LezGoMelbourne

A lesbian couple loving free, learning anew, and living in Melbourne


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10 Tips on Moving to Australia: Documents and Paperwork

Some people move here with job offers, others with little or no prospects at all. The latter can be really troublesome, time consuming, and cash draining. Remember, you’re starting from scratch. Not unless you have a friend or relative who can house you for free, all you have is yourself, your time, your health, and your savings.

Building a new life in Australia can be difficult for anyone, but not impossible. It’s best to prepare for everything. No matter the circumstances, you can make the transition a smoother one if you have one less thing to worry about.

What I have listed here are just documents you have to accomplish, things to apply for, and other essentials you need to remember and prepare before and after coming to Australia.

1. Contract
Print your job contract stipulating your salary, your official role or designation, and of course, your own signature. You will be presenting this to POEA when you apply for an exit clearance. Consequently, you will be attending the PDOS or the Pre-departure Orientation Seminar.

Frankly speaking, I don’t know what is the purpose of the PDOS. It just wastes time and resources. If people have access to the information they need, they wouldn’t have to attend this seminar. Imagine, the taxpayer’s money goes to pay for utilities, rent, and salary of various speakers who have to give out these seminars. If you compile that into a handbook, into catalogues or brochures Filipinos can just pick it up, pack it in their luggage and we would all be on our way. And in case you forget, you can always read it online or download it. It’s much simpler and cheaper that way.

Besides, if you have travelled overseas as an OFW or business consultant, you are more than familiar and informed of what you can encounter in another country. You know what your rights are and where you can seek help if any need arises.

2. Print your Notification of the Grant of a Visa
You have applied for a visa and it has been granted, congratulations! The Australian Embassy at the Philippines no longer prints the visa on your passport, but it is attached electronically. However, for some reason, the immigration officers at the Philippine airports request to see your visa or a proof of it. Even though they know that the Australian Visa is attached electronically, they still insist! Isn’t this just pure incompetence?! Argh!

So please, save yourself the headache and print it.

3. Apply for a Medical Insurance
It doesn’t matter whether you are a student, a worker, or a dependent visa holder, you will need a medical insurance. You need to take note which one is right for you, what extras you may need to pay, and how long is the waiting period.

4. Bank Account
If you have an international account, you can easily access your money here through Visa or Mastercard. If you have a BPI account, don’t forget to activate Cirrus before you leave. Also, if you want to transfer some of your money from one BPI account to another, you would have to “apply” for that account in your local bank in the Philippines.

You can also apply for a bank account in Australia even before getting here. It requires you to fill out some forms, details like your date of arrival, and of course, proof of identification.

5. References
If you do not have a job offer upon migrating, you can always secure not only your employment clearance or history, but references as well. You need both professional and personal references so you can have a better shot at applying for a job and renting an apartment. It is also helpful to have references based in Australia as well.

6. Get your Tax File Number or Australia Business Number
You can apply online for an Australian Tax File Number or Australian Business Number, so you don’t have to be anxious about

7. Identification
Australia uses a point system for identification when you make an application or complete transactions such as receiving a package from the post.

8. Get connected
Set your phone on roaming 24 hours before your flight, afterwards, buy a $2 simcard so you have a local number and access to the internet.

9. License to Drive
Secure a driving license if you or your family will be settling in the suburbs with little access to public transportation. More information can be found here. Simply select the appropriate state you will be moving to and it will direct you to the respective website.

10. Research
There are plenty of resources you can use, read, and download regarding immigration, work rights, and other information or concerns regarding visas like this one or you can always visitwww.immi.gov.au.

I might be echoing some tips I have written before, but I cannot emphasize enough how important it is to accomplish these. It helps to know what you need to do and to remember. So hopefully, by reading this, you are better prepared and more confident about moving to Australia.

 

Disclaimer: LezGoMelbourne is not paid by nor affiliated with any of the companies, shops, or brands mentioned above (if any). These are LezGoMelbourne’s personal opinions with no intention to cause or do any harm. These tips/guides are not to be taken as fact or absolute. Please consult with a professional for your own counsel.

© LezGoMelbourne/Lezgomelbourne.wordpress.com 2013 Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material, including photos if any, without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Lezgomelbourne/Lezgomelbourne.wordpress.com with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

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Pound for Pound: Economist Wants Obese Passengers to Pay More?

How do you degrade and deny people of their dignity? Simple, as proposed by this economist Bharat Batta, charge obese passengers more.

When I heard this news, I had nothing but the feeling of disbelief, disgust, and anger.

I have always had a weight issue. I always felt big and heavy. And even when I was at my ideal weight, I didn’t feel thin or small enough at all. It was hard to feel good about myself. There is always the pressure to fit into the ideals presented by the media, by society, and by culture that growing up becomes more than a torturous experience.

People keep talking about weight and diets that the whole thing is drilled into your head. People greet each other about their weights too. You either look like you lost some weight or gained some. It is infuriating! And the thing is, even when you don’t want to acquire this habit, you get sucked in because everybody does it and everybody does it to you.

Everything I needed to know how to hate my body, the glossy magazines and television taught me. And they taught me well.You have to hate your arms, your thighs, your hips, your belly and everything else that seems to jiggle a little or look a bit big on the camera.

I wish I could say that I have become desensitized when people ask me about my weight or my waistline. The fact is, it still stings a little. Sometimes, it stings a lot. However, I am now taking a more pro-active stance. Instead of feeling ashamed, I get angry. It’s more productive to get angry. It reminds me that there is something wrong here. And it’s not me or my body or my body shape.

So I am learning and un-learning things about my body, about body image, about womyn and grrrls, about the misogynistic and monopolistic culture that is out there. Not to mention, homophobic too. And now this piece of crappy news.

The thing is, fat is many, many things in this world and is different to many stakeholders. Fat is one thing, obesity is another. Still, it seems there is no differentiating the two. The world finds another dichotomy. It seems you are either fit or fat. Shun or be shunned.

I am not against eating healthful food or exercise. I am not against calorie counting. I am not against campaigns that encourages people to go out, move, and sweat. This is not about that.

What I am against is when companies and economists create policies that  refuse to see people as people. Money, it seems, is the only figure that they care about. If you pack the pounds, you pay more pounds or dollars. “Pay as you weigh airline pricing,” the news article read. This is nothing short of treating people like cattle, weighing you with scales, charging you for every ounce of bone, blood, and fat in your body. I’m guessing, humiliation comes free with this kind of airline pricing.

Besides, does water weight count? Do people get a refund if there is a discrepancy between their weight prior to departure versus their weight on arrival? How about a refund when they weigh less on their return flight? I could go on and on nit picking how ridiculous this proposal is, but at the end of the day, it’s all about profits.

So when people throw the statistics around, mention money, or fuel costs, the conversation gets too muddled up. The point is, you are not an individual going on a plane. You are an object to be measured, assessed, and delivered from point A to point B. Cargo is cargo, including you and me and everyone else.

You can read about the full article as reported by Reuters here.


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Phillip Island: Travel Tips

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Penguin Parade at Phillip Island

The best way to make any trip hassle free is preparation. It doesn’t matter if it is a short, day trip like our travel to Phillip Island; the important thing is you know what to do when the circumstances change. So when plans are altered at the last minute, you have options to choose from.  This is why I’m sharing with you some travel tips that might help you along the way, especially if you’re bound for Phillip Island.

1. There’s always a Plan B or C.

You’ve done your research and planned your itinerary for the whole day. You are prepared as can be, organizing your stops and schedule accordingly. However, there are just some things that can go beyond your control, so make sure you have some flexibility in your itinerary.

Prepare a Plan B or C so you can easily make a decision where to go when it’s pouring rain outside or where to grab some quick bites.

2. Familiarise yourself with the road map

Are you driving to Phillip Island through the South Gippsland Highway route or are you taking the Pakenham exit instead? No matter which one it is, you have to know where you are on the map. We had to make a U-turn because we missed both Sybella Avenue and Rossiter Road on our way to Koo Wee Rup, towards Pakenham. I don’t recall seeing a sign, so you have to be more aware. If we hadn’t had our phones with us, we wouldn’t have known better.

3. Bring a jacket, a poncho, and an umbrella.

You never know how quickly the weather changes. One minute the sun is shining bright in the sky, the next minute it’s nothing but grey clouds. That happened quite a lot during our trip, so it’s best to pack these things in the car.

And since it is autumn, it is advisable to carry a thick jacket. Sitting an hour or so at night by the beach can get really, really cold.

4. Extra battery

This is a lesson I have learned the hard way, finding myself unable to capture anymore photos because my camera’s battery is dead. If you have a DSLR, consider buying an extra battery. An extra, fully charged battery is really handy especially if you are out for the whole day and night. With the cold season too, you will find that batteries are drained much faster, so a spare one is really necessary.

5. Extra pair of socks

Keep your feet warm and dry at all times. Nothing is more uncomfortable than being stuck with cold, wet feet and an hour and a half of driving ahead of you. Remember, you’ll be outdoors most of the time. A little rain and you can get your shoes soaking wet, so bring an extra pair of socks.

6. Citylink

The road to Phillip Island is filled with tolls. Lols. Since we rented a car for our travel, the only way for us to pay for our way is through Citylink. You can buy a 24-hour pass or a Weekend pass before or after you travel.

7. Check the Time

Verify what time the penguins are expected to arrive on the day of your visit. It may be as early as 6 o’clock or a little later such as 8 o’clock in the evening, depending on the season. Both ways, it would do well for you to arrive an hour early.

8. No photography at the Penguin Parade

It might be upsetting, at first, to learn that you can’t take a photograph of the penguins. Understand that it’s for the best of these creatures. If people try to get a quick and sneaky shot, please tell them no.

9. Be wary of the sea gulls at Penguin Parade

It’s not only people who are waiting at the beach for the arrival of penguins; it’s the sea gulls as well. And where there are sea gulls flying overhead, you can be sure there is bird poo as well. You’ve been warned.

10. Where to Eat?

Knowing where is the nearest restaurant or café can be challenging when you are in an unfamiliar place. What makes it more difficult is finding open that is open until late at night. So take note of some establishments within Phillip Island or on your way there. It is also good to remember landmarks, gas stations, and even convenience stores that can make your journey easier.

Some of these are pretty practical tips that a traveler already knows, but I do like to add a bit to it since I’ve posted about our short trip to Phillip Island. Nevertheless, I hope that with these reminders, it will help you have a more enjoyable and comfortable weekend getaway.

 

Disclaimer: LezGoMelbourne is not paid by nor affiliated with any of the companies, shops, or brands mentioned above (if any). These are LezGoMelbourne’s personal opinions with no intention to cause or do any harm. These tips/guides are not to be taken as fact or absolute. Please consult with a professional for your own counsel.

© LezGoMelbourne/Lezgomelbourne.wordpress.com 2013 Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material, including photos if any, without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Lezgomelbourne/Lezgomelbourne.wordpress.com with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.