Australian sun lures in the Brits

Released on = December 19, 2006, 3:55 am

Press Release Author = John Bell

Industry = Government

Press Release Summary = With at least 1.3 million resident Britons, Australia is the
leading destination for UK expats. And many of those who go say they won\'t be coming

Press Release Body = With at least 1.3 million resident Britons, Australia is the
leading destination for UK expats. And many of those who go say they won\'t be coming

Australia is a lifestyle superpower. The stunning climate, the celebrated beaches,
the foaming surf, the carefree joy of tossing a marinated shrimp onto a glowing

No wonder that so many Brits dream of making the fabled \'Lucky Country\' their
adopted home.
Australia certainly has it problems. There are water shortages, surprisingly high
rates of depressive illnesses and a real gambling habit. But they do not appear to
loom large in weighing the well-known pros of an Australian existence with the
less-publicised cons.

Better still, the Australian government is being particularly welcoming right now to
Brits with the right qualifications wanting to live the Aussie dream.

With a population of just 20 million people, the economy faces a chronic skills
shortage. To sustain its present levels of growth, the economy needs an influx of
skilled workers - skilled workers who ideally speak fluent English. With Britain
offering that pool of labour, it is a win-win for both parties.

So Australia has been welcoming British skilled workers in record numbers over the
past three years.

In 2005, 21,780 UK nationals left Britain to settle in Australia, a 30% rise on the
year before.
The number has doubled over the past three years. Three out of every four migrants
who arrive here from Europe are British, and for the past three years the United
Kingdom has been the major source country for migrants coming to live in Australia.

Australia\'s point-style system of immigration, soon to be adopted by the UK itself,
acts both as a bridge and a barrier.

Workers with trades and skills, from electricians and plumbers to doctors and
mechanical engineers, are given additional points and priority processing by the
Australian Department of Immigration and Multicultural and Indigenous Affairs

Workers lacking the correct skills - like journalists, for instance - have to find
others routes of entry, such as being sponsored by an Australian company or falling
in love with an Australian partner or spouse.

Immigration laws have also been relaxed to allow foreign students at Australian
universities to settle in the country if they can arrange a job for themselves after

Shaun Quigley and his wife Rachel emigrated to Cairns, Queensland, almost five years
ago, and have not regretted it for one moment. With a family of three, they are
convinced Australia is the ideal place to bring up their children.

Shaun works as an air charter broker for Independent Aviation, a position he
describes as his dream job. Rachel is a physiotherapist. \"Rachel first came here
when she was in her early twenties as a trained physio,\" says Shaun.

\"She got about the maximum score under the points system. She literally walked into
a job and got residency in Australia.\"

Rachel\'s hospital has been particularly active in recruiting Brits. This October,
when a hospital in Stoke-on-Trent announced job cuts, it moved quickly to offer
posts to laid-off staff. After placing advertisements in the local paper, which
attracted a hundred applicants, 84 people were eventually offered posts.

\"Cairns is hardly the big smoke but it\'s pretty idyllic,\" says Shaun. \"There\'s no
graffiti and you never hear about knifings and stabbings. We even made the mistake
of leaving our front door open when we went home for five weeks to Britain.

\"When we got back things were just as we\'d left them.\"

Dr Peter Logan moved to Australia in March last year. An accident and emergency
consultant, he had grown increasingly disillusioned with the National Health Service
back in Britain and decided on a new life in Queensland.

His wife, Sarah, an intensive care nurse, is Australian, and they now plan to spend
the rest of their lives in her homeland rather than his. Thanks to his
qualifications, getting a job in Australia was straightforward. Queensland welcomes
British medical care staff with open arms. Only the other day, Peter was working in
the Accident and Emergency Department of the Royal Brisbane Hospital alongside three
other Brits.

\"There\'s definitely been a marked increase in UK doctors showing up in Queensland,\"
says Peter. \"I think my peer group is pretty disillusioned with the state of things
at home [in the NHS].
\"The pay is about 15-20% better and that buys you significantly more. Back home, all
we could afford was a box on a housing estate.

\"Recently, we have just bought a big plot of land, 20 minutes from the centre of
Brisbane, where we now plan to build a house with its own pool. We can even afford a
private education for our two children.\"

He admits there are downsides to living in Australia. \"Obviously, we are a long way
from home, and even though I get to see more of the children now, the children don\'t
get to see much of their grandparents. \"The culture here is slightly homogeneous.
You can\'t nip off to Paris for the weekend. And I really miss old architecture,
walking past a medieval church.\"

Relaxing at his home overlooking the ocean just after completing a round of golf,
Andy Griffiths described how his new life differed from his old. He worked as a
youth and community manager in Derby, where he was the victim of assault in the
workplace and a victim of crime at home. He is now an assistant manager at the
National Geographic store in a Sydney suburb.

\"Compared to life back home, this is idyllic,\" he says. \"We sometimes look at the
website of the local paper back home and see all the assaults and all the vandalism.
You don\'t get any of that here.\"

Andy\'s wife, Lesley, is a nurse, and interviewed for a job on a four-way conference
call while sitting in her dressing gown on a cold night in Britain. Some 80% of the
nurses that she works alongside at her hospital in Sydney are immigrants.

And the most interesting thing to about all of the people we interviewed? None of
them plan to return home.

Web Site =

Contact Details = National Visas
Web site:
Address: 3 - 118 Church Street
Hawthorn, Victoria
Australia 3122
Phone: +61 (0) 3 9697 4922

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