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Moving to Canberra-public or private?

MjhekeMjheke ACTMember Posts: 78
edited February 2019 in General discussion
Good morning all,

we we will be moving to live in Canberra in approximately 8 weeks. This is for a new role my husband has just been offered. I have both a medical oncologist and surgical  appointment prior to this and will ask for referrals. I am currently 4 months post op and have just completed radiotherapy. I have so far been treated privately, but have found this extremely expensive. Therefore my preference is to go public, but I would like some input if possible on the public system in Canberra please. 

I still have significant follow up, fr the next 5 years so it would be helpful to know my options. Any information would be helpful about both systems and your experience. 

I’d love to know what you think of living in Canberra too and some of the ‘must do’s. I like yoga, camping, hiking. I see they have a Dragons abreast, dragon boat race team there which I would be keen to look into-is there anyone on here in the team? 
Thanks in advance 😊

Michelle x


  • kmakmkmakm MelbourneMember Posts: 7,973
    We have a bunch of Canberrans active on the forum at the moment, @rose, @CathyMac, @Emim and @Cruiser are just a few I think. Hopefully they'll give you the capital lowdown!

    I actually visited Canberra for the first time in decades last year, while on an Otis Foundation holiday on the Vic NSW border. Loved it! I was with two besties and we're thinking of going again for a long weekend.

    Congratulations to your husband. K xox
  • MjhekeMjheke ACTMember Posts: 78
    Thanks Kate! 

    We went for for the weekend a couple of weeks ago to make sure I could live there happily. And I think I can. My husband is happy, it is a role he is really looking forward to! The best part for me is that my company has an office there too and it looks like I will be able to transfer. It also means I won’t have to work so hard and can take that needed step back for a while 😊

    i have been looking at the Otis Foundation houses down there and there are a few to choose from. I will look ahead and book a much needed break for us both. The next 8 weeks will be busy, but we have something to really look forward to. 

    Michelle x
  • kmakmkmakm MelbourneMember Posts: 7,973
    That is so awesome to read Michelle! Such good news on the work front for you as well. It will take a lot of stress away. Perhaps we could meet over a coffee when I'm there! K xox
  • MjhekeMjheke ACTMember Posts: 78
    Definitely would be keen for a catch up Kate! I don’t know anyone in Canberra, so if anyone is keen for a coffee catch up sometime after Easter,I’d love to. Any support groups in Canberra? Also would love suggestions of nice areas to live....

    Michelle x
  • CathyMacCathyMac Canberra, ACTMember Posts: 65
    Hi Michelle, I am in Canberra and have been here for about 15 years. I just love it! I am being treated for breast cancer in the public system and I can't fault it. I had surgery privately in December 2018 as the surgeon I wanted to see only does private work now. I am currently having my chemo at the Canberra Hospital which is a very new facility and I can't fault it. I will also be having radiation there when chemo is done. Do you know where you will be living yet? As we have 2 public hospitals.

    If you are into hiking and camping you will just love Canberra. The Bush capital it is!

    I haven't been to dragons abreast yet as I was meant to go and see them in action yesterday for a meet and greet but was feeling too poorly after chemo number 3 on Monday.

    Let me know if there is any other info I can help you with for anything Canberra.

  • MjhekeMjheke ACTMember Posts: 78
    Hi Cathy,

    thanks for that. Sorry that you were feeling poorly. Take care x

     I, for the first time in 4 months have some energy back. I have just started on Aromasin, so will wait to see how that makes me feel...

    Maybe we can go to the next Dragons abreast meet and try day together? 

    Neither of us us are familiar with Canberra so are just looking at where we want to live. My husbands work will be north and my preference is to rent a relatively new house, so maybe north side?? 

    I feel  like this is a fresh start for us after a not so good last year 😊

    Michelle x
  • CarmelSCarmelS CanberraMember Posts: 262
    Hi Michelle. I have been in Canberra for 30 years now, married , had 3 kids & live quite happily on the Northside. There is a bit of a “thing” with north or south. My husband could never even contemplate living Southside, & now our sons are buying houses he growls if they mention the south. Weather is good......cold or hot !!!  Hospitals are fine, unfortunately I’ve had multiple visits to both over the last 8 years.  Plenty of camping close by especially if you 4wd. Beautiful mountains. 
    Take it easy with your move.
  • arpiearpie Mid North Coast, NSWMember Posts: 5,180
    So Sorry that you are feeling poorly, @CathyMac  - I hope you are feeling better soon as  xxx

    I think you'll love Canberra, @Mjheke - it has fantastic roads, very tidy - my best friend used to live there & I regularly used to visit.  It is a short drive to either the Snowy Mountains in winter if you like snow skiing or in summer for tramping/camping etc.  Also just a short hop to the coast if you need a coastal 'fix' to the South Coast.

    It DOES get VERY cold in Winter & VERY hot in Summer - but the houses are built for it with air con and heating, so you may need to get some warm clothing for Winter ...... The museums, eat outs & art galleries etc are brilliant.  You could spend a week in the War Museum & still not see it all.

    They have a couple of great Ukulele groups  ;)   and also, if you are into fishing - they have a Fly Fishing for Recovery for those who've had BC.

    All the best for your big move & settling in xxxx
  • roserose Member Posts: 34
    Hi Michelle

    I’ve also been in Canberra for about 15 years & also love it, although it did take me a good long time to get used to it. I had surgery in private, rads in public & both were good. 

    Northside is a good area to live, although I wouldn’t live too far away from Civic - I think some of the outer suburbs are pretty soulless (apologies to anyone living in Gungahlin! Just my opinion...)

    There’s a breast cancer support group that meets @ Tilley’s, but I can’t remember how often - monthly I think. You could call or I could give you the no. of my breast care nurse. Let me know if you want the no.

    I do dragon boating - started years before I got BC. I have paddled with Dragons Abreast though on occasion, & they’re lovely women & very welcoming. They don’t push paddlers too hard & are very aware of people’s health needs. I love paddling - it’s beautiful on the lake & so good for mental as well as physical health.

    Feel free to pm me. Welcome to Canberra!

  • marcelmarcel Member Posts: 4 New Member
    Hi Michelle, I just finished Rad's in Canberra as waiting list on the NSW South coast was too long. i used private "Icon" centre at CU. They were amazing, I'm sure you have already sorted your Ong for follow ups, but just in case. Dr Angella Rezo is amazing and caring, she works there and at Canberra Public Hosp. She has been the best Specialist i have dealt with to date.
  • lrb_03lrb_03 Member Posts: 1,244
    Hi @Mjheke, you must be close to moving date, or are you here and settling in? I'm a born and bred Canberran, and though I did leave, I ultimately came back over 15 years ago now. Would be happy to catch up ovef coffee when you're settled. Pm me so we can organise something. 
    Hope the move goes smoothly
  • KarenhappyquilterKarenhappyquilter Member Posts: 242
    Bosom Buddies in Canberra is a great little support group for women who have or had breast cancer. They have monthly a coffee morning, an early evening drink date and a young women’s group.  They also have special events and information sessions.  They are very friendly.  

    Canberra has a bad reputation but is a lovely place to live.  Nature is close by which is lovely.  Cold in winter so you have to have good heating in your house and a warm coat.  
  • kmakmkmakm MelbourneMember Posts: 7,973
    @Karenhappyquilter Some friends and I spent a day in Canberra last winter and enjoyed it so much we're planning a longer return visit one day soon.
  • lrb_03lrb_03 Member Posts: 1,244
    @kmakm, let us know if / when it happens. You might find some free guides  :)
  • MjhekeMjheke ACTMember Posts: 78
    Hello lovely ladies!

    I have been a bit ‘off line’ for a while now just sorting things in readiness for our move to Canberra, while working and catching up with everyone here before we go. @CarmelS, we were in Canberra last weekend and looked at houses both north and south and not knowing much about either we have managed to secure a house (we had limited options) in Garran. We did look at and apply for one in Watson but they wouldn't agree to a 6 month contract. So we went with the one in Garran. It is a new townhouse which is perfect for just the two of us. We have a 4WD and rooftop tent so will definitely be looking to use those.

    @arpie we are NOT looking forward to the cold but went out and got some 'gear' a few weeks ago. We are keen campers and hikers so are looking forward to having a good look around Canberra and surrounds. I am keen to get involved in things in Canberra which was why I wanted to have a house close to the city. ( Also within Uber distance!)

    @rose, Thank you. I would love the number of your BC nurse. I have a surgeon organised and an oncologist but I have only just seen mine up here, so am now not due to be seen for another 3 months. I am definitely keen for a support group-I have met with a small group in Brisbane since diagnosis and it has been amazing to have the support. I met with the lovely @CathyMac last weekend who I originally met on here-we were diagnosed at similar times so I already know two people in Canberra (her husband included). That's it so far so am keen to meet others. I am definitely keen on the Dragon boating. 

    @lrb_03, I would love a coffee catch up! We move next weekend-driving down over 3 days starting on Wednesday with our gear arriving 2 weeks later. I'll pm you  :) We are really looking forward to the move-it's a positive move for us and I have heard nothing but good from everyone we have spoken to who lives there....

    @Karenhappyquilter, I have a warm coat and one of the house criteria was good heating! It is a new house so it is well set up for both the hot and cold weather. Do you have any contact details for Bosom buddies? I am keen. @kmakm Definitely let me know when you are in Canberra next. My son lives in Melbourne so I am happy to be moving closer to them. We will be regular visitors so maybe our first catch up will be there?? 

    Getting really excited now! Thanks for your input  o:)<3

    Hope to see some of you soon,

    Michelle Xx
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