Thursday, January 8, 2015

Life in Australia


"What's life in Australia Like", you ask? Oh its horrible, all these scenic forests, trains that glide, wild animals on my porch, sunshine, beaches, big shopping centers, massive road infrastructure, first world free medi-care, first class education, kangaroos, harbors, water ways too many things to do.


Hate it. (Life in Australia)


Seriously though - I think compared to other countries Australia is a little different. I think the culture is a little isolated and slightly year 2000's. Big cars are chased for with big houses. Everyone flows out to the beach resorts on holidays. Crazy traffic.


Well on different days I have different opinions.


Life in Australia on TV. TV adverts can be crass, with weird adverts on how to last longer and please you girlfriend? Somehow improving your relationship. There is only one provider - Fox Tel with services costing about $160 per month for the full whack. Very expensive. No competition, monopoly.


Life in Australia for the Macho ? The culture is very old fashioned with macho beer drinking, outdoorsmen drinking beer. On the other hand there are lots of people who don't do this and really quite nice.


Life in Australia for kids? In schools the kids party hard, drink a lot, A LOT, and do drugs, I heard somewhere there is a lot dope smoking - something like the highest in the world.


The reverse is that many of the schools are well equipped. Obviously you have good and bad schools - many of them aligned to area.


Bus and train transport for school kids are free!! First two weeks of school you just need to wear a uniform, after that all kids are issued a student travel card.


Computer gaming is ok, but we are far away from the big server farms in Asia, Europe and America. So in the past high latency has to be endured. Its getting better as the big online gaming companies move infrastructure to Australia.


Life in Australia on the internet? Speeds are slower, bandwidth is more expensive than everywhere else. Government unsure as to whether the internet is important. Data is capped....need I say more- dark ages.


Life in Australia weather ? Well it is hot in Summer - of course there is a winter and for the southern areas like Sydney and Melbourne it gets effing cold. Down to 4 degrees. Winter is long, you need heating, unless you are want to wear warm stuff inside all winter. Lots of houses are not insulated. Prepare to freeze your nuts off. Heaters fly off the shelves.


Life in Australia as a unskilled worker? Hard, very hard - but of course its relevant. May be harder elsewhere.


Life in Australia I high school ?  Same as everywhere else. Crappy crowds and cliques following the latest trend or fashion.


Life in Australia in terms of business and integrity? Watch out, Australians will eat you alive! Many people are dishonest - just the same as everywhere else.






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Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Jan 6 - Australian university offers - Round 1 and round 2

Well January 6 came and went, congrats to all those getting some offers.

Here is the official information on the next round on Jan 21 which is the Main Round of offers, some 50000 offers being made last year in this band.

Good luck and keep hoping kiddo’s

 

Main Round (January Round 2)

Apply by Friday 5 December 2014 and provide all documents by Friday 16 January 2015 to guarantee consideration in the Main Round. If you’ve already applied, you can change your preferences for the Main Round until Wednesday 7 January 2015.

Most offers are made in the Main Round on Wednesday 21 January 2015 when all institutions try to make enough offers to fill the places they have available.

Main Round offers can be accessed from 6pm on Wednesday 21 January 2015 on UAC’s website. Follow the online instructions and make sure you have your UAC application number and UAC PIN ready

UAC’s institutions made almost 50,000 offers in the Main Round in 2014.

All applicants and all preferences are considered in the Main Round.

Remember that many courses have early closing dates for applying and providing documents. Check the course descriptions through the course search before you apply or change your preferences.

 

What happens if I don’t receive an offer in the Main Round?

If you aren’t made an offer, your offer letter will explain why your application was unsuccessful. Wait until you have read your letter before seeking advice.

UAC can’t give you any further information other than that in the letter. Contact the relevant institution for further advice on your study options.

Your preferences will automatically be considered in the same order in subsequent rounds. To be considered for other courses for study, however, you must change your preferences.

 

 

Here is the official UAC offers check page -   http://www.uac.edu.au/undergraduate/offers/rounds/main.shtml

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Monday, January 5, 2015

Study in Sydney, Australia ? UAC - Universities Application Centre - Waiting for an offer?

The Australian Universities Application centre or UAC or “place of stress” to me.

 

Yikes! The process and information around applying for a university place in Australia is not great! So confusing and nobody to phone!

 

Nothing can describe the distress we experienced when we arrived and put in my sons university application only to receive no offers. Turned out it was only an early offer round for previous year deferments, but this was not clear on the site.

 

After much reading through various official and non official web-sites, it seemed that we had to put our application in by the about the end of December and that on the 5th of December we would know if my son got an offer of placement in one of the universities. The 5th of December 2014 came and went and he had a message saying he had no offer. Wow, we thought that was it! All over! So much disappointment. He started looking for jobs and was totally despondent.

 

We also then spent weeks looking at alternate courses, pathways and diplomas. Diplomas are $27000 for a year! No way.

 

Finally after trying to figure out his ATAR score from his overseas UK college diploma and why he was not accepted, and finding nothing online to help with this easily, I phoned a couple of universities until I got through to some very helpful lady who explained that the offers for university placement in Jan/ Feb 2015 would only come out in January the 6 2015 and then later in January in another main round.

 

Wow we were so relieved and are now waiting to see if my son has got into university.

 

So if you are in the same position, the kind friendly lady said that the December 5th offers were probably less than 5% of all university offers with the main set of university offers coming out in January over two time schedules in that month.

 

It also seems from the university course websites that they dropped the ATAR scores to get into university. The applicants standards must have all been on the whole lower.

 

Anyway good luck with your Sydney university applications!

 

Drop me a comment or question  about your experience below!

This email, including any attachments, is confidential. If you are not the intended recipient, you must not disclose, distribute or use the information in this email in any way. If you received this email in error, please notify the sender immediately by return email and delete the message. Unless expressly stated otherwise, the information in this email should not be regarded as an offer to sell or as a solicitation of an offer to buy any financial product or service, an official confirmation of any transaction, or as an official statement of the entity sending this message. Neither Macquarie Group Limited, nor any of its subsidiaries, guarantee the integrity of any emails or attached files and are not responsible for any changes made to them by any other person.

 

Sunday, January 4, 2015

Adelaide Hills bushfire: Dozens of homes feared lost in SA's most dangerous day since Ash Wednesday




Wow, these raging fires are something we don't encounter overseas, I don't think I have seen a set of fires like these running through Adelaide Hills ever in South Africa.




I am now thinking seriously on household insurance. This is one thing I have always skipped as one we don't have super valuable stuff (well it does all add up I guess) and two I have never been in an area where fire is a real danger.




This news about the Adelaide fires and the fact that I am now surrounded by forest on basically 4/5th's of my house perimeter.




If this forest goes up in flames there is not much we could do regarding fire at all.




We have a wooden house, close wooden trees, lots of brush.




The SA premiere has just announced that families will get up to $700 in Aid. Looks like almost 100 firefighters from three different states have been mobilized to fight the fires.




At least four houses destroyed by bushfire near Kersbrook in Adelaide Hills. Just shocking, I would have thought people could have moved theirs cars and some priority belongings at least? How does this happen. If there was a fire near my home everything would be chucked in the cars and driven away.


The remains of a house destroyed by fire near Humbug Scrub, South Australia January 2 2015
Fire in Adelaide Hills


An out-of-control bushfire in South Australia’s Mount Lofty Ranges has destroyed 12 homes and there are fears for 20 others, Premier Jay Weatherill has confirmed.. 




 The Country Fire Services reported that at least 22 fire fighters have also been injured in the blaze, although none seriously, also one fire truck has been gutted in probably the worst conditions since Ash Wednesday in 1983. Forecasters have temperatures in the fire zone forecast to be much cooler on this Sunday, with a top temp of 31C  for Adelaide, problematic winds are expected to reach 40km/h in the hills in the morning and the evening. This will fan the fires and cause more damages
The Country Fire Service reduced the fire warning from the highest emergency level to a watch and act message.
However, it said the fire was stilling burning on several fronts and threatened the safety of residents in a number of communities including Sampson Flat, One Tree Hill, Humbug Scrub, Millbrook Reservoir, Kersbrook, Gumeracha, Birdwood, Mount Crawford and Kenton Valley.  


Lets hope this dies down fast with a good weather break.


Here are some photos



Adelaide fires in australia
Livestock under life threatening fire danger



Firefighter toiling away in Adelaide
Dangers of life in Adelaide Australia
Firefighter in Adelaide Australia, been on the news for days now, fires consuming homes and facilities.
Pity the poor guy here toiling in this heat and smoke. its over 30C in temp - add on the fire heat and you get the picture.






Aerial view of the fires in Australia.


Aerial view of the fires in Australia
Aerial view of the fires in Adelaide Australia today and yesterday




This is not something great to see next to your home and lifelong belongings. It seems every summer that these fires breakout. Sometimes they are purposely started as well.
Moving to Australia? This is not something great to see next to your home and lifelong belongings


Moving to Australia? This is not something great to see next to your home and lifelong belongings.







Live, work, immigrate, study Australia forum

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Immigration news - the inflow of migrants is slowing down in some parts of Australia


Interestingly I read a news report that states the following,
It seems that only NSW has increased its immigrant inflow.


IMMIGRATION has slowed in half of Australian states with New South Wales one of the few states to increase migration.
NSW's rate rose compared to last year by 9.4% or 6300 people as Queensland's rate fell 24% with nearly 10,000 migrants coming to the state in the year to June.

Western Australia's migrant intake dropped by 40% or almost 20,000 people over the same period - on par with the Northern Territory (down 40% or 2000 people) and dropped further than the Australian Capital Territory (down by 700 people or 25%).

Hornsby - my new home !


I think I finally found a great place to stay in Sydney this time round. After leaving Australia for work and personal reasons the wind blew us back and here we are. 6 weeks in Sydney and we are living in the beautiful Suburb of Hornsby.


How do I describe Hornsby, Lots of woodland, wide streets, steep hills and a massive shopping mall.


Hornsby looks like a great suburb for Families.


Seems good so far! There is a selective girls school - which you have to apply for and write an exam to get into. Parts of Hornsby are in the St Ives school catchment area which has a great set of schools. One of my kids went to the junior school in St Ives and I cant praise them enough.


Something great I just found out - school kids get to travel free on the bus and train - woot no expenses for school transport! Thanks Oz!


It's midnight and as I write this there is a possum on our decking trying to screw up the courage to walk past us and grab an apple we put out for him. We get three possums coming by at different times of the night. Well one is older called Myrtle and the other two are a pair and are intruding on Myrtles territory.


Seriously it sounds like a herd of hippos climbing around the roof and the side of the house. Thank goodness the landlord told us or we would have called the police.


So we get two cats, three possums, 6 kookaburras, 6 parrots,  some black birds and about 5 turkeys and a shit load of spiders visiting Not a bad haul so far. some of the parrots are so tame that they  hop on to your hand. Pretty damn awesome.


The one negative about living in the forest is that you need to pay a gardener about $140 per month to come and remove all the sticks leaves. It a bit pricey if you are on a budget like I am.


I got the house by bargaining the rental down a bit so that's great as it would have been too much for us.


In fact its split level and we have about 6 rooms and some office rooms - so its a real good deal.


The only bad thing is minimal parking and a very steep long drive way,


Its so far off the road that we cant get cable TV, and its so wooded that we can't get satellite tv. We have a work around with good ADSL 2+ internet and Foxtel TV over the internet.  Costs about 89 for the internet and 85 for Foxtel minus sports.


The commute from Hornsby to the Sydney CBD is 40 minutes to Wynyard and on a different route its 30 minutes to Central Station. The train also goes to Macquarie University. So great Transport, not as far as the Western suburbs and I feel its a manageable commute.


The Train is so easy and not full - I literally glide to work. I took a bus from Narabeen Lakes for a few weeks when we arrived and that was so much worse than using the train.


The spiders are the biggest con here. Traumatized..!


There is a TAFE in Hornsby, private hospital and a large police station and court.


Anyway it early days and its summer so its all warm etc. Lets see how it cold it is in Winter. The house is wooden and seems to be easily warmed up.


Highly recommend Hornsby - not too snooty with all types of people here. Also, a very quick trip north to some large rivers, lakes and lagoons. Lots of fishing and water activities close by.


We are looking forward to some exploring as and when we can.


Anyway lets hope this time (moving into Sydney) round it is a little easier than last time. We managed to set up house and home a lot faster this time as we had been here before.


To all those people reading this blog and making the journey to Sydney or somewhere in Australia, I hope you find it useful. Please feel free to drop us a comment or question and I will do my best to help.


Happy new year and blessings for this year ahead!



How I got my visa, Life, Lumps and spirit, Hate your new country? Your not alone! A good Furniture Rental company in Sydney,Why do immigrants leave Australia?, Sydney - Scotland island - hidden gem, Malls in Sydney, Living in St Ives, Arriving in Sydney, Driving through Sydney - first day, How expensive is Sydney

Friday, January 2, 2015

Telstra and SingTel-Optus rolling out 4G mobile network


Wow good news for Sydney siders!


4G mobile broadband is being rolled out this January 2015!


A Christmas present surprise for everyone - you will notice better mobile phone data speed this Monday Morning coming!!


Pity the mobile phone providers make us pay an arm and a leg for data. So now we get to burn through our data faster thane ever.


Telstra and Optus spent $ 2 billion buying the services from the federal government during 2013.


Telstra said more than  600 new towns and suburbs throughout Australia would get the upgraded 4GX services from Friday, in the largest switch-on to date. This is in addition to the sites that had enjoyed early access, such as Sydney and Melbourne's central business districts, and brings the total number of sites to more than  1000.

You still have to have the right phone though. Samsung high end phones will do a whopping 75 megabits per second. and the newer phone from Huawei can do 100 megabits per second.


Optus turned on several hundred new sites on new years day. They are hoping to cover 90% of the Australian population by April 2015.


Great speed


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How I got my visa, Life, Lumps and spirit, Hate your new country? Your not alone! A good Furniture Rental company in Sydney,Why do immigrants leave Australia?, Sydney - Scotland island - hidden gem, Malls in Sydney, Living in St Ives, Arriving in Sydney, Driving through Sydney - first day, How expensive is Sydney