A healthy tip for new migrants

As a new migrant to Australia, there are some things that take longer than others to understand. And none, save pensions, seem more complex to me than the issue of healthcare and private health insurance.

I’d like to say that we’ve cracked it and that, below, you’ll find a short précis of all the things you’ll need to know as a new arrival in Canberra, but that’s far from the truth. But what I have cracked is a little tip that so important that I shudder to think that we may have missed it. Continue reading

Bringing your dog to Canberra: Six top tips

A cockerpoo dog relaxing in the sun

Finding a home that would take Mr Pup influenced our choice of neighbourhood.

It’s been a long haul to get Mr Pup from Denmark to Canberra, but a few days after his homecoming, he seems to be settling in nicely.

In response to my last post, I was asked by the nice people at Canberra Your Future to offer some tips for new migrants who want to bring their dog to Canberra, so here goes. Continue reading

Early lessons and challenges

Two weeks into our new life and we’ve learnt a few things that are worth noting for future migrants.

In our preparations for the move, we found plenty of near-encyclopaedic lists of tips for what to do on arrival, covering all the essentials such as registering for Medicare, setting up a bank account, or how to exchange your driving licence for an Aussie one. But here are a few things that we wish we’d known, or known more about, before we arrived. Continue reading

How Mr Pup fell foul of the law

Sometimes, things just go wrong. There’s no-one to blame, there’s nothing that can be done to fix it, you just have to deal with the fall-out.

In our case, the thing that went wrong was a tiny detail of a small aspect of Mr Pup’s import documentation. It turns out that he was given the wrong type of tick treatment before he left Denmark. As a result, he needs to be re-treated, then re-tested, and must serve an extra 21 days’ quarantine to ensure he wasn’t infected beforehand.
Continue reading

The Boxtrolls

Last week, I took my youngest son to see the family movie The Boxtrolls. It’s a story about a group of ingenious creatures who live in boxes and fashion all their needs from the cast-offs of others. If you’ve ever seen The Wombles, you’ll have a general idea of what it’s about.

This week, in a classic example of life imitating art, it seems my family is attempting to emulate the boxtrolls’ lifestyle following the disappearance of 99% of our belongings into a container bound for Canberra.

A container mounted onto a truck.

Our possessions head off to Canberra in a container.

Continue reading

The goodbye party that never was

Time is running away from us in the countdown to our move to Canberra and there are already a few tasks that were on our August ‘to do’ list that have been highlighted in luminous marker pen as being overdue.

One such task was to have a goodbye party, to which we would invite all our friends here in Denmark. Alas, when it comes to sorting our jobs list into ‘must dos’ and ‘nice to dos’ our big send-off falls into the latter category and is unlikely to happen now. Continue reading

All the stuff that’s not allowed

Removals lorry full of boxes

Our move to Denmark was easy but Australia’s import rules are much stricter.

Our move to Australia has resulted in the biggest spring clean that we’ve ever undertaken, but not everything that we’ve ditched was by choice, and we’re still nervous about some of the stuff we’ve elected to take with us.

Why? Because Australia has some of the most stringent rules about what you are and aren’t allowed to bring with you of any nation in the world, and a tiny misjudgement here or there could result in your possessions being impounded at best, and at worst, destroyed. Continue reading