On Private Health Insurance

Last June, shortly after my application for a de facto partner visa subclass 820 was being lodged, I received a bridging visa. That made me eligible for Medicare, which I enrolled in immediately. For my American readers, Medicare is Australia’s publicly funded universal health care scheme. Now that it’s been nearly a year, I received a letter from the Department of Health to inform me that I will soon be affected by Lifetime Health Cover, which involves a…

Continue reading

Stop Before It Gets Ugly Campaign

Recently I wrote about Australia’s drinking culture and one effort to change it – Hello Sunday Morning. Here’s another.  The NSW Government and agency JWT Sydney have launched a new high impact campaign called “Stop Before It Gets Ugly”. The campaign targets potential aggressors and those who can influence their behaviour in an attempt to reduce the number of people that are victim of alcohol-fuelled violence in NSW. JWT Sydney’s Executive Creative Director, Simon Langley,…

Continue reading

Hello Sunday Morning

Last week I attended Swarm Conference, Australia’s only conference for online community managers. I’ll spare you all the nerdtastic details as most of it doesn’t relate to the expat experience. There was one presentation, however, that is of interest and it’s also important. Jamie Moore talked about his community, Hello Sunday Morning, which aims to change the relationship Australians have with alcohol. I enjoy a cocktail from time to time, but I make no secret of the…

Continue reading

How to Cope with the Australian Sun

Here in Melbourne we’re still layering up before we head out and brave the chill, but those winter clouds will part and the grey sky will be bright with the blistering hot Australian sun. The incidence of skin cancer in Australia is one of the highest in the world. According to Cancer Council Australia, skin cancers account for around 80% of all newly diagnosed cancers and between 95 and 99% of skin cancers are caused by exposure to…

Continue reading

Blood and My Iron Deficiency

It was serendipitous that I met a woman who is studying iron levels in women as part of her PhD studies. She asked me if I would participate. Since it just involved answering questions and giving a blood sample, I said yes. The results were a shocker. If you don’t know what the role of iron is, I don’t have a complete understanding of it, but basically iron is present in our cells and one…

Continue reading

Keep Your Cool: Surviving a Heatwave

Earlier this week, I blogged about the heatwave. Despite the fact that it gets really hot in Melbourne every year, hundreds of Aussies still suffer from heat exhaustion, heat stroke, and death due to exposure to extreme heat. Below are some tips collected from across the web as well as personal experience to help you stay cool and safe during one of Melbourne’s heatwaves. The first thing to keep in mind is that a heatwave…

Continue reading

Tending the Grass

Earlier this week, I wrote about the Everything Sucks Phase. I referred to the five stages of grieving as an analogy to describe a process of acculturation for expats. The Everything Sucks Phase follows the Honeymoon Phase. I’ll arrive at Integration eventually, but I don’t know what lies between now and then. The reason I compare the process of acculturation for expats to grieving is because we experience similar emotions – denial, anger, depression –…

Continue reading

The Road to Residency Part 1: The Visa Medical

I have officially begun actively moving towards obtaining residency. I’m applying onshore (that is, from within Australia, as opposed to offshore) for a de facto partner visa subclass 820, which is a temporary visa. If granted, after two years, if the relationship is still intact, I would be granted a permanent visa, subclass 801. I have superficially reviewed the application in the past, but when I sat down a couple of weeks ago, read, and…

Continue reading

How To Beat Jet Lag

Earlier this week, News.com ran an article on jet lag. Ginger tea is thought to be a good way to counteract jetlag. Here’s a quick recipe: • Boil water. • Grate two teaspoons of fresh ginger (much better than powdered ginger) into a cup. • Add boiling water. • Allow to steep for five minutes. Ideally you should drink it at the start of your trip, an hour before you take off, but often that’s…

Continue reading

Using Tampons in Australia

If you are squeamish about the subject of menstruation, you should stop reading now. And possibly seek therapy. I’ve written before about some of the little differences and a couple of the big differences between America and Australia. Here’s another one that for some may be small, but for me is huge. Australia has a shocking lack of selection in tampons. Fortunately, I’d heard about this before I traveled to Australia and I took a stash with…

Continue reading