Sunday Territorian 4 Apr 2010
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Nationwide News Pty. Limited
www.sundayterritorian.com.au Sunday Territorian, Sunday, April 4, 2010 13 P U B : N T N E W S D A T E : 4 -A P R -2 0 1 0 P A G E : 1 3 C O L O R : C M Y K Living with Adolescents Need Help? Relationship Behaviour Changes We Can Help Strengthen Relationships Develop Strategies to have the difficult conversations Negotiate Boundaries Venue: CatholicCare NT 17 Hidden Valley Road, Berrimah Date: Thursday, 8 - 15 - 22 April. Ring Tuesday or Wednesday Time: 7pm - 9pm Cost: $30 per single $40 per couple Please contact CatholicCare NT on 8944 2000 Bookings are Essential m g 4 0 0 6 1 1 www.catholiccarent.org.au Earn $15,000 tax-free INCOME BOOST: Sheila Murray and children Danielle, 17, and Aimee, 19, with overseas student Zamil Alshammari. Opening your home to a foreign student can add up to $15,000 a year tax-free. Picture: Drew Fitzgibbon Take in an international student at home By JANE HANSEN THOUSANDS of families are clearing out the spare room to use as paid accommodation for foreign students. Opening your home to a foreign student can potentially add up to $15,000 a year tax-free. Sheila Murray, a single mother of two has managed to put her children through private school with the extra money earned hosting international students studying at university, while Alison Kovacs managed to save her house from the banks claws last year with the help of two Chinese students; and empty nesters Hilary and Noel McVey treat themselves to an overseas trip every two years with the money they earn as student hosts. Called Homestay, students from all over the world studying anything from English to cooking stay in your home and become part of the family. In return, host families provide a single, furnished bedroom, self serve breakfast and a cooked dinner and get paid between $220-250 a week. It is a paid position and the tax office deems it non-taxable income, said David Bycroft from the Australian Homestay Network who currently has 10,000 applications for Homestay. We dont want people coming in just for the money, but it is a great option for the elderly whose kids have left home and it supplements a pension, but you have to like cooking and enjoy other people too, he said. There are 50,000 placements Australia-wide hosting students from China, Japan, Saudi Arabia and South America and many families make lifelong friends as well as extra cash. Sheila Murray has just welcomed the 84th student into her Moorooka home through Homestay.com.au. She started hosting nine years ago after a marriage breakup to try to make ends meet. I didnt want the kids to miss out due to the sole income, the 46 year old said. The crunch was my daughter needed braces costing $5000 and I just didnt have the money, the Brisbane public servant said. The kids were only 10 and 8 at the time and Ms Murray was a little concerned at first that an international student would disrupt the family, but the whole family quickly enjoyed the cultural experience. The students are like my own kids and my own children are more appreciative of other cultures, its been a great education, she said. Its $15,000 a year and better than a husband, she adds laughing. My kids arent missing out, I enjoy it and have managed to put the girls through private school too. Ms Murray still keeps in touch with all her ex-students and is well known at the local supermarket for buying dozens of packets of Tim Tams when on special to send overseas. I got them all addicted to Tim Tams, she said. After a disastrous business deal overseas and a subsequent divorce, Alison Kovacs, 44, was confronted with losing her Burleigh Heads home. On her sole income as a receptionist, the bank was circling. She had one spare bedroom and decided to put the space to work, inviting a Chinese married couple studying English at Bond University into the home for six months. They paid $340 a week which contributed to the mortgage, paid all our groceries and expenses with a little left over, she said. They were easy and polite and became part of the family. They made their own breakfast and sandwiches for lunch and I provided dinner at night, Ms Kovacs said. In Melbourne, reports of racism towards international students, especially Indians, have made Hilary and Noel McVey scratch their heads. They welcome students from many countries into their home and enjoy the experience immensely. The empty nesters from Ivanhoe decided to rent out bedrooms left by their two grown-up children four years ago and have not looked back. We had two spare bedrooms and a spare bathroom and thought wed give it a go, we thought we might not like it, but we love it and we have made friends all over the world, the 60-year-old part-time nurse said of the 12 students she has hosted. The first student from China stayed for 15 months and its really lucrative at $230 a week. I cook for Noel and myself anyway, so its not extra work, Mrs McVey said. We learn as much about their culture as they do ours. Hilary and Noel know there are unscrupulous landlords housing dozens of international students in single overcrowded units. This is happening in Melbourne as we speak, Mrs McVey said. ... crunch busters ... crunch busters ... THERE is no need to wash towels after each use. Hang them out in the sun. This gives them a new lease of life. Just another way to save on electricity bills and save the planet. Carolyn Affleck, Moreton Downs, Qld Ants we all hate them. A foolproof way of cutting off their walkies is to sprinkle talcum powder at their point of entry into your home. Ngaire Duncan, Burpengary, Qld Use Lebanese bread to make low-priced pizzas. A packet of five costs around $3. Simply top with pasta type sauce or tinned diced tomatoes, capsicum, onion, mushrooms, add cheese and spices then bake for 15 minutes. They are delicious and can also be enjoyed cold the next day. Shelley Mason, Como, WA Wash up dishes in the smaller-half sink. It uses a lot less water and detergent. Clair Doevendans, Forest Lake, Qld With your make-up case, instead of having a box of tissues handy to use (approx cost $2), I use a toilet roll (approx cost 50c). Just one square is great for blotting lipstick. Anne Pragnell, Coombabah, Qld
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