Cycle crazy First Trans Oz bike race will take riders 2,000 miles across Australia
g you Everythin now need to k eries S about the
Traveller's guide Cairns & the Great Barrier Reef Agent X Choosing the right migration agent Inside Brisbane Our guide to Queensland’s capital Going out Perth PLUS Migration news, Expert advice,
Study in Australia, plus much more...
Rob and Lucina Levens on why they emegrated s a alia i “Austr tic place ! ” fantas
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Cycle across Australia? EDITORIAL Editor: Ian Armitage Writers: Colin Chinery Chris Farnell Ruari McCallion Jane Bordenave BUSINESS General Manager: Stephen Warman Research Manager: Don Campbell Researchers: Andy Williams Elle Watson Dave Hodgson Chris Bolderstone Advertising Sales Manager: Andy Ellis Sales Executive: Jon Jaffrey Sales Administrator: Abby Nightingale ACCOUNTS Financial Controller: Nick Crampton Accounts: Margaret Roberts Alexandra Buchlakova PRODUCTION & DESIGN Magazine Design: Optic Juice Production Manager: Jon Cooke TNT PUBLISHING CEO: Kevin Ellis Chairman: Ken Hurst Publisher: TNT Publishing Ltd Australia and New Zealand Outlook, The Royal, Bank Plain, Norwich, Norfolk, UK. NR2 4SF TNT Magazine, 14-15 Child’s Place, Earl’s Court, London, UK, SW5 9RX Tntmagazine.com ENQUIRIES Tel: +44 (0)1603 3432267 Fax: +44 (0)1603 283602 Email: email@example.com SUBSCRIPTIONS Call: +44 (0)1603 343267 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
We received a wonderful response to our launch issue. This time around the magazine is packed with even more high quality, informative travel articles, expert advice and real-life stories.
This free digital magazine aims to give you all the information you need to know if you intend to travel to or move Down Under and is designed to keep you fully informed of local news and important travel and visa information in a fun and friendly way. Last month we looked at renting in Australia, New Zealand’s skilled workers gap, life in Sydney, moving pets overseas and the best beaches Down Under. This month, our team of writers tackle working holidays, how you find a migration agent, studying in Australia and we also bring you the personal experiences of Rob and Lucina Levens who moved to Brisbane in 2005. As you no doubt saw on the eye-catching cover, we look at cycling across Australia and have an interview with British explorer Mike Laird, a man who cycled solo across Australia earlier this year and – having “felt sad” to have done it on his own – is now organising an epic amateur bike race that could see you follow in his tracks. Mike battled brown snakes, giant spiders, a locust plague, saddle sore, gruelling terrain, scorching heat, and floods to become the first Briton to cycle across Australia, solo and unassisted. Read more about his fantastic adventures and maybe even join the race on page 40. We are just weeks away from the Ashes – which is causing a bit of a divide in our office – and so we have endeavoured to bring you everything you need to know about the 2010 Series (we even have last minute travel deals inside!). Australian and New Zealand Outlook will be available every month as a digital magazine and every quarter we will produce a printed edition that will be distributed at selected outlets. Look out for our next issue! Ian Armitage, Editor AUSTRALIAANDNEWZEALAND
06 News 10 Migration Update 14 Whats on
The latest news from Down Under Up-to-date migration information Our guide to the unmissable events, holidays and celebrations in Australia and New Zealand this month
16 Going out... pERTH 18 Travellers guide to.... Cairns Experience the extraordinary
We take a look at the city of Cairns, a jumping off point for some of Australiaâ€™s greatest natural wonders
22 The asheS
Everything you need to know about the 2010 Series which kicks off in November
28 Expat Profile 32 Ask the Expert 36 Studying Down Under Rob and Lucina Levens
Expert advice on all things visas, migration and more Australia and New Zealand Outlook examines the advantages of studying in Australia
38 Agent X 40 Cycle across Australia 44 where to settle 50 Working holidays: New Zealand 54 Next month Choosing the right migration agent
First Trans Oz bike race will take riders 2,000 miles across Australia New Zealand: A land of Plenty
What you need to know about NZ working holidays What to expect from our next issue
NEWS House prices set to
rise 20% in Sydney, Perth and Adelaide House prices in Sydney, Perth and Adelaide are expected to grow by about 20 percent over the next three years, says a recent housing report. The QBE LMI Australian Housing Outlook Report, prepared by BIS Shrapnel, forecasts the strongest growth to be in Perth, Sydney and Adelaide “with all three cities to experience house price rises of around 20 percent during this period”. More moderate house price growth is expected in Brisbane (+15 percent) and Hobart (+13
Wellington electric car
trial begins Wellington is to become the first New Zealand city to trial production electric cars with the launch of a fleet of five battery-powered vehicles in Civic Square. The fleet will be trialled over the next two years. The Wellington City Council is working with Meridian Energy, Mitsubishi
percent) where “affordability is not as strained or there is substantial dwelling deficiency”. The weakest price growth is expected in Darwin (+12 percent), Canberra (+10 percent) and Melbourne (+9 percent). Ian Graham, CEO of QBE LMI said steady growth was expected throughout the nation. “Future median house price rises will be underpinned by a deficiency of dwelling stock across most capital cities,” he said.
Motors, New Zealand Post Group and The Wellington Company to trial Mitsubishi i-MiEVs. The i-MiEVs seat four and have a range of up to 155km. Mayor Kerry Prendergast said the trial would demonstrate that electric cars were viable in Wellington and help identify any barriers to their widespread adoption, such as the need for charging stations.
"By working together we will gain a better understanding of how this exciting technology could change the way we travel and do business in Wellington," Prendergast said.
ALL THE LATEST NEWS FROM AUSTRALIA AND NEW ZEALAND
Gillard: NSW should honour deal Australian PM Julia Gillard has called on the NSW government to honour its agreement to support uniform occupational health and safety laws. The success of Commonwealth-state
relations depends on states honouring agreements they have signed - and NSW is not immune, Gillard said. NSW Premier Kristina Keneally has written to Gillard asking her to ensure unions in NSW retain the right to prosecute employers
for work safety breaches and that the onus of proof remains on employers to show they exercised due care. Keneally is concerned these rights were not part of the proposed national set of uniform workplace safety laws.
blunder: Model show
Host announces wr ong
Awkward doesn’ t quite cut it. Imagine being to ld you’ve just been signed to modelling agency Priscilla's , won a A$25,000 contra ct to appear in a Levi's campa ign, have the chance to visit New York to meet with ELIT E agency, got a Ford Fiesta Zetec, A$20,000 cash, an d also won a chance to pose for an eight-page spread for Harper's Baza ar Midway through Australia only to her have it acceptance speech all taken away be , ho st cause of Sarah Murdoch, presenter television blunde r. of Australia's Nex t Top It is exactly wha t Model and wife of Lachlan happened to Kel sey Murdoch, son of Rupert, cut Martinovich, 19. in to announce th e mistake.
Murdoch was mor tified when she announ ced the wrong winner on live TV after being fed th e incorrect name via her earp iece. She had to cut sh ort Martinovich’s ce lebrations and reveal the ac tual winner was her 18-year-o ld rival Amanda Ware. Martinovich hand led the situation well an d didn't walk away empty hand ed. She received A$25,00 0 and a holiday in New Yo rk. The show is base d on a franchise that was created in the US by Tyra Ba nks with America’s Next Top Model.
NEWS e t le p m o c t s ir f ’s it Sydney gets
e t u o r y a w e cycl Cyclists coming from e the Inner West or th North Shore to the CBD can now enjoy a safer journey with of the opening of City eted pl m co st fir Sydney’s e. cycleway rout
Moore Lord Mayor Clover d the MP officially launche Sydney route connecting the zac An d an e cited to Harbour Bridg network and I am ex de Ri l na tio Na the at e idg of Br declare the first part t in to Work Day breakfas it open. 00 Hyde Park. “Already, well over 11 route The Bridge-to-Bridge ion Un riders are using the is 2.6km long. the morning to Street route in y ke the is y vit cti ne “Con es, and evening travel tim enient only ll supporting safe, conv wi ers and these numb ity told cycling. The commun d. grow,” Moore sai bike us they wanted a good
ed Sydneysiders consult ey 2030 for Sustainable Sydn cycling said they wanted safe ed to us be routes that could city. the get into and around “A number of bike ing corridors are now be and the y cit improved in the te is Bridge-to-Bridge rou nected one of many intercon will bicycle routes which network m 0k 20 form part of a dney Sy that will help keep estion moving and ease cong said. on our roads,” Moore art and sm a is “Bike riding tion op rt sustainable transpo ps, tri for short inner Sydney ers which is why the numb is ey dn Sy in of bike riders increasing rapidly.”
Ponting: I'm the right man for the job Australia captain Ricky Ponting remains defiant in the face of the team’s worst Test-match losing streak in 22 years, saying he believes he’s the man for the job. Speaking in Sydney after 08
his arrival home from India, where Australia lost the Test series 2-0, Ponting said he still feels he’s the right person to lead the side. “Absolutely,” he said. “I’ve got no doubt about that all. “I’m still learning
about my own game and my captaincy and if the other players can learn a bit from that trip then it should hold us in good stead for the summer.” The Ashes kick off at the Gabba on 25 November.
ALL THE LATEST NEWS FROM AUSTRALIA AND NEW ZEALAND
services Qantas will commence direct MelbourneDarwin services from May next year. Group Executive Qantas Airlines Commercial Rob Gurney said the new services reflected Qantas' commitment to extending its CityFlyer offering on flights into the Northern Territory. "The introduction of Melbourne-Darwin services will help meet strong demand in the market and increase the options available to our customers in the Northern Territory and Victoria," Gurney said. "We are delighted to be adding this important north-south route to our network. The new Qantas services will support growth
in business travel and tourism between Melbourne and Darwin. "With Jetstar also set to expand capacity into Darwin, today's announcement shows the Qantas Group's two-brand strategy in action." Qantas currently offers direct services between Darwin and Adelaide, Brisbane, Canberra, Perth and Sydney, as well as direct QantasLink flights to Alice Springs, Cairns and Gove (Nhulunbuy). The new schedule would comprise three return Melbourne-Darwin services operating on Tuesday, Saturday and Sunday, while a fourth service would operate on Mondays during the Territory's peak season from July-October.
Veitch gets old radio job back Controversial sports broadcaster Tony Veitch has been given his old job back as the breakfast presenter on New Zealand’s Radio Sport. “D’Arcy Waldegrave will be moving from breakfast to
the late-afternoon drivetime programme, and this provides an opportunity for Tony to host the show after nearly a year of sports-news presenting and back-up sports hosting with Newstalk ZB and Radio Sport,” said Dallas
Gurney, general manager of talk programming for The Radio Network (TRN). “Tony is a quality sports presenter and we are very pleased to be able to give him this opportunity to host the breakfast programme again.”
migration update Submissions open for
2010 LTSSL and ISSL
second review Immigration New Zealand has announced that submissions are now open for its second bi-annual review of the Long Term Skill Shortage List (LTSSL) and Immediate Skill Shortage List (ISSL). The ISSL includes occupations that are in immediate demand in the New Zealand labour market. The LTSSL includes occupations that are in long-term and global shortage. In a release, Nigel Bickle, Head of Immigration New Zealand, said the Department regularly reviews the labour
market and works closely with key stakeholders to help identify areas of immediate and long-term skill shortage. “This is to ensure that the lists reflect genuine skill shortages so New Zealanders are not disadvantaged while at the same time employers get the skilled employees they need. “We encourage individuals and organisations to work together as a coordinated group to provide a combined industry submission which represents the shared views of the key players within their particular industry.” Submissions will be accepted until Friday 12 November 2010.
NZ visa changes unveiled NZ employers are set to benefit from changes to temporary work visas in proposals that have been described as a “bonus for businesses”. “In most circumstances it provides continuity in the workplace as employers have the security of knowing that their staff members can work legally,” said Immigration Minister 10
Dr Jonathan Coleman “For some time temporary migrants have been falling through the gaps… Knowing they can maintain lawful status while applying for a new visa will provide peace of mind.” The visa will be introduced in March next year and the changes are part of the new Immigration Act, which comes into effect in November.
Keep track of the latest news and developments on moving Down Under
South Australia Sponsorship List
Announced Immigration South Australia has announced its new interim State Sponsorship list for overseas workers to live and work in South Australia. Immigration South Australia has announced it will very shortly be accepting new sponsorship applications from migrants for a limited number of occupations in an interim list (pending the introduction of State Migration Plans). Migrants with occupations on the Interim Sponsorship List will be able to apply to be sponsored for an Australian Visa in the near future. However, you’ll still have to meet all other state sponsorship criteria! Occupations included on list include GP, dentist, plumber, electrician, project builder, and mechanic. If your occupation is not on the Interim List it means that it is: not on DIAC’s Skilled Occupations List, Schedule 3 OR it has not been identified as a priority occupation for this state and will not be considered for sponsorship. When the SSML is released you can apply for sponsorship if: your occupation is on the list AND you meet all the requirements AND you wish to live and work in South Australia. The South Australian Interim Sponsorship List will be used until the South Australian State Migration Plan and associated occupation list is implemented later this year.
Official statistics show net migration to Australia has slowed. In the first three months of this year, Australia’s net migration was 61,800, Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) data showed. That is 37 percent below the historical high of 98,100 in the March 2009 quarter. ABS said the rate of population growth had eased to 1.8 percent for the first three months of 2010, compared to 2.2 percent in 2009. Australia’s population reached 22,272,000 by the end of March 2010, with an increase of 403,100 people over the year. Net overseas migration accounted for 60 percent of the growth. The figures seem to contradict claims that Australia’s population is growing too fast. AUSTRALIAANDNEWZEALAND
NZ tax reforms take effect Tax cuts aimed at strengthening the economy and helping families kicked in during October.
increase by 2.02 percent to compensate for the GST increase. The Government’s taxguide.govt.nz calculator And it was broadly good shows that a NZ$30,000 news, with cuts across the wage earner will get a net board. The tax cuts have weekly gain of NZ$5.29 been offset after GST and income tax with a rise in cuts are considered, while Goods and someone on NZ$120,000 Services will be NZ$52.78 better off. Tax (GST). The average household GST should be about NZ$25 a increased week better off, even with from 12.5 the increase in GST. to 15 Someone on an average percent. wage will be almost NZ$15 Working For Families, a week better off. New Zealand Super and Finance Minister Bill Benefit Payments will English and Revenue
Minister Peter Dunne said the tax cuts and other tax changes will strengthen economic growth and help families get ahead in New Zealand. “This is the most significant tax reform package in New Zealand for nearly 25 years. For ordinary New Zealanders, it will reward effort, encourage savings and help families get ahead.” To find out how the tax changes will benefit you, please visit the tax calculator at www.taxguide.govt.nz.
f ie r b in s e g n a h c x NZ Ta taxes will 2010, personal From 1 October t and NZ rise to 15 percen be cut, GST will milies and Working for Fa Superannuation, – lifting ts will increase benefit paymen in New is g skilled Kiw incomes, keepin t ahead. lping families ge Zealand and he
around the 11, tighter rules 20 il pr A 1 om Fr take effect – ent property will stm ve in of n tio taxa stem fairer. making the tax sy 12
tes for 2010, the tax ra er ob ct O 1 om Fr fall. The nk interest will most PIEs and ba es will r savings vehicl tax rate for othe 11 – t from 1 April 20 fall to 28 percen ngs. encouraging savi , the /12 income year From the 2011 percent – te will fall to 28 company tax ra ment and oductive invest encouraging pr iveness. lifting competit
Heading Home? Let us help you make the move easier. The Commonwealth Bank of Australia and ASB Bank have been helping migrants and expats move their finances to Australia and New Zealand since 1949. With an office based in London, and support from dedicated International Customer Services offices throughout Australia and New Zealand you can be confident that your finances are in good hands. Our specialised International Customer Services team can help you: 2SHQEDQNDFFRXQWVDQGHQVXUHGHELWFDUGVDUHZDLWLQJ for you on your arrival in Australia or New Zealand. 6HQG\RXUIXQGVWR$XVWUDOLDRU1HZ=HDODQGDW competitive rates of exchange. $UUDQJH+RPH/RDQVLQ$XVWUDOLDRU1HZ=HDODQG (subject to conditions) :LWK)LQDQFLDO3ODQQLQJUHIHUUDOV
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What’s on... 30 oct-6 th
Melbourne Cup Carnival Flemington racecourse,
Auckland JazzFest 2010 Maidment Theatre, University of
14 th 14
Melbourne, Victoria The AS$6 million Melbourne Cup Carnival is a four-day celebration of racing, style, fashion and glamour. 2010 is its 150th running and it is a celebration not to be missed. www.melbournecup.com/melbourne-cupcarnival/
Auckland campus, 8 Alfred Street, CBD, Auckland The event kicks off on Monday November 1 with the Auckland Jazz Orchestra and across the three nights you’ll get to enjoy new music from the likes of Olivier Holland and Kevin Field and experience Roger Manin’s ‘Latitude’, featuring the legendary Bernie McGann. www.maidment.auckland.ac.nz
Mountain Cruizers Car Club Barton Avenue, Wallerawang, NSW This event is open to all cars, bikes, vintage cars, hot rods, rat rods and utes – in fact, if it has two or four wheels you can take it! There will be over 30 trophies presented on the day and money raised from entrants and spectators will go to local charities (drinks, barbecue and hot food will be available). http://www.facebook.com/group. php?gid=115580005239 www.anzoutlook.com
Our guide to the unmissable events, holidays and celebrations in Australia and New Zealand this month Paspaley Polo in the City Oxford Street, Sydney Suburbs, NSW
Paspaley Polo in the City celebrates its fifth anniversary this year with what it is billing as the biggest and most exciting event series ever. The series has grown into a major national sporting event now played in five capital cities, showcasing Australia’s top professional players. www.polointhecity.com
Vodaphone Ashes Series, first test
Brisbane Cricket Ground, Brisbane Don’t miss the first ball of the first test at the Gabba. Steve Harmison’s wayward first delivery set the tone for the 2006/7 tour which Australia won in a 5-0 whitewash. But this time England travel Down Under at pretty much full strength and are very optimistic they’ll emerge triumphant. An estimated 42,000 England fans travelled to Australia in 2006, will make the trip this time around? www.cricket.com.au
Adelaide International Guitar Festival 2010
King William Road, Adelaide, South Australia Featuring some of the best guitarists from around Australia and the world, the 2010 Adelaide International Guitar Festival will run over four days and nights in November. The festival will feature more than 50 national and international artists in 16 performances, along with a range of free and low cost workshops, master classes, artist talks and panel discussions. www.adelaideguitarfestival.com.au AUSTRALIAANDNEWZEALAND
th 8 25-2
erth, situated on the banks of the Swan River, is modern, lively and multicultural. Dubbed the world’s most isolated city, Perth has more sunshine than any other Australian capital city and its chilled-out atmosphere makes it a great place to stop and relax. Visitors can enjoy an active nightlife, a vibrant club scene, plenty of attractions and a renowned live music scene.
Where to eat... Perth has a lot of seafood on offer. However, the
Where to stay... Finding a stylish new hotel was a bit of a challenge for us. Perth certainly isn’t overrun with them. That said, the Duxton Hotel is one of the most glamorous addresses in town. As an alternative, you could stay at the Hyatt Regency, which has wonderful views of the Swan River, or you can opt for something more “down market’, which is close to many pubs, cafes and restaurants.
food scene is slightly fragmented, so be prepared to travel from one end of the city to the other in pursuit of greatness. Northridge is probably the best place to go. In the city, we recommend C Restaurant in St Martins Tower. It offers European cuisine and stunning city views.
e to party... Wher Perth’s main nightclub area is
Where to drink... A Perth tradition is to go to the pub on a Sunday
and Black Bettys.
afternoon. The tradition is known as going for a “Sunday Session”. Perth has a huge selection of pubs, bars and clubs (more on clubs in a minute). We recommend heading for Beaufort Street in Mount Lawley where you’ll find a healthy selection of bars and pubs. The Queens Tavern and The Flying Scotsman are all worth a look. Fremantle, Perth’s port city, has also built a good reputation for its microbreweries. 16
Experience the extraordinary
Northbridge. Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday are the busiest days and nights, but there is a great atmosphere any day of the week. Popular nightclubs in Perth are Hip-E, Library, The Deen
For the kids... There is a lot for kids to do in Perth. We recommend Kings Park and Botanic Gardens, Perth Zoo, Perth Mint, Rockingham Dolphins, and the Scitech Discovery Centre (as well as a host of walks – see THE GREAT OUTDOORS section). BUT, the major attraction has to be Adventure World – it is 20 minutes drive from Perth and is Western Australia’s major theme park. Open from September until April, it has over 30 exhilarating rides and a wildlife park;
it is worth a visit and entry is free.
THE GREAT OUTDOORS For those that love nature or long walks, Perth is ideal. We recommend:
Mandurah Estuary & Peel Inlet
If fresh-caught blue manna crab is right up your alley, this is for you. You might also see dolphins - they are regularly spotted in the area and special dolphin watching cruises take you up close to these friendly creatures.
Take a leisurely stroll or cycle along the gleaming Swan River, perfect for great views of the city and a mid-afternoon picnic.
Lake Monger is home to thousands of magnificent water birds including the black swan - the emblem of Western Australia.
Munda Biddi Bike Trail
Want to cycle through vast, unspoiled forest? This trail takes around seven days of pedal power to complete, with cyclists able to rest and replenish in purpose-built campsites.
This is Western Australia’s only long-distance walk trail. It is a 963km trek that stretches from Kalamunda to Albany.
www.toptrails.com.au Cottesloe Beach
The sprawling white beaches in Perth are sensational – but Cottesloe beach is the most beautiful.
We take a look at the city of Cairns, a jumping off point for some of Australia’s greatest natural wonders
op quiz. What’s the biggest structure ever built by living organisms? The Great Wall of China? Nope. The Burj Khalifa in Dubai? Sorry. The Boeing Plant in Everett, Washington? No, and also you lose points for looking it up on Wikipedia. You see, mankind doesn’t have a monopoly on building really, really big stuff, and while our ancestors were just figuring out that caves could help you stay out of the rain, Mother Nature was already laying the groundwork for the gold prize winner in this category- the Great Barrier Reef. The reef weighs in at over 2,900 reefs over an area of over 133,000 square miles, a feat that becomes more impressive when you realise it’s made from billions of life forms only a few millimetres in length.
Reefer Madness The Great Barrier Reef is big enough to see from space, but Virgin Galactic hasn’t yet got round to offering an orbital reef tour. However, if the idea of a bird’s eye view of the reefs appeals to you, there are other options that are slightly closer to home. Cairns Seaplanes offers a range of tours over the Great Barrier Reef, launching from and landing in the water. There’s definitely something to be said for looking down the crystal clear waters of the Reef from 500 feet in the air. The company offers a variety of flights, from a simple 30 minute scenic flight, all the way up to custom chartered flights, or the romantic “Honeymoon Package” option. Of course, you might want your encounter with the Reef to be a bit more up close and personal, and there are plenty of businesses working out of Cairns that will be more than happy to cater to you. Even if you’ve AUSTRALIAANDNEWZEALAND
never so much as tasted a snorkel, you’ll find plenty of diving schools, such as Pro Dive Cairns, who offer a five-day training course for A$825. During the course you will spend two days learning the basics in the classroom and pool, before being let loose on the Reef for three days and two nights on a dive trip that will take you to some of the best Outer Reef dive sites out there.
If the A$825 price tag is a bit much for you, a budget course is available from Diving Cairns for A$425 for four days and four dives. Cairns is absolutely crawling with diving centres however, so it’s worth shopping around. Once you’re out there you’ll witness a mind blowing array of wildlife, including dolphins, turtles, stingrays and giant clams. There are even clownfish, so there’s a real possibility that you could actually find Nemo. But then again, you’d be well within reason to think that learning how to scuba dive sounds like far too much effort. Isn’t there some way you can enjoy one of the greatest natural wonders in the world, while still having access to an air conditioned room, luxury meals, and well, a spa? That doesn’t seem too unreasonable, and Coral Princess Cruises doesn’t think it’s too unreasonable either. The cruises, which are available through Audley Travel, offer the chance to indulge in snorkelling, guided rainforest walks and presentations by a marine biologist, while also giving you the option to simply lounge on the sun deck, or enjoy the ship’s spa.
Launch Pad to Adventure (or Not) Your launch pad for all these activities will be the city of Cairns. It may not have the most glamorous origins (the city was originally swampland) but over the years the city has developed a thriving tourist industry, and today it makes a perfect home base for 20
your excursions to the many natural wonders in the area. But you don’t have to have your adventurer’s hat on to enjoy this city. Following a major revamp in 2003, Cairns has many attractions within its city borders. Perhaps the best hangout spot in the city’s
foreshore promenade, which features a 4,800 square metre saltwater lagoon that brings the beach to the heart of the city. Around the lagoon you can engage in all of the favourite Australian passtimes, including swimming, holding a barbecue, and of course, topless sunbathing.
If you’re looking for something a bit more culturally nourishing it’s worth checking out the Cairns Museum for an insight into the history of Cairns, as well as the much longer Aboriginal history of the area. Another good spot to check out is the Cairns Regional Gallery, a gorgeous building where you can find the world of artists such as Donald Friend and
Russell Drysdale alongside a cornucopia of Aboriginal art. After spending all that time improving your mind, you’ll probably want to hit the beach. Fortunately Cairns is barely a hop, skip and a jump away from the beautifully scenic Ellis Beach, a great spot for working on your tan, and also a popular venue for competitions and events courtesy of the Ellis Beach
The Rainforest The Great Barrier Reef is probably what Cairns is most famous for, but it’s far from the only natural attraction in the area. Two hours south of the city you’ll find the mighty Tully River, which runs through magnificent rainforests. A great way to experience the Tully River is to spend a day white water rafting your way down it. Of course, when not done carefully this can be dangerous, so it’s important to go with someone who knows what they’re doing. Audley Travel offers an excellent package that includes expert tuition, a full briefing, a day that includes five hours of rafting on all grades of rapid, and perhaps best of all, a barbecue lunch. If you want your rainforest experience to be a little bit less white-knuckle, you could do worse than take the century old railway from Cairns to the mountain retreat of Kuranda. The train journey will take you through tropical rainforests, up mountain ranges, and past breathtaking sights such as the Barron and Stoney Creek Falls, as well as the impressive engineering feat that is the Barron River Falls Bridge.
Surf Life Saving Club, so you may occasionally catch the odd sexy coastguard type around. In the Summer the waters around Ellis Beach can play host to nasty fauna of the stinging variety, so it’s worth being careful, although the Ellis Beach lifesavers also maintain and patrol a stinger net from November to May in this area.
Out at Kuranda you’ll get the chance to see exotic butterflies, parrots, fresh water crocodiles and the always hilarious duckbilled platypus. Kuranda’s street markets are also an excellent place to pick up souvenirs, as a range of Aboriginal artefacts are for sale there. You can even learn how to play the didgeridoo! There are many wonderful sights and experiences to be head in and around Cairns, more than you could possibly fit into one trip. But whatever you do here, you’re going to end up with some stories to tell.
www.cairnsseaplanes.com www.prodivecairns.com www.divingcairns.com.au www.coralprincess.com.au www.audleytravel.com www.cairnsmuseum.org.au www.cairnsregionalgallery.com.au www.ellisbeachslsc.com www.kuranda.org
Everything you need to know about the 2010 Series
Reasons for optimism: Australia’s failure to find a spinner with even a fraction of Shane Warne’s ability. Graeme Swann. England are genuine contenders to bring back the Ashes after a 24 year wait. Captain Andrew Strauss (and his work ethic). England’s strong batting line-up.
he Ashes - 5 tests, 22 players, a small urn for the winner, and nothing for the loser. It is far more than just a sporting rivalry. The Ashes sees England pitted against Australia in a battle for victory and national pride. It is a unique spectacle, full of skill, tactics, controversy (at times), determination and brilliance. Last time out Down Under (2006-07 Series), things didn’t go well. England suffered a humiliating 5-0 whitewash. This time, things are different and England go into this series full of optimism. Their Test side is considered to be “better” than Australia. And, after a recent defeat by India in Bangalore, Ricky Ponting's team slipped to fifth on the world rankings, making those claims official. Of course, past performance is no guarantee of future success. And rankings, to most, mean almost nothing. Yet, Strauss and Co. are likely to be pretty excited. This is the first time that England have been able to look down on the Aussies. Over the next few pages, you’ll find everything you need to know about the 2010 Ashes series, the host cities, and Australia’s cricket heritage. The action begins in Brisbane on 25 November before the series heads to Adelaide (December 3-7), Perth (December 16-20), Melbourne (December 26-30) and Sydney (January 3-7). An estimated 42,000 England fans travelled to Australia in 2006, but according to Cricket Australia, the economic AUSTRALIAANDNEWZEALAND
© Gulliver s Sports T ravel
downturn has affected sales this year. "The economic situation has changed and the British pound is now far weaker in comparison to the Australian dollar,” said Peter Young, Cricket Australia’s public affairs general manager. In Australia, it’s just not summer without cricket and the Aussies won’t be bowled over. England hold the Ashes after winning the last year's series 2-1 at home. Can they defend their crown?
How to book Tickets for the Ashes became available to England fans in July and have all but sold out. Around 80 percent of tickets for the 2010-11 series were kept aside for Australian Cricket Family members, who must be 24
Australian residents. It is important to note that December and January are two of the most popular months for travel to Australia out of the UK, but this series isn’t expected to replicate the pandemonium of 2006-07. Some packages are still available: Gullivers Sports Travel offers Official Vodafone Ashes Series supporter tours and packages with guaranteed match tickets. Prices start from £4385 per person for the 5th Test in Sydney on the fully escorted ‘Emu Tour’ (29th December 2010 – 10th January 2011). The price includes return international flights with Malaysia Airlines, ten nights B&B accommodation at the 5-Star Sofitel Sydney Wentworth, Official Gold Category match tickets for the 5th Test,
Key player profiles Andrew Strauss Age: 33 Tests: 77 Test Debut: England v New Zealand, Lord’s, May 20-24 2004. Batting average: 43.11 Matt Prior Age: 28 Tests: 35 Bat av: 42.13 Test Debut: England v West Indies, Lord’s, May 17-21 2007.
return international flights with Qantas Airways, seven nights accommodation at the 4-Star Novotel on Collins Melbourne Hotel, internal flight Melbourne to Sydney, eight nights B&B accommodation at the 4-Star Four Points by Sheraton Sydney, airport transfers, Official Silver 4th and 5th Test match tickets, and the services of a Sport Abroad tour manager. Tailor-made options are also available. For more information call Sport Abroad on 08456 803 086 or visit www.sportabroad.co.uk
SQUAD D ASHES 2010-2 Andrew 011 Strauss (Capt
Graeme Swann Age: 31 Tests: 24 Bowl av: 25.11 Test Debut: India v England, Chennai, Dec 11-15 2008. Likely impact: Huge. Swann is currently regarded as the world’s best spinner. welcome drinks reception, New Year’s Eve party, access to the Gullivers Sports Travel Cricket Forum and the services of a dedicated Gullivers Sports Travel Tour Manager. Tailormade packages are also available. For more information call Gullivers Sports Travel on 01684 293175 or visit www.gulliverstravel.co.uk Sport Abroad offers Official Vodafone Ashes Series supporter tours and packages including Official Test Match Tickets. Prices start from £4695 per person for the ‘Silver – 4th & 5th Tests (22nd December 2010 – 8th January 2011) including
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Ashes City guides A quick guide to the five host cities: Brisbane, Adelaide, Perth, Melbourne and Sydney.
BRISBANE Brisbane is a fast-paced metropolis and it has all the trappings of a big city. Queenslandâ€™s capital, it is Australiaâ€™s third largest city and a gateway to Surfers Paradise, Noosa and the Gold Coast. Brisbane is much more than you might expect and is an affluent, partygoing city, which is a big hit with us Brits. Getting to and from the Brisbane Cricket Ground (Gabba) See www.thegabba.org.au More information www.visitbrisbane.com.au
ADELAIDE Adelaide is in many ways the ideal Australian city; it has a Mediterranean climate and offers easy access to the beach. It is probably the perfect place to enjoy a summer of Test Cricket (and is home to the Bradman Collection Museum, ideal for cricket lovers). Adelaide is a sophisticated, cosmopolitan city and features streets filled with lively cafes and restaurants. Getting to and from the Adelaide Oval See www.cricketsa.com.au More information www.southaustralia.com
PERTH Perth is defined by beaches, sunshine and blue skies; what more do you need? Its relaxed atmosphere makes it a great place to watch cricket. Situated on the banks of the Swan River, Perth is a modern, lively, multicultural city, much like a small-scale Sydney. Over 80 percent of WA’s population lives in Perth, and, although it’s one of the most isolated cities in the world, visitors can enjoy an active nightlife, plenty of attractions and museums, a healthy cafe culture and a superb live music scene. Getting to the WACA cricket ground See www.waca.com.au More information www.westernaustralia.com
Melbourne is probably Australia’s “sportiest” city – it is the birthplace of Australian Rules Football, has hosted an Olympic Games and is home of the Melbourne Cup, a horse race that “stops a nation”. For us cricket fans, Melbourne is the place for another “nation-stopper”, the traditional Boxing Day Test. Melbourne is more than sport, though, and the city oozes culture. Its cosmopolitan style is reminiscent of a European city. Melbourne has plenty to offer. Getting to the MCG See www.mcg.org.au More information www.visitvictoria.com
SYDNEY Sydney is Australia’s biggest and most famous city, and it is also its most geographically and culturally diverse. Forget the ocker tourism slogans like “Throw another shrimp on the barbie” or “Where the bloody hell are you?” Sydney is a city that is well and truly grown up. From the grand Sydney Harbour to the buzzing beaches, Australia’s jewel in the crown is a fantastic city to visit. Getting to the Sydney Cricket Ground (SCG) See www.sydneycricketground.com.au More information www.sydney.com
Buzz on track to the Brisbane
Migrating to Brisbane from England has been the fulfilment of a vision for Rob and Lucina Levens. But as Lucina tells Colin Chinery, it also takes serious planning and application.
ExpatS in brief S
NAME: LUCINA LEVEN Occupation: LAW NAME: ROB LEVENS UK Moved from: IPSWICH, ensland Que Moved to: Brisbane,
ive years ago Lucina Levens had a highpowered job in the head office of an international law firm in the City of London. She was there in the summer of the al-Qaeda terrorist attacks 2005 which killed 52 civilian and injured a further 700. Lucina remembers Major Emergency lunchtime with friends in a coffee house as armed police poured in, ordered them to remain inside, and sealed off the building and adjoining streets.
She recalls too the 80 mile daily train commutes back to her home in Ipswich, Suffolk, sometimes sitting on the floor of overcrowded, late arrival trains. Now five years on Lucina and husband Rob are Australian citizens, working and living in Brisbane in the Sunshine State. They have a beautiful two month old daughter, Helena, and life is good. “Looking back it can be quite scary to realise we might never have known all of this. I think of a pair of train doors slamming tight on the London Underground, and we only just squeezed on because we were so close to not getting our visas. So it could all have been so different, but here we are living a complete life rather than a much reduced version of what it can be.” Lucina, 32, and Rob 37, began their visa applications after holidaying in Perth where Rob had relatives. “When we got back to England it was December, very grey and cold.” In April 2005 the visas came through leaving six months in which to activate them. “We decided on Brisbane and Melbourne - the two big cities we hadn’t seen - to look for jobs.” With sectors and companies researched and recruitment consultants e-mailed, they set
up job interviews. “We made certain we would hit the ground running in those three weeks.” It paid off. “Melbourne probably had the better job prospects but Brisbane still had good opportunities and was more relaxed. And obviously there was the weather –it wasn’t as hot as we had dreaded!” When they flew out of Brisbane Rob and Lucina had secured jobs, Rob a project management role within state-owned electricity distribution company Energex, and Lucina a position within the communications team at Virgin Blue Airlines.
Australia is a fantastic place to come and live. Do your homework and be prepared to work hard and fit in “I remember arriving back and thinking, here we are living in this very small grey world in England. And there’s this parallel universe the other side of the world where people are living a very different and far more expansive life, and thinking, I want us to be part of that life. We look back and despite missing family and friends, the history, buildings, culture and countryside of England; we know we made the right decision “We found Brisbane a very modern city, vibrant, with lots going on from free salsa dancing lessons in the streets to ballet and creative arts. You can have a good job and still live within ten kilometres and afford a nice house, it’s close to beaches and things to do at the weekend, the people were outgoing and friendly; all round a good balance. It still has something of a small town appeal, but with a real buzz. It’s a ‘Happening City, so we settled on Brisbane. “Queensland has got the best beaches in the country, and we feel very lucky to have them on our doorstep. It means a lot, and I suppose it’s the quintessential Australian life where you work during the week in a city with buzz and at the weekend put your shorts on and go AUSTRALIAANDNEWZEALAND
to a beautiful beach without having to stay over and pay a lot. It’s fantastic. It makes you think; gosh I’m here and got a completely different lifestyle to what I would have had in England.” Lucina, currently on maternity leave from her post as Communications Manager at Bupa Australia, dismisses British TV re-location programme clichés about the supposedly ‘Laid Back Oz Lifestyle’ “The Australians are serious about everything they do whether lifestyle or work. They are pretty competitive, and very patriotic, which is a fantastic thing.” Entry cue for one of Australia’s youngest
- Helena Sofia, born to Lucina and Rob two months ago at Brisbane’s Mater Mothers’ Hospital. “We can understand why it’s been called the Hilton,” says Lucina, “ the food and service, the scope , sophistication and quality of pre and post natal care, and the 360 degrees attention paid to the welfare of both babies and mothers. Altogether very impressive. Rob and I are so appreciative.” “Looking ahead we feel the child care and education systems here are so much better. And for Helena there will be so many more opportunists here growing up in an outdoor and safer environment. I feel I wouldn’t have wanted to have children if we had been living in Ipswich. The way things are in Britain I don’t think there would have been much to look forward to!”
Some guidelines: th In respect of visa applications it’s wor use beca t agen having a good migration push there’s so much red tape and they can Government departments. point’s You need to be efficient because the and year y qualification tends to go up ever our we almost missed out because we left pretty was t Tha ute. min last lodgement to the much how ise real us tight and scary! It made we wanted it though. not to It’s important when you come here three our ted trea view it as a holiday. We We . weeks here very much as working s job worked day in and day out in our suit king hunting. We didn’t lie on a beach thin your how not is this isn’t this lovely, because long k wor life is going to be. Australians expect hours and work hard, and they do you to fit in. cheap, Don’t come here thinking it will be because that you will halve your grocery bill are it wont be. Food is very expensive. So get to le peop for h used cars. And it’s toug find you why on the housing ladder, which is 20s. young people still at home in their late cheaper. But things like eating out are much If you Emigrating is tiring and emotional. with a are lucky and hit the ground running But job you can burn out after six months. k in wor the put to you’ve got to be prepared up front.
Try to imagine how you can cope alone as a couple and spending time with perhaps a limited number of people until you have built up a friends network. If you can save before you come to Australia I would strongly advise it. Research the job market and try and get a job before you come out here. Hone your CV – here called resumes - and try and see a copy of an Australian resume to see what it is like.
I thought having a job in London would be near the top of the list, but it isn’t. In Britain it would be a big thing, but here it’s inconsequential and some recruitment consultants are only interested when you’ve got Australian brands on your CV. Get a job even if it isn’t exactly what you want; show you have been active in the Australian job market. Try and get on the property ladder as soon as you can - which is what we did. There’s no point in trying to save up for it because you will be chasing forever moving goal posts.
ASK THE EXPERT This month, Chartered Accountant Allan Collett answers your tax questionsâ€Ś.
Is income tax the same in Australia as it is in the UK? Chris, Twickenham
tralia started from substantially Income tax in the UK nd in Aus and distant past. However in the same base way back in the dim erences, including the rates of the modern day there are many diff m tax deductions for amounts income tax, and the ability to clai in Australia than deductions is far more common paid by taxpayers - claiming tax mple, many to reduce their tax liability. For exa in the UK, and allows individuals s in a manner deductions for work related expense taxpayers in Australia claim tax UK. that is simply not possible in the plete a tax al taxpayers in the UK do not com In addition, while most individu annual return of ans are required to complete an return each year, almost all Australi their assessable income. spouses, selfincluding the separate taxation of However, there are some similarities is paid late! assessment - and interest on tax that
Am I taxed on monies I bring into
Australia at the time I move? Sarah, York
No. Australia does not tax money that is brought into the country - the Federal Government will be delighted that you have decided to bring your money to the country!
the UK, am In the year I leave
refund? I entitled to a tax Jim, Reading
As a general rule individuals who leave the UK part way through a UK tax year and who have been receiving a salary or wage under the UK PAYE system can obtain a repayment of tax from HM Reve nue if they complete a form P85 and submit it to their employer â€™s tax office with the form P45 they receive when their employm ent ceases. Form P85 can be obtained by typing the form number into the search box at www.hmrc.gov.uk.
Are there any hidden tax es I should be aware of?
: All of the taxes in Austra lia are fairly well known, but there are some aspects of the Australian tax system tha t are peculiar to migrants and sho uld be borne in mind when you are moving to Au stralia. These include the liability that can arise if a newly arrived migrant decides to transfer UK pen sion benefits into an Australian superannuation fund more than 6 months after commencing tax res idency in Australia. Australia also operated wh at was called the Foreign Investment Fund legislation until relatively recently. The FIF rules affected mi grants who became tax residents of Australia who retained certain types of investments located out side Australia, including endowment policies, ISA s, and Bonds, and required such taxpayers to include the annual growth in the value of these investme nts in their assessable income, even if the invest ment had not been sold. This legislation was abolish ed from the end of the last income tax year, on 30t h June 2010.
A friend who recently immigrated told me I should cash in my ISA before I leave. Is that good advice? Brian, Great Yarmouth
The tax free status of certain UK investments such as PEPs, ISAs, and endowment policies ceases to be available when an individual holding such investments moves to Australia as the holder of a permanent residency visa - such a person is subject to Australian tax on his/her worldwide income and capital gains. If you are in this position you should therefore look at the investment on the basis of its investment potential, rather than from the tax benefits that are available when a UK resident. Note also that the Foreign Investment Fund rules noted at 3 above no longer apply following their abolition at the end of June 2010.
Will it be possible to transfer a UK pension to Australia? Kim, London
usually be transferred into Yes, UK pension fund benefits can - and this exercise is often an Australian superannuation fund pective. We say this as UK worth undertaking from a tax pers in the hands of an Australian source pension income received ns of the Tax lly in Australia under the provisio tax resident is usually taxable who ement age by retir at ived By contrast, benefits rece Treaty between the two countries. ves from a deri tralian superannuation fund that an Australian resident from an Aus ly free of tax in either country. transferred UK fund are general sferred not receive a benefit from the tran Note also that an individual should avoid a tax to UK the rs following departure from fund for five complete UK tax yea OPS tax provisions. charge arising under the UKâ€™s QR
ASK THE EXPERT Q
Does my visa have any affect on my tax position? Brian, Great Yarmouth
Yes, a choice between visas can make a signi ficant difference to how an individual is taxed when moving to Australia. As a general rule, temporary visa holders who are resident in Australia are only subject to Australian tax on their Australian source income and capital gains - meaning that income from sources such as UK property, UK shareholdings, and UK bank deposits are not subject to Australian tax if you are the holder of a temp orary residency visa. Indeed, some attractive tax planning is avail able when a temporary visa holder is moving to Australia and has inves tments such as property or a business interest that would generate a significant capital gain if sold.
ng back What if I am payi a student loan? John, London
ay a student The obligation to rep individual’s loan arises once an in the UK exceeds assessable income e ments are to be mad £15,000; loan repay er ov ss ce nt on the ex at the rate of 9 perce en an individual wh this threshold, and yed obligation is emplo with a student loan will deduct the his or her employer m salary. required amount fro stralia there is an to When moving Au s y the Student Loan obligation to notif ntinue making Company, and to co same rate – i.e. 9 repayments at the that exceeds the percent of income 00. equivalent of £15,0
Where can I g et infor on Aus mation t r alian ta Tax Pa xation cks? and
ristol Informa tion rela ting to Australi an taxati o n is available Australi through an Taxa th e ti on Offic at www e websit .ato.gov e , .au - or tax advis from all ors! good
ABOUT THE EXPERT
d Accountant in UK and Australia. Alan Collett is a qualified Chartere d in both countries), he owns and With Jane Cooper (also tax qualifie Tax, which provides tax advice and operates Go Matilda Accounting and as tax return preparation for those ongoing tax compliance services such ilda has offices in the UK and in who are moving to Australia. Go Mat the the UK on 023 80 30 25 24, and on Australia, and can be contacted in Internet at www.gmtax.com.au.
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studying down under
in Australia Australia and New Zealand Outlook examines the advantages of studying in Australia
re you stuck in a dead-end job? Are you looking for a change? Do you want to gain the professional qualifications you need to make that change? And do you want to do it outside the UK? If the answer to these questions is yes, have you thought about Australia? Trips to Australia aren’t just about holidays, gap years and migration anymore and over recent years, more and more Brits have been going to study. Australia is in many ways the ideal destination for those wanting to gain professional qualifications: they speak English, it has a number of internationally recognised universities, it can enhance your migration prospects, you don’t always need formal qualifications, and you get access to a fun lifestyle and a warmer climate (fees and living costs are also generally comparable to the UK). 36
Australia is one of the best places to live and study. If you want a quality education and a good lifestyle, it’s the place to be.
ASK QUESTIONS Ok, you’re sceptical; you’re thinking, “Why should I listen to this?” So, I went searching for personal experiences and it wasn’t long until came across Mike176 (he didn’t want to give his real name – not sure why – but I’m guessing it is Mike) on an Expat forum. He had moved to Australia a few years ago and had worked in the UK as an IT professional. He heard about a shortage of IT specialists through a friend and wanted to give it a go. The trouble was he had no formal qualifications and didn’t qualify for a visa. “There was the option of studying to gain a formal qualification and Australia was always somewhere I had wanted to go,” he says. “I made the decision and ended up
getting onto a masters degree – thankfully, Australian schools on completion of their the university recognised work-based course. The Graduate Diploma is similar learning and I was well on my way.” to the UK’s PGCE and runs for one year, The added bonus was that he was combining theory and teaching placements. also able to apply for an 18-month work IT, nursing and teaching aren’t the permit on completion of the course and his only fields where there are opportunities qualification is recognised in the UK, where - there are plenty of others (especially if he’ll soon return. you broaden the search to New Zealand, Mike isn’t alone. A lot of people from the something we’ll talk about in future UK study in Australia, for a variety of reasons. issues). “Australia needs certain skills,” a And there are a number of other professions Department of Immigration and Citizenship where you are entitled to an 18-month work (DIAC) spokesman told me. “There is still permit – although the list a critical need for skills across a constantly changes (see range of Australian Migration update, industries.” page 10). According to the Study Opti In order to go to latest figures, almost ons in dependent, is a free, Australia to study you 3,000 people from the expert s e rv ic e fo rp will need a student UK have chosen to to study in eople looking Australia visa. There are no go back to college or and New Z e age restrictions. You university in Australia is the repre aland. It s e n ta just need an offer of the last year. More ti v e of Australian a n d N ew Ze study from a recognised than half of the new universitie s and colle aland education provider (such students were mature g the UK and es in Ir e la n d , a as a university or college). students enrolling nd can help w it application h your On a student visa you in postgraduate process. will have an opportunity courses at www.stud yoptions.c to live and study in universities or trade om Australia for the length of training programs the course. in the vocational education sector. As a student you will be able to work Qualifying as a teacher or nurse are two of for 20 hours a week during the course the more popular choices. and full-time during holiday periods. Let’s start with nursing. The Australia Your partner, if you have one, will be nursing qualification is a two-year course. able to work part-time for the duration. It is a qualification that is recognised in the The rules are subject to change and UK and the fees paid are comparable, if not a for more information visit The Australian little better than the UK. Government Department of Immigration As far as teaching is concerned, many and Citizenship (www.immi.gov.au). students end up getting positions in
Choosing the right migration agent A registered migration agent can ensure a visa application goes smoothly, but how do you choose the right one?
ustralia’s immigration law is complex and constantly changing to accommodate shifts in the Government’s immigration policy. Yes, getting through the immigration system is difficult, but it is not impossible. Australian’s are famous for their friendly and easygoing outlook on life. But anyone planning to come to Australia should understand that the Australian Government is serious about protecting the security of its borders and the integrity of its immigration system. Legal requirements for visas are rigorously enforced and applications are closely examined. You ultimately have to have the necessary skills to benefit Australia. “Immigration rules are complicated and difficult to grasp for the inexperienced or untrained,” says Emma Smith-Jones of Grist International Pty Ltd, an expert in free full assessments, skills assessment, skilled, family and employment sponsored visas. Rules change to cater for Australia’s needs at different periods, and you have to have the skills it deems necessary to benefit the country. An applicant might not meet the criteria of a certain category today, but they might meet it in 12 months. Australia's target migration intake is set yearly with a balance of different areas: skills, family and refugee/humanitarian. Of these
areas, there is a strong policy emphasis on boosting skills and business skills intakes. “It is changeable,” says business visa expert Richard Gregan of Overseas Emigration Ltd. It seems reasonable then, that professional expertise is a must, especially if you are not familiar with the ins and outs of Australian migration law, regulations or policy.
CODE OF CONDUCT In Australia, only professional migration agents (who are registered with the MARA (Migration Agent Registration Authority)) can provide migration advice. All registered migration agents (RMA) undergo extensive training and must pass a string of tough exams. The Migration Agent’s Code of Conduct governs all
registered agents and giving advice in Australia without being registered can result in a conviction and pretty hefty fines or even a jail term. To be registered, migration agents must demonstrate a sound understanding and knowledge of migration law and practice, and they must continually update their knowledge. Unfortunately, the industry is rife with unscrupulous operators. Outside of Australia, there is no restriction on who may give Australian migration advice and charge you for it. In Australia, however, the authorities strongly recommend the use of a registered agent.
So what next? Well, get a contract and ask for an outline of the fees applicable to your circumstances. Don’t sign a thing until you fully understand the terms and requirements. Also, ask as many questions as you can, seeking to clarify anything you don’t quite understand. It might also be well worth getting a second opinion; going to another registered agent to see what they have to say/offer. Regardless, you have to ensure that your agent has sound knowledge, abides by the Migration Agent’s Code of Conduct – as a lot of the What are you areas of above is covered by the code expertise? (like making sure agents keep Do you have the right clients aware of all the costs knowledge, competence involved with their application and experience? and the expected time needed What are my options? to perform the service). What are the fees and On a final note, registered what are the terms? migration agents must Are there any hidden costs? provide you with a copy
Questions to ask your RMA...
of the Information on the Regulation of the Migration Agent profession, which provides basic consumer protection information. The document is produced by MARA and tells you everything you need to know about the profession and what to expect.
CHECKING THEY'RE REGISTERED CONCLUSIONS... Ok, we’ve established that Immigration to Australia is always a contentious issue, you need to ensure the migration agent you’re dealing with is registered. And, it’s easy to check: you can ask to see their certificate of registration, which has their photograph on it, or you can check the register of agents on the MARA website.
especially during hard economic times and it is likely that over the next few years policy will be based upon conservative economic data. It is going to be vital for people applying for Australian visas to prepare their applications thoroughly to maximise their chances of success in what is a highly competitive situation. Professionally prepared applications, presented to the Australia Immigration Service, will, in most cases, result in a successful visa application. For more information visit www.mara.gov.au. AUSTRALIAANDNEWZEALAND
Cycle Do you want to
Australia? First Trans Oz bike race will take riders 2,000 miles across Australia
fter cycling solo across Australia earlier this year, British explorer Mike Laird could have been forgiven for going back to his day job and never getting on a bike again. However, Mike isn’t like most of us. Instead he decided to organise an epic amateur bike race that will follow a similar route. Mike battled brown snakes, giant spiders, a locust plague, saddle sore, gruelling terrain, scorching heat, and floods to become the first Briton to retrace the steps of 19th century explorers Burke and Wills across Australia, solo and unassisted. He cycled over 2,000 miles from coast to coast to achieve his goal. It took 33 days. “I cycled through numerous picturesque towns, cycled across major rivers, saw cultural landmarks, and battled the heat and dust along long stretches. I saw everything. “I saw more of Australia than most other people ever do. I would see regularly 30, 40, or more, kangaroos every day bouncing along besides me.” The adventurer clearly met plenty of Australia’s wildlife but like Burke and Wills, his journey across inland Australia was not without drama. “When I crossed the states of New South Wales and Queensland I was hit by severe flooding which meant he had to alter my route,” Mike says. “The rain was a challenge and certainly unexpected. I’m a pretty prepared chap and I suppose the fact I was prepared got me through it. I was often carrying bikes through waste deep water; I lost my video, my GPS system, and my mobile phone – so to a degree I was then very much reliant upon survival and map and compass reading skills. The people coming AUSTRALIAANDNEWZEALAND
ADVENTURE on the race however won’t need to do any of that kind of thing – we have it covered. They will benefit from my experience.” I know what you are thinking… why inflict all this on others? “I felt sad to have done it on my own and not have anyone to share it all with, it would have been nice for there to be someone to share it with,” he reasons. The first Trans Oz Bike Ride, which will take place in May, will cover 3,200km (2,097 miles) in 17 stages, with competitors starting in Melbourne and riding north through Victoria, New South Wales and Queensland to finish in Cairns. The race will include road, dirt road and hill stage, and riders will need to average 188km a day to be in with a chance of winning the £5,000 prize. “We have a Route B as well,” says Mike. “The reason for that is we have had an awful lot of interest from people who love the idea, and would love to cycle across Australia, but said the stages were just a bit too tough for them.” Route B is aimed at “giving people the same experience, but keeping them in the saddle for no more than 6 hours a day”. “What we have done is we have kept the route the same, reduced the price for Route B, slightly chopped the time for Route B and we have reduced the stages in terms of length,” says Mike. “This is aimed at giving people the same experience, but keeping them in the saddle for no more than 6 hours a day, which means they’ll get a lot more enjoyment, and a lot more time for their legs to recover, but they’ll also get the chance to see and experience a little bit more of Australia, again what it is all about.
“It is only really two to three days shorter in terms of time. It is 15 stages over 16 days, rather than 17 stages over 19 days.” The good news is that Mike is still looking for people. “It is an ever changing demographic, which is very interesting,” he explains. “Yes, we are looking for more people; we would love more people. “We wouldn’t run either route without a minimum of 40 entrants; likewise, neither of the groups will go off with more than 100 people. For 100 people, for example, I need one ton of drinking water a day. Any more and we’d have to alter provisions.” Early stages of both routes will retrace the steps of the ill-fated Burke and Wills expedition of 1860, when seven men died attempting the north-south crossing on foot, camel and horseback.
“Although competitors will still face hazards, including extremes of temperature and the local wildlife, we have planned and researched every element of the race to ensure that the Trans Oz Bike Ride runs as smoothly as possible,” Mike, a risk manager, says. The race will be shadowed by a number of accompanying vehicles manned by the race management and support team. There will be a lead vehicle, keeping ahead of all riders at every stage. There will also be a tail vehicle, staying a short distance behind the last cyclists in each stage. Further support vehicles will be driving in between the lead and tail vehicles. “These support trucks will carry water, supplies and luggage and spare kit, and will be on hand to assist any riders who experience difficulties,” Mike explains. “We have also arranged meals, accommodation
and entertainment for all riders and crew. “My experience was truly an experience of a lifetime and I’m delighted to be able to open this up to other people with an appetite for adventure,” he continues. “We’re looking for anyone with determination, bags of energy and a decent bike to be involved.” The expedition of Robert Burke and William Wills has long been part of Australian folklore. The pioneers led a team of 19 men, 26 camels and 23 horses to explore inland Australia for the first time, but it turned out to be a doomed journey as both expedition leaders died on the way back. All together seven men lost their lives, and only one man, John King, was rescued by Aborigines and returned alive to Melbourne. Mike, 41, said he felt “immensely privileged to have followed in their footsteps” on the 150th anniversary of the ill-fated crossing and was “proud to offer others the opportunity”. “I’m a seasoned traveller who took part in the BBC’s Castaway 2000 TV programme alongside Ben Fogle. “Since that time I haves led and joined expeditions in remote locations as diverse as Ethiopia, Bolivia, Mongolia and Alaska.” In 2007 Mike joined Coalition Forces in Afghanistan as a war correspondent. He is currently CEO of the charity Marocaroundtheclock, as well as a trustee of the UK Scientific Exploration Society and a Fellow of the Royal Geographic Society. To find out more about the Trans Oz Bike Ride, visit www.transozbikeride.com or email firstname.lastname@example.org. And enjoy a few tinnies when you finish!
Where to settle...
Queensland’s capital is becoming increasingly popular with us Brits
risbane is Australia’s boomtown. The city has changed considerably in the last 10 years. Yes, most people still pass straight through because they’re off to Cairns or the Gold Coast (see page 18), but they’re really missing out. When you get around and explore a bit, it’s amazing how much great stuff is going on. Queensland’s capital has all the trappings of a big city, plus the laidback style, which epitomises Queensland. It’s the third-biggest city in the country, but a million miles away from Sydney and Melbourne in lifestyle. Built along the Brisbane River, it’s a clean, attractive city, and is worth staying to explore for a few days. 44
The main tourist districts are: CBD, Brisbane’s major business hub. Also home to several shopping malls, cinemas, parks and many of Brisbane’s historical tourist sites.
South Bank is full of ethnic restaurants and “edgy” cafes. Also a great place for a riverside walk. The Valley (Fortitude Valley) is where you’ll find Brisbane’s Chinatown and vibrant nightlife. West
End is an edgy, bohemian district. New Farm, home to upscale shopping and upmarket, trendy dining places.
Portside Wharf is where the cruise ships dock on the Brisbane River. Paddington is now becoming the place to shop and is full of fashion gems. Rosalie is home to quaint bars, markets and restaurants.
Milton has two of Brisbane’s most famous icons placed side by side - the XXXX Ale House and Suncorp Stadium.
Mount Coot-tha, which is, obviously, home to a mountain. It also features the Brisbane Botanic Gardens and Planetarium and numerous walking and bicycle tracks. “Brisbane had good opportunities and was relaxed. And obviously there was the weather –it wasn’t as hot as we had dreaded!” says Lucina Levens (this month’s expat - page 28). Brisbane is rapidly developing and forward-thinking; it maintains a youthful enthusiasm and has a vibrant atmosphere. Its year-round warm climate, spectacular scenery and high-spirited locals attract many British visitors. There really is a lot going on. All of Brisbane’s districts do things a little
differently, from bustling live music scene in The Valley to hobnobbing in New Farm. Green cabs (www.greencabs.net.au) are a great way to travel. Essentially a rickshaw, they accommodate up to 2 adults and 2 small children, and mostly operate between West End, South Bank, the CBD, the Valley and along the river, although you can arrange to be taken elsewhere. Green Cabs currently operate on weekends and during special events. Brisbane has a public transport system. The three main public transport options of AUSTRALIAANDNEWZEALAND
Where to settle... Brisbane - ferries, buses and trains - are linked by a common ticketing system, known as TransLink. CityFerries and CityCats have also become an icon of the city and are fantastic ways to tour the city along the river.
AAdrian BRIT'S PERSPECTIVE Wallace moved to Brisbane in 1998, landing on a wet, grey and generally uninspiring day in August 1998. He was initially motivated to move to Queensland’s capital because he didn’t want to “fall into city life” or get “trapped by urban big city problems”. The city has grown a lot since then. “Brisbane, it seemed to me, was small enough that I could escape the city easy, but big enough that I could find work,” he says. “These days transport can be a challenge. Brisbane has grown very fast in the last 10 years and the infrastructure does struggle. Some roads are choked in peak times with busiest times being 7:30-8:30 inbound and 16:00-17:30 outbound. “From where I live the drive time into the CBD would be 45 minutes in morning peak and about 20 minutes any other time of day. Parking in the CBD can be outrageously expensive, but if you get in early enough most car parks have early bird rates for all day parking. Buses are cheap, improving all the time and although are often overcrowded they are at least now all air-conditioned and comfortable enough. The days of buses being like mobile saunas seem to be behind us.” To learn more about living in Brisbane check out this month’s expat profile on page 28.
Australia rd ’s largest cit 3 y The city s it famous riv s on the er Scenic be au atmosphe ty, friendly re temperate and fine climate Low cost of living Range of re and cultur creational al activitie s Proximity to major tourist att ractions Casual life s friendly p tyle and eople
GETTING THERE Brisbane Airport is 20km Northeast of
HOTELS Brisbane has a hotel for everyone -
the city centre at Eagle Farm, north of the river. It is possible to fly directly to all Australian capitals and numerous regional centres. Major carriers include Virgin Blue, Jetstar and Qantas. The international terminal is serviced by many regional airlines and it is possible to fly daily to most Asian centres (and on to Europe), the United States and New Zealand without flying via Sydney or Melbourne.
budget, business, tourist, luxury, bed and breakfasts and apartments. Some of our favourites include:
FOOD Australia is gaining an international reputation for its quality natural produce and interesting blend of cooking styles. Its multicultural society is reflected in the range of cuisines readily available in Brisbane: Italian, Vietnamese, Thai, Chinese, Middle Eastern, Indian, Korean and Japanese. Brisbane is well known for its superb seafood and fabulous selection of tropical fruits.
Hilton Within walking distance of the Brisbane Conference and Exhibition Centre, Brisbane Hilton overlooks Queen Street Mall and is just minutes from Brisbane’s Central Station. It has everything you’d expect from a city centre hotel. Hilton, +61 7 3234-2000. 190 Elizabeth St
Marriott With its stylish architecture, elegant spaces and attentive staff, the Brisbane Marriott Hotel makes a lasting impression. Unique among Brisbane hotels, discover stunning guest rooms, suites and executive-level rooms, which capture views of the skyline and Brisbane River. Marriott Hotel, +61 7 3303-8000. 515 Queen Street
E T A M I L C
ane Brisb n i r e b eath nd su The w fortable a njoys e is com . The city t hot l a i c l i il an trop of br e t a lear m and c a cli s r e summ winters. mild
Positioned in one of the city’s most central location, Sofitel Brisbane offers range of leisure facilities. The hotel is located within a kilometre of Anzac Square War Memorial, Freemasons Ann Street Memorial Centre, Cathedral of St. Stephen, Aboriginal Art Trail and MacArthur Museum. Sofitel, +61 7 38353535. 249 Turbot Street
Where to settle... THINGS TO DO The third largest city in Australia has plenty to offer the adventurous traveller and here are some highlights: South Bank is a great place to visit. There are great grassy areas to picnic and you can swim at the man-made beach. Check out the markets (Friday to Sunday) and enjoy a beer at one of the bars by the river. Story Bridge (www.storybridgeadventureclimb.com.au) is the little brother to the Sydney Harbour Bridge and designed by the same architect, John Bradfield. It’s nice to look at and even better to climb, with amazing views over the city. Downtown’s Queen Street Mall is a must see and a real gauntlet of trashy shopping centres and fast food joints. The South Bank is home to the Queensland Art Gallery and Gallery of Modern Art, great for all you art buffs. The Gallery of Modern Arthouses a great selection of works from Australian, Indigenous Australian and international artists. The Brisbane area is home to some of the world’s most stunning, clean, sandy beaches. Balloons over Brisbane (www.balloonsoverbrisbane.com.au) give you an opportunity (for as little as $255) to gain an aerial perspective as you float over the city in our hot air balloon. Cruise the Brisbane River - there are many tours available that cruise the Brisbane River and will help you take in the sights of the city. Kangaroo Point - the walls along the Brisbane River are a popular spot for rock climbers and give an excellent view of the CBD skyline just across the river. There are a number of great bars to visit: The British expats (www.pignwhistle.com.au). The Lone Pine Sanctuary popular tourist attractions in Brisbane.
Pig ‘N’ Whistle is big with
Koala Sanctuary is one of the most
There are a number of remarkable historic buildings, which include the Parliament House, City House, General Post Office, Commissariat Store Museum, Newstead House, Old Government House and Old Windmill.
Local to you at home and down under Pickfords has a national network of branches in the UK, Australia and New Zealand, which means wherever you are moving to, you can rely on a personal, local service, door to door.
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a move as individual as you AUSTRALIAANDNEWZEALAND
Working in new zealand
Working holdays in New Zealand
Spending a gap year in Australia is a traditional rite of passage for many. But Brits are increasingly been lured to New Zealand.
lanning a working holiday or gap year might seem daunting. From fruit picking or hospitality work to office work or teaching, New Zealand has a lot to offer the working backpacker, the gap year student or the professional looking for timeout. Your working holiday visa will ensure that you can work legally and safely, and find a job relatively easily. Here we’ll tell you all you need to know to plan a working holiday.
The working holiday visa The Working Holiday Scheme Visa (WHSV)
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allows holders to stay in New Zealand for up to 23 months, working for 12 months. Holders can leave and re-enter New Zealand as often as they wish and are allowed to work for one employer for the full period should they wish. It is important to note that applicants must be aged between 18 and 30 but you can apply from anywhere in the world, including from within New Zealand. You can even enter the country on a tourist visa first – which lasts for six months and is free – and then apply for a WHSV. On arrival you may be asked for evidence of sufficient funds to meet living costs and support yourself while in the country – a bank statement showing NZ$350 for each month you intend to stay should be proof enough. You also need a return plane ticket or sufficient funds for one. Applications can be made online at the Immigration New Zealand website, but you can’t take children and must not have been approved a visa or permit under a working holiday scheme before. There are also certain health criteria you have to meet. AUSTRALIAANDNEWZEALAND
working down under With all these things, visa eligibility requirements and entitlements are subject to change – so check before applying. If you’re caught breaching the rules, you could be booted back to where you came from.
Accommodation New Zealand has excellent hostels, hotels and B&Bs, and well-equipped campgrounds. Booking ahead is essential in December and January, when the locals are on holiday. Many hostels will give you a reduced rate if you stay for a week. But once employed you should look for your own place – perhaps even flat-share.
Work There are many short-term jobs in NZ but finding something suitable will not always be easy. Hunt around for worthy opportunities. Most people go for work in tourism or related industry. Fruit picking is available yearround (seasonal fruit picking, pruning and harvesting is prime short-term work for visitors) and ski instructors are in demand in winter (check resort websites for opportunities). For an office job, the larger the city, the better the chance of employment: Auckland is the best bet. You should register with a recruitment agency. 52
Tax Like all New Zealand workers, you will need an IRD number so that your employer can deduct tax from your earnings at the correct rate. In New Zealand, you pay tax on a pay as you earn (PAYE) basis. This means that there should not be a large refund or an amount to pay when you leave.
Whats the climate like? New Zealand’s seasons are the reverse of the Northern Hemisphere. This means that the warmest months are December, January and February, while the coldest are in June, July and August (winters tend to be short and generally fairly mild). That said, on any given day the weather and temperature can change unexpectedly and dramatically. Be prepared for that. And don’t forget the climate changes from north to south.
And the food? Like the climate changes from south to north, so do the local speciality foods. Some specialities to look for on menus in the far north and the Auckland region are avocados, nuts, citrus fruits and Asian vegetables. A variety of fruits thrive in most of NZ’s grape-growing districts, and travellers will also find some great local food matches with the speciality wines of each region.
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