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'[OT] Australia in my mind (and in my future?)'
2010\03\16@005714 by Carlos Marcano

picon face
Hi list.

This is a message mostly intended for those of you living in that
giant island known as Australia, or to anyone else which considers
that his thoughts on the matter might worth the hassle of posting
back.

I live in a beautiful and graceful piece of land in South America
called Venezuela. This place is so blessed with natural richness that
even the most cold hearted will be marvelled with some of its sights.
We have also a huge amounts of underground treasures, mostly oil, gas,
iron and aluminum. But we are also suffering from other things that I
could gladly discuss off-list with anyone interested to avoid getting
into non-piclist-suitable talks as I am already stretching the rope a
little bit with this post.

So, my family (wife and 18 months old daughter) and I are seriously
contemplating emigration.

Top candidate countries are the usual suspects: Canada and Australia,
as those are the ones which: a) Seem to offer the kind of prospecting
life we want for ourselves and for our kid (mostly for her) and b)
Seem to have the most immigrant-friendly policies.

Canada was our first place of interest as some families, friends and
people we know are/were either preparing to go there or already living
there. We have been for around five months gathering all the
information we can regarding immigration, living and working in
Canada. We are pretty much informed that it is very hard, initially
and sometimes even forever, to get jobs in the same line of work or
areas as the ones we currently have and that it is usual for
immigrants to work in a wide range of survival jobs or lowly paid
jobs. We know that it is relatively expensive to own a house or even a
new car. We know that health services are OK but have found pretty
discomfort or "not satisfaction" among immigrants and Canadian
citizens. We have found that nurseries (places for taking care of
small children - 4 years an less- while their parents work) are hard
to find and expensive when living on a low hour rate job. We know that
weather is a major actor in the Canadian style of living. We have lots
of facts, well, we have as much "facts" as you can get without
actually living there.

Australia is, in the other hand, a mysterious land for us. We have had
trouble to fill in the blanks in the answers to our questions. Most of
the info we have is based on the official gov of Australia which, by
the way, have very nice sites regarding instructions and info for
possible immigrants but they are official sites and we want more "on
the ground" stories. Here is where we would appreciate any info from
the fellow piclisters with any experience on this matter.

Some additional info, I am an Electronics Engineer; 6 years of
experience working as a Maintenance Engineer II at one of the biggest
hydro electrical complex in the world, mainly doing maintenance,
failure diagnosis and repair of power electronic controlled systems
(excitation systems for hydro gens, ups, inverters), speed and power
electric/electronic regulators for governor systems, synchronization
systems. I have had also experience in basic and detail engineering,
mainly for governor and excitation systems. I have been in charge of
the Maintenance team (we called them "sections") and have been trained
in SAP based maintenance strategies. As a hobbyist I have been
involved with programming in ASM on some micro controllers (pics,
8051's) but it have not been my "official" job. I am 31. My wife is
also an EE, with a couple of years experience in basic and detail
engineering in hydro generation automation, has had a couple hiatus
for raising our child.

Our biggest concerns are regarding: job possibilities and public
health and education systems for our daughter.

We figure that the possibilities for working in our fields are a
little remote as in Canada, and we are going to begin working in some
lower paid jobs. That is OK for us as long as there are real
possibilities of raising our kid in a safe, modern and tolerant
environment. But if there are a possibilities of working as
professionals that would be a huge plus.

I am aware that every experience is unique to those involved in it but
any guidance, info, pointers and/or help will be truly and sincerely
appreciated. We are in a break point in our life where we must try to
make the best choice as we are not getting any younger and actions
must be taken with the important notion that the future of our loved
young lad is in our hands.

Sorry for the long post, and thanks in advance for your time and help.

Regards,

Carlos.

2010\03\16@012401 by Xiaofan Chen

face picon face
On Tue, Mar 16, 2010 at 12:57 PM, Carlos Marcano <spam_OUTc.marcanoTakeThisOuTspamgmail.com> wrote:
> Top candidate countries are the usual suspects: Canada and Australia,
> as those are the ones which: a) Seem to offer the kind of prospecting
> life we want for ourselves and for our kid (mostly for her) and b)
> Seem to have the most immigrant-friendly policies.
>

I have never been to Canada and Australia and has never
wanted to migrate to there (I like to stay in Singapore).
But many of my friends are in either Canada or Australia
(the other two places are US and China). So this is based on
perceptions I got from my friends.

Indeed Canada and Australia are the top two choices for people
contemplating migration in this part of the world (East and Southeast
Asia). Main reason may be the language (English) and
social welfare system and relatively easier to get in for
professionals. New Zealand is also nice, but the job opportunity
may be even worse.

> We are pretty much informed that it is very hard, initially
> and sometimes even forever, to get jobs in the same line of work or
> areas as the ones we currently have and that it is usual for
> immigrants to work in a wide range of survival jobs or lowly paid
> jobs.
>
> Australia is, in the other hand, a mysterious land for us.

Australia may be the same as Canada in terms of job opportunity.
That being said, my friends (mostly in IT or Electronics) who chose
to stay in Canada/Australia all managed to secure a decent job.
Some of them chose not to stay and came back to Singapore/China
since they think the job they can get is not as good in Canada/Australia.

10 years ago, a friend went to Toronto, three months later he
came back to Singapore. He told me the only thing he learned
in Toronto is Cantonese (a dialect spoken in Guangdong and Hong
Kong and many people speaking Cantonese in Toronto) and no hope
of a decent job. But he is a Chemical Engineer by training.

> Some additional info, I am an Electronics Engineer; 6 years of
> experience working as a Maintenance Engineer II at one of the biggest
> hydro electrical complex in the world, mainly doing maintenance,
> failure diagnosis and repair of power electronic controlled systems
> (excitation systems for hydro gens, ups, inverters), speed and power
> electric/electronic regulators for governor systems, synchronization
> systems.

First generation immigrants typically have to go through some hard
time. Power engineering may be a good field for some countries
but maybe not such a good field for some countries, not so sure
about Canada/Australia. Presumably it is difficult for immigrants to
be in this field (somewhat protected). So almost none of my friends
who were doing Power (high power) related job are doing that in
Canada/Australia. Ok, one of them is, in Canada, but not as an
engineer, only as a technician. He is happy though. His wife
has a decent job as an electronics engineer. His son is now
entering a good university.

It seems to me that your kids and wife would have a good time
in Canada/Australia, but you may need to struggle a bit if you
choose to migrate to Canada/Australia. So it all depends.

--
Xiaofan http://mcuee.blogspot.com

2010\03\16@015306 by Robert Rolf

picon face
Answer this simple question: Do you like it cold? Do you enjoy snow and
-35C temperatures? If yes, then definitely consider Canada.
There is ALWAYS some snow, even in the warmest areas, Victoria, and
Vancouver, on the west coast. High temperatures are rarely above 25C.

There are many hydroelectric dams in the British Columbia interior.
As well as in Manitoba, Quebec and Labrador (East coast).
en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hydroelectric_power_in_Canada
Hydro-Québec's extensive network of 59 hydroelectric

Our economy has done better than most during this downturn.
Healthcare is over stressed and waiting lists are long for
surgeries like heart bypasses and joint replacements.

I don't know if Australia is any better on healthcare.
They seem to have the same issues of underfunding and excessive demand.

How are they for hydropower?
http://www.industcards.com/hydro-australia.htm

I would suggest contacting the various power plants and see if you can
get a job offer from them. Makes the immigration process MUCH easier.

R


2010\03\16@020024 by Robert Rolf

picon face
I forgot to mention a very IMPORTANT point.
Most of the dams are in the province of Quebec, where FRENCH is
the official language of the workplace.
Your children will also be required to go to French schools if
they are young. Read about "Bill 101" which is legislation to
ensure that the French language remains dominant in Quebec.
if you end up in Quebec, you will a 2nd class citizen unless you learn
French (and their version of the language is quite a bit different from
the France dialect).

I see where Australia has 14 big dams, compared to Canada's nearly 100.


Robert Rolf wrote:

{Quote hidden}

>

2010\03\16@032717 by Richard Prosser

picon face
Carlos.
I'd seriously consider Australia, not because I've anything against
Canada, but because I know more about it. You could also look at NZ
(where I live) also.

I wouldn't expect you'd have too much difficulty getting a job related
to your training in Aust although you may have to settle for something
a bit lower paid  initially. as it can take months to sort out.

Healthcare and education are rated pretty well comparable to NZ
although house prices etc. can be high - depending on the location of
course. Again I don't know how it compares with Canada. But wages are
higher (than NZ) to compensate.

I know that in NZ there is something of a shortage of power
transmission (etc). engineers but I'm not sure if that relates to the
situation in Australia. Here in NZ 80% of the power is generated by
hydro so there could well be opportunities here also.

You could check out <http://www.seek.com.au> (or <www,seek.co.nz>) for the
situations available or contact an agency directly - they would be
able to assist & would have info packs for prospective immigrants.

Best wishes

Richard P



On 16 March 2010 18:00, Robert Rolf <.....Robert.RolfKILLspamspam@spam@ualberta.ca> wrote:
{Quote hidden}

>

2010\03\16@035317 by ivp

face picon face
> Answer this simple question: Do you like it cold? Do you enjoy snow
> and -35C temperatures? If yes, then definitely consider Canada

My niece has been in Canadia for some time, and she's most upset
that her visa has run out and she's been given the Size 9 back to NZ.
She really wants to apply for Canadian residency, she likes it that much
even though most of her family is here

OTOH, I know a few people who came back from Australia because
it was too bloody hot (it really is unbearable in many places), and the
grass wasn't quite as greener as they thought it would be financially

Really it does depend on what you are and what you're looking for.

Employer, employee, outdoorsy, culture vulture, sporty, .......

I like snow over dust so it'd be Canadia

2010\03\16@040813 by Xiaofan Chen

face picon face
On Tue, Mar 16, 2010 at 3:52 PM, ivp <joecolquittspamKILLspamclear.net.nz> wrote:
> OTOH, I know a few people who came back from Australia because
> it was too bloody hot (it really is unbearable in many places), and the
> grass wasn't quite as greener as they thought it would be financially
>
> I like snow over dust so it'd be Canada

I do not like cold weather, so Australia might be a bit better in this
aspect. Singapore has only one season which is Summer. But it
is not as bad as other place's real Summer.

California would be an ideal place to go though. ;-) I stayed
in Southern California for a year and it is a nice place.
But it is in USA and not in either Canada or Australia.


--
Xiaofan http://mcuee.blogspot.com

2010\03\16@053305 by Alan B Pearce

face picon face
> Some additional info, I am an Electronics Engineer; 6 years of
> experience working as a Maintenance Engineer II at one of the biggest
> hydro electrical complex in the world, mainly doing maintenance,
> failure diagnosis and repair of power electronic controlled systems
> (excitation systems for hydro gens, ups, inverters), speed and power
> electric/electronic regulators for governor systems, synchronization
> systems. I have had also experience in basic and detail engineering,
> mainly for governor and excitation systems. I have been in charge of
> the Maintenance team (we called them "sections") and have been trained
> in SAP based maintenance strategies. As a hobbyist I have been
> involved with programming in ASM on some micro controllers (pics,
> 8051's) but it have not been my "official" job. I am 31. My wife is
> also an EE, with a couple of years experience in basic and detail
> engineering in hydro generation automation, has had a couple hiatus
> for raising our child.

With qualifications like that I suspect you would be welcomed with open arms
in New Zealand, as Richard Prosser and one or two others mentioned. NZ has a
reasonably extensive hydro generation network in both islands (most of the
electric generation is hydro, with some thermal and a little coal, oil and
gas), and a much more temperate climate than Australia, and as such I
suspect may be more like the Venezuelan climate. Check with the NZ consulate
or embassy (not sure which they have in Venezuela) and see what the options
are.

Wherever you go, best of luck with your choice of move.

2010\03\16@054734 by Xiaofan Chen

face picon face
On Tue, Mar 16, 2010 at 5:33 PM, Alan B Pearce <.....Alan.B.PearceKILLspamspam.....stfc.ac.uk> wrote:

> With qualifications like that I suspect you would be welcomed with open arms
> in New Zealand, as Richard Prosser and one or two others mentioned.

I was told in NZ, the most new comers could do is to pick up apples
(or other fruits like Kiwi fruit) or do things related to the dairy
industry. ;-)
Actually two persons told me this, but many years ago, one is
native New Zealander (who lost the job in NZ and landed a job in China),
one is from China (who went to NZ, picked up apples for one month and
then went back to China).

I got one friend who has high qualifications in Power Engineering
and she could not find a decent job in either Australia or New Zealand.
But she may still go and retire in Australia in a few years since her daughter
is studying there.

--
Xiaofan

2010\03\16@060425 by cdb

flavicon
face
As a part foreigner living in Australia and about to get belted by the
real Australians here Id' say.....

For jobs you are really needing to look at either New South Wales
(NSW) or Victoria (Vic), these two states tend to have the most
electronic jobs advertised, Queensland (land of humidity and heat)
does have a very small (compared to the above mentioned states) though
there are some bespoke places on the Gold Coast and in suburban
Brisbane. Here is where I get shot - my impression is that for it's
size NZ fights far above it's weight in the electronic industry
compared to Qld - I know that from job hunting.

I can't really comment on the schools here apart to tell you that
there are public schools (for the British - that's a state school) and
private schools, most private schools are either denominational or not
exactly attached but still proclaim certain a form of
denominationality - most private schools are subsidised by the  
federal government - so most aren't that expensive (thinking of UK
private schools here).

Healthcare (I'll try not to get political) is a bit of a mixed bunch,
it consists of a bias towards private insurance, but there is a
medicare funded health system - but it isn't always free (coming from
a land of state benefited health I find many thinks strange).

House prices are ridiculous in NSW and Melbourne, Gold Coast, Sunshine
Coast - rest of Qld is reasonable (average 3-4 bdr = AU$300 - 500K)
Western Australia is too far away to worry about (apologies to WA'ers)
weather is nicer than Qld (my opinion) dry, but the mining boom has
seen WA become very expensive.

Cars are cheap so long as you don't want to buy European models (my
Peugeot 207 just cost me AU$36K compared to a Hyuandai and similar
which are about $16-20K).

Australia has a bit of a water shortage - though it's been raining
here in Brisbane since just before Christmas almost constantly - not
today the sun was out = hot and humid (have I mentioned I don't like
hot or humid? - that's why I want to move to NZ South Island).

Australia has just tightened it's immigration rules, so you'd need to
double check that you can reach the required number of points AND  the
family have no current health problems - you'll need to pay a health
bond which I think lasts 2 years before you are allowed to start using
state health - you also have to have a certain amount of money to
bring with you as you won't be allowed to access any state assistance
for a certain period of time.

Colin
--
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Web presence: http://www.btech-online.co.uk  

Hosted by:  http://www.1and1.co.uk/?k_id=7988359






2010\03\16@061511 by cdb

flavicon
face


:: got one friend who has high qualifications in Power Engineering
:: and she could not find a decent job in either Australia or New
:: Zealan

Actually one of the big thermal power plant companies was advertising
last year - North Island - can't remember the name or the town (except
I've got photos of the place and almost everyone in the area works for
the company), has a Maori name.

As an aside Fisher and Paykel medical division seem to have many
vacancies judging by the number of vacancy emails they keep sending
me.

Colin
--
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2010\03\16@064354 by Alan B Pearce

face picon face
> (have I mentioned I don't like
> hot or humid? - that's why I want to move to NZ South Island).

Well, you can have both of those in the South Island ;))))

Westland gets a considerable amount of rain each year, the dry season is
autumn.

Christchurch has a very hot dry summer, with winds rather like the European
Foehn that is hot and dry, and causes people to get very irritated ... (see
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Foehn_wind ) for the reasons given in the link.

2010\03\16@072813 by Russell McMahon

face picon face
>> With qualifications like that I suspect you would be welcomed with open arms
>> in New Zealand, as Richard Prosser and one or two others mentioned.

> I was told in NZ, the most new comers could do is to pick up apples
> (or other fruits like Kiwi fruit) or do things related to the dairy
> industry. ;-)

I understand that you do need to have a job offer for a position which
a NZer is not available to fill, but that's often achievable.

I'm happy to advise re NZ on or off list as required. I can't tell you
too much about employment but can comment on much else and can help
access local information.

What is / are your normal communication language(s)?

Our major hydro areas are in the South Island where "snow happens" but
we are not without hydro in the North where we mainly use snow to
decorate our skifields and extreme adventure areas - and make great
movie locations (see Lord of the Rings).


  Russell McMahon

2010\03\16@075653 by Justin Richards

face picon face
>
> House prices are ridiculous in NSW and Melbourne, Gold Coast, Sunshine
> Coast - rest of Qld is reasonable (average 3-4 bdr = AU$300 - 500K)
> Western Australia is too far away to worry about (apologies to WA'ers)
>
> Thats ok.

We have had a recent dry spell and at times WA (Perth) can get quite warm.
We are often spoilt by the Fremantle Doctor that tends to cool the West side
of the city down in the afternoon.  We did have a run of high 30deg C days
with no Doctor in site.

Again house prices are ridiculous for a  4 bedroom 2 bath on a block about
20m x 30m (just gone on sale across the road) AU$580K but the mining seems
to have weathered out any economic downturn and has kept wages high.  I
often hear taxis that have recently immigrated that housing and living is
very expensive but if you were ever stuck there is always a good chance of
getting some for of work.

Thanks to the mining there are jobs on offer for people willing to
fly-in/fly out for electricians and electrical engineers.   Not sure if they
could put you skills to good use but I am sure there are related positions.

South Australia employs many Electronic, Software, Hardware Engineers for
the various defence projects.  Lockheed Martin have just entered the market
taking over from another company that supports several ground based radars
that are currently going thru an significant upgrade phase.

Australia is a big country and as expected the weather, job opportunities,
cost of living, education and things to do vary significantly from one place
to another.

To help put wages into perspective, I know a Perth based electronics
technician that works fly-in/fly-out 2 weeks on and 2 weeks off and earns
approx AU$100k and another who works in the city for about AU$70K base
salary

Cheers Justin

2010\03\16@080509 by K S

picon face
G'day Carlos.

Born and bred Aussie living in Sydney replying here. With regards to
your main points:

You will find a job here. Maybe not instantly, and maybe not exactly
what you want, but there is plenty of work for anyone who's honestly
looking for it. With your qualifications i would expect to earn no
less than $50K/year (=$40K after tax) if you got something at the
bottom end of your field, maybe $75K ($60K after tax) if you find a
good job. With a few years of local experience, a good command of the
language and local conditions you should be earning $100K or more
($75K after tax) within a few years.

The schooling system is fine. The state (public) schools are more than
adequate. The mainstream Catholic schools are similar and quite
reasonably priced (from $1K to $3K per year). Independant schools can
cost up to $20K per year per child (without a cap at 3 kids like the
Catholic system) - that's very expensive for most people. Most
tertiary education is free or payable by a government loan that is
repaid via extra taxes (only when you earn over a certain threshold
and only till the loan is payed out). Kids can generally have a great
time growing up here.

Health can always be better but rest assured that if you are seriously
ill you will be looked after immediately. If you are ill but it's not
life threatening you may wait (even up to 2-3 months) for an
operation. General practitioners available everywhere. All free.
Private insurance can ensure immediate attention and choice of doctor
but will be about $250/month/family but may still leave you with some
out of pocket expenses.

Remember, "free" in the above means "your and my taxes"!

Life can be expensive here. A house is quite a burden - you will not
get anything "nice" for less than $400K in the greater metropolitan
areas and prepare to pay twice that for something "nice" in an
established area not far from the city. Go to http://www.realestate.com.au
for a bit of a browse.

Grocery prices are on par with other developed countries; see the
prices at http://coles.com.au (go to shop online and enter postcode
2222 as an example). Petrol is currently around $1.20/litre. I find
that Coke ($3 for a 2L bottle in the supermarket) and ice-cream ($5
for a single scoop at ice-cream parlours) are more expensive here than
anywhere else in the world! (With the exeption of resorts and other
tourist havens of course).

For recreation you have choices - you can spend plenty of money on
ready-made activites and attractions, restaurants, etc. Otherwise, if
you like the beach and bush you have endless days of activities at
your doorstep for no cost at all.

Sydney has plenty of eye candy, Melbourne has a deep soul. They're
very similar but also very different. I could live in Melbourne any
day (very Euro feel about it. If you love the theatre, arts, etc. then
Melboune may be your pick). Perth is beautiful but a 4hour flight to
the nearest other civilisation (Sydney). I find Brisbane too
hot/humid. Adelaide is a bit inactive for my liking. The areas north
of Sydney (Hunter Valley, New England and Mid-West, all 1.5 to 4 hours
away) have plenty of coal mines and power plants; not sure about other
states.

Most overseas visitors that I've had here have been very positive
about Australia. But, remember, it's just another place and only as
good as your attitude / daily job / family life / health, etc. If you
are prone to homesickness and nostalgia you may be bitterly
disappointed - many have been in the past.

Good luck in your endeavours!

Kris.

2010\03\16@082642 by cdb

flavicon
face


:: We are often spoilt by the Fremantle Doctor that tends to cool the
:: West side of the city down in the afternoon.

I notice you failed to mention -

1. The walk only on the left experiment around the City station, not  
that anyone bothered, I thought the line was for playing hopscotch on  
:) . Blame it on the 8.5 hour flight from Brisbane.

2. Like Qld'ers, the extra hour of sunlight is a bit of a problem to
cope with :)

Me, as I get up at 4am, I'm all for +2 hours in summer, cooler night
ya see!


--
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Web presence: http://www.btech-online.co.uk  

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2010\03\16@083025 by Olin Lathrop

face picon face
Xiaofan Chen wrote:
> California would be an ideal place to go though. ;-) I stayed
> in Southern California for a year and it is a nice place.
> But it is in USA and not in either Canada or Australia.

You've hit one of my pet peeves.  California is a large and varied land.
You can live in a coastal desert, wet (just short of qualifying for
rainforest) temperate forest, over a mile high with climate matching much of
southern Ontrario, drier alpine, high altitude desert, on some of the most
ideal farm land on the planet, in a dense city, in a wild rural region, in a
coastal fog zone, straddeling a fault line, or even downslope of a
supervolcano that's about due.

California probably has more varied climates and geographies you can
actually live in than any other US state, and most countries.  While the
statement "I like the climate in Singapore" has meaning, it makes no sense
at all to say "I like the climate in California".  There is no "California"
climate despite the fact that most of the geographically-ignorant (which
seems to include far too many world wide and a disproportionately large
fraction of Americans) seem to equate that with the climate in the Los
Angeles basin.  Even a quick look at a map should immediately reveal how
silly that is.


********************************************************************
Embed Inc, Littleton Massachusetts, http://www.embedinc.com/products
(978) 742-9014.  Gold level PIC consultants since 2000.

2010\03\16@083725 by Xiaofan Chen

face picon face
On Tue, Mar 16, 2010 at 9:30 PM, Olin Lathrop <KILLspamolin_piclistKILLspamspamembedinc.com> wrote:
>> California would be an ideal place to go though. ;-) I stayed
>> in Southern California for a year and it is a nice place.
>> But it is in USA and not in either Canada or Australia.
>
> You've hit one of my pet peeves.  California is a large and varied land.

Ok, I should have said Orange County, or more
specifically Irvine. But the cities around Irvine
are also quite nice.



--
Xiaofan http://mcuee.blogspot.com

2010\03\16@084802 by Xiaofan Chen

face picon face
On Tue, Mar 16, 2010 at 8:37 PM, Xiaofan Chen <RemoveMExiaofancTakeThisOuTspamgmail.com> wrote:
> On Tue, Mar 16, 2010 at 9:30 PM, Olin Lathrop <spamBeGoneolin_piclistspamBeGonespamembedinc.com> wrote:
>>> California would be an ideal place to go though. ;-) I stayed
>>> in Southern California for a year and it is a nice place.
>>> But it is in USA and not in either Canada or Australia.
>>
>> You've hit one of my pet peeves.  California is a large and varied land.
>
> Ok, I should have said Orange County, or more
> specifically Irvine. But the cities around Irvine
> are also quite nice.
>

BTW, to many Chinese, Southern California mainly means
great LA (including Orange County) and San Diego area. And North
California mainly means San Francisco Bay Area. Again this may not
be that correct but it is just the perception.

--
Xiaofan http://mcuee.blogspot.com

2010\03\16@090929 by Olin Lathrop

face picon face
Xiaofan Chen wrote:
> BTW, to many Chinese, Southern California mainly means
> great LA (including Orange County) and San Diego area. And North
> California mainly means San Francisco Bay Area. Again this may not
> be that correct but it is just the perception.

To most americans, China is one "place", and it doesn't matter anyway since
they all look alike there ;-)

That was sortof a joke, but there's some truth in it anyway, at least what
it says about americans.  Americans seem to be disproportionately
geographically illiterate.  I wonder how many can name a country that starts
with "U".  I bet well under half could correctly fill in the names of 25 of
the 50 states on a map with only the outlines.


********************************************************************
Embed Inc, Littleton Massachusetts, http://www.embedinc.com/products
(978) 742-9014.  Gold level PIC consultants since 2000.

2010\03\16@092310 by Rolf

flavicon
face
Hi Carlos.

Coming from South Africa, I have adapted just fine to Canada. Been in
Canada for 10 years now. I also spent a few years in England before I
came here...

Just some observations... based on my experience, and what I have
observed in numerous friends and acquaintances in the past.

1. Going to any country will have unique problems to overcome, whether
it is language, culture, climate, legal, etc.
2. Wherever you go you will experience some 'common' problems - no
'local' work experience will always be a problem
3. Some people 'cut it', and some fail - I have seen people I thought
were well settled suddenly decide they can't keep it up any more, and leave.
4. Luck can have more of an impact than good management - a friend came
to Canada 2 years ago, well qualified, great experience, and took 18
months to get a job with the recession. His wife, with similar
qualifications, was working in a great job within a few weeks.

I have friends here in Canada, and 'old' friends from South Africa who
have immigrated to other places in the world, and the above holds true
for any immigration destination out there, including Australia. In fact,
South Africa and Australia seem to have so many similarities (climate,
culture (colonial past), rugby, cricket, etc...) that it seems a
'natural' place for South Africans to go, but a lot of South Africans
return from Australia (at least it seems that way...). I get the
impression that South African's think it will be easy in Aus because it
is so similar, but then hit the issues above, and it is tougher than it
was expected... making South Africa seem like a nicer place and silly to
leave....

Your 'success' in a foreign land is almost certainly related to your
attitude though. How hard you're willing to try, etc. Basically, your
personal '?' factor.

Canada in particular....

As for me, I am not a 'typical' immigrant to Canada... when living in
the UK I met a Canadian girl, got engaged, I immigrated to Canada to be
with her, and arrived in Canada in 2000, when times were economically
very good, got married, had children, etc. I arrived here with welcoming
'in-laws', and my brother was living here already. These things made for
a 'soft' landing. I am in the IT world (banking/insurance), and I have
had no issues with work except for the 'typical' recession issues where
promotions are hard to come by, etc... though I did survive numerous
rounds of lay-offs, etc. Basically I am content with work.

The weather in Canada is nothing to be scared of (at least in my
experience).... sure, it gets cold, but that's just cold. If you learn
to 'embrace' it, the cold is great. I have taken to cross-country, and
down-hill skiing, which are both fantastic activities. The kids toboggan
all the time, and out-door winter activity is easy to do, and great fun.
Snow is actually dry (at least until it melts), and well-managed, it is
a lot of fun. I actually find that Toronto is uncomfortably hot at
times, but that seldom lasts for a week at a stretch, so it is also
manageable.

The health-care is remarkable in Canada. The most expensive part of
having both our children was the parking.... same is true for having my
gall-bladder out, etc. (OK, it's paid for from taxes). People complain
about the system, and it does have some issues, but people complain
about anything, and show me a system that is without issue...

I have made my peace here, and it is now home. I can't say the same
about England though... i was never 'at home' there, and I never would
have lasted much longer there (I did not 'cut it' in England), so the
'?' factor is not only related to the person, but the circumstances as well.

I still miss South Africa, but I can't see myself ever living there
again. I have been back a few times to see my parents, and do some
'touristy' things. It's a great holiday destination.

Finally, I have close friends from South Africa who met when they lived
in Holland. After a few years they moved to Quebec in Canada, then later
to Toronto. Now they live in Sydney, Australia. They claim to be doing
really well there (been there a year), and settling in nicely. He moved
with his employer (Research in Motion) so getting work in Sydney was not
an issue. I get the impression though that they worry all the time about
flies, snakes, and spiders.... In Canada we have only the flies to worry
about ... ;-)

As a casual observation, my major motivations for leaving South Africa
were crime and opportunity... For Canada, and Australia, you can get a
feel for each of those by reading up on the news:

http://www.thestar.com/  <-- the Toronto star - note that there is no
violent crime in the major headlines...
http://www.smh.com.au/ <-- Sydney morning herald - 3 of top 5 stories
are murder (or attempted)....

Rolf


Carlos Marcano wrote:
{Quote hidden}

2010\03\16@092608 by Walter Banks

picon face


Carlos Marcano wrote:

{Quote hidden}

Carlos,

I live in Canada about 100Km west of Toronto. If there is any
information you need contact me off line and I would be happy
to help.

Walter Banks

2010\03\16@094705 by Walter Banks

picon face


Rolf wrote:

> As a casual observation, my major motivations for leaving South Africa
> were crime and opportunity... For Canada, and Australia, you can get a
> feel for each of those by reading up on the news:
>
> http://www.thestar.com/  <-- the Toronto star - note that there is no
> violent crime in the major headlines...
> http://www.smh.com.au/ <-- Sydney morning herald - 3 of top 5 stories
> are murder (or attempted)....
>

To put violent crime in perspective in Toronto. The metropolitan area has
about 3.5M people. There has for the last few years averaged about
one murder a week. The major news story earlier in the year was
more people had been killed on the streets jay walking.

I live outside of Toronto crime of any sort is low.

w..


2010\03\16@095141 by c.marcano

picon face
Many thanks to all that have taken the time to answer my post. At this moment I am not near a relliable internet connection, tonight I will be at and will address every answer individually as they deserved to.

Once again, thanks.

Regards,

Carlos.
------Mensaje original------
De: Walter Banks
Remitente:TakeThisOuTpiclist-bouncesEraseMEspamspam_OUTmit.edu
Para:Microcontroller discussion list - Public.
Responder a:Microcontroller discussion list - Public.
Asunto: Re: [OT] Australia in my mind (and in my future?)
Enviado: 16 Mar, 2010 09:56



Carlos Marcano wrote:

{Quote hidden}

Carlos,

I live in Canada about 100Km west of Toronto. If there is any
information you need contact me off line and I would be happy
to help.

Walter Banks

2010\03\16@100112 by Olin Lathrop

face picon face
Rolf wrote:
> my major motivations for leaving South Africa
> were crime and opportunity...

Toronto is a strange choice then.  I hear the opportunity for crime is
higher in places like the DC area, parts of New York City, etc.  And then
there are regions of the world where crime is the practically a official
part of the economy and opportunities abound.  Anyplace a government has
recently collapsed, like many parts of the former Soviet block, are good
candidates.


********************************************************************
Embed Inc, Littleton Massachusetts, http://www.embedinc.com/products
(978) 742-9014.  Gold level PIC consultants since 2000.

2010\03\16@102511 by Herbert Graf

picon face
On Tue, 2010-03-16 at 09:47 -0500, Walter Banks wrote:
> To put violent crime in perspective in Toronto. The metropolitan area has
> about 3.5M people. There has for the last few years averaged about
> one murder a week. The major news story earlier in the year was
> more people had been killed on the streets jay walking.
>
> I live outside of Toronto crime of any sort is low.

Violent crime is something that Toronto really shines at, there just
isn't much here. Sure, there are murders, but considering how many
people are here the rate is VERY low.

I moved north of the city almost 5 years ago, in my region (containing a
population of more then 500k people) there hasn't been a single murder
in all that time. Quite remarkable IMHO.

That's not to say there is no crime, sure there is, but Toronto mostly
certainly feels much "safer" to most people then other big cities.

TTYL

2010\03\16@121835 by Dwayne Reid

flavicon
face
At 10:57 PM 3/15/2010, Carlos Marcano wrote:

>Some additional info, I am an Electronics Engineer; 6 years of
>experience working as a Maintenance Engineer II at one of the biggest
>hydro electrical complex in the world, mainly doing maintenance,
>failure diagnosis and repair of power electronic controlled systems
>(excitation systems for hydro gens, ups, inverters), speed and power
>electric/electronic regulators for governor systems, synchronization
>systems. I have had also experience in basic and detail engineering,
>mainly for governor and excitation systems. I have been in charge of
>the Maintenance team (we called them "sections") and have been trained
>in SAP based maintenance strategies. As a hobbyist I have been
>involved with programming in ASM on some micro controllers (pics,
>8051's) but it have not been my "official" job. I am 31. My wife is
>also an EE, with a couple of years experience in basic and detail
>engineering in hydro generation automation, has had a couple hiatus
>for raising our child.

Hi there.

I'm a Canadian who has not travelled the world very much, thus giving
me a fairly narrow viewpoint.  Keep that in mind <grin>.

My guess (that's all it can be) is that you and your wife would find
it relatively easy to get decent jobs in your fields of expertise.  I
live in Alberta where much of the industrial base depends on the
petroleum industry.  Those industries are always looking for
qualified people to design and maintain their power systems.

I've had some exposure to the Power Generating industry in Alberta
and British Columbia (BC) and have met some relatively senior people
who tell me that finding talented engineers is often difficult.  I
don't know if your talents are what they are seeking but its worth
checking out.

The recent economic downturn has certainly dampened the job market in
Canada.  However, the recession appears to be over and companies are
hiring again.  Its not the boom times like it was two years ago but
is much better than it was nine months ago.

I'd be tempted to spend some time writing letters to various
companies.  If you decide to do that, post back to the list and I'm
sure that Canadian list members might be able to suggest contacts at
various companies for you to write.

I strongly suspect that your immigration hassles will be greatly
reduced if you already have a job lined up when you do decide to make the move.

Good luck!

dwayne

--
Dwayne Reid   <RemoveMEdwaynerspamTakeThisOuTplanet.eon.net>
Trinity Electronics Systems Ltd    Edmonton, AB, CANADA
(780) 489-3199 voice          (780) 487-6397 fax
http://www.trinity-electronics.com
Custom Electronics Design and Manufacturing

2010\03\16@130348 by Marc Nicholas

picon face
Hi Carlos,

If you have experience working in hydro electric, I'd say your skills would
likely be in demand here in Canada! (Quebec Hydro being by far the largest
hydro-electric generator in the world, the Niagara Falls plant, etc.).

That said, getting here can indeed be a long process. Yes, a lot of people
complain about our health care -- but until you've lived in other places, I
don't think you realize how lucky we really are.

Good luck whatever you decide upon.

-marc




On Tue, Mar 16, 2010 at 12:57 AM, Carlos Marcano <c.marcanoEraseMEspam.....gmail.com>wrote:

{Quote hidden}

> -

2010\03\17@192814 by Carlos Marcano

picon face
Hi guys.

I would like to thank every one of you who replied back to my post,
you are very kind and your info is very well regarded. I am sorry for
not posting back before but job related issues kept me apart from any
Internet connection besides a very flaky cell based one which I wasn't
able to use for long periods. I will begin to re-read carefully every
post with proper care and reply back in concordance.

Once again, thanks!

Regards,

Carlos.

2010\03\28@183408 by Carlos Marcano

picon face
Hi list.

Before posting all the replies to the fabulous information you all
kindly posted back, I want to apologize for these very late postings.

In what I want to call a big irony from life, the main reason my wife
and I want to leave this country as fast as possible (crime) played an
infamous move on us last Friday (19th). I would not like to get too
emotional so I will only mention it involved 4 armed men, our car,
theirs, a driving chase and the attempt disposition to rob or hijack
my wife and me when we were beginning a road trip to enjoy a national
holiday in the beach. Sigh.

Don’t be too surprised. Here, you don’t have to be rich to be
kidnapped, there is an infamous operandi called “express kidnap” where
you get caught in the morning of any given day and the perpetrators
call your family and free you in the night after getting paid the
equivalent of US$ 1-2K, sometimes even less. It is a very common and
profitable “activity” and national security forces are overwhelmed and
surpassed in their efforts to fight this, and a lot of times members
of this forces are part of the perpetrators band. It is a big shame.

Please, I don’t want this post to initiate political wars or to, in
any way, disturb the usually calm discussions in this great place of
the net. In any case any observation or remark I could gladly deal it
off-list. I just wanted to clear things up as I did not want to appear
uninterested in the information you all wrote back because it
apparently took me more than ten days to comment on them. I do care. A
lot.

Once again, thanks. This list was/is/will-always-be awesome.

Regards,

Carlos.

2010\03\28@183434 by Carlos Marcano

picon face
Robert Rolf wrote:
       
>Answer this simple question: Do you like it cold? Do you enjoy snow and
>-35C temperatures? If yes, then definitely consider Canada.
>There is ALWAYS some snow, even in the warmest areas, Victoria, and
>Vancouver, on the west coast. High temperatures are rarely above 25C.

Well, I have to admit that we are not used at all to very cold
weather, in fact it is the opposite; we get to the 30s C very often in
this part of Venezuela (Ciudad Guayana).

>There are many hydroelectric dams in the British Columbia interior.
>As well as in Manitoba, Quebec and Labrador (East coast).
>en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hydroelectric_power_in_Canada
>Hydro-Québec's extensive network of 59 hydroelectric

Yes, I have knowledge in that regard. Thanks for the link. That is a
big plus for Canada and us, althought it doesn't guarantee that jobs
in that field will be available for me at least it means that there
could be more possible offers.

>Our economy has done better than most during this downturn.
>Healthcare is over stressed and waiting lists are long for
>surgeries like heart bypasses and joint replacements.

That is also the truth here for public healthcare, but I think that it
is worst as there are generalized shortage of personal and supplies
that compromises attention even to emergencies. On the other hand,
private healthcare is ussually a lot better but expensive as in
everywhere.

At this moment the company I work for,  althought it's state owned,
provides health coverage in the private system for my family and I,
including my parents and parents-in-law. This is all changing and
restrictions are in the way.

{Quote hidden}

Thanks for the advice.

>I forgot to mention a very IMPORTANT point.
>Most of the dams are in the province of Quebec, where FRENCH is
>the official language of the workplace.

I think this is a major subject as I am not fluent in french and me
and my wife would have to get formal training in french here. English,
althought not my first language, would be something easier to deal
with.

>Your children will also be required to go to French schools if
>they are young.

Daughter is jus 18 months old so anyway she would have to deal to
learn a new language, french or english. Shouldnt be a problem as kids
are language sponges :)

>Read about "Bill 101" which is legislation to
>ensure that the French language remains dominant in Quebec.
>if you end up in Quebec, you will a 2nd class citizen unless you learn
>French (and their version of the language is quite a bit different from
>the France dialect).

Thanks for the advices, again.

Regards,

Carlos.

2010\03\28@183445 by Carlos Marcano

picon face
Richard Prosser wrote:


>Carlos.
>I'd seriously consider Australia, not because I've anything against
>Canada, but because I know more about it. You could also look at NZ
>(where I live) also.

My  wife and I are a little biased for Australia, mostly because of
the weather being similar to our country.

>I wouldn't expect you'd have too much difficulty getting a job related
>to your training in Aust although you may have to settle for something
>a bit lower paid  initially. as it can take months to sort out.

I believe that is real too.

>Healthcare and education are rated pretty well comparable to NZ
>although house prices etc. can be high - depending on the location of
>course. Again I don't know how it compares with Canada. But wages are
>higher (than NZ) to compensate.

Ok.

>I know that in NZ there is something of a shortage of power
>transmission (etc). engineers but I'm not sure if that relates to the
>situation in Australia. Here in NZ 80% of the power is generated by
>hydro so there could well be opportunities here also.

I am very much concerned with the fact that my area of expertise is a
little too narrow so it could be far more difficult to find suitable
jobs. Also, it is a known issue that working in hydro projects
ussually mean living in remote areas which limits the possibilities of
the family of the worker (education, healt, enterteinment, etc). We
have that problem right now. I work in a company managed camp, about 1
hour from the next city, through a less than optimal road. Living here
really limits the possibility to offer our child and ourselves
“normal” family development activities.  Anyway, I know that this will
be a problem anywhere I go so maybe it is something we will always
have to live with .

>You could check out <http://www.seek.com.au> (or <www,seek.co.nz>) for the
>situations available or contact an agency directly - they would be
>able to assist & would have info packs for prospective immigrants.

Thanks for the links. What do you mean by agency? Job agency? As in Manpower?

>Best wishes

Thanks Richard, same to you.



Regards,

Carlos.

2010\03\28@183454 by Carlos Marcano

picon face
Joe wrote:

>> Answer this simple question: Do you like it cold? Do you enjoy snow
>> and -35C temperatures? If yes, then definitely consider Canada

>My niece has been in Canadia for some time, and she's most upset
>that her visa has run out and she's been given the Size 9 back to NZ.
>She really wants to apply for Canadian residency, she likes it that much
>even though most of her family is here

>OTOH, I know a few people who came back from Australia because
>it was too bloody hot (it really is unbearable in many places), and the
>grass wasn't quite as greener as they thought it would be financially

Here we are having 36-38C these days, with “thermal impression” in the mid 40s.

>Really it does depend on what you are and what you're looking for.
>Employer, employee, outdoorsy, culture vulture, sporty, .......

Big true. We would fit in the employee outdoorsy-wannabe categories, I think.

>I like snow over dust so it'd be Canadia

I have not known snow too much, don´t know if I would like it either :)

Regards,

Carlos.

2010\03\28@183502 by Carlos Marcano

picon face
Alan wrote:

{Quote hidden}

NZ looks promising, although Xiaofan scared me with the fruit picking stories :)

There is no NZ consulate or embassy that I am aware about here in
Venezuela that I am aware of, I will make a deeper search for it.

I don't know if NZ immigration policies are as clear and
pro-immigration as Australia and Canada: Will check that too.

>Wherever you go, best of luck with your choice of move.


Thanks Alan, you are very kind.

Regards,

Carlos.

2010\03\28@183510 by Carlos Marcano

picon face
Xiaofan wrote:

>> With qualifications like that I suspect you would be welcomed with open arms
>> in New Zealand, as Richard Prosser and one or two others mentioned.

>I was told in NZ, the most new comers could do is to pick up apples
>(or other fruits like Kiwi fruit) or do things related to the dairy
>industry. ;-)
>Actually two persons told me this, but many years ago, one is
>native New Zealander (who lost the job in NZ and landed a job in China),
>one is from China (who went to NZ, picked up apples for one month and
>then went back to China).

Both professionals?


Regards,

Carlos.

2010\03\28@183520 by Carlos Marcano

picon face
Colin wrote:


>As a part foreigner living in Australia and about to get belted by the
>real Australians here Id' say.....

>For jobs you are really needing to look at either New South Wales
>(NSW) or Victoria (Vic), these two states tend to have the most
>electronic jobs advertised, Queensland (land of humidity and heat)
>does have a very small (compared to the above mentioned states) though
>there are some bespoke places on the Gold Coast and in suburban
>Brisbane. Here is where I get shot - my impression is that for it's
>size NZ fights far above it's weight in the electronic industry
>compared to Qld - I know that from job hunting.

Nice tips.

>I can't really comment on the schools here apart to tell you that
>there are public schools (for the British - that's a state school) and
>private schools, most private schools are either denominational or not
>exactly attached but still proclaim certain a form of
>denominationality - most private schools are subsidised by the
>federal government - so most aren't that expensive (thinking of UK
>private schools here).

I don't think I understand the meaning of  “denominational” in this context.

>Healthcare (I'll try not to get political) is a bit of a mixed bunch,
>it consists of a bias towards private insurance, but there is a
>medicare funded health system - but it isn't always free (coming from
>a land of state benefited health I find many thinks strange).

Ok.

>House prices are ridiculous in NSW and Melbourne, Gold Coast, Sunshine
>Coast - rest of Qld is reasonable (average 3-4 bdr = AU$300 - 500K)
>Western Australia is too far away to worry about (apologies to WA'ers)
>weather is nicer than Qld (my opinion) dry, but the mining boom has
>seen WA become very expensive.

So you would need to have around AU$100 – 170K as “first payment” (I
don't know the english term, in spanish is called “initial”) and the
rest through a bank credit, right?

>Cars are cheap so long as you don't want to buy European models (my
>Peugeot 207 just cost me AU$36K compared to a Hyuandai and similar
>which are about $16-20K).

That's what I have found online.

>Australia has a bit of a water shortage - though it's been raining
>here in Brisbane since just before Christmas almost constantly - not
>today the sun was out = hot and humid (have I mentioned I don't like
>hot or humid? - that's why I want to move to NZ South Island).

If crime and some other things were different, I would recommend
Venezuela. Weather is outstanding, although it's been pretty dry and
hot last two months, we have cities with some nice 20-28C .

>Australia has just tightened it's immigration rules, so you'd need to
>double check that you can reach the required number of points AND  the
>family have no current health problems - you'll need to pay a health
>bond which I think lasts 2 years before you are allowed to start using
>state health - you also have to have a certain amount of money to
>bring with you as you won't be allowed to access any state assistance
>for a certain period of time.

I checked and we cover the points. We would need to put part of savings as bond.

Thanks for your tips, Colin.

Regards,

Carlos.

2010\03\28@183529 by Carlos Marcano

picon face
Colin wrote:
:: got one friend who has high qualifications in Power Engineering
:: and she could not find a decent job in either Australia or New
:: Zealan

:Actually one of the big thermal power plant companies was advertising
:last year - North Island - can't remember the name or the town (except
:I've got photos of the place and almost everyone in the area works for
:the company), has a Maori name.

:As an aside Fisher and Paykel medical division seem to have many
:vacancies judging by the number of vacancy emails they keep sending
:me.

Those sound better than fruit picking ;) (nothing against honest job,
just an observation...)

Regards,

Carlos.

2010\03\28@183541 by Carlos Marcano

picon face
Russel wrote:

>> >With qualifications like that I suspect you would be welcomed with open arms
>> >in New Zealand, as Richard Prosser and one or two others mentioned.

> >I was told in NZ, the most new comers could do is to pick up apples
> >(or other fruits like Kiwi fruit) or do things related to the dairy
> >industry. ;-)

>I understand that you do need to have a job offer for a position which
>a NZer is not available to fill, but that's often achievable.

That is what I have read too.

>I'm happy to advise re NZ on or off list as required. I can't tell you
>too much about employment but can comment on much else and can help
>access local information.

Thanks a lot.

>What is / are your normal communication language(s)?

Although my first language is Spanish, I am confident enough about my
English as to have it tested through the required international tests.

>Our major hydro areas are in the South Island where "snow happens" but
>we are not without hydro in the North where we mainly use snow to
>decorate our skifields and extreme adventure areas - and make great
>movie locations (see Lord of the Rings).

Good to now!

Thanks for the info, Russel.

Regards,

Carlos.

2010\03\28@183549 by Carlos Marcano

picon face
Justin wrote:
>> House prices are ridiculous in NSW and Melbourne, Gold Coast, Sunshine
>> Coast - rest of Qld is reasonable (average 3-4 bdr = AU$300 - 500K)
>> Western Australia is too far away to worry about (apologies to WA'ers)
>>
>> Thats ok.

>We have had a recent dry spell and at times WA (Perth) can get quite warm.
>We are often spoilt by the Fremantle Doctor that tends to cool the West side
>of the city down in the afternoon.  We did have a run of high 30deg C days
>with no Doctor in site.

>Again house prices are ridiculous for a  4 bedroom 2 bath on a block about
>20m x 30m (just gone on sale across the road) AU$580K but the mining seems
>to have weathered out any economic downturn and has kept wages high.  I
>often hear taxis that have recently immigrated that housing and living is
>very expensive but if you were ever stuck there is always a good chance of
>getting some for of work.

Not the main point of previous paragraph but, were those taxi drivers
professionals back in their countries relying on cab driving because
of  lack of possibilities  in their field?

>Thanks to the mining there are jobs on offer for people willing to
>fly-in/fly out for electricians and electrical engineers.   Not sure if they
>could put you skills to good use but I am sure there are related positions.

Ok.

>South Australia employs many Electronic, Software, Hardware Engineers for
>the various defence projects.  Lockheed Martin have just entered the market
>taking over from another company that supports several ground based radars
>that are currently going thru an significant upgrade phase.

Ok.

>Australia is a big country and as expected the weather, job opportunities,
>cost of living, education and things to do vary significantly from one place
>to another.

I have surely noted that, thanks for the remark.

>To help put wages into perspective, I know a Perth based electronics
>technician that works fly-in/fly-out 2 weeks on and 2 weeks off and earns
>approx AU$100k and another who works in the city for about AU$70K base
>salary

As I can see those look as fair enough wages to maintain a small
family (3 members), don’t you think?

Thanks for your comments, Justin.

Regards,

Carlos.

2010\03\28@183557 by Carlos Marcano

picon face
Kris wrote:

>G'day Carlos.

Good day, Kris.

{Quote hidden}

Those are AU$, right? Providing that we could bring some savings to
AU, what amount would you expect to be needed for the initial payment
for a nice house for 3 members and which of the three earning ranges
you mentioned would be the minimum needed to get a bank credit to keep
paying the house?

>The schooling system is fine. The state (public) schools are more than
>adequate. The mainstream Catholic schools are similar and quite
>reasonably priced (from $1K to $3K per year). Independant schools can
>cost up to $20K per year per child (without a cap at 3 kids like the
>Catholic system) - that's very expensive for most people. Most
>tertiary education is free or payable by a government loan that is
>repaid via extra taxes (only when you earn over a certain threshold
>and only till the loan is payed out). Kids can generally have a great
>time growing up here.

Are the 1 to 3K Catholic schools available for immigrants? In my
country, public schools are not very good, Catholic schools are rated
as the best schools and aren’t too expensive either as they are
usually subsidized but it is very hard to find a spot for the kids
because of the low offer and high demand.

>Health can always be better but rest assured that if you are seriously
>ill you will be looked after immediately. If you are ill but it's not
>life threatening you may wait (even up to 2-3 months) for an
>operation. General practitioners available everywhere. All free.
>Private insurance can ensure immediate attention and choice of doctor
>but will be about $250/month/family but may still leave you with some
>out of pocket expenses.

Do you think that private insurance is a must? Using 250$ a month just
for insurance looks pretty hefty  on a family budget, and makes me
think that earning 26$/hour for a normal 160 hour month (the bottom
range you mentioned before) is not enough to carry that burden.
Summarizing: 250$ insurance +  125$ kid’s school (Mid level Catholic
school) + 1500$??  House credit +  800$??
Electricity-water-phone-internet =  2675$ without putting food in the
fridge… Am I too far from reality here?

>Remember, "free" in the above means "your and my taxes"!

Noted.

{Quote hidden}

Gasoline is around 0.023US$/litre here if you use the “official” rate
of exchange (which no one uses here) and 0.015US$/litre using the
“black market” more realistic one. 2L Coke is around 1.7US$ and one
scoop of ice-cream is around 3$. Anyway, don’t be too excited;
inflation was around 30% (as per “official” figures) last year and is
around 600% accumulated for the last 11.

>For recreation you have choices - you can spend plenty of money on
>ready-made activites and attractions, restaurants, etc. Otherwise, if
>you like the beach and bush you have endless days of activities at
>your doorstep for no cost at all.

Beach is nice, as long as there are no sharks at sight :).

>Sydney has plenty of eye candy, Melbourne has a deep soul. They're
>very similar but also very different. I could live in Melbourne any
>day (very Euro feel about it. If you love the theatre, arts, etc. then
>Melboune may be your pick). Perth is beautiful but a 4hour flight to
>the nearest other civilisation (Sydney). I find Brisbane too
>hot/humid. Adelaide is a bit inactive for my liking. The areas north
>of Sydney (Hunter Valley, New England and Mid-West, all 1.5 to 4 hours
>away) have plenty of coal mines and power plants; not sure about other
>states.

Ok.

>Most overseas visitors that I've had here have been very positive
>about Australia. But, remember, it's just another place and only as
>good as your attitude / daily job / family life / health, etc. If you
>are prone to homesickness and nostalgia you may be bitterly
>disappointed - many have been in the past.

That is absolutely true.

>Good luck in your endeavours!

Thanks for your advices!

Regards,

Carlos.

2010\03\28@183607 by Carlos Marcano

picon face
Rolf wrote:

>Hi Carlos.

>Coming from South Africa, I have adapted just fine to Canada. Been in
>Canada for 10 years now. I also spent a few years in England before I
>came here...
>Just some observations... based on my experience, and what I have
>observed in numerous friends and acquaintances in the past.

>1. Going to any country will have unique problems to overcome, whether
>it is language, culture, climate, legal, etc.
>2. Wherever you go you will experience some 'common' problems - no
>'local' work experience will always be a problem
>3. Some people 'cut it', and some fail - I have seen people I thought
>were well settled suddenly decide they can't keep it up any more, and leave.
>4. Luck can have more of an impact than good management - a friend came
>to Canada 2 years ago, well qualified, great experience, and took 18
>months to get a job with the recession. His wife, with similar
>qualifications, was working in a great job within a few weeks.

Points noted, and agreed.

>Your 'success' in a foreign land is almost certainly related to your
>attitude though. How hard you're willing to try, etc. Basically, your
>personal '?' factor.

That seems to be the consensus.

>The weather in Canada is nothing to be scared of (at least in my
>experience).... sure, it gets cold, but that's just cold. If you learn
>to 'embrace' it, the cold is great. I have taken to cross-country, and
>down-hill skiing, which are both fantastic activities. The kids toboggan
>all the time, and out-door winter activity is easy to do, and great fun.
>Snow is actually dry (at least until it melts), and well-managed, it is
>a lot of fun. I actually find that Toronto is uncomfortably hot at
>times, but that seldom lasts for a week at a stretch, so it is also
>manageable.

It all sounds reasonable to me.

>The health-care is remarkable in Canada. The most expensive part of
>having both our children was the parking.... same is true for having my
>gall-bladder out, etc. (OK, it's paid for from taxes). People complain
>about the system, and it does have some issues, but people complain
>about anything, and show me a system that is without issue...

Noted.

>As a casual observation, my major motivations for leaving South Africa
>were crime and opportunity... For Canada, and Australia, you can get a
>feel for each of those by reading up on the news:

>http://www.thestar.com/  <-- the Toronto star - note that there is no
>violent crime in the major headlines...
>http://www.smh.com.au/ <-- Sydney morning herald - 3 of top 5 stories
>are murder (or attempted)....

Sigh. I wish those where the headlines here.

Thanks for the info, Rolf.

Regards,

Carlos.

2010\03\28@183614 by Carlos Marcano

picon face
Walter wrote:

{Quote hidden}

Thanks a lot for your help, Walter.

Regards,

Carlos.

2010\03\28@183628 by Carlos Marcano

picon face
Dwayne wrote:

{Quote hidden}

Ok, noted.

>My guess (that's all it can be) is that you and your wife would find
>it relatively easy to get decent jobs in your fields of expertise.  I
>live in Alberta where much of the industrial base depends on the
>petroleum industry.  Those industries are always looking for
>qualified people to design and maintain their power systems.

Good to read that.

>I've had some exposure to the Power Generating industry in Alberta
>and British Columbia (BC) and have met some relatively senior people
>who tell me that finding talented engineers is often difficult.  I
>don't know if your talents are what they are seeking but its worth
>checking out.

I hope I have them ;)

>The recent economic downturn has certainly dampened the job market in
>Canada.  However, the recession appears to be over and companies are
>hiring again.  Its not the boom times like it was two years ago but
>is much better than it was nine months ago.

Also good to read that.

>I'd be tempted to spend some time writing letters to various
>companies.  If you decide to do that, post back to the list and I'm
>sure that Canadian list members might be able to suggest contacts at
>various companies for you to write.

Thanks a lot for that info. I need any suggestions you guys can give
me, specially related as how to approach them regarding my status of
foreign skilled worker and how to deal with the legal and immigration
issues. I find that to be quite a task, but not impossible at all of
course.

>I strongly suspect that your immigration hassles will be greatly
>reduced if you already have a job lined up when you do decide to make the move.

Yes, I think that too. I want to speed things up because I want to
move as soon as possible.

>Good luck!

Thanks Dwayne.

Regards,

Carlos.

2010\03\28@183636 by Carlos Marcano

picon face
Marc wrote:

>Hi Carlos,

>If you have experience working in hydro electric, I'd say your skills would
>likely be in demand here in Canada! (Quebec Hydro being by far the largest
>hydro-electric generator in the world, the Niagara Falls plant, etc.).

>From what I have checked, that looks like very true, Marc.

>That said, getting here can indeed be a long process. Yes, a lot of people
>complain about our health care -- but until you've lived in other places, I
>don't think you realize how lucky we really are.

I have been told that around 14-18 months. That looks too long but I
think it can only be sped up with a formal offer from a Canadian
employer.

>Good luck whatever you decide upon.

Thanks Marc.

Regards,

Carlos.

2010\03\28@193555 by Xiaofan Chen

face picon face
On Mon, Mar 29, 2010 at 6:35 AM, Carlos Marcano <EraseMEc.marcanospamgmail.com> wrote:
>
>>I was told in NZ, the most new comers could do is to pick up apples
>>(or other fruits like Kiwi fruit) or do things related to the dairy
>>industry. ;-)
>>Actually two persons told me this, but many years ago, one is
>>native New Zealander (who lost the job in NZ and landed a job in China),
>>one is from China (who went to NZ, picked up apples for one month and
>>then went back to China).
>
> Both professionals?
>

Yes. The one from China was a teacher. The one from New Zealand
was working as an engineer in the telecom industry. He went to
China to become a English teacher and taught me Oral English.
Still this was quite long ago. So these two examples may not count.

Yet another one got a PhD in Power Electronics but still could
not find a good job in NZ. This was within 5 years.

I have nothing against NZ but the story is real. I did not know
of any friends go to NZ. But those who go to Australia and
Canada are all enjoying life there, especially the ladies and
the children.

--
Xiaofan http://mcuee.blogspot.com

2010\03\28@194050 by Jake Anderson

flavicon
face
Carlos Marcano wrote:
{Quote hidden}

Denominational means a religious school.
Truthfully the public system in Australia isn't bad. There are selective
high schools (at least in NSW) that you have to pass a test to get into,
I went to one of those and it was a fairly pleasant experience. There
were 2 fights the whole time I was there (7 years) and I was involved in
neither, well actually only one was a proper punch up the other was one
guy getting a whack in the face after taunting another for 40 minutes.
Other schools it seems to be more of a problem.
The universities seem ok, though I'd recommend steering clear of UWS at
least the Penrith campus. Unless you are doing something that they value
(teaching or the like). Try to stay away from science there, engineering
might be ok.
Usyd and UTS are much more highly regarded.
University of Wollongong is regarded highly and seems to have quite a
reputation amongst students as a nice place to live on campus its 1.5
hours out of sydney, so kids can live there "away from home" but still
close enough to get mum to do the washing.

Our "dream" is to move out to Bega/Merimbula, where my better half's
family is and half of mine, ~450 or 600km away depending on which way
you go, both take the same time, 6-8 hours. Live on a property there
whilst the kids are in primary school, (still a ways off yet), as that
seems to give a nice grounding and appreciation for life. Then move to
Sydney when its time for the children to enter high school. So they can
have the social interactions and facilities that they need.

Also if you say that you intend to move into a regional area of
Australia it would be looked on very favourably when you are trying to
immigrate, there is a real migration of people from country to city at
the moment and there is some call to mandate that international migrants
be made to live outside cities for some period to combat this. I'm not
saying its a good idea, but if you volunteer that you plan on doing
that, it might help with your application. There are already schemes
pushing doctors and teachers to first serve in regional Australia before
they come into the cities.


>  
>> Healthcare (I'll try not to get political) is a bit of a mixed bunch,
>> it consists of a bias towards private insurance, but there is a
>> medicare funded health system - but it isn't always free (coming from
>> a land of state benefited health I find many thinks strange).
>>    
>
> Ok.
>  
My father fell over at a job site recently, basically removed the ball
from the bone in his shoulder/arm.
He has private cover but was admitted and had most of his treatment
under the public system. He had the operation to put a steel ball in
done privately, but if he didn't have private cover it could have been
done in the public system. It was all done at a public hospital
He spend just over a week in there and most of that was due to them
worrying about his heart (which was the healthiest one they had seen).
If not for that they would have done the operation on the day or the
next day they said.

Basically I feel if you have a major health problem you are going to be
looked after and pretty well too. Its when you have lower level issues
that you get moved down the priority list and start to feel the
runaround. GP (family doctor?) care can be free if you find a bulk
billing doctor, though they are getting rarer these days.
{Quote hidden}

Typical deposit is 10-20% so on a 200K house you would deposit $20k.
We got a 220k house and repayments are $700 a fortnight.
We were quite lucky, we got the second worst house in the street, its
90% asbestos, the paints peeling off, I've seen walk in wardrobes bigger
than our kitchen, but our feeling is after we get the asbestos removed,
renovate the inside of the place (who puts carpet in the bathroom!?) and
put a small extension on we should sell it for ~$350k or more likely
rent it out for around the mortgage payments.
We are living in Penrith (well Cambridge park) though which is well west
from the city. Regarded as a somewhat lower class area.
This is our "castle"
http://www.vapourforge.com/jake/general/cambridge-ours.jpg the inside is
starting to look better though ;->
This is a view from our front verandah
http://www.vapourforge.com/jake/general/cambridge-street.jpg

We are 10-15 minutes walk from a highschool, a primary school and a
private high school.
I think theres also another 2 schools a bit further away.
20 minute walk to UWS university penrith campus, 10 minute push bike or
go to the uni and catch the bus to get to the tafe.
Small strip of shops 10 minutes walk up the road but we always wind up
driving 5-10 minutes to the major shopping centre in Penrith proper.
Trains are 10 minutes walk away, then its an hour to the city. Between
40 and 120 minutes to drive to the city depending on what time of day
you want to do it.

>  
>> Cars are cheap so long as you don't want to buy European models (my
>> Peugeot 207 just cost me AU$36K compared to a Hyuandai and similar
>> which are about $16-20K).
>>    
>
> That's what I have found online.
>  
Large cars are really cheap in Australia at the moment.
I got this http://www.vapourforge.com/jake/general/hotness_scaled.JPG
for $5500, its a 1999 model Au falcon 4L straight 6 with 230,000 Km on
it and manual which dealers add ~$2000 to the price for, cos us boy
racers like it.
mint condition inside, some fading of the paint on the outside, but then
red will do that. 14 seconds even on the 1/4 mile (measured at WSID)
If your going to be cruising on the highway its not too bad on petrol,
and its a common LPG conversion.
When used as taxi's they seem to hit 800,000Km without too much trouble.
I've replaced the door locks at $180 each (2 of) and a radiator bottle
also $180. It looks like they are the most common failures on this model
as none of the wreckers have any.

Don't buy Holden, those are what the peasants drive ;->
(although I might be biased, being a "ford man", If you come to live in
Australia you'll understand, Ford Vs Holden is a national past time)

An old (late 90's) laser or corolla or something (small/mid size car 4
cyl 2L) can be had for ~$2500 and they are typically ok, if you can do
the maintenance your self.
If you get a corolla there's a fair few parts available, hell there's so
many of them you will probably find the bit your looking for on the side
of the road before the duct tape wears out.

There is also a world class robot wars competition running here ;->
http://www.robowars.org/forum/
which should keep you entertained lol

2010\03\28@200006 by Richard Prosser

picon face
Hi Carlos,
Sorry to hear about your recent experiances and hope you are getting
back to normal.

The agencies I referred to are the employment agencies, companies that
specialise in filling employment positions. I can send a few possible
names if you like, but it may depend a bit on which geographical or
work area you are primarily concerned with. The websites I pointed to
will include advertisments from the agencies anyway so you could pick
up the contacts details from there.

But if I can assist, don't hesitate to ask (on or off list) and I'll
do what I can.

Richard P

On 29 March 2010 11:34, Carlos Marcano <RemoveMEc.marcanoEraseMEspamEraseMEgmail.com> wrote:
{Quote hidden}

>

2010\03\28@224632 by Carlos Marcano

picon face
On 28 March 2010 19:05, Xiaofan Chen <RemoveMExiaofancspam_OUTspamKILLspamgmail.com> wrote:

>> Both professionals?
>>
>
> Yes. The one from China was a teacher. The one from New Zealand
> was working as an engineer in the telecom industry. He went to
> China to become a English teacher and taught me Oral English.
> Still this was quite long ago. So these two examples may not count.

Yes, things might have changed... or not.

> Yet another one got a PhD in Power Electronics but still could
> not find a good job in NZ. This was within 5 years.
>
> I have nothing against NZ but the story is real. I did not know
> of any friends go to NZ. But those who go to Australia and
> Canada are all enjoying life there, especially the ladies and
> the children.

As others had said, what we call "luck" might have done its part in each case.

Regards,

Carlos.

2010\03\28@230026 by Carlos Marcano

picon face
On 28 March 2010 19:10, Jake Anderson <RemoveMEjakeTakeThisOuTspamspamvapourforge.com> wrote:

> Denominational means a religious school.
> Truthfully the public system in Australia isn't bad. There are selective
> high schools (at least in NSW) that you have to pass a test to get into,
> I went to one of those and it was a fairly pleasant experience. There
> were 2 fights the whole time I was there (7 years) and I was involved in
> neither, well actually only one was a proper punch up the other was one
> guy getting a whack in the face after taunting another for 40 minutes.
> Other schools it seems to be more of a problem.
> The universities seem ok, though I'd recommend steering clear of UWS at
> least the Penrith campus. Unless you are doing something that they value
> (teaching or the like). Try to stay away from science there, engineering
> might be ok.
> Usyd and UTS are much more highly regarded.
> University of Wollongong is regarded highly and seems to have quite a
> reputation amongst students as a nice place to live on campus its 1.5
> hours out of sydney, so kids can live there "away from home" but still
> close enough to get mum to do the washing.

Good tips, thanks Jake.

> Our "dream" is to move out to Bega/Merimbula, where my better half's
> family is and half of mine, ~450 or 600km away depending on which way
> you go, both take the same time, 6-8 hours. Live on a property there
> whilst the kids are in primary school, (still a ways off yet), as that
> seems to give a nice grounding and appreciation for life. Then move to
> Sydney when its time for the children to enter high school. So they can
> have the social interactions and facilities that they need.

Sounds like a plan! (I keep hearing this in my head after watching
countless hours of Oso special in Disney's Playhouse Channel with my
daughter...)

> Also if you say that you intend to move into a regional area of
> Australia it would be looked on very favourably when you are trying to
> immigrate, there is a real migration of people from country to city at
> the moment and there is some call to mandate that international migrants
> be made to live outside cities for some period to combat this. I'm not
> saying its a good idea, but if you volunteer that you plan on doing
> that, it might help with your application. There are already schemes
> pushing doctors and teachers to first serve in regional Australia before
> they come into the cities.

Sounds reasonable.

{Quote hidden}

Great!


{Quote hidden}

As per usual, if you put down a bigger deposit you could lower the
$1400 monthly payments, right? I don't want to sound stupid but I
believe that its better to have "too much" information than to
hesitate later.

> We are living in Penrith (well Cambridge park) though which is well west
> from the city. Regarded as a somewhat lower class area.
> This is our "castle"
> http://www.vapourforge.com/jake/general/cambridge-ours.jpg the inside is
> starting to look better though ;->
> This is a view from our front verandah
> http://www.vapourforge.com/jake/general/cambridge-street.jpg

I wish you the best results in your duties!

{Quote hidden}

Is it too necessary to go frequently to the city? Or you could get by
with minimum travelling there?


{Quote hidden}

Thanks for the tips.

> There is also a world class robot wars competition running here ;->
> http://www.robowars.org/forum/
> which should keep you entertained lol

And now you have ruined my day, I will be reading from the site and
stop working all day long! :)

Regards,

Carlos.

2010\03\28@232332 by Jake Anderson

flavicon
face

>>> So you would need to have around AU$100 – 170K as “first payment” (I
>>> don't know the english term, in spanish is called “initial”) and the
>>> rest through a bank credit, right?
>>>
>>>      
>> Typical deposit is 10-20% so on a 200K house you would deposit $20k.
>> We got a 220k house and repayments are $700 a fortnight.
>> We were quite lucky, we got the second worst house in the street, its
>> 90% asbestos, the paints peeling off, I've seen walk in wardrobes bigger
>> than our kitchen, but our feeling is after we get the asbestos removed,
>> renovate the inside of the place (who puts carpet in the bathroom!?) and
>> put a small extension on we should sell it for ~$350k or more likely
>> rent it out for around the mortgage payments.
>>    
>
> As per usual, if you put down a bigger deposit you could lower the
> $1400 monthly payments, right? I don't want to sound stupid but I
> believe that its better to have "too much" information than to
> hesitate later.
>  
yeah, home ownership is the norm here, i think something like 60-80% of
the population "owns" their homes (well the banks do ;->)
interest is ~6% at the moment
depending on the term of the loan a first estimate is you pay a bit over
that rate per year
IE ~7000 a year on a 100k loan

{Quote hidden}

I hardly ever go there (1-3 times a month tops) but its hard in an IT
role to stay outside there, allot of manufacturing and the like is done
in western Sydney.
If you can find employment working for a producer of products odds are
you will be in the "greater west".

>  
>> There is also a world class robot wars competition running here ;->
>> http://www.robowars.org/forum/
>> which should keep you entertained lol
>>    
>
> And now you have ruined my day, I will be reading from the site and
> stop working all day long! :)
>  
I'm Valen on that forum btw, the one with the "flashy" avatar ;->

2010\03\29@042150 by cdb

flavicon
face


:: ere those taxi drivers
:: professionals back in their countries relying on cab driving
:: because of  lack of possibilities  in their field?

Hard to tell, in many states it is relatively easy to become a taxi
driver. At one stage (this may or may not be true now - I'm going back
to the mid 70's), it was said that Australia had the highest qualified
road sweepers in the world. This was partly true, the immigration
policy and the way employment was structured tended to favour those of
native English speaking background - however, this is not so much the
case now, although as some  foreign qualifications are not recognised
by the various authorities, it becomes easier for some to become pizza
delivery persons or taxi drivers.  Don't get worried though,
electronics and high end IT degrees are not a problem.

:: As I can see those look as fair enough wages to maintain a small
:: family (3 members), don't you think?

I would say so, and if your wife works as well, that would be easily
enough unless you develop expensive tastes :) .

Standard house mortgages here run for 30 years, though can be less.
Most banks, building societies or credit unions like to see proof of
more than 2 years of savings (with them preferably) if you want a 90%
or more mortgage - recently that was relaxed, but they are tightening
up again as they are feeling poor :( .

One thing you need to consider in anything anyone here writes about
Australia, is that like the US (Canada?) each state in some things is
like a mini country all on it's lonesome. Therefore some legal
requirements in house, car buying/using etc, stamp duties,  differ
from state to state.

What it is like to go through the immigration system I can't help you
with, as I bypassed all that due to having an Australian born father
and being registered at birth at Australia House, so I just drifted
out here in the late 90's.

Colin
--
cdb, EraseMEcolinspamspamspamBeGonebtech-online.co.uk on 3/29/2010

Web presence: http://www.btech-online.co.uk  

Hosted by:  http://www.1and1.co.uk/?k_id=7988359





2010\03\29@042152 by Alan B Pearce

face picon face
>>I can't really comment on the schools here apart to tell you that
>>there are public schools (for the British - that's a state school) and
>>private schools, most private schools are either denominational or not
>>exactly attached but still proclaim certain a form of
>>denominationality - most private schools are subsidised by the
>>federal government - so most aren't that expensive (thinking of UK
>>private schools here).
>
> I don't think I understand the meaning of  “denominational” in this
> context.

He means that those schools will be largely run by a church. Roman Catholic
or Church of England would be the main two denominations that would do this,
but there may be others.

>>House prices are ridiculous in NSW and Melbourne, Gold Coast, Sunshine
>>Coast - rest of Qld is reasonable (average 3-4 bdr = AU$300 - 500K)
>>Western Australia is too far away to worry about (apologies to WA'ers)
>>weather is nicer than Qld (my opinion) dry, but the mining boom has
>>seen WA become very expensive.
>
> So you would need to have around AU$100 – 170K as “first payment” (I
> don't know the english term, in spanish is called “initial”) and the
> rest through a bank credit, right?

I think the English word you are looking for is 'deposit', which is the
initial payment made to secure the transaction. Further payments to complete
the transaction could be either further cash payments, or by getting a
mortgage (a specific form of loan against a property, using the property as
security for the loan).

> If crime and some other things were different, I would recommend
> Venezuela. Weather is outstanding, although it's been pretty dry and
> hot last two months, we have cities with some nice 20-28C .

Yes, sorry to hear about incident while going on holiday. Rather spoils the
holiday, even if you avoid getting taken. We can understand your desire to
leave Venezuela.


'[OT] Australia in my mind (and in my future?)'
2010\04\01@171119 by Carlos Marcano
picon face
(Somehow I missed this post, sorry)

On 28 March 2010 19:30, Richard Prosser <RemoveMErhprosserKILLspamspamgmail.com> wrote:
> Hi Carlos,
> Sorry to hear about your recent experiances and hope you are getting
> back to normal.

Thanks, Richard, but "normal" won't ever be the same. At least not here.

> The agencies I referred to are the employment agencies, companies that
> specialise in filling employment positions. I can send a few possible
> names if you like, but it may depend a bit on which geographical or
> work area you are primarily concerned with. The websites I pointed to
> will include advertisments from the agencies anyway so you could pick
> up the contacts details from there.

Ok, thanks for the info.

> But if I can assist, don't hesitate to ask (on or off list) and I'll
> do what I can.

Thanks a lot Richard.

Regards,

Carlos.

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