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Potential move to ACT area but where?

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18 replies to this topic

#1 Bethlehem Babe

Posted 05 July 2018 - 12:58 PM

Hi all.

We are looking at a potential move to the ACT area - the work will be between Goulburn and the act.

Any suggestions for areas to look at?

We would like a largish block (800m2+) and a newish house (10 years or less).

Schools and specialists are also key. We need a developmental pead, speechie, ot at the minimum. Schooling with a potential learning support unit for one (entering kindergarten next year) and somewhere that is great for a classic aspie (asd level 1) with a passion for engineering and computer programming etc (currently yr 3)

So any hints, tips or suggestions?


#2 Mands09

Posted 05 July 2018 - 01:05 PM

Less than 10 years old and ~800sqm block pretty much don't exist here in the ACT. New blocks are at most 550sqm these days.

I have heard Duffy primary school are pretty good at supporting students with ASD? I'm not across high schools as much as primary school.

Depends on what you find tolerable for travel times as to where you should look area-wise. No where in the act is that far if you drive. So for me down south side it took 60 minutes to get to Goulburn up the new majura parkway. But up in Belconnen area and gungahlin you'd be a lot closer and would probably only be 40 minutes to Goulburn itself.

#3 Mands09

Posted 05 July 2018 - 01:15 PM

Oh and btw wooo moving to Canberra :)

#4 BadCat

Posted 05 July 2018 - 01:21 PM

As PP said, that block size with new house is a pipe dream in the ACT.

For newer houses on the Goulburn side of town go for Gungahlin area.  For older houses but with the block size you want on the Goulburn side of town you can go inner north if you've got the cash, or Belconnen area if you want something a bit cheaper.

Schools in Canberra are generally good.  If you are looking at long term then your classic aspie would probably love the Gungahlin College Smart Program in year 10 which focuses on STEM subjects.

#5 4kids mostlysane

Posted 05 July 2018 - 01:38 PM

I live in Amaroo and my kids go to Amaroo school.  Our block is about 600m2 but we bought 17 years ago.  Older parts of Amaroo (20 plus years now!) do have larger blocks but you will pay for them.

As a PP said most schools in Canberra are heavily zoned.  If you want to get your kids into Amaroo school you will HAVE to live in the area.  In my experience the school is a bit meh.  Lots of people rave about it.  Most of the individual teachers are fantastic but my Year 10 daughter has been subjected to systematic bullying since Kindergarten and despite me speaking to the year coordinator and individual teachers again and again nothing has ever really changed.  She does well academically but has always struggled socially and I think because most of it happened in the playground and hallways initially they didn't really have a way to deal with it.  I also have a DD in Year 7 who is doing really well and a DD in year 2 who is doing really well.  So you know.... what can you do.

there is a supposedly very good Autism unit at the school but I know two people who have withdrawn their boys from the unit and are now homeschooling their boys (they're not connected - they just happen to be doing the same thing!) because they were not happy with how things were going in the unit.  

Honestly I think you would have to check out the school and see how you think it would work for your kids.  As above it works well for 2 of my kids, not so well for the 3rd social (but academically it's fine) and for my fourth - my oldest who is now at college - never instilled any work ethic in him so he bone lazy now.... (but I suspect that would have been the case for all three of my girls at any school, not sure about my son)

You will get larger block sizes and older 30-40 year old houses in Belconnen but not sure of prices.....

Edited by 4kids mostlysane, 05 July 2018 - 01:45 PM.

#6 Mands09

Posted 05 July 2018 - 01:56 PM

Actually Harrison school would be another to look into. It's in the gungahlin area and really big on supporting students with autism and Comes from the principal down through all teaching and support staff.

#7 Bethlehem Babe

Posted 05 July 2018 - 02:04 PM

Thanks everyone. Lots to think about.

We are also considering Queanbeyan, jerrabomberra and googong.

Dh is a tradie to we need a shed for lots of tool storage. A large trampoline too due to the need for sensory play. We currently have a pool, and it’s brill for sensory play but I don’t know if it’s essential in Canberra given the climate- hence the largish block size.
House age might be ok.

No idea on budget right now. I guess it will depend what we can get for our current places.

#8 BadCat

Posted 05 July 2018 - 02:20 PM

High school at Kaleen is supposed to be pretty specialist in autism and other special needs.  Don't know all that much about it, but might be worth checking out down the track.  Not sure if the Kaleen primary school has the same ethos though.

#9 Daffy2016

Posted 05 July 2018 - 02:23 PM

The Gungahlin area is great for kids - heaps of huge new playgrounds and smaller ones in each neighbourhood. But as pps have said the block sizes are pretty small. Lots of people have their trampolines on the front lawn/pavement.

The Gungahlin leisure centre is also fairly new and a really good pool centre.

#10 Mollycoddle

Posted 05 July 2018 - 03:24 PM

Agree with all the above re. block sizes and age of homes, there is a lot of renovating and KNR going on as I assume people aren't willing to forgo their big block to move to a newer area.  I personally would avoid Gungahlin like the plague, currently there is no way in or out without being caught up in road works with no end in sight anytime soon.  The Gungahlin town centre has been a work in progress since day dot and you've currently got tram line construction down one end and lane duplication at the other end.  It's a horrible, horrible place with just endless vistas of rooftops.

If you can afford it forgo the new house and buy in an established suburb.  Inner North (Dickson, Downer, O'Connor, Lyneham) and inner South (Narabundah) are beautiful but you're looking at very hefty pricetags, IMO other more affordable areas are still preferable to the relatively newer areas you've mentioned.

Agree with PPs also re schools, most ACT publics are good and many public primary schools have special needs units.

Edited by Mollycoddle, 05 July 2018 - 03:30 PM.

#11 Dirty Cat

Posted 05 July 2018 - 03:38 PM

Jerrabomberra - not likely to get a < 10 years old house. Sch doesn't have specific special needs.

Googong - likely to have larger block(maybe) and newer house. Sch would be qbn South and no special needs.

Qbn public school has special needs but not many new houses in qbn

#12 olibelle

Posted 05 July 2018 - 04:20 PM

Most of the houses in the new Googong development have small yards and are very close together but there are plenty of parks. A lot of the houses all feel a bit the same but if you don't mind this and just really want a lovely new place it would be a great option.

Jerrabomberra has larger back gardens and some newer houses and is great for a young family but most houses were built late 90s early 2000s. There are some newer ones up on Waterfall Drive but these would still be over 10 years old but many have lovely views.

The Inner South of Canberra is a lovely area to live, depending on budget, but these are more classic houses (with some new) and it's more expensive.

We have a pool and it is great from November- end of Feb so you can still get a lot of use, especially as won't be anywhere near a beach.

I know a lot of children with ASD live in the Tuggeranong area as there are quite a few learning support units at schools around this area.

You could contact ASPECT Australia to discuss suggestions regarding learning support units etc. If your younger is on the NDIS learning support specialists from ASPECT can travel basically to any area surrounding Canberra (such as Bungendore, Googong, Queanbeyan etc) and attend their school/ learning support unit as well as home for after-school appointments etc.

#13 Grrrumbles

Posted 05 July 2018 - 05:31 PM

Lots of restrictions on sheds in the new suburbs. Even if the backyard is big enough there is often limits on the size of sheds or anything not under the roofline.

In the newer subdivision I used to live in I can’t think of any houses that would have been suitable for a big shed and there was not car access to the backyard as they were mostly long thin blocks.

Depends on your budget though, some of the architect designed houses may have extra strorage by using 3 car garages or may be on a corner block with a side gate.

Canberrans who need more space often head to Murrumbateman but no school and limited access to public ACT schools. Sutton has a primary school and is also popular with Canberrans needing more space.

Also if you get a placement at a learning support unit it may not be in your local school and your other children might be at a different school. Hopefully others can explain how it works better but it may mean there is no benefit to living close to a school with a unit unless you have been confirmed by the Education Directorate.

#14 Nut

Posted 05 July 2018 - 05:31 PM

A lot really depends on budget. Schools give priority to in area so if school is your main focus, look at that and then the suburbs that feed into it. Older suburbs will have bigger blocks, but often more expensive (depending on location). You may have to make a few compromises on the new/block size as most of the new areas are smaller blocks. Unless you want to look further out past Wright, into the Molongolo Reach sort of area. It's further out but there are newer houses (only a few years old) on larger blocks out there, if you're lucky enough to get one.

My kids go to Farrer Primary. My son has Autism and was in the LSUA there to start with but is now fully mainstream. It's been an amazing and supportive school for us. Very hard to get into though, unless you're in area. But housing in Farrer is on the more costly side, though you can get some decent sized blocks. If your son qualifies for a unit you will be fighting for a place (they can be hard to come by) so the more you have in your favour, the better.

Hughes, Curtin and Garran are schools I have heard good things about from the ASD perspective as well (all have units). Garran has a good accelerated learning program. Again, these are the higher cost areas (more central).

#15 jayskette

Posted 05 July 2018 - 07:35 PM

The only large block and new house (build your own) combination you can have are Burraburra(?) Which is rural south ACT, Marraunbatean NSW Fairley estate and Googong NSW. If you are cashed up then you can buy ex Fluffy land within established and more prestigious suburbs.

#16 BBC

Posted 05 July 2018 - 07:50 PM

I'd look at Kaleen/ Giralang for a house on a large block ( older) possibly with a big shed already in place. Also Evatt, Spence, Flynn could have that sort of thing. Won't be a new house but could be renovated. Latham has an autism unit. Kaleen is a good high school for autism support.

I think in your situation I would rent a while and see where the schooling works out, then buy later.

Edited by BBC, 05 July 2018 - 07:51 PM.

#17 *Spikey*

Posted 10 July 2018 - 08:57 AM

Bungendore, Bywong, Wamboin, Sutton.

If the work is spread between Goulburn and the ACT these areas will give you easy access to the main roads to get you there.

There are still blocks that are not as exxy as Canberra (but they aren't as cheap as they used to be, thanks to it being a commuter area these days), but are generally much larger and sheds are pretty common.

Primary schools are pretty good, and you can talk to the schools about your specific needs. High school would be Queanbeyan or ACT, as the smaller towns don't yet have a local to service the population.

If this doesn't really work for you, try Hall, Murrumbateman, Yass and Gold Creek. I really enjoyed working at GC's primary and high schools (also enjoyed Amaroo for what it's worth, but it is huge).

#18 Jane Jetson

Posted 10 July 2018 - 09:41 AM

Bear in mind that if you do live in NSW and want the kids to attend an ACT school, your options will now be limited - in the public system at least, not sure about private.


#19 *Spikey*

Posted 11 July 2018 - 12:01 PM

Private schools remain unaffected. The options for NSW kids aren't too awful even though very limited, especially at the college level.

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