Living & working in Melbourne

newzealandpower
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Hey peeps,
A job opportunity has cropped up for me in Melbourne. I visited the city many times and always enjoy spending time there but I'd like to hear more from those who live(d) and work(ed) there for some time, ideally with kids in tow.

The job is split between Ivanhoe and Plenty (in the sticks) and is in the health care sector so I assume (and hope) it is pretty safe and not at risk due to the pandemic.

A few questions:
How have you found the cost of living, generally speaking?

And what's it like living there as a Kiwi? I see they've cut down a lot of entitlements that NZers used to get so that worried me.

In general, would you recommend it over staying in Wellington?

I grew up in Rome so have no issues with big cities, though I love Wellington as it's so compact, beautiful and it has been home for almost 16 years...
I am concerned about the traffic, the cost of living (they say daycare fees are like $1k per week over there!) and of renting a house. My wife is currently on maternity and not due to go go back to work until October so we'd be on one income until then...

Keen to hear your feedback!

VUW AFC - Victoria University Football for life

coochiee
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Lived in Melbourne for 6 years (2005-2011). There's a reason it's usually 1st or 2nd (with Vancouver most often) on those most liveable city polls.

Great place to live. Whatever you are into (sport, art, culture, museums, live music, boozing), it's all on offer. Though the AFL saturation can be tiresome. But if you are not into rugby, ain't that dissimilar to NZ sports coverage.

Toughest time of year is Jan-Feb when you can get a few weeks of oven like heat (35-40 degrees), usually around the Aus Open tennis. A good time of year to plan a trip back to NZ. 

If working at Ivanhoe, lots of cool northside suburbs to live nearby like Brunswick North, Thornbury, Northcote etc.

From memory living costs weren't too dissimilar to NZ. Fuel is cheaper. Didn't have kids then, but understand private school education is very expensive - if you are hoping to do that. Good public transport. Kids will find the trams a novelty.

There's a nice corner pub culture a bit like the UK. Parma & a pint for $15.

The other cool thing about Melbourne is that there is an absolute tonne of nice interesting places to visit, in a 1-5 hour drive radius of the city. Something that puts Wellington really in the shade. 

I found all the friends (luckily already had about 4 Kiwi mates living there before I arrived), I had in Melbs were expats (Kiwis, Poms, NSW) - often because none of us had any real interest in AFL. So yeah if you want to make friends with your neighbours, work mates, parents at school etc quickly - choose an AFL team to support, so you can join in at the pub/BBQ. Much like some Kiwi rugby supporters, you will find some diehard AFL types dismissive of 'soccer' (wogball).

Oh and being Italian, you will probably enjoy visiting Carlton. Though not sure if it's authentic Italian. Plenty of other burbs with a strong eyetie (can I say that!) influence, esp northside. Great food options in Melbs, and some of it very cheap - like Victoria St in Richmond and all it's Vietnamese restaurants.

newzealandpower
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Thank you.. Appreciate the feedback! Bronswick looks awesome though very expensive and it has the only school where they teach half the curriculum in Italian.. But the zoning is ridiculous (like two streets only!).
I've accepted the offer in principle but there's a huge hurdle in that according to the Australian govt website, kiwis who do not usually reside in aussie can't currently enter the country.
So I've asked my employer to send a letter of offer and employment contract through ASAP so I can ask for dispensation.

Love Melbourne, been there several times and this is quite exciting though a bit scary. Still, there's a chance it might all fall over, I guess we'll see how things evolve in the next 10 or so days

VUW AFC - Victoria University Football for life

coochiee
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Good luck and re a suburb to live just keep heading further out/north until you find your price point.

Like Brunswick North will be cheaper than Brunswick.

Also maybe for first 6 months rent an apartment (cheaper than a house) so you can live a bit closer in, and therefore a bit easier to check out Melbourne’s cooler inner burbs on weekends etc.

If you have ever watched Kath & Kim!, you will get a feel that Melbs outer suburbs (like most big cities), are a pretty boring urban sprawl. So closer in you can live the better, to have a more interesting experience.

newzealandpower
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That's great advice thank you.
I've just put in a request for an exemption to travel so we'll see what comes from that...
Also I'll need to do some significant work on the house to bring it up to the rental standards before I head overseas...

VUW AFC - Victoria University Football for life

coochiee
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If you have ever watched Kath & Kim!, you will get a feel that Melbs outer suburbs (like most big cities), are a pretty boring urban sprawl. So closer in you can live the better, to have a more interesting/fun experience.

newzealandpower
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Do you think $550 pw for a place in the northern suburbs is achievable? Nothing fancy as we just want to get a feel for the place and maybe look at buying if we're happy there.

I am looking at Nth Brunswick, Heidelberg, Ivanhoe etc. A possible future colleague (who works there) recommended I rent there as it's easier to commute against traffic when I need to go to Diamond Creek than it is the other way around.

VUW AFC - Victoria University Football for life

theprof
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Queenslander 3x a year.

coochiee
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Had to google Diamond Creek, to find where it was! Sounds a bit Fountain Lakes, aka Kath & Kim.

I was a bit of an inner suburbs snob, when I lived in Melbourne. Rarely ventured out of say a 5km inner city radius arc, except to explore country Victoria. Didn't have car for the first 3 years.

All depends what you are into, but personally I'd take your new work mates advice.

Sorry I left Victoria's capital 8 odd years ago, so I'd be out of touch re rents. $500/week for a house around Ivanhoe & environs looks doable. 

https://www.realestate.com.au/rent/with-3-bedrooms-between-0-500-in-ivanhoe,+vic+3079/list-1?source=refinement

If the wife is at home with pre schoolers, get a place nearest a busy road (buses/trams) or train station - so she can do a bit of exploring when you are at work.

Oh and get a place with aircon/reverse cycle, or ceiling fans minimum. Melbs does have a real winter (wet & cold) compared to other parts of Aus - but I always found the summer months the hardest. Is not much fun trying to sleep in 30 degrees plus.

newzealandpower
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Thanks for the feedback, both of you.
I've been looking at Ivanhoe and surrounding suburbs and hoping to pay less around or just under 500 per week.
My wife would stay home until October when our baby turns 1 and then she'll probably look for work.
The 5 year old should be OK at the local school.

Diamond Creek is near Plenty. Lovely area but definitely in the sticks and I'd rather stay closer to the city and travel out there twice a week (the role calls for 2-3 days at both Ivanhoe and Diamond Creek. Might even get a scooter or a bike.

Thanks again! Now let's see if I'm allowed to move there!

VUW AFC - Victoria University Football for life

Leggy
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For me I could never live in Melbourne because of the range of temperatures during the day.

Example-  7am-- 8 degrees ----- noon-- 25 degrees 5pm--- 4 degrees. 

Nice city but not for me. Too many people.

If you are old and wise you were probably young and stupid

C-Diddy
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Richmond is where it's at!

Loved living in the 3121 when we were there.

"Ive just re-visited this and once again realised that C-Diddy is a genius - a drunk, Newcastle bred disgrace - but a genius." - Hard News, 11:39am 4th June 2009

newzealandpower
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It does sound pretty cool. I've actually fallen in love with a little suburb next to Ivanhoe called Bellfield...
Still waiting on Immigration to confirm if I can go or not. Unfortunately I applied directly through the website without creating an Immi account so I pretty much can't check the status of my request. Awkward and really unsettling as I'm the kind of person who likes certainty. Going back to the office this week and I wanted to know either way...

VUW AFC - Victoria University Football for life

ballane
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Would probably pay to look into where you and the kids stand regarding medical etc. They have got hard on Kiwis and its pretty hard to get any sort of subsided help for anything. 

Love Melbourne not sure their coverage of AFL can be compared to rugby in NZ they are way over the top didn't bother me as I like AFL..

Loved the restaurant scene in Melbourne not sure how it has come through Covid shark load of stuff to do in and around Melbourne they have some brilliant interactive art aimed at the kids but fun for adults as well.

GET YOUR SHIRTS OFF FOR THE BOYS

newzealandpower
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Quick update, or lack thereof.

Still awaiting a reply from Aussie immigration. It's been about 10 days and nothing. I rang their contact center last week and they said they don't give out status updates about applications, so I don't even know if it's been opened yet.

In the meantime my prospective employer in Australia (any my wife) are getting itchy and is asking me to go to the media etc (which of course I won't do as that would be a good chance to kill my chances).

VUW AFC - Victoria University Football for life

coochiee
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Try creating an Immi account to track your application.

https://online.immi.gov.au/lusc/register

newzealandpower
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coochiee wrote:

Try creating an Immi account to track your application.

https://online.immi.gov.au/lusc/register

I have but sadly the application won't show there. That's because - as I understand it - what I requested wasn't a visa (and a such didn't require a Immi account. So now when I log in there are no applications against my name. I rang them up and there is an application there but they just won't tell me its status. 

VUW AFC - Victoria University Football for life

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