Migrant Stories Victoria

Gday DUCers!

Here you can check out our migrant stories that cover all parts of the move, interviews from our DUC team and Relocation Agents, hear from employers, relocation partners and more!!

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The McKean Family

Hey DUCcers!
My name is Jess, me and my family, husband Alex, Daughter Poppy (10), Son Vinnie (6) and Twins Freddie and Felix (4) have recently moved to Chelsea Heights, Vic.
My husband is a Chef/Food Technologist, and I am currently the kids entertainer!
Within 2 weeks of having the visa grant we were on that plane and in our rental… we had a lot of help over here and everything was stressfully last minute- I think at one point I was on facetime at 3am UK time being shown stuff in IKEA- but we did it. I seriously underestimated jet lag but thankfully within 3 days we were at some normal pattern and on that 3rd day, I had the kids enrolled in school! I needed them to have some normality and routine and most importantly friends! As much as I have struggled coming from winter to winter, its actually been a bit of blessing because we can focus on settling and building a home and come the summer we can enjoy it, saying that with 4 kids, staying in the house in not much of an option either and its not like its snowing but its very much early spring feeling- currently its pretty much spot the brit as we are walking around in tshirts and the aussies are dressed like they have stepped out on to The Alps

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So far my first impression of this area is that it is all about the kids, having 4 kids in the UK was not easy (and I never actually planned 3, I got one free :P) from the frowns of members of the public to no activities or areas to go to, moving to Australia was for them to give them the life we could only dream about, with 3 adventurous boys and a pre teen I needed something else… Chelsea Heights has offered that! The Parks are out of this world, if its not the one on the end of every road it’s the massive play areas in each suburb (these have been videoed and uploaded for you to see) The restaurants are orientated around the children, there is one here which I will upload for you that has a massive play centre in it! Neighbours offer to babysit, My husband and I went out on a date night for the first time in 5 years! Then there is the vast selection of beaches!! With clubs advertised on every post I know my children will never be bored!
It hasn’t all been plain sailing either, and I hope this relocation page and the group itself supports you in this massive upheaval. When I was in the UK and getting ready to leave my only thoughts were getting to Australia and now I am here and I can honestly put my hand on my heart and say I don’t miss it, I just miss the people, only able to talk to them at certain times of the day and catching up on facebook when you can. Meeting new friends is very mixed emotions too because you get excited to be making friends and then there is the thought of the friends from home- This will pass.
We also came out with nothing, just the clothes in our suitcase, so setting up a home from scratch has probably been the most exhausting and stressful thing ever!! You don’t realise what you need till you don’t have it. We also don’t have a car currently as we are waiting on Id and changing drivers licence, which I will do a step by step guide for for you so going shopping and relying on ubers right now has not helped but I hope my issues will stop you from having them or if your up the road from me I can help in anyway possible.

I am so excited that I can share my adventure with you from the start and if there is anything you wish to know please don’t hesitate to contact me!
The Mckeans

Carrianne and Adam

Today marks one week since we landed in VIC! It’s gone so fast (9/10/22).

We luckily managed to secure a rental before we got here, I wrote a bio letter about us and a letter from the dog too, I also offered more rent although they didn’t want it and sent them things like job references and rental reference direct so they can get an idea about us as people.

We have managed with the help of friends and family here to kit a house out so anything we don’t have we can now get over time, Kmart has been our saviour for most things for the time being lol

Hubby yesterday secured a full time job in art and metal fabrication and they make some weird and wonderful things so he should enjoy it and he also purchased his first car too, the used car market is brutal, there are so many crappy cars around without rego or roadworthy, also we didn’t know but you need a client ID number from Vic roads to buy a car so we have to now get this before we pick it up Wednesday.

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All bills are sorted, internet modem is on the way, we have Medicare forms ready to send, tax file number forms are done and printed ready for the post office tomorrow and we now have the Vic roads form to convert Adams UK driving licence over.He also has his white card course booked Tuesday, online due to covid at the moment.

Seven seas move cube is on the way and a send my bag suitcase arrives tomorrow as we were way over on luggage allowance for flying!

My pooch went a couple of days before us and is coming home tomorrow!! Pets Abroad have been amazing always kept me updated and so have PEQ so really put my mind at ease. My boy is super anxious and apparently he hasn’t lost any weight or anything so must be eating ok bless him.

Also for those worrying about money we were those people that didn’t really have savings and paid as we went along in this process, we brought with us about $15000 aud to start from scratch and we have around $5000 aud left but with hubby working it should be manageable, whatever the budget if you want it bad enough you can make it work.

We might have only been here a week and it’s a huge change from our life in Burton in the UK but I feel like we are fitting in nicely, it is so quiet where we are and the view of the You Yang’s mountains is beautiful and we see literally hundreds of kangaroos a day!! We even get to wake up to a view of fields and horses now, I pinch myself every morning. We just need to fit some tourist days in now as spent the last week doing the boring stuff.

Thank you DUC we wouldn’t be here without you!!

Q and A with Rob Krolikowski

Name and members in your family? Rob with wife and two kids 

When did you move over? We moved Down Under in December 2019 

Where did you come from? We moved to Australia from Poland 

Where do you live now? Melbourne, Victoria 

How would you describe Australia now you live here? I would divide it into two sections, advantages 

  • career possibilities if you have the right skills. 
  • friendly people. 
  • moderate and relatively short winters. 
  • The climate in general is good. 
  • infrastructure (parks, playgrounds, venues, restaurants and coffee shops). 
  • far from everything (war for example which is a good thing). 
  • beaches, lifestyle and the endless possibilities to spend your free time. 


  • expensive education on not-so-great level. 
  • far from everything (expensive flights to Europe, which you need to plan well in advance).
  • extreme weather events (floods, bushfires). 
  • expensive housing (coming here in your 40s, there’s a high chance you won’t be able to afford your own house). 

Biggest question – why did you choose Australia? I didn’t, it chose me. I was headhunted by my current employer 

Describe your process and visa route getting here. I came here on a 482 tss visa, short stream. The process took about 10 months (back in 2019). 

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What was the journey over like? The journey over was only a part of the relocation process. When you’re moving here, make sure you have a place to stay at least for the first night. 

What was your first month or 2 like? I do remember my first month here very well. We had a place to stay, and I had a job, which I think is not a bad start. Everything else had to be organized from beds, mattresses, linen, all the way to cutlery, plates, pots, towels, furniture etc. We were very lucky because there were very helpful people around us, some borrowed us their dining table with chairs, some gave couches, one borrowed TV set. It certainly wasn’t a holiday. 

Anything that went well/didn’t go so well? From a distant perspective I can now acknowledge that we came quite well prepared, so most things went well. 

Anything you would do different? I would certainly take more warm clothes with me! 

What is your life like now compared to your old life? It’s more relaxed than life in Europe.  We have more family time. 

What do you do in your free time? We’re an active family, so we like to ride our bikes, go hiking, go strolling, or swim. We go to the beach whenever there’s weather. We’re quite social, so almost every weekend we’ll be catching up with friends.  

Favorite food here? Avocadoes and mangoes, fresh fruits and vegetables, beef. 

If you have kids, how are they doing? They both settled in very well, despite no English at the start. 

Anything you miss about your old life? Family 

Any advice you would have given to yourself while going through the relocation process Yeah, do your due diligence before you come here.  

Check the climate: Melbourne weather is different to Brisbane or even Sydney and so is Tasmania. Tasmania, Victoria, ACT/NSW do get areas with snow during winter!  

Make sure whatever money your employer is giving you will be enough to make a living here (a family of four needs about AUD70k net annually, that’s of course a very highly subjective amount).  

Check where you want to live. It might be a choice between having one or two cars, this might mean a potential saving or expense of AUD10k+ a year easily. Good suburbs with decent schools, close to shops and public transport are going to be dearer to rent or buy, but it’s a dilemma worth considering as sometimes a distance of 3km, that takes you 6 minutes to get to on Sunday morning might easily turn into 40 minutes in a morning traffic! 

I would also advise you to do thorough health checks before moving here, including any dental. Australia is a very expensive country!  

Make sure you have some people of goodwill on your side in this part of the world. 

Rob @ Money Saving Rabbit

8 weeks in…

8 weeks in, and what’s it like now we’ve been through this intense period of time?

It’s not just 8 weeks though, it’s more like a year to get to this point!
All I can say is that individuals must have layers of resilience that build over time, and mine is thick with layers.
I’ve been through it all. What a mad mix of emotions and heaven and hell!
8 weeks since landing to follow our dream and, well I just know Aussie life is for us. I feel at home here. I love it.
It’s simpler. It’s easier. It’s friendlier. Yes, in some respects you feel like you have stepped back in time, but I always hated how full on the U.K. was.
The kids get to be kids. In school and out. They climb trees at school.  They pet chickens.  They learn swimming in the sea. They don’t get bombarded with homework.
The food isn’t so expensive if you buy in season. It’s a different way of shopping here. Cucumbers can be 90c one day, $2 the next.
The outdoor lifestyle!  Cook most things on the bbq. Spend an hour at the beach at the drop of a hat. Pack a picnic or take some food to cook on the free public bbqs.
Every day I wake up excited for life. So many things to do.
Every weekend is a holiday and an adventure.
I won’t let life become mundane. I’ve made a decision that every weekend we will do something new.
If you come here with your eyes wide open and just allow yourself to experience things and work through your doubts, then another layer will build.

That layer is happiness.



This will be our fourth Christmas in Australia, and although still learning, feel more educated about what to expect this year.

A lot of people wind down over this time, and most take multiple weeks holidays.
Therefore, Christmas isn’t such a big deal here. It just kind of creeps up on you. There isn’t the build up like in the U.K.
In fact, if it wasn’t for the odd bit of tinsel in shops, the few hanging lights here and there, or the small section in the supermarket dedicated to roses, quality street etc and decorations you wouldn’t even notice it when food shopping!
Christmas also comes around our longest day here. Meaning the lights on don’t have the same effect when the sun is blaring.
Rather than an opportunity to spend two weeks eating and watching tv, it’s an opportunity to have fun, relax, play on the beach and take holiday.
It’s quite a common thing for people to go on holiday from Boxing Day till New Years.
Christmas dinner can be whatever you want, wherever you want it. Some people do the whole U.K. thing at home, some bbq on the beach, others do a bit of both.
We eat lighter over Xmas here compared to the U.K.  I don’t feel the need to stuff the fridge full of heavy food. Instead we take it day by day as we get out a lot.
Our first Christmas, we tried being too U.K. and that didn’t work well.
Last year and the year before, we packed too much in. We tried having Xmas lunch at home, then rushed to the beach for the afternoon and eve.
This year will be a little more slow. We will bbq at lunch, but lots of seafood, and have a picky buffet type thing with pavlova of course.   Athough, quite tempted to pick up a KFC (yes it’s a think at Christmas here)…
Then, later we will probably head to a quiet beach and watch the sunset and have a swim.
The fact is, part of settling is finding your own rhythm.  The settling takes time, but year by year you build on experience.

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