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So tell me about Canberra...

(15 Posts)
MrsSchadenfreude Thu 07-Aug-08 15:25:09

Am halfheartedly thinking about applying for a job there...

superloopy Thu 07-Aug-08 15:30:09

It's just after midnight here in Oz - eastern states anyway.

It may be a few hrs before you get some replies.

Sorry I can't help, haven't been there.

SSSandy2 Fri 08-Aug-08 11:31:26

My sister lives there, what do you want to know? She seems very happy with the schools (pvt girl's school), big home. Town is very clean, bit planned looking on the whole (which of course it is). Nice museum, artificial lake, not too long a drive to the coast, cold in winter

madcol Fri 08-Aug-08 11:36:09

Wouldn't live there myself. overall a soul-less place with no personality. IME dead as a door-nail. Only government workers seem to live there cos they don't have a choice.

madcol Fri 08-Aug-08 11:36:45

On yes Rubbish weather . Ok if you like skiing.

wheresthehamster Fri 08-Aug-08 11:37:26

You obviously haven't read Down Under by Bill Bryson then MrsS? grin

PhDlfNdsNwLf Fri 08-Aug-08 11:43:08

my mate who did a phd there said the soulless appearance only lasts until you discover the hidden culture of the place. but then he's a physicist.

MavisGrind Fri 08-Aug-08 11:50:02

Hurray - at last a thread I can properly contribute to - I live in Canberra (at least until Sunday).

It is a bit clinical, and the majority of the population is somewhat transient (mainly govt workers) however it really is a fabulous place if you've got children.

I'm going to miss it really - dh's contract has finished - I think it gets a bit of a raw deal from most Aussies if the worst comes to the worst it's only 3 1/2 hour drive to Sydney!

What sort of work are you applying for? Anything specific you'd like to know?

SSSandy2 Fri 08-Aug-08 11:56:57

soulless, yes that's the impression you get of the town centre itself, sort of American style down-town (but not grotty at all). Suburbs are quite nice.

When my sister moved there from London, she didn't initially like it. You know how London is, newspapers wrapping themselves around your ankles as you walk, rising up with the other rubbish to hit you in the face; dingy, dirty looking decrepid old underground tunnels with rickety old elevators and nice pubs where women venture. Canberra she found too clean. She is a photographer and she got a bit depressed driving around looking for a broken gate, a wall with paint peeling of it or something.

She is used to it now and seems quite happily settled there, seh is gradually becoming a proper Sheila.

SSSandy2 Fri 08-Aug-08 11:58:12

ofF it.

MrsSchadenfreude Fri 08-Aug-08 12:22:39

I can do dull and planned - I live near Milton Keynes! grin

Is it easy to get to know people or do they keep themselves to themselves if everyone moves on after a bit?

How easy would it be for girls to transition back into UK school? They would be senior school age when we were due to leave (DD1 would be around 14-15 which is probably crucial age).
Tis a four year contract.

I think that's the only Bill Bryson book I haven't read!

Thanks for your help. DH is keen, although I don't think it would be that easy for him to get a job there (he's in IT).

SSSandy2 Fri 08-Aug-08 14:24:26

Don't think it would be a problem for your dh to get a job, depending on how flexible he is willing to be. Actually my sister moved into IT there never having had anything to do with it before. She did say it wouldn't have been possible if she had not by then got an Australian passport mind. She is married to an Australian so was able to do that. She did say the passport made a big difference re job opportunities generally.

Can't advise about transitioning back. Schools seem good, nice facilities. She sends her 3 to a pvt school but says after all 3 were there, a new state school opened up just a short walk from her home with fabulous facilities and actually they would have been fine there. Don't know how the systems compare but you could supplement (time and inclination permitting) what they do with a few UK workbooks just to be sure the transition back is smooth.

Seem to be endless activities available. You name it, my nieces do it and my sister is ferrying them about all the time from one thing to the next (drama, ballet, music, swimming, fencing, various sociable girly get-together activities). They are all fantastic swimmers (naturally enough), swimming is big there obviously. Summer is very hot and the dc are out a lot, even in winter.

My sister had no problems meeting people there but her dh is a local so his family were there and since he went to school there, he knew his way around and that may have made a difference. IME generally Ozzies are not stand-offish people. Whether you'll click with them or not, I can't say but they are not forbidding or unapproachable.

Certainly coming from Germany, I did find it a very chatty, friendly type of place. I couldn't go anywhere without people coming up and starting to chat (men, women, old, young), found it pleasant and not too over-powering. So on that superficial level, it's easy to be sociable. I don't know how it is with real friendships. Took my sister some time I think to meet people she was on a wave-length with at a deeper level

MrsSchadenfreude Fri 08-Aug-08 15:06:47

Dammit, Ssssandy, you're selling it to me! I'll apply!

ninedragons Tue 12-Aug-08 08:40:56

I am absolutely choking with laughter at the idea of someone moping around looking for peeling paint or a dog turd on the pavement or something to remind them of dear old run-down London.

Super-duper comprehensive household insurance is a must. It is prone to bushfires and every few years there are sad stories on the news with people who now own nothing except what they are standing in. I do think well, you silly buggers, I am very sorry for you but if you have lived there all your life you should know to get insurance.

Facilities in Canberra are excellent - all the civil servants certainly feather their own nest before they do anything for the rest of the country. When I used to live in Sydney and drive to the ski fields, you could actually tell with your bum when you had driven into the ACT (Australian Capital Territory) - the instant you crossed the border, the road would suddenly be as smooth as silk.

moocowme Fri 15-Aug-08 20:53:12

I lived their for a short time and loved it. cold winters/hot summers was a great contrast. I rode my bicycle everywhere! used to ride up round parliment house and the PM's house every other day just for the fun of it. Other hobby was 4WD as their were so many beautiful places up in the mountains. oh and the wineries!!! would love to live their again one day.

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