Yeah you read it right. We have been living now in Australia and it’s now on our first week. We arrived here in February 23.
Our first flight was from Manila to Sydney via Cebu Pacific. The flight was around 12:10 in the morning so we arrived in NAIA Terminal 3 around 9 in the evening of February 22.
The flight took 8 hours arriving in Sydney International Airport. We need to transfer from international to domestic airport because we have another flight, Sydney to Melbourne.
There’s a transfer bus from international to domestic airport right in front of McDonald’s when you go outside. It will cost you AUD 6 per one person. The ride will take around 10 minutes.
We flew from Sydney to Melbourne airport via Tiger Air. It only took 1 hour and 20 minutes.
Here are the highlights of our first week living in Australia as permanent residents.
1.We have met in person for the first time the owner of the house that we will live temporarily. The family of Bro. Gideon Demetrio adopted us because we don’t have any relatives or friends to stay. One of the kindest families we have ever met.
2. Applied ATM debit card in NAB (National Australia Bank)
We need this ATM so that it will be easier to withdraw money from our NAB account. It took five days before we get the card. But we can withdraw over the counter to any NAB branch with our passports as our proof of identity.
3. Registered in Centrelink and Medicare
Every suburb in Australia has Centrelink where you should register upon your arrival in OZ. Centrelink is the Australian government’s agency that takes care of the benefits of its citizens and permanent residents.
We also applied for Medicare in Centrelink so that we can avail right away the medical services of the government in case we want to and emergency times.
3. Enrollment to Werribee Primary School
We enrolled our son Gideon in the primary school near our house. He is now in Year 5 here in Australia. In the Philippines, he is only in Year 4 or Grade 4.
The requirements we have submitted are his birth certificate, proof of residence and his immunization record. His school card last year was not needed here and they don’t care what grade you have got in your previous year in primary school.
Majority of primary schools in Australia apply zoning. It means your kids can be enrolled in their school if it within their zone that’s why proof of residence is necessary for enrollment.
4. Attended Church at Christ New Creation Fellowship (CNCF)
Our family attended our first worship service in Australia at CNCF located in Saltwater Community Centre. The time was 1PM to 3PM.
After the worship service, we went to our Pastor’s house to attend the welcome dinner for us. It’s a heartwarming welcome for us.
5. Received food and furniture gift from Salvation Army
Salvation Army gave us some food, table, chairs and gift cards worth $50 as we are new migrant. They are helping people who are new in town.
You only need to visit their office. Bring your passports and proof of residence.
6. Korea driver’s license translation
In order to convert Korean Driver’s license to Australian license, I have availed the translation service of Victorian Translating and Interpreting Service (VITS) located in 620 Bourke Street, Melbourne.
It cost us $144 for 2 licenses. The breakdown were $132 for translation service and $12 for the bank cheque fee of NAB.
7. Applied for Tax File Number (TFN)
TFN is very important because it is needed when you make online claim in Centrelink regarding Family Tax Benefits for permanent residents and citizens of Australia. It is also requested by employers to their employees.
So it is better to apply for TFN immediately when you arrive to Australia because it may take up to several weeks before you can get your tax file number. You can apply for it online in Australia Tax Office website.
That’s a short summary of our first week living in Oz. We want to thank all of the people who helped us during our first few weeks here. Thank you God for allowing us to live in this beautiful country.
“And we know that in all things God works together for the good of those who love Him who have been called according to his purpose.” – Romans 8:28 (NIV)
I have managed to take some pictures of our current suburb of Werribee. It is a small but nice place.