Repatriating During A Global Pandemic – A Conversation With Denee Savoia

Carlie: Hey there, it’s Carlie with the Expat Focus podcast. Deciding to pack up your life abroad and head back to your home country can be difficult enough, but doing it during the Covid-19 pandemic brings all kinds of extra challenges. Australian journalist, Denee Savoia, recently returned home after four years living and working in … Read more

When Covid-19 Puts Your Expat Life On Hold

Christina: For me, Germany is not the country I want to spend the rest of my life in. I feel very at home in Australia. It was very funny for me, when I flew to Australia, when I actually moved there, and the plane hit the tarmac, and I could feel it in my heart. … Read more

How To Move To Australia

Carlie: Hey there, it’s Carlie with the Expat Focus podcast. Australia is known for its incredible natural beauty, great quality of life and multicultural society. If you’re planning a move ‘down under’ (for some time after the pandemic, when borders are actually open again), blogger and teacher Courtney Alkek has some excellent advice to share. … Read more

How To Open A Bank Account In Australia

Finding reliable and trustworthy banking services is an important part of living and working abroad, and expats will find that, in most countries, a range of options are available. You may wish to maintain a bank account at home, for paying bills and other activities, but you will probably also need a local bank account, … Read more

How To Rent Or Buy Property In Australia

Australia is a country that’s known for its combination of urbanised cities and natural wonders. Whether it’s the outback, the Great Barrier Reef, or the shopping malls, there’s always somewhere to go in this beautiful country. Perhaps then it’s no wonder that it performs so well in quality of living surveys, such as the one … Read more

What Quality Of Healthcare Can You Expect In Australia?

Australian healthcare is generally of a high standard, though the quality can vary, as you may expect from a country of its size. The healthcare system itself is comprehensive, and covers everything from preventative to specialist care. However, it may appear confusing at first glance. There are two parts to the healthcare system: private and … Read more

How To Keep Your Health Insurance Costs Low In Australia

Private health insurance is a popular acquisition in Australia, as individuals and families seek to supplement their Medicare provision. However, health insurance can be costly, and it is wise to do your research before committing to a policy. It is worth noting that health insurance premiums rise annually on 1st April. Therefore, if you secure … Read more

How To Register With The Health System In Australia

Australia has one of the most highly developed healthcare systems in the world, the overall standard of which is excellent. The government funds part of the public system, called Medicare, which covers most medical treatment at public hospitals. Australian taxpayers also contribute to Medicare funding, paying 1.5% on all taxable income.Medicare covers inpatient care, up … Read more

How To Apply For A Visa In Australia

All foreign visitors, apart from those who hold a New Zealand passport, require a visa to enter Australia. For tourist purposes, most people can simply apply online for an ETA (Electronic Travel Authority). ETAs are also available for some business travellers. They are valid for 12 months, and they allow you to stay in Australia … Read more

How To Find A Job In Australia

As an expat, your ability to work in Australia will depend on the nature of your visa, and whether it confers your right to work in the country. Working visas are often regulated according to the skills required in a given country, and Australia is no exception. Regular updates are provided on the official government … Read more

Linda Alley, Melbourne

Who are you? Hi, I’m Linda Alley, a teacher and writer from New Zealand. These days I live with my husband in Melbourne, Australia. Where, when and why did you move abroad? I’ve actually been living in different countries for about 15 years.My first expat experience was a working holiday in the UK. My mum’s … Read more

What Might Australia’s New Sponsored Parent Visa Mean For You?

In April 2019, a new visa was introduced which allows parents of migrants in Australia to visit on a temporary basis for a period of up to 10 years.However, what are the pros and cons? What does the visa entail, what are the requirements for sponsorships, and what does all of this mean for you? … Read more

What Do The Australian Government’s New Migration Plans Mean For Expats?

Newly re-elected Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison recently promised to further reduce the number of migrants granted visas if he won the election. His government intends to cap permanent migration at 160,000 (down from the 190,000 maximum allowed last year) for the next four years. This move will be implemented alongside the advent of a … Read more

How To Get A Mortgage As An Expat In Australia

Australia has long been a popular choice for expats, particularly the British, given the long-shared history with our former colony, which is still part of the Commonwealth. Thanks to its sunny climate and high standard of living, Australia is top of the list for many expats wanting to make a new life.If you’re considering a … Read more

Natascha Carrel, Noosa

Who are you? Hi! My name is Natascha Carrel. I am 40 years old, I am married to my best friend and partner in adventure Yan. Together, we have three amazing children. Being a wife and mum is what makes me truly happy, it is my driving force.I am as well a passionate online entrepreneur … Read more

What Does Australia’s New DAMA Act Mean For You?

Australia has long had a strict immigration policy, with most expats applying for visas based on their special skills. Unfortunately for the country, this has so far meant that expats flock to the cities with the most opportunity and highest standard of living, settling largely in Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane. A new class of visa, … Read more

What Happens To Your UK Pension When You Move To Australia?

There is a plethora of benefits to moving to Australia from the UK, from the better weather and considerably higher quality of living, to the more spacious property available and the excellent healthcare system. Life in Australia is low risk in terms of crime and political unrest, and so is generally considered a safe place … Read more

What Do The Changes To Australia’s Point-Based Visa Test Mean For You?

Australia increased the pass-mark for its points-based visa test this summer. The department of immigration raised the previous mark of 60 points to 65 points from the first of July 2018. While this may not seem like a big jump, it has ramifications for non-skilled workers applying for visas. Previously, some of these applications have … Read more

What Does The Abolition Of Australia’s 457 Visa Mean For Expats?

Until it was officially abolished on 18 March 2018, the 457 visa was the most common way for approved Australian employers to sponsor skilled workers from overseas to fill the critical vacancies they were unable to fill with local workers. The Temporary Work (Skilled) 457 visa was attractive for expats because holders were able to … Read more

How To Add More Points To Your Australian Visa

Here in the UK, the Brexit beast is still grumbling about immigration controls, with both sides of the debate arguing their case for firmer or fairer systems. Existing EU rules mean that citizens of the jurisdiction have the right to roam freely through member nations, living, studying and working where they please. Wherever you decide … Read more

How To File US Tax Returns In Australia

Ah, April… The month when spring starts to feel properly sprung. Gardens shake off the winter blues and come back to life, and lambs gambol around in the dew-strewn paddocks. At least that’s the storybook version; the grown-ups in the real world are often too busy stressing about tax returns to appreciate the wonders of … Read more

Which Australian City Would Suit You Best?

If your life’s goal is to move to Australia and you have skills that give you the pick of locations, then there are lots of options on offer for you. Almost nine out of ten Australian residents live in cities, each of which offer their own opportunities and character.Which city is best for you will … Read more

Sarah Whelan, Sydney

Who are you? Hey, I’m Sarah, I’m a wife and mother originally from Ireland and living in Sydney, New South Wales. I’ve been married to a loyal and beautiful Irish man for almost 3 years and yes… we met in Sydney. I love him deeply.I love life. I love the outdoors. I recently started up … Read more

Kris Peter, Perth

Who are you? My name is Kris Peter, and I am a Canadian living in Perth, Western Australia.I am married, and my husband is Australian, born in Zimbabwe. We have two children; our son is three years old, and our daughter is ten months old. My professional background in Australia has included Outdoor Experiential Education, … Read more

Sam Eltringham, Brisbane

Who are you? My name is Sam Eltringham and I am currently working as a Platform Developer at a UK-based tech company.I will be emigrating to Australia this year. Where, when and why did you choose to move abroad? My Mum emigrated to Australia a few years earlier and after visiting her, with my husband, … Read more

Katie, Melbourne

Who are you? I’m Katie, I’m a travel blogger living in Melbourne and originally from Manchester UK. Where, when and why did you move abroad? I moved to Melbourne in April 2015.I actually left the UK in October 2014 to do a few months travelling South East Asia and Australia before I got offered a … Read more

How Will The New Australian Citizenship Reforms Affect You?

The Land Down Under has long been one of the most popular destinations for expats from across the globe because of its high living standards as well as the educational, career and business opportunities it offers. Australia is also more than just a nation with a booming economy; it is a continent on its own, … Read more

An Expat Guide To Australian Visas In 2017

This has been an interesting and at times contentious year when it comes to Australia’s visa system. The government announced the decision to abolish the 457-temporary work visa, which has been the most common visa for employers to sponsor skilled workers to work temporarily in Australia.They also announced their intention to majorly reform the entire … Read more

An Expat Guide To Surviving The Australian Winter

Clear blue skies, pristine beaches, a laid-back atmosphere, amazing wildlife, and the great outdoors are just a few of the images that are conjured up when most people think of Australia. It has a booming economy, which has not been affected much by the bouts of recession that have hit the world in the last … Read more

An Expat Guide to the Cost of Living in Australia

Thinking about moving to Australia? There’s a lot to recommend it! With stunning landscapes, friendly people and so much to see and do, Oz certainly has a lot to offer. In general, those in professional sectors can enjoy a higher wage than in many other metropolitan cities globally – however it’s essential to consider the … Read more

An Expat Guide To Managing Your Australian Tax Return

It’s that time of year again – tax time. The Australian financial year runs from 1 July to June 30. This is followed by a flurry of activity as people around the country begin scrambling for their receipts to begin what used to be a laborious process of filling out forms and following up on … Read more

Fran Cormack

Who are you? Fran Cormack Where, when and why did you move abroad? In 2012 I decided I wanted to spend even more time in Australia.Holidays to this beautiful country just weren’t scratching the itch. My visa eventually came through on a cold winter’s morning, which brought a big smile to my face. What challenges … Read more

Katie Dundas, Sydney

Who are you? Katie Dundas, originally of Poolesville, MD, USA, a small town near Washington DC, now residing in Sydney, Australia.I currently work for an Australia-based charity and am also a freelance travel writer. Where, when and why did you move abroad? I moved to Australia in 2012 on a working holiday visa. I have … Read more

Australia – Recommended Expat Blogs

At Expat Focus, we like to be on the lookout for resources around the web that could help prospective expats adjust to their new countries. Today, we’re taking a look at Australia and some of the blogs that might be useful for expats there.Between Roots And Wings Cristin is an American expat celebrating seven … Read more

Katee Blizzard, Tweed Coast

Who are you? Hello! My name is Katee Blizzard and I am an American who is in the process of moving abroad to Australia. Where, when and why did you move abroad? I came to Australia back in August 2016 to work as an Au Pair in Burleigh Heads, QLD Australia for what was supposed … Read more

How Will Changes To Australia’s 457 Visa Affect Expats?

Australia has for many years been a top destination for expats wanting to exploit work and lifestyle opportunities, but for many their future dreams ‘down under’ may be curtailed. That’s because the country has unveiled plans to abolish the 457 visa programme which is aimed at attracting skilled migrants to the country. The 457 visa … Read more

New In Town? Explore What Canberra Has To Offer

Canberra is the capital of Australia and is also known as the ‘bush capital’ due to its abundance of nature reserves and national parks. It is home to a smorgasbord of people from varied backgrounds, including students from all over the world who come to attend the prestigious universities it has to offer. People who … Read more

Writing A Winning Resume For The Australian Job Market

Landing that job overseas – whether it be the elusive dream job, or just a position that suits you well enough to make the big move – takes time, persistence and a good marketing document to catch the attention of prospective employers. CV or resume: just to clarify, this is easy-going Australia and what you … Read more

First Aid Tips For Expat Parents In Australia

It’s always dangerous searching for medical advice online. A query about a simple headache brings up alarmist horror stories about exploding brain tumours from shrill amateur surgeons. Another search that brings alarming results is anything to do with Australia. You’ll stumble across horrific lists of giant spiders, evil snakes and aggressive jellyfish, as if every … Read more

How Much Does It Really Cost To Live In Sydney?

The cost of living in Sydney is notoriously high, and it usually makes it onto the top 10 list in the world. But, like its expensive cousins, for many expats the price is worth it. With its beautiful beaches, famously good weather, iconic scenery, and plenty of entertainment, Sydney is a popular place to live. … Read more

A Guide To Child Care And Early Learning In Australia

The task of finding child care and early learning options for the little ones can be daunting for any modern-day parent. In Australia there are many different services available for kids aged from birth to 5 years, and a variety of terms to describe them. Sifting through the array of options is enough to send … Read more

Is Queensland Australia’s Funshine State?

Queensland, located in northeastern Australia, is the second largest state in the country. More than half of its territory lies above the Tropic of Capricorn. Queensland is known for its stunning coastline and endless pristine beaches. It is also endowed with national park forests, rolling plains, rich tropical rainforests, forest covered mountains and vast wilderness.The … Read more

Australia – Recommended Social Media Accounts

At Expat Focus, we like to be on the lookout for resources around the web that could help prospective expats adjust to their new countries. Today, we’re taking a look at Australia and some of the social media accounts you should be following if you’re thinking of moving there.Help A Mate Moving To AustraliaFacebook Group … Read more

An Expat Guide To Coastal Towns And Cities In Australia

Many of the country’s most famous destinations are located on the coast. While Australia is a huge country, there are vast swathes of it that many expats will not get to visit and they do not have large towns or cities in them for work purposes (though they do have lots of mining operations which … Read more

How To Manage Your Money As An Expat In Australia

On top of excellent career opportunities, Australia offers a very good quality of life, beautiful natural scenery, a lovely climate and impressive cities. This means that are lots of reasons to spend money and enjoy the opportunities available.However, expats should also appreciate that gaining a temporary residence visa, or even a long stay business visa, … Read more

9 Australian Urban Myths Which Aren’t True… And One Which Is

Urban myths are told across the world. These thrilling, folkloric-style tales carry dramatic twists that spread quickly through communities and societies. They are told as though they were true stories, but most urban legends are fabricated accounts. In many cases, the same myth is told in different parts of the world, with a few added … Read more

Australia – Recommended Blogs

At Expat Focus, we like to be on the lookout for resources around the web that could help prospective expats adjust to their new countries. Today, we’re taking a look at Australia and some of the blogs that might be useful for expats there.Stories and sarcasm After a stint in the UK, American Katie … Read more

The Australian £250k Lifetime Allowance: How Will It Affect Expats?

The Australian government has set a limit of $500,000 (around £250,000) for non-concessional contributions, known as ‘after-tax’ contributions, for anyone contributing to an Australian pension. The idea is aimed at catching Australians who were boosting their pension funds with large contributions, particularly with the proceeds of a house sale, which they could then draw down … Read more

South Australia Needs More Expats – Could You Be One Of Them?

South Australia is an Australian state that shares its borders with all the other Australian mainland states and the Northern Territory, surrounded by Western Australia to the West, the Northern Territory to the North, Queensland to the Northeast, New South Wales to the East, Victoria to the Southeast, and the Great Australian Bight to the … Read more

Moving To Australia? Beware Of These Creepy-Crawlies!

Australia is renowned for its sunny weather, outdoor living and beautiful beaches. However, it is also notorious for its creepy-crawlies. The country is home to a variety of creatures that can simultaneously fascinate you and freak you out!Spiders Australia has a reputation for harbouring some of the most venomous spiders. However, spider bites are a … Read more

The Rising Cost Of Expat Healthcare In Australia

Australia is known to have a healthcare system of exceptional standards. This is one of the reasons the country’s life expectancy is among the highest in the world. The primary governing principle behind Australia’s healthcare is that it is a hybrid of both private and public service provision. In simpler words, it is like a … Read more

Reeva Cutting, Perth

Who are you? Reeva Cutting. Where, when and why did you move abroad? First I moved from South Africa to England after I finished university. I had no idea what sort of job I would be able to find when I finished my degree. I was able to get a visa for the UK so … Read more

A Guide To The Indigenous Languages Of Australia

Australia doesn’t have an official language in spite of the fact that the country is largely monolingual and English is used as the de facto national language as well as the language of business. More than 75% of the local population claim English as their mother tongue.Standard Australian English or SAE, taught in most of … Read more

Emily Anne Thomason, Brisbane

Who are you? I am a small town girl from Arkansas/Texas that wants to explore the world one memory at a time. After I got married I was blessed with the initials EAT, so there was the idea for my blog. My blog is all about our adventures, packing up, exploring, and learning other cultures.The … Read more

Kerstin Höfner, Manly

Who are you? I am a traveler, explorer, a true seeker, always searching for the bigger, better and more fulfilling in life. I am lucky enough to call the Northern Beaches my home and the ocean my backyard. I have found my true home in Manly, this is where I belong.Where, when and why did … Read more

Jayne Gorman, Sydney

Who are you? I’m a freelance travel blogger and writer who loves street art and sweet treats. Where, when and why did you move abroad? I moved to Sydney in June 2014. I met my Aussie husband in London 5 years ago and after living together in London for a few years we decided to … Read more

British Expats In Australia: Here’s What You Need To Know About Pensions

Expat retirees make up a considerable portion of expat populations around the world. For a variety of reasons, many people choose to spend a substantial portion of their retirement in foreign countries – they may have spent years working there, they may have some ancestral connection with the country, they may love the culture, or … Read more

Australia – Recommended Blogs

At Expat Focus, we like to be on the lookout for resources around the web that could help prospective expats adjust to their new countries. Today, we’re taking a look at Australia and some of the blogs that might be useful for expats there. Girl Tweets World Jayne promises a window into her life of … Read more

Nicola Sutcliffe, Melbourne

Who are you? I’m Nicola Sutcliffe and from Manchester in the UK. I live in Melbourne and work in marketing communications and also write a blog, ‘Upside Down’, based on my experiences as an expat. I’m also a mummy to a three-year-old crazy lady. Where, when and why did you move abroad? Our journey to … Read more

Review – Foreigner In Charge

Foreigner In Charge is the first book in a series that will focus on various expat destinations. This one looks at Australia – one of the most popular expat choices – and the challenges and opportunities faced by managers who move there to further their careers. One of the best things about the book is … Read more

Padraig O’Sullivan, Managing Partner, O’Sullivan Field

Padraig, tell us a bit about yourself. What’s your background, and how did you come to set up O’Sullivan Field? I was born in Ireland, lived in London for four years, in South Kensington and then up in Golders Green. Then I went and worked in Australia in 1996 and that was kind of the … Read more

Giving Birth In Australia As An Expat

If you have chosen to give birth in a country other than your home country, it is important to consider the prenatal care and delivery options available there. Australia is generally considered a safe place to give birth, as both public and private medical facilities provide excellent services during pregnancy and childbirth, as well as … Read more

Jennifer Burge, Brisbane

Who are you? I’m an American writer living in a peaceful bush suburb north of Brisbane, Australia. This is after 30 years in the United States, a year in Germany, five years in Holland, and four years in Singapore. I grew up on the shore of Lake Erie, west of Cleveland, Ohio. As a proud … Read more

5 Great Golf Courses For Expats In Western Australia

One of the major considerations for expats when looking for a new country to live in is whether they’ll be able to continue indulging in their hobbies and passions. Golfing expats are particularly concerned with this question, and with good reason – you can take your stamp collection with you, you can buy a new … Read more

Courtney Alkek, Brisbane

Who are you? I am Courtney Alkek, an American expat who lives in Australia. Where, when and why did you move abroad? We moved to Brisbane, Australia in July of 2014 for my husband’s job. What challenges did you face during the move? Deciding what to bring, what to sell or donate and what to … Read more

A Guide To The Indigenous Cultures Of Australia

The original inhabitants of the Australian continent are known as indigenous Australians, and are thought to have the oldest surviving culture in the world, with what is probably also the oldest surviving religion in the world. These various tribes of indigenous Australians are thought to have descended from the earliest modern human migrants from Africa, … Read more

Laura Hinderaker, Melbourne

Who are you? I’m Laura, originally from Minneapolis, Minnesota. I’m a 26 year old expat living in Melbourne, Australia. Where, when and why did you move abroad? My husband and I moved to Melbourne, Australia in July 2014 for his job at a local University. What challenges did you face during the move? We were … Read more

Cost of Living Facts For Expats Moving To Australia

Sydney used to be ranked as Australia’s most expensive city for expats. While that may still hold true, the good news is that the 2014 Mercer Cost of Living Survey indicates that it has dropped a whopping seventeen places from number nine to twenty-six. This fall in cost of living has occurred in other Australian … Read more

A Short Expat Guide To Food And Drink In Australia

It’s hard to fall in love with a country or a city if you can’t enjoy and appreciate the local cuisine. Expats travelling to the land down under needn’t fear though, as Australia’s multicultural society caters to a very diverse palate. There are plenty of eateries and watering holes in every Australian city, as Australians … Read more

Where Do Expats Choose To Live In Australia? An Overview Of Popular Locations

Property prices witnessed a boom in Australia during the latter part of 2013. Many expat investors and homeowners found it a lucrative time to buy property due to lower interest rates and an atmosphere of improved confidence about the country’s property market. Here are some Australian locations that are popular among expats. Gold Coast, Queensland … Read more

Starting A Business In Australia – 5 Things You Should Know

Starting a successful business requires pre-planning. There are many factors investors must consider when establishing a business in Australia. Research Before starting a business, it is necessary to become acquainted with the Australian market. This means you need to know who your customers are, the nature of your industry and also who your competitors are. … Read more

Moving To Australia – What To Expect As A New Expat

Australia has a large population of foreign residents and continues to draw expats to its shores every year. It is a country rich in natural beauty and its major cities rank among the top twenty in the world when it comes to quality of life. But moving to any country has its ups and downs … Read more

5 Good Reasons You Should Move To Australia (And 1 Reason You Shouldn’t!)

Australia is a country like no other – encompassing the entire mainland of the Australian continent, plus a few surrounding islands, the country is young but highly developed and modern, and can boast of the fifth-highest per capita income and the 12th-largest economy in the world. Due to its history, location, and immigration policies, Australia … Read more

Recommended Reading For Expats Moving To Australia

Australia has always attracted expats to its shores because of the high quality of life and lucrative opportunities. For those who’ve already made the decision to pack up and move down under, here is some recommended reading that will help you plan your stay and also prepare you for what’s in store. Moving To Australia: … Read more

Rita Azar, Melbourne

Who are you? Hello everyone! I’m Rita and I’m French Canadian, born and raised in Montréal. I also have a Lebanese background. My first language is French and I also speak Arabic. I studied law and practiced as a criminal lawyer for four years in Canada. But, a trip to Italy in 2006 changed my … Read more

Diana, Perth (Western Australia)

Who are you? I’m Diana from Vancouver, Canada. I work in PR, sales and marketing. I’m a passionate writer, budding photographer and dual citizen of both Canada and Australia living in gorgeous, sunny Perth. Where, when and why did you move abroad? I moved to Perth, Western Australia almost two years ago to this day. … Read more

Australia – Five Recommended Expat Blogs

At Expat Focus, we read a lot of articles about adjusting to a new country, but many of our featured bloggers this week have had to adjust to a whole new hemisphere. The bloggers below discuss moving Down Under, becoming an Australian citizen and what it’s like to celebrate Christmas in the summer.Stumble Down Under … Read more

Carolyne Huber, Melbourne

Who are you? I’m Carolyne, a late twenties young professional on the quest to discover, grow, and understand social cultures. Where, when and why did you move abroad? After having moved to France from Canada for work single, I left 2 years later but this time with a French partner in tow. We moved to … Read more

Mike, Perth (Western Australia)

Who are you? I’m a family guy first, trained as a mechanical engineer and working in the Oil and Gas services industry. Where, when and why did you move abroad? We were living in our home town of Edmonton, Canada and were offered a position by my company in Perth, Western Australia. The thought of … Read more

Lauren Kicknosway, Sydney

Who are you? Hi, I’m Lauren Kicknosway, an American expat living in Sydney since 2008 and owner of Sydney Moving Guide where I write and curate articles specifically for people moving to Sydney, Australia from all over the world. Sydney Moving Guide is exactly what I was looking for back in 2008 when we deciding … Read more

Why is Australia So Popular with Expat Families?

Australia is one of the most ideal expat choices for families, offering sunshine and beaches and an excellent quality of life for people of all ages. With a population of just 22 million in the sixth largest country in the world, Australia offers huge open spaces and ample opportunities to enjoy the great outdoors. The … Read more

The Truth about the Cost of Living in Australia

Where personal prosperity is concerned, Australia is no joke. It is currently one of the richest nations on the globe, and – as recently as 2011 – the World Bank’s annual economic forecast determined that Australia would “grow more rapidly [in 2012] than global high income countries as a whole.” (i) Meanwhile, Australia is placed … Read more

Sofia Machado, Kingscliff (NSW)

I am a teacher and blogger. Also, a talented dreamer, have terrible curiosity and am definitely a passionate traveller not sure what exactly is the meaning of “settle down”. Where, when and why did you move abroad? I have always loved travelling and have lived abroad twice so far in my life. I have been … Read more

Cosette Paneque, Melbourne

My name is Cosette Paneque. I was born in Havana, Cuba in 1977, immigrated with my family to the United States on the Mariel boatlift in 1980, and grew up in Miami, FL. I came to Australia for a three-month visit earlier this year and have been back now for about two months. I came … Read more

Affordability and the Cost of Living in South East Queensland, Australia

by Tracie HocartResidential Property Solutions Affordability, Cost of Living, GFC, Resources Boom, skills shortages, budgets, cheap holidays, strong Aussie Dollar, infrastructure spending, under supply of housing – these are just some of the phrases appearing frequently in the media today. And, I’m sure it’s not just isolated to Australia. In fact, throughout the world, countries … Read more

Floods and the Brisbane Property Market

by Tracie HocartResidential Property Solutions I was only 4 years old when the 1974 floods swept through Queensland and I really can’t remember a lot about the actual event, apart from the fact that there were a lot of the round plastic garbage cans (common at the time) floating around the streets. Following that time, … Read more

Putting The Home Buyer First In Australia

by Tracie HocartResidential Property Solutions Buying a home or investment property can be hard work in your own suburb let alone in a suburb somewhere on the other side of the world. When buying property, usually the most expensive purchase in your lifetime, talking to a professional is important. Not just the real estate agent … Read more

An Australian Christmas on the Gold Coast

by Tracie Hocart Christmas on the Gold Coast is really something special. People ask me “Are you heading away over the Christmas break?” and I always say I would rather be here than anywhere else this time of year. Why would I head away when there is such a great atmosphere in the air? It’s … Read more

Australian Life Readiness Test

by Sarah Husselmann It’s fair to say I was unprepared for my new life in Australia. Not that I wasn’t organised on some level – belongings were shipped, finances were in place, and my old life in London wrapped up – but when it came to familiarity with my new country, my knowledge was lacking. … Read more

Moving to Australia and Living on the Northern Beaches, Sydney

by Lesley Snell My day starts the same way every day….I look out through my bedroom window at the trees in Garigal National park. Our house backs onto “the Bush” yet I am right in the suburbs of Sydney. The Kookaburras start around 5.30 a.m. followed swiftly by some pretty noisy Cockatoos !! But I … Read more

Shipping Your Stuff to Australia

Container shipping to Australia is the preferred way for immigrants to get their belongings “down under” on time and in one piece. There are many companies specializing in container shipping to Australia, but only a handful which are reliable and reputable. Considering the large distance of shipping to Australia, choosing an experienced company should be … Read more

The Value of Mateship

by Suzer After I got all of my spousal visa paperwork submitted for my move to Australia, a slim envelope turned up in my mailbox with another form to fill out. It was called an Australian Values Statement, and required my signature as acknowledgement that I would accept certain Australian values as a newcomer to … Read more

How to park a car – Aussie style!

by Vicky Parking in Australia is free in most places, barring airports and Hospitals. Unlike in Essex where I was horrified to discover that I had to pay and display at my local Somerfield store, even when I was just popping in for a pint of milk and some peanut M&M’s. I was reimbursed … Read more

Go Back to the UK or Stay in Australia?

by Viveca Trader Some time ago you decided to make the big move to Australia, either by yourself or as a family. It has now been a year or more since you arrived in Oz. You wonder why you are not that happy living there. Before you arrived in Australia, you dreamed about having a … Read more

Selling Up, Moving to Australia and Buying a New Business

Please note: The information in this article is over 12 months old. by Sarah Muxlow Selling up shop and moving to the other side of the world to start a new business venture isn’t as unimaginable as it once was. Australia attracts many new immigrant business buyers, investors and start-up entrepreneurs every year. The core … Read more

Job Sponsored Visas and Finding a Job in Australia

Please note: The information in this article is over 12 months old. by Sarah Muxlow Having chosen to do what is known as skilled migration, my husband and I enlisted an immigration agent to submit our visa application. In enlisting the help of an agent only to advise us and submit our application for a … Read more

Immigrating Down Under – Starting a New Life in Australia

by Sarah Muxlow It was a big move to leave Europe; home, family, friends and ties. We decided to do it and two years on we are enjoying the new life we have here, on the far side of the world. We moved because we wanted to give our children the opportunity to appreciate space, … Read more

Where to go in Sydney, Australia

by Dina Zavrski-Makaric Seventeen years ago, when I arrived in Sydney, it was still trying to find itself and shape its character. Today, its personality is defined by 200 nationalities that live here, speaking more than 20 languages. There is something for everyone in this city of diversity. I remember arriving on a late spring … Read more

Where to go in Melbourne, Australia

by Dina Zavrski-Makaric When we migrate from one country to another we are often very soon faced with the difficulties of starting to create our new life in the new surroundings. This quest can be easier for some, and harder for others. We are all unique in how we go about living our lives; however, … Read more

Danielle Duffy, Melbourne

Hello, I am Danielle Duffy, an American citizen currently living in Melbourne Australia with my family. We moved across in September 2008 for my husband’s job and have been so happy living here for the past three and a half years. There were of course many challenges that we faced during the move, especially since … Read more

Sami Veloso, Perth

My name is Sami. I am Portuguese by birth, but have lived in South Africa (20 years), Germany (6 years) and Portugal (12 years). I moved to Perth to accompany my husband who had been offered a job. We came in January 2007. Although we were happy in Portugal, there was always a wish to … Read more

Stella Hartley, Coober Pedy

My name is Stella Hartley, a police woman from Barnsley, UK. I needed a change, simple as that. I wanted a better lifestyle and quality of life and was in desperate need of some sunshine. It really was all about me. I had no real commitments in the UK, and although the decision to leave … Read more

Sarah Husselmann, Sydney

I’m Sarah Husselmann, a British freelance writer, who moved from London to Sydney in January 2010. I relocated with my husband and two preschool children. Whilst settling the children into their new home, I’ve created a blog and website providing help for mums moving to Australia- Mum’s gone 2 Aus. I’ve been thrilled with the … Read more

Suzer, Adelaide

My name is Suzer, an expat originally from the US. Initially, I moved to England for post-graduate study. While I was there, I went on a backpacker tour of Ireland for Christmas, and met a bloke from Australia, who ended up becoming my husband. We spent a year in New Zealand before settling in Adelaide, … Read more

Russell Ward, Sydney

I’m Russell Ward, a thirty-something expat living on Sydney’s northern beaches in New South Wales, Australia and the writer of an expat blog, I divide my time between government consulting, travelling the world, enjoying a bit of cooking and gardening, and writing whenever I can. I lived in the UK until 2003, before emigrating … Read more

Sheila Wick, Canberra

[Expat Focus: Sheila has kindly shared her sad story with Expat Focus in order to make Expats living or considering moving to a Commonwealth Country aware of what may happen to their UK State Pension.] "On receiving the Age Pension, it enabled me to live in Australia. What I wasn't prepared for was the fact … Read more

Jennifer Tice, Sydney

My name is Jennifer Tice – Former Marketing Manager and now travel blogger at I decided I needed a big change in my life, sold all of my belongings and headed overseas for an indefinite period of time. So far stops include two weeks in New Zealand, one year in Australia, and then off … Read more

Lesley Snell, Northern Beaches, Sydney

My name is Lesley Snell. I live on the Northern Beaches in Sydney with my husband and three children. I am a UK trained primary schoolteacher and Director of a small business on the Northern Beaches in Sydney, Australia. I have been very lucky to have moved around a fair bit. Over the past twenty … Read more

Gordon Dolan, Perth

My name is Gordon Dolan; for many years I wanted to migrate but had cold feet, until a recruitment team from HM Naval Base, Auckland, visited Plymouth where I worked in the Devonport Dockyard; being selected for migration with costs paid was too good to pass up, my partner Diana agreed and off to New … Read more

Nick Jay, WA

My name is Nick Jay and I come from Norfolk in the UK. I first moved overseas in October 2006 to Berri in South Australia. It’s a lovely little town in the heart of the Riverland about 3 hours from Adelaide. This was not our first choice but it was the only opportunity open to … Read more