Mr I's Question

Hi Nix, 

Good morning. 
Yup dead serious in getting out of this race and creating a new world for my kids.. Hopefully its the right choice. Unfortunately, the agent told me I am too late to be under old system. But he said I should be OK. 

There are flexible jobs for mums here but it's not enough to cover the lifestyle here. 
How is the system there? Is education and medical really free? Do they give monthly allowance for the kids? 


Dear I,

Basically the three key questions you posed are:

1) Is education for kids free?

2) Is medical free?

3) Do they give monthly allowance for the kids?

I would have tried to answer 1) if I wanted to. But forgive me bro, my spirit is willing but my flesh is weak. Last night I sank into bed at 2000 hrs or so and didn't wake until the next morning when it was time to go to work. Strangely, I found myself way more tired in this new job than the previous one, where I worked longer hours under more challenging working hours. Maybe I'm just not a morning person.

Basically what I'm saying I have as much information as you for question 1). And if you search the net, you could probably find as much as I could. When I reach that stage where Albany goes to school, I promise I will go into detail on it. Right from the school fees to uniform costs to benefit future migrants. I appeal to those parents with young children with up-to-date information to share their knowledge on this with you in the comments. I hope it helps.

Question 2. Admittedly, I'm not too sure about this too. But I have a better idea about this than Qns 1. Basically there are Medicare and Private Health Insurance. Any Australian citizens or permanent residents are eligible to sign up for Medicare. Signing up is free. Of course that is subsidised from the tax that people pay here but let's not go into that to complicate matters. Let's just take it that we don't need to further pay anything upfront.

I didn't have time to look through what services are covered under Medicare. Just to share what I went through so far. When we came to Australia, we visited a private doctor in a clinic to seek help about Jen's pregnancy. The bill came up to A$62.00 (if i remember correctly). We went to Medicare and claimed about A$30.00 back. The GP gave us a reference letter to King Edward Hospital. From then onward, we went through 5-6 checkups in the hospitals and eventually Albany was delivered by the excellent doctors and midwives there. We walked out from the hospital paying nothing each time, including the most blissful final time when I strolled out cautiously with Albany in my arms. All her immunisations so far were free.

Other than that, I went through 2 minor eye surgeries in public hospital without paying anything upfront as well. That was my experience with medical issues so far. From what I heard, things like ambulance and dentistry is not covered under Medicare but these can be covered under Private Health Insurance. So, a lot of people here get themselves covered under that. To be honest, that's as far as I know. Again, I'm sure the pros here will be happy to advise you on this matter. Please do, because I want to know as well.

Question 3: Erm. Jen told me last Friday that a sum of money came in for the first time. I thought it was baby bonus but she told me that included allowance. So a simple answer for you on this is: Yes. They do give allowance, but not monthly. It is fortnightly. As for how much it is, it is another round of heavy reading. To make matters worse, they change it almost every year. There is a new set of guidelines for the year 2012/2013. If you have time to read, here is something for you to begin with: [click here] and scroll down till you see this section:

I apologise because I cannot give you clear answers for all your enquiries. Let's hope we'll get some discussion going and we will be able to learn from one another here.


  1. With regard to allowance for kids, Centrelink and/or FamilyAssist provide that. If I am correct, it's only available for Australian kids. Albany qualifies as she's born here. New immigrant children... Doubt so. In your migration application, there should be a section that one declares the undstanding of not being eligible for any social benefits for first two years as a PR, and that, one is self sufficient during the stay here. Please check.

    1. New Aust PRs enjoy weekly cash benefit and tax rebate for raising kids in Aust but their kids must be physically in Aust with them.
      They also enjoy free medical and education in public school up to high school level.
      They only pay Aust rate of 25% for uni education fees.
      They can only receive unemployment and other benefits after first 104 weeks.

    2. Those are called the Family Tax Benefit and Childcare Rebates, which new migrants with kids would be entitled to. See:

      There are plenty of info there. I am sure Mr I is fervent enough about his immigration plan to do a little research for himself.

  2. Education is so-called free in public the $40 contribution fee is optional payment. However, there is the P&C Committee in public schools, run by parents, and that has a compulsory contribution of around $15 per term. That works to be around $60 per year. You must be selective of which public schools you would want to send your kids to. And then, there comes the High School.

  3. There are some specialist subjects available at some high schools that cost extra ( e.g. Aviation Studies) but even that is not expensive as such. Uniforms can add up but most schools have some second hand uniforms in good condition. There are excursions and occasional trips as well, but they keep costs to a minimum and sometimes fundraise through the school to help with costs for something big and they are not compulsory. The school also provides text books. This is for government school in W.A. , don't know about other states.

  4. Mr I is asking for a lot of freebies but he must know there's no free lunches in this world. Aussies can afford to be free loaders because there are other Aussies paying the high taxes in order to maintain such safety nets.

    1. I dun mind paying first when I am still young and able so that I can enjoy later for my old age and retirement, it will be more beneficial if you have kids.

    2. We have a surprise when we were paid family tax benefit when I was in Australia but my kids were still in Malaysia for the first nine months. We did not claim for it but was send a cheque by the authority. They almost took all the benefit away now as the benefit get reduced by increasing wage. Maybe it is an advertisement to lure you in.
      Public school fee is next to nothing compared to private school fee around 20k per kid per year. But there is a catch. Be prepare to pay more for houses in good public schools zone.