10 years ago my husband had come home from work one day utterly frustrated and obviously burnt out. He declared “we need a lifestyle change – I think we should emigrate”. Now if you knew my husband you would say “yeah yeah ok” and just agree with this bolt from the blue knowing full well that in a couple of weeks it would all be forgotten. I decided to humour him and the following unfolded.
The conversation continued “well where would we go” I said, It would definitely need to be somewhere English speaking and with a similar standard of living to the UK. We currently lived in a small mining village in the middle of Yorkshire where nothing much happened. Nonetheless everyone knew everyones’ business and it was quite a tight knit community with family support networks close by (sometimes too close byJ).
We proceeded to look at google maps and discussed countries identifying Canada, USA, South Africa, Australia and New Zealand. Having never been to any of these places we used our pre-conceived ideas about them and what we could find out on the internet to dismiss all but relocating to Australia. Statements like ’too cold’, ‘not very safe’, ‘don’t really fancy that place’ took us to this conclusion.
We had decided that our future lie down under and with google being our friend looked at the key statistics of each of the cities and decided that moving to Brisbane would be our first choice. This was mainly driven by the climate and that Brisbane’s city didn’t seem as big as some as the others (more of a large town), which we felt would suit us being from a small village in the middle of Yorkshire.
I was still sceptical at this point, still thinking this would all be forgotten in a couple of weeks but to my surprise my husband continued to research relocating to Brisbane. He was trying to find out how he could actually get the whole family to Brisbane so that we could work and live sustainably. There were visas to consider, how to get a job, how to physically get us, our belongings and pets there and my biggest concern how to tell our nearest and dearest that we were leaving them to live on the other side of the planet; and then follow through and actually do it. Our heads were left spinning with information overload.
After reading multiple forums and looking for work in Brisbane, which was difficult as my husband worked in a very niche field we decided that we needed some help in creating a pathway through this jungle of visas, jobs, and travel arrangements. We decided to go to one of the living in Australia expos that was running in London at the time. There are many of these around now, running in various cities around the world to provide much of the information needed to move to Australia and other countries around the world. This is great because you can speak to the experts, migration agents, relocation agents, employers, immigration and take away great contacts all at the one time.
We took away lots of information and gave out our CVs to recruitment agents and employers and had identified that the best plan of attack would be to try and get sponsored by an employer to get a 457 visa which is temporary for 5 years and could lead on to a permanent residency visa. Immigration had confirmed that we met the criteria required to get this type of visa on their points scoring system. In hindsight I was still paying lip service to my husband’s latest hair brained scheme and still didn’t believe it would eventuate into anything at this point. Part 2 will describe how, armed with this information we made it to Brisbane, Australia.
10 years on I am now a citizen of Australia. I have been a property manager in Brisbane and I am now a relocation agent at opal relocations striving to help people take one of the paths that I took across to Australia. In my time as a property manager I came across a number of relocation agents that are unprepared for their clients or do not understand the subtleties of the emotions that they are going through. I aim to improve this service to our clients by saving them time and money and reducing the stress that is placed on them by providing information that they can trust and at the times that it is needed. I hope this part helps some people get some direction.