Moving to Sydney

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    Aug 15, 2011 11:54 AM GMT
    Hey everyone! My boyfriend and I are planning on immigrating to Sydney next year from South Africa. We are currently just finalizing our visas. I was wondering if you could give us any advice or tips on coming to Sydney, where would be a good place to look for a place to stay, what to expect, the attitude towards gays in the work place and when seeking employment, etc. Your help will be much appreciated! Thx!
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    Aug 15, 2011 12:57 PM GMT
    Well then, welcome to Aussie mate

    I'd have to say, you've just gotten yourself quite a lot of work to deal with once you get to Sydney. The main problem with newcomers is often housing - rentals in this city is the highest in all of Australia (expect to pay around AUS500-AUS700 A WEEK for a decent two-room, one bathroom unit with garage space), and be mindful that competition for an available unit is FIERCE (you MUST be at the inspection on time).

    Unless you really have to, do NOT try to get a car or live out in the suburbs, the congestion will sap the life out of you. Try to get used to the bus and trains as well, they run relatively on time (comparable with Singapore and Washington DC, minus the union strikes). Work visa permits for are relatively easy to get as well, especially if you're proficient in the English language. Just ask my Benoni classmate - yeaps, she's from South Africa as well, you wanna come over for some braai with her next time? icon_smile.gif

    As for entertainment, not so much for Darling Harbour and other touristy areas clsoe to the Opera House - the food is too expensive and the shopping is kinda tacky. George Street in the CBD houses high-end stuff (Armani, Apple, etc.) and Chinatown has a lot of pubs to get down and personal with cheap beer. Gay life in this city is strictly concentrated around the Australia-famous Oxford Street in Darlinghurst (just go to Hyde Park, walk along Liverpool St away from the city centre and you'll see it). If you want to see the more eccentric side of Sydney, head down to Newtown IMO (take the train from Central to Newtown station, only 5km away), especially on the weekends. The inner city neighbourhoods of Glebe and Balmain is good for its diverse cuisine and retro stuff.

    I myself am still in first year uni, and I've learned so much from just 18 months of spending time here in Australia. Trust me, if the weather, food, beaches, amazing nightlife and eye candy - just go watch a Friday night footy game (National Rugby League), you'll know exactly what I mean by eye candy - doesn't do you justice, I don't know what will.
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    Aug 15, 2011 1:38 PM GMT
    Julians is right about the rental situation... finding a place to live will be hard and expensive... i disagree on other points though...

    As for gay life, Oxford Street is ONE option... and this area has been in decine as Sydney's gay mecca for some time... pretty much all the inner city areas are 'gay friendly'... you'll find gay bars in the inner west as well as some isolated venues right through to the city's western suburbs which are often seen as quite 'gay unfriendly'...

    As for the workplace, the bigger corporations tend to be much more progressive, but if you find an employer within the inner city areas then there really should be no issues at all... your rights are very well protected in NSW as a matter of law... discrimination on the basis of sexuality in the workplace is illegal... and largely frowned upon, unless you have standing as a religious organisation... for workplace matters take a look at the website of 'prideindiversity', the leading group in Australia in this area...

    Same sex marriage may be prohibited but you can adopt, etc... and as a defacto relationship you virually have the same rights as a married couple... superannuation, etc... in recent years a lot of the discrimination in this area has been removed...

    As for what to expect, Sydney's climate is similar to Capetown, though the water is a hell of a lot warmer! Expect the same relaxed feeling but with a very different cultural mix.. and the sun sets over the mountains, not the water, so that may take a bit of getting used to! The biggest difference between Australia and SA will be that the gap between rich and poor is less apparent... most Australians still realise the dream of owning their own home, so all things considered, whilst some may whine that life is not affordable, we still have it pretty damn good here!

    Feel free to shoot me an email if you want more specific details!
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    Aug 15, 2011 1:58 PM GMT
    Firstly welcome...

    A couple of realestate sites include....

    http://www.realestate.com.au/rent

    http://www.domain.com.au/?mode=rent

    Even try Sydney Gumtree. Beware of the old men offering free accomodation though. Free is never free icon_biggrin.gif.

    I would look for places in Surry Hills and Newtown ....or adjacent areas such as Chippendale.

    Let me know when you and your boyfriend arrive and we can grab a drink!

    xx
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    Aug 15, 2011 2:05 PM GMT
    Student_90 saidFirstly welcome...

    A couple of realestate sites include....

    http://www.realestate.com.au/rent

    http://www.domain.com.au/?mode=rent

    Even try Sydney Gumtree. Beware of the old men offering free accomodation though. Free is never free icon_biggrin.gif.

    I would look for places in Surry Hills and Newtown ....or adjacent areas such as Chippendale.

    Let me know when you and your boyfriend arrive and we can grab a drink!

    xx


    oh, so now that i haven't seen you for a while you're trolling for overseas mates for a drink? LOL
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    Aug 15, 2011 2:11 PM GMT
    You are a freak haha. I was being nice! By the way I don't have to troll anywhere icon_smile.gif
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    Aug 15, 2011 5:56 PM GMT
    hi there,

    thank you vm for the reply - very useful ! really fell in love with sydney when visiting some time back. the accommodation issue does worry a bit : firstly, can we expect difficulty with people not wanting to let out a flat to a gay couple ? also, could you have indicated how long we should budget for getting accommodation sorted - were thinking two weeks ?

    as for the culture in oz : what we have always liked is the egalitarian way aussies go about things : have heard though that sydney''s changing, becoming socially very hierarchical. is that true ? would be a shame to be honest.

    thank you for your help - appreciate it.

    warren & etienne
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    Aug 15, 2011 5:59 PM GMT
    PS: thank you all for the friendliness, we're looking forward to having a drink with everyoneicon_smile.gif