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  1. Hi everyone. We are leaving for Sydney in 3 to 6 months time. We have started researching schools. We have 2 8 year old boys (twins) and a 5 year old boy. The twins are currently in grade 2 at St Stithians College. We were initially looking at private schools in Sydney, but it looks like we will struggle to get in - they have a similar situation to SA where you need to register your kids at birth in order to get a place! I will get them in the queue for now and hopefully they will get places later. For now, we need to look at public schools. I have no idea where to start (apart from checking the Naplan ratings, etc). Can anyone recommend a public primary school in the north west area, anywhere between Wahroonga and the City? Or perhaps a semi-private Christian school (not Catholic)?
  2. Hello everyone! We (2 Adults and 2 kids) are making our way to Canberra in about 4 months time , and we have a few questions about the Canberra city / surrounding area : Schools: Where are the good primary schools? Suburbs : Where are good family suburbs that have rentals of $400 - $500 pw ? Any suggestions / insight of the general area will be much appreciated! thanks
  3. Thestains

    Special needs schools

    Hi Forumites I've been browsing the forum for a while now & posted a comment or two to subjects that affect me. My challenge right now is trying to secure a special development school for my 17 year old son prior to us taking up our residence in July. Hubby & I have figured that a school has to be secured before we look for accommodation to ensure that we are in the school zone for successful enrollment. We have family in Sandhurst but decided that we'd prefer living closer to the city to fully experience the culture of Melbourne. Having said this, I've established that there aren't many special development schools for mild to moderate intellectual disability in this area. I've contacted MAC based on @FromDurbs posts & their response was that their year 11 class was full. Doncaster special development school advised us (during our visit to them in April) that most of their year 11 subject classes were full. So where to from here? I'm keen on following through on recommendations. I quite like the concept that MAC (Mount Alexander College) follows where kids are not grouped in years and follow a study program that suits their passion & ability. This was perfect for our son. Disappointed that we couldn't secure a space with them. I welcome any ideas or suggestions that any forumite could offer in my search. It really will ease the anxiety & stress at this very close time to departure
  4. Hi there, We are busy looking at our options in moving over to Sydney and am interested in the following issues wrt schooling for our kids (9 & 12). 1. I know the school years roughly overlap with SA (Jan to Dec), but would moving during the course of the year be a major disadvantage for our kids? 2. If we were to apply to a school for our kids, what time of the year do schools handle applications and make their decisions? 3. Is there a monthly contribution to school fees and other costs like sport gear, books etc? I know each school would differ, but trying to figure out what the monthly cost for schooling would be. Thank you very much. J
  5. Hi Everyone My family and I may come over on a 457 soon, so we are looking for good primary school for our eldest (soon to be year 1) in the Northern suburbs of Sydney. Any suggestions/recommendations? Thanks...
  6. Hi, I have looked at previous posts regarding recommended suburbs, but I am looking for more specific details, if possible. 1) What are good suburbs in Melbourne for a family with kids? We need to consider day care for now, but also schools very soon. I will be working in the CBD, Docklands region. @Mara, You say very nice things about Sunbury, but from Google Maps it looks like about 40mins both by car and train. Is this true for peak times as well? You had a very informative post where you listed Braybrook for example as an area to be avoided. Is this still applicable? 2) How bad is peak traffic in the CBD? And what are the peak times? 3) As somebody who RARELY uses public transport, I am completely clueless in terms of this. If Google maps say 30min by train, does it actually take 30mins? 4) Is it viable (safety but also weatherwise) to walk from the Southern Cross train station to work? Thanks in advance.
  7. IngiLiebenberg

    Questions for Canberra

    Hi there, I've posted some of these questions on another thread: Any advise - suggestions will be appreciated: Background: We have a PR175 visa. Did validation-trip March 2013 (went to Perth and Melbourne... didn't plan on Canberra - but looks like the SAP Government jobs there are good and more long term). Plan is to relocate end of the year, with my husband going over first (October 2015) and then our 2 girls (aged 12 & 13) will fly over with me once year at school is finished and house packed up. Going to take a 20ft container with basic stuff & sentimental furniture, but no "white kitchen stuff"... Q1) My husband will have to rent a furnished apartment once he knows where the job is (SAB ABAP programmer: HR, Webdynpro, FI, S.... I don't know it all :-)... But he will be looking at hourly contract (pays a bit better and will need the extra cash initially) If we want to look at what you can get for how much... what real estate websites do you recommend? (also for us just to price and browsing for homes... any suggestions?) Q2) For Schooling: Where are nice schools (know it is subjective answers... but if there are Pretorianers or Bloemfonteiners over there... maybe compare a suburb over there with one here?) Will look at housing around good schools preferably not toooo far from CBD? Maybe a better way would be to say where not to stay (and hopefully not offend anyone) - or PM me Q3) High School: Private or State? What are the costs of "normal" schools. At the moment my kids are in a small Christian Discipleship School (Hatfield Christian School, Pretoria) but I am not sure what route we will go in Oz. In Pretoria the English Government Schools weren't our first choice (exception of Girls High... but that is a looooong drive to school & they are still in primary school over here (Gr 6&7). Nervous about moving pre-teens - but that is what we are going to do. Couldn't go earlier and can't wait longer. Q4) Any suggestions for club hockey: My girls are both very sporty and being in a small school currently - they do swimming, Hockey, Tennis, Athletics, Lyrical Dancing... almost everything... but I understand that schools sport is normally not that big and have read that clubs are an alternative: I know AGAIN: This depends on where you stay? But can you give me a few hockey clubs in Canberra (field Hockey : astro or indoor) - cause if they have to choose ONE... it will be hockey :-) I just want to do price checking :-) Q5) Taxes... Any website you can recommend for calculating tax for contract workers (per hour) and do they still deduct Super - or do you pay that over yourself? I've read somewhere that people talk about retirement policies out of SUPA? How does this work for a contractor (not permanent employer) - with a PR Q6) Medical Aid: Any suggestions for a Top-up? Think we will be visiting the Orthodontist maybe...? We are a Family of 4 : Rough estimation of descent Top-up cover? Q7) Life Insurance, Income Protector & Retirement: Did you guys continue your SA Annuities? But going over at age45 it will have to be start adding seriously to our SA Rand pension plan. Did you guys continue your SA retirement plan? (being a contractor, my husband never had a company contributing... did it all ourselves); Also: Life Insurance... where do we start with quotes? Any suggestions please: And roughly: How much does say ever $500k life insurance work you out monthly if you start the policy at 46? And in SA my husband has an income protector (because as a contractor no sick leave and if something (hopefully NOTHING) seriously happens. Q8) For browsing at car prices: Any suggestion on what websites? Did most of you buy the car cash? Better to first buy a cheap run-around and upgrade later? Or is it difficult to sell 2nd hand cars? I've heard that licencing is cheaper or more expensive for different makes (european)... And coming over with NO credit record? Do you have to buy cash? Q9) Very subjective again: But who did you move with? Is it worth to get 4 quotes? What insurance do you recommend for the container? Q10) Did anyone store some of the NON essential stuff in SA? and with who? Q11) Sending money back to SA: Is it easy? Who to use? We will still have one property in SA, and maybe continue to pay the annuity and holiday club levies and the rates & taxes on the property... also the final months of the mobile phones... That is what I can think of so far. ANY suggestions will be great! Thanks in advance
  8. Hi, Does anyone on the forum know the schools in Mandurah and more specifically Mandurah Catholic College? We are looking at moving in December and MCC appears to be a safe option as we are Catholic and all 3 of our kids can attend the same school. I have heard that public high schools are not an option so hence the private option. How does MCC compare to the other private schools in Mandurah? Any feedback would be greatly appreciated.
  9. Hi Everyone We are planning to arrive end of April in Adelaide. Hopefully hubby will then have organized us a rental as he will be going a month in advance . Hopefully also a job. My daughter is in grade 7 in South Africa, but I have read that year 7 is already high school? Is this correct? I was looking at Heathfield and Blackwood High schools any opinions? Does anyone have a daughter about the same age that have migrated that my daughter can correspond with. She is really not happy about the move. Sorry for the thousand questions. My sons are grade 2 and grade 1 will they be okay if they only start the second term? Regards, Melanie
  10. malikes09

    Finally starting this process!

    Hi everyone So my partner and I are finally starting the process to emigrate to Australia. We will be going on a work visa in his name with our 15 month old son. I've just gone through the 100 step process post and wow it's a lot. I'm so excited but it's very daunting as well. What we're trying to work out now is where we will stay when we get there. We will be moving to Melbourne. Can anyone recommend a process or company that will assist with finding a place to rent? My partner wants to go ahead of us and get a place organised but I really don't want him to be away from our son for very long so the more we can arrange while we are still here, the better. We are aiming to leave in June this year if all goes according to plan. Also, how does the process work for schools there? Here we have to apply years beforehand. Is there a site somewhere with a list of schools? Sorry if any of these questions are silly. Any other tips, info, advice is also welcome! Thanks and good luck to everyone doing this! P.S one last thing- we are going as de facto partners. We live together and have our son but we are not married. Any advice or anything that we need to be aware of that could cause problems in terms of the 457 visa?
  11. Arriving in Sydney in 23 days and everything's feeling REALLY real. Still feel like I have 38477636221 things to do here first, which is stressful and overwhelming, but just trying to take it one day at a time. Two things in particular that are stressing me out, which I can't really do much about now: 1. Getting a rental 2. Getting my son (6) into a good public school Anyone have any words of advice for me on either of these two things? Thanks and SEE YOU SOON, SYDNEY!!!
  12. We will be moving to Melbourne at the end of June 2015, yep ... just around the corner and loads of nervous excitement bubbling around for all of us! I'm sure this may be a simple thing to sort out for those of you already over there, but for us a big conundrum is schooling/suburb choice. We're fully aware that the school determines the suburb, but how do we go about finding a rental without knowing what school our children will be accepted at? Are the zoning regulations extremely strict? Obviously we need to find something when we arrive, even if for the short-term until we know where we want to be. We've narrowed down our possible schools list to Sandringham, Cheltenham, Bentleigh, Parkdale and maybe (Brighton or Mckinnon, which we know have strict zoning policies) Secondary Schools in the Bayside or SE suburbs. Please could someone advise on PROS & CONS of these schools, we've seen the state ranking system and they all seem fine, but an honest opinion from someone with experience would be greatly appreciated. Our children would like the opportunity to see the schools before making a decision as well. Has anyone had experience with the school of choice accepting kids on condition that you secure an address within the zone within the first month or so? Feels a bit like chicken and egg... the last thing we want to do is sign a lease and then find we are in the wrong school zone.
  13. DurbanGal

    Where to Stay in Sydney?

    Hi everyone......so we have arrived in stunning Sydney! The first few days were lovely as we came straight to a serviced apartment in Mosman! However we have one more week and we are on our own! Scary thought as rentals are few and far between especially the reasonably priced ones. So my question is, we love the north shore areas however my husband has a job interview in Padstow.....not even sure where that is yet so now need to research a few areas on that side of Sydney. Any advice on good areas to live with good schools etc as we have 2 boys (5 and 8) and i work in the city so we need a realistic commute!
  14. Hi All, We are new to the forum and we are about to submit our expression of interest letter and all of a sudden all these questions that we've been holding back on are bubbling to the surface. By God's grace we will hopefully land by end 2015. I'm worried about my eldest who is in grade 4 this year. Would any of you recommend extra English lessons prior to our departure? Or any extra classes to assist with the conversion from Afrikaans to English schooling? Please share any of your experiences? Thanks!
  15. mark-liezel en kids

    Skole in sunshince coast

    Hi, ons het die week Sunshine Coast toe getrek. Die skole begin Maandag en ek nog nie eens n rental property nie. Watter skole is die beste, sodat ek my rental search kan vergroot. Ek kyk op die oomlik na Chancellor and Mountain Creek State schools. Alle raad sal waardeer word.
  16. Hi all we planning to move April 2015, not too stresses about subject but cannot seem to find reasonably priced schools in Manly area. Have looked at Killara but not sure if in catchment area also French Forest High .... Any suggestions?
  17. Beachball


    Hey Guys & gals Are there any suburbs to steer clear of when renting and for schooling NOR. Thanks
  18. Hiya All I am sorry I have been so quiet...we have been in such limbo...it has been incredibly stressful. However now we have finally made a decision. The doors in SA re hubby's work situation have slammed shut and we are now officially VERY busy starting to get ready to leave. He has no job here and no job there...so we must just get a move on and get to Australia and start making a new life for ourselves there. So....we want to leave early February. Is this even possible??? My daughter would need to start school in 2014 and it is really hard to know which are good schools at this stage...golly!!! We plan to head for Melbourne. I only know of 1 good school for sure is Camberwell Primary in the South Eastern Suburbs of Melbourne. Can anyone recommend some good primary schools in Melbourne....I want to try and secure a rental from here but I need to know exactly where I am looking. Containers....I heard good things about Execumove...but I see they are based in Cape Town...do they do Johannesburg? Are there any other container companies I should look out for? Thank you everyone in advance for your pearls of wisdom...I really appreciate it! Bri
  19. Today, I bought my first few groceries and used the self help. Can you imagine scanning and paying based on honesty. I love it! We also saw the bank manager about our home loan and best of all, my youngest son's teacher said he will cope very well with gr 2 next year ( he was in preprimary and basically will skip year 1). I hope to hear about the other boys soon. The kids love school here. When we first started on this forum, many of you claimed we would love it here. You were spot on! Just a quick question, is there something similar to BOVRIL (not marmite).
  20. Hi everybody I have not been very active on the forum, but our migration process is quite far advanced. We got our 189 visas in May 2013, did the validation trip in September, and I am very actively looking for job in either Melbourne or Sydney. During the LSD I enjoyed Melbourne more, but obviously I must go where I can find a job. We decided that I will go over first to secure employment (I am in IT)?, and that my husband will follow later. I am battling with a few decisions and I am hoping that you can post your thoughts on these: My daugther is starting grade 10 next year, and I would like her to start school at the beginning of the school year. However, it might be a risk to bring her with me and then I battle to find a job, or I might find employment in another city, then she has to change schools. Another option I have is wait until I have employment, and then she can join me. Will the RSA and AUS officials and airlines allow her to travel on her own? (She is 15). The reason for this is that hubby wil only join a few months later as he still need to wrap up his business, sell the house etc. Should I just decide on a city and only look for employment only thereI am scared that it will limit my opportunities. Do I wait for employment before looking for a longer term rental, or do I just decide on a suburb and get a rental there? Can anybody recommend a good public senior/high school in Melbourne, any suburb at this stage as the decision still needs to be made where we want to stay? Are there any school that specilaises more in the Mathematics and scientific subjects? I've heard and read that December and January is very slow in terms of finding employment. Will I be wasting my time to arrive before end January or should I arrive +- 2 weeks earlier to register on Centrelink and Medicare and settle? I obtained a quote from IOM to fly on 18 January JHB-SYD-MEL, and it comes to R10900 pp. It sounds like a good price to me - any thoughts? I know it is a lot of questions, but all these and more are racing through my head every day. I will appreciete any feedback! Thanks Tersia
  21. Hello Mates We are so excited after receiving a positive skills assessment from ACS yesterday. Think I will be doing back flips when it is the VISA, cause I am already over the moon. Our road has been all about where God wants us, where He needs us, what He will is for us. He has been so amazing in guiding us and just opening doors. We originally looked at Perth, but there is not many IT jobs for hubby. Then we looked at either Sydney or Melbourne as it would appear there are more opportunities for hubby here, but how to choice between the two? Again God opened one door (positive skills assessment) and shut another (hubby not on Sydney list). So now I am refilling in forms for VIC and doing more in depth research on Melbourne and surroundings. GideonV, thanks for your post, re-read it this morning and it does help a lot. I hope to have everything ready by next week Monday (need to redo CV's as currently in Excel and has to be word). They also want a two pager, but I don't know how I will manage that, hubby's is currently around 8 pages. Lots of duties and promotions / moves since he started working although he is still with the same company for 15 years. Please can I have your inputs on Melbourne and the suburbs. I know about the hectic / strange weather, so that is not so much a factor. We obviously don't know where hubby will work yet, so just trying to get a general sense. We need advise on the suburbs, which are nice and which to avoid and how far are they from the city? What are the average living costs and salaries? What are the public schools like, our little one is currently in grade 1? Everything should be done around April / June next year. So do we move then or wait for Jan 2015 (sounds like a life time away)? What is the public transport system like? What are the beaches like? We love camping and fishing, are there nice places for these? Thanks forum mates, looking forward to your responses.
  22. Yippeeeee, were the proud owners of a 190 PR visa, granted this week, so very happy and very greatfull, and now the big move, but first we need to determine where??? we had a look at some areas but have no time to do the LSD thing so we really need help? our visa is a 190 PR sponsored visa (Victoria) we looked at Geelong....... Stunnig! But not very friendly on a budget if you dont have a job yet. Were looking into the areas around Pakenham and Cranbourne but as we dont know a thing about these areas we would like some input, their not in the CBD but also not too far out for traveling to interviews in the industrial areas, my husband is a Mechanical Engineer and were looking at places central to all industries, harbours ect....... any other ideas on areas would be great(budget friendly please?). But if anyone knows the two areas were looking into we would appreciate opinions especially on housing and schooling and general community?
  23. TheFilanders

    Moving in May, anyone else

    Hi We are moving at the end of May and I was just wondering should we get a furnished rental or not (and oh boy is it expensive) and for how longwill we be able to get th the kids ? Also will we be able to get the kids into a school in the catchment area in the meantime or should we wait until we have jobs and then decide? Anyone who made the move recently please share your experience and older members who have been through this your input is always valued, any advice would be greatly appreciated. Leslie
  24. Hi guys, when did you apply for schooling? Before leaving (online, etc) or after arrival? It seems such a rush to suss out schools and get applications in if one is arriving early Dec and school starts mid Jan... Also with catchment areas, what if you don't have a permanent place to rent yet? How did you all go about this? Thanks
  25. Annabel


    Hi there, I have some questions please! We don’t know anyone in Canberra..only friends in Sydney.. Would you suggest that my husband flies 1 week before me and the kids (aged 4 & 6) to sort out a house to rent and find a school. He will stay with friends in Sydney to save on accommodation costs and to buy a car, then drive into Canberra to view properties and schools. What do you think? Also, do you think it’s important for us to get there a week or 2 before the schools start the new school year? Or would it not be such a train smash if they started school mid Feb? Flights are cheaper, and more job opportunities in Feb, I believe??.. Please let me know your thoughts... thank you xx
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