Hello Poms in Adelaide,
Well I thought it would be nice to share our experience of moving to Adelaide now that we have been here 3 months. I remember how I use to enjoy reading these posts when I was in the UK , waiting for our visa to come through.
We arrived in Oz on the 25th of October and flew to Sydney as we had been invited to a friends wedding. Really enjoyed Sydney especially being pamapered at Star City hotel. After 5 days in Sydney we then flew to Adelaide. We used the meet and greet service and it was nice to have someone meet us and drive us to our temporary accomodation. We stayed at Riverview cottage (Homes Down Under) for 3 weeks, although I would probably suggest that 2 weeks is ample time to get a longterm rental sorted if you have done your research into areas whilst in the UK. Tamara and Shaun from Homes down under gave us lots of information and helpful advice. Which is what you want those initial few weeks, we would certainly recommend if you are looking for a base as soon as you get here. Myself and Nick (Hubby) found the first two weeks stressful, our daughter Sian (4 yrs old) was very difficult and unsettled. She was very angry and had several temper tantrums everyday, we believe this was down to her feeling very disorientated/unfamiliar environment etc. Myself and Nick did support each other and tried not to argue , but when you are both stressed out it is very difficult. The kids were also fed up with doing the usual boring offices ,waiting for us to fill out forms. So everyday we did a few boring jobs and then we would do something fun with the kids, like go to the beach or have a picnic in the parks (v important just to keep sane in the first few weeks :) )
By the end of week 1 we had got our driving licenses, medicare cards, completed paper work for tax file numbers and Centrelink applications (Perm Res Visa, 176, so you are entitled to CCB and Rental Assistance). We had also viewed a few rental properties and looked at schools in two area's which we had in mind to settle, either Aldinga and Port Noarlunga. After our research we decided to settle in Port Noarlunga, we loved the two beaches, Port Noarlunga and Southport (great for Body Boarding and Surfing) and we were very impressed with Freida Corpe Kindy and Port Noarlunga primary school. It is also closer to Flinders medical Centre where I work as a Nurse in Intensive Care.
Week 2- After deciding on Port Noarlunga we then began viewing more rental properties. We found an ideal starter property for us on Albany Ave, near the beach and schools and secured the rental with no problems. We completed the application form, wrote a covering letter stating why we would be good tenants and enclosed a few references form the UK (again useful to have before you arrive) The forms went in the morning and the agent told us we had got the property in the afternoon. After securing the rental the next step was to go to Flinders to fill out paperwork ready for my start date. When I got there I was told by my manager that I needed to register with AHPRA (Nursing Organisation), which I did'nt know about!. I completed all the documentation, had everything signed by a Justice of the Peace (all originals have to be certified) and sent the documents off. I was assured by AHPRA that my application would be dealt with promptly ready for my starting work. Well, that did not happen and I had to start work 3 weeks later than I had planned. For us it wasn't a problem as we had money in our bank account to last us. But it was very frustrating phoning AHPRA every week to keep track of my application. If I hadn't done so my file may still be in a paper tray on someones desk? My advice to anyone is to have regular contact with companies to get your applications processed promptly, my advice is to be proactive.
By the end of week three we had moved into our rental, not much to move in though, Sian's kindy teacher loaned us some camping gear and we then bought bits and pieces from Ikea to put us on. People have been so friendly and you offered things to put you on which is fab. Finlay our son (9) started at school and loved it from day 1, really buzzing. He loves Aus and has made friends and moved on. Sian remained difficult and very clingy.
I started work in December and have found it to be very different from the UK. It's a very big unit and there are so many staff, I have never felt so alone whilst being surrounded by so many people. I have shed a few tears, but reminded myself that it will take time to feel part of the team. I have now been at Flinders for 2 months and I am feel more settled and its lovely when people know your name and I know theirs. Next week I will be going out with the pommie nurses for lunch, so I'm looking forward to that. Nick (Hubby) started to get his paperwork sorted for his teaching registration and is still waiting.
Christmas was different, very strange being so warm , we all enjoyed going to the beach. I would probably say xmas was the turning point for our daughter and she became a happy settled little girl, so happy days
We are now making friends through PIA, school work and clubs. Finlay has joined karate, Sian has started swimming , ballet and tap. My hubby enjoys running and would be up for running with others in the area (he normally runs from Port Noarlunga South to Moana 2 - 3 times a week). I have started Zumba and enrolled on a cake decorating course. We also have bought a bright orange VW campervan and are members of the Volks Enthusiasts Club of SA. So we are really throwing ourselves into stuff, you aren't gonna make mates sat on the sofa. Moving to the otherside of the world is a massive decision and if you are serious about it you have got to give it your all to work out and thats what we are doing. We love it here and I have to pinch myself that I live in such a lovely place. Life is good and we feel we made the best decision for us as a family, Adelaide is our home and we love it.
My hubby and kids will be at the meet up today (7th Feb) , look out for them, I can't make, got to work :(
A massive thank-you to the Umphrays, for making our first few months fun