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Discussion in 'Welcome' started by FreeSpirit, Feb 6, 2012.

  1. FreeSpirit

    FreeSpirit Guest

    Hello All!

    I've visited the Poms in Oz forum a few times and found it very informative, then was recommended to this forum by one of it's users. I imagine that most people on here live in Queensland, so I was hoping that some of you might be able to give me a few pointers...

    I was born in Australia so have dual-nationality, but left at the grand old age of 5 when my parents returned to UK. I've been back for hols a couple of times and always wanted to return to live and work, but my wife was never interested and once our daughter came a long, well that was pretty much it. Sadly, I lost her 18 months ago and my daughter went to Uni last September, so I've decided that now could be the time for a fresh start. My daughter is very much in favor of the idea, as having a dad to visit and stay with in Oz is pretty much top of your 'cool list' when you're 18! - not to mention it could also open the door for her future too.

    My dilemma is that as a secondary/high school teacher here in the UK, I have to give my school here 3 months notice and there's a lot of red tape to get through before an overseas trained teacher can work in Australia. I've looked into teaching in NSW and QLD in some depth and it seems that the employment prospects for teachers are not as good as they are here in the UK. This combined with the fact that the academic year in Oz doesn't start until the following February, means I'll definitely need to find some form of alternative employment until I can establish myself in a teaching role.

    If you're still reading (thanks!), here's some background info and my plan to date...

    Relocating to Gold Coast / Brisbane this September - I have friends in both of those places, so seems like a good idea.
    Rent out my house in the UK for a year until I see how things work out over there.
    Work: Willing to have a go at almost anything until the right job comes along.
    Background: IT professional turned secondary school teacher (5 years ago).
    Personal info: Age 44. Good health/fitness - enjoys outdoor lifestyle etc.

    So my burning question is; does this seem like a good idea or a bit 'pie in the sky'? My main concern is that I will have a job in getting a job, which is why it would be nice to get some feedback from any Poms who are living and working in the
    Gold Coast / Brisbane area. The economic situation in the UK is generally pretty grim at the moment, but I get the feeling it's not so bad in Australia?

    My apologies if I have posted this in the wrong place, but it seems the 'Job & Careers' section is more for job adverts.

    Many thanks in anticipation,

    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 6, 2012

  2. cal

    cal Super Moderator

    Hi Max

    It sounds like youve looked into it quite well and if your daughter has now gone to uni ,then go for it and have some fun!! Have you applied for any jobs, to see what reponse you get?

    Cal x
  3. FreeSpirit

    FreeSpirit Guest

    Many thanks for the support Cal!

    I haven't applied for any jobs yet because I need to give 3 months notice in my existing position and I won't be leaving there until the school year ends in July. But if I arrive in Australia in say September, I will still have 4 months to before the school year starts in Australia. That would be a pretty long holiday - even by teachers' standards!

    I was hoping that someone on the forum could give me a general idea of what the employment situation is like in SE Queensland at the moment, just so I know what I'm letting myself in for.

    Cheers, Matt.
  4. Rudi

    Rudi Relocation Brisbane


    What teaching qualifications do you have? Do you have at least a 3 year degree plus a 1 year post graduate course (not one done through a school - it must be an official university qualification like a PGCE).

    If so then I would start the process of registering yourself as a teacher in Australia. That can take several months to do, so it's worth getting that in place now. It's not so much red tape, as just a process that you have to do.

    In Queensland you absolutely MUST do this and have the correct qualifications in order to teach.

    In NSW it is a little different. If you want to teach within the state system, then you will have to go through the registration process. However, you are able to teach in private schools in NSW without being registered and without having a formal teaching qualification.

    There's always casual work to be picked up. When I was teaching in NSW, although I was primary trained, I could have done casual work in either primary or high school. I was never short of work in the primary system though. I don't teach up here in Queensland though, so I don't know what it's like here!

    Good Luck!


  5. FreeSpirit

    FreeSpirit Guest

    Hi Rudi, many thanks for your advice regarding teaching in Oz. Sorry it's taken me a while to get back.

    I've already started the registration process for QLD, but for NSW it seems that you have to attend a course for overseas-qualified teachers (yes, I have a PGCE). Both processes take some time, so it's good that I've already got the ball rolling :)

    The thing I've found somewhat disheartening is a website that really doesn't paint a good picture about teaching in QLD...

    Admittedly, this may have been created by someone with an axe to grind, but there seems to be quite a lot of documented evidence from other teachers. The most worrying aspect from my viewpoint is whether there will be any teaching work once I've gone through the rigmarole of getting registered, as they say there are already 1000's of teachers on the waiting list. Maybe NSW is the way forward!

    Cheers, Max.
  6. Pommie

    Pommie Guest

    Not Queensland

    I am an English-trained teacher who migrated in 1974. I have taught in NSW and Queensland. I really enjoyed teaching in NSW. The inner-city Sydney schools were full of migrant children who were keen to learn. In 1987 I was recruited to work in Queensland. The fear in Queensland staffrooms was huge. You noticed it right away. Teachers were afraid of 'punishment transfers' if they stepped out of line.

    Right now there are huge numbers of teachers waiting for work in Queensland. I think only one in ten graduates have been employed for the past three years. You would have zero hope of a job in a state school on the Gold or Sunshine coasts. Maybe a little casual work. Maybe a contract in a private school.

    Another thing you should be aware of is that much of the south of Queensland has been flooded regularly over the past few years. Imagine having your home filled to the roof with mud and everything you own destroyed. Over and over again. Suffering seems to be the way of life in Queensland. In the north we live in fear of cyclones. You can't get flood insurance if you live in many areas. So if you are flooded you lose everything.

    I understand that teachers in NSW are having workplace problems, particularly those on the mid-north coast - the coast north of Sydney. But I would think that you would be MUCH happier in NSW than in Sydney.

    Another thing you need to be aware of is that many parts of NSW and Queensland are VERY, VERY remote. I lived on Thursday island for three years and loved it - most people do - but some remote places would be a living death.
  7. fish.01

    fish.01 Member

    To the OP, in case this is misunderstood there is absolutely no need to take flooding into account when deciding which state to move to. To use Brisbane for example, 3% of houses were flooded because we had the largest amount of water in our catchment since 1893.

    97% of Brisbane was not flooded and it is simple to check where...not moving to the Brisbane for example, because of this rare event, would be a totally out of proportion response.
    Last edited: Feb 17, 2012
  8. fish.01

    fish.01 Member

    ......... duplicate
    Last edited: Feb 17, 2012
  9. FreeSpirit

    FreeSpirit Guest

    Plan B!

    Firstly, thanks to Pommie for that great feedback on teaching in Queensland. That's exactly the kind of info I was looking for from someone living and experiencing first-hand. I had a feeling it was going to be like that and I think I'll be wasting my time trying to get a full-time teaching job in Brisbane or the GC. I'm not keen to work in Sydney or remote NSW, as I don't know anyone there and it's not a place I could imagine I'd want to build a future. Northern NSW would be nice, but I guess I will find the same problem there, as everyone would want teach in places like Byron Bay etc! I'm guessing that teaching is generally such a good number in Australia (your pay-scale starts where ours finishes!), that once a teacher gets into a school, they tend to stay until retirement - right?!

    Anyway, on to Plan B...

    I was thinking that a year out from the profession wouldn't destroy my career and I could just treat is as something like a 'working holiday', then return to teaching in the UK, where there are currently plenty of jobs. I never did that when I was younger and if I wasn't an Aussie citizen, I guess the chance would have passed me by, so I'm lucky in that respect. As mentioned, I'd like to live in the South East Queensland area because I have friends there and of course, the lifestyle would be nice. I have asked them about general employment, but as they've both been in the same jobs for more than 15 years, I feel their advice might not reflect the current situation accurately. Obviously I'd not want to end up picking fruit with a load of backpackers, but most things would be considered! And what are the rates of pay like for casual work? - I've heard $20-30/hour depending on what you do - is that realistic?

    Thanks also for the posts regarding flooding. I will bear that in mind when I rent a place and make sure it's on a hill!

    Cheers, Max.

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