considering a move to australia.

(112 Posts)
chikadee23 Fri 22-Aug-14 13:17:41

hello, my husband and I have 4 children and have been considering a move to Australia for a while now but have never actually looked into it fully.
I was wondering if anybody could tell me anything and everything that they can.
our children are aged between 1 and 11 years and my husband is a joiner so he would be the main applicant I currently work in mental health as a support worker, my qualifications aren't on the skills list.

I have a friend in perth and my husband knows somebody in Brisbane so we have been looking mainly at these 2 areas , but are open to looking elsewhere. any info on cost of living, education and especially anybody who has gone over as a joiner would be really appreciated.

we both drive aswell so vehicle costs would be helpful too.

sorry for the essay and thank you in advance for any replies.

OP’s posts: |
SavoyCabbage Fri 22-Aug-14 13:31:07

The cost of living in Perth is astronomical. Generally everything is more expensive here. Except meat and petrol. You just sort of get used to it though and buy less 'stuff'.

The costs of schools etc would depend on the visa you get so you would need to look into that first.

The websites to look at for housing costs are and

I don't think anyone can help you with the decision of whether it's a good idea as there are just so many things to take into consideration. Everybody has such different circumstances. I think it would help if you didn't have many ties to the uk.

There are lots of threads in Living Overseas you could look through for information.

chikadee23 Fri 22-Aug-14 13:39:04

thank you our ties to the uk are mainly work related, family/friends etc isn't really an issue for us ( long story lol ) but the fact we both have stable jobs with good incomes is the hardest thing to give up when you have 4 kids, I guess though that is something everybody considering the move has to contend with.
I didn't realise that the visa you have can impact on schooling so thank you for that information I will definitely look into that.

OP’s posts: |
SavoyCabbage Fri 22-Aug-14 13:55:57

You have to pay with some visas. Where I live in Victoria each school sets it's own 'fees' which can be a few hundred dollars or a few thousand.

Some schools have lower fees and you buy all the exercise books and pencils.

So you get a list at the end of one year for the next year 'four glue sticks, six boxes of tissues' etc.

We pay $1200 a year. (Per child) my dc are Australian so we just have to pay that like the Australians but my English mate at our school pays about $3000 on top of that. We probably pay another thousand a year for trip, camp, swimming etc. although I have another friend at a different school and they include all of those things in the initial fees.

I'm not sure what the other states do as each state will have its own rules.

Don't get me started on the price of school dresses!

SavoyCabbage Fri 22-Aug-14 14:00:16

And if you aren't leaving behind a close family things will be much easier I would think. If you know people here you could maybe stay with them for a bit while you found your feet.

chikadee23 Fri 22-Aug-14 14:12:15

haha I shall leave the dresses conversation for another day then ! oh gosh im glad I started this thread as there is so much to consider that I haven't thought about and with 4 that will be in school by the time we go its something I do need to think about.

I think the state we choose will be more dependent on job opportunities im not sure on whether he is going to need to retrain from what I have read so far. so I think it would be best to think about maybe looking at a hotel stay until we can find rental accommodation rather than asking people to let us stay with there being 6 of us , my friend in perth only has a 2 bed unit.

can I ask aswell what age is usual for a child to start school ? also what age do they go to high school ? does it dffer between states ?

my eldest ds starts high school in sept hes 11 and my 3rd starts reception as he is 4 now.

OP’s posts: |
SavoyCabbage Fri 22-Aug-14 14:18:51

In Victoria it's pretty much a year later. So you start when you are 5 and 12 roughly but you can choose to hold them back so some are six when they start. And 13 when they go to high school.

I think it's 5 in nsw too. I should remember really as I taught there for two years but I wasn't a parent then so it had less meaning. My dd did reception in the uk before we got here then started again here.


giggly Fri 22-Aug-14 15:26:34

We are just leaving Perth to return to the UK as the cost of living here's as savoy said is ridiculous. Despite having a healthy salary we have a lower standard of living, unable to save and cannot afford decent holidays. It is $2000 just for flights interstate.

We have lovely family and the few years here away from them has I feel been of detriment to my dc.

House rentals in Perth start from $450 a week but that will be in an outer suburb and you'll need 2 cars as public transport apart from trains to the city is dire.

You'll not get much of a house for under $550 000 either.

Plenty of good state schools plenty of great beaches and fabulous parks but not much else tbh.

We were supposed to go to Brisbane but ended up hereconfused

We have lost a fortune coming over but at least we gave it a go and will have a crappier house on our return but hey ho.

chikadee23 Fri 22-Aug-14 16:21:58

thanks savoy,
oh no giggly is it that expensive, I think I may have to think more about Brisbane because if my hubby does need new qualifications from what ive read it can take 6 months, then he will need to find work afterwards so I think we will need enough to support ourselves for at least a year just incase, it doesn't sound like perth would be ideal for us on that basis.

like you say though at least you tried and you can always build back up to what you had before when you get back here.

OP’s posts: |
SavoyCabbage Sat 23-Aug-14 06:30:25


flukeshot Sat 23-Aug-14 06:49:28

I live just south of brisbane. For jobs, it depends on your fields. I'd download an app called Seek or go to to check what's available in your field.
It's lovely here, you'll like it smile

flukeshot Sat 23-Aug-14 06:51:47

My son is starting school next jan, he turns 5 in feb.
You start school the year you turn five, the age cut off goes from August to July so half the kids will have already turned five

StripyBanana Sat 23-Aug-14 06:57:40

This may sound a silly question..
But have you been to australia? Could you go over to the area you might move to for a month and see if you like it? What is it you fancy about Australia or is it just the adventure?

Many people just assume "its a better place to bring kids up" or "I want a more outdoors lifestyle" and either move back or realise they could do that by moving within the uk.

when moving abroad its easy to see initially all the bits that are different that you like, and not so easy to see the differences you

Glastokitty Sat 23-Aug-14 06:59:41

As a contrast we have been in Perth 18 months and absolutely love it! Yes it can be expensive, but we live in the burbs, only have one car and are much better off, financially and quality of life, we are not on massive wages either. It's the best move we ever made, my only regret is not moving years ago. Have you checked your husbands profession is on the skills list as it changes quite a lot, I've had friends caught out by it who had to cancel their emigration plans. Good luck with it, emigration is scary!

StripyBanana Sat 23-Aug-14 07:01:05

Australia is massively expensive. We've spent a fair bit of time over there, and we really wouldn't have much money left after housing and food costs.

After spending yet more time over there, there's now 101 reasons wht it wouldn't suit us and we don't intend to go. We've met so many peopke that went over naiively thinkig its "better" only to move back 2 years later...

Glastokitty Sat 23-Aug-14 07:03:21

As for public transport being dire, I get a bus to work and beg to differ! The buses are clean cheap and ultra reliable, I can set my watch by it. My only criticism is not enough bus shelters, it can get hot waiting.

HowsTheSerenity Sat 23-Aug-14 07:16:49

I live just south of Brisbane too [flukeshot] are you Gold Coast?
There are so many pros and cons regarding the move.
I actually found England cheaper when it came to food, clothes, toiletries etc.
Tony Abbot is a wank. Nothing more to be said on that matter.
Look at the Queensland Health website for mental health jobs.
If you live outside the major cities (in Qld) then public transport is non-existent. Don't expect a train every five minutes in the city. Try every 15-45 minutes outside peak hour.
I could go on about the cons but I should mention the weather (droughts galore!) the bush, the beach, cheaper housing etc

flukeshot Sat 23-Aug-14 07:32:18

No I'm a bit up from you in Logan Serenity but lived on GC from 1995 til 2009! (Also agree with you re Tony Abbott. And Clive Palmer. And Bill Shorten....!)
I've lived here too long to be able to compare prices etc but from what visitors from uk have said it is more expensive - but I think wages are higher too?

HowsTheSerenity Sat 23-Aug-14 08:17:40

I live near you! I live just near Logan.....but work there.

flukeshot Sat 23-Aug-14 09:09:01

How funny! Small world...I always assume I'm the only person in qld on mumsnet grin
(Sorry OP for hijack!)

HowsTheSerenity Sat 23-Aug-14 09:20:59

There are a few but all northsiders I think.
You don't live near, um shall we say, Jimboomba?

chloeb2002 Sat 23-Aug-14 10:00:46

Waves from the Northside of brisbane!
Look at qld health for jobs.. I hope that was a joke??? Don't bother.
I work for q health. Not much longer I hope!
No jobs. Cutting more jobs.. Cutting penalty rates.. Need I go on.
Assistant in mental health may be hard. We don't employ navy hca type roles. More en's. There are ain's on the wards. Not huge numbers.
We too love brisbane tho. I think a joiner would do ok here! Building trade slowly picking up.
State schools not charged in qld yet on a 457.

flukeshot Sat 23-Aug-14 11:01:13

No but I know lots of people who do!!

HowsTheSerenity Sat 23-Aug-14 11:43:04

Oh I am feeling the Qld health pain. Damn stupid merge of departments. Wanker premier.
There are a few mental health jobs in Logan. Always are.

chloeb2002 Sat 23-Aug-14 14:30:26

Caboolture is also a huge mental health base for the Northside.. But really a bad time to join q health!
It's very very different to the nhs!
On some accounts I agree with Campbell's plans for change... Penalty rats. Urr no. The terrible million dollar advertising campaign to screw nurses over.... No.
But hey it's a job. Many people don't have one of those at the moment. Especially the large number of grads about to finish!

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