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The Luvpants have landed! Our arrival report.

The Luvpants have landed! Our arrival report.

Old Jan 19th 2011, 12:22 am
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Default The Luvpants have landed! Our arrival report.

We have been in Brisbane for nearly three weeks now and thought it must be about time for an arrival report! I thought that I will put into words our journey how we
got here as well as it may help someone. Its going to be along one so grab a coffee, sit down and lets crack on.

I have always wanted to live in Oz but my then wife was not having it so I put it on the back burner. We got divorced 8 years ago and the first thing I did with the bit of money that I had, was to book a 3 week trip for myself and my new girlfriend to oz to have a look. We loved it and it once again rekindled my love to move to oz. My brother left to live in Sydney that year as well.

Roll on 6 years and that girlfriend was now my wife and she had just fulfilled a life long dream of being a nurse. In her last year as a student, we managed to sort out a placement in an Australian hospital. We stayed near my brother and then travelled the East coast a bit.

I am a firefighter and was not sure as to what trade I was going to do once there but was willing to give it a go. However I contacted all the State fire services and WA came back and said that they were trying to sort out a lateral policy so that UK firefighters could transfer straight in. Excellent I thought but the missus was not prepared to go somewhere where we had not been so we did a reccie to Brisbane and Perth later that year. It's horses for courses and we did not like Perth. It was not for us but we loved Queensland.So we decided Queensland was our destination.Whilst in Brisbane I attended a Queendsland police information evening as I fancied a career change so found out what I needed to do to apply.

Lisa finished training on January 6th 2009 and we knew we had to wait a year to apply. Due to our ages,we decided to go State sponsored as we needed less points. I read all the websites and could not find any reasons why I could not apply for the skills assessment and State sponsorship before Lisa had completed a year so that as soon as she done a year as a nurse we could apply. So we cracked on. The skills assessment was done in May 2009 and once we had that, we registered Lisa as a nurse in Queensland as I predicted ( and I was right) that there was going to be an almighty cock up of nurse registrations when AHPRA took over.

We were about to apply for SS when the dreaded IELTS for nurses raised its head. We had a look at what everyone was saying and we decided that Lisa would take the test 3 times and see what happens and then we would reassess. I downloaded loads of practice tests off the net and was really strict with Lisa and using her words "I made her do the tests everyday"! The result was that she came out of the test centre and said that it was not as bad as she thought and if she had to do it again it would not be a problem. However 10 days she got her results and she had got a minimum of 7 in each part first time round and so we were able to apply to Queensland for state sponsorship.We had
to borrow £20k from Lisa's parents to show Queensland that we had the funds and then we gave it back to them once we had the required bank statement. State sponsorship
was granted in September 2009 so we were now waiting till January 7th 2010 to apply for the visa.

In October I got a phone call from an estate agent who asked us were we still thinking of selling our house. We had discussed it before and had decided that we would put the house up for sale as soon as we had the visa but we said yes to the EA coming round to give us a quote. We were surprised when he said that our house was worth £20k more than what we thought so decided to test the market. We put it up for sale and we had an open afternoon and one couple turned up!However that couple paid the asking price and 6 weeks later we had moved out into rented.

As I did not have a degree, I needed to do an Australian diploma in Justice just to be able to apply for the police. I was going to do the 10 week course when we got to oz but I managed to find an online provider that the police would accept despite me being in the UK. I had to have 4 months off work due to a shoulder operation so I cracked on with the course whilst off work and passed it.

On January 7th 2010 we applied for our 176 visa and I had set the goal of flying out by the end of the year so I went ahead and booked flights for flying out on christmas day. Then I panicked a bit as there was the big shake ups in the visa process and I thought that our grant may not happen in 2010 so we had a discussion and we decided to go for our medicals as we thought it might speed up our visa grant. So we booked medicals and when we got home from doing them there was an email from DIAC saying we had a CO and to go for our medicals! We then sent off for our police checks and our visa was granted. I think ours is a record: from applying for the 176 visa to being grant was 6 weeks and 3 days!

So we were waiting all of 2010 to emigrate. We saw as much as we could of our friends. Then I had a thought....If I had my visa and I had the diploma, why cant I apply
to the police now? So I contacted the police and they said as long as I was prepared to travel to Brisbane, they would let me do all my tests and interviews in a week. So I sent off my application form and three weeks later I was on a plane to Brisbane. My idea behind all this was that applications were taking 6 months to process. If it cost us a grand to go to oz and sit the tests and I passed and managed to get on a recruits intake in January or February 2011, then I would be earning as soon as we got to oz. It was a gamble that we were willing to take.

Whilst waiting for my Police interview, I started to talk to the bloke next to me who had just come out of the NZ army and was looking to join the police. He asked me about
our plans for work and then told me that his brother was head of nursing at Nambour hospital. As the Sunshine coast was one of our possible destinations, he said that he would take my email address and give it to his brother.Well two weeks later, his brother emailed us and the following week Lisa had an interview and then got a FT job in Nambour Hospital.

In September I heard from the Police. They score you in each stage of the process and then give you an overall score at the end. The higher the score, the higher chance you have of getting an intake. I scored an A-! Could not believe it. In December I got the official email inviting me to the January 31st intake in December so now we were both sorted. In fact this morning I have received my joining instructions.

We decided that it was going to be easier to beg, borrow and steal furniture etc in the UK than OZ so we sent our stuff over early. We used PSS and they came on the 19th November. PSS sub out their operations in the South east to another company. The lads who turned up were brilliant. Everything was packed and everything that we told them not to pack was still there when they left so no complaints.We did not use their insurance as we used insure your move (who advertise on here) as they were a lot cheaper.I have just had an email from PSS's agents in oz who have told me that our stuff has cleared AQIS with no problems at all and should be with us the day
after we move into our rental. Bloody hell....my timing is good! We used Zoflora to clean everything so that it was spotless and smelt lovely. We also did not take any garden furniture as we thought this might have caused us problems.

We bought a washing machine and tumble dryer from Hughes Electrical and an imac from PCworld and had them all delivered to the PSS warehouse so that we could claim the VAT back. Pss charge you £25 to process the first claim and then £10 each claim after that. Bit steep if you ask me as all they do is write to the companies and
confirm that it was shipped off. Hughes were brilliant and came back to me straight away and said that they had not done this before but will look into it and get back to me. They did and we got the VAT back. However Pcworld were a different matter. I got a letter point blank refusing to pay the VAT back as "is against their policy". However after a few phone calls to them and a warning that I would be taking them to a small claims court and would be claiming a return flight from Australia and a hotel for a week, the money turned up in our account.

So to the arrival report.Despite sending most of our stuff over by ship, our cases weighed 28K and 27K so well over the 20K limit. the girl in Heathrow did not say anything however when we checked in at Hong kong it was a different matter. We blagged it and said that we were migrating (he then checked for our visa stamp) and we
thought that we were allowed to bring that much. A little porker I know! But he let us go with a stern telling off so we got away with it. We flew with Catahy Pacific and they were good. We had 2 nights in Hong Kong as Lisa's parents were coming out with us for three months and we felt that a 2 day stopover would do them good. We landed in Brisbane on the 29th December and picked up the hire car from East Coast Car rentals who I have used three times before. I would definitely recommend them.

We drove to Lorikeet Lodge which is owned by Rudi on here.A very central spot and it has all your needs except a masher as we found out lastnight (hope you are reading this Catherine LOL). I had met Nurse sue from this site and her family as they had kindly put me up when I come over in June and Sue had come to the house and decorated it with Aussie flags and posters and had put a lovely hamper in an Eskie on the back patio. She is an absolute diamond and has a lovely down to earth family.Thank you very much Sue.

We had a well deserved sleep and went out the next day looking at cars. We decided that as second hand cars we so much money, we would buy new. We had a budget of $28 but ended falling in love with a Kia Sorrento with loads of bells and whistles. After a bit of haggling we got the car for $34K with loads of extras.However we have
not got it yet due to the floods.The same day we went to the NAB bank and validated the bank account that we had opened in the UK. We asked them to send a statement to
our house ASAP as we would need this for ID to get our driving licences.

The next day we went to get our medicare cards but the lady said that we were not probably on the system (although she did not even check!) and told us to come back in
two days. We did and we got the temp cards then. For all these things we used our temp address and we will change everything when we move into our rental.

As soon as the bank statement came, we got ourdriving licences. The whole process took 30 mins and was painless.

Rentals: we looked at a few houses and applied for 2. We got accepted on both of them! The reason why is this: Before I left the UK, I got in contact with everyone
that we had had finacial dealings with, Council tax, loans, mortgage company, HP companies etc and asked them to send me a statement or a letter confirming that we had been excellent payers. I also got a personal reference from our line managers and a couple of friends who were a chartered accountant and a social worker. I then scanned everything and put it on a data stick. I also got a scan of the ozzie bank statement before we had started using it. We finally chose the house on Peregian Springs and move in next Monday. As I said earlier our container has arrived and I have booked it in to be delivered next Tuesday. I will let you know whether this happens and whether we had any breakages.

Lisa went to visit her hospital ward. It is only 4 months old and where she was looking after up to 19 patients in the UK, she will only be looking after 8 here. She is really looking forward to starting work on the 31st January. Nurses over here get paid a lot more than UK nurses.

We have found food shopping quite expensive. So we are not converting back to sterling anymore as we live here now. We live in Australia now and this is not the UK.Having said that,meat is a lot cheaper though. Also, after talking to some people it seems like its swings and roundabouts: somethings are move expensive, some things are cheaper.
At the end of the day, we decided to come here, no one made us do it so what right have we to complain about things. Too many people come over here and expect it to be
England without the sun.Its not, its Australia.If you are not prepared to try and fit and fit in, then you might as well go back to the UK as you will never be happy.

We managed to get contracts on Mobile phones with Vodafone but cancelled them after 3 days as the Vodafone coverage is shocking. We will probably be going with Teslstra as the coverage is a lot better however they are more expensive.

Everyone here seems really friendly and everyone seems to say hello and have time for you. If you are going to make it here, you need to put yourself out there and try to strike up conversations and gain friends. Its no good moaning and saying you are lonely if you are not trying. The ozzies are not going to come to you, you have to go to them.Its your fault if you cant find friends.

The weather was great the first few days and then the floods came. We got turned back 5 times trying to get somewhere but have not been affected where we are. Everyone is really concerned about everyone else and there is a blitz like spirit amongst people. Its lovely to see. The weather has changed and today it is expected to reach 32 degrees and there is not a cloud in the sky.

So, so far so good. My advice to anyone thinking of coming over is RESEARCH,RESEARCH,RESEARCH. Our three children (aged 21,21 and 23) did not want to come to oz and stayed in the UK. Although we miss them, this is our time in life to do what we want. Australia has so much to offer us as a couple and we are looking forward to enjoying it. We know that we are going to have ups and downs over the next year or so butr we are strong enough as a couple to find a way through it.

At the moment its not a good time to come over due to the exchange rate and many people on here are contemplating the move. My advice to you is to ask yourself why you
are doing the move. Wealth can be measured in more ways than money. Someone asked me last week why I came to Australia and my answer was "because I can". My wifes brother Lee walked into a room 6 years ago and collapsed. According to the coroner he was dead before he hit the floor.Lee loved life and would have totally approved of what we are doing now. This terrible experience has taught us that you never know what is round the corner so grab your opportunities and hang on. I am in contact with some school friends on Facebook and they are still in our home town 30 years on and have not challenged themselves whilst me.....I'm living the dream!



JOHN
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Old Jan 19th 2011, 5:30 am
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Default Re: The Luvpants have landed! Our arrival report.

Lovely update, John. Just reading it while on a break from unpacking my container.

All the best to you and Lisa and, with the positive attitude and great planning ability that you've shown, I'm sure you'll be very happy.
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Old Jan 19th 2011, 9:21 am
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Default Re: The Luvpants have landed! Our arrival report.

Hi John, great update. We are also looking at the Peregian area. We are hoping to move in about 18 months time. All the best and good luck. Cheers, H.
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Old Jan 19th 2011, 9:32 am
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Default Re: The Luvpants have landed! Our arrival report.

Great update!

Amazing journey story. Wish you both all the very best!
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Old Jan 19th 2011, 7:56 pm
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Default Re: The Luvpants have landed! Our arrival report.

Great up date Jon, so how are u getting on with the police course
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Old Jan 20th 2011, 10:11 pm
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Great update and read
Good luck to the future
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Old Jan 20th 2011, 10:51 pm
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Default Re: The Luvpants have landed! Our arrival report.

Nice read - good luck with the career change
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Old Jan 21st 2011, 1:14 am
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Default Re: The Luvpants have landed! Our arrival report.

An excellent update, thanks, just read it while I was cooling down from my gym class, now time to hit the shower as ICED INK!!!
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Old Jan 21st 2011, 7:22 am
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Default Re: The Luvpants have landed! Our arrival report.

What a great read. I hardly come on here anymore but i'm glad i came across this
Well done too, you deserve it. You've put a lot of research into it.
Enjoy the academy. Stu's loving the job
Where would you consider moving to if they requested to relocate you? Stu said he'd have liked Mission Beach but we couldn't move anywhere while our daughters at school. Someone we know just got sent to Townsville. With no kids it's a good way to experience Aus and it's extra $$$$ some places

Enjoy!
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Old Jan 21st 2011, 11:36 am
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Default Re: The Luvpants have landed! Our arrival report.

Fantastic update! Thanks for sharing, I love a positive post! - I hope you will both be very happy with your new life in Oz!
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Old Jan 23rd 2011, 9:46 am
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Default Re: The Luvpants have landed! Our arrival report.

Excellent post.
Good luck with your new life.
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Old Jan 24th 2011, 8:03 pm
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Great post, hope things continue to go well for you both
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Old Jan 24th 2011, 8:16 pm
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Default Re: The Luvpants have landed! Our arrival report.

Originally Posted by mr luvpants View Post

Rentals: we looked at a few houses and applied for 2. We got accepted on both of them! The reason why is this: Before I left the UK, I got in contact with everyone
that we had had finacial dealings with, Council tax, loans, mortgage company, HP
companies etc and asked them to send me a statement or a letter confirming that we had been excellent payers. I also got a personal reference from our line managers and a couple of friends who were a chartered accountant and a social worker.

JOHN
about to look to do the same, can you confirm which you got a statement for and which you got a letter?
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Old Jan 24th 2011, 8:55 pm
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Default Re: The Luvpants have landed! Our arrival report.

Good on ya pal, nice to hear a success story

you're gonna love it
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Old Jan 26th 2011, 6:14 pm
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Default Re: The Luvpants have landed! Our arrival report.

Hi there Mr Luvpants,

What a breath of fresh air.

Your update is truly inspirational and contains some excellent hints about making the emigration experience a success. It most certainly cheered me up on my day off sick.

Many thanks for sharing this with us all.

Bezza
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