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ABC123
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I have been following the posts on this forum on and off for a few months and have found it to be extremely helpful in answering the many questions I have. Originally from South Africa, my family and I have been living in a country in Central Africa for the past 10+ years. We usually travel back to South Africa 2 to 3 times a year, and while it is great seeing friends and family and having access to a few more "luxuries", I have also noticed a steady decline in services and facilities over the years. It does concern me and I do worry about the future my children will have one day.

Last January my husband and I made the decision to begin the process of applying for a visa. We found an agent and began the long process of collecting all the necessary documents and writing the IELTS test (which is only on offer here once every 2 months!). It took almost a year to organise university transcripts and letters from the necessary institutions. It has been such a frustrating process! Living where we do means that everything has to go through the high commission here which apparently does not have influence on home affairs. The only thing we are still waiting for is my unabridged birth certificate. It has now been 7 months! The diplomatic mail arrives every two weeks, and so we now need to wait another two weeks to see if it arrives.

We are feeling really despondent at the moment as we were hoping to have everything submitted for my skills assessment by the end of January. I am a primary school teacher and it looks like the only states offering state sponsorship at the moment are WA and Northern Territory? I am so worried that these will be removed off the list before we have had a chance to apply for a visa and then we will have to come up with another plan.

I have so enjoyed reading everyone's success stories, and am so grateful for all the helpful and informative advise that members have taken the time to contribute. I hope that I will also be able to make some useful contributions in future.

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Welcome to the forum, ABC123 - your name is cute seeing that you're a primary teacher ! :)

Take courage, push through, nearly everyone of us has a story of stress and some of us times of hopelessness and despondency to tell in this process. You just keep on keeping on and take heart, if I understand correctly, OZ's school grade years run from June to June (anybody please correct me if I'm wrong !). Teachers are in high demand in OZ, I would guess there would always be at least one state that would sponsor teachers at any given time.

This can be a very grueling process. Even though we live IN South Africa, it took us MORE THAN A YEAR to obtain our youngest daughter's unabridged birth certificate !! Our baby's certificate was immediately issued over the counter at the day of registration. Go figure.

I'm looking forward to read your very own success story as well ! We are ourselves four years in the process of having our own story to tell. It wasn't fun all the time ...

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Welcome to the forum.

Good luck with all your plans!

It is frustrating to wait, but it will happen in good time!

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Hi ABC123

Welcome to the forum. We lived in Namibia when we were in the process of getting documents together, so many trips to Cape Town were needed. It can be a long process.

What does your hubby do? As that might sway the decision to settle either in NT or WA.

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OZ's school grade years run from June to June (anybody please correct me if I'm wrong !). Teachers are in high demand in OZ,

Alida the school year runs from January to December just like South Africa (four terms and the usual holidays).

To keep it real, I have to say that primary school teachers are NOT in high demand in OZ. While it is still on the list, obviously people should apply but you have to know that finding a permanent post in a state school will be tough. It is secondary and specialist teachers who are in demand - particularly maths and science. I'm not trying to be negative - it's just important to be realistic about your prospects. If I was a teacher moving to Oz I would be starting my own tutoring business instead of trying to get into a school. Obviously if you get into a school then great - but have a Plan B.

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AndreaL, my husband has had his own business for the past 5 years as a financial consultant - not sure what job opportunities there will be for him in Perth, but we do have family there which would help things.

I also understood that there was no shortage of teachers in Australia and that it is becoming more and more difficult to find work. I work at an international school at the moment which follows the IB programme (PYP) and I am really passionate about the programme. I can't seem to find more than a handful of IB schools in Western Australia - much less than in the other states. Does anyone know of any PYP schools in the Perth area? I would also love for my children to continue their schooling in a PYP school, but this all depends on costs and a number of other factors.

Anyway, we still have a long way to go before making those types of decisions - one step at a time.

Thanks for all your encouragement - very comforting knowing that others have been in the same situation.

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ABC123 what grades are you qualified in and what grades have you been teaching in?. Depending on this info, what we consider to be a Primary Teacher could be classified as an Early Childhood Teacher and they are in HUGE demand.

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Hi Crisplet

I specialised my studies in foundation phase education in South Africa (Grade 1 to 3 - excluding reception). I have since done my honours in Inclusive Education and worked as an Educational support teacher (special needs) for two years before deciding that I missed the classroom too much and returned to Year 2 (equivalent of Grade 2 - although they are 6 turning 7). The primary years programme runs from reception to the last year of primary school - the age of the children differ from school to school. Our school begins reception with the children aged 4 years old.

I have checked with our agent and he says that because my qualifications are not specifically in early years, or in special needs, I will not be able to apply for a visa based on those jobs - although I would love to give early years a go!

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For the assessment of your qualificaitons here is what the form says:

Early Childhood Teacher:

An initial teacher education qualification relevant to the Early Childhood (Pre-primary School) teacher occupation of at least one year full-time study (or part time equivalent) at the higher education (university) level that includes a minimum of 45 days of supervised teaching practice with students across the ages of 3 and 8 in education programs prior to and in to the early years of primary school.

Primary Teacher:

An initial teacher education qualification relevant to the Primary school teacher occupation of at least one year full-time study (or part time equivalent) at the higher education (university) level that includes a minimum of 45 days of supervised teaching practice with children across the age range 5 – 12 years in a primary school setting.

Not to say that your agent is wrong, but if it was me I would be phoning and emailing http://www.aitsl.edu.au to get their opinion. They are the assessing body and what they think goes because it sounds to me that your training in SA as Primary may be considered to be Early Childhood here. If it turns out that you can change category then it opens up a lot more states to you.

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Thanks Crisplet, definitely something to look into as it would open up a whole lot more options for us. So grateful to be able to share ideas and information on this forum! Will keep you updated!

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This sounds potentially very good, ABC123, I really hope there's good news for you ! I'll be watching this space too ...

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A quick update on my situation. It appears that I can apply as an Early Childhood Teacher according to my qualifications and experience. I just need to rewrite the IELTS to increase my writing score from 7,5 to 8. Only problem is that the next test held here is only in May. No pressure for that birth certificate right now.....

Trying to remain positive despite the set back in time. Looking at the fact that being able to go in on the 189 Visa will give us more choice as to where to go.

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Well, even if things move very slowly, at least it's moving !! So happy for you that you can use your skills for an application, everything could have been so much worse !

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