I left England in 1979 and moved to India then Nepal, in 1981 I moved to Goa.
In 1983 I met an Australian woman at a party I threw for my brother.
In 1984 she had to return to OZ because she was running out of money, and wanted to work for six months then leave again.
I decided to go with her to OZ, stay six months, then we would both go to Thailand.
So I got a six month tourist visa, we rented a house in Pearl Beach, north of Sydney, she got a job in Gosford, and signed a six month work contract.
Because we had been in OZ three weeks before she got the job, my visa was going to run out before her job, so I applied for an extension.
They asked me why I wanted to extend, when I mentioned my girlfriend, and how long we had been together, they told me I would need a resident visa, and refused to extend the tourist visa.
I explained that I didn't want to live in OZ, and that we would be leaving as soon as her contract was up ... they still refused.
Their excuse was that if they grant me a tourist visa, I may try to change my status and apply for a resident visa ... I couldn't believe my ears, to stop me applying for a resident visa they were going to force me to take a resident visa!
No amount of arguing had any effect, they made it clear that I accepted the resident visa or left, it was up to me.
So I took the visa, had the medical, then had two years of the usual hassle of having to be in OZ for a certain time every two years, people looking in our wardrobes to make sure we were really living together, and asking my girlfriend if I had her permission to leave the country when she wasn't with me.
We made it to Thailand though, then, in 1986, she fell pregnant, we decided that OZ was the best place to bring up our kids, so moved here permanently, and took citizenship.
What a difference to the hassles some of you are going through, when you really want to come here, and I didn't.
We have two kids now, and couldn't have found a better place to bring them up.