual and it would be a pity to loose her languages (2 at home but for one she needs external output). We know Sydney would probably be better on that point.

OP’s posts: |
roary Tue 01-Nov-11 12:28:14

Hi there
I think the 'isolated' and 'boring' thing is totally overplayed in relation to Perth (and I say this as someone who would never have emigrated to Perth had DH not gotten a job there, so I think I am objective). Yes, there are lots of things to do, and because Perth is so isolated people work quite hard to set up cultural activities. For example there is an amazing foreign film festival in the outdoor movie theatre at UWA all summer long; a friend has just started a second symphony orchestra in the city and they are planning summer concerts; nearly every big international act that goes to Australia stops in Perth. It is still, after all, a city of nearly 2 million people! Standard movie theatres, museums, health care etc!!

Lemousquetaire, I think you are the sort of person (well travelled) who would carry on travelling and so won't feel the isolation. But is this permanent or not? Bit confused about that. ALso think that you really need to see it if you are thinking of going for any length of time.

I meant to write yesterday to say that while I don't think Perth is boring, the suburban bits of Perth are VERY suburban - places where people live, often to be near (admittedly amazing) beaches -- rather than a place you would go to work/go out to dinner etc. As a result they are not pedestrian friendly, and not 'buzzy'. If that's what you're looking for it might be worth the compromise in space to get something closer to the city, ie Subiaco, Shenton Park etc.

Your tax situation will differ greatly depending on your visa situation (company sponoserd or state sponsored, permanent or temporary). If your DH has a good job and you are also looking the salary will match the cost of living.

The non English expat community has grown exponentially because of the mining boom (it was TINY before though). I was floored to go to the local playground to meet a Swiss mum back in August. She was also floored to chat to me in French but she said there were lots of expat activities and a French playgroup.Private schools all have v good languages but I am not aware of an international school as such. I'm not sure how much better that would be in Sydney (it's bigger, but the economic growth in Perth is higher and attracting more expats at the moment)

Local primary schools are excellent; quite a significant number of people leave the state system at age 11 for private schools but this differs enormously according to area in which you live (some have excellent state secondaries, and accordingly high house prices). I would say it is much more the norm for children of professional parents to go to a private high school then it is in Canada, where it is very unusual, but not necessarily different than the UK.

How serious is this plan?

roary Tue 01-Nov-11 12:31:04

Health insurance is very complicated - definitely worth a look at Poms in Oz for some of these questions (there are income thresholds involved and the laws have changed as well). If you are not going on a permanent visa it will be different than if you are.

LeMousquetaireAnonyme Tue 01-Nov-11 19:14:06

Thanks roary, this is all helpful.
DH will apply for some jobs offer which match his CV, and we will see from there. Not sure of what the visas will be yet, and those are "permanent" posts (i.e not project based) as we want something a bit more stable now that DD1 is in primary, and DD2 will follow (not sure how soon in the australian system?).
It is all a bit early but we want to have a clear view before submitting anything. It will take about 6 months to have an answer and the visas if positive, so getting a bit ahead of ourselves.
Is Perth walkable? I hate driving and will probably compromise space for location. How is the public transportation there and around?
My 1st job was 500 km north of tokyo, I know isolation wink. I wouldn't do it again with the DDs, may be later.
will look at poms in oz. smile

OP’s posts: |
roary Tue 01-Nov-11 20:02:33

HI there
It will be different if your husband is sponsored by his work or sponsored by the state - I'd say on balance the latter is better even though it takes longer, you have many more entitlements immediately.

Parts of Perth are walkable. This is my main real estate criteria (which the agent helping us thinks is cutely eccentric). Most suburbs have at least a small shopping strip with cafes and groceries etc. The ones I think are nicest, in that they have a range of shops/cafes/etc are Cottesloe, Claremont, and Subiaco (but all are pricey, probably in descending order from Cott to Subi) but others are good too (Nedlands; Floreat; South Perth; Fremantle is great but not for us). But you do have to have a car as things are very spread out - you will need it to see friends and get around. Public transport is good, but as in most New World big cities, not as extensive. There are good trains which are reliable and quick on main arterial routes, and pretty decent buses, but you will want to investigate that when choosing an area to live.

Perth is isolated only in the sense that other major cities are all far away. But there are lovely towns and many beautiful things to do both north and south of PErth. None of them are buzzing metropolitan centres but great for the outdoors, wine, beach, etc. And as mentioned it is a big city. I grew up in Canada and the next big city was a 3 hour drive, and really, it felt very similar to Perth (same size, similar outlook). I can't say the isolation stressed me out at all as I travelled and will travel quite a lot for work.

Bubbaluv Wed 02-Nov-11 06:53:29

This might give you an idea re income tax.

You don't pay the top rate on all your income - it's a progressive scale.

lisianthus Sun 13-Nov-11 17:46:04

You might also want to think of the following areas as they are walkable and have good cafe strips- Mount Lawley, Leederville, Mount Hawthorn, Inglewood, Maylands, Wembley, Nedlands - the first and last are the priciest, but they are also all very good for public transport. Would still get a car, but in these areas, you won't need it every day.

You asked re cinemas, restaurants, museums etc. Perth has all of these, plus its own symphony orchestra, ballet company and opera company. Perth is actually rather good for the arts, as it has one of the two best performing arts training centres in Australia, the other being the national one. Re restaurants, Perth has a lot, but the mid range ones tend to be a bit expensive. You do hit a cultural difference here- people are a LOT more likely to entertain friends at home rather than in the UK, where it is more usual to meet at a pub or restaurant. So get a barbecue! Nb, you will probably miss good Indian food, but if you like Thai, Japanese and /or Indonesian food, that will compensate.

Other nice things are the summer arts festival, (with outdoor cinemas, and lots of other performances such as Shakespeare In the Park in Kings Park) and things like Jazz in the Valley in autumn, where lots of the wineries in the Swan Valley just outside Perth put on performances which people go to with picnics.

Hope this helps!

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