From a Mum to Another

Received the message via facebook. Tried posting as comment but can't cos it exceeded 1500 words. M can really write when she wants to can't she? Anyway, Stressed Up Singaporean Mum, J, this is for you.


Sorry man.. I dunno y I really can't post on your blog. Can help me post reply instead?
Hi J
I'm no expert and totally newbie to Perth. I honestly doubt I will be able to give you much of a sound advice that Nix expects coz we all do things differently so just some suggestions ... If I were you 
1. Prioritise
Part A: What's more impt?
House or school?
If the suburb is more impt then you need to zoom in on house first, school next. If its school then you'll need to go school first then house. Sounds like a no brainer. Hehe.
Then again, please always do your HW before you assume the schools here work like where you came fr coz based on experience, I HUNTED down over 20 schools, emailed over 30 of them before I get a decent number of replies to say," Sorry we do not have vacancies for the year..." (depending on the year level your child is entering) Then, I had to rehunt.. Or research again and narrow scope for the school before they say:"... Ok we can arrange an interview for you with our principal." Again, please do not go with the assumption that he will definitely get a slot. it does not work that way, fr my understanding some schools go on long waitlist & some may not clear interview.
FYI, I took my time to do some research on schools so I think it took over 6months to touch base with schools to say:" hi hello.. I am interested to get in!  it also took some more than 2weeks to reply after multiple emails. Hahah! You might wanna get started unless all is ready and you are sure you'll get a slot 
Part B: Timeline?
Is it impt that your child must start in feb? If the school wants you, they will wait for you. A short miss in school won't hurt. (That's my idea coz I'm not trying to catch a train.. In fact, coming here, I wanna catch up with my life and I also dun wanna die getting all stressed!! (Although the writer of this blog might say otherwise) Personally, my child was applying to start school mid term and the school understands our circumstances to allow us time to immerse.
Depending what's impt, if I were you, I will go with one or the other first, if accomplished, I will then move to the next priority. In this case, Ill go with school first which will then bring me also to the next point.
2. House /Room Rental
Clearly a week is not v sufficient to find lodging. You know you will not get the best and most ideal unit in 1 week that's for sure.
Ok I have no rental history or experience in it but I researched alittle for back up cases.
Look up properties in and many others u can google. Also look at rooms to rent, short term lease, shared accommodation etc. I do see some room rents online, to be safe, go with home stays or houses that are rented or shared amongst women or FIFO workers. They offer shared accommodation as short as a 3days to a week or more. Hence giving you more time to look for the actual one.
In terms if safety and security... I can't tell you much. Honestly, I'm a believer of faith and fate brought me here, fate gave me friends that I met.. And faith tells me I will be safe in a bloggers house with his wife and kid. (That's before I watched the movie 'Hostel' of coz!) haha but good faith really...
Not all things will go perfectly as planned, but if you can accept that then you are good to go.
3. Car
Honestly I'm no good with cars.. Which is why I got my new car online thru online purchase, that the salesman told me later was not normal procedure. I basically bought the car fr a catalogue aka online shopping... bargained over email and just paid the deposit. Again, good faith that they wont take my deposit and disappear... again, if they do .. well, its fate and to me, somethings happen for a reason.
Note: New cars to me are more guaranteed and has 3-5 years warranty fr manufacturer so it gives noob ppl like me a piece if mind.
Although, given a chance to buy a 2nd hand car, I was told direct owners are usually cheaper but that's if u know procedures to putting car on road. If not, cars fr dealer does it all for you from cleaning and servicing the car to make it "Like New" to paperwork for car to be on road. Most also come with dealer's warranty for piece of mind. In this case, i will go with dealer. LOL!
As you see it, some of these are pure own suggestions..
You do it your way, your pace...
Just as some wise ppl once told me, and Ill share it with you;"...dun overdo it, you dun wanna fall sick before you get your Medicare!" Go easy!
Coming to Perth is just a stepping stone to greater things and a better life.
My new house ain't perfect
So imperfect also is my new car... (Which btw has a 2mm mini paint chipped on door fr my son's rough usage! It is also dirty and dusty despite me trying to wash it!)
My son ain't perfect... He driving me nuts all day, getting himself hurt on the swing and from falling off the trolley in the shopping mall.
The list of imperfections can go on but I shan't bore you.... 
Just do it!
It will fall into place!
Happy New Year!


  1. Thank you, mummy M for sharing your details.
    Your steel of strength has given me some mental courage.

  2. For housing, try to search the listings in your desired suburb from in Singapore and try to contact the agent to arrange viewing when you arrived in Perth. Also, you may visit Ray White or LJ Hooker property agent in the suburb where they would usually display the available property in front of their door, you can try approach them too in case they have any for immediate viewings. It would be good if you already have perth license and bank account or Tax file number etc that proved you have established Australian identity for the application process.

    For car wise, its usually cheaper to buy from private owner through, however it depends on your budget and the car condition. For hassle free and money is not a problem, dealer would be the best choice as they would process everything for you and it comes with factory warranty for 3 years so no worries.

    In terms of school, you may start to contact via email or call from Singapore the school in your desired suburb and check if they have any vacancy for your kid, then you can pay a visit to the school when you arrived and proceed with the enrollment formality. If still no school, you might want to find a school that meet your minimum expectation and get your kid to enroll, then you can transfer to the better one once you settled down in Perth.

    It would be no easy to start a new life in a foreign country, however all the challenges you met and overcome will be remembered forever by you and family. When you look back, it would worth every single moment you went through, despite the ups and down. Remember, you can only jump higher when you bend down your knee and jump. Just my 2 cents.

  3. Hi M,

    It's really good to hear from you. BIG THANKS to Nix for hooking us moms up. I'm truly appreciative of all the help I'm getting here on blogosphere. Will treat you all to tea if we ever get to meet in Perth.

    You were right about the part on schools. South Padbury was very prompt and friendly. Emailed back on info regarding the son's Year and application procedures. Unless I have proof of residency/tenancy in the boundary area/slightly out of, I won't be able to enrol him. Were you able to enrol your son before you secured your lease? Or was short-term lease of a few weeks (while looking for an ideal house) also acceptable?

    I might just stay on and delay my flight back if I don't secure a lease within the one week. Get the sch and lease ticked off the bucket list before I move on to the car.

    PS: Congrats on getting your car!

    1. Hi J
      Do things your pace.
      This is not a quick holiday, it's a journey.
      And in it all, I imagine it to be a long one...
      Possibly one that can be confusing, tiring, mind throbbing, psychosis-causing...


      (I'm prepared for a year of lost-in-stone age state and in fact think it will take me 3-5 years to reach a state before I can truly settle)

      Anyhow, I think the car was the easiest of them all. Tons of cars for you to pick! But as transport is usually troublesome and expensive you may wanna rent the time you are here, and of coz get one ASAP when u are here for Gd. School to me was most impt. I went with school then house in the area of school, as near as I can afford of coz.

      I must say I was really ambitious with school and house searching, looking back in time, it was no wonder I was thought as insane by some! lol! anyway, fyi, I had contacted the schools and housing agents way before my arrival. So when I was here, all appt prearranged. It will definitely help if you do your HW. in fact we even had 4 interviews with the principals of 4 diff schools and toured a couple more, amongst the many house viewings in a week that we were here. I must say many of which were back to back but i also had the time, one evening to meet some new friends. All went well and as imagined, by the grace of God.

      I guess it is well impt that you do some imagination too... It helps me with some visualizing! Haha, I'm psychotic as u see.

      All the best! As long as You have made up your mind and you want this move to work, you will have it done.

      And just as the little blue optimistic, short-term memory loss Doryfish in 'Finding Nemo' says:"... just keep swimming, swimming, swimming!!!" ;)


  4. Hi Skye,

    Thanks for the drawing up the big picture!
    I'll be getting the Tax File Ref done up when I'm over in Perth for the initial 1 week. But I don't think I can confirm a place for the son while he's still in Sg, and while I'm trying to secure a lease at the same time, can I?

    1. Hi, Meefong has provided a very good picture to handle the school part, if you have any suburb in mind already, you can find the school website and contact them. I think you would stand better chance once the accomodation is sorted out in that suburb. Public school is good, private school is expensive.

  5. Last but not least for the night, appreciate your words of encouragement!

    1. Hi J

      Would just like to share with you on some advice that was given to me by a local here. She used to be a deputy principal on one of the local school here and she told me that legally a school cannot reject an applicant so long as the said applicant lives in the school zone. Even if they have to open a new class for your child they would do it. So, based on that I always advised my friends who ar emigrating over to first decide which school they would like their kids to go to. Secure housing that is within the school zone and they should be able to get a place in the designated school So far, all my friends have been able to do so. I have friend who would just get their housing in place when they move over in Dec/ Jan and then wait till the first day of school in Feb to enrol their kids. None of them has been rejected from the schools that are within the zone. No fuss. As now is the school holidays, you will find it frustrating to communicate with schools as they are closed. It would be little wonder if you don't get any response from them.

      As for cars, like M , we got our first car through the internet before coming over for good. My husband took delivery of the call on the second day after we landed. I think so long as you deal with reputable dealers like DVG, Prosser, you should be safe. We even get to pick our car registration (we told the dealer we wanted auspicious no!!!) and got that in as well!!! So really things aren't all that complicated.

      The difficulty will only set in when you try to adjust living in a different land. But that is another story to tall for another day.

      All the best!!!!


  6. Hi again J

    I should qualify and say that the take on school given earlier is only applicable to public schools. Private schools would be a different approach I would think.

  7. Hi Meefong, thanks for the valuable info on schools. I guessed as much that ive emailed them at the wrong time. Its a reliefto heae that the public schools are incredibly flexible! So you had your car delivered right to the airport when you guys landed? Thats efficient!

    1. No I,m afraid they don't deliver the car at the airport unless it is a rental!! He went to the dealer the very next day after landing in Perth to get his car which is all properly registered and ready for him to drive off. That was good enough for us.

      How old is your child? Is he going to a primary school.Generally most public primary school are okay thou you might want to check out on the population of the kids in the school. You can do so at the Ministry of Education's website.

    2. Hi Meefong,

      I'm so blur. Thanks a lot for clarifying!
      My son's 7 this year. I'm looking at public schools. Yes, the ministry of education's website is very informative. There's also my schools website I'm browsing through. So some schools have about 40 kids in their year 2 cohort, some have about double the amount. I think it's relative to how populated the suburbs are. My son had an Australian teacher teach him before and she mentioned that the each class accommodates up to about 20 plus students and parents could sit in to assist sometimes. Is this generally the practice in public schools?


    3. Hi J

      Parents are always welcomed as volunteers in school when the teachers are conducting some maths/science or social environment activites. I helped a couple of times in my daughter's class when she was in Year 2 and 3 for maths activites like setting up play groups to teach them money concepts, divisions etc. Like in Singapore school, parents would also volunteer to help out when they have excursions. Public schools' canteen are run by the P& C (something like PTA back home) so parents would help out in the canteen to prepare food for recess and lunch. I used to do that when my kids were in primary schools. They have similar concept for the high schools as well but I was already working part time by then so stop doing it.

      Yes populations in schools varies as well. Most primary schools are more or less the same. The difference would come in when they are at high school levels. There are regulations on the number of pupils they can accomodate in a class which is usually in the 20s. For smaller kids, they would have a Teacher Assistant on top of a Teacher in the class which is good as the Teacher Assistant will handle kids who would acts up and disrupt the class etc. They would also have dedicated Teacher Assistant to help kids who are disadvantaged. Like when my daughter was in Year 3 and 4, there was a girl in her class who is autistic. The school actually got a dedicated Teacher Assistant to help the child as when she has an attack. she can be violent and hurt herself. When she has those attack, the Teacher Assistant would take her away from the class to calm her down and the class is not disrupted in any way. The Teacher Assistant is also by her side during classes to help her in her school work. The beauty of the Aussie education system is that the teacher will let the child work at their pace. For this autistic girl. althou she is in the same class as normal kids, she is taught differently and is not left out. Teacher Assistant is specially trained as well to handle kids with different conditions so parents are at least assured that their child is looked after well despite their condition. That is something that I admire most about the Aussie education system.

      Perhaps you would like to drop by to my place when you are in Perth. I would be happy to share with you on stuff on how we get about in Perth.

  8. Hi meefoong, thank you for providing me with an insight on the schooling system. Just like you, I hope to be able to play an active role in my son's future school. It is also very heartening to know that kids with special needs are not left behind. Yes, i'd love to meet up with you when im in perth. :) ill provide you with my email address later in the day. Got to get the son to do his homework now. Enjoy the rest of your day. :).

  9. Hi Meefoong, here's my email add: Hope to hear from you so that we could keep in touch. Thanks once again for all the advice you've given so far. Have a good day...

    1. Have sent you an email via your email address.Hope you received it.