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RoMar
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Hi guys

Thanks goes to Dedrei who helped me out with my registration. I would like to start off by letting you know a bit about me and my family. We are a family of four me, my husband and our two children a daughter aged 5 and a son aged 2. We live on the Bluff in Durban. My in-laws live with us in the granny cottage but they won't be immigrating with us. We wanted them to migrate with us but my father-in-law has COPD (Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease) and we were really concerned that he might not pass the Health Check so my mom-in-law told us not to worry about including them, we'll try and arrange another way of getting them over to us once we are there (you know the story with the Health Check - if one person fails, you ALL fail). Anyway, we're applying for a 136 Visa (Skilled Independent) and began the process of collecting information towards the end of January this year (and boy, what a process it was - I was eventually surrounded by moutains of paper). Anyway, after a few hiccups with the paperwork, we finally got everything together and our agent managed to send off hubby's Trades Assessment in June (he is a plumber with 17 years work experience and obviously his trade is on the MODL). We were so excited yesterday, as we finally received the "acknowledgement of migration skills application" letter from TRA with our reference number (it took 9 days to reach South Africa). In any event, yesterday was the 10th working day after receipt (in their letter they stated that they process the MODL applications within 10 days). I'm really holding thumbs that we receive a positive assessment very shortly as immediately our agent receives the TRA assessment, she has offered to send hubby's Resume through to her contact in Logan, Brisbane, where we will be settling, in order to see whether the contact can arrange hubby a job offer. The contact is employed by a plumbing supplies company so hopefully she will be able to work her magic in getting hubby that longed for job offer. We're really counting on getting a job offer as at this stage, there is apparently a HUGE backlog for the processing of these PR Visas. We placed our property on the market about two weeks ago and hopefully this will sell shortly - we're desperately trying to downsize just to save money. Sorry about this guys but I need to get off my machine so the techie can sort something out. I will continue this post at a later stage - in any event, you're all welcome to ask questions and give advice on what I've already posted and, not sure if we're allowed to do this on this forum but let me know - I don't want to be too forward - if anyone knows of a plumbing company in Brisbane who needs a qualified plumber and is willing to give a job offer - PLEASE let me know. Until later on guys. Chat soon. Romar

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Hi Romar

Good luck with the visa! We're from Durban too, also with a 2 year old, and I'm sure you're going to love life in Brisbane. See you when you get here!

Clare

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Hi Clare

Finally got the techie off my machine and now it's lunch time, so I have time. Thanks for the welcome - great to know hubby and I aren't the only ones from good ol' Durbs who're going. Where about in Durban are you from (if I may be so bold to ask that question) and how far are you into the process? Do you have any idea yet where you will be settling? We're really excited at the prospect of leaving and we absolutely can't wait. Hubby's got his own plumbin business here of course and things are really, really quiet at the moment - we're getting a bit impatient now with the waiting but, I guess, as the old saying goes, "all good things come to those who wait". Talking about 2 year olds, are you going to be a stay-at-home mom when you arrive there or are you going to put your child in childcare/kindergarten? I've tried to do a bit of research on fees for childcare/kindergartens but I have't come up with very much - I have been told by quite a lot of people that it is really really expensive. Our daughter starts Grade 1 next year so this is another reason why we would like to leave as soon as possible - we'd like her to start school at the end of January 2008 when the new school year begins - don't want to have to go to the expense of buying uniforms for just a couple of months. I'm going to continue browsing the forum - it's really great and I'm so glad I came across it - maybe I can find something about the cost of childcare/kindergarten! Well, I'm sure we'll chat soon. Have a great day!

Marcia

What a Klutz I am!!!! Only realised as I pressed the "Add Reply" button, that you are already in Brisbane! So, if you have any info to share, that would be wonderful. Enjoy.

Marcia

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Hi Marcia

Yes, we're here!! Arrived in October and really starting to settle. Living in Bracken Ridge and would really recommend you have a look round here, only 30 mins on the train into the city. There are quite a few new matchbox houses but still plenty of slightly older ones (15 - 20 years) with swimming pools and bigger gardens. Really great local shopping centre and everyones very friendly. Right, starting to sound like an estate agent so will stop there!

I'm a full time mum but have looked into playschool fees, seems that the average for a 2 to 3 year old is around $50 a day. I know theres some kind of government tax relief for childcare, but not sure how much you can claim back. I've been trying to find a playschool for my daughter to go for a couple of mornings a week, but at this age the only thing I can find for her is daycare - they don't have to stay from 8 til 5, but you do have to pay for it! And because tash is an august baby she only starts pre-prep (the year at kindy before they go to prep) when she's 4 1/2. So its playgroups for us for the next 2 1/2 years, and 'me time' at the weekends!

Hope everything comes through quickly for you!

Clare

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Hi Marcia

Welcome to the forum!

We arrived in Brisbane nearly 2 months ago and are loving it!

Good luck with your application!!

I am going to see two kindergartens next week, so will let you know costs then.

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Guest colton

Hi Ladies,

We are also from Durban and living on the Gold Coast which is FANTASTIC!!! I know a couple of others on the forum are also from the Durban area.

As far as cost of Kindy goes, I "fortunately" do not have little ones anymore but a good couple of my friends do. We were actually discussing the cost yesterday at lunch. What they told me was that you basically pay $50 per day per child and so most kiddies only go two days a week. Very steep indeed but then this country does encourage moms to stay at home to raise their kids, a good thing in my opinion. Hope that helps a bit?

C

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Hi Clare, Row and Colton

Hope you're all well. Thanks for the replies and welcomes - and obviously that information. Shew, I worked out that $50 per day now and nearly had heart failure - it works out to $1000 per month, full time - and from what I've seen on the net my salary will only be in the region of $4000 to $4500 per month (if I'm lucky that is) - I'm a legal secretary. Don't know what I'm going to do about that, but will have to sort something out. Clare, where about is Bracken Ridge? Haven't had a chance to go and look at a map yet - I'm assuming it's somewhere North of Bris? The houses sound really nice - just not the matchbox sizes - we're really used to space - we live in a three bedroom double-storey at the moment. We've got a swimming pool as well and really would love to have a swimming pool in the house that we rent but probably won't be able to afford that at least in the first one or two years after we arrive in Bris. At the moment we are looking at rental properties on the net for about $250 to $350 per week - seen some nice ones (and don't worry about sounding like an estate agent - I definitely don't mind - this is all new to us so we're trying to get all the info we can). Our agent also mentioned a payment of approximately $1000 per month (for both our kids) from the Government which will get paid to us even if we both work. You talk about the people being quite friendly - I sure hope so - I've heard some really negative remarks about the friendliness of the Aussies - I know that's just "hearsay". I think I can be quite shy at times so hope this won't be a problem for me. Row, thanks so much - yes, please do let me know about the costs of the kindergartens - I'm just trying to process this all in my head - we all know the word "creche" and pre-school, so please could someone tell me what the difference is between "pre school", "kindergarten", "playgroup", "daycare" and Clare, you mentioned "pre-prep" the year before "prep"! My daughter, Nikita, (born February 2002) is currently in Grade 0 and should be starting Grade 1 next year over here - would she still start Grade 1 in Australia then? And Colton, thanks for that piece of info too. I have also heard that Aus prefers the moms to stay at home rather than work - I just think that I am now too set in my ways and used to being in the workplace - I would probably go off my head sitting at home all day. Anway ladies, thanks for the responses - I'm sure that I'm going to hear from you all soon. Thanks again! Marcia

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Hi Marcia

Let me give you my understanding of the whole early schooling thing in queensland, and anyone is welcome to jump in and correct me!

The first year of 'big school' is called Prep, probably the same as Grade 0 back home. Kids start Prep in the January of the year where they are/turn 5 before the end of June. Then from Prep they stay at the same school for Grade 1 etc. I'm pretty sure that Nikita should go into Grade 1 next year then, as she would've been in Prep this year.

Now, the year before Prep they can go to Kindy for a year, sometimes called Pre-Prep! There are some very affordable Community Kindergartens around where you pay about $12 a day per child, and they're there from 9am to 2pm either 2 or 3 days a week. A few of these Kindys offer a programme for kids a year earlier, but not many. Big waiting lists, I'm on two already for 2009/10, but hopefully we'll get a place.

Anything earlier than this, or more full-time, the only thing I've daycare/nursery - basically a childcare centre where the kids are there all day. If the cost is a worry for you, you could look into family child daycare, where your children are looked after in someones house. This is quite strictly regulated here and the children get to mix with other kids under age 5 - the day care mums are only allowed a certain number of kids at a time, depending on their age. This can also be quite flexible re timings. Have no idea of the cost I'm afraid, but assume it would be cheaper?

There is a government child payment if you're a PR, I think it all comes under family tax benefit, but I get a small amount of money for staying home and looking after my daughter, plus theres the child allowance for each child. Not going to substitute for another income, but a nice little bonus nonetheless :-)

Phew....!!! Thats my schooling bit over with!

So... Bracken Ridge. Its on the outer northside, really close to the bay at Sandgate, and easy access to freeways north and south (not that I'm brave enough to drive on them!). And about 45 mins from the nearest surf beaches on the sunshine coast, either Caloundra or Bribie. I wouldn't stress too much about picking an exact suburb until you get here, as you may need to be flexible depending on what rentals are available. We picked out 3 or 4 areas we were interested in before we arrived, but once we got here we changed our mind! Really need to go with your gut feel when you drive around - my husband would just sigh when he'd hear me right off another whole area just because it didn't 'feel' right!

I know its hard but try not to panic too much, it'll all be okay and you're going to love it over here :-)

Very happy to have a go at answering any more questions so keep 'em coming!

Clare x

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Hey Clare

Thanks so much for your response. I seem to have a better understanding now of how the "daycare" works as well as the difference between "prep" and "pre-prep". I wanted to put Nikita into a Catholic School (that is my religion and both my kids were baptised in the Catholic Church) and I have already e-mailed three of them in the Logan area with regard to information on enrolment procedures, fees and the like but have still had no response. From what I have read on the Catholic school websites, their fees range between $1,200 to $1,800 per year which I honestly didn't think was bad at all - we aren't supposed to convert between the Rand and the AU$, I know, but doing that conversion, it would appear that it equates to about the same as what we were going to pay here for her to attend at the Convent Primary School (it was about R9,000 for the year). As for Jarod, I guess we'll have to sort him out once we are there - the family daycare sounds like a good option - but obviously I would have to investigate that - although you mention that they are strictly regulated over there - so it shouldn't be a problem. I'll see if I get a minute over the weekend to see whether I can find Bracken Ridge on the map and will keep in mind what you said about being flexible - as for these men, they're all the same aren't they - they just don't see to understand us when we say "it doesn't feel right" - I'm exactly the same way inclined - if it doesn't feel right, don't do it!!!! Well, lunch break almost over (thank goodsness it's Friday) - I will definitely come back to you if I have any others! Chat soon! Thanks a stack Clare! Kind regards, Marcia

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Hi Marcia

I downloaded all the application forms from the internet and posted them off .. maybe give that a try??

Good luck with all the decisions you need to make!

Shout with any other questions!! :ilikeit:

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Hi Marcia,

We are from Montclair in Durban (around 10 mins drive from you) and we have also just started this process of migration. Its alot to absorb especially the difference in schooling etc. but this forum is a great help and everyone has been very helpful. Good luck I thought of you this morning as I shopping at Pick n Pay Bluff centre!!

Good luck

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Hi there Smartie

Thanks for your input. By the way, I just had to let you know this. My husband and I are from Montclair - we lived there from 1997 up until June 2006 when we sold our house and bought this house on the Bluff - I'm sure you know Ronald Road!!! - we lived at No. 108. Such a small world - we may possibly even have seen one another at some or other time. How far are you into the process and what Visa are you guys applying for? What schools are you needing - also daycare as well as primary? I have also found this forum to be absolutely great - such useful information and most of the guys are also very very positive about Australia which is a good thing. I get quite downhearted when people start being negative. Anyway, good luck with your application and I'm sure we'll chat soon. Please feel free to PM me should you wish to share information other than on the forum. Marcia

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Hi RoMar

Welcome to the forum. We are also from Durban, Glenwood and seem to be at the same stage of our 138 application as you are with your 136. Our agent's sent all our papers to their Sydney office last week and are lodging before Sept 1. It is such a great feeling to be through with all of those forms!

We are also heading towards Gold Coast/ Brisbane area as my sister is on the GC. Of course, we will settle where work takes us.

We dont have Ielts results yet as i only wrote the exam last weekend and did the oral yesterday. i am sure you will find this forum a great source of moral support and much more!

Check the Coffee Clubs section all for the next Durban get together for migrants in waiting coming up in a few weeks.

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Hi Marcia

I downloaded all the application forms from the internet and posted them off .. maybe give that a try??

Good luck with all the decisions you need to make!

Shout with any other questions!! :ilikeit:

Thanks a stack Row - will most definitely shout if I need more questions answered - you guys are all just so wonderfully helpful.

RoMar

Hi Marcia

I downloaded all the application forms from the internet and posted them off .. maybe give that a try??

Good luck with all the decisions you need to make!

Shout with any other questions!! :)

Thanks a stack Row - will most definitely shout if I need more questions answered - you guys are all just so wonderfully helpful.

RoMar

Hi RoMar

Welcome to the forum. We are also from Durban, Glenwood and seem to be at the same stage of our 138 application as you are with your 136. Our agent's sent all our papers to their Sydney office last week and are lodging before Sept 1. It is such a great feeling to be through with all of those forms!

We are also heading towards Gold Coast/ Brisbane area as my sister is on the GC. Of course, we will settle where work takes us.

We dont have Ielts results yet as i only wrote the exam last weekend and did the oral yesterday. i am sure you will find this forum a great source of moral support and much more!

Check the Coffee Clubs section all for the next Durban get together for migrants in waiting coming up in a few weeks.

Hi Celeste

Thanks for the welcome. It really seems like the whole of Durban appears to be "ducking off" to Aus. If you don't mind me asking, what is the 138 Visa that you guys are applying for. I see your agent sent off your papers to the Sydney office last week - well, just last week we were with our agent and managed to give her every last piece of paper that we had in our possession regarding our PR application - WHAT A RELIEF to get rid of it - I see you are also relieved to be rid of all your forms now. Yes, it is a great feeling - I don't have this mountain of paperwork surrounding me anymore. Seems too, like we're all going to Bris - must be a wonderful place and yes, I guess the best place to settle is where the work takes you and that's one of the reasons why we chose Brisbane. I really wish you all the best in your results for the IELTS test - I'm sure you did well. So far, this forum has been really great and I have just come across so much information which is not easily acquired from other sources - and of course, the wonderful people who make up the forum and who are so extremely helpful in answering questions. I feel like I've gained all these new friends. Will most definitely check up the Coffee Clubs section then check with hubby if he'd like to do that - he's also pretty shy when it comes to meeting people that he doesn't know - but I guess that's all part of the step that we're all about to take, isn't it!

Thanks again.

Marcia

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Dear Marcia

My hubbie and I are also pretty "shy" so I understand.

Maybe just the 4 of us and kids could get together initially.

Send me a PM if you are interested.

We stay in Montclair Road in a simplex. I have a 13 yr old and a 2 yr old so I would need day care as well as a high school.

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