Migrant Stories Western Australia

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!!

If you are a migrant going through the process or are already living in OZ, an employer, service provider or a tour company and want to be interviewed, please click the button below and complete the form.  Thanks! 

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Gemma Teale

Back in 2019 we emigrated to Australia. Initially we moved to south Australia and stayed for just over 2 years. We enjoyed our time on SA but wanted to explore another state that suited us that little bit more. We moved to Perth in October 2019, in the few short months we have been here, we have settled well and even bought our first Aussie home! My children have settled well into their schools. My older son started high school in January, and my younger son is in primary school. My husband is a carpenter and has found work very easy as trades are in huge demand!

Leigh Chadwick

In 2018 we decided we wanted a better quality of life and started the migration process with the DUC. We visited Australia as a family and all immediately fell in love with the country, the relaxed lifestyle, weather, food, the scenery etc. After traveling to Perth, Adelaide, Melbourne & Sydney, we felt Perth was the place we wanted to settle and call home. Michael found work a few weeks after making the move as a project manager, but took on a complete career change and now is a trainee shot firer in the mines and loves it. Our children, 10, 8 & 5 all thrive and much prefer life here. Leaving family, friends, work and schools were extremely hard, you will always feel that guilt, but once you get here and see the life you have made…you realise it was the best decision you ever made. Life really is precious, it’s simply too short to spend your time worrying about the what if’s.
My advice is; do your research first, ask lots of questions, make sure there are work opportunities in the area you wish to move to and if you are going to use a migration agent, make sure it’s the Down Under Centre.

Mary Adam

I am Mary, a primary school teacher from Scotland (near Kilmarnock) and emigrated myself to Perth. I chose Perth based on the weather, that it was slightly smaller and I might not feel quite so lost as in a big city, I’d read positive stories about the people and how friendly they are, and because I felt it would be right for me.

I flew with Qantas at the beginning of August (I booked way back in April when the prices were cheaper) and was lucky that my parents helped and upgraded me to Premium Economy! (£1800 at the time!) I flew Glasgow – London, London – Perth. The flight was cancelled to Perth for 24 hours so was put up in a hotel which wasn’t great but they gave vouchers for meals which helped a little. 

The flight to Perth was long but I’d downloaded some TV episodes to watch which helped pass the time. My headphones wouldn’t work so no movies, but that would have helped pass the time too. The seats were comfy enough but I didn’t sleep…I was so glad when we touched down! The staff were great and helpful!

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I booked an Airbnb for 1 month so I could look for rentals (I was based in East Victoria Park which is only a 20 minute bus-ride to the city!) I used Journee Relocation Agency based in Perth to help, and Melissa organised my cover letter and application pack for me. 

Within a week and a half I secured a rental (first one I applied for). Each viewing I went to had around 8-10 other interested applicants too. It’s not always easy! I was also looking at relatively cheap options, which might have made a difference to the number of people applying. 

I applied for Medicare and TFN in the first couple of days and activated my bank account (Commonwealth – and it appears to be the most common here). The bank needed a second phone number which is hard to provide if you come alone and know no one like I did, so I had to use the relocation agent – something to consider if your coming out alone too. 

I bought a bike which has been amazing. The suburbs South of the River are quite quiet and you can cycle on the pavements where there are no cycle paths. The public transport is very good though. I also got a Smartrider ticket that covers the bus, train and ferry! I will eventually get a car but they are quite expensive at the moment for me. 

I have applied for the casual relief teaching and within a day have been booked. There is a huge demand for primary teachers, so I’m hoping to get more work!

I’ve downloaded and use the app Meet-up, which is great for finding groups and activities going on nearby that you can join and meet people. I’ve signed up for quiz nights, hiking and axe throwing so far! So something for everybody!!

Overall, the first two weeks have been a whirlwind with lots to learn and figure out. It’s not easy, and I have felt very stressed at times, but overall it has definitely been worth it so far. There’s loads to see and do, most are free or a small donation! I’ve still got things to work out myself, but I hope some of this may be useful to someone thinking of coming to Perth!

The Booysen family

I wanted to share & I promise to keep it short and sweet!
We arrived in Perth 2 days ago, for the first time after travelling for 2 months!

Drinkwater’s

3 years ago today we touched down in Perth as a family of 4, with just 6 sports direct bags filled with all of our worldly possessions.

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 Completely out of our comfort zone not knowing what we had ahead of us.
Well I can safely say life has been extremely kind to us and Australia has been everything we managed it to be plus more. We’ve got great jobs, our girls are excelling at school, brought our first home, right by the ocean and the golf course, a new four legged furry addition and the best surprise of all, our little baby boy who’s now an Aussie citizen.
We are also lucky enough to have just returned from a trip back to the Uk to see our friends and family. I can’t describe the feeling I felt seeing my home town again 🥲 and if we didn’t know it before, it really did seal that our move to Australia was completely the right one.
Our life in this beautiful country has exceeded our expectations and we are truly grateful 🙏🙏
The whole visa process is the hardest mental challenge we’ve ever had to endure but the life we have provided for our kids completely over shadowed this process. Trust me when I say this we’ve sat there throwing the laptop down, saying no more, the endless paperwork. But please, please don’t ever give up. Have trust in the DUC and know that if anyone can get you to Australia then it’s these guys ❤️❤️

Q and A with Gemma Teale

Name and members in your family? Gemma, Chris, Felicity, Hayden and Mason. 

When did you move over? Moved in June 2019. 

Where did you come from? Leeds, UK. 

Where do you live now? Perth, Western Australia 

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How would you describe Australia now you live here? Beautiful, the scenery and beaches are stunning. The weather in Perth is great. Really accessible and always lots to do. It has exceeded expectations. 

Biggest question – why did you choose Australia? Better lifestyle for the children. I was fed up with UK weather and like to live an outdoorsy lifestyle. Like that I can pick the kids up from school and head straight the beach. 

Describe your process and visa route getting here. Started the process in 2017. Skills assessment for my husband’s job as a Carpenter, was the first thing, then we applied for the visa in June 2018. Flew to Adelaide in June 2019 on a tourist visa. Stayed in Adelaide until 26th October 2021. We have been in Perth for a year today! 

What was the journey over like? We flew with Cathay Pacific who we thought were great to fly with. The children and Chris slept really well, but I couldn’t sleep too much (probably down to excitement and nerves!) We flew via Hong Kong, with no delays. 

What was your first month or 2 like? Really good, we stayed in an Airbnb for 2 and a half weeks, then secured our first rental in Hallett Cove. It was a lovely 4 bedroomed home with a sea view! 

Anything that went well/didn’t go so well? Because we flew out on a tourist visa, it was a bit of a risk as we lodged offshore, but thankfully the visa was granted 2 months after arrival in Australia. 

Anything you would do different?  Wouldn’t have moved states in the first place, would have saved a fortune, by just coming straight to Perth. 

What is your life like now compared to your old life? Alot more active. We have 2 dogs, so I am always out walking. Walking next to the ocean everyday feels surreal. The Children have a better outdoors lifestyle, playing soccer, swimming and kayaking. 

What do you do in your free time? Kayaking, dog walks, shopping, socializing with friends having BBQS etc.,  Having a drink on knock off time on a Friday is the best. 

Favorite food here? Seafood and Vietnamese salads! 

If you have kids, how are they doing? They are doing great. They enjoy their schools here and their sports! My Daughter has a job too which she enjoys. 

Anything you miss about your old life? Family and Friends definitely! Primark and M&S food hall. Overall shops here are really good and we have got used to them now! 

Any advice you would have given to yourself while going through the relocation process? Really research where you are going and make sure it is the right place for you and your family. Is there enough to do? Are the jobs plentiful? the right climate? Research, Research, Research! 

Q and A with Brodie Roberts

Name and members in your family? Brodie (myself) Jack (husband), Clae (5) Colt (3) Coen (1), Jet (dog) and Rebel (dog) 

When did you move over? March 2022 

Where did you come from? South Wales, UK  

Where do you live now? Secret Harbour, WA 

How would you describe Australia now you live here? Amazing – the country is beautiful and there’s so much to do here and everything is a lot more outdoors.  

Biggest question – why did you choose Australia? We originally started applying for Canada and realized we wouldn’t have the same standard of living as we did in the UK. Whereas Australia offers a much better livable wage and can have a better lifestyle than we did in the UK.   

 

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Describe your process and visa route getting here. We applied just before covid hit, it was very straight forward until Australia decided to close its borders, 2 years later we were able to put our EOI into South Australia for a 491, who then sent a invitation to apply for a 190, we then applied and Jack obtained a job while still in the UK to start when we got over here about 3 months later our visa was granted and we moved in March. 

What was the journey over like? The plane ride was one of our biggest dreads getting here and it was actually very easy, there were tablets to watch new films out and our 3 boys who we thought would be a nightmare were amazing, they didn’t moan or mind one bit.   

What was your first month or 2 like? Chaos, I don’t remember much of the first month we were here as it all blurred into one, by the time our feet hit Australian soil we didn’t stop. we went from shop to shop buying everything we needed to restart our lives here in Australia, once we survived the first month it all slowed down which was lovely the everyday life started and the explored the area a lot more and fall into daily life. 

Anything that went well/didn’t go so well? We had a good line-up for the first few days which defiantly helped when we landed and knew exactly what we needed to achieve each day. 

Anything you would do different? I would defiantly pack more and ship it over, we underestimated the size of the house and how much it would cost to furnish. 

What is your life like now compared to your old life? So much more outdoor based, we are always outside at a park or beach. It’s got so many opportunities to do more family based outdoor activities from free BBQs at the park or drive on beaches. 

What do you do in your free time? We are forever finding new parks and walking the dogs or spending the day at the drive on beaches only 30 minutes from our house.  

Favorite food here? My favorite food would be Boston Burgers Port Kennedy, they are the best burgers we’ve ever tasted. Our second favorite is Whistling Kite (Secret Harbour) The menu there is to die for, the food is amazing we’ve never had a bad meal from there. 

If you have kids, how are they doing? The kids have come on so much, my eldest is like a different child he used to be so shy but now he’s so confident, it’s amazing to see him swimming and playing in the sea.  

Anything you miss about your old life? I miss the easiness of life, having to learn everything over, growing up knowing how everything works and applying for schools etc. comes so easy in a country you live in. But to move to a new country and have to relearn everything like doctors’ systems and bulk billing etc. just adds a little bit of stress onto everything, once you learn it gets easier, it’s just the initial change.  

Any advice you would have given to yourself while going through the relocation process? Keep going even on the tough days life here is so much better than it was in the UK. 

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.

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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.

Lisa

Christmas!

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.

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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.

‘The call’ with Chloe

After taking a risk and travelling to Australia on a tourist visa to lodge onshore in May, last night we received the magic call from Jenny to say OUR VISAS HAVE BEEN GRANTED!!!
 
The last 6 months have definitely come with challenges but we are so happy here and have no regrets! We are in WA and wow it is beautiful 😍
 
Thank you to the DUC, it is such a long stressful process and we could not of done it without you!
🇦🇺🇦🇺🇦🇺🇦🇺🇦🇺🇦🇺🇦🇺

3 years on with Leigh

3 years ago yesterday we arrived in Australia!
Extremely lucky that everything fell into place for us and we haven’t had any bumps along the way. 3 years on, still have no regrets! My biggest worry was always about the kids not settling in and making friends, but they adjusted so quickly.
The hardest time we have experienced is when family become unwell in the UK, it’s the only time I have really felt that distance, other than that Face timing feels like we only saw family and friends yesterday!
We still sometimes find ourselves in disbelief that this is our home, but we all work hard to get to this stage, so keep on pushing those dreams as believe me, it’s still feels like your living that dream years later!

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