Breaking News! This just in….
Details are still a little bit hazy, but apparently, yesterday, this country discovered who won the election and consequently, who is running the country.
The guy who won the most seats, got the most primary votes and was ahead on a two-party preferred basis, well, he lost. But he took it on the chin, saying that’s the way it works.
I haven’t been able to fully verify any of this yet, because I couldn’t be bothered. Come on, the election was over two weeks ago! We’ve all lost interest! But I do know that the bookies have it as odds-on that Australia will be back at the polls again before Christmas.
That’ll be fun!
But from now on, please ignore my post Australian Politics Explained. Because I can’t.
How did we get here?
Today I sent off my seventh article for Australia and New Zealand magazine and I’m really quite pleased with that. Why? Because originally they only pencil me in for six articles, but I have since been given an extension. So BobinOz is still Available at All Leading Newsagents Now!
You can read my first ever in print article by clicking that link above and part two of that article is here, and it’s about Settling In.
October’s edition of the magazine is hitting the shelves around now, you can subscribe online to Australia and New Zealand magazine here. But if you live in the UK, why not pop over to your local newsagents, Tesco’s or Sainsbury’s clutching £3.99. Money well spent I’d say.
Meanwhile, for those of you who missed my third article which appeared in the September edition, you could go sit in random doctors and dentists waiting rooms looking through the magazines until you come across it.
Or, you can read it here…..
Originally we were going to move to France. How easy that would have been; sell house; load furniture on truck; drive to France; buy new house; job done! But we fell in love with Australia in December 2005 and decided we wanted to move there instead. Now, this wouldn’t be such a simple process. If you’re thinking about putting in an application, you need to know what you’re letting yourself in for.
If I had been a horse, I’d have fallen at the first. Over 45 and no skill that anyone cares about. But fortunately, my wife was younger, smarter, did have a degree and an excellent employment record. Turns out if she could get in, I could too, being her spouse, as what the Australian officials unofficially call a “freeloader”. Well, that’ll do for me! So our application was primarily in my wife’s name, but I still had some tricky questions to answer. Like, “how much beer do you drink?”
I pondered that for some time. Do they want me to go low or high? After all, Australia is the fourth biggest beer drinking country in the world. I took the middle ground. That’s as hard as it got for me, but my wife had to jump through plenty of hoops before our completed applications finally went into the post in August 2006.
At this point your life enters what the crew of Red Dwarf call “stasis” but the rest of us would refer to as limbo. Should I go for that promotion? No, I might be going to Australia. Will you come to my wedding next year? I don’t know, I might be in Australia. Even simple things like shopping; oh, this is a nice jumper. But I won’t need it in Australia. I’ll leave it.
Then, about a year later after you have almost ground your whole life to a halt in pure anticipation, and if you’re lucky, you get accepted. All of sudden your life goes into Star Trek’s warp drive; sell the house; quit the job; throw a party; book the removals; find somewhere to live in Australia; book flights; cancel milk….
But don’t worry, you do get a pre-warning. That happens when the Australian Immigration Department ask you to provide them with your police check and medical. I don’t know for sure, but I have to assume that if they ask for these, a clean bill of health and a clear criminal record should see you through. But when we were asked for ours, we were still nervous, even though we were three fit, healthy and law abiding citizens. And sure enough, this process is still had a couple of scares left for us.
Firstly, my medical turned into a drama because I’d lost my sense of smell in 2003. I’d seen an overdose of specialist and none of them could find anything wrong. But the Australian doctor asked me to provide a full head and body CAT scan. Now I was starting to feel queasy!
Then there was the rat that popped up in our back garden, through a collapsed underground sewerage pipe. He nearly scuppered our house sale just three days before we were due to exchange contracts. Meanwhile, there were queues outside every Northern Rock across the country with people demanding their money back following the building society’s collapse. It was an ideal time to pull out of buying a house. But our buyers didn’t and the Aussies liked my scan. Within a month we were on the plane.
Yes, France would have been much easier. The Australian visa application process can be a bumpy ride, so be prepared for that. But if you get a yes in the end, like we did, it’s all worthwhile.
If you would like to take a BIGGER look at the process, check out my page How to Move to Australia.