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About Sideshowdeb

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  • Birthday August 30
  1. Sideshowdeb

    John Curtin School

    We're in the catchment area so he wasn't although all his male friends were. He was really keen on rugby when we first came and it's taken him a while to get back into playing soccer. He's left now and with the exception of one boy who has gone to work in the family business all his school friends are at university which is an indication of how academic the focus of the school is. I have a couple of friends with children at JC in years 8 and 9 in the music and drama programs and they're happy and both doing very well. I know they put a lot of effort into settling in new starters and possibly because of the focus on the arts it has a very gentle tolerant atmosphere. My son commented often on how he never saw the sort of bullying and conflict he saw in the UK. As for making friends, if he joins a local football team he will make more friends near to where you live which is what my son has done. How old is your son? Is he quite streetwise? The traffic around the school in the mornings can be horrendous.
  2. Sideshowdeb

    John Curtin School

    Hi, My son went to John Curtin as it is our local high school. He really enjoyed it and found school far more enjoyable than the UK. It doesn't support students who need a more vocational stream very well as it is very focused on ATAR and university acceptance. Lots of my son's friends left for years 11 and 12 to go to a school local to them as they found the pressure of their program too much alongside their ATAR workload. Unfortunately they cannot stay at the school if they don't remain in their excellence program. The other downside is that my son made virtually no friends that lived locally. He travelled far and wide to meet up with his friends at the weekends. He has school friends from as far away as Mandurah to the hills and that did make it harder for him to make friends when we first arrived compared to my daughter who is in primary school and lives within walking distance of all her school friends. Overall we were really pleased with the school. The facilities are good and I found the teachers really approachable. I hope this helps and good luck with your move. Deb
  3. Sideshowdeb

    Learning to drive

    Hi Jem, My insurance company hasn't charged me any extra while my son is learning, but once he gets his Ps and can drive without my supervison then my premium will go up. I know that there is an app that helps them study for the test but I don't know the name. I'm sure once you're here and looking in the Aussie apps store you will find them easily enough. Deb
  4. Sideshowdeb

    New to Freo

    Hi Jay, I hope you guys are settling in ok. My partner and I and our two children (17 & 8) have been in Fremantle for almost 2 years. We're out and about in Freo most weekends and it would be lovely to meet up. Deb
  5. Sideshowdeb

    Has anyone flown with Qatar Airlines??!!

    Both my son and I have flown back for visits with Qatar. I've only ever flown with Singapore before so I don't have much to compare them with. All four legs of the journey there were lots of empty seats so I could stretch out and Doha airport is easy to navigate. The staff were pleasant and the food was pretty standard. I'd happily fly with them again and if they're the cheapest my son will fly back with them again at Easter.
  6. Sideshowdeb

    Im really trying....

    Congratulations! See you soon
  7. Sideshowdeb

    Can anyone help???

    Yeah, he did his AQF through RPL in the UK. The TRA does need to see evidence of working for a certain number of years. They will also (for a fee) provide you with a migration points assessment which you can include in your visa application stating how many years experience they support you claiming points for. This was the issue I had with agents which is that they told us we were only eligible for post qualification work experience, i.e. the amount of time worked after getting the AQF. I had read the application guidelines inside out and understood it to mean that because the AQF was completed by RPL the work experience assessed for the AQF counted, which the TRA validated for us, allowing us to claim maximum points for work experience. All that said, things have changed and as far as I'm aware the TRA will now accept UK qualifications. I would seriously recommend speaking to the TRA and getting the information from the horses mouth before spending thousands on an AQF or an agent.
  8. Sideshowdeb

    Can anyone help???

    There are companies, RTO's, which operate in the UK who can provide you wil an AQF for a price. We got our visa granted in 2013 so a lot has happened for us since we were at that stage but if I remember correctly the information we had to put together for the AQF was very similar to that for the TRA. The company basically guaranteed an AQF and said anything that couldn't be done by Recognition of prior learning they would provide training for. There was a Skype interview involved as well and I think it all went very smoothly if memory serves me well. It wasn't cheap, but none of this process is. I think it was about £3000 and that would have been 4 or maybe 5 years ago now. Obviously the date his AQF was granted wouldn't have meant he had much work experience so we had to apply for a migration points assessment, which looked at the evidence provided of his work experience and declared how many years experience he could claim the points for and in our case they allowed us to claim the maximum. That included all the years he had used for the RPL. We were told categorically by a highly recommended agent that this was not possible so I would check things out very thoroughly before proceeding. Getting the AQF slowed us down a lot and in the time we were getting it, the process changed and the fees went up considerably. I know it seems like a bit of a minefield but research is the key. Speak to a few agents, try and make an appointment to speak to the TRA read the guidelines until you know them inside out. Unfortunately I can't remember the name of the company that we used for the AQF but I'll try and find time tomorrow to go through our paperwork and find it for you, Deb
  9. Sideshowdeb

    Just moved to Perth

    Hi Wes, Welcome to Perth. My family and I live in Fremantle and never have to venture very far to find things to do. There always something going on and lots of cafes and restaurants to check out. I can't help much with advice on expanding your social circle as I'm always at work but I do know there is a meet up at the end of the month, in the city. I think it's the 28th and the details are on here somewhere. That's probably a good place to start as the forum is full of friendly people and although I missed last year's, I hear a good time was had by all. Obviously as expectant parents, an ante natal class or group would be a great place to start. Meeting a few local couples whose babies are due at about the same time could be really handy for socialising in the early days with a young baby.
  10. Sideshowdeb

    Visas granted!!!!!!!

    Congratulations....such a wonderful feeling!
  11. Mods please advise if not appropriate, I'm posting on behalf of my partner. Maybe in a position to offer someone a chance to start work on commercial and large scale residential new build developments. Would ideally suit a dry liner or a carpenter and would love to help a fellow Pom get started. Opportunity will be from April when my colleague moves to Canada. Would need tools, a white card and an ABN. Not currently able to offer sponsorship but your visa type doesn't matter as long as you're legal to work. Work is most likely to be fairly central but could be anywhere. If you would like some more information or think you would be interested please pm me and we can talk further. Cheers Rich and Deb
  12. Sideshowdeb

    Can anyone help???

    My partner did the AQF and had his work experience confirmed with a migration points assessment which can be done at the same time as the TRA. It meant that he was able to claim the maximum number of years work experience including all the years prior to gaining his AQF. We wouldn't be here without that and a very well respected agent told us at the time that we wouldn't qualify for it so double check everything that everyone tells you. Don't lose heart, this forum is full of people who made their dreams a reality despite all sorts of obstacles!
  13. Sideshowdeb

    Can anyone help???

    I agree with Flatpack, my partner was a dry liner in the UK and came over as a fibrous plasterer, but the job he does here is completely different to the UK. He had to get AQFs (through RPL) as at the time the TRA wouldn't accept his NVQs. As far as I'm aware that has now changed and a former work mate of his was successful with NVQs in 2014. If you can arrange to speak to an assessor at the TRA then you will get much more useful information. Unfortunately the call centre staff don't seem to know much. When we did ours you could make an appointment to speak to them and we found this really worthwhile.
  14. Sideshowdeb

    Boxes wanted

    I've got boxes and bubble wrap so I'll start bringing them home now your back? What night suits you best?
  15. Sideshowdeb

    What is salary saving???

    Do you mean salary sacrifice? If so check out https://www.smartsalary.com.au/ That's one of the company's you can sign up to, and I'm sure there's a better explanation on the website than I could offer. It's basically just a way for certain public sector staff to reduce the amount of tax they pay. Almost everyone does the living expenses and the meal card. I didn't find the car leasing very competitive though I know quite a few people at work that have lease cars. I use Smart Salary and they are very helpful. If you have questions, just give them a call, Deb