Unfortunately, yes, that’s normal, especially when it comes to the UK. You should read this helpful Point Hacks article to get more information regarding why flying to, and especially from, the UK is so expensive and how to minimise fees and charges. I would most definitely advise that if you fly into the UK, you fly out of another city such as Paris – you’ll probably save at least $100 in fees off the bat.
The advantage you have is that because you’re just starting out, you have the luxury of being able to choose your airline and FF programme. Some are cheaper than others. I’ve just done a quick KrisFlyer/Singapore Airlines search for reward seats from Perth to London, and their fees are $330. So play around with airlines’ websites, search different FF programmes and different airlines, and consider flying out of a city that’s not in the UK. Hopefully you’ll be able to get your fees down to $300-ish or a bit less.
All the best!