WELCOME TO QUEENSLAND, AUSTRALIA
Being new in any country can be daunting and exciting at the same time. A move to Australia is often “under-estimated” in difficulty as we are so “similar”. And, while in many ways we are, there are very strong cultural differences. Of course, the day-to-day items such as health insurance, taxes, banking, getting a job, etc. can be much bigger than realized.
The Australian American Association Brisbane Chapter are an instant in-country support network for Americans relocating to Queensland. We assist with transitional help for our members and their families.
In addition to this transitional help, we are a handy source of information. We are always on the lookout for online resources that provide helpful information.
Want to find out about the Australian lifestyle? You will find everything you need at www.about-australia.com The site contains a comprehensive travel guide to Australia, encompassing Australian travel, accommodation, shopping, events, and culture.
A great website with information on living and working in Australia - www.tribuslingua.com.au
Everything you need to know about international moving, including recommendations about some reputable movers.
Land That Job in Australia – a book which covers it all … from how to look, who to talk to and what to say.
Great for Americans living in Australia – chat rooms and more
The Portal for work abroad, study abroad, overseas travel and international living - www.transitionsabroad.com
BEING AN AMERICAN ABROAD
During your stay in Australia, whether it’s limited or permanent, requires some ingenuity and time to continue some of the everyday things such as voting, purchasing via the internet, etc. We have included several useful websites and continue to add more. If these links do not go directly to the site, please copy and paste into your browser:
Citizenship and Legal Matters
The Australian Immigration site gives a great deal of information on several topics helpful to new arrivals.http://www.homeaffairs.gov.au
Everything you need to know about gaining Australian citizenship http://www.citizenship.gov.au
US citizen services – an excellent source of information including passports and emergency services and news https://au.usembassy.gov/u-s-citizen-services
Need a Notary Public (NOT a JP)? The US embassy in Canberra maintains a list of Notary Publics for each state and territory.
American Legion and American Legion Auxiliary. Are you eligible to join the American Legion? If so, contact them at https://postau03.wixsite.com/aust
Money and US Tax
IRS tax forms http://www.irs.gov
US Tax Accountant in Australia Alex Kurschinsky http://www.expattaxoffice.com phone 07 3535 1253
An inexpensive way to wire money to/from another country with a good exchange rate - http://www.xe.com
Buy from internet sources in US and have it shipped to you here in Australia even with a foreign credit card and from companies that don’t ship overseas! http://www.myus.com/
For the latest in Social Security information www.ssa.gov
Foods from Home
One of the great aspects of living abroad is experiencing a different culture and new foods but food from home and traditional celebrations can help you to keep you feeling connected with family and friends.
USA Foods – based in Melbourne and sells various American foods www.usafoods.com.au
Other American food links:
Living in Brisbane
Brisbane is sometimes referred to as “BrisVegas” although we’re not sure why. Some people suggest it has been called that since Brisbane got it's first casino in 1995. Climate-wise, it’s similar to Florida (without the hurricanes) and it’s the fastest growing area in Australia. It is a vibrant city with a great deal of green space, walkways, exotic birds, café’s, clubs, and much more. It is very much an outdoor city and it’s the gateway to an area known as Southeast Queensland where you’ll find spectacular beaches, rainforests, the Australia Zoo, museums, sport, and LOADS of wonderfully friendly people.
Until you get to know the city, driving can be a bit difficult as the streets can be anything but straight, difficult signage and many, many hills. But, that’s what gives the city its’ charm. Beautiful Queenslander homes and sleeky modern homes, as well as “worker cottages” give it a unique look. Once you get a feel for the area, you’ll enjoy getting around. And, there is very good public transport. The links below will help you get a sense of all that is Brisbane and its surrounds.
General information http://visitbrisbane.com.au/
Information on trains, buses, ferries http://www.translink.com.au
The Macarthur Headquarters Museum
Queensland Art Gallery http://www.qagoma.qld.gov.au
Queensland Museum http://www.qm.qld.gov.au
Medical, Health and Emergency Services
Australia's Central Emergency number is 000 (State Police, Fire or Ambulance and provide address).
Medical, health and emergency services in Australia are word class. You can find general information on Medicare and other health programs in Australia http://humanservices.gov.au/individuals/medicare. You will find that Doctors, Dentists and Pharmacies and other health services are generally easily accessible.
Links to hospitals.
The Australian education system is excellent. Brisbane offers many outstanding schools in the private and public sector.
If you are considering schooling through Australia's public school system, it pays to ask about suburbs within school catchment areas before settling on a location. School zones can change within suburbs.
Brisbane has a dynamic property market for renting, purchasing or selling of property and many websites from which to source information. There are many reputable firms to choose from and most will advertise properties on these sites.
Working in Australia
Australians have a welcoming culture but like the US, it too has some strict rules about the rights of foreign citizens to work in the country. This will depend on the terms of the VISA that you have been issued. Before applying for work, it is important to confirm your work status. Here are some reliable job search websites that are commonly used in Australia.
Australian Government Department of Education and Training offers this national Skills Recognition website which gives information on skills recognition for those seeking to migrate as well as those who are already here.
American Ship Visits
Participating in ship visits is available EXCLUSIVELY for members of the Australian American Association Brisbane hosts American military ship visits when they come to our city. We seek to extend hospitality to American visitors.
While we only get notification of visits a few days in advance due to security, we notify membership as soon as we have information regarding receptions, pub nights, ship tours for members, etc. Ship arrival information will NOT be found on this website.