Education and Medical Fees in Perth

I've received 2 emails that deserves a post on its own, to serve as a reference. Dear Jonathan and 1zhen, I hope you don't mind me publishing your contributions:

Hi Nix,

I think I can help you in answering the questions Mr I asked in your latest posts. I have 3 kids and 1 of them is currently in Year 1 in a public school.

Note: All this is from a living in Perth perspective.

1) Is education for kids free?

Primary/Secondary education is free to a certain extent. That is, if you en-roll your children in public schools, you don't have to worry about school fees. However, public schools do rely on certain Voluntary contributions which may or may not be monetary. e.g. Help wash some laundry for the school, voluntary contributions to extra curriculum activities. The general cost shouldn't be too much ( around max $100 ) for the whole year. I didn't keep tabs because the amount was small. The major costs will come from school uniforms, textbooks and that shouldn't cost you as much as if you had to put your kid through school back in SG. Meals are not provided by the school for obvious reasons. This applies to kids who are PR too.

For private schools, you will have to pay "tuition fees" which is basically the school fee and the price varies according to the "prestige/atas" of the said school.

For university, tuition fees are required but you may apply for HECS to get a loan which will be deducted from your salary when you start working eventually.

2) Is Medical Free.

Going to the doctors for children is free..and you might be required to pay abit for adults if your doctor does not support bulk billing. I have on some occasions visited a GP clinic in canning vale that supports bulk billing and got a consultation without any out of pocket expenses. There's also the medicare's Family safety net program which you should apply for that helps lower medicare costs. Medicine however, is not FREE and will cost a lot more than back home. a  basic typical antibiotic treatment course would set you back by AUD $18 and doctors only prescribe them when your health doesnt seem to be recovering as fast as it should. Else, they will usually ask you to get lots of rest and other over the counter products.

For pregnancy matters, the delivery and checkups are free at our public hospital. Note that this does not include an ultrasound scan unless required and are performed by midwives/nurses in the hospital. (They are very qualified). If you decide to go to a private hospital and have your checkups prior to delivery done by a private gynae, it would cost you abit more - if you have private health insurance. ( Do not engage a private gynae till you have private health insurance and your insurance qualifies you for private hospitalisation for the purpose of delivery). The out of pocket expenses for each gynae checkup is around $150 and includes an ultrascan..if the gynae has such a machine. The final cost for delivery is probably $< 1k... Sorry, I can't remember much since it wasn't as expensive as back in SG.

Infant/Children periodic checkups are FREE with the community nurse and immunisation jabs which cost ~$180 per jab in SG is FREE too. infact, if you are fastidious in getting the immunisations done, you get paid some money from the govt.

3) Do they give monthly allowance for the kids?

Yes and No.. There's a bunch of fortnightly payments from the family assistance office and you get subsidies for child care. There's also the education tax refund program which allows you to claim expenses while your child is at school. For e.g. A parent with 1 child should be able to claim close to 9k per year depending on the family's income since this is means tested but it gives you a general idea of the differences between the SG govt and Au.

There's also the baby bonus and Paid Parental leave which I think you mentioned.

p.s please excuse any grammatical errors..typed this out in a hurry and too lazy to proof read.




Dear Nix

I've tried posting my comments but it keep disappearing thus choose to
email to you instead.  Hope my little contribution helps.

"We came in 2010 under Skilled Visa.  We got our kids and rental
allowance of almost $900/mth about four mths after we landed.  It was
calculated from the day one we arrived.

Public sch is free and $40 yearly contribution is optional.  There is
no other compulsory payment in my kids' sch.  "

Take care,


Thanks Jonathan, don't worry I don't proof read my blog posts as well. Not to worry about grammar nazis. It is very well written and I learnt much from your information too. 

Thank you 1zhen, I'm slightly shocked how many Singaporeans are lurking in Perth :)


  1. this information is really useful.its a good gauge on what is available. thanks for the detailed writeup. i'm sure many appreciates this

  2. HECS is now called Fee Help. There's a cap now of a$36000 per person to use fee help. Unlike previously, there's no cap. So, one can go on be a professional student and never work and never had to pay a single cent back cos' not working.

    Baby bonus is only for Australian born babies.

    1. Baby bonus is also subject to a income cap. Check the Centrelink website for more information.

      Also the baby bonus is NOT only for Australian born babies. As long as the baby is an Australian citizen, (i.e. baby is able to claim Australian citizen by descent) the baby bonus will be paid. Subject to the income cap too.

      Also, baby bonus is paid per baby. Meaning, if you have twins, the payment is doubled. (Still births are considered as babies and are paid the baby bonus)

      Lastly, the baby bonus is indexed to inflation. The payment increases automatically every year.

  3. I wonder if the HECS cap was implemented after officials realised that right til very recent accounting, there's at least one person out there who still owes just under half mill AUD... and I believe repayments are not required when one commences work, rather, it starts when one commences work which garners something like >AU$47,000 per annum. Ref this link for percentage repayment requirements according to income:

  4. Not all your readers are Singaporean. Some of us are angmoh Aussies who are happy to see Singaporeans joining us and making Australia your home. After all, most of the people here are of migrant stock apart from our indigenous people who are the oldest civilization in the world with a famously proud heritage. We understand the drive to seek a better life and all strive for happiness as best we can.

  5. Just to add base on my experience in Melbourne:

    Like what has been said, primary education is almost free. However secondary (hi school) will start to incur some cost, especially the text books and uniforms. The blazer/jacket itself cost about $250. i.e, initial cost will be significant, at least $1K for books and uniforms. Good news, the gov has come out with education assistance to give parents some help, do check out the centrelink website.

  6. why are u guys leeching on australia? just like how we complain abt FTs in sg. ironic much?

    1. what do you mean "leeching about australia"? We are just sharing info about the cost of education and medical cost.

    2. are you stupid or what? we pay tax just like everyone else. go check what kind of tax FTs pay as compare to singaporean locals.

    3. so how much taxes do FTs pay compared to singaporeans?

    4. "Are you stupid or what?" that is rude! Pls read the title of this particular post again, it has nothing to do with taxes and FTs.

      If you disagree with my opinion/statement, there is no need to be mean. Ever heard of "I beg to differ"? ...and there is such a thing as "agree to disagree." A bit of cyber etiquette is very much appreciated.

      BTW,a person who hides behind an Anonymous ID and mean to others is simply an on-line bully.

  7. Becos we are real FTs in Aust unlike those "FTs" in SGP.
    Aust needs skilled migrants due to its vast land mass, SGP is just a small little tiny island with no natural resources unlike HK still can expand inland into mainland China since they are one big family now.
    Can SGP expand into Johor or re-merge with M'sia?

    1. if you are a true talent, u will be able to be successful anywhere. losing out to the "FTs" in singapore is just a reflection of how good you really are.

    2. FTs from third world countries in S'pore are cheaper, that's why I lose out to them and therefore i am not a true talent in S'pore, may be I should be cheaper, better and faster.

  8. A true talent should be able to succeed in his home country too. Why bother leaving?

    1. Stay in a condo, drive a car, have a maid, above average salary, can the above consider as a true talent?
      Getting a PR in Aust does not mean that you have to leave S'pore for good, it is a 2nd option for me and my children, just like all PRs here in S'pore.

  9. I returned as an FT. Leaving SG or not is moot.

    I hired indians and PRCs. Singaporeans were too stubborn. Read too much about blogs on 13th month bonus and all that I could just take away from these SG 99% "FT's" (no labour laws in SG, yay!)

    I joined the 1%, while not happy sticking around to play with the 99% who rat-raced with each other. I succeeded in my home country (not SG), and now succeeding in another 2nd home conutry (not SG), and now succeeding in SG.

    Those that assume we go overseas to leech are myopic. We adapted, and bested even the locals there.

    SG'eans are being made extinct, and I hope that one day I can see the day where such ilk are placed on a museum pedestal for me to glaze upon. "Look, sons, behold in those days where they cook real char kway teow and speak singlish and refused to adapt like how the PAP offered on a silver platter"

    For 10 years the SG government allowed SG'eans to go out to the world with solid reputation (you SG'eans underated it), good english education (you SG'eans stuck to singlish), good education (our qualifications are more recognized compared to a lot of other varsities). And they allowed us to return as 1% FT's to rule the other 99% FT's.

    And you SG'eans didn't take it?

    Re-read through each and every message by the PAP, either by old or new birds. They are meant for the 1%. And masked for the 99%. If you don't understand any of it then of course you'd know you're masked.

    Enjoy the FT injection, and baseless griping. And I mean it.

  10. Hi all

    A new migrant in melbourne who is here to testify the medical fee. My wife just went for a GP check up to confirm her pregnancy. Surprisingly, I do not need to pay a cent for it due to Medicare card except for the recommend OTC Elevit Multi Vitamin at $28.99. Beside, the GP also arrange a whole of blood, urine, Hep A, Rubella and other test etc to ensure the pregnancy is a sound one. As a typical cost conscious Singaporean, I ask the GP how much will those test work out to be. Her reply was, "no worries the government will pay for it". We left the clinic without paying a cent. I remember the last round when my wife did some test in Singapore private practice. It cost us a few hundred bucks. To my amazement, when my colleague did her in KK hospital, it was also similar perhaps cheaper by 25% after the KIND SUBSIDY FROM THE GOVERNMENT.

    Hence the comparison set my wife and I wondering. How sincere is Singapore government message on child giving policy? Shouldn't the young Singapore couple have access to such service at State cost instead of mass importing FT into this 274 sq mile island and paying million to the man in white?

    Of course, most people will argue that such thing come at the cost of high Aussie tax, one must pay tribute when one work. However, bearing in mind, most Singaporean are also contributing to the state through the GST, personal income tax, COE, control petrol price, monopolize services such as utilities, conservancy charges, ERP and etc.

    At the end of the day, one need to have their own judgement call. As Perth bro has mentioned, Australia may not be a bed of roses at least WE CAN SURVIVE.

    1. Congratulations on your pregnancy. Another Singaporean son or daughter!

    2. hmm to early to tell, is always a bliss to read ur blog on your joy n struggle in australia.

  11. Can you write something on family assist package and family tax benefit or rebate for those new Aust PRs with kids?
    Many thanks.