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ocean3: newcommer to melbourne


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Hi all

We are new to the site, but not new to the idea of immigrating to Aus. We applied and received our visas in 2002. We have 10 months to get over there otherwise we loose our visas. All we find ourselves doing every spare second is looking on the net for advise and stressing about all that we still have to do here. We know that it is the best thing to do, but it is very hard to say goodbye to our easy existance here and all our loved ones.

We have a 3 year old son , my husband has a construction company & I am an apparel design mngr. We have built up a good life for ourselves here, but feel that we are ready for a change and some new challenges and scenery. We went over to Aus. in August 2002 and looked at Perth, Melbourne & Sydney.

We have discovered after looking at the house prices & rentals that Melbourne is a better option than Perth, plus there are more jobs available. Why has Perth got so expensive ?! I must be missing something....

Is there anyone else planning on immigrating to Victoria. I have heard a lot about the 4 seasons in one day in Melbourne. I think I could live with that rather than flies at 40deg'c ! ;)

We were very thrilled to find this site and feel that it is a great weight off to be able to communicate with other people in the same boat. Looking forward to the next meeting... when will it be?

Thanks & best wishes

:P ocean3

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Welcome ocean3, phew, are you going to be busy for the next few months!

If there are any questions that I can answer for you about Melbourne, feel free to ask.

If there is anything of a confidential nature that you wish to ask outside of the forum, feel free to PM me!


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We have built up a good life for ourselves here ocean3

I can understand that ppl go through a tough time making that decision to leave their lives and start allover again, because nothing we have came easy and it is an emotional struggle to detach ourselves from what we have achieved in life vs what the future may hold. (Been there!! :P ) It is NOT easy - no matter what ppl say, and it is not about being materialistic! BUT, after almost 2 years in Oz, I can tell you that we know we've made the right decision and although we had to start again (not only financially, but in so many other ways) we see a future and found peace in our hearts about the road we chose to travel.

I hope you will be very happy in Oz - no matter where you choose to settle (singing in the rain or dodging flies on a sunny beach... :P ). You have a bunch of forum friends here for you...... ;)

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Thanks Mara/Riekie so much you have made me feel a lot stronger already! :unsure:

Mara please can you tell me what the weather is really like there, is it honestly that cold now. I was looking at the "go matilda" site where they were talking about 27deg at night in summer ??! I quite like the cold as long as it isn't windy with it. :censored:

Do you have much time to look at the beautiful areas around Melbourne. I have looked extensively at the "Victoria Australia" website and it looks absolutely stunning.

We are hoping to find a rental in Sanctuary Lakes. Do you know of any South Africans there?

Our son is only 3, so how do couples manage if they are both working. I have found that the daycare facilities are a lot more than here and preprimary is only 4 days a week.

Do you think it is just as easy for South Africans to get jobs , in competition with fellow Aussies?

I am a bit concerned about jobs as obviously right now any employment agency I approach is saying "contact us again closer to May 2007" ( when we plan to leave). My Husband has been running his own construction company very successfully, that should count for something, right? It would be ideal if he could learn the ropes with another similar company. We will keep looking ... every night !! :unsure:

I was thinking that maybe one of us needs to come over there before we move to have a better look, and to see whether we can open a bank account. I have however heard that if not yet in the county permamently they nail you tax wise with opening an account before you land and settle.

That's all for now

Thanks again for words of encouragement to you both



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You say that your husband is in construction. - What type of construction? Houses, buildings, roads or what?

The reason I ask is that I am a civil engineer and have on occasion had to move where the work is. If you are in roads, sometimes you have to accept moving into country areas on a temporary basis.

I used to work for VicRoads, the Victorian state roads body. We lost quite a few people to consultants and contractors when the construction of the EastLink freeway on the eastern outskirts of Melbourne was started. VicRoads, consultants and contractors are still looking for site engineers. - For that matter, I don't know how seriously you are locked into going to Melbourne (It is still my favourite city), but south eastern Queensland might be worth a look. - That is the region from Noosa on the Sunshine Coast in the north, through Brisbane, to Coolangatta at the south of the Gold Coast. The whole region is really booming.

For many years I was involved in writing computer programs for the timber industry. Most eastern Australian houses are timber framed with a timber trussed roof. If your husband is involved in housing or building construction, his chances of finding employment in one of the major cities is so much better. Take a look at areas where the house prices are rising the fastest. - That is usually where there is the greatest demand...... and the greatest demand for new houses.

Unless you are seriously locked into settling in Melbourne, I suggest sending your husband on ahead (alone) to scout out work prospects. A single man can move so much quicker. When he has found suitable employment, he can then hunt for a place to stay and then send for you and the children.

Don't be put off by "Regional Australia". - I really enjoyed my time in Benalla in north-eastern Victoria. And it was only two hours drive from Melbourne, if I felt the need for a bit of "culture". Even though I was told "You are only really a local when you can claim to have at least one relative buried in the local cemetry.", I found the locals to be very friendly and they tried hard to make me feel at home.

Don't leave it until May 2007 to move over here. - The best time to be hunting for a job anywhere in the construction industry is just at the end of the "silly season" of the Christmas / New Year period. - Say late January 2007.

Again, as a parting shot, I would like to suggest that you look at south-east Queensland. - The whole region is positively booming. (Did I hear somebody mention dam construction? :censored: - We are going to start building some new ones very soon.)

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Hi again Ocean3

Melbourne weather : Yes it is cold in winter, however, the temperatures rarely drop below 0 at night, so it is not as cold as Jhb. We do, however, get winter rain, and this can be a chilling factor added to the winter cold. Of course, what makes this all quite liveable is the fact that the majority of homes have central heating, so whilst you are inside you can be as warm as the temperature you set your central heating on! Wind, yes we get a lot of it. If it comes from inland, it is hot dry wind and when it comes across the sea it is cold. Just remember, you do not get three weeks of any kind of weather. You could start the week on 14 degrees and by the end of the week be hitting 29 degrees. So it never really lasts long enough to get you down.

Yes we have travelled around Victora, it is beautiful and there is a lot to see. Beautiful nature drives, postcard beautiful scenery, wine valleys, beaches, etc.

There are quite a number of SA's that live in Sanctuary Lakes I believe, however, I would not set my heart on that yet, it can be quite a bit more expensive than a lot of other areas and it may not be the best place to be for your husband's work. You do not want to travel too far in Melbourne, this is a huge city with even bigger traffic problems. The closer you can live to your work, the better. There are a lot of areas just as nice and better than Sanctuary Lakes.

With regard to your son and daycare, sorry that is not a question I can assist with, never had to worry about it, my children are adults of 30 and 36 respectively.

I think it is just as easy for a well qualified SA to get a job in Melbourne as it would be for an Aussie. Melbourne is such a multicultural society that they do not really care where you are from just how good you are at your job. The only time you pick up a problem is if they were unlucky enough to have burnt their fingers on a previous SA, then they are wary. I cannot say the same for Queensland, I found there that unless you had an extremely high in demand occupation, they would choose a Queenslander over you, anyday. That is just what happened to me, I don't know if it is always so. I am in the accounting field.

I would not be over concerned, I am not surprised that employment agencies are telling you to contact them in May 2007 closer to when you expect to arrive. They can do nothing with you now, you are not here, they do not work with applicants who will only be available in nine months time, they work with those that are available now!

I cannot say whether or not it would be right for you if one of you came over before you move. This is up to the individual. We did not do an LSD trip before we moved, did not see the need for it. Our minds were made up and we were going, no matter what. There are a lot of people that do an LSD trip and say that they could never have moved without knowing what they are coming to. So it is up to you and how you feel about the move.

About the bank account. The Aussies do not nail you, but you are taxed on the interest income on the money you have in the account. If you do not have too much you cannot be 'nailed' too much. Here is a link you may wish to check out.


It is my understanding that a number of Australian banks will actually allow you to open an account online from South Africa. You can then transfer money to this account - YOU JUST CANNOT DRAW MONEY OUT OF IT - until you arrive in Australia and go to the bank to complete your 100 point identification check.

Now if there is anything else, we aim to please!


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Hi all

Thanks for your speedy replies, and very helpful. I am still constantly worried about the big move...but that's just me! I'll have to learn to deal with it. My husband is helping a lot with that.

Mara, thanks we will investigate opening a bank account before we get there.

Hi Larry. My husband has a building construction business. They build spec. houses , build for customers, renovate,alterations etc. He is involved more on the general running of the business, handling all the quotes and all coordination and completion of spec. houses. They use lots of sub-contractors and as you know the housing here is all brick & tile...different to Melbourne. Some of them are huge and take +- 2years to complete ( the one they are finishing is 2600m2 ! (house only). Ideally he would love to get into something similar as he has a lot to offer as far as running a business goes. Actually we got our skilled migration visas thru' my qualifications, as I was always the one who had the Aussie calling.

Mara, my little boy has a lot of sinus,hayfever and blocked nose problems in the "not so clean" air of Jo'berg. As with every coastal place , usually, those type of probems clear up... do you think it holds true for Melbourne.

Are there no bus services or trains from 30km out (i.e. Sanctuary or Geelong). I really have no major problem travelling, I spend more than an hour everyday in the traffic here. You mentioned that there were better places than Sanctuary Lakes. We are very keen to stay in an Estate type of complex (even if it is townhouses) as we stay in one here & actually don't have any security issues (inside the estate that is).

It is such a wonderful environment for kids. ( the rents in SLakes are not bad +-350 per week-not much diff. to anywhere else).

Please tell me it is not as windy as Cape town !?!

Many thanks

Best Regards


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The two big players in the timber connector industry, MiTek and Pryda are based in Melbourne's outer south-eastern suburbs. Pryda is in Dandenong South and MiTek is nearby in Lyndhurst. If anybody is going to be able to tell you where most of the building construction jobs are going, they should.

As an aside, I worked for MiTek for 5 years in South Africa. Our parting was not amicable. I worked for Pryda for 8 years in Australia. - Our parting was amicable. I still have many friends at Pryda and am greeted as "part of the family" if I phone or walk through the door. Some of their key people are South Africans. Naturally, I suggest that your hubby give Pryda a call. If you would like contacts, PM me.

And yes, Melbourne is as windy as Cape Town. - Probably even windier as it is flatter! But you will get used to it. I remember being amazed at how windy it was when I first arrived. I do not remember it being windy after about two years. - I must have acclimatised! ;)

Cheers and good luck


Edited by Larry
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Hi Ocean3

I also suffer with hayfever and allergies, but they are not really a problem to me in Melbourne.

Transport, yes there is transport from Sanctuary Lakes and Geelong. Geelong has a rail connection to Melbourne. Sanctuary Lakes has a bus connection to Werribee and from there you get a rail connection to Melbourne.

There is a huge difference between an estate in SA and one in Australia. Sanctuary Lakes has a beautiful emposing entrance, and the estate is fenced, BUT there is no control over who enters or exits the estate, you can come and go at will. They do not have a guard at the entrance. As for the safety of children, I think kids in our street are just as safe as the kids in the street in Sanctuary Lakes would be. I am not trying to tell you that there is anything wrong with Sanctuary Lakes, I am just trying to convey to you that there is a huge difference perhaps in the Australian 'estate' way of life to the one you have now.

Yes it is windy in Melbourne, the more built up the area you live in, the less the wind worries you!


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I arrived in Melbourne 5 months ago. I lived in Sydney till Mar 04 (for 10 years) and then returned to RSA (Centurion) for 2 years till Mar 06, to sort out my visa. This was done and instead of return to the humidity of Sydney, I chose Melbourne this time. Had never been here before, but it was so famous for being liveable and beautiful that I just had to come! Don't get me wrong, Sydney is gorgeous, it's just so many Melbournians promised me Melbourne is better... so here I am.

I love Melbourne. My husband (who comes from warm East London) had trouble with the cold at first but he soon conceded that it's not that bad. You just have to wear the right clothes, especially windproof ones. In my opinion it's not as windy as Cape Town, but it can be windy yes. Yet it's clean and fresh and the sun does shine rather generously. Now that it is about to be early Spring, it's definitely very pleasant and beautifully crisp most days. We drive all over the place and keep discovering more & more places to visit and things to do! There are always so many activities and events happening here.

I started a new job within 4 days of arriving here. I found the job online (through www.seek.com.au) and then received 2 telephonic interviews and sent them some of my work (I'm in IT) while I was still in RSA, and was scheduled for the final interview upon my arrival. I had that interview and was offered the job on the spot. My new employer was not the least bit concerned who I was, only that I could do the job. There is definitely a feeling of equality and job security because you are judged on your abilities, not irrelevant criteria. And I'm not necessarily the best in my industry (I know I'm not, by a long shot) but I was right for the job advertsised, so I got it.

So there you have my story. You will do well in Melbourne. The first few weeks might be strange (and in winter it can be cold & grey, so try come earlier!) and you might find yourself not knowing how/what/when/where. Connect up with some people who know the answers and then you'll soon settle in comfortably and happily. In any event, they are so tourist friendly that there are kiosks and information centres all over the place with data and answers to all the questions one can think of.

In essence, the safety and 'liveableness' of Melbourne surpasses anything I have ever experienced, and not a day goes by that I am not thankful for that!

Edited by OzzieAfrikaner
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Hi Again

Eeeeeek ! Melbourne looks huge. What stunning photography, thankyou for that, Larry. We would appreciate a contact person for Pryda plse. However, I think we might leave the job hunting until we get there. If something comes up for us prior to our move then all good and well. Unfortunately we will not be in a position to come anything before May2007 as we have so much to finalise here first. So we will arrive in the winter months...sorry for us :lol:

Another question I have is about Property prices. If I look at the prices in Melbourne as apposed to Perth, the houses seem to be more reasonable and a lot better looking. What is going on with Perth house prices?

Is it because so many foreigners (especially UK) are prepared to spend more with the value of their money.

This certainly happened in the Western Cape where you can not find anything decent for under 1mil rand.

It also appears as if the new developments with house & land packages are maybe a more attractive option.

Thanks to you all for your info on the area and places to live etc...etc. I really appreciate it so much.

I am also planning on spending most of our weekends out exploring the beautiful countryside... hope to see you along the way.

Please keep sending any info you have.

B) Ocean3

Edited by ocean3
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In WA, people tend to build houses in a similar manner to the South Africans. - Double brick external walls with single brick internal walls. - They tell me that is because WA has a worse termite problem than the rest of Australia.

Most houses in the eastern states are timber framed with an external brick cladding. - This is a cheaper form of construction. That does not mean that you can't build a double brick house in the eastern states. - It just costs more.

Traditionally, housing prices in WA have been cheaper than in the eastern states, but the mineral resource fuelled boom has forced this to change to be more in line with eastern states pricing. - If you had bought a house in Perth about two years ago, you would be laughing now.

You won't see me along the way. - I now live 2 days' drive from Melbourne. And "No!" I didn't leave Melbourne because of the weather. I left because an attractive job opportunity came up on the Sunshine Coast (and a few personal reasons too).

Edited by Larry
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Hi Ocean3

Property prices in Melbourne.

You are correct, you would get more house for your money if you were to buy a house and land package, as opposed to an established home. Yet again, it all depends on where you buy.

We have built two homes in Melbourne, and certainly for us, we were never interested in an existing home. We preferred to go the new home way. It is a lot of strain though, it takes a while, about eight months, and then of course you have a bare garden which has to be sorted out as well as driveways etc.

It is the boom in Perth that has pushed up the prices, there is a greater demand and not enough stock to meet the demand.

If you want to look at new homes and plans, check out the following sites.





Have fun.


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I see what you meant by saying there are lots of other Estates! Thanks for the addresses, we have had a quick look, but will look at each one in depth before making up our minds. Obviously we need to make sure we are happily settled in Melbourne before thinking of buying.

My thoughts about why Perths' prices are so high have been confirmed... thankyou Larry/Mara.Hope they build the walls thick enough to keep the flys out !! No... jokes aside... no one seems to have any bad reports about Perth, no one mentions the flies or the gail force winds, do they! Or those very strange looking corrigated walls they put up between the homes...welcome to Elm street!

I wanted to tell you something odd about making plans to leave ones country. When it comes to the final push and the decision has been made, one all of a sudden finds things go a lot smoother ! I had to go to Centurion yesterday ( bunked work for the day! ;) ) to organise my little Boy's passport. I didn't have copies of the neccessary ID documents stamped by a Comm. of Oathes, so went to Midrand not really knowing which Bank could help. I went into STD bank and within 5 minutes I was done. Then I went to Centurion and handed the forms in after only waiting for about 3/4 of a hour. Everyone in the queue , white and black were looking happy and relaxed. I'm starting to notice that people of all races want to help eachother. Yesterday at the New road offramp off the M1 highway, a lady was involved in a "smash & grab" as she came up to the robot. There were another 4 cars that had stopped to help her, this never used to happen, people were too affraid to get involved. The police are now catching gangs and they are being put in jail for a long time.Unfortunately there is still a lot of corruption along the way... two gangsters which were in leg-irons escaped from police custody on Wednasday and are still "on-the-run"...lots of inside job crimes are commited as cops in general are paid so poorly they turn to crime. I must say I wouldn't like the Presidents job for anything, it must be an absolute nightmare trying to run a country like SA.

We also went to a family wedding yesterday and had an absolutely stunning time. It was at a country venue outside Pretoria. The ceremony was outside in the beautiful garden and the reception was in a hall with a huge window overlooking the lights in a distant valley. A few things went wrong, but noone really complains too much as there are much bigger issues going on all around.The water in to toilets wasn't working for half the evening and each elaborately decorated table had 3 huge candles which made the entire room full of smoke! But we had great fun none the less :ilikeit:. So that was my day...great fun!

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