Got to admit I am guilty of not updating on here very often, have used the site many times but now I am actually here have found I haven't used it half as much. After speaking with some friends the weekend they recommended I come on and give our experience so far as this may well help anyone having doubts or worries. So here goes ..........
We arrived on the 19th April 2013 and had booked a 4 week rental in Seacliff from the UK. Came out as a family of 4, me, hubby, and our two girls 12 & 9. Never visited Australia before and arrived with 3 suitcases and our container on route! We had a 176SS permanent residency visa, as my husband is a metal machinist and his occupation was on the skills shortage list.
Shortly before arriving I had read on here that there was very little work for engineers in this industry and I had been looking on the usual jobsites, seek etc and not much coming up at all. Was concerned as we had sold our house, business, all cars, motorbikes most of furniture etc and was living with my parents for the 3 months before we flew out, was getting worried about work prospects, but knew that we would do what ever it took to find work when we arrived.
So we arrived, and agreed that hubby would work first and I would be a stay at home mom, to help ensure the girls would be settled at school and I could sort all the usual paperwork, rentals etc.
During the first week, we did the Centrelink, Medicare, Driving Licences, Tax Numbers etc. Second week we decided ok, now is the time hubby needs to look for work, we are not here on holiday and we have to find work to ensure our dream continues and we can stay, so off he goes, sending countless emails, phone calls to the lists of engineering companies I had created spreadsheet with engineering companies before leaving. We had contacted a couple before arriving and they just said contact us when you arrive, so he did. Unfortunately, he must have rang nearly 100 companies all of which said that same thing, no work, making people redundant, engineering here is a dying trade, sorry mate nothing here!
As you can imagine, at this point we are on week 3 no work and virtually exhaused the yellow pages, internet. We had even gone for drives around the industrial estates and stopping and going into factories asking if there was any work - still nothing!
The children had been enrolled at Aberfoyle Hub Primary by week 2 and were settling very well in school and loving it. During week three, me and hubby were just so stressed, worried about work, thinking don't think this is going to happen, omg what are we going to do. During this whole time we were also visiting rental homes to and wow, didn't we see some states!!!! Couldn't believe what we were seeing.
We finally found a rental that we liked and applied and were accepted, so by the end of week 4 we would be ready to move out of short term rental and into 12 month rental. Another box ticked, great, but still no job!
At this point it was agreed that I would look for work in an Admin role as there were lots of these jobs advertised, the girls were settling extremely well and as long as one of us was working it would help minimise the bank account being zapped of the funds.
I started sending my cv on mass to agencies, job adverts, going through advertiser etc, lots of replies - sorry not short listed etc etc etc. Then week 4 came, we had our container arriving and had got the keys to our new rental, then comes a call asking me to go for an interview. So off I goes to interview, goes very well, just doing basic admin which is fine it is a job. on the day our container arrived, I got a call saying job is yours if you want it! Great, finally one of us working.
By end of week 4 hubby gets a second interview and by week 5 he is offered a place North of Adelaide, not brilliant pay but a job - so he takes it. Finally we can start to relax and try to settle. After working at his job for only 2 weeks, he then receives a call from a company he had an interview at the second week of being here asking if he can go for a medical. So he goes from having no job offers, to being employed and then offered a job that he had had an interview at 4 weeks prior. He moves jobs as it is better money and we are all good both working and living in a nice home.
Since then both hubby and I have been working and are loving our life here. Our lives Monday - Friday haven't changed from the UK, however our weekends we are so busy and going to different places. We don't have the stresses at work like we had in the UK, which gives for a more relaxed happy home on the evenings, we both work less hours and earn a lot more. We have a lovely home with a pool, something again we would never of had in the UK. We are both so much more happier here, the kids are loving it too, they love school, have made loads of friends and look forward to all the activities and places we go on the weekends.
We have now decided this is our home and we have decided to buy a home here as this is where we want to be. We have found a property and have had our offer accepted and we plan to move in October! Our own little piece of Aussie land :)
We have made friends with many different people here, some of which have struggled and have gone back to UK :( but we are here to stay and are meeting new people all the time and absolutely love life and we feel that this is now home even after such a short space of time.
The moral of the story (long that it is) is if you really want this to work and you put 110% into it, then it can work. You will have hurdles that you will have to overcome but just deal with them one at a time as they come along. We are living proof that we came with only limited information, never visited Australia, only research online and sites like PIA and are now here and we couldn't wish for more.
Don't just dream it - get up and do it. If you don't you will never know and may ask yourselves 'what if', at least if you try and it doesn't work - then what an adventure it will be.
Good luck to all that are trying to obtain visas and who may be struggling here, just keep going it will all turn around and come good.
I will try to come on here more often to offer any advice, limited it may be, but to give back what we have received from here.