Welcome to Australia!
So you're here and you've unpacked, the heat is kicking in but now the work really
starts, from obtaining tax file numbers to buying a car, there's lots you need to
know. It took us a while to work things out, so hopefully these links will make the
transition much smoother for you.
Giving you a helping hand along your
PLANNING YOUR ADVENTURE.
Planning and research are essential for a move of this size, to help you with this process we
have created a list of links to give you quick and easy access to the people who can help you
most. There are lots of companies who provide the following services, however the ones
listed here we have either used or have been recommended.
Our personal experience:
for all the details of what we did prior to coming please see the 'about us' page of the site, there's
loads of detail and anything you want me to expand on please drop me an email and I'd be happy to
Once we got here the work really began. We applied for our tax file numbers by going into an office
in Brisbane CBD (city business district) and doing it at there office, we thought it would be quicker
but it wasn't, they just directed us to a computer and we had to do it online, it would have been
quicker and easier to do it from home, it then takes approximately 2 weeks to come through. As we
were in temporary accommodation we decided to use my sisters address for the application so that
if it was delayed it wouldn't be sent to an address we were no longer at.
Next was Medicare registration, this is basically the Aussie equivalent of the NHS except it's not free,
but it is subsidised by the government. Every time you visit a GP you pay approximately $54 unless
your doctor 'bulk bills' which is another topic that I will go into further down. You keep the receipt for
the money you have paid and take it to a Medicare office which are situated all over, mainly in
shopping centres. The office then refund approximately $35 of what you have paid. You have to
pay for all medical treatment unless you have some sort of exemption, many people here take out
private medical cover which is good especially if you get dental cover as dentists are very expensive
here. Also if you earn a combined income of over $100'000 the amount you get refunded is
reduced, so you'd need to do your sums to see what was better for you.
Anyway, back to the story, as a permanent resident you have to wait 10 days before you can apply
for Medicare cover, in the meantime if you are poorly you can go to a doctor and they will see you
as Australia has an agreement with the UK and vice-versa (so we have been told). That's the other
thing about doctors here, you don't register with one, you can just go to any, also appointments are
pretty quick here there's no waiting for a week to see someone, it's very refreshing!
We then had to find a property to rent, you can find more info on that one on our housing page.
Next was a car, we were told of various places to go to etc and there are lots of hidden costs you
need to be aware of, for more on this see our driving page, you will also find on this page changing
your licnese which we also had to do, however you can use your British one for the first 3 months.
We then wanted to transfer our pensions over so needed to discuss this with someone, for more on
this please visit our finances page.
Next it was Kindy time which you can read about on our Childcare page.
Following this it was job time which you can again read about on the job page.
Aside from all of these things and there are probably lots more things that I've just forgotten about
(please email me if you can think of something I've not covered and I'll be happy to add it!) we then
had to learn brands! I'd not even thought of this before we came, but what a nightmare! There are
some similar brands but quite often they are different and if they are the same brand they are made
here and taste different so you then have to try other until you find some thing you like. However on
the plus side once you have this accomplished, you're onto a winner.
The other things you don't think about not knowing are:
What's the emergency number? (000 just in case you were wondering), Who's in power? What's the
difference between federal and state government? Where is the nearest hospital / GP surgery?
So much to take in and you have to learn your way around, but it's worth it, you just have to go with
it, some days you're stressed, some days your homesick, but the rest of the time, which is the
majority of the time i might add, you just look around you in amazement and can't believe you're
actually here living the dream.