emigrating to australia

(89 Posts)
liz1969 Fri 06-Jan-12 18:44:04

i am seriously thinking about emigrating to australia. i am a nurse educated to diploma level and working as a senior charge nurse here in scotland. i am a single parent with 2 teenage children. really want to go but am aware am running out of time due to my age (42).

guess im looking for advice on the best way to go about it, and on the best area to look into. we have a fairly decent life here,but am aware of the high cost of australian life

TidyDancer Fri 06-Jan-12 18:46:18

No personal experience, but a close friend emigrated to be with her partner and has found it extremely difficult. She is very isolated and far away from everything though, so I suppose my only advice is to carefully consider location before making any concrete plans.

Based on my friend's overall experience, it's not something I would do if I'm honest.

michglas Fri 06-Jan-12 18:46:57

A colleague at work who is on about £25K cannot afford to move back to Australia even though he's from there, as the cheapest accommodation to buy starts at around £300K.

Feminine Fri 06-Jan-12 18:48:22

Go here britishexpats.com

There is so much valuable info there.

Go to the Australia section , and get some ideas.

Good luck smile

CrispLeCrisp Fri 06-Jan-12 18:49:52

It is a LOOONG way (sorry to point out the obvious) from the UK, friends and family. Your DC may wish to stay in the UK or if they come with you, go travelling in a few years time. If they settle and establish their lives there, it will be extremely difficult for you to ever leave again.

What do your DC want to do?

MilitaryWag Fri 06-Jan-12 18:50:44

Give this alooooooooooooooooooooooooooot of thought. Huge move, very long distance. Do you have family there? I had a close friend who did this. Absolute disaster mainly because she had this idea that it was some sort of nirvana.

singarainbow Fri 06-Jan-12 18:51:56

You could start by contacting hospitals direct in the places where you want to live, they are desperate for nurses. Or you could go to a "down under live" expo which are held around the country a few times a year and they actually have jobs advertised and hospital reps recruiting on the day.
It is a huge move, we are doing it in April, and if your kids are on board, I'd say YANBU to look at it properly. There are loads of onlibe forums as well for migrating brits, with a whole wealth of experience and advise, so make use of them!

jandymaccomesback Fri 06-Jan-12 19:00:12

Absolutely love Australia- for holidays. We've been three times to visit family and friends,but when we get back we realise how much we love England.
It is a huge decision. As others have said, do a lot of research.

SillyOldHector Fri 06-Jan-12 19:04:41

I would suggest looking at the different kinds of visas on offer and whether you want to go out on a 457 employee sponsored visa or apply for permanent residency. Applying for PR means you could be entitled to certain state benefits unlike the 457.

I would go to the britishexpats website where you'll find a whole host of info about visas, areas, education, jobs etc. The forum is also useful for asking questions. There's a good section on those that chose to come back to England so you can get views from both sides.

It helps to have a vague idea of which area you'd like to live in first though. It really is a minefield so it's best to do as much homework as possible.

We lived for a year in Perth but chose to come back. Dh loved it but I realised it wasn't for me long term. He was on a GP salary so his income was very good so we could have had a good standard of living. The cost of living is high though, so again, do as much fact finding as you can.

SillyOldHector Fri 06-Jan-12 19:05:30

X post with feminine.

IneedAbetterNicknameIn2012 Fri 06-Jan-12 19:16:46

My brother emigrated 7 years ago. He lives near Canberra. He loves it and would never come back.

He moved over there to be with his then gf. They split up, but he met someone else, and is totally happy.

He thought long and hard about it before he went, but in the end followed his heart not his head.

Rebelwithoutapplause Fri 06-Jan-12 19:34:53

Whilst living abroad for 10 years we saw quite a lot of people arrive and then return back home within 12-18 months - it's a huge move and not for everybody. I strongly suggest taking a long holiday there first and use this as a chance to meet potential employers, scope out the lifestyle etc. before making a final decision

CrispLeCrisp Fri 06-Jan-12 19:45:11

I do agree Rebel about making sure the short term works out, but i know of people who have relocated to give their DC a 'better life'. The DC then either want to leave and travel/go back to the UK so decision has to be whether to come back with them, or they love it and settle and have their own families and then literally the parent has no choice to return.

I think people look at the short term and don't consider the real long term impacts sad. I think this would be fine for moving somewhere in Europe etc but really, it is so far and so expensive to travel to Australia.

Rebelwithoutapplause Fri 06-Jan-12 20:18:07

Yes fair point Crispy, I was thinking of it as more of a fact finding trip, my thinking is better to lose a few thousand pounds on a trip than the much more expensive alternative of a failed emigration.

FWIW I think Australia is one of the easier countries to adapt to, but also bear in mind that as we get older we all find it harder to enjoy the large changes you are contemplating. When we lived abroad we met a fair number of people who were arriving to get away from something such as an unhappy home life or work etc, rather than moving towards something, the ones who settled well tended to be there for positive reasons such as better opportunities, interest in the country etc.

Nerdily I occasionally lie in bed listening to the Australian radio phone in programs (try tunein radio!). You find that many of the conversations talk about the exact same problems we have over here. I suppose what I'm saying is that all countries have their good and bad points and after the exciting honeymoon period, life pretty much settles into a pattern, and its what you make of it from there which decides how likely you are to settle.

otchayaniye Fri 06-Jan-12 20:21:01

worth bearing in mind that it is eye warteringly expensive to live there.

visas can be hard to get

but good luck. i moved abroad (had to return fr family reasons) but we're plotting to go again before the children are too old

Pandemoniaa Fri 06-Jan-12 20:29:53

My mother was Australian (as indeed are most of my relatives) and she never took British citizenship despite being brought back to the UK as a child by my English grandmother.

She often considered going back "home" - our family first arrived in Australia back in the 1850s so we weren't exactly 10 Pound Poms - and made a series of visits. She concluded that, despite being an Australian and having supportive family there who wanted her to resettle, her links to the UK were so strong that she didn't feel she could go back and live permanently in Australia. She said it was so very far from home and that's an undeniable fact. It is also very different, culturally, despite being a fantastic country and some Brits simply never feel at home.

My ds1 is working and travelling in NZ this year. He loves it but again, he has a reluctance to put 12,000 miles between everything and everyone he loves. He may well settle in Canada but that's such a short journey home in comparison.

So my advice would be to take as long a break in Australia as you can. Get some real facts about the cost of living and job opportunities and travel around the country so that you can make an informed decision about where you might want to live. I know it sounds bloomin' obvious, but the difference between, say, Sydney and Perth is more than just thousands of miles.

items Fri 06-Jan-12 20:32:14

I have to disagree with much of what has been said. Having lived in London for the past 11 months there is absolutely no way that Australia is eye watering expensive or anything near London. Yes its not cheap as chips but like London, it all about location, lifestyle and approach. Australia is huge and so here are things to think through:
* Cities are obviously more expensive than outer suburbs. First decision to make is which state? NSW is the "main" Australian state but of course Victoria is a happening state, Queensland more country like as is South Australia and Western Australia. Tasmania is even more isolated.
* City, suburb or country. All very different. All will then have a feel of seclusion/less happening as you move from city toward country.
* Each state has different housing expenses and each City is too. Most expensive NSW/Sydney. Least Tasmania/Hobart.

Yes its far away but from what? Depends on what you are leaving behind. I don't mean that bad, just reference of far away is an interesting one as I am far away from Australia but that is ok and the life experience far outweighs it (for me only, not for all). I don't know about the huge move comments. It sounds bigger than it is. You can move back at anytime so i don;t ever over stress that side of things.

I think the key that someone stated was the job first. I would validate you can get work and what income you can get. Then determine living expenses. House/flat - live or rent. I would suggest rent in case you decide not to stay. Food is quite similar in price as is utilities to London. Public transport is a little cheaper. Cars close to same. Petrol cheaper. Travel - more expensive as Australia is further away from other countries so if you want to travel outside of Australia, will have to pay for it.

Hope it all helps a little.

CadleCap Fri 06-Jan-12 20:33:26

We are about to emigrate there in the next couple of months. It is an expensive business - about £3.5k for the visa, medicals etc.

IMO to all those that say - well I know someone who did it and it didn't work out. So what? At least they did it and won't have the "What if..." What do you loose by doing it and it not working out? A bit of money, you'll still have your limbs!

You need to be under 45 for the points and you may have to do an IELTS, again for the points as they have changed the system in July last year.

We didn't use an agent as the aussie immagation site is quite straight forward.

I say go for it!!

fluffy123 Fri 06-Jan-12 20:34:51

If you get a chance watch or record 'Wanted Down Under' on bbc1 at 9.15 each morning for another three weeks. Each year 20 families get to go to Australia for a week , look at accommodation, employment and lifestyle. The gist of for the last couple of years is because their currency has got so strong compared to ours and the housing market is booming property is now really expensive compared with five years ago. Salarys are usually higher but so are things like groceries. The show is worth watching.

CrispLeCrisp Fri 06-Jan-12 20:48:04

items "You can move back at anytime so i don;t ever over stress that side of things"

I agree that practically you can, but disagree that it is easy once DC are involved. I have a relative now 'stuck' in Australia as her DC won't move back with her and she can't leave them, despite wanting to come 'home'. Australia is now their 'home'

otchayaniye Fri 06-Jan-12 20:52:10

you cannot always move back easily, especially if you are priced out of the housing market.

Morloth Fri 06-Jan-12 20:52:20

Can you try before you buy? I would recommend that before permanently moving to anywhere.

Cost of living wise I would say Sydney is about on par with London, groceries are very expensive. Having said that our lifestyle here is far better than what we had in London, however a large part of that is probably because this is home. Don't under estimate the power of home.

Nurses are indeed in high demand, I don't know any who are out of work, but it isn't a particularly well paid job. You will also need to check whether your qualifications are applicable or whether you would need to get other certifications etc.

I have a vague memory of there being incentives for useful people like nurses to move to places other than the big cities so you might want to look into that.

Good luck, I love being back in Sydney but I also adored London, both countries have their pros and cons.

The cultures are very different, be prepared for a culture shock. On the surface this isn't particularly obvious.

CheshireDing Fri 06-Jan-12 21:06:04

Don't always just presume that the new world will give a better standard of living OP.

Clearly it depends on where you live in the UK and where you want to end up living in Oz for comparison but it has not been affected by the recession in the same way that other countries have. Hence you are likely to find it more expensive and you will probably not get the size of house for your money you may imagine (unless you move far out or Alice Springs!) grin

DH and I used to live in Melbourne as DH is a Nurse, it was hard going for him because nearly all the Aussies worked part time in the hospital and it's pretty much only the foreigners that work full time as they are required to by their visa. You have to make sure there is more to your move than just wanting the sunshine.

If you do decide you want to go I would get on with it sharpish though as they are getting stricter all the time.

jellybeans Fri 06-Jan-12 21:06:44

YANBU Go for it if you are pretty well researched. I know a couple of people in OZ who love it and a couple that came back, same with NZ. I think alot of people (esp those on Wanted Down Under) think it is abit like Home and Away or an easy paradise type place. I often wonder why they think moving half way around the world will solve their problems when they haven't even tried living in another UK town or changing jobs. Some of them have never been there but just going off Neighbours etc. It's a big risk to move somewhere you have never been to.

What would put me off is the distance from family (I know one person who had a horrible couple of deaths of young people in the family and had to drop everything and fly back for weeks till the funerals etc-she was lucky she could-not everyone could), the hot weather (depends where you are), the flatness (although some looks very scenic), the spiders, not as historic etc. If none of those things would bother you then it may be the right choice.

laptopdancer Fri 06-Jan-12 21:07:22

The only thing Id be concerned about is your not having a degree. Check how that will affect you first OP

yummypancakes Fri 06-Jan-12 21:16:27

We migrated to Perth 7 years ago, my heart wasn't really in it but there were family pressures to go, my brother and parents were there and eventually the main reason to go was to not regret having not gone for the rest of our lives.

We came back after 4 1/2 years, we made lovely friends, lived life to the full but I just knew it would never feel like home.

It is very expensive to live (electricty, water, rates all very shocking) and it is an expensive experience to make the big move, even though property prices were rising there and all we were hearing from the UK was doom and gloom we are 100,000 GBP down in terms of equity than before we went, so a big financial impact.

For me the 2 big reasons for coming back were lack of confidence in the education and health systems. So happy we came back but ready for a holiday over there now!

It is a very difficult decision, as others have said most people view Australia as some sort of Nirvana and you really can't get a good feel for a place on a short visit.

For many it is just something you have to get out of your system but with teenage children it is much harder to do that!

jandymaccomesback Fri 06-Jan-12 21:49:44

For me the 2 big reasons for coming back were lack of confidence in the education and health systems.
Two of the things people complain about over here too.
DH was taken ill on holiday in Qland and was very impressed with the health care.

laptopdancer Fri 06-Jan-12 21:52:26

We are going soon and the only thing Im worried about is not being a "well off" as we are in UK. Living is very expensive there and we dont have many debts or financial worries here. Not rolling in it but secure.

Feminine Fri 06-Jan-12 22:00:03

Something that really stood out (from reading the Australia forums on the ex-pat forum) is just how tricky it can be with teens.

This is not from a moving there point of view however, things normally become more problematic when a teen wants to go 'home'

There are many stories of 18 year olds wanting to leave, and obviously not much the parents can do, unfortunately. There are stories of families wanting better and finding that better is minus the kids.

Actually, as an ex-pat myself (in US) this was one of the reasons we decided to return to the UK. Our eldest is 13, if we left it any longer, he would put strong roots down here, and not want to budge. So that way round was also a concern.

Of course children choose to leave homelands all the time, its just that with emigrating it throws up so many more hurdles and separations.

I know one lady who has now left Australia after 30 years, she left behind her children and grandkids...now all on her own, she has started a new life (having never really felt at home in all those years) very brave...

items Fri 06-Jan-12 22:02:38

Taking the most expensive city in Australia, Sydney and comparing to London shows a mix bag. Depends on where the focus is.

OVERALL Indexes Difference
Consumer Prices in Sydney are 12.01% higher than in London
Consumer Prices Including Rent in Sydney are 8.13% higher than in London
Rent Prices in Sydney are 1.25% lower than in London
Restaurant Prices in Sydney are 5.65% lower than in London
Groceries Prices in Sydney are 29.98% higher than in London
Local Purchasing Power in Sydney is 9.54% higher than in London

Some details (London - Sydney - % difference)
Meal, Inexpensive Restaurant 21.32 $17.29 $-18.88 %
Milk (regular), 1 liter 1.50 $1.98 $+31.59 %
Fresh Cheese (1kg) 11.69 $10.11 $-13.50 %
One-way Ticket (local transport) 4.91 $ 4.40 $-10.46 %
Monthly Pass 159.68 $98.88 $-38.08 %
Taxi Start (Normal Tariff) 3.55 $3.52 $-1.02 %
Taxi 1km (Normal Tariff) 2.90 $2.35 $-18.78 %
Taxi 1hour Waiting (Normal Tariff) 72.39 $55.46 $-23.39 %
Gasoline (1 liter) 2.07 $1.39 $-32.89 %
Basic (Electricity, Gas, Water, Garbage) 222.71 $203.51 $-8.62 %
1 min. of Prepaid Mobile Tariff (no discounts or plans) 0.21 $0.79 $+267.83 %
Internet (6 Mbps, Flat Rate, Cable/ADSL) 30.54 $56.39 $+84.60

Rent Apartment
Apartment (1 bedroom) in City Centre 2,069.06 $2,079.61 $+0.51 %
Apartment (1 bedroom) Outside of Centre 1,452.07 $1,587.47 $+9.32 %
Apartment (3 bedrooms) in City Centre 4,060.13 $3,946.13 $-2.81 %
Apartment (3 bedrooms) Outside of Centre 2,666.05 $2,506.28 $-5.99 %

Buy Apartment
Price per Square Meter in City Centre 12,510.01 $9,843.28 $-21.32 %
Price per Square Meter Outside of Centre 7,818.53 $5,378.77 $-31.20 %

Salaries
Median Monthly Disposable Salary (After Tax) 3,418.12 $ 4,048.62 $+18.45 %

laptopdancer Fri 06-Jan-12 22:03:43

rent where we are looking is about $650 a week

OliviaMumsnet (MNHQ) Fri 06-Jan-12 22:04:51

Hi there
We are going to move this thread to living overseas
Best of luck whatever you decide
M Towers

laptopdancer Fri 06-Jan-12 22:06:26

Should I put it in context....our 3 bedroom home would rent for £700 a month
Rent where we are going in Oz is on average for a modest house £1750 a month

items Fri 06-Jan-12 22:18:27

laptopdancer - I just did a search on australia house web-site, looked for a place same bedrooms/specs as london including distance from city. Found 15 places cheaper than our current in London, 4 above.
I think again it all comes down to selections, locations, is it an exact spec to really compare etc.

laptopdancer Fri 06-Jan-12 22:44:56

Are you looking on realestate.com.au ?

liz1969 Sat 07-Jan-12 00:39:27

thanks everyone for the really informative responses. i soo want to go but am also terrified. i plan to visit an expo in glasgow next month. there is also one in aberdeen in march i might attend. have no family in oz but have 4 workmates who made the move and loved it plus one who lasted 6 weeks!
i cant afford to do the long holiday as im well aware im running out of time for emigration due to my age

saffronwblue Sat 07-Jan-12 05:06:49

I think the people who struggle in Australia are those who see it as a warmer, cheaper, not quite as good UK. Try to understand and appreciate it on its own terms rather than comparing it to the UK.
Once you are earning Australian dollars it will not seem so expensive. Be aware of the massive distances between towns and cities and get good information on the climate of each particular area before you decide where to settle.

Curtainmyself Sat 07-Jan-12 06:17:36

i've lived in London and also several Australian cities, currently living in Brisbane.

IMO the cost and quality of clothing and (unbelievably) fresh food is inferior in Australia to the UK. Discussing it with other expats it seems that the Australian food is transported "all around" Australia (which is a big place!) before arriving at it's destination.

The cities tend to be big urban sprawls...very American style and in Brisbane just now it just seems to be full of cement high rise buildings going up.

It is so big here but there is nothing in between...if you know what I mean. You can't jump into the car and fancy a drive down the road to the next village - because there isn't one!

The weather is not all it's cracked up to be. Here in Brisbane it's unbearable in the summer months - but enjoyable in the winter months HOWEVER it gets dark quickly all year round...so no long sunshiny evenings.

Better stop now as I don't want to completely run it down. There are, of course, lots of people who love this kind of lifestyle. For us, and most of our friends we've made here there is so much of the European culture and way of life that we miss too much. We're here for a couple of years so it is quite doable for us.

savoycabbage Sat 07-Jan-12 06:37:08

What are your reasons for wanting to emigrate Liz?

Wanted Down Under is totally unrealistic IMO. They show them massive houses that are twice the budget and they are more often than not in terrible areas.

lulalullabye Sat 07-Jan-12 08:53:26

Speaking from a nurses perspective. I moved to Adelaide in March. When I began applying for jobs I got all three that I applied for. I get pain approx $68,000 a year basic without out of hours pay. There are lots of jobs and I have found they like UK nurses.
Whether you have a degree or not does not matter. I love working here and living here.

liz1969 Sat 07-Jan-12 10:24:37

my main reasons are that i just feel it will be a better way of life. i know a couple of folks who have gone and find the laid back approach suits them. sick of stress to be honest.

also feel our good old british nhs is no longer that. i just dont like the way its going, all audits and targets and bugger the patients.

i guess if i had another adult to go with i wouldnt be so worried. am well awar i will be back on shifts if i get a job . my kids are desperate to go and assure me they will be fine lol

saffronwblue Sat 07-Jan-12 11:00:33

Life in Australia is not particularly stress free. People work long hours, deal with traffic congestion in the cities, get ill, have psychotic bosses, worry about their mortgages and their child making friends at school etc etc. Urban life is pretty similar in most developed countries, I think.
To generalise, most Australians take for granted and enjoy having great outdoors to relax in - but when it is 40 degrees no-one is outside.

Livinginoz Sat 07-Jan-12 11:29:04

We've been out here for 18 months now and would never go home! It is more expensive (we are in Sydney) but it depends what your priorities are; for example we had a largish house in the North West of England, now we live in a 2 bed apartment BUT we're 2 minutes from the beach. Our lifestyle is totally different, as a family we are totally less stressed.
We have a 3 year old so it is easier than some of our expat friends who have teenagers.
I know a few nurses who have come out, some get sponsored by the hospitals/health service so definitely look into this at the expo (which are really useful)
Pomsinoz.com is another really good website
My motto is that it's better to regret something you've done than something you haven't!grin

SeymoreButts Sat 07-Jan-12 11:53:18

What feminine said, check out the britishexpats forum. There is a whole section devoted to nursing and getting registered to practice here. It is tricky and can take a while (I'm considering training as a nurse next year).

It is breathtakingly expensive to live here. I really did think that people were exaggerating until we moved and experienced it first hand. DH got (what we thought was) a healthy pay rise when his employer moved him here, but in reality all that rise did was compensate for the huge hike in living expenses! Not to mention what we have spent setting up a new home, even though his employer paid for all the visas, flights etc. and gave us a moving allowance, we spent all that and more. We're on 457 visas so there are expenses associated with that too, like $4500 per year, per child for state school in NSW.

The weather is better but certainly not guaranteed and pretty wet if you live on the coast. I'm not trying to frighten you but it is something you need to look into very carefully because it can be a very costly mistake or the best move you ever make. What do your DCs think? Can you come here on a fact finding trip?

liz1969 Sat 07-Jan-12 15:37:24

cant afford the fact finding trip. both kids want to go. i worry that if it doesnt work we will have nothing to come home to. i have a decent pay and nhs jobs are getting scarcer by the minute

Feminine Sat 07-Jan-12 16:07:32

liz I understandsmile

another thing to ask yourself is "Am I running away from something?" I can see your reasons ...but be honest with yourself...

Right now your kids are keen, but please ponder a bit on how things would pan out if they wanted to go home , or you did even?

I don't want to sound negative...I just want you to be clear in your mind about what you would do if the family unit broke up?

If you have nothing to come home to, it will be difficult to come back if you have to.

Also, what about your parents? will they ever need help in the future?

I know you can't possibly be expected to answer or know that right now, but...its another reason why ex-pats end up giving up the 'dream'.

Its very brave of you to consider it, I really wish your whole family good luck!

lulalullabye Sat 07-Jan-12 22:09:15

Just bear in mind that if you go on a sponsored 457 visa you will HAVE to work full time.

chloeb2002 Sun 08-Jan-12 07:25:32

as a nurse no need for a dgree. Only requiremnet is to be able to register with APRHA as an RN which i assume you are.
I work in ICU in Brisbane and I am an RN with a dip nursing. I am now hopping over the degree and doing my masters in nursing!
All pubic health areas will sponser nurses on a 457 and then also on PR if you choose to stay. We came on a 457.
Pay is better than the Uk for nurses although in general nursing is still in catch up as are conditions.
Rememebr that you will not get tax credits etc for 2 years after pr so you may find life tighter here for a bit.

chloeb2002 Sun 08-Jan-12 07:32:12

jeepersap dancer.. that must be sydney cbd... not a satalite suburb in brisbane!

laptopdancer Sun 08-Jan-12 09:22:40

It is brisbane!

Curtainmyself Sun 08-Jan-12 11:16:02

'Tis true laptopdancer. We used to rent a beautiful three bed Victorian semi in Teddington (so a very expensive part of Greater London) for 1700 gbps per month. We are now in a 2 bed "apartment" in a very nice part of Brisbane, paying $850 per week!

Brisbane isn't exactly a world city is it! Prices are stupid here.

laptopdancer Sun 08-Jan-12 11:42:23

We have even settled on a townhouse to reduce the cost but can see it would still be $450 a week

Looks like we cant afford to go sad

items Sun 08-Jan-12 11:52:27

curtainmyself/laptopdancer - have no idea why you are paying that much. I own a few investment properties in Brisbane. A 2 bedroom lovely townhouse 20mins from Brisbane central and tenants are paying $340 AUD a week. That is £225 GBP per week even with the terrible exchange rate. I am renting out a 3 bedroom house, same location, for $380 per week.
So if Brisbane central ok but how many of us are in London central instead of 20-30mins out. Whilst i agree with many above, some things expensive, some not, I certainly don't agree with a generalisation that rents are more expensive. Its all about location, travel time and what you are looking for. The same as London.

laptopdancer Sun 08-Jan-12 12:10:54

We need a 3 bedroom...what suburb are you talking items?

laptopdancer Sun 08-Jan-12 13:05:36

iIm not in London btw...Im up north

items, I think your tenants are getting a very good deal. We are paying far more for our 4bed apartment in Sydney than we are receiving in rent for our 4 bed house in London. Even when I was still in the UK but looking on realestate.com.au at possible places to rent, it became obvious that rent was going to be a far larger proportion of our outgoings in Australia cf the UK.

I also agree with the comments about clothing and other retail items. Forgetting the exchange rate, I have started using a rough £1=$2 conversion to work out if something is 'good value' or not. Even with this rule of thumb, things can work out more expensive than you would expect. E.g. a hat from Pumpkin Patch for my 6 month old daughter cost $15 but would cost £6 in the UK. I have started to really appreciate hand me downs from Tescos.

And the $4500 for the kids to go to the local school isn't the end of it. You have to pay for stationery, books, gym lessons and any special sports your kids do. That's lessons during school time, not clubs. If you don't pay, your kids just do what's called 'school sports' which seems to be games in the playground.

But I'm not here to gripe. I did my homework before we moved and I definitely didn't expect it to be a cheaper, warmer version of the UK. I did think it would be a place with, overall, a more active, outdoors way of life and a good place to bring up the kids. My 9yo ds1 hasn't settled in very well but the others are doing fine. We are still on my husband's 457 visa and I'm not sure whether we will apply for PR or not but I'm glad we tried it, anyway.

items, just out of interest, where did you get your stats in your older post?

laptopdancer Sun 08-Jan-12 18:11:57

I know Brisbane very very well and have only found lower rents in somewhat dodgy suburbs. Thats the downside of knowing the area well..

jandymaccomesback Sun 08-Jan-12 18:44:28

Can't you claim some of the school expenses against tax? We were visiting friends in NSW when their tax advisor was there and he was asking about equipment they had bought for their child for school to put on the tax return.

liz1969 Sun 08-Jan-12 20:13:00

starting to think it may be too expensive a move to make!

laptopdancer Sun 08-Jan-12 20:19:44

I must admit Im a little sad today as we have made the decision that we cant afford to go either.

liz1969 Sun 08-Jan-12 20:27:59

i would love it, but have a good job and decent enough life here. might be too big a risk to take. if it didnt work, i wouldnt get the same grade of job on return...nhs is pants just now

notmychristmasname Mon 09-Jan-12 01:38:04

gosh lots of differing information going on here. I am just waiting for our medicals to be cleared and then of to Perth(dont give me any boring shite please)
op, I am in GG&C Trust, band 6 CPN addictions and got a job last year, went down to London for an interview. The company are sponsrring me and I get PR with a moral obligation to stay with them for 2 years.

You do not have to be under 45, but you do need to have an occupation in demand which nursing is. There is lots of info on goverment site about visas for nursing.

I am giving up a great job and if Oz goes tits up I will always get something back in NHS, maybe not what I would want straight away but good nurses get jobs!
If you live within your means you can live anywhere.
Please feel free to pm.

notmychristmasname Mon 09-Jan-12 01:39:02

should have said interview was for nursing job in Perth.

CheshireDing Mon 09-Jan-12 01:52:38

Fact is, Oz is an expensive place to live. The groceries etc are more expensive than the UK, as is the housing. The country has not been affected by the recession like the rest of the world and although Nurses wages are okay they are not amazing and as I mentioned you would be full time and a lot of the Aussies would not.

If you will kick yourself forever for not trying it then you should give it a go but try and retain a house (if you have one) in the UK for now, there are people who want to come back but basically cannot afford to now. Also the longer you leave it potentially the more rubbish the £ to the $ becomes.

If you go to an agency O'Grady Peyton, Healthstaff Recruitment etc it is easy enough for a Nurse to get a job offer and a 457 visa.

dollydoodledo Mon 09-Jan-12 10:26:51

Good lucy with your decision. From a work point of view it could be the best move you ever made, especially considering how senior you are. I have a friend who is a NUM and a friend who is about to start a masters to be a nurse practitioner, both get paid more and better work conditions than they had in UK. You need to get national registration from AHPRA (ahpra.com.au) and can contact hospitals you are interested in to see if they will sponsor you.

I am in Sydney, very expensive, $650 for 2 bed flat, 3 kids, not exactly a dream for family life, but no regrets. Sydney is very expensive, we were comfortable in Norway, but really struggle here, partly due to bonus baby though.

I have little kids so different worries like expensive childcare, but teen present different issues, such a schooling, on a 457 visa you pay for public (state) school, but most people here talk about private high school, expensive and on lists from when little. Also thinking ahead about university is a factor. Also if they made need braces etc etc, can be very expensive.

Also if you have family and a good network of friends, it is hard to start from scratch in a new country.

We will go back (my issue is UK or Norway) as it is so far away. Very expensive, yes, paradise, no, but an amazing life experience however it pans out smile

laptopdancer Mon 09-Jan-12 10:39:06

Im wondering what Queensland Health is like now compared to the nhs right now. Im a band 8 in the nhs and looking for a hp6 but Im not impressed with how much leave is available so far.

laptopdancer Mon 09-Jan-12 10:39:33

That is (if we dont give up)

trafficwarden Mon 09-Jan-12 15:33:55

We did this in 2004 but left in 2007 so I can't help with current cost of living expenses. We rent out our house for what seems an incredibly high amount - I wouldn't pay it myself! We now seem to be serial expats so beware of wanderlust.
Your qualifications are fine. I'm a Midwife and in my experience, and that of friends who have moved recently, you would be snapped up regardless of not having a degree. Brisbane is crying out for nurses and midwives. Yes, the APHRA process is tedious but for someone who is used to form filling (as I'm sure you are!) it is not onerous. Professionally you are probably way ahead.......
Ex-colleagues who have teenagers say the initial months can be stressful but the advantages outweigh the negatives.
We enjoyed our time there and will probably go back but not for ever. It is a BIG decision to move so far away from family/friends. We didn't get homesick but became very aware of how isolated Australia is and how very far away from the rest of the world. That's despite being there 3 times before we emigrated and having the advice of friends who still live in Perth and Sydney. We also had the advantage of permanent residency and now have Australian passports.
You need to get on to the sites previously mentioned and do a huge amount of research. Having the support of your family/friends also helps.
Good luck with your planning!

laptopdancer Mon 09-Jan-12 17:25:56

oops I meant hp 5 (6 I wish!)

liz1969 Mon 09-Jan-12 19:08:38

would seem the opinion is 50/50 on the pros and cons? notmychristmasname its nhs gg&c im with too. we have probably met! lol

lulalullabye Mon 09-Jan-12 22:37:10

Depending on where you live, annual leave is not as important, ie with a beach down the road and guaranteed sun in summer it kind of makes it easier with lesser days iykwim.

giggly Tue 10-Jan-12 00:09:37

changed back from my christmas name. I am in Clydebank, if we've met you'll know all about my Australia planswink

giggly Tue 10-Jan-12 00:12:13

I also meant to say I got loads of advice and contacts from chloeb, however when I was loking for work Queensland were not recruiting from overseas only intersate. My visa gives me PR which measn I can change jobs and not have to continue to wrk f/t.

giggly Tue 10-Jan-12 00:13:52

excuse spellingblush

migrant Tue 10-Jan-12 00:47:15

I left London 15 years ago and have been in Perth ever since. I now live in "the good part of town" in a 5 bed house with pool, tucked between the golf course and the ocean. Similar properties rent for $450 a week, some for less. My children attend a quality private school for which I pay less than childcare.

Over the years we've been friends with several other uk migrants and a clear pattern emerges. The ones who sold up in the uk and came here determined to succeed, generally did just that. The ones who kept a house back home "just in case" generally didn't settle and found the whole thing just too hard. You need to be committed. If you keep converting every purchase into pounds you will just send yourself crazy. You're not on holiday, you're earning in dollars so why worry if it's cheaper in the uk?

When I needed an emergency trip back the airline had 3 seats ready for me within 4 hours. It's not that far now and Skype is almost free!

For us Australia has been amazing. The opportunities which my children take for granted just wouldn't have been available in the uk. I tend to look at what day to day life is here compared to my life in London. Yes, I still go to work, pay the bills and clean up after wretched teens. But here I drive to work alongside the white sands and blue ocean. Here it Will be sunny at the weekend so I can plan a BBQ by the pool. Tonight I will swim in our pool after work and the pace of life is so much less stressful. People are very inviting to new migrants and the lifestyle is great.

Feminine Tue 10-Jan-12 01:45:45

Thats a lovely post migrant

You made some good positive points.

Would you ever consider going back to the UK?

migrant Tue 10-Jan-12 08:43:54

At this stage, no, I can't ever see us going back. We went to the Uk on holiday a couple of years ago and there were parts we loved - picture 2 teenage girls finding Primark for the first time!- and British pubs beat Aussie ones hands down. However the daily life here is so, so much better and really what matters is how your daily life looks.
I work in a Govt dept and earn very significantly more than I would for the same job in England. Our stress levels are much lower, we take our dinner down to the beach to eat on a midweek night - just cos we can! There is so much space for living and that, combined with the weather, seems to mean people are far more mellow.
Opportunities are very much there and we have had very little impact of GFC compared to England. If you are a nurse and want a 4 bed 2 bath house with 2 reception rooms, nice area, then it's perfectly doable. Yes, your kids may go and travel, but isn't that a possibility if you stay in England? sometimes you have to make a call of "where do I want to be once they grow up and leave?" our children are only on loan to us.
It's a wonderful place!

Curtainmyself Tue 10-Jan-12 18:51:38

Migrant you paint a pretty picture. I used to live in Perth before moving to Brisbane and am trying to work out where you could rent a house like yours for $450 per week. Give us a clue.

chloeb2002 Wed 11-Jan-12 04:29:16

It is certainly true in the last few years Brisbane has become more expensive to live in. However we have a good economy, a housing market that is hit by the recession but not floored. People have jobs.. we are still recruiting overseas for shortages, so all in all in my opinion a great place to be. Not everyone cup of tea.
When we moved over I didnt work and we lived on one wage for 12 months. Dh earned 80k$ a year. The national average Aussie income is 65k$. People live and live well. property where I live in North Brisbane is between $200 to $500 a week to rent. (thats a 3 to 5 bed house)
We have bought a 5 bed house on 5 acres 45 mins from Brisbane CBD ten mins to white beaches for $540k. Thats why we came. Our kids love it here.

Queensland health..... I am a NG5 with 4 years post grad experience and i earn $32.80 per hour before shift loading. that increases every year till i get to NG5 year 7. I will get a 6 % increase for my masters and i get salary sacrifice for electric ($1300) and $10000 salary sacrifice for mortgage /rent per year. ( tax free salary) and novated lease car ( tax free fuel rego purchase cost). I have no real gripes with qld health. I do my job they pay me... Better than I would have got in the Uk.

Giggly .... Thanks!

DonInKillerHeels Wed 11-Jan-12 05:21:33

DH and I are both earning good salaries. I'm originally from Oz. Have just been back for Christmas, and with the current exchange rate everything - especially housing and food - is SOOO expensive that we've realised we could never afford to move back. Ever.

Think long and hard...

roary Wed 11-Jan-12 06:16:29

Migrant where are you in Perth? We arrived here before Xmas but have lived here before and DH is a Perth boy.

I think it is worth reiterating that Australia always was expensive, it's just that the exchange rate made it seem cheap. Remember that you will be getting paid in Aussie dollars and if you stop converting all the time it is much less daunting. The days where you could sell your house in the UK and use the exchange rate in your favour to buy a mansion are long gone but exchange rates fluctuate and this will not always be the case. Also when you go on holidays home the buying power is great!

It is also worth pointing out that you pay for public (state) school in NSW on a 457 but not here in Perth.

Everyone's experience is different but I have a nurse friend in Oxford (where we lived till earlier this year) who would pack up and go in a flash because as a senior ITU nurse she would make 2-3 times what she makes in the UK and can have more flexible working hours, or so she tells me. They are looking for a job for her DH now.

ALso I think a lot depends, as others have said, on where you were living in the UK. Housing in Perth is very expensive but so was housing in Oxford. A 4 bedroom house here is about twice the total size of a 4 bed house in SE England cities.

Schooling also varies from area to area. We've moved from a situation where for a variety of reasons we would have felt compelled to send our DCs private in Oxford from reception to one where if they go private it will be in secondary school, and we will be two minutes walk from the local primary.

We rent a fully furnished (very strangely so, but ok for now, and glad we're not staying much longer) 3 bed townhouse in Cottesloe for $700/week so if you look around you can find great deals. (bear in mind that furnished here is very unusual and so more expensive) The problem with securing rentals in Perth is that it is so competitive it is best to do it when you get here and you don't always get a clear picture from overseas.

migrant Wed 11-Jan-12 07:44:09

I'm south of Perth but still very reasonable to commute to the city, especially by rail. Cottesloe would be very pricey to rent!

roary Wed 11-Jan-12 08:46:34

Cottesloe is peculiar - lots of very, very expensive and some dumps that are amazingly cheap for the location (but dumps!). We are only in Cott temporarily though as it suited us for a range of reasons.

Curtainmyself Wed 11-Jan-12 10:04:51

Migrant, so when you say you are in "a good part of town" it's not actually Perth is it? For all that house for $450 a week you must be a long way out.

Roary, Australia has not "always been expensive". I was here as a backpacker 15 years ago and things were as cheap as chips then. It's only been the past 10 years that inflation has taken off in Australia. It used to be a right of passage for Europeans to backpack here but I think they would find it very difficult (financially) now, so it has lost its gloss. A place is only good if you are getting value for money. My daughter stayed in a backpacker's recently and it cost her fifty dollars!

roary Wed 11-Jan-12 13:20:24

I travelled here in 1994 on Canadian dollars and it was very expensive as the dollars were on par (and the pound had huge buying power). Inflation has made it worse but Australia has always had very high labour costs.

laptopdancer Wed 11-Jan-12 21:13:17

I am also from australia and can confirm things werent always expensive.
Every time I go back im shocked at the rises in costs.
I remember when a main meal in a restaurant was around $10-12. I dont even want to know what it is now!

kgbollie Fri 08-Mar-13 16:35:22

wow! we could be making the move to Perth in the next few months and now i am even more confused that ever smile My hubs starting wage would be $100,000 - i take it thats quiet a decent wage? I am also able to work on the 457 visa so we would have any income i make too. The company put us in rented accommodation to start us off but im hopeful we can start to rent our own place reasonably soon. We would be going lock, stock and barrel - selling house, cars, everything really. We have to go out thinking we're not coming back! smile we have a 10 year old daughter and just think, at this time, this is the right move for us.

echt Sun 10-Mar-13 05:03:16

Will the company ship any of your stuff as part of relocation?

Emmalousie78 Mon 18-Mar-13 23:48:17

We moved out here jan 2011 (Adelaide) & its the best move we ever made! Everyone is different, we came along with many other families as part of a police recruitment drive, most have settled & love it, whilst a few have gone back to the uk, some of which have since regretted it. As regards it being expensive, we kept comparing it to how much things cost in the Uk at first which made it appear very expensive! However the wages are higher here so it kind of balances it all out. We speak to family via facetime /skype all the time & although its not the same as popping round for a natter it feels like they're not so far away..... for us it was all about our 3 children's future & it seems pretty bright now :-)

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