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Showing content with the highest reputation since 02/12/2011 in all areas

  1. Hello everyone I used to be a member but changed computers and couldn't re-register for some reason so have been an active lurker for many years now (I've finally made the time to create another account). I've been reading a lot of posts recently of people having doubts about coming over and of the negativity in and around Oz, so thought I'd share our story of experiencing both the negatives and positives that Oz has thrown our way. We come from a small town in the Natal Midlands where my husband owned a small engineering company and I worked in accounts. We have 2 boys aged 9 and 12. We arri
    40 points
  2. I have attached a pdf spreadsheet showing the annual, monthly, weekly budget for our household, two adults and one cat. I hope this information will assist those planning their move. We live in Sunbury, north west of Melbourne. Budget for Sunbury 2015.pdf
    39 points
  3. The 100 step process to immigrating to Australia from South Africa What follows is a 100 step process that the average immigrant would need to follow. I write this based on various posts from the www.saaustralia.org forums. So most of the stuff you would have read before. Not everything listed here applies to everyone. Some things are not required for some visas and everyone's situation is different. But maybe you will see something you never thought of. The decision 1. Make the decision to immigrate 2. Make the decision to apply for a visa yourself or to use an immigration agent. 3. Start r
    37 points
  4. We have been in Oz, now close to eight months and thought I'd share some thoughts. Before we left, we received a lot of negative comments (about Oz) from friends in RSA (who have never been to Oz) as well as from those that had returned to RSA from Oz. These comments almost drove us to the point of reconsidering our decision. But we looked beyond these comments and made our move never the less. On arriving in Oz a number of South Africans we met gave us similar comments. Some said that we had made a huge mistake, Aussies are not nice people, too many rules here, etc. Yet one thing we could not
    35 points
  5. My 2 cents on why people generally go back: They simply can not live with the heartbreak of missing their family. If you come from a close family, then it is really really tough to get over that hurdle, and some ppl just don't give it enough time. It takes up to 2 years to get to the point where you're not crying your eyes out. KNOW that you will go through a tough time emotionally, that you will miss your family/friends terribly and cry a lot - sometimes to the point where you can't stop and fall into a deep depression. If you won't cope with that and are unwilling to dig deep and work th
    29 points
  6. Haven't posted for a while, but decided to write up our experiences in the hopes that it helps others. Obviously these are our experiences and views and results may be different for others I hope they are helpful but please remember that there are always many ways to achieve a result and what works/not for one may/not work for another - so please do your own research and always make up your own mind about what is right for you/your family/situation. As with all things in life, the more you are prepared to put in the more you will get out. OK ..... sorry, this may be a long post
    27 points
  7. Hi Guys, In light of the recent spate of negative stories I thought I'd share a particularity positive one, which is nothing short of miraculous! We arrive in Sydney in under 3-weeks and have been looking everyday for 2 months on Real Estate & Domain for potential rentals. My wife found this AMAZING home last week and showed me, I loved it and I couldn't shake the feeling I'd seen it before. I then realize the kitchen is from a cookbook! I'm an avid cook and write for various lifestyle magazines on food, decor & gardening trends, so my pool of media contacts is pretty extensive, as is
    27 points
  8. Oh boy. Here goes. This is something that has bothered me for a very long time. I've had to hold my tongue with a lot of the "us and them" comments that are made that are cringeworthy. I often get comments from the peanut gallery back home in SA about what Australians are supposedly like, from people who have never set foot in this country, and the only stereotypes they have to go on is Shane Warne and David Boone. A lot of South Africans come over with these pre-conceived ideas of what Aussies are like and it's hard to shake. It's easier to blame "the Aussies" if you don't fit in, rather t
    27 points
  9. Well almost... a week to go:) While going through the visa process with all its trials and tribulations, I loved reading everyone's arrival stories... so had to add mine to the list, my personal ramblings.... Can't believe we have been here that long already... I am sure I will say that in years to come. What an amazing journey so far. We landed in Sydney on the 26th of November and stayed with my aunt for two weeks. We got to experience the hustle and bustle of the city, we explored and caught the numerous types of public transport available to us. My cousin loved showing us around, because
    26 points
  10. So finally...almost exactly 3 months after we arrived in Australia (3 months and 1 day to be precise!)...my hubby has been rewarded for his devoted efforts of job searching. Well over 200 job applications later, this evening he received an offer of permanent employment. The company is based in Sydney, so we will be moving from Melbourne to Sydney within this month. The start date has not been finalised yet, but I think they would prefer it was sooner than later. I cannot describe the relief and happiness we both feel that finally this first section of uncertainty has passed and we can start ge
    26 points
  11. Old saying - It takes 1000 days to immigrate. So pretty much 3 years! That’s from the day you arrive, not before! I have been living in Queensland for almost 10 years now (the UK for 6 years before that) and its really after the 3rd year in a country that it starts to feel like home. I have listed some of the happy, sad, funny and strange emotions you might go through when you start your new adventure….all of these are normal….so you are not alone in your journey. Normal for year 1 - Landing in Australia, utter excitement, nerves, exhaustion and disbelief - Panic, missing family and friends, q
    25 points
  12. Hi Guys, I've been here just over a month now. As you might recall from our journal I spent the first week with my sister-in-law, then another week moving into our rental and running around doing heaps of admin before the family arrived. We spent a week together, saw a few of the sites and my wife had her first week of work last week and I had mine with the kids. We couldn't be happier, we've been so blessed and I honestly don't even know where to start. Yesterday we received out Medicare cards, a certificate of enrollment from our son's school and a polite letter saying I've been earmarked to
    25 points
  13. In two days time we will be in Melbourne Australia for five months. It seems like yesterday that I was standing at OT airport, weeping as I said farewell to my brother and his wife. And yet it also seems like another lifetime, almost surreal. That night as we boarded our plane, anxious, excited with three little ones in tow we really had no idea what was waiting for us, what the next few months would hold for us. Like most people on the forum i had read every post for the last four years, planned for everything, looked at the price of bread, milk and eggs, reworked my budget a thousand time
    25 points
  14. Wow, What a set of views. We are here four years in Nov in Perth. We miss our mates and family, I miss St. Lucia but man Aus has grown on me. My faith is in another league, my health is good, work is fine even though the market is a bit wonky. My missus has more mates than she ever had in SA and the kids, well they just slotted right in. I cannot even fathom returning to SA, I feel physically ill at the prospect. In my view Nev nailed it when he said things have changed. I just can't stomach the thought of all the constant vigilance, fear, stress and trauma of watching my bloody back 24/7 for
    24 points
  15. Hi All, My wife and I had a completely hectic and very emotional last month in RSA and sobbed our hearts out at the airport saying goodbye to family (just my wifes parents and they just dropped us which made is a heck of a lot easier)! We had been really carefull weighing out bags and found one was slightly over and another slightly under weight but the chap at OR Tambo was not concerned about it, only thing he was concerned with was that we did not have visas in our passports but once I showed him the visa grant letter he was satisfied. I think the airlines get fined if they let people on wit
    24 points
  16. Today exactly one year ago we climbed off the plane in a very hot, humid and wet Brissie. There have been many ups and downs but I wouldn't change it for the world. We are better off in so many different ways that I have lost count and you couldn't get me to go back for any amount of money or reason in the world. We are happy, our child is happy and thriving in her new school and life's generally good. If you're still wondering if this is for you, they only way you're really going to know is to take the plunge and give it a fair go. Looking forward to what the next year holds.
    24 points
  17. Our PR visa grant came through this morning. About bloody time! Thanks to everyone who helped get us through this whole process. I actually do not think we woould have ever received them if it were not for the exchange of wisdom and support from fellow migrants or potentials.
    24 points
  18. In 2004 we took the plunge and it's been one hell of a rollercoaster ride! We came over on a 457 which had it's own limitations, insecurities, financial implications and frustrations. We were basically in limbo and had absolutely no guarantee that we would be able to stay. The cost of keeping two kids in school and studying without any LAFHA almost killed us and we feared the day we'll be sent packing... Two years later we got PR, bought a house, and finally started to feel like we could put down our roots and plan for the future. We slowly started to become part of our community and our c
    24 points
  19. I am going to try and remember as much as I can because the last couple of days have been an absolute blur and (I think) we are still very emotional and raw at this stage but we are doing well under the circumstances. The Eager2Go family have been here since December and seem to have settled quite nicely and have really been great to us. We made friends with them at a coffee club meeting in Pretoria around this time last year and seem to have just gelled really well. They have made this landing really soft for us and there are no words to thank them for what they have done for us or to express
    24 points
  20. Hello everyone. This is one post I am soooooooooooooooooo!!!!!! happy to be able to make. We did it, we actually landed that illusive rental. A bit of background first. We initially decided to settle down here in Maroochydore but after being here 2 days and bumping into some Saffa's and their Aussie friend we sort of decided to go exploring a bit further north and see what's out there. One of the major reasons for making this move to Australia was for the sake of our child's education and future so why would we want to put her in an OK state school when we could put her in a great state school
    24 points
  21. Yesterday it was one year since we landed in Sydney. My wife and I went out to celebrate we survived the year and reflected on how much different our life is here than what it was back home. Truth be told, even though it has been a year, we still carry so much of South Africa with us that it feels a bit surreal to think this is where we are now. I still read the SA news, we both get excited when we meet other South Africans in our daily lives between our jobs. Even just the little odd product from SA still sparks a good memory (My wife bought me a packet of Zoo cookies and it was the best! Don
    23 points
  22. We took our first holiday back to RSA in October, just over 2 years after leaving on a one way flight to Australia. I'll sum up my thoughts then leave you with a conclusion: - didn't feel much nostalgia arriving in RSA but did have a chuckle at a few 'only in Africa' things - this was a 'catch up with people' trip, not a holiday - should have gone over December/January holidays as everyone was sort of going about their daily lives and it was tricky to make plans to do things - couldn't expect friends to take leave just because we were there - felt a bit on edge and
    23 points
  23. Hi everyone! I am over the moon! Just got a call from the company I went for an interview at. I got the job!!!! I am so grateful and relieved and THANKFUL!
    23 points
  24. Hi All , I haven't been a very active forum member lately but I thought I would give a little update for those wondering what it's like to make the big move. Our story may be a little different or may relate to many of you out there. We arrived at the end of August 2013. It took us a long time to get our PR visas and a lot of money that we didn't really have. The decision to come over when we did was a relatively spontaneous one and before I knew it flights were booked and we were on our way. We arrived in a whirl wind with the tons of bags that you have and were lucky enough to have a famil
    23 points
  25. I just received some happy news. I thought I was going to struggle to find a job, any job, but I was blessed with a Trainer job with a very good starting salary.
    23 points
  26. The invitations started at midnight 15 September 2012 and guess what, at 16 minutes past midnight we got an invite for a 189 PR visa. At the moment I am trying very hard not to cry and go out of my mind. There are so many emotions going through my mind and at the moment I can't type properly.
    23 points
  27. Well, it's been a while, some of you may remember me but I'm sure there are a lot of new people on here now. I have to confess I went into forum hibernation for a lengthy period. Immigration has been a lot tougher than we expected and I felt I needed to take a step back. Firstly to those who were such a great support in our first few months, thank you. I hope this post can help others who go through the same thing. On 4th August we celebrated 2 years in Australia, and yes, we celebrated! We have made it through the hardest part. After 9 months in Margaret River, no sign of work in our sponsor
    22 points
  28. We have been back home in Australia for 2 weeks today after a 3 week trip to RSA to visit family and friends. This was our first trip back since we left in Feb 2014...and some of you may remember how anxious I was becoming to go there again. Anyways...so we went. I even gulped back tears as we landed...because I really honestly did not want to be there. My in-laws were there to meet us...tears in their eyes and super excited to see us. I felt guilty for not being as excited. We went to the car and started on our way back to our old area. The traffic was bad, so my FIL took us a different way..
    22 points
  29. It seems the Canberra community forum needs a bit of love, and I remember how useful it was for me in the planning phase to look back on people's opinions and thoughts as they've gone through it, and how things go in the initial months. So I thought I should jump back in and give an update - mine being the last one from just a few weeks in - now over 7 months in. My wife and I arrived at the end of January, in Canberra. Where I quickly got started at a job I found on arrival, while my wife still searched through February and most of March. She was eventually employed through meeting people a
    22 points
  30. Well we have been in Sydney for three months now. Time flies! I am going to attempt to sum up the experience so far and hopefully it helps someone. We landed in what seemed like a forest for our temporary accommodation. After three weeks we moved to a place nearby in the upper north shore. It is true that whee one lands, one tends to stay. Those first three weeks were terribly emotionally taxing. We questioned our decision many times and, although we knew it would be tough, nothing could have prepared me for how hard it is to be starting over - no home, no car, no schools for the children... F
    22 points
  31. Crisis over people - my friend got a new sponsor for his 457 thanks to the power of social media. He has now started his new job in wagga wagga which he says is better the Gladstone anyway!
    22 points
  32. Merry Christmas to the Holroyd family from DIAC. We got the best present in our stockings this Christmas ever. It is done and we have our 189 visa. Not sure how I am feeling at the moment and I have had to read the visa grant letter more than once just to make sure that I am not dreaming. I may even go back to bed, sleep for 0 or so minutes and get up and recheck my email just to check that this is actually a reality and not some nasty dream turn nightmare. A sincere thanks to all of the forumites that helped, supported, encouraged and steered us in the right direction. We now move onto the ne
    22 points
  33. YES PLEASE!!!!!! Just a little update. Got great news this weekend. Managed to get some additional info and asked for a review regarding my work experience.......... and the TRA overturned there original decision. So once again, yes please!!! We are back on track and moving forward. All credit should go to my agent, she fought tooth and nail on my behalf.
    22 points
  34. If you're familiar with my posts you'll know I often share that we "live with less" since moving to Australia. It's a journey we started a few years ago, pairing down considerably after investigating Minimalism. We've sold, donated and recycled more than 80% of our possessions and have further reduced them in making the move here. We traded a 3-bedroom house with front and back yards and 2 cars in the Southern Suburbs of Cape Town for a 2-bedroom apartment in the City with 1 car, with 2 kids. I know when people hear Minimalism they often think stark, empty r
    21 points
  35. It's quite funny how fate works. Picked up hubby at the airport on Sunday morning, so our first anniversary started the same way as our arrival in Oz - driving away from Melbourne airport. Things that are different a year later: 1. We knew the way. Weren't trying to follow maps/google maps, not mowing whether that funny kink was just a bend or would send you on route to Gippsland. (still not quite sure where that is) 2. Driving our own car. One we have chosen. 3. Driving to our own home, filled with our own memories. 4. Stopped at the supermarket on the way home for a quick shop. We could do
    21 points
  36. Hi guys Yes, I know that I have been very quiet on the forum for a while. The following post will be very candid but I urge you to read it all the way to the end. We have been in Australia now for 6 months. So far we have had the most fantastic, scary, crazy, difficult, amazing time of our lives. I love this place. I love being able to live again. I love that things work. I even enjoy TV! Has this been easy so far? NO!! I have experienced the most loneliness I ever have before. I have felt incompetent in my career and have consequently decided to make a change. I have felt like the n
    21 points
  37. These last couple of days I have received more PM's then usual. Maybe I'm spending too much time here - whilst hubby playing with Harley's in Thailand. But some of these PM's got me thinking - its so easy some days to just type on a keyboard to strangers that what we experience is normal - we all take a leap of faith on this rollercoaster, that you will miss loved ones, that you will cry, that it will be tough until you land the job, that life will get better once you settle in, and you get my point. Sometimes I feel posts may come across as insincere - or insensitive to those who must be en
    21 points
  38. Our PR has come through today! :D I am still a bit numb..... 5 years, 11 visa applications, many pennies, even more tears and frustrations, but it is all over. I have to admit that I felt a pang of sadness while it sank in that I was no longer " South African" in the legal sense (yes, there's still Citizenship etc to go...) but I know I will always have Africa in my soul. Through this process I have made many new friends, met my fantastic husband and begun a walk down a different, new, exciting path in my life. I know that my daughter will have a better life and better opportunities and for
    21 points
  39. Background I didnt think my ramblings could be of any help to anyone, but then I realized that I have read every journal and blog that I could get my hands on! Each and every one! I feel like I know the people on this forum. And I haven’t shared my own story. So here goes. The name of my journal has nothing to do with the length of this piece!! It has to do with me – I am very, very short, and I try to be generally sweet. Even though the fiery temper is just below the surface ! I am newly married, living in JHB and after a lengthy and heart wrenching process we are about a month away from find
    21 points
  40. Wow! I can't believe that I am finally at the point that I can say we have our visas!! They were granted on the 11 August and we have been in a daze since then. The journey, on paper, has been a long one but it feels like only yesterday that we were filling in the Skills Assessment application! We managed to get a Direct Grant without using an agent, and this would not have been possible without this forum. There are also specific people I'd like to thank who have given us (whether they knew it or not ) advice and encouragement during this process (in no particular order): @Re
    20 points
  41. I shared this on Facebook earlier today and thought I'd post it here as well for those that have been following our journey. ------ Two years ago today I stepped off a plane into the "unknown", purchasing a one-way ticket and thus committing to making Sydney and Australia our new home. We approached the move as a sabbatical, but within months had fallen in love with the Country, City, its people, community and the handful of relationships forged along the way. It's hard to believe it's only been two years as we truly feel knitted into the fabric of life here. My wife is still
    20 points
  42. Good evening everyone, so we arrived in Perth on friday afternoon and everything and everyone is amazing. Still settling but loving it it's worth all the stress and money once you are here. Will do a little write up later,good luck to everyone still in SA.
    20 points
  43. Information on Melbourne Caravan Parks with Chalets (furnished) http://vicparks.com.au/list/tourist-park/melbourne-region http://www.cpoaus.com.au/ http://www.big4.com.au/caravan-parks/vic/greater-melbourne Apartments and Homes (furnished) http://www.bellcity.com.au/residences/ http://www.stayz.com.au/ http://www.australianhomeaway.com.au/ http://www.darlingtowers.com/index.jsp http://www.serviced-...reservation.htm http://www.northmelb...rtments.com.au/ http://apartmentsofwaverley.com.au/ Booking hotel accommodation at the last minute - at good prices http://www.needitnow.com.au/ http://www.
    20 points
  44. I cannot believe it's only been 10 days since we touched down onto Australian soil - feels like a lifetime ago! These are the "life admin " things we have done since arriving on 28/09: First port of call was our bank, to fully activate the NAB accounts that we opened whilst still in RSA, and had transferred money into - we were under the impression that our cards would be there already, but they still had to be ordered for collection ( got those today )Registered with Medicare and got temporary registration - JUST in time, as hubby has already needed to go to Dr for chest infection ( note : bu
    20 points
  45. Today marks 1 year since we left SA to arrive in the Promised Land of Australia. We have achieved a monumental amount on the last 18 months and life had now finally settled into a new normal. Before we left, we thought Australia is crimeless, Now we know it is not remotely like SA, but that does not mean there is no crime. We were so nervous when we applied for the visa/car licences/home loans etc...how were we going to prove we are decent people. Now we know - they don't care - do you meet the requirements - if yes then you will get it. If not, no matter how nice you are, you wont get it. W
    20 points
  46. Hi all, I have seen a number of conversations about on employment prospects, people experiencing bullying and prejudice and general anxiety on whether we'll "fit in". I have just this week passed my one year anniversary working here and though I would share my experiences. My observations: 1. Spend the first few months in wall flower mode and observe how others do things. 2. Forget me and focus on we. You do not need to self promote like you do in SA. Performance is recognised. 3. Head down, bum up. Just get on with what you need to do work wise. Recognition will come. 4. Don't take anything p
    20 points
  47. I have to share the news with all of you on this amazing forum... WE ARE IN!!! Just got the call from Reuven at Migrate2Oz that our Visa's have been approved... Today was the first day since we started the process that I did not think of the visa, and purely cause I was sick and slept most of the day. In my mind I was preparing for next week Monday maybe but did not expect it to be today. I really cant tell you all how amazing this feel, I am so excited, scared, happy, sad, anxious, nervous, overwhelmed ready to start planning, etc... Now we can start some serious planning with dates, not j
    20 points
  48. Hi everyone I'm no poet but wrote this up and thought I now feel comfortable enough to share it. Please don't rip it apart I'm not trying to get published here just expressing myself. Forgive me for the back I turn It's not the victims cries I hear It's only my own fear. Our families devastation , Swapped for a new destination A trade for children not yet here, Will feel worth it in a year. The excitement that should fill the air Is only sadness I can't bare, We know it has to be done But feel its such bull :censored: we have to run. The guilt of leaving things behind Never seems to part my
    20 points
  49. Oh my goodness. At one stage I never thought that we would ever get to this point. Our 189 visa was granted today This process has taught me so much! I have learnt that emigration is an extremely emotional process (and after all, we are only at the beginning). I have learnt that it takes guts to make a decision to leave everything you know and love behind for a possible better future. I have learnt that there are still good people out there (thanks saaustralia.org! We would never have been able to do this without your patient encouragement and advice.) I have learnt that it pays to be
    20 points
  50. I've been wanting to raise an issue which has bugged me for some time now. As I'm reading through the forum, and other blogs/forums/facebook groups etc. and generally talking to people, people seem to be more concerned about things which, in the bigger scheme of things, is of little or no relevance to the point that these little things would cloud their judgement about the real issues. I'm probably going to stick my neck out here, but I'm sometimes dumbfounded by people's lack of logic and messed up priorities... I read about or listen to people contemplating the timing of their move to Au
    20 points
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