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How to even start a move to Oz

(24 Posts)
Nocarbsorsugar Wed 10-May-17 19:42:19

So I want a complete change/ fresh start. One DS 12. I have put a move forward to him and the only place he wants to go to is Australia. I don't care where really, used to live in the States before said child - so why not.
But I don't know where to begin. I can teach and I did an online visa assessment aside. If I was looking to move where is a good place get an honest description of where in Australia would suit us .It's so big.

TerrorAustralis Thu 11-May-17 04:17:43

What are you looking for in terms of lifestyle? What does your DS imagine when he thinks about living there? Will you want to buy a house, and how much will you have to spend?

The major cities all have different things to offer, and all have their own drawbacks too.

Sydney has the beautiful harbour, but it's a big, busy city and a nightmare to get around. Housing costs are out of control at the moment.

Melbourne has great culture and lifestyle, but unpredictable weather. It's also got a rapidly growing population and the cost of housing is second only to Sydney.

Perth is beautiful, has stunning beaches and is sunny almost year round. Housing costs are coming down. But it's a cultural backwater (known as Dullsville) and can be extremely parochial. Also very spread out (have to drive long distances to get anywhere).

Brisbane I don't know as well as the others. The weather is quite humid, which can really be a killer in summer. It's also prone to cyclones and has experienced severe flooding in recent years, which you need to bear in mind when looking for somewhere to live. Other than that I think it's a bit like Perth in that it's very spread out and is often accused of being boring and a bit behind the times.

Adelaide, I know even less about, but is apparently very liveable. It's small, affordable, has good weather (similar to Perth) and a lot of cultural festivals.

Ginandplatonic Thu 11-May-17 04:26:06

Tell us a bit more about what you are looking for, what sort of weather you like, whether you are city or country people, what your DH's job is (eg does he need to be in big city), what your interests are etc, and people will be better able to advise.

kiwipie Thu 11-May-17 05:21:38

What are you looking for?
I know about Brisbane, sydney and rural NSW.
Feel free to ask any questions!

OneTitWonder Thu 11-May-17 05:25:13

What do you teach? Some subject areas are desperately needed in Australia, others are totally oversupplied. Also, personally I would not want to try and live in Sydney or Melbourne on a single teacher's salary.

ICJump Thu 11-May-17 05:30:12

You missed Darwin and Canberra off the list smile

Canberra is pretty and cold. The politicians are here a lot! It has good state education. Housing is pretty expensive and you need a car. It's 2 hours from the snow or the beach and 3 hours ish to sydney.

Darwin I hear it's hit and has crocodiles

I'm know some regional cities in Victoria if that's a help. And the south eastern parts of nsw

NightCzar Thu 11-May-17 05:54:48

They just changed some of the visa categories last month. Have you double checked again?

Not wanting to negative but just in case it affects you.

MaitlandGirl Thu 11-May-17 06:03:48

You'll also need to get permission from DS's dad - which can be a pain.

I love living here and wouldn't ever consider a move back. We moved when the kids were 13, 11 and 9 and it was honestly the best thing for them.

I'd never live in one of the state capitals though, far too expensive. We're about 3hrs north of Sydney (in the country) and it's a great lifestyle.

Mise1978 Thu 11-May-17 06:04:28

I live in Brisbane. We are NOT prone to getting cyclones. And we are NOT as humid as cities like Sydney.

We are an inland city. 100km from the cost. We get the odd freak storm, but we do not get cyclones.

I live on the north side and we might get a large amount of rain in a 24 hour period once in a blue moon. Some thunderstorms. But nothing destructive really.

It hardly rains here. It is sunny most days of the year. Yes, we had some flooding a few weeks ago, but that was in just one part of Brisbane and mostly other areas of the State. It rarely happens. And even rarer does it ruin lives, etc.

Yes, we get a few humid days in Brisbane. But unlike Sydney and other places, our temperatures are very mild. The hottest it might get is 36-38 a few days of the year. But we usually sit around 30-34 for most of summer, spring and beginning of autumn. Our winters are warmer and milder too.

Our weather is much more calmer than places like Sydney and Melbourne. Where it can and does jump from 25 degrees one day to 44 degrees the next. Where they go below zero in winter.

That other poster was quite dramatic about Brisbane.

We have a smaller population. About 1/2 of Sydney. It is safe here. The city is dull compared to Sydney.

But it is safe and a lot slower pace than bigger cities.

Brisbane is renown for having the largest city area with the smallest population in the world. So we are spaced out.

You will need a car. Trains are great. Buses are great. But there are not as many places you can get to on them.

If you choose Brisbane. You should move to the north side or inner city suburbs. It has a better reputation than the south. Stay away from places near Logan (which is a neighbouring city).

Rents are high. Property prices high. But not as high as Sydney or Melbourne.

Brisbane is not as multicultural as other cities. Which can be a good thing sometimes. You want your child to go to a school where most children can speak english. I have a friend teaching in Western Sydney and her classroom is mostly foreign children from Asia/Africa and it is hard to teach them as there are 30 kids in the class with hardly any of them speaking proper English. You don't want that. That is what you'll find in lower socio-economic areas like Western Sydney. The southern edges of Brisbane etc. Hopefully it will change in the future.

Foid is expensive nowadays. Electricity expensive. Public Transport costs are alright. Queensland does not give free bus tickets for children. My friend's child was many kilometres from school. Wasn't given a free bus pass. But I am sure other school with bus transport is free.

The lifestyle is great, especially in Queensland. Much more laid back. But you pay for this privilege. EVERYTHING costs.

There is no "make a list" to pick the schools you hope your kid will get to go to here. You can apply to get into the school in your catchment area and you HAVE to be given a spot. Even areas with army bases. The schools, private and public have to leave spaces free for army children.

No daylight savings in Queensland.

Biggest downside is, Australia is NOT employee friendly. We are a "fire at will" country. You will need to have to get use to this. I lived in Europe for fourteen years. I remember the nice holiday times, paid sickleave, etc. But as you are a teacher, I think with teaching you might get a lot of protection and holidays in a Government school, but you can't be taking lots of sickleave etc anyway.

You also need to be able to care entirely for yourself. There are few to no safeguards regarding long term sicknesses, etc. So you need to have savings, should anything prevent you from working. You'd never survive on the dole here, living alone with a child.

Single parents are mostly at the bottom of the barrel here. You get no special treatment. If you are able to get Family Benefits you might get a little extra. Regarding child support. You also need to prove why you can't go after a non-paying parent if you aren't getting child support. The Government needs to approve of the reason. If it is not accepted, your Family Benefits are less.

But it is so much nicer living here than in Europe, at the moment. With all the uncertainty.

It is so calm and so peaceful and warm most of the year in Brisbane.

Welcome to Australia, if you come.

MaitlandGirl Thu 11-May-17 06:21:43

Just wanted to add - youth unemployment is a huge issue here (certainly locally, not sure about in other states) and further education colleges are being closed due to lack of funding.

Obviously this won't be an immediate concern but certainly something to consider with your son. If he wants to go to university you'll need citizenship to be able to get student loans, otherwise its payment up front per semester.

Drugs, especially ice/crystal meth, are also a huge issue. I'm totally out of touch with the uk drug stats so don't know if Australia is worse or not.

Mise1978 Thu 11-May-17 06:57:08

That is true MaitlandGirl.

I think unemployment issues are with 28-25 group, right? Where employers want 10 years experience. Or the jobs a lot of them do are entry level (while studying) and employers either pay for under 18s, cheaper or those 457 work visas. To again get away with paying less.

The drug scene is really only a problem if you go to those types of areas. As a tewcher, I can't really see the OP living in a crappy area. Not to say the drug problens aren't elsewhere. But I really believe it is the area and people you hang around which play a big part in it.

I live in a decent middle to kind of upper middle class older area of Brisbane. It is safe and there are no drug problems here. Crime is very little.

Australia is a pretty decent place to live. We don't have riot problems or racial problems, like America and other countries. Our "ghetto" areas are nowhere as bad as some in Europe or America.

Sadly though. Political Correctness is awful here. And we (Government) pander non-stop to the minority groups, even when it is detrimental to the majority of Australians. Our Government cares very little for us and they live in their own little rich people untouchable society. But I suppose that is the norm everywhere these days.

Australians are also very materialistic now. Like mini America. We have to follow all America does now. Bla. I hate it. Wasn't like that before I left to live overseas for 14 years.

As for a visa to get here. Fill out the forms. You do a work visa form which gives you a number at the end. If you meet the criteria you shoukd apply.

It will cost ALOT for the visa for both of you and you will have to pay ALOT for subsequent visas. As in the $1000s. It is not cheap.

LaPharisienne Thu 11-May-17 07:18:30


Multicultural schools full of kids from all over the world are fantastic. I went to one and would be hap to send my children to one.

Political correctness is not awful in Australia. It is the most openly racist country I have lived in other than South Africa.

As for pandering non-stop to minority groups, what are you smoking?!!!! This is one of the most outrageous and patently untrue statements I have ever heard. Oh no, wait, "we don't have racial problems". That is the most outrageous and patently untrue statement I have ever heard.

A great reminder of why I would never move back.

kiwipie Thu 11-May-17 07:34:46

Eh! Aussie is most definitely full of political correctness, it is soooo blatantly racist! I would ignore a lot of what Mise said,
There is a huge racial problem here.

kiwipie Thu 11-May-17 07:35:13

Most definitely NOT*

PaintingByNumbers Thu 11-May-17 07:41:13

and thats what its like in oz, op ...

Mise1978 Thu 11-May-17 07:43:58

I am entitled to my own opinion of how I see things.

Yes multicultural schools are great! I have no problems with them. But my friend is a teacher in one where she sees the negative side of having a classroom full of children, who cannot understand half of their schooling and she needs to spend excess time helping them. Which again is NO problem. But the other English speaking children then miss out when they need attention and time. That was my point. And my friend sees the negative side of it. Even though she loves her job. We all want the best help we can get for our children.

And yes. The political correctness is getting out of control here. You can keep your rose coloured glasses on if you want to.

And yes, we do pander a lot to minorities. They are never asked to fit in with the majority. Lets see some examples. Changing animal names because the name of the animal offends a tiny minority. Changing basic non-racist childrens songs, because again, some small minority are offended. Or the latest..... That awful woman who made our most treasured ANZAC Day into her own stupid political agenda. She could not even be grateful Australian men gave her all that freedom she spouts her shit about on the ABC. She was not fired and it was infact announced she had the job she did because she was brown and a Muslim. Yet other "white" presenters had been fired for very minor infractions.

I work with mostly non-Australians and there are no issues with racism. I have non-white, non-Australian bosses. And wow..... most are women. Again, no problems with racism, sexism. So, no, racism is not everywhere. And I adore my co-workers and don't see their colour or sex as anything.

So yeah. I don't care what you think of my opinion. I am entitled to it without being told I am an awful person. Thank you.

Mise1978 Thu 11-May-17 07:53:00

Anyway. I've lived in Europe and seen what real racism is like in a mostly white, mostly non-multicultural country. The country I lived in, many employers wouldn't even interview a foreigner, based on their name alone. Thankgod most of Australia is not like that, or there'd be few people employed. Australia is a great country with mostly wonderful non-racist people and lots of multiculturalism. But it is not without its faults. But those faults are very small compared to many other countries in the world.

I am bowing out. Sorry to the OP. You didn't ask for this. I hope you can come experience my country and see for yourself smile

FinallyHere Thu 11-May-17 08:01:54


Back to the topic at hand

We have family in Newcastle, about two hours north of Sydney. It has amazing scenery, ocean and river frontage. A really vibrant, accessible arts scene and further afield I am a big fan of Maitland Regional Arts Centre. University, great coffee shops. It feels like a large city but on a manageable scale.

I would encourage you to add it to your list of places to investigate.

TerrorAustralis Thu 11-May-17 08:27:44

We are an inland city. 100km from the cost.

Er, no it's not.

MaitlandGirl Thu 11-May-17 12:21:02

I can assure you I don't live in a 'crappy area' (houses in my local area are regularly selling for over $1m) but there is still a significant problem with ice in the area. Drugs are such a problem in Australia that the roadside breath testing stations now do roadside drug tests as well, and that's a countrywide initiative

I agree with those saying racism is a problem. It's a huge problem. Unfortunately there's a lot of "send them home" type attitudes and lots of intolerance towards Islam especially. As with most countries the racists have very loud voices but we're fighting back and getting louder.

FinallyHere as my user name shows were near Maitland. It's a beautiful city ideally placed for the vineyards and the beach.

One of the best things I love about living here is the social weekend ethic. Weekends are so important and really the whole point of the working week.

FinallyHere Thu 11-May-17 12:49:49

Maitlandgirl. I think i have local arts centre envy. Sigh.

36plusandtrying Thu 11-May-17 13:48:00

I'm in Oz - pm me if you want some further info on the ups and downs !

Nocarbsorsugar Thu 11-May-17 16:14:05

Thank you all! That's an amazing start.
I am interested to read the views about anything - the perception of a place is just as vital as the reality.
I'm a SEN teacher at secondary level but have no experience of teaching ESL students.
I had assumed the job market/training opportunities for young people was good ( based on nothing at all!). I will definitely have to think about that.
As to what I like it's pretty much what everyone does really. A vibrant friendly community, access to interesting things, sea, countryside, good shops. However like most of us it will be about compromising.some of those for something else. I will investigate Mainland and Newcastle as starting points. See if I can pinpoint what it is I'm looking for.

The enforced holidays in teaching make " getting away" a consideration in the uk.For those of you that have lived in the UK/ Europe - how does it feel to not have short breaks somewhere " different". Where or how do you holiday? Does the weekend social life mean you don't need to escape so much.

LaPharisienne Fri 12-May-17 07:28:35

If you want interesting things to do, vibrant friendly community and access to beautiful great outdoors I'd vote Melbourne. Kids going on, great atmosphere, very multicultural with the accompanying fantastic food and beautiful Victoria isn't too far away. Sydney is expensive and busy, tho awesome and far more spectacular than Melbourne. Perth is very remote and can feel like a small town if you live there, tho it has the most brilliant city beach ever. I haven't lived in the other cities.

If you really want to be on the coast and you can find a job, there are some great communities around Byron bay and along the great ocean road. Might be feasible for a teacher? But you might also feel like the bright lights are a looooong way away if you're used to city living in the UK.

It is worth bearing in mind that the further away from the sea you get the cheaper it is, and it is still beautiful and amazing, but the harder it is to ignore the awful situation indigenous Australians are in and what the white locals think about them. As nice as those locals are likely to be to you if you are white and speak English as your first language.

When we were in Australia we didn't miss being able to travel overseas all the time because we were lucky enough to be able to afford one overseas trip a year anyway and the rest of the time we enjoyed Australia. We are pretty outdoorsy tho.

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