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Is there a 'living in Australia' thread like the NZ one? Because we're moving and I have SO many questions.

(58 Posts)
PinotGreedy Tue 05-Aug-14 22:18:14

I just wondered if there is a regular thread where the MNers currently living in Australia / thinking of moving to Australia / have always lived in Australia hang out, discuss stuff, and help each other? I could really do with some 'on the ground' help right now!

Fruitsaladmum Wed 06-Aug-14 06:15:00

Don't know sorry new to mumsnet. But I am living in Australia at the moment and can probably answer some of your questions.

echt Wed 06-Aug-14 08:36:37

No, there isn't, but let's start one. There are plenty of Australian MNers.

stolemyusername Wed 06-Aug-14 08:40:02

I'm in Oz, happy to try and answer any questions

cjdamoo Wed 06-Aug-14 08:42:04

I will have been here 6 years this year am happy to answer questions

Millytint Wed 06-Aug-14 09:05:05

I am in oz... Central qld

PeppaPigsMum Wed 06-Aug-14 14:09:36

Hi there. Another on currently living in Australia - been here nearly 9 years now. Happy to chat about life in general too and answer question when I can.

PinotGreedy Wed 06-Aug-14 21:22:06

Oh, how exciting! Thank you all.

My first question is, DD will do part of year 1 before we leave the UK. She is the oldest in her class (Sept birthday) and her reception teacher said we should try to put her up a year if we have the option when we arrive in Aus. DH read somewhere that this is an option. Is it? Does this get decided by the school? Is it a good idea or bad idea?

I have loads of other questions, so any help appreciated. smile

PinotGreedy Wed 06-Aug-14 21:57:32

Second question: childcare. What are the options for a 4 and 6 year old? We will be living in an apartment hotel for the first month and the DCs will go loopy (actually, me too) unless we arrange something.. and this would extend right through until they start school in the new year too.

What types of childcare are available? Day nursery, nanny/au pair, childminder, etc?? How is it regulated or registered? How do I find it?

NutcrackerFairy Wed 06-Aug-14 21:59:50

Oooh, so excited to find this thread!

DH and I are seriously considering moving to Aus towards the end of next year. Brisbane probably, possibly Redcliffe/Scarborough region as I have relatives there.

We are at the very beginning of all this - starting to research visas, house prices, job opportunities, schools for DS1 and 2...

I am a counsellor and a nurse, DH is a civil engineer [South African degree which means unfortunately it will not be an easy process for him to convert his qualification for Aus requirements... although his qualification and experience was fully accepted for UK and he has been working on major projects in central London for 10 years hmm]

Anyway I will be watching your thread with great interest Pinot!

In the meantime if anyone has any words of wisdom or experience to share in regard to emigrating to Aus please let us have them!

Millytint Wed 06-Aug-14 22:27:39

Hi daughter had done a year of school in the uk when we moved and was 17 days too young for the qld cut off to start school. So they wouldn't let her in ...cue 4 months if her being at home with me. She then did prep in aus and at the end of prep they put her in a class of the year above (ie. year two) but still assess her as a year one if hat makes sense. I have mixed feelings... I was irritated that they didn't take her straight away, but my overall preference is for her to be the right age and in with her peers, while there isn't much difference say at 7 and 8 ...there will be when she is older and it comes to going out and getting drunk etc. in general I don't think they do a great deal of messing with ages, but where we are composite classes are very common, which naturally suits our child. She is now in 2/3 composite which is perfect, she does her work with the year 3s but plays with year 2s and less cool/mature 3s!

In terms of daycare options, well it really depends on which state you are in but long daycare, kindy, family daycare, nannies are all common options.

PinotGreedy Wed 06-Aug-14 23:14:05

Thanks Milly, and hi Nutcracker. We are going to Brisbane. And I certainly don't want this to be 'my' thread. I hope other people pitch in with questions too. smile

Interesting tale about your DD, Milly. My DD will have done a year and a bit of school when we move in October, but people have said not to put her in school until the new year - especially as we don't know exactly where we will be living and that would involve a confusing change of schools. It sounds like we'll be at the mercy of the school really. Are blended classes common?

Is family childcare like a childminder, where they look after your child in their own home? Or something else?

PinotGreedy Wed 06-Aug-14 23:21:15

Next question: renting. How quickly can you get a rental property after arriving from the UK? Do they expect you to have an Aussie credit record, references, etc? We emailed an executive leasing agency with some questions but they didn't reply. We have a month in a hotel to start with, but that's no fun with kids and we'd really like to be in a house as soon as we can. Any good or bad experiences of renting after arrival?

Also, I'm a bit embarrassed to ask this, but how is it living with the heat in Brisbane? I am assuming we will want air con and a pool if we can get it. Or is it not so bad once you live there?

NutcrackerFairy Thu 07-Aug-14 00:50:58

Thanks for the warm welcome Pinot.

My DSs will also be 6 and 4 by the time we emigrate to Aus next year so I am very interested in hearing more about the school system and what to expect.

DS1 will have just started Year 2 in the UK by the time we leave and DS2 will have started reception [UK September start]. We are then thinking to move to Brisbane prior to the commencement of the Aus new school year [late Jan?].

I don't know what year level they will go in to in Brisbane... can anyone enlighten me?

Fruitsaladmum Thu 07-Aug-14 01:00:59

Air conditioner is mandatory in Brisbane. Don't rent a house without it or you will regret it (and not evaporative cooling, you need reverse cycle).
Honestly I think pools are more trouble than they are worth. There is a lot of hassle over cleaning them and you would be hard pressed to find a rental place with one anyway (liability issues, kids die in backyard pools every year and if the pool is not up to standard the owner could be held liable).
There are a lot of public pools around Brisbane anyway. If you get a place with a lawn can get a splash pool very cheap.

Have not come from the uk but never had much trouble renting. Rents in Brisbane are quite expensive because there are a lot of workers coming in from different places but also means agencies are experienced in dealing with people from different places and should not be put off by uk references.

Expect a lot of bugs and wildlife. If you get an older house or lower level apartment cockroaches are quite common and there are a lot of spiders. The big huntsman spiders are scary looking but not poisonous.

Surfsup1 Thu 07-Aug-14 05:16:21

Renting in Australia is a bit different to renting in the UK (or London at least). You don't get driven around by an agent to look at places, you look up all the ads on the internet and write down the Open-for-inspection times and then you have to make your way around and view them. If you can find someone to mind the kids while you search you probably should as it can be a long tedious process.

In a competitive market (my experience is only Sydney based) you will want to be prepared with photocopies of references, proof of employment etc and be ready to fill in an application on the spot. We also found that lots of people were offering to pay 6 month+ in advance to secure a place they really wanted.

Be REALLY nice to the real estate agents!

Anyway, maybe it's not so bad up in QLD?

PinotGreedy Thu 07-Aug-14 08:36:23

This is good advice, thank you so, so much. Although now I'm not sure if I'm more scared of the bugs or the estate agents. wink

Interesting about rental prices, fruitsalad. I thought they seemed quite high compared to the property values. Maybe we should buy? But that wouldn't be possible from the start, so we really do have to rent. I rashly promised the kids a pool, so we may have to have a little 'discussion'!

Millytint Thu 07-Aug-14 08:50:13

Hi Pinot, mmm I would have thought it would be worth waiting til January for the new school year.... That way you will have had a chance to get a feel for places, work out what the commute etc is like. Yes family daycare is where a regulated provider looks after a few children in their home.

We have a pool in a rental.... And it is quite common where we are, but we are quite a bit further north than you and space isn't so much of a premium. Would just make sure maintenance is included in your rental agreement . Costs are high, but buying was also prohibitive for us due to the need for v large deposits. We spend more on housing and basic living costs than we did in the uk, but much less on going out.

Millytint Thu 07-Aug-14 08:50:50

Would echo being nice to agents and dressing smart so you look respectable!

PustyRussell Thu 07-Aug-14 08:51:17

Marking my place. Potential move to Melbourne in Jan, will find out next week, so will no doubt have loads of questions!

NutcrackerFairy Thu 07-Aug-14 09:18:37

Oh Pusty I love Melbourne.

A very elegant, cosmopolitan city. With seasons very similar to the UK [but warmer!]

I would prefer to live there rather than Brisbane if I'm honest but I probably need to go where family are so DC can have the experience of living close to grandparents, aunt and uncle, cousins...

How are you feeling about your potential move?

Millytint Thu 07-Aug-14 09:30:05

I love Melbourne too....if I was single...sigh

PustyRussell Thu 07-Aug-14 09:44:45

I've never been! But DH went in June to meet the people he'd be working with and liked it (although he HATED the flight).

It's not something we'd ever considered but he was approached about the job in March and we've decided that we'd be daft not to give it a go, as we can always come back if it's not for us. We will be taking our 4yr old DD and 1yr old DS.

I'm excited and nervous in equal amounts. And the thought of all the packing and organising is slightly daunting!

We are just waiting to hear back whether they are happy with a Jan start date!?!

PinotGreedy Thu 07-Aug-14 10:45:22

Hello Pusty! I actually lived in Melbourne myself 15 years ago when I was single, for a year. I loved it! I would very happily go back. I had an apartment in Port Melbourne and a lovely lifestyle with a restaurant obsession!

But Brisbane it is for us this time, and I am expecting it to be much hotter there. I'm bracing myself for that. I will also have to learn how to dress smart in the heat. I am already motivated to lose weight so that I can feel confident with bare arms and legs!

Milly, yes we intend to wait until January to restart the children's schooling, so I guess the period after we arrive in October will be finding which suburb we are going to live in, visiting schools, and having these discussions. But the children will be bored so I want to find a way to give them some structure during that time.

Millytint Thu 07-Aug-14 11:19:26

Structure shouldn't be too hard.... Mornings of chores like finding places to live, sorting out banks...yawn with afternoons at south bank, state library, goma, ... I attempted a bit of casual home schooling with dd but made it all topic based, so we learned about the sea, for example, or stralian animals including trips around what we had learned. Nice really, blocks out all memories of breast feeding sweaty ds could also enrol in intensive swimming lessons as I way of meeting some mummas. Also find local playgroups through playgroups qld website. My local one was run at the kindergarten and is just super.

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