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zk2102

Our Story... 3.5 years on in OZ

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Its been an age since I logged on to this site. There was a time when I couldn't stay away but I guess life just got busy.

A post that seems to keep coming up time and again is one of 'why is everyone moving back to the UK?' and I see The pom queen reply that some people are just busy getting on with their lives, and that's where we fit in. 

Sept 2014 we moved as a family of four, me 46, husband 39, daughter 18 and son 10. We located to Gold Coast. We landed with four suit cases, 1 xbox, a BMX bike, the dogs ashes, a holiday rental and some very high hopes! Fortunately my husband had already secured a job beforehand which alleviated a lot of the stress others have to cope with, and our home was in a container on its way. 

We moved here with the mindset that Australia is still a young country, and if you want something real bad and you try hard enough things will go well. At 46 I knew it was going to be harder to find the kind of friendships I'd made in the UK, I was never going to have the history with anyone here or have the opportunity to meet the School mums given that my kids were older. Having worked as a Special Ed teaching assistant in the UK within the month I'd started volunteering at the local special ed school ... BTW Australia loves a volunteer, it will get you a foot in the door. There is an organisation on the Gold Coast dedicated to volunteering. Sure enough after a couple of months I was offered a temporary contract (Australia is also big on Temp & Casual Employment). As you have probably read elsewhere there is a distinct lack of funding in the Special Ed sector and instead of employing 3 or 4 TA's per class as well as the Teacher, over here there is just 1 per class. This resulted in me being offered a 1 day contract after the first year and the rest of my hours casual. Casual means having to wait by the phone each morning and wait in case they call and ask you to cover for the day. This is the norm and Iv'e known people who have waited over 5 years for a full time and permanent contract!! However I made loads of new friends who I still see regularly at weekends and in the evening. 

Having given up on the Ed sector I decided to retrain. I enrolled at the monster which is Tafe and gained an Australian Qualification in Administration. It was perhaps the best thing I could have done. Within a week of leaving I was in full time employment in a Law firm. Another thing here in Oz, it's not what you know, it's who you know. My boss is best mates with my tutor at Tafe who I got on really well with, hence my job.

Going back to the friendship thing, I had to network for a long time. Work, websites, expat meet ups, coffee mornings etc.... As it works out I have a great group of friends from the expat  community, but Iv'e also made a lot of Australian friends through our dogs (the only Australians in the family). I take part in dog sports such as Fly ball and Nose work, I get involved with the rescues which has meant I already had a common interest with these people. I do get ribbed about my cockney accent but it's all in good jest. My besties are from the UK and they do take the place of family. We spent a lovely Christmas in the sun surrounded by the friends who have become the aunts and uncles the kids left behind, and their kids the cousins.

My husband has found some of the work practices over here a bit archaic (he's a civil engineer) but he's learned to put up with it. Lets put it this way, it can be a bit politically incorrect on the Goldie and a lot of paper shovelling. He plays for a football team in his spare time and socialises with his team mates (Oz & UK). 

Daughter, remember 18 is a dodgy age to be emigrating with your parents, mehed and griped for the first 5 months. I wondered if she would ever forgive us. As soon as she started Uni though we hardly ever saw her. Being permanent residents we had to pay up front for the fees. We still qualified for a Commonwealth discount but the cost is still considerable. We also paid for her to stay on campus in Brisbane. Another huge expense but a sacrifice we made so that she could make a new life for herself and live with kids her own age. Best thing we could ever have done. She has recently told us that she loves it here and has never been happier. She has some great friends, a lovely boyfriend and as of last month, a Degree in Economics. As far as her prospects are concerned its all Rosie. She has secured a graduate position in a very prominent finance company, I'm not sure if she would have had the same success in London. 

Son, was never really going to be an issue. Fitted in at school, aussie accent within the month and loads of mates. Hes swapped his BMX & XBox for a boat and is now whats known locally as a 'Tinny Rat'. I hardly ever see him at weekends and holidays. He gets up at 5am and takes to the canals for the day, because according to his friend (another expat) the water is like glass at that time. Its been amazing watching him grow up over here and take the chances he does, I would never have imagined him as a 13 year old getting up at that time in London. He camps over on Straddie, fishes from the beach and cooks his catch on campfires. 

It hasn't been as plain sailing for some of our friends over here. A few who were far better off than us in the UK have found it a lot more expensive than they imagined. Our saving grace was the value of property in London when we sold up and moved. That gave us a good start and we were able to buy the house we've always dreamed of. For others they've found the Gold Coast to be a lot more costly than they thought, it really isn't cheap. Our groceries are a lot more expensive and we now run two cars whereas in London we only needed one. On the Goldie its virtually impossible to get around without a car. The light rail is a good addition but still have to drive to it (bus runs every two hours from our house)

Well that's just our story and I hope it gives a more positive read to some who were worried that everyone was moving back. Yes its hard bloody work but I wouldn't give it up!

 

 

 

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'A real life adventure, worth more than pieces of Gold' David Bowie, Scary monsters, Teenage wildlife.

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Guest

Thanks for stopping by with your update. Its really good to hear how its going for you all. Sounds like you are really settled and happy. 

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Great update, good to see your 18yr old settled. I came across a few families with older kids when i was doing relocations who went through similar things, a few years on and they wouldnt move back if you gave them a ticket,lol.. Your son sounds a bit like mine, loves going camping at Inskip, straddie, wavebreak etc there sure are some great places for them to explore over here.

Cal x

 


If you don't go after what you want, you'll never have it. If you don't ask, the answer is always no. If you don't step forward, you're always in the same place...

If you get a chance,take it, If it changes your life,let it. Nobody said it would be easy they just said it would be worth it...

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6 hours ago, calNgary said:

Great update, good to see your 18yr old settled. I came across a few families with older kids when i was doing relocations who went through similar things, a few years on and they wouldnt move back if you gave them a ticket,lol.. Your son sounds a bit like mine, loves going camping at Inskip, straddie, wavebreak etc there sure are some great places for them to explore over here.

Cal x

 

She’s almost 22 and loves it here.

if your boy ever hangs out at the ‘rope swing’ he more than likely knows my lad!


'A real life adventure, worth more than pieces of Gold' David Bowie, Scary monsters, Teenage wildlife.

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What a lovely up date


I just want PIO to be a happy place where people are nice to each other and unicorns poop rainbows

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yes great to see an update.  I've not 'Gen' up on the posts by why people are leaving Oz [yet] curious to understand why?  For me, 45 in 2018, single no kids,no family ties, no reason to stay in the UK, educated, qualified with a broad CV BUT still in London area, working long hours in dreary, grey, cold, given more work to do without a payrise [cos the company has let someone go & he didnt want to go so i kop part of his work], savings in the bank, no debts, a rental house............and I'm still hesitating about the jump across the Universe.  Sunshine Coast/Brisbane appeals though........J

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On ‎23‎/‎01‎/‎2018 at 20:46, Jay2016 said:

yes great to see an update.  I've not 'Gen' up on the posts by why people are leaving Oz [yet] curious to understand why?  For me, 45 in 2018, single no kids,no family ties, no reason to stay in the UK, educated, qualified with a broad CV BUT still in London area, working long hours in dreary, grey, cold, given more work to do without a payrise [cos the company has let someone go & he didnt want to go so i kop part of his work], savings in the bank, no debts, a rental house............and I'm still hesitating about the jump across the Universe.  Sunshine Coast/Brisbane appeals though........J

Returnees generally (but not exclusively) usually cite missing family, friends, not making friends as reasons for returning.  We get a few members who ping pong between the two.  Some return for family reasons - ill health/caring for relative etc ... common stories but all unique to the individual.

I think if you've got no ties then think of it as a bit of an adventure - nothing has to be forever, some people have safeguards in place - taking a career break, renting out the house etc.,


I just want PIO to be a happy place where people are nice to each other and unicorns poop rainbows

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Guest

Very nice to read your update, agree with so many things!

I love the last line "Well that's just our story and I hope it gives a more positive read to some who were worried that everyone was moving back. Yes its hard bloody work but I wouldn't give it up!" I've heard that more people write on forums/social media when they're unhappy so it can give some people an idea that everyone is unhappy and moving back. When in reality, the ones who love it are too busy loving it and don't tend to write about their experiences as much. That's just my take, could be wrong!

I love how the kids have taken to Australia like ducks to water. Great descriptions of what they're up to. Wish you and your family the very best!

Edited by Guest

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Cheers Ali. Yes renting my house out in UK plan to live cheap (rent a room on Gumtree initially) aim for temporary work try for a good work life balance and sacrifice Career in exchange for all that....I grew up in Care so no family ties drawing me back to UK. So yes an adventure mate. KR

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Lots of similarities in your story to ours. So glad it’s working out for you and yours.

We came over in 2014 too but on a 457 sponsored working visa. We were in Adelaide first and I loved it but my husband and son were not so keen. So we’ve been in Brisbane for two years now and applying for PR. I miss Adelaide more than the UK and really regret moving to Brisbane.

The only negative thing for us, which I feel is important for people who are thinking of emigrating with children in the late teens is the cost of Uni and TAFE for non residents. We’d have to pay International student fees for our son (who’s was 17 when we emigrated but is now 20) They are more than 3 times the cost of a residents fees. Way to expensive for us.

It’s also impossible for anyone to consider him for an apprenticeship as we’re not residence. It’s like were just treading water until the PR get lodged.

With the exception of the above. It has been hard work but so worth it. Financially we couldn’t live the life we do here in the UK. 

We also have an Aussie dog lol 

 

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State: Qld
Stream: 457 Visa - ENS 186 Transition
Nomination & Visa Lodged: 22nd Feb 2018
Nomination Granted: 5th December 2018
IMMI Status: Finalised 12th December 2018 🇦🇺🇬🇧
Applied Citizenship 17th December 2019
Still waiting for test date

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