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I have been in Canberra now for the past 8 months ... it chose me rather than me choosing Canberra as any choice. I have had the opportunity to visit Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane and Perth since arriving and can honestly say that Canberra is a hidden GEM.

Note: these are my own thoughts… I’m sure if you live elsewhere in Australia it is just as great!

My family and I are very happy here and really can't see the reason why we would want to live in the rat race of Sydney and Melbourne or the mugginess of Brisbane.... and well Perth.... it's in another country? Sorry can’t comment on Adelaide.

If you have had a horrid time in South Africa and are looking for somewhere to relax, chill and enjoy life then Canberra could be for you. Working in Civic (centre of town), the mornings are a breeze, the good wife drops me at the bus stop and hey presto in 20 mins I’m in town … NO traffic … okay leave a little later and it might take you 30mins. A short stroll down the beautiful leafy green City Walk and I’m at my desk.

From my 5th floor desk, I see Mt Majura and the eastern shores of Lake Burley Griffin …. OH how it pains me …. Your day is not complete without coffee … so like clockwork, 10:30, the team is out of the office and seated at the local coffee spot… enjoying a fresh brew in the warm sunshine. Note: in winter we are most definitely seated in side.

My wife sets off at about 8:45 for a leisurely stroll down the road to drop my eldest at kindy while he rides his mountain bike… He starts school while some parents hang around with the littlies as they play in the school playground… and the parents catch up on a little gossip.

Then off to gym or swimming with the little one… one o’clock comes and off for another stroll down the lane past all the building works with not a worry in sight. Spending time on the playground before setting of home … and on the days of no school … sometimes they are off to lolly pops playground. Off the kids go, not to be seen for some time, while mom catches up with some new SA friends…

Where we live , there is no burglar alarms or burglar guards, but when I go away for the night, the only thing that my wife worries about is if the kids will sleep through … not are the dogs out, is the gate locked, is the alarm on , is the safe end of the house locked …. No, just will the kids let her have the sleep that she wants.

After we have had dinner, it’s a short stroll up the road, off to the park for a little play. Home by 7:30 … the kid’s bath and go to bed … never have they slept like lead. Then it is peace for mom and dad, to relax and watch the MNET quality FREE TV.

The weekends come and go, busy on some and quiet the next... Sometimes the question “where should we head off up the road?â€. Maybe to Sydney or down to the snow or even the beach not more than 2 hours away. SWEET! And if you up for a quick easy drive Melbourne is only 7 hours away.

So happy are we that we have bought ourselves some land and hopefully building next year sometime…. Making sure we have some room for mom and dad … so when they arrive one day … we will be all set.

So if you wanna chill and just relax… make sure it’s Canberra and you will never look back…

So hambani gashle… and see ya all soon …. In CANBERRA.

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Canberra Chose us to, it threw itself at us saying "Pick Me, Pick Me", thanks for the article hope to see you there soon!

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We will most definitely follow!!!

See you all soon ...

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We're another couple where ACT kinds just happened! But I'm pleased with it, knowing that it'll be a calmer way of life than the rat-race we're part of in SA. I was skeptical when hubby wanted to opt for a bigger city like Sydney... after all, one of the main reasons we want to go is to have a better quality of life, which includes a 'normal' work-life balance. Some of us have gotten so used to the break-neck speed which we work-sleep-eat, we think it's normal!

Thanks for your post, it keeps me positive during the long wait for the visa!

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I've been in Canberra now for 8 years and I love it too. For me the best things about Canberra are the regular art exhibitions at the National Gallery of Australia (have seen Monets, Van Goghs etc which I never thought I'd get the chance to do) and the great things available to do with kids (eg Questacon, National Museum of Australia etc). Fantastic place :ilikeit::ilikeit::ilikeit:

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I'll second everything that IaminACT, (and others), have said, except for the winters, oh dear mommy, the winters...

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i have a quick question for those already in Canberra:

A friend and I spoke yesterday about our fears that we would struggle to get jobs. can you elaborate on how fast / quick / easy or not you got a job?

to make it easier, maybe a list?

Your field of expertise:

How soon did you start applying for posts:

How soon did you start getting interviews:

How soon did you land a job:

Is the job you landed in your preferred field:

ok, not a quick question anymore, but I would really appreciate your info, we are scared that once we are there, jobs (even casual ones) might not be that easy to come by


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Your field of expertise: IT Communications/Networks (Systems management)

How soon did you start applying for posts: Before I left SA. (submitted not more then 10)

How soon did you start getting interviews: Short listed before leaving SA, arrived on the Thursday, interviewed on the Friday.

How soon did you land a job: 10 days later I was working.

Is the job you landed in your preferred field: Yes and relevant to my 176 sponsorship.

I work for a CAC agency, Government agency/company ... not a Government department, so security clearance was not an issue. Start look at seek.com.au and mycarerr.com.au. The role statement will tell you if you need security clearance. Even then they are ways around this by contracting through a temp agency. But this is not the case to often for IT jobs. Secure Depts. like AGO, Defence, AFP, ATO maybe a bit more tough.

My wife has now started to look for work Exec PA or Office Manager, first application and she received an interview and has been asked to go in for a second interview. But also has received a few declines. Some people I know have taken a while; it all depends on whole specialised your chosen career is.

My thoughts would be that you only start applying when you have your visa and you know you will be in Australia in the very near future.

Also in ACT ensure that you provide a cover letter addressing the job requirements, using the STAR method, this gives the application manager/selector good grounds to know if you are cable and that you have understood the job requirements. Some job adverts actually ask you to address the selection criteria, in a cover letter or online application form. It is extremely important that you do this, as failure to do so might see your application binned.

The STAR method is :-

S – Situation, background set the scene

T – Task or Target, specifics of what's required, when, where, who

A – Action, what you did, skills used, behaviours, characteristics

R – Result – Outcome, what happened

I hope that this has helped in some why….

Anyway ... living and loving it! See ya...

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Absolutely agree with all said about Canberra.

Sunday afternoons will find the family on the bikes and going for a family ride,sometimes with no aim just to see whats around.

School holidays were wonderful.Kids have made friends in the neighbourhood.

You wake up with 2 kids and next you've got 2 or 3 more! And they all feel comfortable to walk/ride to one anothers houses.

W've gone for holidays to the snow and holidays to the coast.Both are within 1-2 hours drive!

There are hardly any high rise buildings.Certainly not like any city I've seen.

A great way to meet people is for the kids to get involved in sports.

Our boys did AFL last term and cricket this term ( we even have a South African Coach)

The chioce our boys made to do AFL was certainly a conversation starter! A lot of the locals thought we would push them to do rugby!The boys love the sport and have decided to do it again next season.

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  • 2 weeks later...

We are also waiting for our visas, can't wait to settle in Canberra. I must admit that Canberra also 'chose' us!

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We are also waiting for our visas, can't wait to settle in Canberra. I must admit that Canberra also 'chose' us!

It sort of does that! Chooses you! :):(

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