Information for immigrants


Welcome to Brisbane, Queensland!

Story Bridge, Brisbane (Photo credit: Tommy Jackson https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Story_Bridge_2013.tif)

Brisbane is the capital of Queensland and Australia's third biggest city with a population of over 2 million. It is also Australia's fastest growing city.

Brisbane itself is young, with modern architecture, and the streets of the city centre are easy to navigate as it is set out like a grid: the lengthwise streets are named after Queens, and those travelling across them after Kings. It's difficult to get lost.

The city is built around the winding Brisbane River, but to compensate for it not being near the beach, it has the man-made lagoon at South Bank Parklands which offers sunbathing and swimming for holiday makers and office workers on their lunchbreak. This is a laid-back city that still manages to buzz. The city offers alfresco dining all year round, a bustling nightlife over at Fortitude Valley and more trendy charm at neighbouring New Farm.

Whilst the city may be compact, the suburbs sprawl north, south, east and west. Open spaces and outdoor entertainment are Brisbane trademarks thanks to its sub-tropical climate. It is possible to reside just 40 minutes' drive from the city, yet live in the countryside on several acres of property. Those living much closer to the centre will still benefit from a choice of local parks, normally within walking distance and often offering free-to-use barbeque facilities.

Some may be tempted to choose to live on an eastern location by the coast, but they still won't be on the beach. Coastal Brisbane is mainly mangrove, just mud and trees. But one of the beauties of Brisbane is the easy access to two of Australia's best seaside locations, the Sunshine Coast and the Gold Coast, which are both within about an hour and a quarter's drive.

Population

Located in the southeastern corner of Queensland, about 100 km from the border to New South Wales, Greater Brisbane includes the City of Brisbane and the local government areas of Ipswich, Logan City, Redland City, and Moreton Bay. Together, they are home to over 2.3 million residents.

If you have a look at the entire "Southeast Queensland conurbation", otherwise known as the 200-kilometer city, this urban sprawl spreads from the booming holiday resorts of the Sunshine Coast in the north to the Gold Coast in the south. South East Queensland, made up of 18 cities and towns, is often noted as one of the fastest-growing parts of Australia. More than 3.4 million people - over 60% of the state's entire populace - are concentrated here. Today, Aboriginal Australians only make up 3.6% of Queensland's population.

However, for the original settler population, moving to Brisbane from the British Isles, has long turned into a multicultural mix of various residents. Depending on the local government area surveyed in the 2011 census, between 16% and 24% of all Brisbanites were born overseas and six neighborhoods in the area had a greater foreign-born population than Australian-born. Up to 15% of new residents from abroad came from a non-Anglophone background.

The birthplace countries of Brisbane's overseas residents include China, Germany, New Zealand, the Netherlands, the Philippines, Samoa, South Africa, the UK, and a variety of other nations, especially in the Asia-Pacific region. After moving to Brisbane, you're likely to run into residents speaking Cantonese or Mandarin, Spanish or Tagalog, German or Dutch, Khmer or Lao. As an expat or migrant, you might be interested in the multicultural resource directory of all foreign communities represented in Queensland.

Climate

Brisbane has a subtropical climate with warm or hot weather for most of the year.

Brisbane's climate is very sunny, with around 2,800 hours of sunshine annually. Most rainfall is in summer. This can be in the form of rather awe inspiring thunderstorms with torrential rain. Winter in Brisbane is dry, with blue skies the norm. Brisbane feels particularly sticky and humid in the three hottest months of the year: December, January and February. Air conditioning makes life more pleasant, as do breezes in locations closer to the coast. Some people deliberately choose to buy houses on the coast for the easier summer climate.

Coastal areas are slightly cooler in summer than further inland.

Brisbane's floods

An extreme form of Brisbane's tropical summer rainfall was experienced in the floods of January 2011, which were serious enough to be reported worldwide. Three-quarters of the state of Queensland was declared a disaster zone, with 20,000 houses in Brisbane flooded. Check https://www.dnrm.qld.gov.au/mapping-data/maps/flood-mapping-program/floodcheck-map for information on flood map before renting an apartment. This will help identify if an apartment is safe for living.

Housing

Brisbane offers a range of housing options spanning all styles from the iconic 'Queenslander' with its high ceilings and breezy verandahs to the modern, loft-style apartment. Most Brisbane houses sit on their own block of land but the housing boom of the early 2000s saw a flurry of development activity in Brisbane's central business district. Dozens of apartment buildings were built, and many continue to be built on the back of the boom.

Looking for an apartment can be tedious and energy sapping most times. You need to check several apartment to decide which one you like and fits your specification. The two most popular websites to check are https://www.realestate.com.au/rent and https://www.domain.com.au.

Working in Brisbane

Brisbane is Australia's fastest-growing capital city for employment and offers a great range of opportunities in both the public and private sectors. To prepare yourself for work, the first step in this process is applying for a tax file number. You can reach ATO office on 132861 or go to http://www.ato.gov.au for more information. The next step is to search for jobs. You can visit http://www.seek.com.au, http://au.indeed.com and http://www.mycareer.com.au to check for available vacancies. It is also recommended that you talk to the Pastorate and follow up unit for guidance in this regard.

Health

Brisbane residents have excellent access to healthcare in both public and private sectors, covering hospitals, general practitioners, dentists and other allied healthcare professionals. Urgent and emergency medical care is readily available to everyone. For international student, you are advised to have a health insurance to cover your study period. For a permanent resident, the point of call is the Medicare office to register for your health care card and/or Medicare card. This will ensure you get free treatment whenever you need to visit a clinic. You will need your travel passport along with other document for the registration. For more information, visit https://www.humanservices.gov.au/customer/dhs/medicare.

Transport

Brisbane's public transport system is a clean and green network of trains, ferries (CityCats) and buses that have been integrated so commuters can travel seamlessly between each service when using a go card. With the TransLink go card you can travel seamlessly on all TransLink bus, ferry and rail services across south-east Queensland. Public transport is one of the best ways to get around the city. Use https://translink.com.au/ to find services best suited to your journey. To get concession on transport fares, please visit the Translink website for more information.

Permanent migration

Are you intending to settle permanently in Australia? You have made a right choice. There are couple of options available for you. To guide you on choice of visa to apply for, kindly visit the Immigration website. After getting your permanent residency, we recommend that you visit the nearest Centrelink Office. You may be entitled to some ongoing or one off payments, a visit to Centrelink for advice on your entitlements or benefits is recommended. Student visa holders are not eligible for payments but can get referral to voluntary agencies for humanitarian support. For more details, visit the Department of Human Services website.

Programs

Sunday Service
Every Sunday: Worship Service
First Sunday: Thanksgiving Service
Last Sunday: Prophetic Prayer Service
Time: 9:30am
Venue: Church Auditorium
 
Weekly Service
Bible Study & Prayer Meeting @ designated locations
(For inquiry, visit our Contact page for contact details)
Time: 6:30pm - 8:00pm
 
House Fellowship
Connect Group Meeting @ designated locations
(For inquiry, visit our Contact page for contact details)
Time: 6:00pm - 7:00pm
 
Prayer Night (Vigil)
Third Friday of the Month: Solution Night
Time: 11:00pm - 2:00am
Venue: Church Auditorium
 

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