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Well its just a few days over a month before we plan to arrive in Canberra. Just awaiting our 457 visas. I thought I would post this in the ACT section of the forum, as it seems a little too quiet for my liking.


Been cramming in as many bunny chows and biltong that I can before leaving. Hoping I will be sick of them by the time I leave so that I don't crave them when I am there :lol:


Being from Durban and arriving during Canberra Winter is going to be a challenge. Will probably feel like we stepping into the South Pole. First stop, ski clothes shop.


We still need to arrange accommodation and transport, but my wife has secured a job, so earning AUS$ is hopefully going to make life a lot less stressful. Problem is when on a 457 visa, you have to keep a lot of your South African expenses just in case. I will look for a job once I arrive. Pretty much open to anything as long as I am able to contribute to ACT and it pays the bills. We may need to look at the 187 PR visa at some stage.


I often have those scary moments of what the heck are we doing?! So I have decided to focus on the now and not think about the whole picture as its quite overwhelming. I have found myself following the flight paths of Qantas QF64 (jhb to syd) and QF63 (syd to jhb). I assume this it the flight a lot of you have taken. Can't imagine flying so close to Antarctica. Its going to be crazy!


I hope the golf courses are good in Canberra :unsure:


See you all soon.





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Good Luck Wayne. Canberra is a great place. Being from Durban as well the first winter was kinda "cool".  There is nothing like learning to make your own bunny chow!!


Plenty of golf course but only every played twice since coming here ... nothing like tee'ing of at 7:15 in the morning and the course is frosted over while the sun in slowly rising with a brilliant white light in front of you!!


What field are you in?


If you need anything advice just PM me....



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Congrats Wayne, that's exciting news. 


Canberra is great! But be prepared for -7 degree mornings in Winter! But it's beautiful here. Great news on having a job lined up, which will really make a difference. It's very easy to live here, even on a single salary (and even on a LOW single salary).  There's plenty of support and help. 


I would definitely advise getting on the PR visa track as soon as you're able; especially in Canberra where a lot of the positions are Public Service, it's all but shut out to non-citizens, and only sometimes to residents. There's plenty of private sector work as well though. You'll also get more access to government benefits,  Medicare etc as a PR which is a major help. But there are tremendous resources here and a lot to be said for the people being incredibly friendly and helpful. 


Also get used to the idea of forgetting to lock doors, cars, windows, etc. Or leaving something behind, and coming back to finding it again in the same spot. 


Bunny chows are definitely lacking here! Although there are a few butchers who do some pretty decent biltong - but be warned, it's crazy expensive so that craving needs to really be strong! 


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@IamInACT I have owned my own IT bus for around 15 years but I realise the IT market in ACT is different to what I am used to in SA. I don't think it will be easy getting a job so that's why I said I was open to anything.


Thanks @Jasper. So much to do before we leave. 


Any my recommendations on where to stay in Canberra for the first week? Where did you guys stay?


We will look at rental options thereafter. 

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Thanks @IamInACT


As far as my IT experience. Here goes (deep breath - and apologies to those reading this thread and have no interest in this part :unsure: )


Server design and commissioning
Network design and implementation
MS Windows Server and components – DNS, DHCP, AD, Group Policy, Domain Controllers (all versions)
MS Exchange (all versions)
MS Terminal/Remote Desktop Servers
MS Windows (all workstation versions)
MS Office (all versions)

Offsite and onsite backups
Ahsay offsite backup software, installation, management and support
Cobian Backup
Windows Backup
UPS installations and software configuration

Network fundamentals
Network cabling
Cabinet installations
Broadband connectivity
WiFi installations
Network printer support

ACTi IP Surveillance Camera installations

Experience building, configuring and repairing computers
Basic data recovery software

Hands-on experience of installing and troubleshooting Linux, mainly Ubuntu
OpenVPN configuration and installation
Linux firewalls
Clonezilla disk imaging software
DynDNS/DDClient configurations
Elastix VoIP support
Snom phones
Zimbra mail servers (onsite or hosted) (open source and network versions)
IPCop Software
Endian Software
Linux NAS servers
Citrix Xenserver
Axigen Mail Software
Proxy software and reporting
Internet filtering

Thin Clients – nComputing

Remote Support – RDP, AnyDesk, TeamViewer

Mobile configuration – iOS, Android
IT Project management

Apple Mac support

Antivirus Network editions (AVG Business / ESET)

Installation and support for a number or proprietary software programs associated with each client (eg. Veterinary software, School software, Accounting software, etc.)
SLA contracts
Hardware Audits
Software licensing compliance
Disaster Recovery plans

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I read somewhere on this forum that its a good idea to do volunteer work. Are there any websites that advertise for Volunteers in ACT?

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Hey Wayne, there are definitely jobs out there in IT if you keep an eye out for them.


Australian IT workers tend to come here for the lucrative government contracts and the private sector tends to struggle to compete.


Sign up for the daily Indeed and Seek newsletters for jobs in your field and apply for them. Visit University of Canberras jobs site, actewAGL, eWay, Dialog, Telstra... Do as much research into the company and roles as you can and buy a decent suit.


The private companies really are skills starved and someone with your experience should do ok but you have to make the most of your opportunities.



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Wayne. WOW you have extensive experience.  What are you 3 core strengths in the list? Brendan has provided good advice.  Just ensure you tailor your cv to suite role demonstrating strongly your experience in relation to the selection criteria. Also consider a section on your major accomplishments/achievements. 





With regards to volunteering you can go here http://www.volunteeringact.org.au/

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Thanks @IamInACT.


Will check out the Volunteering web site.


I know in Aus they look for for specialists in a particular field of IT, where in South Africa, a broader knowledge is sometimes more beneficial.


Am even considering starting my own support business but will probably be quite daunting at first. Looking forward to the challenge. When I get there though, I will do volunteer work for a few months as I take time to get my daughter settled.

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hubby arrives in Sydney 26 July and will then drive out to the ACT. he booked his ticket yesterday. After booking it I think some kind of penny dropped and I suddenly felt very anxious and emotional. I am now ':censored: bang' - I guess the reality of it all hit me with that one action. I just needed to share my fear with the universe.


I have loads running through my mind as to how things are going to work out and how we are going to get through all this and what life will be like on the other side. Leaving behind everything I know to start from scratch is weighing me down. The plan is for him to get a job and find a home and then I will ship out with my kids at the end of the year. I'm trying very hard to stay focussed and positive but I just feel like a have a huge hole in the pit of my stomach.

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You will be fine @Usha. By him going ahead of you, there will be more time for him to focus on getting a job all the while living on minimal funds. We should be in Canberra by then so will be able to send you info that will hopefully put your mind at ease. Exciting times ahead. Enjoy the ride :D

Edited by WayneACT
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  • 1 month later...
  • 2 weeks later...
16 hours ago, emmayenkanna said:

congratulations Wayne. Hope you have an easy time settling into your new life when you arrive. All the best to you ?


Thanks @emmayenkanna ;)

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  • 2 weeks later...

We landed in Sydney. Beautiful city. I was in awe. Walking through a tunnel of trees, with the cathedral bells ringing on the way to the war memorial was something special. There is this feeling of peace when you walk around. Such a change from South Africa. One doesn't realise it until you experience it.


We have since moved to Canberra which was our final destination, and its just as pretty as Sydney. I prefer it in that its not as busy. Had to go to the car licensing department to register before we could buy a car and as we walked in we were greeted by a friendly lady, handed a number, and directed to a comfortable seat. Withink 10 minutes we were registered and walking back to our loan car. Amazing! We thanked the gentleman for their efficiency and he said that he wished the Australian public felt that way. If only they knew how good they have it.


So far loving Australia. I was home sick the first night, but exhaustion had a lot to do with it. 


Word of advice when flying that distance is to keep hydrated. It is so easy to get dehydrated with the dry air in the airplane. Qantas flight was uneventful which is great for a nervous flyer like me. Food wasn't great. Air hostesses were quite militant, but overall good experience. Everyone that we have dealt with up to now, from the bankers, to the hotel staff, to the work staff, to cell phone and hire car staff have been so friendly, calm and relaxed. I am sure this wont always be the case, but for the most part, it is a pleasant change.


First few days we stayed at Ibis Budget Hotel, which is very very basic, but functional. Just under $100 a night with breakfast included seemed like a good way to start. Not a place I would recommend for a long stay, but a good stepping stone whilst you arrange your new life in Australia.


If anyone has any questions, let me know. I will be happy to help.


Until the next update, take care everyone...

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Welcome to Canberra! You have chosen a great little city to make your new home.


Did you go to the Sydney war memorial? The one in Canberra is absolutely incredible and a must visit if you have any interest in military history.


Also, to get a feel for your new city I highly recommend going up the Telstra tower to get a panoramic view.


Finally, it is a bit cold at the moment but Lake Ginnenderra is one of the most relaxing walking trails in town.

Edited by BrendanH
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Hubby touches down next Tuesday and will get to Canberra around Thursday. Wayne do you have kids? which suburb have you settled in and just wanted to know how the school enrolment was going?

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20 minutes ago, Usha said:

Hubby touches down next Tuesday and will get to Canberra around Thursday. Wayne do you have kids? which suburb have you settled in and just wanted to know how the school enrolment was going?

Hi Usha


All the best to your hubby. Where is he going to stay in Canberra initially?


I have 2 kids, but my son from a previous marriage stayed behind in SA for now. He will join us at some stage. My daughter is 5. We haven't done the school enrollment yet as we are still looking for a place to rent. Let me tell you, the whole rental process is quite different to what we are used to. Everything is done online, and you have to book times to view the property. You then have to sell yourself to the owner with covering letters etc and 100 point identity checks. Nothing happens quickly with this process, so we are spending more on hotel fees than we had planned for. The North has some nice new homes, but the South has more character in my opinion. The city center is amazing, although the parking can be tricky.


We are looking at some houses in Harrison to rent. Not sure how good the schools are in that area. We are viewing some houses this week and meeting with a number of new South African friends this weekend, so will find out more details from them and will relay them to you.


Take care




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Its been a week in Canberra and things are going well. Loving this place. Only one thing irking me, and that is renting property. What a long, drawn out process. Really frustrating as we waste all our South African money on hotel accommodation. The better rentals go through agents, and with that you have to book viewing times. These viewing times range anywhere from once a week to 3 times a week and are open for a 15 minute period. You have to select from the times they give you. Sometimes the agents don't even wait the full 15 minutes. If there is no-one around they leave. If you miss your appointment, its frowned upon and if you are late, your application is either put aside or to the back of the pile.


To apply, you need to hand in lots of documentation. Its almost like a job interview. They take up to 3 working days to get back to you, and the application form you sign, binds you to the agreement should you be accepted. In other words, its tricky to have more than one application going at a time. You don't have to be bound by the application - just don't tick that box, but I assume if you dont tick that box, you wont be in the running.


If you decide to do a short term rental whilst you wait for the rental you want, then you may end up paying 2x rents. 


You also have to personally go to these viewing times, else you don't qualify. So you cant get a representative to go for you.


Best advice I can give to those moving to Canberra is to stay with friends whilst you look for a place to rent. If this is not possible, then hotels are going to cost you just over  R1000 a night for a small family. 


I am open to any advice any others might have.

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On a slightly unrelated note about estate agents. When you find a year long lease the time will come when the estate agent does a routine inspection.


Like us, you might get an email saying that they will drop by at some unspecified time on a weekday when you are at work and they will let themselves in with the spare key if you aren't home.


If they try this send an email explicitly stating that you do not consent to let them into the property if you are not present. If you don't get a response then phone and leave messages to that effect.


Estate agents here are scum and will assume that we don't know our rights as new immigrants.

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HI All,


I've just about been in Canberra for a week. So far, it been ok. I planned for what I though I could. I have arrived in Canberra alone without family and no job. It is lonely and miss the family back home dearly every minute. However, I can get around quicker and be cheaper in expense (travel/food/accommodation).


1)  as with advise from Wayne, bring GPS.
2) 1 weeks at AirBnB. 
3) I have 1 phone with SA Number(cellc wifi calling) and another with Oz number. Got the sim at airport on arrival. (I got the unlimited calls/sms, 5Gb data for oz $40 for 28days)
4) put up profile on flatmates.com.au. I did the $29 earlybird. I think it helps.
5) rental car for 2 weeks.

Next Day after arrival,

1) Gungahlin centre: medicare/centrelink registered with passport & visa document.
2) banks got cards activated using address of local friend to be delivered. Just found out also Westpac atm does ABSA withdrawal without atm charges. not sure about there SAbanks.
3) CV & Cover letter should have address of the city you want to apply. So if you apply use local friend's address

4) be ready to get lots of rejections. I am still battling with that.

5) keep search for accommodations and contacting people on website.


Later to do:

1) Get drivers licence converted to Oz once you have proof of residence (bank statement with ACT address & transaction in ACT on that statement). You need other docs also.


Northern suburbs are new but pricey and also further from city so travel time will need to be considered whence you get the job. The bus service is apparently not the greatest.  

Advise is to buy a cheapy car (yeah - cash). eg: carsales.com.au (I have not yet bought but will definitely consider it soon)

By having a either a rental or cheapy, you'll be able to get around quickly.


So far, no job because I am not oz citizen. And have just-just found a room to stay for few months.


Any advise is welcomed. Love to join the next SA get-together.



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