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LINUS

Moving To Australia

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I am interested in moving myself and my family to Australia from the USA :D .

My biggest problem is finding the best area to live. I have never visited the area and this is my first step in the research process.

I am looking for a climate that does not include snow, is warm to hot year round AND IS NOT VERY HUMID. I am also interested in a place that has a great educational system and lots to do for my small children. Crime rate should be low and museums and other cultural activities should be available. I am not looking for inner city living...more suburban lifestyle.

I have heard that the "Adelaide" area and (Mawson Lakes) is nice. :thumbsup:

Any and all information concerning the above topic will be appreciated. :D

edit: Took off all caps

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I have travelled to Australia before and know enough to be dangerous. Based on what I know and your description of what you're looking for, I would suggest Brisbane may be your best candidate. The climate is like Florida, but less humid. After that, I would guess Adelaide, Perth and even Sydney might work for you. Sydney has just about everything to offer that a major city should have and a very mild climate. It NEVER freezes there. I think Melboure would probably be a little too cool for your tastes. I hope this helps.

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I have travelled to Australia before and know enough to be dangerous. Based on what I know and your description of what you're looking for, I would suggest Brisbane may be your best candidate. The climate is like Florida, but less humid. After that, I would guess Adelaide, Perth and even Sydney might work for you. Sydney has just about everything to offer that a major city should have and a very mild climate. It NEVER freezes there. I think Melboure would probably be a little too cool for your tastes. I hope this helps.

THANK YOU...ANY AND ALL INFO APPRECIATED!!

I will check your suggestions. I have been looking at Adelaide. Have you been there?

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HOW are the property tax rates, income taxes etc. in Australia?

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Hi Linus,

I'm slightly biased here, but seriously Oz is one of the best places to live in. Despite recent setbacks, we still have a very high standard of living, and a decent safety net for when things go wrong.

Looking at a few things you've asked about:-

Taxation: taxation is a sensitive subject in some countries, but not so much here. Sur,e no one likes to pay, but it's not a country where people take it personally. I suggest you have a look at the Tax Office website to investigate the rates you'd pay, depending on your income of course. www.ato.gov.au

Everything is subject to GST as well. Unlike other places, this must be included in the shelf price, so there's no nasty surprises when you get to the checkout.

Property: Sydney is one of the nicest place sto live, but property places, on our scale, are stupendous there. You will find that Melbourne, Brisbane, hey anywhere else really, does provide much better value. I suggest you take a look at some real estate websites to gt a guage of prices

www.domain.com.au and www.realestate.com.au are good places to start from.

Education: we take this seriously. Unfortunately, many parents here are moving private schools, but our state school system is still pretty good. Generally speaking, the school ages are from 5 to 15 or 16. Higher education has become something that's expected here nowdays, and the universities are pretty decent. Take a look at my uni, www.usyd.edu.au for a start (that's in Sydney) or some other very good ones are www.unsw.edu.au

www.uq.edu.au

www.rmit.edu.au

www.une.edu.au

to name just a few.

Climate: Adelaide is supposed to be nice, but it's not my scene at all. Horses for courses, of course, but I prefer Sydney, Melbourne and regional areas. Sydney is VERY humid in summer, and it's something I have troubles with. Melbourne is never like that, rather it has a hot, long summer (as the prevailing winds are from the north, overland). I think you'd call Melbourne a very mild Boston, and Sydney a Florida or Missippi type of climate, for want of a better example.

Suburban lifestyle: to be honest, Melbourne's streets ahead of Sydney in this regard. Sydney's problem is one of transport, as the road network is poorly designed and maintained. Melbourne is not as lively, but is much easier to get around.

Hope that's a start for you. Is there a type of work you'd be interested in getting?

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I would like to thank you for the tips and web sites. I will check them out.

I am a teacher of High School Sciences and Community College Sciences. I am also a real estate broker. I have worked for the US government and in private industry. You asked the million dollar question! I have been teaching for over twenty years and have had enough. I would not like to continue the teaching avenue...but if it is the only position available; so be it. I am looking for a new challenge. Sales, sciences, other... not quite sure. Perhaps working for an American company that is in Australia. My first goal is to select an area and then focus on the job market. This appears to be a reverse order BUT if I am going to relocate to the other side of the world it better be a lifestyle/ climate that I desire.

What did you mean by setbacks of late in Australia? Are Americans generally well liked in Australia?

What is horses for courses in your last statement?

My main goal is a better future for my children and a pleasant lifestyle for myself. The same goal we all have.

Please advise. :D

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Oh sorry...What about the healthcare system? It appears that there is a national system backed up by private insurance. Am I correct?

How good is the national plan?

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Hi again,

Sounds like you've got an interesting career there, have you done much job looking in Australia yet? It could give you an idea of what area to get into. That also depends on the bizarre immigration system we have here too, there's LOTS of paperwork. However, it's worth it, so persist.

By recent setbacks I meant the employment law situation. Traditionally, we've had strong protections for workers, including things such as unfair dismissal closely watched. However the present commonwealth, being of a particular bent, has done away with that, among many other things. While this provides "flexibility" for people like me, in choice of job and such, it does have the net effect of reducing wages and conditions for those in normal jobs (the lady in the shop, part-timers and so on). I can't see how that's a good thing.

I see you asked about healthcare in another post, so I'll answer that here. Medicare is paid for by everyone in the tax we all pay. There are no exceptions: every time you get paid, out comes your tax and the medicare levy. This then pays for all public hospitals, and also runs the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme. This subsidises necessary pharamaceutical products for everyone. So, as an example, if there's a cancer drug that is really effective but costs a lot, it will be listed on the PBS and subsidised to a reasonable level. The level of the subsidy is very significant, and makes drugs for treatment wideley available. It's something we dont' properly appreciate, as it protects people from the crazy prices of drug products.

www.health.gov.au/pbs

www.medicare.gov.au

So if you're run over by a car, and need to go to hospital, you're admitted as a Medicare patient. All costs are paid by the commonwealth. There are private heal insurance funds, but their membership is constantly falling. From what I've seen, the private funds are great if you're having kids and want to choose your own doctor and get a private room in a hospital, or if you need dental care or allied health. Otherwise, I can't see the need for private insurance, and have never wasted my money on one. Do bear in mind that Medicare does not have a dental programme, however.

Generaly, Americans are treated just like everyone else. We tease a lot, but that's just good-natured fun. The American people I studied with always had lots of weird things to tease me about as well

This is a multi-cultural country, with many areas having a very high population born overseas. Regional areas are more Aussie, generally Anglo-Celtic in background. Melbourne has huge Italian, Greek and Vietnamese populations and these give it a much more European feel than Sydney has. Sydney has extensive Chinese, Lebanese populations, among scores of others.

When my American friends were here they always complained about other Americans who came to Australia, but whose every sentence started with "back home we do...". They missed the point: it's a different place, and in lots of ways there is not a direct comparison. I guess that's why my friends mixed well, and the others didn't get to know locals much at all.

Are there any places that have taken your eye yet?

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Thank you for the wealth of information. I have looked at immigration policies and as you say it is a NIGHTMARE... I get turned off just reading about immigration; but I guess that is better than the US policy. Our policy is that an "X" ray is taken and if a bone shows you are in with full health, dental and retirement. :)

I have looked two of the major cities. Sydney looks VERY nice; but it has humid weather. I have looked at

Adelaide and the weather there appears nice but I am concerned that it is an industrial area. Home prices here(Adelaide ) are great. I have spent my entire life on the coast and have lived no more than 20 minutes away from the ocean and boating. I guess I have a psycholigical fear of living inland. Melbourne is my next target.

I have looked into the education area and the salaries are similar to the USA. I also have looked into some AUS. government positions-I am sure that those are saved for the native Australians. In the USA it is the other way around. I have not had much time this week to search.

Is swimming a large factor in Australia? I ask because my kids are 23/7 swimmers.

You did not answer the horses for courses question from above. Just curious!

May I ask your age? Another just curious question.

THANK YOU for your help it is greatly appreciated. :D

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Hi again,

You're doing lots of reasearch, and that's a good thing. Too many people would get carried away with the romance of the idea and not check out the facts.

Adelaide, erm, well it's not my cup of tea, shall we say. Horses for courses some would say :P It's much smaller than the eastern capitals, and much less diverse because of this. Certainly it's experienced considerable migration in the period 1945-1980, like the rest of the country, but it's not on the same scale as Melbourne, Sydney and to a lesser extent, Brisbane. I'm biased in that if you asked me "would you move to Adelaide?" the answer would be a firm "no". Check it out and make your own decision, as you'll be a much better judge of your tastes than I will, but that's what I think.

Have you checked out the census data yet? That will give you a good grasp of the make-up of each area. Go to www.abs.gov.au and wade through the HUGE amount of material, I think you'll find it a tad confusing (we all do!) but well worthwhile.

Being a Victorian originally, I do think Melbourne would work well. Have a look at ww.thatsmelbourne.com.au, it's a promotional site put together by the state and municipal governments. Also, www.visitvictoria.com.au would be a good start. Also, www.vic.gov.au will give you some good pointers for cultural and climate information. Be warned: Victorians are CRAZY about sport. It's perfectly normal for 60,000 people to go to a footy match in the pouring rain.

Similarly, www.nsw.gov.au has a wealth of information abut NSW and Sydney in particular. You are right, tho, it doe get VERY sticky in summer.

Swimming, there's lots and lots of clubs, pools, and more everywhere. In those locations where there's good coastal conditions, there's surf clubs and the like. Sydney, being coastal and directly on the ocean, has loads of surf clubs and some fabulous beaches. Melbourne is situated on Port Phillip Bay, so there's not any decent beaches to be honest. Melbournians would be sure to disagree (they claim St Kilda beach is great and there's a lot of small beaches all around the bay) but I don't think they compare to a proper ocean beach. On the other hand, not being ocean beaches means there's less dangerous rips and tides to watch out for. Like most Australians, most people in Melbourne and Sydney find it easy to get in the water.

Government jobs are open to those who hold Australian passports or permanent residency. This is obvious, as it's easier to check up on people who are resident here. Over time, tho, it could be an option.

Have you given any thought to regional cities, say along the Victorian coast? Maybe have a look at Warrnambool and similar places: they're great for lifestyle and are right on the water. Living in a regional area might get you more points with immigration, too.

Hold old am I? Well as of this year I'm officially settling: I turned 30 in March, and the grey hair is encroaching!!!!

Have you looked at Melbourne yet? What's your impressions?

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Melbourne or Adelaide these are my primary two locations. NOW....the job hunt begins. When attending college is preference given to Australian citizens? Like...lesser tuition, free tuition etc. In the states you are on your own for education. Any help appreciated. :D

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Howdy there again,

University places are allocated. Firstly there are those places for Oz citizens, the majority of which are subsidised via a loans scheme (the Commonwealth foots the bill, then takes it out of your pay at tax time, a little each year till it's gone, which is never). Unfortunatley we do have a lot of fee-paying places, most of which go to OS students, and to be honest, has a significant bd effect on academic standards. Due to the capitalist-anything-goes attitude of our government, universities are dependant on fee-paying places to keep the doors open.

While there is some variation from state to state, a high school student typically spends years 11 and 12 trying to get a good mark for university entry (or partying hard then realising it's exam time). This is the VCE in Victorai (Victorian Certificate of Education), the HSC in NSW (Higher School Certificate) and I'm not sure what it's called in SA. This then translates to a standardised score, and you have to get a certain base score to be considered for a course at your chosen uni. For instance, medical courses are restricted to those people who get amazing marks, close to 100, whereas the science degree I first enrolled in had an entry score of 70.

Admissions for undergrads are centralised and students apply with a ranked card of their preferences. There is no direct application to a particular university unless it's for a fee-paying place or for postgrad courses.

Now about jobs.............whats your thoughts and is there much around that you're interested in?

Hope all is well

Melbourne or Adelaide these are my primary two locations. NOW....the job hunt begins. When attending college is preference given to Australian citizens? Like...lesser tuition, free tuition etc. In the states you are on your own for education. Any help appreciated. :D

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Hey, guys. I am also an American wishing to relocate to Australia (hey, the grass is always greener, right?) to continue my education.

I am interested in going to graduate school for urban planning. I have been living in Shanghai, China for over two years now. Shanghai has opened my eyes to the importance of urban planning, and my lungs to the importance of making cities sustainable.

(When I first came here we had two subway lines. Now we have five, and are planning another six by 2010. On the other hand, there are massive traffic problems and they are only building more and more roads).

I am drawn to Australian cities for a number of reasons:

1. Like Chinese cities, they are fast running out of water. But they are so different in terms of population, economics and available space. I think this offer an interesting contast.

2. I loved Sydney, thought it was one of the most livable cities I have ever been in (but don't tell my Manhattan family that!)

3. Am interested in the steps being taken by the populs to conserve water.

4. Was amazed by how much protected nature there is in the country and want to study how societies expand around those areas.

5. Am interested in living in a country where the government would propose a scheme to tax drivers inorder to support public transportation. (Does anyone know anything about this?)

(http://www.smh.com.au/news/national/too-many-tolls-not-enough-says-moore/2005/10/26/1130302838996.html)

I've been checking out Planning Institute Australia (PIA), which has a list of accredited universities, but no helpful community like this.

Could anyone share their thoughts with me on studying urban planning in Australia? Which are the best schools/programs? Any suggestions for more places to get intouch with urban desigeners in Australia?

Thank you in advance for help! Appreciate peopel taking the time!

Howdy there again,

University places are allocated. Firstly there are those places for Oz citizens, the majority of which are subsidised via a loans scheme (the Commonwealth foots the bill, then takes it out of your pay at tax time, a little each year till it's gone, which is never). Unfortunatley we do have a lot of fee-paying places, most of which go to OS students, and to be honest, has a significant bd effect on academic standards. Due to the capitalist-anything-goes attitude of our government, universities are dependant on fee-paying places to keep the doors open.

While there is some variation from state to state, a high school student typically spends years 11 and 12 trying to get a good mark for university entry (or partying hard then realising it's exam time). This is the VCE in Victorai (Victorian Certificate of Education), the HSC in NSW (Higher School Certificate) and I'm not sure what it's called in SA. This then translates to a standardised score, and you have to get a certain base score to be considered for a course at your chosen uni. For instance, medical courses are restricted to those people who get amazing marks, close to 100, whereas the science degree I first enrolled in had an entry score of 70.

Admissions for undergrads are centralised and students apply with a ranked card of their preferences. There is no direct application to a particular university unless it's for a fee-paying place or for postgrad courses.

Now about jobs.............whats your thoughts and is there much around that you're interested in?

Hope all is well

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:rolleyes: THIS RUNNING OUT OF WATER THING IN OZ IS SCARY. Is it really that bad?

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Hi there,

I'm a bit biased, so will completely agree that the grass is greener here! Now all we need is rain to actually make the grass grow, but that's another matter.

Firstly, thanskfully, only one Australian university follows the North American model of graduate programmes vs undergrads. A university is the same, and offers various progerammes depending on its size. Ususally undergraduate programmes are in a particular discipline (not a general degree) and a post-graduate is for a specialisation.

Sydney is liveable, but amazingly expensive. I deliberately live in the outer suburbs so that I can afford a nice house and not pay squillions for a small box in the inner-city. The trouble with that is, I have to drive everywhere! But it's a price I'm happy to pay.

Taxation for supporting public transport is a dream here, and is unlikely to happen. Sydney's Lord Mayor has some interesting ideas (including a fantasy of running light rail down narrow streets) but they remain goals, and have not enought political momentum to make them a reality at this time.

Water conservation here is essential, and as a person who grew up on a farm totally dependant on rainwater, it's about time urban dwellers finally thought about the ways they use water. That said, formal restrictions have some really harsh elements to them. Finally it is making political figures realise that populism (in pandering some certain groups and areas in not putting in new storage dams in the 1980's) doesn't make good policy. The greater good is a realyl difficult thing to implement!

You asked about the better universities............frankly the PIA is pretty useless in this reagard, they have a lot more work to do in putting together a proper ranking of universities. In NSW, the universities offering planning post-grad courses are

The University of New South Wales www.fbe.unsw.edu.au

This likes to claim it's the premier university for planning in NSW. I doubt that, personally. Their undergrad is 5 years in duration. The post-grad programme is still new.

The University of Sydney www.arch.usyd.edu.au

The planning here is through the Faculty of Architecture. The courses are much more practical than the UNSW ones I've seen, but the timing is very difficult for those of us who work at the same time. I did the first stage of my Master's here last year.

The University of Western Sydney www.uws.edu.au

Unfortunately, UWS is looked down on by most. The courses are generally good, but getting to thei plethora of campuses is difficult.

Other institutions do offer planning-related courses, but these are the main ones in NSW

For the remainder of my Masters I'm completing it at RMIT throught Melbourne www.rmit.edu.au This is the largest post-grad planning programme in Australia, and is available completely on-line, which is how I'm doing it. It's generally practical, and less theoretical, which is a good thing.

Have a look at the University of Queensland www.uq.edu.au Their programme is excellent, but I'm not sure about the modes of delivery. Also the University of Adelaide is good, as is Edith Cowan University in Perth.

*draws breath*

I'll stop now, can you tell I love talking about this stuff? hehe

Hope that's helpful

DB

Hey, guys. I am also an American wishing to relocate to Australia (hey, the grass is always greener, right?) to continue my education.

I am interested in going to graduate school for urban planning. I have been living in Shanghai, China for over two years now. Shanghai has opened my eyes to the importance of urban planning, and my lungs to the importance of making cities sustainable.

(When I first came here we had two subway lines. Now we have five, and are planning another six by 2010. On the other hand, there are massive traffic problems and they are only building more and more roads).

I am drawn to Australian cities for a number of reasons:

1. Like Chinese cities, they are fast running out of water. But they are so different in terms of population, economics and available space. I think this offer an interesting contast.

2. I loved Sydney, thought it was one of the most livable cities I have ever been in (but don't tell my Manhattan family that!)

3. Am interested in the steps being taken by the populs to conserve water.

4. Was amazed by how much protected nature there is in the country and want to study how societies expand around those areas.

5. Am interested in living in a country where the government would propose a scheme to tax drivers inorder to support public transportation. (Does anyone know anything about this?)

(http://www.smh.com.au/news/national/too-many-tolls-not-enough-says-moore/2005/10/26/1130302838996.html)

I've been checking out Planning Institute Australia (PIA), which has a list of accredited universities, but no helpful community like this.

Could anyone share their thoughts with me on studying urban planning in Australia? Which are the best schools/programs? Any suggestions for more places to get intouch with urban desigeners in Australia?

Thank you in advance for help! Appreciate peopel taking the time!

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This is the dryest continent on the planet. We are now in a huge drought, this is nothing new.

Waht is new is that form the mid-1980's onwards (in times of huge urban growth) political decisions were made not to upgrade storage dams or build any new ones. This is from the mis-guided idea of saving trees and hugging furry animals, and simple populism.

Trouble is, the reality of life is that the bigger a city gets, the more people there are drawing on water. If the city has the same amount of water availabie as before, then of course it runs out of water as soon as a drought hits. That's easy to work out.

Add to that, Australians are generally not conscious of water useage. I grew up on a farm where we were completely dependant on rainwater to live. So it's ingraned in me - don't leave a tap running, wash a few clothers by hand instead of using the machine, don't stand in the shower for more than a few minutes, etc. In urban areas these ideas are only now getting attention.

In my first council job in Sydney, in 2001, the staff told people who wanted to install rainwater tanks that they were prohibited and they should not try. Now we have city dwellers seeking to install tanks, very small tanks at that, and finally it ie being encouraged.

So don't be put off by recent events and the excitement that goes with it. Managed correctly, and with common sense, things will be fine.

:rolleyes: THIS RUNNING OUT OF WATER THING IN OZ IS SCARY. Is it really that bad?

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Melbourne or Adelaide these are my primary two locations. NOW....the job hunt begins. When attending college is preference given to Australian citizens? Like...lesser tuition, free tuition etc. In the states you are on your own for education. Any help appreciated. :D

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