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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

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 :-)

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

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

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.

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!

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.

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 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.

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 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.

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...

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!

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.

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!

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 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.

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

excuse spellingblush

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 00:09:37

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

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.

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

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

oops I meant hp 5 (6 I wish!)

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 10:39:33

That is (if we dont give up)

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.

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 ( 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

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