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SDTCPT

In the immortal words of Supernatural... The Journey So Far...

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SDTCPT

Let me start this journal by saying that this will be the first time in my life that I will be attempting to keep a journal of any kind. So if your are reading this expecting Nr1 best selling author type writing please leave now otherwise you are in for a bit of a disappointment :lol:

That said, I will bee keeping this journal as a reminder of why we decided to take the big step, how far we have come and hopefully how we experience our first couple of days, weeks, months in Aus. If by some weird turn of events some one finds some of my experiences helpful in their own journey so much the better as I have gotten a lot of hints, tips and encouragement from reading the posts of others on this forum.

Anyway...lets continue pretending to work on this glorious Friday afternoon in Cape Town so the boss does not get to melodramatic :holy:

Will add more thoughts when I have a chance.

To be continued...

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PTLF

Hi SDTCPT,

When will you be leaving and where to in Aus?

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Mara

Don't you just love these writers of mystery novels? I am also after the when and where! After all, every good book gives a hint of the contents!

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SDTCPT

Where this all started...

A bit more than three years back my brother in law was headhunted by an company in Aus (not a lot a people does what he does being a Chemical Engineer specializing in smelters). This lead to the thought "What if..." popping into my head. But that is where it stayed only to pop out again at different times. My wife and I talked about moving a couple of time but life has a way of mucking up plans like nobody's business. So after its brief moment in the sun the thought went back to it's hibernation...

Jump forward to 2014, 30 November to be precise. We were at my parents for my dad's birthday and my uncle was there as well. He worked for the City of Cape Town high up in the finance department, but got tired of the politics and being f'd about so he retired and now makes a boat load more doing the same thing for the municipality as a consultant (not in Cape Town though). Anyway back to the story... he talked a bit about what he is seeing in his job and what his take on the economy etc is. Seeing that he kind of knows what he is talking about, my wife and I listened with interest, but I did not pay it to much mind... I mean we just bought a house in May, work for me was going good, my wife just finished studying for the qualification for which she has almost 10 years experience... BUT on the drive back home my wife surprised me by bringing up the topic of us thinking seriously about Moving to Aus if we could... It was a bit of a surprise coming from her as I always thought that I would be the driving force behind the move should it happen... :D

Well I thought, seeing as we both really need to think about making a move out of our respective companies for career growth (she has too much skills for the way her company uses her and I am 2IC to a great YOUNGISH boss, so for me to grow I would need to move...) WHY NOT think about moving to Aus. We are both still young and we are and only ever will be a family of 2, so even if we need to take a step or 3 back in our careers we are not that far along that it will be such a major thing.

Also we were in the lucky position that we have already been to Aus (Bunbury in WA to be exact) for 3 weeks in 2013 to visit her brother, so we kind of had and idea of what it is like. The first week we were there, both my BIL and SIL still worked so we could mission about on our own. We went shopping at Woolies for groceries (damn were we in trouble with the inlaws for doing that... but that is a whole other story) drove around Bunbury, had some Hungry Jack's, basically just exploring, seeing how things worked and having a ball. Now I know vacationing in a place is way different that living there, but it did give us a small taste of what it would be like. (I don't know if it is normal in Aus to get milk with flavouring and ice in it when you ask for milkshake (DAMN I don't hope so), but that is what we got both times (once in Bunbury and once at Perth airport) when we ordered it...) And while I am on the subject of things that are different, what's up with all the Hi Viz clothing the Aussies wear? I swear the only thing in Hi Viz I did not see either on some one or in the shops was Hi viz underwear.

But seriously now, back to the story...

So I thought why not give I a shot, but lets not kid ourselves, easy it won't be. If we want to give this adventure a go, we need to do it now. I am right on the edge of the age where I can get the maximum points and if we wait any longer it will only get harder. So after a bit more should we or shouldn't we on the part of my wife ironically, we decided to make a go of it. So on to the interwebs I go and that is where I found this forum and the helpful people on it.

Edited by SDTCPT
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SDTCPT

On the subject of DHA documents...

So by reading on the Aus Immi website I see that we would need unabridged birth and marriage certificates and according to various posts on the forum it know we need to apply for these ASAP, so off we go to Malmesbury's DHA office, but seeing as we needed to get to our friends we only had time to pick up the forms so we could fill them in and come back another time to complete the application process. Flash forward to 20th December, off we go to the Paarl DHA office, we get in line way before the bloody rooster crows, get to the front and the lady tell us that wee don't have all the forms we need. So she slaps us with two more forms for the birth certificates an another one for the marriage cert. So we fill this out and go to the cashier to pay. So I ask her why do we need to fill out three forms that says exactly the same thing but in a different way and why did the Malmesbury office not give us all the documents when we were there? No she say's Malmesbury would just have told us to come back to fill in more forms when Head Office told them they did not have enough info, but they know that Head Office stuffs up sometimes so they get as much info as possible up front and then they can just submit it should they need to and then we don't have to come in the office again. On that note, if you can get it, get a copy of your marriage register page where all the details of the couple, the venue, the witnessed and the marriage officer is recorded. The lady told us that sometime Head Office can't find the record of your marriage and then if they have a copy of this they just send it to Head Office as proof of the marriage and this speeds up the process of getting the cert.

So on the 13th of Jan, after our short vacation and about 4 weeks after we were at the Paarl office, I thought maybe I should phone the hotline to see if there is any progress with our app and if not just remind them that I have not gone away, I still need the certs ASAP. Would you believe or Birth certs are ready for collection (after being submitted to Head Office on the 6th of Jan, but the marriage cert is not ready yet. And still is not as of the 20th, but I will phone them again tomorrow the 26th as I would like to make only one trip to collect all the docs, but if the marriage cert is still not ready by next weekend I will go and get the birth certs before the filing fairies hide them forever... here's to holding thumbs that all will be ready by the weekend...long shot I know.


On using an agent or not,

After reading a lot of good things about Stephen from MOA I decided to contact him for an assessment of our chances of getting a visa and to get a quote on what it would cost for his services. Outcome... he thinks we stand a chance to get it with me as primary applicant. But unfortunately my finances won't allow me to use him and pay for all the other expenses that is part of the process, but I would recommend his services to any one as he is a great bloke (from the couple of times I mailed him), always ready to answer questions etc. Thanks for all your help Stephen.

So we are going it alone at the moment, but should we encounter any hiccups along the way I will definitely find the finances somewhere so I can make use of his services.

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SDTCPT

IETLS and the stress involved...

So after applying for our certs in Dec I booked me and my wife's IELTS test for the 17th of Jan and the 7th of Feb respectively. For my skills to be assessed by ICAA (I'm an accountant but not a CA), I need 7's across the board on the Academic test.. My wife just needs to prove functional English so she only need to write the General test as she has no other way of proving it.

So with a deep feeling of pain I pay the R2400 a pop and book our tests. Now for the prep and stress because I need at least 7 and Stephen told me to aim for 8... hell man I'm Afrikaans and even though I use English daily getting 8's are stressing me a lot.

So I start to prep using the resources that the British Council make available to you in the confirmation e-mail and various other sites I got from the forum and by searching on the web.

Come the morning of the test I get up hell early for a weekend and drive in to Cape Town to the venue. Get there at about 7 and wait till almost 8 for anything to happen. At 9 the test starts...listening and reading did not go to bad I think. Writing I am not so sure about, but all I can do is wait and see. Luckily my speaking part was not that late so I had a coffee and waited for my slot. Disaster of all disasters, I ran out of things to say during the topic part and had the guy giving me the sign to continue speaking :oops: Hopefully I did well enough during the whole speaking part that that won't be too much of a problem...

I'll tell you one thing, the wait for the results is killing me as I am not really a very patient person... like I said the rest of the steps in this process rests on these results. Come on 7's :ilikeit: (I sound like one of those guys you see in the movies when they play craps at the casinos...)

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SDTCPT

Getting anything out of our educational institutions.

So full of hope that I will get the scores that I need on the IELTS, I contacted both CPUT and UNISA to get the full syllabi for the subjects I did with them (ND and BTech Cost and Management Accounting with CPUT from 2001-2004 and some accounting and audit subjects from UNISA in 2006 and 2007).

Got hold of two very helpful ladies at both and got the info on the same day from CPUT and two days later from UNISA.

But major problem, CPUT only keeps their records for syllabi for 10 years so they could only give info as from 2004. Emailed Vuyo and told her why I needed the info and what my concerns were regarding the fact that the info relates to 2004 and some of the course code does not match the codes on my academic record. So she send my mail to the HOD of Cost and Management Accounting and BAM I get an e-mail from him that just f'd up my Tuesday, "I am sorry to say that even though we would like to help you with your request, we are unable to do so as our records only go back 10 years". F&*^ I think there goes my chances of getting my skills assessed. So on to the forum I go so I can vent my frustration somewhere where somebody might understand.

Seems though that I might have been a bit hasty, because just after I wrote my vent, I received another e-mail from Vuyo with a letter form the HOD confirming that I was a student at CPUT, that I got my ND and BTech, that the syllabus for the ND did not change from 2001-2003 to 2004, that some of the course codes did change, but giving a list of these and that some of the course names and codes changed but that the core syllabi were the same and giving a list of these as well.

So hopefully armed with this letter and all the other info I can get a positive assessment from ICAA when I submit my assessment. Now if only I can get my IELTS results...


Edited by SDTCPT

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rozellem

Oh, please tell us the Woolies/In Laws story. :whome:

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SDTCPT

Hi rozellem,

It's not really that big of a story. We were in a bit of trouble with the inlaws because we used our spending money to buy groceries. But I mean come one, we were visiting for 3 weeks no way was I not going to contribute to the food etc. It is just not in me to sponge off anyone like that. Besides that was part of the fun, going to the shops by ourselves, seeing what such a shopping trip might cost us, seeing all the new and different items on the shelf (if anyone asks, the reason my wife is moving to Aus, it's for the whipped peanut butter :ilikeit:) and using the self service tills. So with that lesson leant I did not buy any groceries in such big lots for the rest f the trip, but snuck them in anyway :whome:

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rozellem

Yip, know all about that. I have been out of RSA for 18 years and have always been been very hospitable when it comes to putting up (sometimes quite random) visitors. It actually came as a bit of a shock initially, to realise what "difficult" house guests South Africans can be. They can come over as mega spoilt, ungrateful and inconsiderate. I blame the insular/living in a bubble existence people in RSA lead. They are totally oblivious to it, obviously. Good on you for contributing to basic household runnings. That is something that really soothes the experience for everybody. I've had some beauties. We had one woman stay with us, asking after a week, when the cleaner was coming, because there was now lots of (her) hair collecting on her floor. One girl called in a panic, I gave her emergency accommodation and food for a couple of days. After she left the room was a complete mess with lots of junk left behind, plus the bed unmade. That's my point. You dont have to contribute financially. But, if you could clean as you go, make your bed or even cook us a meal from the stuff in our kitchen cupboards, we would remember you fondly.

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Mara

Amen to that Rozellem, that is why I no longer offer accommodation to newcomers.

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PTLF

That is sad. I didn't realise south africans are spoilt to that point.

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EmNew

So glad that the syllabus part of your assessment requirements was resolved, and holding thumbs that the required IELTS results are forthcoming :D The journey seems to gather steam once the skills assessment part is done and dusted.

We are both still young and we are and only ever will be a family of 2, so even if we need to take a step or 3 back in our careers we are not that far along that it will be such a major thing.

We're also a twosome for life, and also feel that at least it's only us that will 'suffer' from going backwards to go forwards. I just see it as re-skilling, and not a step backwards really. As accountants, we would have to learn the new tax regime anyway, and going back to foundation level accounting etc would help with that, is how I see it.

Edited by EmNew

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Mara

PTLF, I agree it is sad, but like Rozellem I had some absolute doozies in my time. Except for one girl that asked to stay for two months, I never charged anyone for staying. What broke the camels back for us, was a young couple that stayed for a week. After a few days hubby asked me to go and check the bathroom, wow you should have seen the state, towels on the floor, soap scum on the shower glass, dirty rings on the bath, hair in the basin, etc. When I politely asked them to please clean the bathroom, as they were the only users, they replied "we don't do bathrooms, we were wondering when it would be cleaned". That was it, we were done.

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PTLF

WOW! Spoilt indeed. :glare: Cleaning up after oneself is easy and those kinds of people must change their mindset. They are in a new country! They must adapt to the country, the country can't adapt to them.

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4viljoens

WOW, I can't believe there is people like that!!! I feel ashamed and hope that not all South Africans are seen like that in Aus...

SDTCPT, I also got an assessment through ICAA and still have everything of my UNISA syllabus. If you need anything let me know, and I can email it to you.

I also looked into doing the CTA1 and CTA2 courses, but at the moment our funds are limited and DH will need some cash to get settled next month.. Me and our 2 kids will join him 2 months later. I was thinking to get a casual / part time job at an accounting firm to help with the financial year end rush. Even data capturing or only reconciliations will be fine, as long as I can get a foot in the door. Maybe prove myself and get a permanent placement and then get the necessary tax training - wonder if I am too optimistic... but I will give it a go.

Apparently being CPA (SA) registered means nothing in Aus.... I enquired with CPA (Aus), and seems like I would have to redo the training

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SDTCPT

Ok so the quote button ain't working...or I'm just techno incompetent... I leave that up to you to decide :blush-anim-cl: because I can't even quote my own post :oops:

I was reading a post by AFreshStart about what a privilege it is to be able to emigrate to Aus and there was a post by Crisplet metioning some one complaining about the milkshake in Aus... Well I don't know if Crisplet has read this journal or is referring to me seeing as I mentioned milkshake in my post "Where it all began...", but just in case that was aimed at me... I did not post that to knock Aus, I actually was trying to find out if that is the standard or if I ordered the wrong thing? I know that coffee with milk is called a flat white, so maybe I had the wrong name for the kind of milkshake I was looking for (the kind you can't drink with a straw :D)

Also about the hi viz...is the wearing thereof a regulation of some kind? I would hazard a guess that it is seeing that so many people wear it...

Anyway enough about that... I just wanted to clear that up :ilikeit:

Update...

Still waiting for IELTS results, but I have all my other docs for the skills assessment ready and certified so as soon as I get the results it's off to ICAA they go... here's to hoping I get them by Friday (13 days after the test as per the Council)

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Fish

...so maybe I had the wrong name for the kind of milkshake I was looking for (the kind you can't drink with a straw :D)

The really thick one's where you have to suck the straw hard are called "thick shakes" in oz. Some places will sell both thick shakes and milk shakes, some will sell one or the other.

Edited by Fish

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SDTCPT

See that's what I'm talking about...things get lost in translation...

Thanks Fish :ilikeit: now I know what to order next time.

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Mara

Another to watch out for is if you are told to wear your "thongs".... they are talking about slops, not panties!

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SDTCPT

Thanks Mara,

Getting that one wrong would have to be called awkward :oops:

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rozellem

Someone will be along shortly to correct me, but my explanation on the hi-viz brigade: They all generally work either with their hands or outside. The need to be visible, so you dont endanger yourself or can spot them quickly and go ask for assistance. They can work for the state (digging a ditch, working on power lines, or maintaing something, a postman) or they could be working for a private company (plumber, cleaner in the mall, construction worker). Or you could be like my husband, on two wheels, commuting to work. There will be official workplace health and safety laws stating when they need this.

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SDTCPT

DHA docs done and dusted...

Ok so after applying for the unabridged birth and marriage certificates on the 20th of December 2014, I confirmed on Monday the 26th of January 2015 that al three are waiting for us to come and collect them. just over a month for all three I think is not too bad. I might just think that the DHA are actually willing to be efficient these days. (the Birth certs were ready two week ago, just had to wait for the marriage cert). So it's of to the DHA we go on Saturday...here's to hoping all the details on the certs are correct.


IELTS, o IELTS...

Damn, it seems that they are really going to make me wait the full 13 days (hopefully not more) for my results. Been checking on the Council's website to see if the 17th of Jan's results are released yet, but still nothing... The only wait that has felt longer than this was the 30 seconds I had to wait on the 17th of December for my final CIMA Cert level exam results. That was the time it took from the moment I hit the "End Exam" button till the lady came out of her office with the results...

Hopefully I get at least 7's so that I can send my skills assessment off to ICAA next week...

For any one else also waiting for their IELTS results, good luck. Hopefully you will still have some nails left after this...

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SDTCPT

And the results are in, well sort of...

Just checked on the Council's website and according to it I have L-9, R-8, W-7, S-7.5 which means I can at least send my skills assessment in when I get my report form. Not the 8's all round I was hoping for, but at least enough for continue. Will see what the assessment results are. Depending on the results of that I will see if I need to re-write the IELTS.

To be continued...

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Mara

Well done...oh wise one!

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