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About Selah

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  1. Selah

    Deadly 60 Live - Coming to Adelaide

    Your Friendly Director of Programming at Adelaide Festival Centre thanks you for this endorsement Tiger who came to Tea for the little ones also in Jan is a fab new kids musical from back home as well. Liz
  2. Selah

    Singapore stopover

    Loads of good hotels in city centre - look for some on booking.com that are by esplanade/raffles as close to markets, shopping, etc. Good to remember that Taxi's don't take Visa in Singapore. Everything else but they've had a dispute with Visa so it's a no go and I've been caught out a few times when I forget. Usually just 30 minutes or less from Airport to city centre. Challenge for hotels in Asia in general if you have a family bigger than 4 - even 4 can be hard to accommodate in one room.
  3. Selah

    Taking money back to UK ?

    All banks and post office have international travel currency cards which operate as a visa card and you can load multiple currencies. That way you know exactly how much you have and you can actually re-load online. Do research as some have an ATM withdrawal fee but there are no fees for using it as a Visa card. If you have a Qantas card that now comes as a Qantas cash card and operates the same way. My son went to Spain to play soccer a few weeks back and I loaded his (ANZ) with Euros and I've just reloaded it with GBP as we too are going home for Christmas. The nice thing about the ANZ option is that they give you an extra card in case you misplace the first one. It has different codes/pins so they don't have to cancel it.
  4. Selah

    Mortgage Advice....

    We got our mortgage within 3 months of me starting to work in 2010. It was what Andrew was talking about called a "low doc mortgage" which meant we didn't have all the records people normally need. Interest was marginally higher but we were approved within about 2 weeks. Within 6 months we remortgaged to a better deal.
  5. Ahh the joyous manipulation of the teen/tweens!! I am a great advocate in manufacturing friendships - i.e. finding out who they might have some relationship with and inviting them over for a really cool play date - multiple times. All it takes is one really good friend to change everything. It is interesting as mine were 13, 11 and 5 when we moved here. It was the 5 year old who struggled the most and would have moved back even after 2 years! It took 3 for him to really meet a lovely set of friends who I suspect he will know and like for the rest of his school years. I do find in some schools Australian children aren't as used to different accents of children who have travelled a bit. It's not malicious but they don't make the effort. That's why I've often provided a helping hand... I figure it's the only time I might have a choice to influence so I do my classroom research. Volunteering at school every once in a while (and yes I do work full time so know it's hard) gives me good insight into whether they REALLY have no friends, are using the friendship card for manipulation and provides some insight into who I would LIKE them to be friends with. Good luck. I always say - it's easy to make the move for yourself but when one or more of the wee ones aren't happy it's heart wrenching. That's until I realised that 13 particularly is a very difficult year (and some would say 9 year old girls are the worst!) so it could just as well have happened back home.
  6. Tony - I just walked into Adelaide DIAC office on Currie Street and asked them to link them. Took 10 minutes and I watched them do it as my sister in law did the forms and they still didn't link all of them and they had grief coming back in. L
  7. In the spirit of helpfulness and general congeniality, please let's not judge! It's so unhelpful. We all know immigration is expensive and sometimes we are counting every penny. I know in my family of 5, we have applied for citizenship in stages depending on who needed to travel after our permanent residency visas expired. 4 down and 1 to go! The whole immigration process for citizenship and then new passports (as two of us needed to travel for work) was over $2000 ($260/per adult, $130 for over 15's and rushed passports at $300 + each.) Sometimes you just don't have the money and it's not because you're intentionally ungrateful. Selah
  8. Well said Claire in tel. To all those who received that delay message, I shall tell you our story (with the hope it doesn't depress but encourages....) We applied in August 2007 with the expectation that we would be granted a visa in March 2008. In December 2007, we received a message that due to a fraud scandal in our visa sub class they were suspending 10,000 applications indefinitely to investigate. We ran our own theatre school and told minimal people because we couldn't afford to lose students who thought we might be leaving. Roll on May 2008 with little communication and suddenly we are asked to have medicals. We think everything's re-opened! We pay a fortune for the five of us - submit and get a note saying - "Sorry, it was a mistake and nothing's changed." Fantastic! I love living in limbo with one child about to start secondary school! Roll on March 2009 and suddenly everything reopens and by April we have a visa and due to their mistake of the medicals 5 weeks to validate. We appealed (as I'm an actress and was under contract until November as were 2 of my children) and got a validation extension of November. During this time the GFC hit and while in 2007 we would have been mortgage free, in 2009 we had lost so much money on house and the exchange rate plummeted from 2.40 to 1.70 that we would have been far better off in the UK. We came anyway. Roll on 4 years - we are citizens, my daughter just started uni having graduated a year early, my sons have sports lives they could never have imagined, I have a job I could never have had in England and the house, puppy and pool we always dreamed of. Has it been easy? No way. Did we write and complain about the fact that immigration were messing with people's lives? Yes we did as well. Was the 2 years in England waiting some of the most stressful we've faced? Definitely. Would I change it? No. In fact, a lot of things that happened during those last 2 years, made us realise that the timing was perfect. My husband's father died a few weeks prior to our departure. If we were there we wouldn't have been able to afford to come back. My perfect job wasn't even in the pipeline in 2008. The reality is that you go with the flow. if you are worried about the ages of your children - don't. You can't predict who will struggle and who won't. I assumed the oldest (13) and in fact it was the youngest (5) who did. You've got to look at it as an adventure because trust me - the process you are going through is the easy part. The hard part is once you get here. One thing I've learned over the past 4 months of citizen applications and changing passports and visa's is that the immigration team in Adelaide are really lovely people. There is a real person behind that case officer note. And they are really pleasant, nice people. In fact I've watched them working with migrants who can't speak English or are struggling to cope with assimilation and have been so impressed by their care and concern. Many are migrants themselves. I personally am on my 4th country and I have to say they are the nicest immigration I've met. Best wishes to you all. Forget the disappointment and take the time to do the fun things back home that you will miss. Good luck to you all! Selah
  9. I put in my 17 year old daughters on 27 November and heard within 1 week and I put in mine on the 20th of December and heard 3 days later. Have you uploaded all your documents and checked your spam folder? Liz
  10. Selah

    Lots of advice needed!

    Amen Tyke as I'm currently on week long Business trip in Brisbane and I can't WAIT to get home Seriously though (although I really am in Brissie at the moment) Your kids are actually a great age for this type of adventure and Adelaide is a nice easy city to live and work in.
  11. Selah

    Citizenship Ceremony waiting time

    I know I posted earlier but even though Uni acceptances weren't out, I emailed the urgent ceremonies email for my daughter on the in mid December explaining and they asked for no proof - we just got the email on the 18th of December that she could attend a ceremony on the 20th of December. If you don't mind separating the family and sending her by herself - then it worked for us. Liz
  12. Selah

    Citizenship Ceremony waiting time

    Hi Jenny, That doesn't thrill me as we will also be going through TTG and my test is on 9 January. However, I would ring immigration or even pop into Currie street. We were eligible for citizenship on 25 November. My 16 year old daughter graduated from HS this year and decided to go ahead to Uni this year instead of taking a year off. 16/17 year olds apply separately anyway. Student Loans are one of the few reasons they will rush an ceremony through but she applied online on 25 November, had interview on 2 December and had her citizenship ceremony at Currie St. on 20th December with just 2 days notice. I did find the citizenship office extremely helpful on Citizenship Information Line on 131 880 but I also know they go down to minimal staff over Christmas holidays. Good luck!
  13. Selah

    New Years Eve Celebrations

    Either if you stay for late fireworks. We have 17, 15 and 9 year old and have gone to Elder Park last few years. Bands from 6 but more grown up after early fireworks. We have even gone down at 9 or 10pm. Last year we went to the Illusionists (Magic/Illusion show) at Festival Theatre and then out into the park. This year we'll go to the Illusionists 2.0 (another group of international illusionists/magicians) at Her Majesty's Theatre on Grote Street and then walk back to Elder Park. A good time was had by all!
  14. Selah

    Road side assistance

    We get roadside assistance for each of our cars as loyal members of allianz insurance. We've used them several times and they have been great.
  15. No worries about the passport. I'm a British and US citizen as are my kids - by US law I had to enter America on US passport and I always returned on my British into the country and vica versa. I always said my family must be sitting in immigration limbo... We did have a moment this last trip where something triggered on one passport and we had to explain but as along as you have proof of citizenship for both countries (expired will do) she'll be fine.

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