The Melbourne Ahoy Blog

Random posts about moving to Melbourne tips, property news, events and just Melbourne life in general

Why Melbourne Is The Most Liveable City In The World

There are many reasons why Melbourne has won the coveted title of Most Liveable City in the World for the past 3 years. But here are my top reasons why I love Melbourne and why she totally deserves the title. We have achieved … BALANCE … oooommmmmmm … Whenever I get asked why I love living in Melbourne, the first answer I would give is .. BALANCE. Everything about Melbourne feels “just right”. There is a strong economy (second only to Sydney) but also with a great emphasis on family life There is good healthcare & education couple with a relatively low crime rate There is an energy and passion about Melbournians and yet they are extremely warm and friendly. This is something you will very much appreciate when you visit other cities in Australia! Probably with the exception of Hobart but Tasmania is kind of like a big district of Victoria. I can see the hate mail coming already. 😉 There are modern developments all around town but historical architecture is embraced at the same time. The Melbourne Central Shot Tower is a fantastic example. Urbanization continues unabated but yet there areas to relax large and small – like the fauna of Botanic & Fitzroy Gardens or the Docklands seascape Melbourne has the most culturally diverse multi-cultural population in Australia. For example, it has the largest population of Greeks outside of Athens. It is easy to get around by car and yet the public transport system works and there are bike paths everywhere   Undisputed Sporting Capital of Australia ! If there is one thing that defines Melbournians is...

Australian Visa Categories and the Federal Budget 2014

The Federal Over-Budget? The ramifications of the recently released Federal Budget has been widespread and there has been some impact on the Australian Visa categories as well. Despite the perceived harshness of the Budget savings measures and the majority of Australians expressing disapproval (and even downright anger!), PM Tony Abbott and Treasurer Joe Hockey has remained steadfast in their support of the Budget. There hasn’t been much details released so far but from the information I have gathered, here is a summary of the 2 main points. No reduction in Australian visa numbers Firstly, the good news. The 2014‑15 Migration Programme is expected to retain the same allocated Australian visa number of 190,000 with the breakdown as follows: Skilled Stream – 128,550 Family Stream – 60,885 Special Eligibility Stream – 565 This means that the Skilled Stream (by far the most popular and covered in my recent blog post Moving to Melbourne – Australian Visa Categories) will continue to be the focus of the Migration Programme. Employer sponsored visas will be given a higher priority. Emphasis will be on Australia’s longer term skills needs and helping out with the significant skills shortages in regional Australia. So if you are willing to move to Australia and live / work in regional areas, your application might stand a better chance of being prioritized. Change in focus for the Family Stream visa The policy for the Family Stream will be adjusted to increase the number of Australian visa given to partners and child places – or “close family reunions” according to the Immigration department. The number of places in the contributory parent...

Moving to Melbourne – Australian Visa Categories

Emigrating to Melbourne Australia ? So you have done your research, probably even stopped by Melbourne for a visit as tourist and finally decided to make the big move and make Melbourne your new home city! So what’s next? Assuming you are not already an Australian or NZ resident, you will need a valid Australian Visa that will allow you to stay and work in Melbourne Australia! Most Popular Australian Visa Categories There are a MYRIAD of Australian Visa categories that you can target for but I will touch on the most popular categories. Temporary Work (Skilled) Better known as the Temporary 457 Working Visa. This is by far the most commonly used Visa category used by employers to bring in skilled workers from overseas As such it is Employer sponsored – that means you’ll need a job before you come here which is not easy. Internet job sites are your best places to start. Also, the Visa is tied to your job – so No job = Go home! Don’t laugh as it almost happened to me! The term can be anywhere between one day to 4 years. But it’s quite ridiculous for an employer to go through all the effort for 1 day! More likely than not, it will be for 3 or 4 years. This is a popular immigration stepping stone to the coveted Australian Permanent Residency status (and onto full citizenship later) Skilled – Independent This is will give you a Permanent Residency visa that is not tied to any employer or job This is the most common immigration path if you are applying for...

Moving To Melbourne – How To Get A Driver Licence

You need to get a Driver Licence As Melbourne is a large expansive city, the ability to move around easily is very important. You will soon find that getting around with just public transport is extremely limiting. Moreover, as taxis and delivery services are VERY expensive, having a car to transport groceries, small furniture, etc is very handy. If you don’t have one already, the first step is to get a Driver Licence! You Can Convert An Existing Driver Licence In order to drive a car in Melbourne, you will need a valid driver licence which is issued by Vicroads. As a newcomer to Melbourne with an existing licence, you will probably fall into one of the following categories: Hold an interstate or NZ licence If it is a current licence or has expired less than 5 years, you don’t need to take a test! Just show your current licence, prove your identity and Vicroads will send you a local one. Else, you will need to take a knowledge test and practical driving assessment Overseas licence This is a bit more complicated and depends on several factors – most important of which is whether your stay in Melbourne is permanent or temporary If you are on a temporary visa, you don’t need to get a local one provided it is in English If you are on a permanent visa, you will need to get a local licence 6 months after you enter the country or 6 months after you get a permanent visa – whichever is more recent If you have a license from a country on the Vicroads...

Bollywood comes to Melbourne !

Indian Film Festival of Melbourne 2014 The Indian Film Festival of Melbourne (IFFM) is back in town! The IFFM is a Victorian Government initiative that aims to strengthen ties between the Indian film industry and Victoria. This year, the festival will be establishing an international competition with the presentation of the Indian Film Festival of Melbourne Awards at the historic Princess Theatre on Spring Street. The festival is the southern hemisphere’s greatest annual celebration of Indian cinema and takes place from Thursday 1 to Friday 11 May. The inaugural Indian Film Festival Awards (IFFM Awards) will honour films in five categories: Best Film, Best Performance, Best Director, Best Independent Film and the People’s Choice Award. This will be the first Indian cinema awards of its kind in Australia. The Guests No doubt the star attraction this year is Bollywood Megastar Amitabh Bachchan. Attending the festival as a special guest, he opened the 11 day festival on Thursday – along with the brand ambassador Vidya Balan – with the Australian premiere of the recently remastered Sholay 3D.  The 71-year-old will be honoured as the IFFM International Screen Icon for 2014. He will also be giving away a scholarship, created after him by the La Trobe University, to a student there. The other notable guests at the festival includes: Malaika Arora Khan Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra Konkona Sen Sharma Vijay Krishna Acharya Simi Garewal And many more! What’s Happening The 11-day festival presents a world-class program overflowing with gala events, master classes with India’s leading film figures, and over 45 films screenings across four Melbourne venues. Don’t miss the Bollywood Dance Competition...

Top 3 Melbourne Suburbs For Hipsters

Hipsters – who are you ? Melbourne has a very diverse community and it is reflected in the unique characters of individual suburbs. Melbournians with similar backgrounds tend to congregate in a particular area. This is frequently based on ethnicity and culture, but it can also be based on interests and social inclinations. In this post, I will list down the top 3 suburbs where hipsters love to stay and/or hang out. According to the Urban dictionary, “Hipsters are a subculture of men and women typically in their 20’s and 30’s that value independent thinking, counter-culture, progressive politics, an appreciation of art and indie-rock, creativity, intelligence, and witty banter.” It’s a bit hard to narrow down this group to a specific type but it tends to consist of people such as artists, performers, spiritualists, philosophers, dancers, etc. You know who you are ! 😉 Fitzroy Created in 1839, Fitzroy is Melbourne’s first suburb. Due to strong community and local government support, it has managed to retain many of the old colonial buildings giving the area a very special village feel. Traditionally a working class area, these days Fitzroy is an eclectic mix of ethnicities and socio-economic groups. With the Melbourne Fringe Festival centred around Fitzroy, the area not surprisingly attracts a lot of artists, hipsters, performers. bohemians, etc to the area. Popularly known as the Hipster capital of Melbourne It is a great place to people-watch with interesting characters abound. I love walking around the area admiring the wonderful street art, exploring the interesting shops or just chilling out at one of the many great cafes and restaurants. My...

Moving To Melbourne – Where To Live In Melbourne

Being a city spanning a very large land area, Melbourne consists of many suburbs of differing traits and character. Comparing all the various areas can be mind-boggling for anyone, let alone an immigrant moving to Melbourne. So how do you choose where to live in Melbourne ? Which suburb or area is suitable for you? Here are 3 areas of considerations that I reckon will be help to narrow down your shortlist to just a few suburbs making your choice a whole lot easier! Distance A good starting strategy to deciding where to live in Melbourne would be to draw a 15 km (vary this based on your preference) radius around either the Melbourne CBD or your place of work, and see which suburbs fit into your budget. Since you’re only just moving to Melbourne, I would recommend you start off renting first so as not to commit to a big mortgage on a house until you are more familiar with the lay of the land and eventually find the suburb of your dreams. 🙂 Education If you have children, a key driving factor for choosing where to live in Melbourne might be the location of a specific school. Many public schools (especially the popular ones) are “zoned”. What this means is that you must live within the defined neighborhood boundary in order for your child to be eligible to study there. Lifestyle If you like a specific lifestyle then that may influence your decision. For example, If you like beaches, places like St Kilda and Altona might appeal to you If you like rivers, you can’t go past the scenic locations around the...

ANZAC Day

ANZAC Day is tomorrow and it marks the anniversary of the first major military action fought by Australian and New Zealand forces during World War I. (ANZAC stands for Australia and New Zealand Corps) Starting in 1916, Anzac Day became established as a national day of commemoration for the 60,000 Australians who had died during WWI. As the years passed and more wars too place, the focus broadend to include all the military operations in which Australia has been involved. Hence these days in Australia, ANZAC Day is an occasion to reflect on the cost of war and commemorates all Australians who served and died in military conflict. (There are also commerative ceremonies held in New Zealand) In Melbourne, it is celebrated by a dawn service at the Shrine of Remembrance. This is followed by various ceremonies including the traditional ANZAC Day march from the CBD down to the Shrine. An emotionally moving experience, the ANZAC Day march involves past and present servicemen and families representing those who have been lost. Lest We Forget....

Good Friday Appeal 2014

It’s the Good Friday / Easter long weekend again ! It is also time when Melbournians open their hearts (and wallets) and show the world what a beautiful caring society we have here in Melbourne. The Good Friday Appeal is a proud Melbourne tradition and is held every year to raise much needed funds for equipment, research and education to support the work of The Royal Children’s Hospital. The strength of the Good Friday Appeal lies with the thousands of people who volunteer their time, expertise and creativity to organise fundraising activities throughout the year. This includes many individuals, small business and large corporates all running their small activities in order to raise funds in the days leading up to the appeal. Together they have raised more than $258 million for the benefit of the hospital since the Good Friday Appeal began in 1931. Last year in 2013, the appeal managed to raise over $16m. The Good Friday Appeal comprises of many events such as: The main event which is the telethon which is broadcast live on TV from 9am till midnight. Throughout the day, Australia’s most popular celebrities, athletes, etc will make appearances and performances to raise money. Many of them will actually man the donation hotlines. So dial in and donate ! You never know who you might get on the other line. Kid’s Day Out – The Melbourne Exhibition Centre will be transformed into a wonderland for kids, with Australia’s biggest roller-skating rink, Laser Strike, the popular Teddy Bear Hospital, art and play zones, kids cooking classes, music and dancing and so much more. The Cadbury...

Top 5 Things To Do In Melbourne On A Rainy Day

With all the gloomy wet weather recently in Melbourne, I thought the perfect blog topic would be – Top 5 Things To Do In Melbourne On A Rainy Day !! The rain has been forecast to last a whole week and with the school holidays in full swing, the kids must be bored out of their mind too ! So here is a list of interesting things to do in Melbourne and hopefully stay dry in the process ! There’s a bit of something for everyone and not just the little ones. 😉 Without further ado and in no particular order … 1. Attend an exhibition or show event Melbourne is The Event Capital of Australia so there is ALWAYS something on throughout the whole year ! In fact, just this weekend alone there are the following awesome events to choose from: – Supanova The Sci-Fi and Pop culture event of the year featuring Lucy Lawless (Xena) and Peter Mayhew (Chewbacca) among many others. A must attend event for all fans of sci-fi, anime, comics, etc. – Dreamworks Animation exhibition Produced directly by the people who brought you Shrek, Madagascar and the awesome Kung Fu Panda a world-first behind the scenes celebration of 20-years of DreamWorks Animation! It features over 400 items including rare and never-before-seen concept drawings, models and original artworks, interviews and interactive displays from DreamWorks much-loved and favourite animated classics. A bit more time to attend this one though as it will last until October. – Melbourne Home Show Building, renovating or making home improvements? Then visit Melbourne’s largest, most popular Home Show for all the latest products, services and innovations in...

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