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  1. Hi everyone! I've been very quiet, but we are now happily settled in Brisbane and loving it!!!! Our container has apparently arrived in Brisbane (what we've seen via tracking) but we only move into our unfurnished apartment on the 10th of Feb. Does anyone know how much they charge roughly for storage until we move in? Also, our apartment will be on the third floor...I know they charge extra for that...anyone know roughly how much?? We're trying to budget, everything seems to cost a lot more than you anticipate. Thanks!
  2. Good day All. So, we are making the big move to Sydney on 22 January 2017. I work in the SharePoint space and my wife is an actuarial analyst at the moment. So we are looking for jobs and doing all the research for accommodation and how to actually settle in and start a life on that side. We have booked accommodation in a little place in dee why for the first 2 weeks of arriving in Sydney but we need to get more permanent accommodation thereafter and we obviously have a limited budget. If any advice can be given on how and where is a good place to start looking, it would really be helpful. Also, we would need to look at getting a vehicle when we are there. Any advice would be really appreciated. Can't wait for the move!
  3. Hi all, So our flights have been booked through IOM to Melbourne. So we fly into Sydney then catch a connecting flight 1:30 after landing. Will we make this domestic flight. We are traveling with 2 toddlers 3.5years old and luggage consisting of only clothes and a few electronics? Thanks a mil
  4. GandTash

    Finally Arrived !

    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 ! Everywhere we have been people have been friendly and helpful Driving is strange - I havent been cut off, side swiped, hooted at - most people just drive the speed limit and get where they are going No minibus taxis No car guards in the parking lots - it seems I am actually able to reverse out of a parking on my own The beaches are amazing - the white sand and blue sea Everyone wears slops and shorts The trains and clean and easy to use Most people seem to obey the law even though you barely see police. Con's : Eating out etc is expensive but we were prepared for it, made sure I really enjoyed my $8 beer at Hillary's boat harbor today. At this stage we dont know another soul in Perth but I am sure this will change once we are settled and can socialize a bit (having a 2yr old limits the social scene a bit ) Now just waiting on the wed job interview result, once I have employment we can relax a bit, we are feeling very privileged to be able to live in this little piece of paradise - wishing everyone who is on the long VISA application road the best of luck - it is definitely worth it. G
  5. Jasper

    7 months in...

    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 at a work function of mine, who called her the next day, offered her a job and she started the following day. We have been told multiple times that that's how Canberra works. It's all about networking. And that's definitely true. The job market is tough, particularly in Canberra where a number of public service jobs are specifically for citizens and even the ones that are open for permanent residents, are still slanted to citizens. Not for any nefarious quota system, but simply because you need Aussie work experience - to understand the culture, the market, the needs of the consumer etc. That's not to say there isn't work, there is. The private sector is bustling and it's down to what you're willing to do I guess. My wife has a major qualification, but is working as a temp admin assistant on minimum wage. I'm only a little bit higher and earn a bottom of the rung salary. And we're tremendously grateful. I'd be happy to pick fruit in the fields, wash dishes or mow lawns - and many many people have do so to get their start, and have become incredibly successful doing so. We have been very fortunate with our immigration in that we are employed, have all but refurnished our home after arriving with nothing, bought a car, are expecting our first child, made some wonderful friends, eaten out, travelled to the coast and the alps, and save a lot of our weekly paycheck to pay cash for our purchased and avoid all debt. It's not because we landed with our butts in the butter, or are "just lucky" - it comes from over 2 years of planning before we immigrated, and a ton of research. We make lists of all of the things we need to buy for the house (we only recently bought a bread knife!), and we research their prices, and plan each purchase. One week we're able to get a piece of furniture, and the next is a saving week, and perhaps next it's a soup ladle and some work clothes, etc. You make your own luck in this world, and I've had many opportunities to look back on this experience and the choice to immigrate. It's particularly difficult because we came alone... just my wife, and I and our furry kids. We have no family or friends here (well, we have friends NOW). And I wouldn't change a damn thing. Canberra is a wonderful place, with outrageously gorgeous scenery, wonderful parks and lake fronts to walk through, it's safe, and the coffee and food culture is one of the best in the world. The drive to work takes all of 10 minutes, and maybe some mornings I have a few bumper to bumper moments at red lights - and I live 16 kms from work. The people are friendly, and helpful at every level. Whether your cashier at a local supermarket, call centre operators, doctors, nurses, tradies and everyone in between. It's no utopia. There is some crime in places, like anywhere in the world, there are homeless, and there are problems. The government has it's issues and the Liberal Party have Tony Abbott - as South Africans, this is all laughable. You'll hear how expensive it is to live - and some things are expensive, but if you stop converting and just live when you earn the currency, your spending power has far better than in South Africa - and if you shop clever, it can save huge amounts. And you're still able to treat yourself to niceties too. No one is going to just make success happen, that's not how life works. You do. And you have a damn find opportunity to do so in Aus. Whether Canberra, or anywhere else. Fortune favours the bold, and to everyone in the terrifying immigration process at the moment, it's worth every single tear. All the best.
  6. I just wanted to post here to find out if there was anyone looking to move to Melbourne who wanted to secure accommodation in advance - if there is, I'm planning to rent out my place from about mid-September 2015. It's not listed as for rent yet, but this is the listing for when I bought it - http://www.realestate.com.au/property-apartment-vic-docklands-117287963 .The photos are a little outdated - the view from the balcony/lounge room is the same, but the view from the bedroom now shows the completed melbourne star wheel. Rent for similar places in the area is between $530 and $580 a week, so I'd be looking for something within that range. I'll still be living in the area (possibly in the same building even), the main reason I would like to rent it out is that it works out substantially better for me for tax purposes. Docklands is a lovely area which is about 2km from the centre of the Melbourne CBD, it has a nice quiet, peaceful vibe about it. The area is also within the free tram zone. If you're interested then please get in touch via PM I think a key advantage would be that you'll be dealing with a landlord that understands what it's like to move country, and it can't hurt to at least have our country of origin in common! If you'd like to view the place during an LSD beforehand then that's fine too.
  7. So we are here in Sydney safely. Just very humid & beyond tired! Have a pile of laundry to deal with tomorrow (No thks mainly to the SH*T South African service in Cape Town!!) between the sightseeing (hopefully if we can recharge these "batteries" that are extremely flat!!!) It's a logistical nightmare handling all the kids & luggage & all the worries in between, but the kids were really as good as gold. We'll keep you guys posted! Overload right now so good night! The rest of the family are all passed out & I'm unable to sleep with things I want/need to do!!!
  8. Hi all, this is it. The last 21 hours in SA. Monday we will be taking our flight to Sydney. Last week we were hectic with packing up every little thing in the house. Due to late import permit for trailer, we couldn't pack the container and so the whole lot is in the warehouse. No worries mate. Paper work still needs some tweaking, power of attorney has been appointed to handle any loose ends like closing accounts and receiving monies for sold cars. Now I just want to get on that aircraft and stop stressing. Will still need lots of help from the forum so you will see me here soon, as soon as I can get Internet/data bundle on iPhone or whatever. Thanks again to all who have responded to my posts and being so generous with advise and info. Most appreciated. See you on the other side. Sydney here we come.
  9. HadEnoughofJuju

    First few days in Australia

    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 what it means to us. There have been so many things that have just fallen into place over the last couple of months that we know that we are meant to be here and that we are following the right path. We left Johannesburg International Airport (yes, I still refuse to call it that other name) on Saturday evening at around 17:50 on a Qantas/SAA code sharing flight. We weren't really sure if we were going to be able to fly because of the fact that we were on concession tickets and had to take what we could get but by grace there were 38 open seats on the flight so the ground host just booked us in and gave us our boarding passess. We were also lucky enough to get three seats next to one another. It was a very long, exhausting and stressful flight. The Qantas staff and service were great but I was unfortunate enough to experience that typical old selfish, self centered attitude (with a heavy dose of self entitlement thrown in) that so many South Africans have. The TV screen on my seat (and this will happen to me of all people) was broken so I decided that because the three seats behind me were empty that I would move and use one of them, when I got to them the who was sitting with his wife and daughter in front of me had moved and was sitting in the middle seat of the three. I asked him if he would mind me sitting next to him so that I could get a bit of entertainment in. Believe it or not this responded with a VERY disgruntled attitude and told me that he was planning on sleeping across the three seats and he was highly irritated while telling me this. I lost my cool a bit but just walked away and decided to ask his wife if she would mind me sitting in the aisle seat because I figured her daughter was sitting in the middle so it would be open. Should have know better with a for a husband. She promptly told me that they would be using all three seats (nice, pay for three and use six ). I am afraid that my opinion on that one is, if you come to Australia with that attitude then well please get back on the plane and go right back to South Africa and stay there, this wonderful country is not for selfish jerks you. Clearing customs was an absolute pleasure. We were handed passenger cards during the flight to fill in on which you declare any medication, food or other items of interest. We said yes to the food stuffs and medication (because we were carrying our 6 month supply of prescription meds as well as some other prescribed medication). The first customs official checked our passports and asked what kind of medication and food we were carrying and we told him about the prescriptions and sealed chips and chocolates and he stamped our passports and waved us on through. The second official at the screening section only asked about the food and we gave him the same response and he said enjoy your stay and exit through lane 8. No bags were opened or checked and everyone was very friendly. Having flown on concession tickets we could not pre-book any connecting flights from Sydney to Brisbane so there was no shuttle from the international terminal to the domestic terminal for us so we had to buy tickets and use the airport train. This was an entertaining exercise with 2 adults, a 5 year old, 3x24kg bags, 3 hand luggage bags (which were the maximum size and packed to their maximum weight capacities), 2 backpacks and a camera. I have no idea how people with 2 bags per person and more than one child do this. Once we got to the domestic terminal my wife and daughter literally stood somewhere in the middle of the departures hall while I ran from airline counter to airline counter looking for the best deal. This is where I experienced that true Australian friendliness and helpfulness. I first asked at Jetstar ($349.00 per ticket, not in our budget), then I went to Tiger Airlines. I explained to the very pleasant lady that I needed to get to Brisbane and how much luggage we had. Tiger Airlines tickets are cheap because they don't have any checked in luggage included. She explained to me that we would have to buy checked in luggage which would cost $70.00 per 15kg bag and $20.00 per kg over that. Avery quick calculation revealed that luggage alone would cost $250.00 per person, add $76.00 to that for the air ticket and suddenly Tiger Airlines is not so cheap. Believe it or not she suggested that because of the weight that I goto Virgin Atlantic (who by the way are the only airline in the domestic terminal that accept cash) and buy tickets there because they have checked luggage as part of the ticket price. There were more surprises waiting for me at the Virgin counter. I again explained my predicament to the very pleasant lady behind the counter who proceeded to tell me that they were bumping passengers up to earlier flights to fill them up and that she could book me on the cheapest flight and then simply move me to an earlier one at no extra charge. I would however have to pay an extra $35.00 surcharge because I was booking at the airport but was told I could avoid that by going over to the free Telstra internet points and simply booking online (we could not do this because there was no credit card). All in all it cost us $522.00 for the three of us to get to Brisbane and we pretty much booked, paid and boarded. We arrived in Brisbane at around 17:40 to find Dave standing waiting for us (having collected our luggage which was easy to spot being the only three bags that were cling wrapped). It was really nice to see a friendly and familiar face after all the travel and mission we went through to get to Brisbane. It's so worth the trouble and effort you go through in the visa process. I am going to leave it there for now because it's late and we have an appointment in the morning to buy a car so hold thumbs. This saga will continue tomorrow.
  10. OnYellowBrickRd

    How much cash?

    We will be flying from Jhb to Brisbane at the beginning of April. We have no idea how much cash we'll need to get us going. How much do you suggest we carry (considering we'll have accommodation for the first month and will have access to funds in the Aussie bank account within about a week from landing)? We will not be able to use our ZA credit card. Thanks
  11. GideonVD

    Postal Arrangements on Arrival

    Hi there, Just need to find out what most did on arrival in terms of getting a post box or some sort of valid address for post, since that will be needed by some of the places you visit in the beginning like MediCare to mail you your membership cards etc? Especially those that didn't have rental finalised on arrival and such. Your advise will be greatly appreciated. Thanks
  12. Hi all We are progressing steadily in our visa application and, by the looks of it, will be receiving the visa shortly My biggest concern for the coming journey is the time between arrival and securing a job and rental. Obviously we will start job hunting before we go, but I do not know how long it will be before I (or we) find employment, and accommodation is my biggest concern . I have read that short-term accommodation is a lot more expensive than rentals. The idea is therefore to secure a rental as soon as possible, but this will depend on where (and how soon) I can find a job and a school for our 5-year-old. In the interim we will have to stay in the cheapest accommodation possible. We are planning to (hopefully) settle in the Tweed Shire (North East coast of NSW just south of the Gold Coast and QLD border). We will try to time the arrival of our container in Australia about a month after we arrive. Funds are severely limited, so we are prepared to make do with the bare minimum until we find employment. Hubby's even considering a caravan . Can any of the resident Aussies please comment on where to start looking for (very) cheap accommodation. At this stage a place with beds (to recover from jetlag), a fridge (and a microwave oven) will suffice. Thanks
  13. Hey guys, I've been in Perth for almost a month already! I can't believe that time has flown so quickly. I have been meaning to sit down and write an update but I haven't because either I've been quite busy, or to be honest, I just haven't felt like it. I think that is because in the buildup to the move, your connection to your new country really feels like it's strongest through the Internet and through communities like this one - once you're here, your connection back to family and friends and to South Africa is through the Internet and communities like this one. So... where to start? The days and weeks leading up to the move are quite turbulent. Wrapping up your life feels surreal when you finally actually do it - the same thing for starting a new life here. I've been pretty good with admin and closing everything off within the limits of the useless, stupid and incompetent staff you have to deal with in South Africa. Before I left I bought some extra work clothes and stocked up on a few favourite toiletries to tide me over until I can find equivalents or replacements here (I've decided that for the most part, I don't want to bother still buying SA brands at the many SA shops here... I've left SA, so I'll just move on in that respect too). The worst part of this journey is the airport. I was fine up until then and I think that my family, partner and I dealt with it well, but it's one of those experiences that is just horrible. I think it's probably less bad for me since I know that my closest loved ones all have the intention and there is a realistic possibility that they will all come over here. My partner and parents are all coming over in December for a visit which also helped... but it's still an upsetting experience. Even now after being here for a while, I sometimes get the urge to pull out of this whole endeavour and go back to my old life in SA, having forgotten the daily frustrations and dangers we all face living there... but then I keep in mind - if I do that, then I'm effectively closing the door of opportunity not only for myself but also for the very loved ones I've had to leave behind for a while. Short/medium term pain for long term gain I guess. Arriving in Australia was a surreal experience too. Somehow I expected it to feel more real or more .. I don't know. Something. I don't honestly feel like I'm all that far away from my old home. Apart from the obvious differences, it's just not actually all that different or foreign over here. It's like what SA would be like if it was done the right way - where there was minimal corruption and minimal crime and minimal "Africanness". The fact that Skype video calls work so well (I call my parents weekly and we sit for hours and hours chatting where the quality of the video is excellent (picture DSTV before the days of HD) also makes things feel not so distant. I speak to my parents every day (just like I did back in SA) and my partner and I have a video call every day too. And all this for cheap cheap. I'm still waiting for it to hit me. The holiday period is over and I did feel a bit of a sense of shock and for a few days I craved something - anything - familiar. Going to Wimpy for a burger, going to Ster Kinekor's stinking cinemas to see a movie, driving on the N1. Although the stuff here is better (apart from the burgers ) it's not the stuff I grew up with and that has affected me more than I thought it would. Take Wimpy for example - it's part of any road trip down to the coast for most SA families - what do I have here to feel that sense of history or community with? I've just resigned myself to the fact that those memories all exist in my life in SA, and that eventually there will be new memories formed here where I'll feel that way about Australian things. Having said all that, I wouldn't dream of trading the genuine and true freedom here for a sense of familiarity with things that probably aren't even that great to start off with. Since arriving here I feel like I can breathe for the first time in years. Your life in SA is so governed and dictated by crime and worry that you have to unlearn that thought process. Since being here I've become so much more relaxed - I leave my phone and wallet in the bag on the beach and don't really worry that someones going to grab it (although I am sure that does happen sometimes). People look at you funny when you ask if you should stay with the bags to watch over them. I even (very stupidly) left my laptop outside my friends flat over night a few weeks ago - and despite the fact that their home is on the street, IT WAS STILL THERE IN THE MORNING. Untouched. Their unit is on the ground floor and we all sleep with our windows open (the only thing stopping intruders is a fly screen). There are no Trellidoors, gates or electric fences. There are alarm systems but you don't hear them blaring throughout the night. People have dogs but the dogs are PETS and not security systems - and while we're on that: the neighborhoods here are much quieter. I hated the suburbs in SA because it would just be endlessly blaring alarms and barking dogs... it's about 90% quieter here. My first few days here are a bit of a blur. My friends were away when I arrived so I was alone for the first night. I had no money, no connection to the internet and no cellphone at first and it was a public holiday here so I couldn't really do much about any of those things. I managed to get connected to the net on a free wireless network so I could call the family back home on Skype, Then I went out for a walk... and ended up walking all the way to the beach (about 4km!). I just sat and watched the sun set and the people walking their dogs and fishing. Ended up finding an ATM and had to ask a service station cashier to call me a taxi (didn't know how to use the bus) to take me home since it was 19:00 by then and I surely didn't feel like walking 4km back, especially since I was a bit lost by then. I managed to find a Chinese food take away and for $10 got so much Chinese I could have fed myself for 3 days! I munched it all up and went to bed. Next day I set off to get my TFN and Medicare sorted, which I did in about 2 hours. All the documents and cards arrived by post within a week or so. I went to Bupa to get private medical insurance (just to cover mainly ambulance, dental and optom services since these aren't covered under Medicare). Sorted in about 30 minutes. Got a Smartrider card so I could (finally!) use public transport... I even got a 25% discount on fares because I linked my Smartrider card with my bank account. Starting work has been fun too. My first day was another surreal experience. The office where I work now overlooks the Perth CBD and the Swan river. There are LOTS of South Africans here (my one boss is SA'n and the other one is from Zim). I think over half of the partners are SA'n. On my walk home I pass a sign for someone wanting to sell you a fence - his name is Jaco de Klerk. At first when I met another saffa behind a counter I'd ask where they're from and how long they've been here... now it's a non-event and I don't even bother asking. The work environment I am in here is much smaller, and people seem to be a bit less aggro than what I'm used to. It's more about achieving something together or working in our own way to get to an outcome than having some other persons methods and strategies imposed on you along with heaps of pressure. One of the things that worried me the most before coming here was the cost of living. I should not have worried so much. I've mentioned it before, but a dollar goes much, much, much, MUCH further than R9 does in South Africa. This is because of a number of factors, mainly that you pay your "social fees" once - in Australia, you pay your tax, you receive Healthcare/Schooling/Police/etc. In South Africa, you pay your tax, and the unwashed masses recieve a half effort of those same services and a few select government officials receive lots of cash, then you pay for ADT for security and Discovery for healthcare (and then you just pay all your healthcare fees yourself anyway since nothing is covered), then you pay for private education and to live in a private estate where roads are privately fixed. Then you pay insanely high levies on fuel, you'll soon pay tolls, then it's all the small amounts of R2 and R1 to the car guards, the payments you make for insurance because you know that in the long term, it's highly likely that you'll at the very least have all your things stolen. By the end of the month there's just nothing left. On top of that the Rand is just a much less valuable currency. From luxury goods to the small stuff, that value difference is something I enjoy - think of it this way. To buy a luxury item like an iPad in SA, you'd spend around R 5000. For most of us that's a huge chunk of your income - in Australia, it's around $500, but that isn't such a huge chunk of your income. Same applies for food - the only exception being eating out. It's VERY expensive to eat out. It's about $130 to $150 for three of us to eat well (this includes meat, cleaning materials, everything) but a single meal in a niceish restaurant will cost you around $20 without drinks. On top of all this, the inflation is just much more manageable... it's actually around 1.2% and you earn interest on savings of up to around 5%, so if you save your money actually grows. Compare that to SA - the actual inflation r;kate is probably 15% to 25% (the "official" one, I think we can all agree, is a bunch of rubbish), and yet you earn around 2% or 3% on savings. Things still make financial sense in Australia. So to pay $3 for an ice cream cone DOES NOT feel like paying R27 for it - it feels like paying $3. Paying $2 to use the bus doesn't feel like paying R18... it feels similar to how it felt in SA to pay R5. It's hard to explain but once you've experience it you'll "get it". I won't bore you any more since I've kindof rambled a bit. I'll just summarise to say that for those of you still on the way, you're doing the right thing. It's difficult but you can't really go wrong by coming over - life isn't meant to be lived behind gates and bars and in the constant fear of the future. Things here are normal... and I guess that if you're like us and you've come from a very abnormal society then you appreciate normality a whole lot more. Thanks to everyone for helping me to get here I'll be around for a while on and off to try to pay it forward on the forum!
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