Making the moves and putting the work in!

Ever had that feeling that you just want to sell your stuff and skip the country? Yeah me too! So we did it.  Moving overseas has been on my “to do” list for quite a while now and life fell in to place and let us do it.  So needless to say, life has been a tad busy for young Ivan and I these past few months!

I personally think it is healthy to want fresh starts, to want adventure, to push yourself out of your comfort zone, learn about yourself during times of pressure and start a new journey with someone you love (or with yourself!).

I am all about personal growth, reaching goals, giving shit a nudge and discovering new and exciting things that life has to offer. So that’s why for me – stagnation is a gross and unfulfilling place to be.  It’s not that Ivan and I didn’t love our life in New Zealand because we totally did, it’s just that we wanted more. We were bored and felt just “blah” and unexcited about seeing the same things over and over again. We had done our dash in Auckland and Auckland had done its dash with us.

Sooooo we moved to Melbourne. And here we are.  Five weeks down the track of moving to “the dark side” and things are looking pretty lovely I must say.  I don’t start work for another few weeks… to do something productive I wanted to write a blog that actually helped mankind and provided some helpful tips to my fellow Kiwi’s out there that are wanting to make the move across the ditch.

Australia doesn’t seem like a “big move” in the large scheme of things but there is still a lot to organise, so hopefully this helps someone with their planning! Disclaimer: I don’t know everything and this is just my humble opinion #godbless

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Our entire life belongings in one photo!
  1. Check your priorities.…Are you going for the money?? Are you going for an adventure?? Are you going for the beach?? Are you going for the city?? Are you going to chill out?? Are you going to knuckle down and save your butt off?? Do you like the warmer weather?? Do you need a nightlife?? The reason I ask this is….Nurses get paid differently in each state of Australia (they don’t have a country wide MECA like New Zealand does) so it is best to do your homework and decide on your own set of priorities for your move – you do you!

As an example; Queensland has the highest pay rates for nurses in Australia and Victoria apparently has the lowest (so I am told).  As an example, I would get paid an extra $300 AUD per fortnight in Queensland than I do here in Victoria.  However, even though Victoria is the lowest paid state in Australia it is STILL higher than New Zealand!!

Click here for link to the Victoria Nursing pay rates! (Page 153 – 154).

Click here for link to Queensland Nursing pay rates!

Click here for link to New South Wales Nursing pay rates! (Page 87)

Click here for link to Western Australia Nursing pay rates! (Page 14)

Ivan and I looked in to doing outback/rural nursing (where the $$$ is at!) but the likely hood of us being posted at the same place at the same time was about 10% (we checked with a few different nursing agencies just to be sure).  So even though we wanted to save money, what was the point in doing that while being apart from each other? It’s not all about the money for us and we had to follow our own priorities. Check yo’self.

If you are however interested in doing rural/outback nursing; has a very good reputation!

2. Apply for your nursing registration in Australia (AHPRA).  Because of the Trans-Tasman agreement between New Zealand and Australia you can apply for this at any time even if you’re not working in Australia yet.  It is best to have your AHPRA before you start applying for jobs in Australia as most employers will not consider you until you have your AHPRA. Once you apply, it takes a few weeks to come through.  There is a little bit of paperwork involved but it’s not too bad! Here is the link to applying for your Australian Nursing Registration.

3. Everyone has to do an Australian Police Check. Ughhh more admin! But it’s non-negotiable.  I did mine through before leaving New Zealand but most workplaces will ask you for their own.  (I didn’t have to repeat it thank God). TIP: you have to remember the addresses and dates of all the homes you have lived in over the past 10 years….

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Melbourne City, VIC. Photo credit; ivan7107

4.  Make sure you know your immunisation status left right and center. Get print outs from your GP/work place etc – the more information you have the better.  If you are short of a jab or two or need some extra serology done they will let you know so don’t worry.

5. Where do you want to work…? Obviously most big cities have their main public hospitals but there are also a lot of private hospitals in Australia.  Word on the street is the salary for nurses in private is slightly better than public.  Once again, do your research. Do you like the values of the hospital? Do they have a department that you would love to work in? Are they well known for a particular specialty? Is it in the middle of nowhere? If you don’t have a car – is it easily accessible via public transport? If you do have a car – What is traffic like? Does it have ample parking and how much is it?  It is so hard to know where you want to work but get on that google and check out the maps and search the shit out of it.  You can use to look for jobs but we preferred to apply for the jobs directly via the hospital websites.  Check for new postings everyday and don’t lose hope!  Ivan secured a job before we left New Zealand so for us that narrowed down our search of which suburb we wanted to live in.  I didn’t secure a job until I arrived in Australia and when I got my contract I didn’t start for another 6 weeks!!! So IF YOU CAN – get that job locked down before you arrive! (Unless you want a break for a while of course!) And just an FYI – recruitment in Australia is SLOW. So don’t freak out if they take a while to get in touch with you.

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Flinders station – Melbourne, VIC. Photo credit; ivan7107

6. Apply online for a bank account before you leave New Zealand. We went with Commonwealth Bank after some recommendations from friends and family but whatever floats your boat.  If you open your account online before arriving in Australia it just means that when you arrive your eftpos/debit card will already be waiting for you to pick up at the branch!

7. Another bonus of having an Australian bank account open before you land is that you can transfer your money online to your Aussie account and once you have picked up your eftpos card your money is already waiting for you! We didn’t exchange our money through the bank due to high fees but we decided to go through a company called; – it was super easy to use and had cheaper fees than converting your NZD to AUD through the bank.

8. Apply for a TFN number.  A TFN number is an IRD number. You need it to work here or else the tax man will find you.  You can apply for it once you land in Australia but they do take 1-3 weeks to come through.  (Is it naughty to say that you could probably apply for a TFN number before you leave New Zealand if you have a POSTAL ADDRESS of someone you know in Australia).  Here is the link to apply for your TFN number 🙂

9. Medicare…..oh so foreign to us! If you live in Australia, you have to have medicare.  I am still a total amateur on medicare but basically it is subsidised GP visits, prescriptions and some specialists/dentists and optometrist visits.  As an example, I went to the GP the other day and the consult cost me $82.05. Medicare automatically reimbursed $37.05 into my bank account meaning the consult cost $45 in total.

Here is the document that needs to be filled out online, printed, signed and taken in to a medicare facility in person.  You also need a few documents to prove you are living in Australia; we used our work contracts and a bank statement but there are a few options to chose from.

10. To ship or not to ship? That is the question….Ivan and I only brought our clothes with us.  We sold our furniture as we a) couldn’t be bothered with the hassle of organising a shipping container, b) we wanted to buy new stuff! c) we didn’t have a place to live so we didn’t have anywhere to store anything! I guess it is up to you.  Everyone is different.  I am not very sentimental so it was easier for me to start a fresh.  Plus things over here are cheaper than in New Zealand and it’s so fun to go to IKEA!!

Check out how in the zoneeeee IKEA gets you! I will not be defeated!! Hahaha

11. Finding a house…boy oh boy! We used – it is easy to use and you can download the app on your phone, bingo.  I am not sure about the other cities in Australia but Melbourne is cut throat. Every man and his dog is out looking for a place and at one of the apartment inspections we went to there were about 30 couples there!!! It was genuinely like we were at a concert, actual madness.

Research the areas surrounding your work place and my advice would be – stay in a few Air BNB’s before deciding on the area you definitely want to settle in.  We initially thought we wanted to live in a particular suburb but once we stayed there for a few nights and walked around we quickly decided it wasn’t for us.  It wasn’t until we stayed at our second Air BNB that we knew we had found our little area.

Figure out; Is there transport close by? Are you surrounded by noisy bars and clubs? Is the supermarket handy? Is it safe? Does it have heating/air-con? Is there a 7/11 close by? Is it affordable? Figure out your “essentials” and put the work in to find your little home.  As soon as we arrived in Australia we started smashing the inspections – sometimes up to 5 a day! It is a lot of work but it pays to be on the ball!

If you are looking at flatting (over here they call it house sharing) then use; 

12. To apply for a home or apartment here in Australia you need to fill out something called the 1form.  All applications are done online.  Be THOROUGH and make sure the people you put down as references etc are good at picking up their phones! Link to the website is here. You can start filling this out before you leave New Zealand.  Sell yourself, write a blurb about how amazing, honest, tidy, hard working, diligent etc you are! Trust me it works.  And another tip – if you inspect an apartment you LOVE and you want it, go straight home and apply for it and offer $20 more a week than the asking price. It seems weird I know but that is how in demand rental properties are here in Melbourne particularly! Be super thorough about following up applications and show the agent how serious you are about wanting the home 🙂

13. Join the nursing union if you so desire.  It is called the Australian Nursing & Midwifery Federation or ANMF for short.  Click here for their link. Their fees are around $24 per fortnight.

14. When you arrive to Australia, get a prepaid SIM CARD as soon as you can. You can buy them for a few dollars in at the 7/11 and top up at the same time.  You need the internet to survive and if you have an Australian Mobile Number then it is just going to make life easier. If you love your number then you can eventually change to a plan (or post paid as it is called here) and just carry on. We went with Optus and are super happy! We get 30GB of data a month each for only $40 a month! Can I get an amen.

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Google Maps is life

15. Join a gym because there is too much good food around here and uber eats is life so you’ll probably get fat.

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Chinatown – Melbourne, VIC. Photo credit; ivan7107

I could keep going but I am already over my word count ya’ll!!!! Ask me anything! Slide in to my DM’s for some more tips!

Peace out x


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