Sorry to hear that things haven't worked out for you in Canberra
however I do think you are wise to try somewhere else b4 giving up!!
We are not living in Australia at the moment but did live in Auckland and have come back to the UK (2006) we wished we had gone over to OZ first.
We have a 13yr old daughter, like you we want there to be enough going on for her she loves shopping, cinema, horse riding, fashion etc.
We were booked for Perth and going October 2011 then due to personal reasons ( family health ) we had to cancel and put our move on hold during this time I had a rethink and looked in to Queensland ( between Brisbane and sunshine coast ) I found that it had lots going on and like you like the idea of walking to shops/restaurants etc also being near the gold coast more for our children to do once they reach that age. ( we have a son he will be 11 in jan ).
I have found some really good schools as well, sorry I can't be of anymore help as not there yet!! But thought I would say hello
I hope your trip goes well keep us updated on what you find.
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