Originally Posted by Ava_&_Leiths_Mama
And any tips from people who have moved from Canada to QLD / Australia would be so appreciated.
We moved from Toronto to Sydney a couple of years ago. We came under an employer-sponsored 457 work visa for professional and skilled workers. It is a temporary long stay visa (4 years, but renewable). We are entitled to a "living away from home allowance" that gives us various tax breaks - it is very beneficial, so make sure you get more information about it and negotiate it into your total remuneration package.
Some things to consider under the 457 plan (and to negotiate with the employer):
Education - you are homeschooling, so it doesn't apply, but if you do decide to use the school system, you will have to pay even to use state schools. Also, I don't know about Brissie, but in Sydney, about 60 to 80% (depending on the suburb you live in) of all children attend private schools, at a cost of $10,000 to $30,000 per year. Schooling is very different to Canada, and I'm happy to discuss further if you like. We negotiated some assistance with education costs.
Health Care - negotiate private insurance coverage with your employer. There is a medicare system in Australia, but like the education system, many people use private. I don't think we are entitled to medicare anyway.
Moving expenses - the company agreed to pay our moving costs. Make sure your contract includes ALL costs to move back to Canada if the employer terminates employment. The govt. requires payment of "travel" costs - some companies interpret this to mean flights only, not shipping furniture etc.
Under the 457 visa, if the company terminates employment, the worker has 28days to leave Australia. Make sure your contract includes a "working notice" period - if the company is going to let you go, insist on a 90 or 120 day notice period (however long you are comfortable with and think you would need to pack up and go), before they notify Australian immigration. If you find another job in that time, you can get your new employer to assume sponsorship of the visa.
Generally speaking, the Australian economy is much better right now than North America, but it is stalling now. Some industries are suffering.
It's been a fairly easy move, as international re-settlements go. You don't have to get used to a different language. For the most part, the values are similar to Canada, although I am a little gobsmacked that they are still debating about things I consider fundamental to a civilized society - paid maternity leave and a constitutional Charter of Rights. Aussies are much more relaxed about everything, which makes life here very pleasant (unless you NEED something done, or if you are starting up a business). Driving on the left is a bit of a challenge, at least in Sydney where the roads are just a mess of spaghetti. We love living here, it's beautiful, the people are wonderful, there is always something fun and interesting to do.