Shipping Personal Effects & Household Goods

Hi Nix, 

Hope all is well with you and family. 

I've been reading your blog since a long time back and it has never failed to provide valuable insights into what we can possibly expect when we finally do our Big Move.

We have already gotten our PR and will be moving over with our 2 pre-schoolers (same age as Albany!) in May/June this year. 

We have in mind that the hubby will likely move a month or so earlier to try and sort out rental, medicare and schooling, amongst others. Although we have been looking at property sites frequently nowadays, we unfortunately have not been able to locate many units for sale/rent in the area we are targeting. So we suspect renting might take awhile - fingers crossed. 

In the midst of our planning and research, I wonder if you are able to share some ideas on these:- 

1) How we can potentially plan our shipment of household goods well. We are thinking of shipping our beds over and hoping that the children get their beds and also other essential items with as little gap in between departure and arrival as possible? It sounds impossible to me given that we have not settled lodging but i wonder if you might have any ideas around this

2) Medical care and medical facilities. We do not have private insurance and may not get it unless necessary. But recently, an incident at home got me thinking of potential crisis management. So our child fractured his arm late one night, and so being in Singapore, it was easy (and fast) to hop onto a cab and hospital was max 15min away. He was cast up and back home within 4-6 hours. Just wondering if you have an idea if things are similar in Perth? I read that calling an ambulance would already cost between AUD 500-1000 and patients may have to spend many ramp hours before they get treatment (20 hours for Royal Perth!). I'm hoping to manage my own expectations as it will be mostly just me with the children while the husband is out / overseas on work. 

We do not have friends in Perth at this point and sincerely hope to hear back from you. Thanks much for your time :) 


Hi CL,

The rental market is awfully soft in Perth at the moment. Some landlords are even offering free rental for x weeks in their lease lately. There is no chance you are unable to find suitable properties for rental or purchase. Unless you are looking for something very specific, you shouldn't be having any problem getting a place at this point of time.

1) There are a lot of international freight fowarders around who can ship your personal effects and household goods to Australia by sea. (You don't want to try air freight, seriously). Once goods arrive in Perth, you can appoint a custom broker to clear your goods on your behalf if you don't want to do it yourself. An alternative way is appointing one of those removal companies that specialise in international good transportation and often offering door-to-door service for your convenience.

2) In many cases, i.e a fracture, high fever, going into labour, etc. it will definitely be faster to drive the patient to the hospital than waiting for the ambulance to fetch. (1 way vs 2 way - I think it's a no brainer) For the other cases where the family requires assistance, or critical medical help that may be administered in the ambulance on the way to the hospital, then the ambulance service is critical. Since private health insurance for the family is around the price of an ambulance call-out, if you think you need an ambulance at least once a year, it may be wiser to get private health insurance.

I will share my limited experience about medical treatment in Perth

My wife's child birth for both my kids

I have absolutely no complains whatsoever.

My wait for my cancer surgery

It took me 3-4? months from my GP's (and radiologist's) diagnosis of my condition to the surgery bed in Royal Perth Hospital. I am not sure if the waiting time is normal. It could also be my cancer is not at a critical stage. I'm not sure. But trust me, if you are waiting to be saved from any type of cancer, every second extra feels like eternity. Personally I felt it was a grueling wait.

My minor eye surgeries

I got metal spinters pieced into my pupils on 2 occasions. From my memory, it didn't take me that long in A&E before I was ushered in and gotten my spinters drilled out. Pretty much the waiting time in A&E in Singapore - during "those days" I was in Singapore.

My wife's sudden uncontrollable chattering

We spent close to 5 hours in the hospital before discharging. I couldn't remember the ratio between waiting and treatment. It certainly wasn't anything like 20 hours waiting time.

In our first 2 years, we did not get private health insurance. Things were ok. In fact, I don't really see what private health insurance is doing for us. We probably got them because it isn't much costlier than the medicare levy. I think it isn't one of the key issues to worry about for your migration.

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