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.

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Jodie Foster is an Out and Proud Lesbian

There’s no mistaking it. You don’t have to read between the lines. A big-name Hollywood actress has come out and it’s Jodie Foster. Did you watch her during the Golden Globes? Did you pay attention to her speech? Jodie Foster’s words says it all, albeit a bit too subtle for some. She is gay. She is a lesbian. And you know what, she couldn’t have done it at a better time. Receiving a Cecil B DeMille award and broadcasting it on live telecast at Golden Globes for the whole world to see and hear takes a lot of grace and guts.

Why now? Why on Golden Globes? Why name her former girlfriend and partner for the whole world to google? Why? Why? Why?!

It is so easy to complicate matters when you fail to take in the actress’ words and intentions. Why should her private life be of concern to the public in the first place? Can you imagine how the publicity of her sexuality becomes just another fodder for the media to feast on, where in this day and age, as she puts it, your private life becomes a cheap, money-making franchise for a reality show and a fragrance line? Should she really stoop to that level and jeopardize her private family life? An actress of her calibre?

I can’t pretend to understand everything. I don’t know the pressure famous and influential women go through, how hard it is to separate their public life and private life, and how much effort it takes to screen out the prying eyes of the media and all the unwanted attention. Still, I think it is important for women to come out of the closet. Whether you are a public figure or not, I think it is a responsibility we owe to our predecessors who have set the path for us, we owe it to every scared woman out there to help them find their voice, we owe it to ourselves to be proud of who we are. Because just by coming out, we come to represent, we come to claim our space, our rights, and dignity. And by doing so, we help others find the opportunity themselves.

The circumstances vary for each and every woman out there. But let me just say, congratulations! It truly takes a lot of heart to come out. It takes a lot of courage to come out. It takes a lot of sacrifice to come out.

As women, as lesbians, we are made of the sterner stuff. And truly, we can and we will overcome anything and everything until equality fully lives up to its promise. This is our campaign.

To see and read more of Jodie Foster’s speech, you can view it here on GLAAD.org or at the Advocate.com