housing and schooling in Australia

   Housing in Australia
   Schooling in Australia

Housing in Australia

Finding a home is often the paramount concern for people moving to a new country or city and it is natural to feel a degree of anxiety. However, Australian cities offer a wide range of housing options to suit every family, budget and location preference, so finding a home from which to explore your new surroundings should be anticipated with excitement!

Australia has an abundance of public open space, beach and river locations. Many communities and housing designs are developed to capitalise on our outdoor lifestyles and temperate weather.

Apartments prevail as the dominant housing option for inner city living. In areas that surround the inner city, housing consists mainly of apartments, townhouses, semi-detached homes and terraces. As with most cities, real estate in the inner city and surrounds can be expensive but offers great proximity to public transport, facilities and business and leisure activities.

Real estate in outer suburban areas is more economical and is comprised typically of larger free standing homes with substantial backyard areas, although townhouses and duplexes are also present to a lesser degree. Suburban areas offer plenty of space for living and often appeal to families. These considerations need to be balanced against possible diminished access to public transport, fewer facilities and longer transit times to city centres. It is increasingly necessary to travel by car in suburban locations due to the longer travel distances and with most facilities being based centrally at large shopping centres.

Housing styles in Australia range from period through to contemporary designs. Modern, contemporary home designs are found mainly in new inner city apartment developments and also in new housing estates. New housing developments usually fringe the outer suburban areas which are being established, although small pockets of new housing may still be found in closer, more established areas.

Housing in the established inner city surrounds is usually a mix of styles, indicative of the era in which the suburbs were first established. These can include old period homes and Victorian terraces, Californian Bungalows and Art Deco designs, brick veneer homes and weatherboard cottages. It is common to find older houses that have been completely renovated that offer comfortable, light filled living spaces along with period features and facades.

These websites may be of assistance when searching for a new home

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Schooling in Australia
Another important aspect of planning your move to Australia is the education choices available for your children. The success or failure of a move is often attributed to the children’s happiness in their new school environment. Australia offers an array of high quality education choices in public, religious and independent (private) school sectors.

As primary and secondary education is the responsibility of State Governments, there are differences between education systems across each state and territory of Australia. These differences usually pertain to the age that children may commence schooling, year level comparisons and the names of certificate programs undertaken by senior secondary students as a pathway to tertiary studies. Core curriculum does not vary a great deal between the States, although it may be staggered at differing paces.

Typically, a child will commence 3 year old (optional) and 4 year old (compulsory) kindergarten, also known as pre-school. Formal primary school education will commence in the year the child turns 5 or 6 years of age, dependent on where their birthday falls during the year. Seven years of primary schooling is followed by the commencement of secondary school. Secondary school is for a period of 5 or 6 years and children will usually be 17 or 18 years of age at completion.

When choosing a school for your child it is advisable to access website material and prospectus information to get a feel for each school. Remember that all children are unique and profiling characteristics such as extra-curricular activities, subject choices, special needs, preferred learning styles and social choices will assist greatly in developing school criteria.

The following aspects may also be important elements to consider:

Religious affiliation
Overall school size and class size
The elements of your child’s current schooling that you would retain or change
Level of parental involvement at school
Geographic location
Cost of school
Coeducational or single sex education
After care and holiday programs available
School philosophy in relation to your family values and beliefs

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