Australia suburb guide: Sydney

SYDNEY

 

CARLINGFORD

(25kms north west from Sydney CBD)

Carlingford is a large, multicultural, working-class suburb located in the geographical centre of Sydney.  Sydney has the most expensive property prices in Australia and Carlingford, considering its proximity to major centres like Castle Hill and Parramatta, isn’t as expensive as the majority of the city.  People can live in established houses with land, townhouses or apartments.   Public transport is a train line, bus network and it is very close to several major roads.  Carlingford is mostly working-class families and retirees of mixed nationalities.

Carlingford has one major shopping centre with plenty of parking and a broad range of shops.  Located next door is another shopping centre of predominately Asian grocery stores, shops and restaurants.  There are also many small retail stores in the streets.  There are plenty of park lands and green corridors for outdoor activities and Carlingford is very pet-friendly with many residents having at least one pet.

There are some excellent schools in the area, one of which is James Ruse Agricultural College, which is Australia’s highest ranked school, and very close to The King’s School, the country’s most prestigious boys’ school.

School Name

Gender

Group

Classes

Public/

Private

NAPLAN results

James Ruse Agricultural College

Co-ed

Secondary

Public

Substantially Above

The King’s School

Boys

K-12

Private

Substantially Above

AIS International School

Co-ed

K-12

Public

Not accessed

Carlingford High School

Co-ed

Secondary

Public

Above Average

Carlingford Public School

Co-ed

Primary

Public

Substantially Above

Carlingford West Public School

Co-ed

Primary

Public

Substantially Above

Cumberland High School

Co-ed

Secondary

Public

Below Average

Murray Farm Public School

Co-ed

Primary

Public

Substantially Above

Roselea Public School

Co-ed

Primary

Public

Substantially Above

St Gerard’s Catholic Primary School

Co-ed

Primary

Private

Substantially Above

Overall, many people live in Carlingford because of the relatively affordable housing, the excellent schools, its geographical location and the multiculturalism.  

WAHROONGA

(20kms north west of Sydney CBD)

Wahroonga is one of Sydney’s most beautiful suburbs, known as the ‘garden suburb’.  Located in the North on the Pacific Highway, it contains large homes on big blocks with a notable price tag.  The properties are established with manicured gardens, well-maintained streets, low crime rate and many old trees.  It’s the place where moneyed families, retirees and executives live.  Public transport is good with a train station on a major line and a major highway with regular buses.  There is also one of Sydney’s best private hospitals located here.

There is a small, neat shopping district next to the train station that contains some boutique stores, hair dressers, supermarket and other small retail outlets.  It is also a short drive to Hornsby, which has a very large shopping centre.  Wahroonga has a beautiful park which is popular with locals and the tree-sheltered streets encourage walking.

The schools in the area are all excellent:

School Name

Gender

Group

Classes

Public/

Private

NAPLAN results

Wahroonga Public School

Co-ed

Primary

Public

Substantially Above

Waitara Public School

Co-ed

Primary

Public

Substantially Above

Abbotsleigh

Girls

K-12

Private

Substantially Above

Knox Grammar

Boys

K-12

Private

Substantially Above

Prouille Catholic Primary School

Co-ed

Primary

Private

Above Average

Wahroonga Adventist Primary School

Co-ed

Primary

Private

Substantially Above

St Lucy’s/St Edmund’s School for the Blind

Co-ed

K-12

Private

Not accessed

St Leo’s Catholic College

Co-ed

Secondary

Private

Above Average

If you can afford it, this is the suburb to live in.  It has a safe, village feel and is an excellent place to raise a family.

CLOVELLY

(7kms east of Sydney CBD)

Clovelly is a little coastal suburb in the trendy Eastern Suburbs of Sydney, located between the famous suburbs of Bondi and Coogee, with a culture that is laid-back and welcoming. The properties are small and closely packed, from fully-detached, semi-detached and some apartments.  Property prices are at the higher end but the rent makes the area more accessible.  Public transport is adequate and one bus will get you to the city.  The people who live in Clovelly are beach-types, families, couples and backpackers.  

Outdoor activities are excellent with plenty of coast to explore.  The small Clovelly beach has some gentle surf for swimming, good snorkelling and walking opportunities.  There are four small shopping areas with independently owned food outlets and boutique shops.  There are also lots of cafes and restaurants.

The schools in the area are:

School Name

Gender

Group

Classes

Public/

Private

NAPLAN results

St Anthony’s School

Co-ed

Primary

Private

Above Average

Clovelly Public School

Co-ed

Primary

Public

Above Average

This is the place to live if you like a laid-back beach culture of a coastal town.   

Rental accommodation for new migrants arriving in Australia

Finding somewhere to live in Australia is a very simple, but very important aspect!

There are a few different ways that you can manage the process of securing somewhere to live and you and your family. Some of these are:

Go to Australia on holiday during the visa process

The Australia visa processing times can be 6 to 12 months on average. That means that you can still take this time to travel to Australia on a visitor visa – as long as you are sure that it is safe to do so and has been mentioned to the visa agent or the DIAC case officer.

Travel to Australia once after visa grant, to both activate the visas and to look around

The visa will have an entry expiry date – a date by which you must just make one first entry to Australia. This can be for one day or forever – as long as you step past entry clearance then the visa is activated. The main applicant must enter before – or at the same time as – the other applicants from the visa application. So you could choose to use this time to scout around before returning to your original country to wrap things up before final departure.

You could also have the main applicant take a trip by themself to scout around, while the other applicants then come to join later – as long as they also enter still before that date on their visas!

Book a short term rental accommodation in Australia before you all go at once together.

Stay in the short term rental and then look around for a normal long term rental.

Renting in Australia is easy, and remember that you are not the first pioneer – literally hundreds of thousands of new migrants arrive in Australia every year!

So finding new rentals as a ‘new arrival’ is not a problem.

How to research rental accommodation in Aus?

Easy – Real Estate is the easiest and best website to check

If you want a Map based on Australian postcodes, then just use What Postcode

 

For more help and information, just register into your personal Client Area in the ‘Get Assessed’ section at the top or bottom of the page.

 

Lee

 

What is the difference between public and private schools in Australia?

Are public or private schools better? Are private schools in Australia worth it?

It is important to highlight that each family should judge all schools upon their merits and the fit for your circumstances and child’s needs, as your local public school may be just as ideal for your child as the top private school in the country.  Make your decision from your own educational experiences, work commitments, school hours, proximity, student support services, religious beliefs, costs and other contingencies.  Additionally, schools with supportive, active parents tend to have better reputations than those that do not.

The Australian primary and secondary school system has primarily two options: private (higher-fee paying) or public (State funded).  For families, the choice to study under either arrangement is one of cost and opportunity.

Schools in Australia generally fit under the following categories:

  • Public                 State funded

  • Catholic and Independent         Mostly privately funded and run like a business

    Public/State Schools

    Private/Independent/Catholic Schools

    Fees

    Public school education is free to residents of Australia for those wishing to complete the minimum requirements.

    Schools will request a volunteer annual contribution from parents, the amount which is set by the principal in consultation with the school community and budget requirements. This payment isn’t compulsory but it greatly assists the school with its resources.

    In addition, parents are usually required to pay for textbooks, uniforms, disposable equipment, excursions, missing library books, meals and other extra-curricular activities.

    Many families are eligible for education assistance from The Dept of Human Services and should check with the Department for full information.

    Secondary schools will publicise their set fees per subject at the beginning of the semester but this varies according to each school and subject.

    Important note: NSW, temporary residents are charged unsubsidised fees.

    Private institutions request the payment of fees to attend.  The government does provide a portion of funding to each school in addition to the tuition costs of each family.

    Each school sets its own fees and can vary from $2500 per year to more than $20,000.  You will need to contact each school for a schedule of fees.

    Additional costs will include uniforms, excursions, extra-curricular activities, meals, textbooks, subject extras (such as technical) and library fines.

    Non-payment of fees will result in the student being excluded from the school

    Teachers

    The quality of teachers is similar between both systems.  Each system has its own way of motivating the teachers and regardless of the school, some teachers will better relate to the children than others.

    Teachers from both public and private systems are paid comparable rates and are sourced from the same universities, so it comes down to the individual.

    It’s recommended to meet with the teachers of the school you’re interested in prior to enrolling.

    Please see point to the left.

    Resources

    Public schools have fewer resources than private.  Being dependent on government expenditure and funding guidelines means there is a limit to what each school can spend.

    Public schools still meet the needs of the students with working facilities, playgrounds, equipment and technology and have to meet educational criteria and occupational health and safety principles.  However, these are updated less frequently and are often older technology.

    Strong economic management can also contribute to a public school having excellent resources as some institutions are better placed to utilise the finances and institutions given.

    What makes private education attractive to many families is the quality of teaching resources.  Having higher incoming funding, the schools usually have more updated classrooms, facilities, equipment, technology and educational devices (such as laboratory apparatus).

    Schools may also offer a wider variety of excursions, sports, extra-curricular activities, events and educational opportunities (such as external competitions).

    A family with child/children enrolled in a private school should be aware that annual fees are often base rates and additional costs throughout the year will apply.

    Zones

    Will only accept children from a designated catchment area.  Some families will move into an area to get access to a certain school.

    Not zoned.

    Curriculum

    Currently, public school curriculum is issued by each state and can vary.  However, upon the rollout of the national curriculum in 2013-2015, the main four subjects of maths, science, English and history will have standardised content, meaning both public and private schools will teach from the same structure.

    Private schools have worked within educational guidelines for curriculum but have largely been independent of regulations.  Private schools will have to adhere to the National Curriculum when its released, meaning public and private schools will be teaching from the same structure.

    Special Needs

    Public schools are the better system to utilise if your child requires special education.  The government provides extra funding to the school for aides and extra resources if certain criteria are met.  Also, a public school is more likely to have a dedicated class for students who require extra attention.  You will have to enquire at all the schools in your catchment to determine which has the resources to suit your child’s requirements.

    Private schools do have some support services for students with special needs but each institution is varied from strong support systems to an inability to cater for special needs students at all.  It’s advisable to contact the individual school you’re interested in.

    Quantity

    In 2011, there were approximately 6700 government run schools in Australia and approximately 1800 non-government institutions.  The majority of students in Australia attend State schools.

    Numbers are rising of the children attending independently-run schools, a trend which has continued consistently since 2001.  This sector accounts for around one-third of all students.

    Class sizes

    The ratio for students to teachers in both systems is very similar (around 15:1).  Each school has class sizes according to school size and teacher numbers and needs to be assessed individually.

    Please see points to the left.

    Selective Schools

    There are some selective high schools in the public system, the majority in Sydney.  Students are tested for entry.

    Some private schools do informal testing upon entry but their selectivity is more about high fees.

    There has been much debate over which system is the best for educating children.  The general consensus is that independent/Catholic education provides a better rounded education because of higher-quality facilities and education resources.  Whether public or private, each school can be excellent or struggling according to innumerable variables such as staff management, internal culture, teacher support, anti-bullying policies, financial administration, family involvement, location and socio-economic influences.  Each family should analyse all schools available to them on what the child needs, rather than focus on system generalisations.

    To learn more:

Go to ‘Get Assessed’ at the top or bottom and in your own Client Area, receive personalised information from your assigned consultant.

 

Adelaide Suburb Guide

ADELAIDE

MAWSON LAKES

(12kms north of Adelaide CBD)

Mawson Lakes is a recently built suburb. It is designed for optimum convenience and is filled with new brick homes.  The property prices are in the medium range and residents can choose between apartments, townhouses and stand-alone properties with yards.  Public transport is adequate; however, most residents prefer to use cars.  The people who live in Mawson Lakes are the full range of professionals, students (the University of South Australia is here), couples and families.

What makes Mawson Lakes special is it’s been specifically designed and built with humans in mind.  It contains everything a suburb needs: a community-oriented shopping plaza, running track, corporate buildings and plenty of recreational parks and open areas.  If you like living in an organised space where everything works, this is the suburb for your family.

The schools in the area are:

School Name

Gender

Group

Classes

Public/

Private

NAPLAN results

Mawson Lakes School

Co-ed

Primary

Public

Average

Endeavour College

Co-ed

Secondary

Private

Above Average

Overall, this suburb is for those families who like the feel of planned living and ‘newness’.  There are many people with English as a second language living here, giving it a community feel.

australia party visa

NORTH ADELAIDE

(3kms north of Adelaide CBD)

North Adelaide is cosmopolitan.  Established and old, the streets are leafy and wide, the architecture has a colonial feel and the housing ranges from small apartments to full-sized homes.  Public transport is excellent, being so close to the city, but street parking can be tight.  Property prices in North Adelaide can range greatly according to what type of property you’re looking for and residents are professionals, couples, families and artistic-types.

North Adelaide stands out for its boutique shopping, cafes, 14 pubs, restaurants and assorted retail.  There is a private hospital and the University of Adelaide is walking distance, so there is a large student population.  Another of North Adelaide’s attributes are the city parks that surround the suburb so exercising and outdoor activities are easy to access.

The schools in the area are:

School Name

Gender

Group

Classes

Public/

Private

NAPLAN results

North Adelaide Primary School

Co-ed

Primary

Public

Above Average

St Dominic’s Priory College

Girls

K-12

Private

Substantially Above

North Adelaide has a village feel.  It’s a place of many different groupings that generally accept each other.  If you’re the type who likes inner city living with a community character, this is the suburb for you.

australian-family

ATHELSTONE

(10kms from Adelaide CBD)

Athelstone is made for raising families.  Located in the foothills of the Adelaide Hills, it boasts large, established blocks with generous homes and quiet, wide streets. The property prices are reasonable and you can buy an existing house or build a home of your dreams on the new blocks.  Public transport is adequate but most people prefer to drive.  Families and retirees are most likely to live here.

There is a small local shopping village for convenience and large shopping centres are only a short drive away.  For outdoor activities, residents are boarded on all sides by the River Torrens, the Adelaide Hills, Wadmore Park and several other recreational parks.   It’s a suburb that encourages health and well-being.

The schools in the area are:

School Name

Gender

Group

Classes

Public/

Private

NAPLAN results

Athelstone Junior Primary School

Co-ed

R-2

Public

No accessed

Athelstone Primary School

Co-ed

3-7

Public

Average

St Ignatius College

Co-ed

R-12

Private

Substantially Above

Thorndon Park Primary School

Co-ed

R-7

Public

Below Average

This suburb an excellent choice for new migrant families to Australia.  It’s only ten kilometres from the CBD but feels like a country town and it allows children space to run.