Published on May 4th, 2016 | by john.weir0
Our new life in Perth – one migrants journey from the UK
Seeking a better lifestyle and to be close to family, Carol-Ann Lynch moved with her family to sunny Perth…
I wanted to move to Australia as my family, including my parents, who are now 79, had already migrated there.
I missed them a great deal and wanted my kids, Catherine, Kelly and Emily, to grow up close to family. We celebrated Christmas 1993 in Perth with family and I fell in love with the place.
Myself and my former partner had some savings and we sold our house in the UK to finance the move. Fortunately, at that time you were getting almost A$3 to the pound and Western Australia was a cheap place to live. How times have changed! It felt very easy for us to migrate and something of an adventure. There were no downsides to the migration process. From application to acceptance, our visas took about eight months to be processed.
Our moving preparations were pretty extensive. We had a house to sell, cars to sell, funds to transfer, bank accounts to open and close, and a whole house full of furniture to ship to Australia.
Pickfords helped with the moving of our belongings. This cost around £4,000. They gave us some very useful tips on how to label boxes containing valuables. Basically they advised us to label them as “kids toys – puzzles” or “bedding”, or something equally unexciting so that they didn’t go astray on the trip. It happens. Sadly there are people with light fingers all over the world.
We arrived in Perth in December 1999. It felt easy to settle in. There is a lot of parent participation in the schools and so you are presented with an instant community if you have kids.
We chose to live in the suburb of Doubleview as it was very easy to get the kids to school and only a 15 minutes commute to West Perth, where I work.
The children’s father decided to return back to the UK in 2001 so I bought up the kids as a single mum. Mark, my partner of many years, is an Australian and we met over here.
We are currently in the process of building a new home. The house we are renting is like a large farmhouse, but in the middle of suburbia, with great views and a swimming pool.
Doubleview is one of those suburbs that used to be really inexpensive compared to the rest of Perth, but in the last couple of years prices have skyrocketed and it’s becoming trendy and expensive.
MAKING IT WORK
I have been working as an Australian registered migration agent for over 10 years and have assisted several thousand people to obtain temporary and permanent residence visas.
I’m lucky to be working in an industry which is really buzzing and has been for many years. My work brings me into contact with all sorts of wonderful people from all corners of the globe.
Being a migrant myself, I understand the difficulties involved in moving to a new country.
I became an Australian Citizen on 26 January 2002, which is Australia Day! Our citizenship ceremony was awesome and very British in many respects. It was an early morning ceremony in a large and beautiful park called Perry Lakes. The ceremony was preceded by a sit-down English breakfast as a brass band played. At the end of the ceremony we had a 21-gun salute.
We had a good life in the UK, but now we have a great life, and live in one of the top 10 most liveable cities in the world. For the first few years it felt like a permanent holiday. Perth is so bright and clean and the sun seems to shine every day. It’s warmer and sunnier, so life doesn’t get much better!
There are things we miss about the UK of course, such as the beautiful countryside, the great British sense of humour and real pubs! To start with, I really missed Marks and Spencer but you can order everything online nowadays and deliveries usually take place in about three working days!
Perth is so close to Bali, Hong Kong and Singapore that we tend to go there for mini holidays and then to New Zealand, Italy or France for longer holidays.
As for the future I plan to keep on trucking on with the migration business that I built up.
My advice for other British people wanting to move to Australia is to do your homework and don’t bring anything with you that you don’t need. Take the opportunity to de-clutter your life!
Keep your favourite woolies. Australian winters can be quite cold, especially at night!