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Popular Content

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

  1. 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
  2. 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
  3. 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
  4. 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
  5. 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
  6. 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
  7. 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
  8. 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
  9. 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
  10. 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
  11. I've been contemplating whether to write this 'blog' for quite a while now. This is not a story about how I find life in Australia, nor a story about life...but rather just odd little snippets and things I experience. I wanted to call this journal "backwards and forwards" because somethings, a lot of things, are so much better here. However, somethings are really backwards here. A part of this blog is food related, as we hear and speak to many South Africans that have moved to Auz, that "I can't find Mrs Balls Chutney!" or "The cheese here is not like Simonsberg"...some are true some are
    20 points
  12. 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
  13. 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
  14. 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
  15. @vitchie I can relate so pls allow me to be very direct, cruel to be kind if you like. I've been here for 15 years, with wife and 2 kids. We left SA, a VERY good job, a close-knit family, 2 dogs and a lifetime of memories. We did not have a soft landing, we knew no one! Facetime, Skype and WhatsApp did not exist. I remember sneaking into the office after work to send a fax to our family and buying "phone cards" to make phone calls to SA. My advice is "toughen up princess!". You and your family have been granted a visa to live and work in Aus. You have a job
    19 points
  16. Hi all, After deciding to move to Oz in November 2014 we have finally arrived in Perth this past Monday, a big thanks to this forum for everyone's tips and help, we are currently staying in a small Airbnb apartment in Scarborough until we can find a permanent rental. I am sure we are in the honeymoon stage but so far Perth is amazing ! I thought I would break down some Pro's and Cons we have noticed over the few days we have been here, I know I liked seeing what other people described : Pro's : Its clean... very clean... everywhere ! Everywh
    19 points
  17. Our Numinous journey … I love words. I love the meaning of words. I love the impact of words. Numinous (adj.) Origin: Latin Describing an experience that makes you fearful yet fascinated, awed yet attracted- the powerful, personal feeling of being overwhelmed and inspired One dad (an engineer), one mom (a possibilitarian), one daughter (17 and on youth exchange currently), one son (12 and already practicing an Aussie accent), three dogs (a Scottie, a Boston Terrier and a Golden Retriever – part of the family) and a numinou
    18 points
  18. Hey there @vitchie First and foremost, welcome to Aus brother! You are in well trodden territory my friend, so take succour from that fact and also that we are here to help as best we can, anytime. I will do my best to give you advice and encouragement. Now, to the Batmobile and let's tackle your points shall we? 1: We had an old aunt, a niece n nephew when we landed but in real terms the same as you, SOLO all the way. No support base, no mates. You CAN do this. We did, so did many others. The key take away for me was: Since when was this a race to make mates, have din
    18 points
  19. As the title suggests it has been 1199 days, 1 hour, 36 minutes and 48 seconds, (3 years, 3 months, 12 days for those of you who don't want to work it out), many days of doubt, loneliness, frustration, second guessing, wondering if we've done the right thing, an extremely lonely working environment, a bout of depression, a failed business, visits to the psychologist some happy pills but more than anything, gratitude, since we arrived down-under. Yes gratitude that we are here, safe and our daughter has a future, not a sentence. Even after all the hard times, struggles and doubt, I
    18 points
  20. On the 27 December 2014 we arrived with raw emotions and more luggage than we could handle... After a festive and emotional Christmas we arrived in Sydney as a family of 5 having very little idea of how things were going to unfold. We were pleased for the few things we had set in place from SA. A car rental for a week, a months accommodation through Air B'n B and a basic Coles shop scheduled to be delivered a few hours after we expected to arrive at our rental. AND with Bovri and 5 roses in my suitcase we were likely to survive. From the airport Chris set off with luggage and the gir
    18 points
  21. Today our journey ends. Or maybe, begins... No fanfare. No nothing. Anti-climactic. Just an email. Nothing spectacular. “Granted.” And so, after 6 years, we have our visa. I am excited and “verslae”. Don’t know how to feel. I want to thank all of you. You guys have been such a support. I don’t know how I would have made it without you. The stress was so overwhelming at times. Thank you, thank you! Lots of love. 😘
    17 points
  22. Hi, About 2 years ago we started to investigate moving to Australia, but due to various events we have been delayed. However, we are now ready to pick up from where we left off. When we first started, I created a Trello board which we could keep track of all the things that needed to be done. For those of you who don't know Trello is kind of a task tracking/project management tool that is available for free. I have made this board publicly available so that anyone who is looking to make the move to Australia can copy it and hopefully it will make things easier for you.
    17 points
  23. Although my wife (@MelG) has been more active on this forum then I have, the information and advice shared by others here has been so valuable to us over the years while getting to this point in Australia. Was it worth it?...... YES! So this goes out as a thank you to everyone for sharing and for those that are just embarking on the adventure may this be motivation ..... here is a little vid my son and I put together:
    17 points
  24. Well, we have made out 1year mark... It hasn't been an easy journey for us. We decided on Moving to Oz 1 Aug 2014 while sitting in a hospital (nothing serious). We decided on doing everything ourselves as we didn't want to spend R35 000 on an agent (after investigating on this forum). Well, everything went well until we submitted out Visa application for 190 VIC bound...in March 2015. After waiting days in and days out for our response, we were woken up one morning at 03:30 am with a confirmation letter that it was DECLINED!! We were heartbroken, only to find out that it was due t
    17 points
  25. There is talk of not having 'things', or giving up 'things' here when you settle into Australia, and quite honestly, you can keep them. We've had 'things', lot of 'things', they've not brought contentment or peace, for the most part they've added anxiety, worry and stress. We have far less 'things' in Aus, but we have loads of 'experiences', we've become Experientialists. Many of those don't costs us a thing especially in a thriving City like Sydney. Today we walked 5kms with our 2 kids (3 & 5 years), walking to our local market where our Church offered
    17 points
  26. Hampton, Forget a hard decision, it's the DOING it part that's hard. Those of us with kids, particularly young kids, kids who we are paying $30,000 a year for in daycare are going through it. That help is much missed, in particular when your children are sick, as my son has been this week, dropping everything to be there for them. You will lose your community, network, connections and start a fresh in a new country. It's tough as hell, but you know what, richly rewarding! As I shared my son has been ill this week, ill enough to be in the children's hospital emergency ward at 10pm on Sunday
    17 points
  27. hi Every One My signature below has our basic timeline. I’ve been so bad with keeping up to date on the forum except for in my time of need in 2014 with CO questions, and 2015 with pet questions. True to form, forumites came through for us. So many thanXxxx ? Mara, Bob, Mandy and so many others, you’re all Amazing !! Our family’s journey began Oct07 ~ I always knew in my heart that we’d live in Australia. It mattered not to me that we’d never been, I was quite certain it would be fine. But I was well-travelled, where my husband was not. So we decided t
    16 points
  28. We walk our dog in the morning before work, in the dark. Even if I work late, I still take my favorite route to the station, along the river, because it is really pretty and I enjoy it. We use the public transport system everyday. The kids ride their bikes to school and skateboard in the street outside our house. We have a burglar alarm which came with the house - I have no idea how to set it. We usually remember to lick the front door, but not always. If my 14 year old daughter wants to go into town, she rides her bike to the station and hops on a train. She will join
    16 points
  29. Hi forumites!!! been a while since i logged in, just been recieving email alerts. congrats @Deezo, @ChrisH i am sure you are ecstatic. So we arrived in Brisbane on Saturday 12 November and all i can say is what a journey. Jetleg has been the worst but am sure we will recover. we applied for our medicare card and we should get it in the post in a few weeks. we could not change our licences coz we need the original medicare card. we did our TFN online super easy and we got cellphone lines, using Optus, Telstar does not call outside Australia to Africa. Calling Africa is so expensive.
    15 points
  30. Hi guys, My first work week in Sydney is over moving into a studio flat tomorrow - for a month in Surry Hills. Bought a second hand car today, in very good condition - I see customers and have meetings away from the office, wish I could just cycle My honest opinion of Australia is that it is a very good place for family life. The Ozzies that I work with are a friendly bunch of people. Glad we decided to make the move - I know the difficult days are still ahead of us. My stress levels are already much lower because I do not have to look over my
    15 points
  31. Husband landed a permanent position as a senior developer. Thank you everyone for your tips, messages, leads, ottg for all the help as well, Mara, so many people. Thank you all xxx He starts exactly 6 months after we landed. Now we can make our life here sustainable.
    15 points
  32. Hi Guys, Many of you know that I've been a Stay-at-home Dad, not only here, but back in South Africa as well, for over 5-years. I've freelanced, running my own business, but moving here has meant those contacts have dried up or that the pay is not worth retaining South African clients. As my daughter is now in Daycare 5-days a week I've been looking to re-enter the work force. The odds were stacked against me - no local work experience, been technically unemployed being at home with our kids for 5-years etc. I've been unflinching in my commitments to buildin
    15 points
  33. My OH has not been able to find work. It has been a challenge for him and I think made him quite depro. He was in the police and couldnt work on my 457. We needed PR. Which, of course, we still dont have. He was busy with the kids though. And while he enjoys them, I dont think it would have been his first choice. He started volunteering at the SES once a week 3y ago. He quite enjoys that. Meets new people and do some challenging things. He got free training in chainsaws, boats, land searches, drone operation and flood management etc. He goes out often on weekends with the
    14 points
  34. Well on the 27/12 we had been here in Sydney for 3 years. Happily I now know a few back roads between my home and my favourite destinations. Just before Christmas my phone died whist I was in the city and I managed to find my way home... Considering I live on the Northern Beaches and hardly ever drive into the city I was very excited by this achievement. So do I feel this is my home more than Durban, where I spent most of the 40 previous years of my life.... I can easily say Sydney is my home. Ok... so what can I tell you about the last 18 months. Well since the moment I arriv
    14 points
  35. Got a call from a company on Friday, first interview yesterday with 2 more interview rounds today. Got the job and starting on Thursday! I am super excited!
    14 points
  36. Morning fellow forum members, It is 6 months into this journey since I left South Africa. My wife and son joined me in January 2017, we are thankful for the opportunity to live in this amazing country. Not always easy missing family, but we feel much more relaxed here. Our dogs will be arriving at the end of April, we are soooo excited. On our journey so far we have joined the most amazing church in The Shire called Shirelive, so many South Africans joining on a monthly basis the pastor actually joked about it in the service yesterday. We are thankful to have secured a nice rental
    14 points
  37. Finally have an actual job offer! Been bloody tough. Just shy of three months since I landed. I suppose three months isn't really that long, but was really starting to feel the pressue money wise and getting really dispondent with all the rejections. Thanks to everyone for their encouragement and advice. Very big thanks to @CyberJoe who came all the way to Edgecliff to give me coaching in interview skills. I've had so much experience with interviews now I could write a book. I'll start a diary on this site and put my experiences down in writing to help others coming over trying to break into t
    14 points
  38. Just woke up from this enormous storm over Gauteng. Thought I'd login to ImmiAccount for the 253rd time this month to check. It's an automatic response to being awake now! Sleeping is now out of the question because WE HAVE A GRANT! It's an unreal feeling, must have stared at Finalised where Assessment in progress used to be for what felt like 5 minutes!
    14 points
  39. We're a SME in the process of making an appointment in a senior role and so many of the resumes land on the “NO” pile, simply because the person did not make their resume applicable to the requirements of the role. Applicants ignore the list of requirements and instead are trying very hard to make themselves look fantastic by using words such as “profound”, “extensive”, “manage”, “advise”, “oversee”, “review”, “analyse” etc. for a role which clearly requires hands-on experience, in which case words like “prepare”, “implement”, “apply”, “execute” “hands on”, “end to end” etc. wo
    14 points
  40. After being inspired by Jordy's excellent post, The 100 step process to immigrating to Australia from South Africa, I thought I would summarise what I believe is one of the most efficient ways of obtaining a 189/190 visa. It all comes down to timing and making sure that everything that can happen in parallel does so. Even if you're not interested in expediting the process, the diagram may help to give some clarity about the requirements at various stages. I'm explaining this from the perspective of an individual but the steps are mostly similar for a family. Disclaimer: I didn't us
    14 points
  41. After seeing the earlier post on ending up broke in Auz i thought this would be relevant, here is our story and some ideas about cheap living in Auz. So after the drama of last year My wife and I with a 11 month old baby decided to sell up and spend some time as nomads in a camper trailer with no fixed address, I can get work as a Microsoft Trainer and have a bit of contracting lined up in that. It has now been 2 months on the road and it is the best thing i have ever done, even if it doesn't work it was worth every second, so far we have covered over 4000 km from Melbo
    14 points
  42. This has been a journey two and a half years in the making and we have touched down. What a great feeling. It hasn't been been the smoothest of landings. I'm used to short domestic hops so that 12 hour haul between Joburg and Sydney was rough. Qantas really packs us poor economy class victims in like cattle(The air hostesses were working their butts off trying to keep the 100 people in our small section fed and happy). We landed in Sydney and our plane was delayed by an hour and a half. At that point we were running on over 30 hours without sleep and not in the mood for that... The
    13 points
  43. This post has taken 5 years to write, and however surreal it seems, it's actually happening. I can't believe it's here, but here I am After many attempts at securing a job from Cape Town over the last few years, and some really close calls, it seemed an impossible feat from offshore. The responses became familiar: they decided to go with someone with Australian experience or I should give them a call when I'm on the ground. So a couple of months ago, I decided to do it. It's 2018 and my visa expires in 2020. The time to do it was now. So I resigned, planned to wrap up at the end o
    13 points
  44. Hi Vitchie, I think you essentially made two big mistakes which affected your ability to adjust and to think positively about a future in Australia: You saw it as a temporary arrangement (keeping a back door open) You went back for a visit too soon You now have a 2nd chance - don't make those mistakes again. See this as a permanent change so you can put down roots, dig your heels in and plan a future in Australia. As long as you keep that back door open, you will not be able to feel that you belong as you will always think of the day you're
    13 points
  45. On Monday I heard a knock at the door and was greeted by the postie holding an ominous and official looking manilla envelope, fearing the worst I opened it and my heart skipped a beat. Out fell two ornate certificates declaring that our children are officially Australian Citizens. The flood of emotions that ran through my body in that moment! All the hardships and struggles you go through as you assimilate into a new country and culture, those swings from the lowest lows and highest highs, in that moment you can only exhale and say, "This, this is what it's all for.". A "fair go for all" inde
    13 points
  46. It's a cold and rainy early winters day here in Sydney and we have just returned from our second house auction... unsuccessful auction. BUT despite being surrounded by washing that has not seen the sunshine to dry this week I can honestly say I have NO regrets!!! Yes it took my husband 5 months to get a job and yes I still have a casual job but we are really beginning to feel like we are becoming part of the community. Having been here for nearly 18 months we are beginning to do things for the second time and that makes things a whole lot easier. School sports days are no longer totally u
    13 points
  47. Our home is on the front cover of the June issue of Australian Home Ideas Magazine out now at most newsagents and Coles. It's a 7-page spread on our journey from our suburban home in the Southern Suburbs of Cape Town, South Africa to a bustling Inner City Suburb of Sydney, Australia. The feature documents moving from our 3-bedroom suburban house into a 2-bedroom city apartment and features my tips on decluttering, downsizing and embracing the 'simple' life while making the most of small space living. Cheers Matt
    13 points
  48. Last Friday marked a year since I landed, two weeks ahead of my family, working around the clock settling us into our then rental, ahead of their arrival. I was overcome with pride and joy as I watched our son deliver the welcome in his school assembly, the same day, what a way to look back on the year and see how settled and integrated we have become. So much has happened, along the way I’ve shared much of our journey, so this is more of the highlights package. After arriving and settling in to Surry Hills and becoming part of the community, 5-months in we bought a place of our own in Wate
    13 points
  49. I just came through 6 months of no work with no reserves. God had our backs the whole way. I am now coining at a rate never before seen in my life. So grateful to be paying back all the debt, 2 credit cards down, 2 to go. The more I see of Aus the more I love it. We will be able to pay for our first holiday in 5 years shortly. And for the outlaws to come and visit.
    13 points
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