About me

I was born by the beach. Unfortunately, it was Southend.

Every summer my parents used to drag me down to the beach and make me swim in it. “There must be better beaches in the world than this.” I thought. That was way back in the early 1960s. I went on to live for almost half a century in and around the Southend area.

At the age of 40 though, I pondered the question “Will I live here all my life?” So I asked my wife “Will we live here all of our lives?” She said she hoped not. She explained that she had always had a dream that one day she would live in the south of France.

Now there’s a thing. You see, that’s where my Mum had lived for most of her life until she moved to England to marry my Dad when World War Two came to an end. Well, they were allies!

“Okay, let’s do that then” I said. And with that was born in the five-year plan. So in 1998 we agreed to move to the south of France in 2003.

Then in 2000 my wife’s brother moved to Australia, taking with him his two daughters (as you would) aged four and six at the time. This was crushing news to my wife. She doted on her nieces and they were being taken away from her. Taken thousands of miles away from her. There were tears and plenty of them.

All they left behind was their dog. Baggy was now ours.



We resolved to visit Australia at least every two years, and that’s what we did.

Bob at a better beach.

Bob at a better beach.

March 2002


Our first trip to Australia was mostly about my wife visiting her nieces (oh, and her brother) and far less about visiting Australia. We stayed in Brisbane all of the time and just did days out.

July 2004

Elizabeth was born in March of this year and we decided to take advantage of my wife’s maternity leave by flying out for a four-week holiday when she was just four months old.

Again, it was more about visiting the relatives and showing them our new daughter rather than visiting Australia. And again we hung around Brisbane.

We were also holidaying in France during this period with a mission to find our new home town. During our holiday in December 2004, we found it. We were going to move to Pezenas. We loved France and especially the Languedoc Roussillon region we had chosen. It boasted 300 sunny days a year, had a great Mediterranean climate, and was sleepy and relaxed.

I think we had half an eye on retirement (way too early) and another half an eye on the cheap French wine. It was seven hours door to door to get back to England, very convenient for keeping in touch with friends and family. And we really loved Europe, we’d seen a lot but had  some more we wanted to see. For us, Australia was still just too far away from home for us to consider.

Then came our third holiday to Australia.

December 2005 – Jan 2006

The BobinOz logo image comes from this visit. Here’s the original.

Boxing Day Swim 2005

Boxing Day Swim 2005

This was Boxing Day in the pool with my wife and daughter and our two nieces. This was the holiday that changed it all. Elizabeth was 18 months old and she was a little action girl. All of a sudden France seemed too sleepy for her. I talk more about this holiday in the first part in my post Moving to Australia – An Idea

Yes, this was the holiday in which we fell in love with Australia and changed our minds about our futures. Our five-year plan, which had already become a five-ish year plan had now been extended further. With France we could have just moved, with Australia we had the small matter of a permanent residency visa to sort out. You can’t just turn up.

The rest is all well documented in my series How to Move to Australia and today we are very happy with our decision to come here instead of France. In fact, we couldn’t be happier. Moving to Australia has changed our lives. I decided I wanted others to know what it was really like to move to Australia. So Rob Kiernan, who used to live in England, launched BobinOz from his new home in Australia.

Ha ha some of you may be saying. No wonder you settled in Australia so fast, your wife’s brother and his family had been there for seven years by the time you arrived. You just latched on to all their friends, right?


Our daughter was just 3 years old when we arrived, their two girls were both older, one a teenager and the other almost one. Most of our friends have young children and most of their friends have teenagers. The two just don’t mix. We see them on family occasions like birthdays and anniversaries. So we socialise with them just a few times a year. They have their friends and we have ours.

So each and every one of our friends we have made from our own efforts. It wasn’t hard but it was (and is) great fun meeting new people. Originally, Australia seemed a move too far, a move that was too final and maybe even a move that was too scary. 11,000 miles away from (virtually) all your friends and family. Today, we are so glad we cast aside all of those fears and jumped feet first into our new life.

This blog is all about how we took that leap and how our lives are now that we have done so.



Visa Assessment Service
{ 269 comments… add one }
  • Suzi Horrocks June 27, 2014, 3:15 am |

    Hya Bob
    My name is Suzi
    Im looking to relocate in Australia , and would need sponsership so I can bring my skills with me .
    Im a Qualified Personal carer worker and Im good at what I do , I care for Dementia and Alzheimers patients ,
    Im polite , caring , a good communictor , friendly and very hard worker .
    Ive lived in Australia before , made a lot of friends and would like to come back , and I Have nothing keeping me here .
    All I ask is someone gives me a chance , you wont regret it .
    If i can get a Job around Melbourne area , I have got accomadation with my
    best mate in Berwick .
    As soon as I get there Im going to buy myself some transport , so Im not afraid
    of travelling some distance .
    Ive never been afraid of hard work and love working with the older generation , its a challenge and its very satisfying , some of the stories you hear are amazing .
    I would love to share my knowledge and experiences with you .
    I will Promise to use my knowledge to the best of my ability and do the best
    i can for the people who help me .
    Thankyou Susan Horrocks .
    Could you give me any advise on how I can get a Sponsored job , there must be someone out there who needs some extra help . Thanks Suzi

    • BobinOz June 28, 2014, 10:49 pm |

      Well, I don’t have any work for you personally, and I don’t know anybody who could use your skills. But you may like to check out the book that’s available from my page How to Find a Sponsored Job in Australia.

      Good luck, Bob

  • Andrew Green June 17, 2014, 9:33 pm |

    Dear Bob

    I’m a UK university research fellow involved in a study project concerning Pom immigrants to Perth – where I have family. I wonder if I could possibly chat with you via email, please?

    Many thanks


    • BobinOz June 18, 2014, 12:46 pm |

      Hi Andrew

      Yes, sure, go ahead. There is a link to my “Contact” page in the footer below.


  • Mike Barnett April 22, 2014, 5:15 am |

    Hi Sameer,
    I’m in the middle of applying for a skilled 189 visa just now, and my Bachelor of Science degree from a UK university was worth 15 points. If your other points are correct and my maths is correct AND your degree is also worth 15 points……. that would add up to 60 points, which I think is the threshold for applications. Lots of if’s and but’s there though, good luck…


    • sameer April 22, 2014, 6:52 pm |

      Thanks bob and Mike 🙂

  • sameer April 22, 2014, 4:00 am |

    I am 31 years old. I graduated with a Bachelor of Science Degree. I have 10 years of work experience. My IELTS overall band score is 7.5.

    I have applied for skills assessment and received a positive result from ACS stating that my skills have been assessed to be suitable for migration under ANZSCO Code 262113 (Systems Administrator). However, out of my 10 years experience they have only considered 2 years of experience being suitable for the profile I applied.

    Since I got a positive result from ACS, I am wondering if I can apply for EOI as per my qualified skill assessment or if I should apply for Vetassess points test.

    Based on the immigration calculator, I would score:
    Age: 30 points
    English: 10 points
    Overseas employment: 0 points (Considered only 2 years experience)
    State Sponsorship: 5 points
    Graduation: ??

    Would you be able to let me know how many points I would score for my educational qualifications and what are the chances of getting a visa as I am a non IT graduate applying for an IT profile.

    Your suggestion would really help me.

    Looking forward to your response.

    • BobinOz April 22, 2014, 6:12 pm |

      No, I couldn’t. I’m not a MARA agent and cannot advise you on this, but if you want professional assistance, check out my Visa Assessment Service.

  • jay March 31, 2014, 7:35 am |

    Hiya 🙂 googling n gooogling and cannot find even a rough estimated answer of how much 3 cats cost to ship over to oz?? Please help! And i think this website is fantastic!xx

    • BobinOz March 31, 2014, 2:56 pm |

      Have a read of my page called Bringing Your Pet to Australia and especially the comments, lots of people have told us how much they have been charged.

      Get yourself a stiff drink first, you’ll need it. It ain’t cheap.

      Good luck, Bob

  • Nathaly March 22, 2014, 5:52 pm |

    Hi Bob

    I love this website, all the information is in one place, I wish I had discovered this months ago instead of having to search specific info on google all the time.
    Let me introduce myself, I’m a married mother of three and we were granted our permanent residency in February of this year. My husband is flying out to Brisbane in a few weeks time, whilst the rest of us has to finish our schooling, I’m currently in my last year of my degree, my daughter is in her last year of GCSEs and the oldest son is finishing his college course. I was hoping if you could recommend a good place for my husband to stop in Brisbane, whilst he sorts out housing for the rest of us and finds a job. We have been looking at the roommate website but can you recommend anything that will be cheap and clean. Thank you Bob for any advice you can give.

    • BobinOz March 23, 2014, 10:13 pm |

      Google “couch surfing” and also “stayz”. The first one is where people offer free accommodation (I think) but definitely shared housing, the second is a portal to find holiday accommodation. Places can be expensive, but if you look for the long-term stay accommodation, 30 days or more, sometimes you can get some reasonably priced places.

      Other than that, Google “gumtree”, that’s an advertising medium, people offer accommodation through that.

      Good luck, Bob

  • Jen February 6, 2014, 9:02 am |

    Hi Bob

    Everything was going well and I was getting my application moving with encouragement from Miki, put it forward to VETassess and then it got rejected. Miki was reassuring in that he was working on a second plan of action but it has been over a month now and I have heard nothing. I feel u have paid a lot of money upfront for services where I have done the solicitors signatures and got together all the approved documentation and the payment isn’t warranted as it has how come to a stand still and we feel this is the end. Myself and my partner were looking forward to going to Oz this year and this seems impossible now as we aren’t receiving any advice. I there anything you can do to help?


    • BobinOz February 6, 2014, 5:45 pm |

      Jen, I’m a little astonished that you think my “About me” page is the right place to talk about this, especially when you would have received an email from me asking you to get in touch with me direct if I can help in any way with your assessment.

      Anyway, Miki is very professional and he would not have suggested that you go for a skills assessment if he didn’t think you had an excellent chance of success. By its nature though, not everyone is going to pass the skills assessment otherwise there would be no point in so many professional bodies for so many different skills spending their time conducting these assessments.

      These assessments do cost money as well, everything to do with moving to Australia costs money. It’s not a cheap process and there are risks involved. Some people actually pay the Australian government and application fee and then get rejected and end up losing thousands of dollars. At least you haven’t got that far down the line.

      I’m sorry you didn’t pass, but I do remember my wife having to do a skills assessment based on her marketing experience and she spent a good month putting together the information and a portfolio of achievements in order to present her case as best she could. So I do believe there is a certain element of these assessments that is down to you, not the MARA agent.

      If Miki said he was working on a plan B for you, then that’s what he will do. If nothing has happened then I suggest either an email from him to you has gone missing (you have a Hotmail address, this often happens with them) or he has made a human error and somehow has slipped through his system. I suggest you contact him direct to find out what has happened.

      If you need any more help, please do get in touch with me direct as I suggested originally.

      Good luck, Bob

  • Sue January 3, 2014, 8:28 pm |

    Hi Bob, congratulations on a great site, I’ve been on it all morning. I started out looking at “living in Darwin” and have been distratcted by all the other fascinating pieces of information. Coming out soon with my husband for a couple of years employment in the medical profession (our kids are grown and married), and for a bit of an adventure. The process seems to be taking forever. Darwin does sound challenging and well outside our comfort zone,( country cottage in the middle of nowhere), but if you don’t go looking you miss what’s out there….
    I will stay 5m from waterholes, I wont put my hands into the swimming pool filters and I will avoid collecting coneshells.
    The abundance of information on your site has been fantastic, I will keep on reading and learning more.
    Looking forward to the change in climate and scenery and to making some new friends.
    Thanks Bob, may your well of knowledge never fail you!
    Cheers, Sue

    • BobinOz January 6, 2014, 7:18 pm |

      Thank you Sue, I appreciate your kind words.

      Darwin is a challenge, some people love it and some people hate it; I hope you get to be the former. I really enjoyed my holiday there so I think there is every chance you will have fun during your two-year adventure.

      And the place really isn’t as scary as it looks on paper. Do let us know how it goes, cheers, Bob

  • Sunny December 18, 2013, 9:08 pm |

    Hi Bob,

    Well, first, please accept my appreciation on the great work you’re doing with this site & the patience, details and rather good fun with your responses to people I’m sure you’re aware value this information extremely highly. This is a seriously great service to all those exploring potential opportunities and need to understand all the possible pros & cons to be able to arrive at a decent evaluation of their decisions and the likely outcomes of those. Much appreciated!!

    We (wife, two daughters 4 & 11) are from India. Both me and my wife are recruiters with 9 & 5 years domain experience each. This skills category seems open at the moment for a 190 state nominated PR visa with South Australia and Canberra.

    Unfamiliar with either of these places (Adelaide & Canberra) and without any family / friends’ presence there, we really wouldn’t know which one to consider for important parameters such as long term career prospects, children’s education and well being, earning and savings potential, cost of living, quality of life etc. Another important factor being how welcomed are Asians / Indians there? Apologies if that sounds a bit inappropriate to ask.

    Wonder if you’d have the time and patience to go through and respond to such a big query. Hope you’d understand the tentative frame of mind one has in the absence of the right information required for such a transformational decision making.

    Would much appreciate if anyone else could chip in with some relevant information here!!


    • BobinOz December 19, 2013, 1:39 pm |

      Hi Sunny

      I possibly have the time and patience, but I certainly do not have the knowledge. I’ve never been to Canberra and only visited Adelaide once for a week. On that basis I couldn’t possibly help you out here in any meaningful way.

      May I suggest you post similar questions on my main pages for both of the cities, you can access them via the main navigation menu link “Australia’s Cities”. Hopefully someone with more knowledge from each of those places will be able to help you out.

      Good luck, Bob

      • Sunny December 19, 2013, 7:39 pm |

        Sure, Bob..

        Thanks a lot for the guidance. Much appreciate the prompt response.


  • Mike October 9, 2013, 11:27 pm |

    Hi Bob,
    Stumbled on your blog today, as we’re in the process of applying for a PR visa at the moment, with the hope to move to Sydney or Brisbane in Spring 2014. Really enjoy your writing style, as others have said it’s refreshingly honest and down to earth!

    Thanks for sharing all your experiences and hope to join you in Oz next year.


    • BobinOz October 10, 2013, 2:06 pm |

      Thanks Mike, I appreciate that. Hope your application goes well and you soon find yourself living here in Australia and, hopefully, loving it is much as I do.

      Cheers, Bob

  • Tom King October 1, 2013, 4:13 am |

    I can’t wait until I get there, I like the vlogs people from the UK do when they get to Australia. I have been there twice now both times I went to to Adelaide, Adelaide is where I am planning to live and have also been to Brisbane the first time I went there. I’m 17 now and saving up most of my money now so I can get over there. Once I have a degree and everything! I plan to move there when I am 21. I enjoyed your ebook, and also your videos.

    • BobinOz October 1, 2013, 1:36 pm |

      Great plan Tom, getting your degree first should certainly help you to qualify for a visa, hope to see you here soon.

      Glad you enjoyed my book and videos, stay tuned, I’m always adding more.

      Cheers, Bob

  • Jill July 18, 2013, 2:53 am |

    I have recently found your site and it is very interesting reading and congratulations on a job well done. I have also left UK. (Stony Stratford) and used to go to Southend as a child with my parents and siblings or Skegness where the sea goes out a mile….. I got married and emigrated to Cape Town, S.Africa in 1975 for 10 years which I loved, but for the children’s sake and safety we ended up emigrating again, to Canada.. My children then both eventually ended up emigrating to Australia and starting their own families, while I stayed, on my own, in Ontario, Canada. I loved living there, farming, living in the country, and could never move back to England even though my siblings are all still there and would love me to.

    One of your readers commented that she did not like living in Edmonton.Canada. I would not like to have lived there either but I have learned that if you stay in a place you do not like you will never settle. I tried living in Alberta, loved the natural history there, so much to see and do, but I found myself sitting facing east a lot of the time, pining for Ontario and the friends I left behind.There is good and bad no matter where you live and if it doesn’t feel right, then it usually isn’t.

    I tried living in Australia in 2010, emigrated here for a year, brought my dog with me, my faithful companion of twelve years, and was here to stay. BUT she, being a farm dog, did not settle into life in the city, nor did she like other dogs, nor did she like the family, especially the young ones. We, my dog and I, ended up having to avoid family situations and I ended up moving back to Ontario with her when she was diagnosed with cancer and given a life expectancy of 2 years. It was a tough decision but in my heart knew it was the right one. After about 20 months I started the second visa application for permanent residency, contributory parent. She passed away in January and I got the visa in May. So here I am again. Still miss my companion like crazy but have to try to make it work. I have no family in Canada, only very close friends that I miss a lot. You advised people to forget their friends and move on and make new friends. I think our past is part of us, and to be able to keep in contact allows us to keep in touch with it. I have friends in S.Africa I have kept in touch with that I haven’t seen since1985 but one day I will get there again. We have all grown older together.

    I managed to keep in touch with one friend from my childhood days in the UK and when I go back for a family visit still find myself trying to find just one more from my past, sometimes feeling like I never existed. I have no idea where they are or even if they are still alive.
    I do love the Australian way of life, very similar to South Africa, and generally people will smile at you if you smile at them, something in the UK I tried without success. Canada, yes, they will return your smile. I recently met a woman from Lancashire who goes back to the UK from Australia every year to visit her family. We all handle the new life differently and want to stay a part of our previous lives, not move on and forget it existed.

    As you get older, you realise how important your past is. It is hard moving to another country, and you have to have your whole heart in it to make it work. In South Africa people arrived and left, only to arrive again and sometimes leave and come back a third time before finally settling down permanently or, on the odd occasion, being told to leave.

    I apologise if this post is a bit long, but after reading your other comments I just wanted to write mine, perhaps someone might get something from my thoughts and actions. Thank you for all the time you have put into this Bob. Excellent information in there.

    • BobinOz July 18, 2013, 4:17 pm |

      Hi Jill

      Thanks for sharing your story, I’m sure it will be useful to many of my readers. Yes, moving countries is a big deal and it’s not always easy to settle in. I can fully understand wanting to stay in touch with old friends, I think what I have tried to say is to not linger on it, if you know what I mean, and make sure you work hard to make new friends.

      Wherever we go, we need friends, we need friends who we can talk to, face-to-face. It’s great to stay in touch with old friends even though the time zones and geographical distances make that difficult, but getting new friends is really important to a successful move.

      Sorry to hear about your dog, we lost ours, a 15-year-old lab, a couple of years ago so I know what you’re going through. Good luck!


      • Jill July 18, 2013, 4:38 pm |

        Thank you for your response. Sorry to hear you lost a dog too. Definitely not easy. As long as we do all we can for them, and love them as much as possible, we are doing our best.

        For people who are in Australia and on their own there are many Meetup groups that cater to people, with many different interests, to get together and share their interests. It is world wide and I met many friends that way in Canada and in Australia. It definitely is a good way to meet new people as it is in a group atmosphere and very safe. Queensland has some great outdoor groups for hiking, photography, travel, adventure, etc.

        There are groups for parents with children, grandparents and singles of all ages, looking for adventure, including many groups with particular hobbies.

        Just thought I would pass it on. There is no cost to join but some of the activities cost from a couple of dollars to a few dollars. They aren’t out there to make money, just to be with likeminded people. It might be worthwhile checking it out. I joined one in Canada 5 years ago, a new group, and they now have over 640 members. Obviously they don’t all go out to the activities, just like most groups, but they do all have the same interests and I met so many people and had a lot of fun doing it. I still belong to a couple of them here, and hope to get out to a Meetup soon.

        Kind regards

        • BobinOz July 19, 2013, 4:38 pm |

          Good advice Jill, for anyone not sure how to find them, just Google “Australia meetup groups” and they should be top.

          Cheers, Bob

  • Tim July 17, 2013, 8:27 am |

    Thanks very much for that Bob.


  • Tim July 13, 2013, 6:53 pm |

    Absolutely fantastic blog! I’ve only just come across this and will be spending many a happy day reading through it! My wife and I moved to Oz (Hobart) in 2011 after much deliberation and I have a blog much like yours but much smaller!

    Really great site!


    • BobinOz July 15, 2013, 9:11 pm |

      And I’ve just checked out your blog Tim, very good it is too. If anyone else wants to check it out, just click on Tim’s name above in his comment, the one with the blue font.

      Glad to hear you have enjoyed reading some of my site too.



  • saima malik July 11, 2013, 5:56 pm |

    i live in pakistan and i m a teacher i want to move australia what should i do now first

  • Rick May 25, 2013, 7:27 pm |

    I am married to an australian citizen. Two years and 7 months and she kicks me out with two months to go for permanent resident. Do I have to leave Australia? Can anyone let me know what happens. Thanks. Kind of like it here

    • BobinOz May 27, 2013, 7:14 pm |

      Hi Rick

      I’m not sure how this one works, but if I were you I would seek the advice of a lawyer pretty fast. Good luck! Bob

  • Chris Lamb May 2, 2013, 8:47 am |

    Hi Bob,

    First, wonderful site with so much information but also a heart. Thank you.

    Second, I (and family) have lived in many cities in US, UK and Switzerland. I am assessing very closely a move to AUS with wife and 3 girls (my daughter, not random people).

    My issues:
    1) the spider, snake, tick and other moving things FREAK me out. I was in the army, I camped all over, but those legged or unlegged things are not my thing.
    Can you please get rid of them?
    2) I have not seen you (yet) talk about NZ. I hear that hairy things (we are still talking about the bugs) do not exist there. What is your opinion?

    I will continue to read you with interest.

    • BobinOz May 2, 2013, 9:41 pm |

      Hi Chris

      Glad you are enjoying my website, thanks for the compliment.

      1) Sorry our moving things freak you out, I will have them all exterminated in the morning 🙂

      2) I don’t know anything about whether there are bugs or not in NZ, I’ve never been. I do intend to go though, and when I do, I’ll find out. If there are any, I’ll have them exterminated as well 🙂

      So, what’s stopping you now?



      • Luiz May 2, 2013, 10:02 pm |

        Hi Chris,
        I wanted to jump in quickly say my opinion,I hope it’s ok.
        NZ have a very different atmosphere…it’s another feeling one can get there from that more active feeling living in some AUS cities.
        It depends on what you really feel happy with and your family. More things to do, I mean, Sydney is certainly full of ‘everything’. There are endless shows etc going on. NZ is famous for being ‘less agitated’ I don’t want to put like ‘too quiet’ or else because everyone feels different,but still, consider really what makes you and your family ‘enjoying life’ for then think where to go. The truth is, AUS is famous for crawling creature, but they are far lesser in big cities (although you can come across some) and, well, the area where Bob lives is not everyone anyway, look his video!!! there was a snake crawling in the house(probably also looking for a can of beer) that was scary, but, people living in the cities have lesser encounters, and happily the ‘gentle giant’ aka Huntsman spider which are more probable to be found in old houses, wood made houses, they aren’t poisonous. Most of people live for years and years without even seeing an big spider. Just go for happiness and good luck with everything. I hope my text makes a bit of sense.

        • Chris Lamb May 3, 2013, 1:21 am |


          Thank you for your note which I welcomed.

          I did read that AUS is more “lively” and offers more than NZ. I also agree that it all depends everyone’s lifestyle. One could probably list many pros and cons, and I am sure that both Aussies and Kiwis always like to banter about who is the best (very much like the Swiss-German and the Swiss-French, although the Swiss-French are always right of course!).

          I will continue to read this site with interest and hope to have more conversations like this one.

          Have a good day,

          • BobinOz May 3, 2013, 6:06 pm |

            Hey Luiz, I just wanted to say yes, of course it’s okay for you to add your opinion, I think it’s great when people help each other out like this, so I really appreciate that you have taken the time to do that.

            Cheers, Bob

            • Luiz May 3, 2013, 8:58 pm |

              That’s great, thank you too Bob for all the info. Great work in this website (in case I never mentioned)

      • Chris Lamb May 3, 2013, 1:17 am |

        Hey Bob,

        Thank you for taking care of the snake and spider issue. Although, as a result, we might just have created a rat population issue, not all gourmet cooks like Ratatouille.

        I am very much looking forward to visiting AUS (and NZ). So many things seem nice about it. The thing about “wild life” is that I am looking to be somewhat outside of town (where one can have a large vegetable garden, beehives, a couple of hens, and so on) and therefore could encounter more of those hairy and/or legless creatures; and although I read with interest that spiders will stop in their track if stared at, I am not planning to sleep with my eyes open (unless I paint eye lids, which is an idea I will patent tomorrow morning).

        Christmas, Australia here I come (on vacation).

        More soon

        • BobinOz May 3, 2013, 6:02 pm |

          Well I hope you enjoy a spider and a snake free vacation when you come here at Christmas, which, on the snake side at least, would be very likely.

          Some people have been here for years and never seen a snake in the wild, and pest control in houses certainly keeps the spiders at bay.

          Cheers, Bob

  • Chris April 30, 2013, 4:33 am |

    Great site Bob. So informative and great you have kept it updated for so long. Sterling work fella!

    We are hoping to move over there by 2014/15. I’m in no immediate rush due to family circumstances but I don’t want to wait too long either.

    Just read your eBook for the first time and I will no doubt revisit it frequently for reminders. Superb information that you just can’t find elsewhere.

    Glad you love it out there. I think I have the same outlook and approach to life as yourself so i’m really excited about moving. The UK is great but if the sun isn’t shining I’m rarely smiling………….I can’t wait to throw away my body warmer and swap my jeans for shorts and boots for thongs (that sounds so wrong!).

    Keep up the good work and I will probably speak to you again in the future!

    • BobinOz April 30, 2013, 6:31 pm |

      Hi Chris

      Thanks for the compliments, great to hear that you like my website and my e-book. I hope your journey to Australia goes smoothly, and hope to see you here in a couple of years time.

      I must have been here long enough myself now, I’ve just realised that a guy talking about wearing thongs doesn’t sound so wrong at all!

      Good luck!


  • Madha April 4, 2013, 3:41 am |

    lol I found it funny how people make such big effort to arrive in Oz and then…. just to live like in their home countries. Integration seems to be a word in the ‘english’ dictionary that many foreigners seem to not know the meaning… or simply aren’t interested.

    • BobinOz April 4, 2013, 9:51 pm |

      I do understand what you are saying Madha, and in any multicultural society I think it is important that people from different parts of the world do try to integrate with each other.

      If we give Azman the benefit of the doubt, maybe he just would like the comfort of being around people from his own culture when he first arrives, but yes, I would certainly advise against anyone coming here looking to colonise themselves with people from their former country at the expense of not mixing and mingling with the rest of the people who live here in Australia.

      Thanks for making an interesting and valid point.


  • Bala April 4, 2013, 12:29 am |

    Hi Bob,

    Yours is a very useful and informative website especially for people who are beginners in learning about Australia.

    I am new to this post, so pardon me if my question is redundant. I am an ICT professional from India, currently working in Singapore. I am considering migration to Australia and attempting to identify areas in each city where I can associate with people from my country. My first stop, therefore is Melbourne – which are the residential neighborhoods in Melbourne that has a good concentration of migrants from India?

    If there is already any threads/responses that answer this, please redirect me to those.

    Also, would be a boon if you could give me references of any of your Indian acquaintances to whom I can directly communicate and gain some insights.

    Thanks in advance for all help extended.


    • BobinOz April 4, 2013, 9:41 pm |

      Hi Bala

      I can’t give you any contact details for other Indians, but I would suggest you place your comment on my page about Melbourne, simply click on the link to Australian Cities and then click Melbourne from the drop-down menu at the top of this website.

      If you ask the same question there, I’m sure some people from Melbourne will help you out, they would no more than I do as I’m based in Brisbane.



  • karen gibson March 25, 2013, 9:51 pm |

    Hi , we are in the process of applying for a state sponsorship visa. We are looking to move to Perth as my partner is a time served welder/fabricator and it seems there is a demand for his line of work there. My main concern is that my 3 year old sone is diabetic & I wondered if you have any advice or information on this subject….suburbs in Perth with the best medical centres etc. I also have a 15 year old daughter & would like to know if high schools are easy to get in to & I have researched schooling, am I right in thinking they start primary one year later than in the uk?
    We are trying to gather as much information as possible, I hope you can help.
    We would love to relocate as soon as possible. 🙂

    • BobinOz March 27, 2013, 12:10 am |

      I think you will need to ask your question about the best medical centres in Perth over on my page about Perth, you can get to it by clicking on the main link above to Australian Cities.

      I’m in Brisbane, I just don’t know that area at all.

      As for schools, everything I know about schools is on my page Which school?, be sure to check out the relevant links at the foot of that article, I think it’s the first one that explains how the school years work here.

  • Hannah March 21, 2013, 9:14 pm |

    Hi, I’m currently 17 and I’ve been reading your blog for several months now and can say it has been a great reality check! For some unknown reason I’ve wanted to live in Australia for as long as I can remember; I have some distant family over there but that isn’t what motivated me (no offence to them!), no, for some reason England just doesn’t feel like home, you know? But yes, your blog has info that I never would have even thought about looking into and I look forward to getting your next email – makes me think perhaps one day (fingers crossed).

    • BobinOz March 22, 2013, 8:34 pm |

      Why not “one day”! If you are determined enough Hannah, one day you will live here. You will need to qualify for a visa though, so I would think very hard about what kind of career you go into and what training you do.

      If you can manage to get yourself a university degree, Australia loves people with those 🙂

      Hope to see you here soon and I’m chuffed that you have enjoyed reading some of the things on my website.



  • marie osborne February 14, 2013, 7:40 pm |

    Good day bob how are you.just wanted some info as iam a little embrassed and worried i have a travel visa long stay6/12 months .and its asking if ihave any criminal record or convictions .ie if i been. Convicted of anything.well. Ive never been in trouble with the police. Or never been on prison .the only problem i have is a couple of times i had to got to court .for benifit overpayment .when i was on jsa. And. As i was doing on and off temp work at the time for an job. Angencey. But. I didnt declare it till later on as they were closed at the time due to funny hours i worked .and i ended up.havining to go to court twice. For 100 pounds which i paid the money bavk straight away but i comes up.on my crb. Which worries me so much
    As iam sending my visa application off in may .it was from a few years ago this benifit thing as ism worried nkw and so embrassed do i need to declare it . Or if. I didnt would they find out out of visa form. Would you class that as serious. In australia as i dont want to spoil my chances .of going.and also. My son is 3half and has a seprate pass port. Dose he. Need a seprate visa app .as he only a minor and also i woild hsve to pay 125pounds each for long stay visa when isend gorms off.iamso confused and worried as so badly want to go to oz.marie

    • BobinOz February 15, 2013, 5:04 pm |

      Your misdemeanours certainly aren’t bad enough for you to fail the character test, but whether or not you need to declare them, I really don’t know. I’m not sure if your young son needs a separate visa application either, as I’m not sure exactly what kind of visa you are going for.

      Have a look on the form to see if there is a space for you to put in details of any dependents. Good luck!


  • Michelle February 10, 2013, 11:52 pm |

    Hi Bob

    What are the visa options to set up a business in Oz or moving your current small business out there? Love the website. Living in oz has been my dream for years, i know one day it will be my home!

    • BobinOz February 11, 2013, 7:28 pm |

      Hi Michelle

      I’m not sure how the business visas work these days, but I’m pretty sure if you were to be successfully granted this kind of visa, your business will need to perform to certain standards which would all be laid out to you and you will also probably need to employ a certain number of Australians. It might not be many, it may even be as few as a couple.

      If you are serious about it though, my MARA agent will know the precise details and would be able to guide you. He offers a Visa Assessment Service, that could well be a good investment for you. I highly recommend my agent, he is very good at what he does.

      Hope to see you here in Australia soon!



  • Jamie February 7, 2013, 7:34 am |

    Thank you for the quick response Bob I couldn’t see the search bar for looking yesterday but Ive found it now. I will follow your advice and post my questions on your site for someone else to hopefully answer.

    Thanks again


  • Jamie February 6, 2013, 6:02 am |

    Hi Bob

    Do you have a search on your website as I’m searching for real and honest info on Mount Gambier in SA. My Wife’s brother settled there a number of years ago and now has three children and my wife and I who also have 3 girls of our own all under 7 have decided to join them (my wife’s a teacher so hopefully that should get us in). So I’m trying to find as much honest info as I can on Mount Gambier before we commit, preferable from ex pats. Thanks, I did look at your city info first and I’ve trawled your website for any mention I could find but ive not found anything so far?

    • BobinOz February 6, 2013, 8:01 pm |

      Hi Jamie

      The good news is I do have a search facility, you can see it in the right hand side near the top, the bad news is I don’t have any specific information about Mount Gambier. I would suggest you ask the question on my page about South Australia, you’ll find it linked underneath Australian States in the main navigation menu at the top.

      I can’t give you any information, I’ve never been there, but you do have a chance that someone who does know the area will answer your comment if you place it on that page.

      Good luck!


  • David Smith February 2, 2013, 6:30 am |

    Hi Bob, great site. I have tried to use the links as much as I can but still after some advice. Hope you can help? I have had a 12 month holiday visa to Australia previously so obviously will not qualify for another. I have since checked out on the government website for my options, they are;
    1. Permanent resident visa – This will incur a cost to a migration consultancy and the Australian government. Can a visa of such like be processed without using a migration consultancy? If so, does this increase the process time?
    2. Three month holiday visa – I would then look for a job that would be able to sponsor me once my 3 months is up. If I don’t get a job in that time, would I be able to leave the country for a few weeks and then re-enter on another 3 month visa? Will I still have to pay a visa fee of some kind if I get sponsored?

    Not sure if there are any other options available to me?

    Thanks again, David.

    • BobinOz February 4, 2013, 1:42 pm |

      Hi David

      You do not have to use a MARA agent to apply for a visa, you are free to do it all yourself. It doesn’t add to the process time, but it will almost certainly take you much longer to put in your application as you will have to do quite a bit of research.

      As for these three monthly holiday visas, I’m pretty sure you can’t simply reapply for a second three monthly period as soon as the first runs out, I’m sure there is a limit of some kind, but I really don’t know what that limit is.

      If you do get sponsored, you probably will still have to pay some visa fees unless you are lucky enough to find a sponsor who is going to foot the bill for you.

      If you do decide to use a MARA agent, I highly recommend my man, see my Visa Assessment Service.



  • marie osborne January 19, 2013, 2:24 am |

    hey bob in oz just wanted to say.so sorry fir the koss of baggy iam deffoed .he was a beautiful dog and iam sure heres having lots of fun in doggy heaven.marie

    • BobinOz January 19, 2013, 5:56 pm |

      Thanks Marie, I’m sure he’s having a lot of fun out there 🙂

  • Dillon January 18, 2013, 9:44 am |

    poor baggy is he still alive?

    • BobinOz January 19, 2013, 1:00 am |

      I’m afraid not Dillon, see Tribute to Baggy.

      • marie osborne January 19, 2013, 2:11 am |

        hey bob in oz thanks for advice i have s friend. whos. 41. whos just received the same form as me 6/12mth visa but. just wondering if her chances will be good still she has the funds whats required on yhe vids form.and hs freiends to sponser r her not family as she dosnt have any family out thete like my self. hope her chances would be good as she has.about 4000 pounds at mo saved up.and she would like more than 3or6mths .hope she will get accepeted how much will mikos cost as its a hundered and fifthty pounds for long stay travel visa.
        thanks marie

        • BobinOz January 19, 2013, 5:55 pm |

          I can’t tell you what your friend’s chances might be, and I’m no longer sure what kind of visa you are hoping to apply for. The one I mentioned earlier is not available for those aged over 30, so I think you are best off starting by purchasing a Visa Assessment, and that will tell Miki which visa is you might be able to apply for.

          Then Miki could give you an exact price for both the cost of the visa to the government and how much he would charge you if you want him to represent you. Good luck to both you and your friend!


  • marie osborne January 18, 2013, 8:29 am |

    good day bob.ive. receive a 6mth/12 mth travel visa form to fill out but wondering weather ishout pay for your migrant agent mikos to help me and what do i do to get his help what do i click on.although ive got the forms its not set in stone yet and wanted to know how long roughly would an out come of a travel visa take to come back once its been sent off.and once i in austrailia could i try to apply for permanent citizenship .just wonder weather it would be better to wait when i get there.then try.to apply.and do you still need to aaquire a lot of points for just a travel visa.which is 6/12months .i hoping i will get accepeted for a 12mth
    one .i just confused a little thats why i thought it would be good to pay fee. for mikos help as i would hate to make a mistake when filling visa form out.hope all will be good bob:) marie

    • BobinOz January 19, 2013, 12:58 am |

      The holiday visas are much easier to get, they are not based on points. If you are 30 years old or younger, and you come from a qualifying country, you could get a working holiday visa which will allow you to stay here for one year.

      If you do need help though, Miki is very good, and his rates for the WHV are pretty low. To get the ball rolling, just purchase an assessment from my Visa Assessment Service page.

  • Sam January 11, 2013, 5:46 am |

    Hi Bob,
    This website is brilliant! I’m a student Nurse in my final year and hoping to apply to move to Australia next year. My problem is that my job would be shift work and the type of job my husband will apply for would also be shift work what is child care like in Brisbane? We rely a lot on family here in the UK for child care so this is one thing that is making me think twice about the move as well as having no friends, I know in time we would (hopefully) but worry this will be a problem. Also what are rental prices like in Brisbane and are we best renting furnished and leaving our stuff in the uk or not wow so much to think about!!
    Thanks for reading (if you do!)

    • BobinOz January 12, 2013, 4:51 pm |

      Hi Sam

      Childcare here in Australia is actually pretty good, but I am only really aware of it as in before and after school care. So I think it is possible to drop children off to school much earlier and then collect them at say 6 PM. How childcare will work when you are both doing shiftwork, I really don’t know. That’s a totally different story.

      Can anybody else help here, anyone had any experience of this?

      As for renting, there aren’t really very many furnished rentals about, unfurnished is much more popular. Furnished properties probably only account for around 5% to 10% of the market. You can search for rental properties/prices through a link on my page Cost of Buying or Renting a House in Australia.

      Good luck


      • Sam January 17, 2013, 10:00 am |

        Thanks for your reply Bob and the links, still researching child care but once that is sorted and i have my degree we will get the ball rolling! I’m sure ill have many more questions once we have!
        Thanks again


  • Rob Breen December 15, 2012, 2:55 am |

    Hi Bob

    I love your style and sense of humour. myself, the wife and sprogs have been living in the UK for 10 years, originally from SA, and we are seriously looking at moving to OZ, so I will be spending more time on this site.

    • BobinOz December 15, 2012, 7:31 pm |

      Hi Rob

      Glad you are enjoying my website, yes, please do have a good look around, lots of info here. If there’s anything you need to know, just ask the question in the comments. Good luck with your plans to move here, hope they work out well.



  • stevenmccarthy December 5, 2012, 8:55 pm |

    Bob i take my hat of to your entrepreneurial drive and i like the idea of your wifes very good. You really have embraced the land of opportunity. I think its somewhere i would like to live and i should of moved a few years ago but for various reasons i never. However i think you right if i get the opportunity to go to Darwin i should take it…

    Appreciate your feed back…on another note if your entrepreneurial nature is itching for another idea look at http://www.spaceworldplaycentre.co.uk/ they are booming over here and i think they would be a hit in Australia…. As you know children and family get together s are big on the Australian way of life this is an ideal opportunity for family’s to get out of the sun for a bit and meet up…

    Again thanks for the reply


  • stevenmccarthy December 4, 2012, 7:40 pm |

    Hi Bob nice website and i like your enthusiasm for the transfer of skills and life to Australia. Have you always been involved in websites? I have recently been asked to apply for a role in Darwin? I know its not everyone’s cup of tea and quite remote however i also have been told its about to get a “gas / drilling boom” over the next 10 yrs? Do you know of anyone who has moved to Darwin? I have a sister who moved to Brisbane a similar time to yourself and has never looked back….Good Luck in living your dream..

    • BobinOz December 5, 2012, 8:27 pm |

      No, I haven’t always been involved with websites, we didn’t have them when I was a kid 🙂 Just messing.

      If you get the chance to go to Darwin, I say go for it. It’s true that some people think it’s a hellhole, but others truly believe it’s a paradise on earth. I’ve not been yet, I will, so I can’t give you my take, but I suspect it largely depends on whether you can put up with the heat and humidity.

      And yes, there’s a lot of drilling going on all around Queensland and other Australian states, so there’s probably some going on in Darwin too.

      Go on, give it a go!

  • Luiz October 25, 2012, 2:49 am |

    Hi Bob,
    Have just downloaded your e-book!Much fun!Great work and thanks!Kind of you sharing so much.
    I m originally from Brazil although I have been living between UK,France and Germany already for ten years, so i consider myself half british lol as most of my friends are british.
    Coincidently, the happenings on your book at its very beginning,relating how it is hard on getting people doing work for you,well, in Brazil is the same, unless, you live in a modern,developed area where there are more companies competing with one another, so they will do everything for a client, otherwise, it is like ‘begging’ a professional to come, start the job and more important, to FINISH the job!This is also a common problem: they start…go slowly, then vanish leaving 20% of the job to be done.
    Well, now i have a question for you, as you are settled and love it, you live happy(bless that) how do you get along with the locals and if there are aussi people also involved in your friendship circle…?It is not related to people being reluctant to foreigners or something like that, it is only to know how actually aussi people have and keep their friendship circle: visiting each other’s houses?Clubbing, Pub, sport games, beaches?Barbecues?Just to have an idea.
    That would be fantastic to know a bit from your view point/experience.

    Kind regards,

    • BobinOz October 25, 2012, 5:52 pm |

      Hi Luiz

      Glad you enjoyed my book, thanks for the kind words.

      Yes, we have quite a varied circle of friends, both English and Aussie. I would say the split is pretty even for us adults, for our daughter most of her friends are Aussies at school. I can assure you that in my experience, there really is no segregation and I find the Australians very friendly indeed.

      Yes, we do all of that, clubbing, pubs, I play 5 aside football regularly, beaches, barbecues, just about everything with all of our friends, maybe that’s why we are so happy here.

      Not everybody makes friends though, you really do need to make the effort. Click on the link in the top menu that says “How to move to Australia” and towards the bottom of that page you will see links to 3 articles I’ve written about making friends.



  • marie osborne October 16, 2012, 1:39 am |

    hi bob having read your web site i found it very interesting.iam planning on going to ou next year .hopefully on a years vistors visa. to stay with australians friends with my son who will be four in the hope of getting dual citezenshio in australia iam going to be sponered by a australian family who is a jp what are my chances .and will i.be able to go on along term visitors visa as .i want to ljve out there and make a better life for me and my son and that in the uk .as. iam single and i wastnt marrued to my sons dad and he not on the brith certificate iwas in a domestic. violrnce rship .and just want a better life i only have an nvq diploma in retail distributio. level 2 .would i qualify.or not.iwould be very greatfull if u could give me advice on this thankyou marie osborne

    • BobinOz October 16, 2012, 7:44 pm |

      I really couldn’t tell you what your chances are of getting a visa, it’s impossible for anybody to do that without taking pages and pages of information about you. I suggest you take a look at my page about Visas, it’s as good a place as any to start looking into it. Good luck!

      • marie osborne October 26, 2012, 4:45 am |

        Thanks for advice bob much apperciated.ive receivced a tourist long stay visa form for 6 to 12months hoping .when i send it off i wil be allowed to go. For 12months thanks again bob. Marie

        • BobinOz October 29, 2012, 5:09 pm |

          Well done, I hope you have a great time here.

  • Charlotte September 6, 2012, 1:23 am |

    Hi Bob!

    Your site is great, very informative!

    My partner (and i) would like to move out to Austrailia for 2 years (experience, and also saving some money to come back to the UK to settle down and buy a home!)

    We both have a trade and my parnter has family out there too.

    This is his baby completely, and i love the idea of doing it. Everything and everyone is pointing us to say yes. we have no ties.

    My only concern is being home sick. i intend to go out with every intention to come home. i dont know if any of your family became homesick but i am extremely close to my parents (they have recently split) and i am worried about leaving them for such a long period. what if i get out there and realise i have made a huge mistake and given up my job and my partner given up his job all for nothing?

    Sorry if i have got quite personal its just a big exciting scary thing right now and i am so 50-50 about the entire thing.

    By the way i live just over the water from you when you lived in southend! im on sunny sheppey 🙂


    • BobinOz September 6, 2012, 1:48 pm |

      I’ve never been home sick, but that’s just me. Obviously, I have no idea how you will be, but missing friends and family is probably the number one problem to some people when trying to settle down here.

      For you though, it’s not permanent, just temporary. Two years isn’t a long time, you should be okay, but you really need to be sure within yourself before you leave. It’ll be an expensive mistake if you can’t cope.

      But like everyone else, I say go for it, you’ll never forgive yourself if you don’t.



  • Rose N August 24, 2012, 5:27 pm |

    Hi Bob
    Thank you for your response. I am a qualified Registered Nurse. Did my training here in Uganda under government Healthy Institution. But not sure how nursing qualifications are recognized there in Australia.
    Looking forward for your advice

    • BobinOz August 25, 2012, 1:32 am |

      If I have replied to you, then you should continue the conversation where ever it was we had the original conversation.

  • Maria August 2, 2012, 11:11 am |

    My husband and I have thought about a move to Brisbane for several years. I’m a nurse and my husband lived in Australia as a child, so is lucky enough to have citizenship. We have three sons who all have Australian passports, and my husband works for a company which has an Australian office. This all sounds very straightforward and my head tells me to make the leap and just go! As much as I have loved visiting Australia and can easily see us living there, I’m terrified of being incredibly homesick! I know this probably sounds crazy but (although I’m very sociable) I worry about how I’ll make friends and how I’ll cope with loneliness. Also, my eldest son is thirteen and I worry if we would be very selfish to take him away from his happy life here. Sorry for rattling on! Think what I’m trying to ask is how easy is it to settle? And which areas are best for young families? Thanks!!

    • BobinOz August 3, 2012, 2:36 pm |

      Quite natural fears Maria, but I think over the long-term you will all, and especially your son, have a better life here in Australia. We found it quite easy to settle, although it takes a few months. I love it here in Brisbane, but don’t really know enough about other places suggest the best area for families.

      Remember, if you don’t even give it a go, you’ll never know.

      • Maria August 7, 2012, 8:24 am |

        Thanks! Let the planning commence!!

  • nikki royden July 27, 2012, 10:08 pm |

    boring predictable question Bob….but what do you do for spiders,I mean have you taught your children about what to do etc? I am particularly nervous for the Huntsman although I know they aren’t dangerous….sorry very ‘british’type question.

    I like to hope that the beauty & happiness far outweigh this issue for me.

    • BobinOz July 30, 2012, 2:39 pm |

      We have made no special arrangements for spiders, other than to tell our daughter to let us know whenever she sees any kind of creepy crawley in-house and to stay away from them out side.

      Nobody has died from a spider bite since the 70s so they are not really a concern. For sure, the beauty of Australia does outweigh the small problem of spiders. I wouldn’t worry too much about them.

  • Kam July 10, 2012, 5:00 am |

    Hi Bob,

    First of all thank you for such an informative blog where visitors get to post comments & queries. And most importantly your response.

    Coming to my query, I’m in a process of looking for job in Australia and also digging up relevant immigration related material. I’m primarily concerned about day to day living in Australia and about reaction of locals towards newcomers. The thing is I’m actually very friendly and easy going but I tend to keep myself hid away in my own world. Not that I hate to interact but I just keep to myself. Plus I don’t socialize much.

    Would it be a problem for me? Will I be able to settle in Australia?


    • BobinOz July 10, 2012, 12:38 pm |

      If you are happy in your own company, nobody is going to force you to join in. I really don’t see it as a problem.

      I think you will be just fine.

  • reza July 4, 2012, 5:05 am |

    i have olitical problemes in iran.i am an english teacher there,plz help me

    • BobinOz July 5, 2012, 9:38 pm |

      That’s not something I can help with reza, I don’t hand out the visas, the Australian Government does. Sorry my friend.

      By the way, I have political problems here as well, danged carbon tax & Julia Gillard…

  • Vanessa Donovan July 2, 2012, 10:05 am |

    Hi Bob,
    First time on your site and am I ever so glad I’ve stumbled across it. I have been researching Brisbane for the last 2 months and can’t believe this site is not in one of the top links. After a tough and hard long year myself and my 4 year old daughter will be joining my husband in Oz. We are Irish, we have been granted a 457 sponsored visa. My husband is based in Gladstone. We plan on living in Brisbane. If you don’t mind I would be grateful if you could help me with a few questions. What age do children start school, any advice on family friendly areas, is there a Irish neighbour-hood over there as we won’t know a single person over there. Have no idea what suburbs to look towards living. Have so many more questions to ask you but first want to get through all the reading on your site.
    Any help would be greatfully appreciated.
    Thanks in advance

    • BobinOz July 3, 2012, 6:20 pm |

      Hi Vanessa

      Don’t know what you’ve been searching for, but I come top in Google for “live in Brisbane”, so I’m not exactly hidden away 🙂

      All your questions and more are answered on pages all around this website, take a look at Which school? and Which Suburb?. Be sure to check out all the further links at the foot of those pages, the one about my daughters prep year will explain when children start school here in Australia.

      There are plenty of Irish people here in Brisbane, not sure if there is a specific Irish suburb though. The place was banging here in the city on St Patrick’s Day for sure!

      Most places are family friendly, lots of parks everywhere. I love it where I live, that’s Western suburbs of Brisbane. Have a good read, I’m sure all your questions will be answered.



  • Robin McKee March 27, 2012, 2:57 am |

    Hi Bob

    thanks so much for your response, Likewise IAN thanks for yours also

    Sorry to be a pain but I wonder if you can clear something up. My understanding is that the age limit for entry into Australia via a work visa is 50, is this correct??


    • BobinOz March 30, 2012, 12:43 pm |

      Currently, yes. But the rules can change at any time.

  • Ian March 26, 2012, 7:23 am |


    Over 35 football in Oz is HUGE. There are hundreds of teams throughout the country. It would be by far the biggest team sport for men over 35. In my local area of the northern beaches of Sydney their would be 60 teams. My English friends tell me O/35 football is much bigger here than in the UK.

    There are O/45 comps in capital cities.

    There are well organised Sunday morning summer 0/35 social comps in Sydney and capital cities.

    There are week day Futsal comps.

    There are out of season O/35 privately run tournaments for teams from all areas to enter which can mean a trip away to country areas or interstate. This years Australian Masters Games football tournament in October is on the Gold Coast in QLD.

    • BobinOz March 27, 2012, 12:07 am |

      Robin, you’ll be pleased to hear that Ian is right, you won’t find any problem joining in over 35’s football team. Australians take their sport very seriously and you will find all the leagues are very well organised.

      Even I am playing football again, and I am so over 35 it’s not funny any more. You can read about my indoor five aside football exploits and my outdoor six aside football by clicking these links. I’ll be following those up with another one very soon.



      • Robin McKee March 28, 2012, 5:40 am |

        I love the 2 blogs about the 5 & 6 aside Footie…

  • Robin McKee March 26, 2012, 6:05 am |

    Hi bob

    I am fairly new to this site having stumbled over it accidentally (very glad I did) and haven’t had the time to review it all yet but will definately do so…

    Myself and family are considering a move to Australia as we want a life change. We have heard so many good things about the country, in addition to its cultural similarities to the uk making the transition easier.

    My question revolves around sport, football (soccer) in particular and wondered about facilities for girls football teams and veterans leagues (for men over 35 years old).

    Any information would be greatfully received



  • Leonie February 17, 2012, 6:25 am |

    Hi Bob,

    Your website is so simple and inspiring. Im so so so desperate to move to Australia having visited family in Brisbane last year and fell in Love with place. I could cry as My husband and I want to make the move so badly, but having a daughter from a previous relationship, her dad is doing his damn best to stop. Just trying to research a little more to find a way around it. I thought the saying ‘The world is your oyster’ was true but i’m now finding it is not!!
    Great website though!!

    • BobinOz February 21, 2012, 3:11 pm |

      Hi Leonie

      Thanks for the compliments, always appreciated 🙂

      From your X’s point of view, I can understand why he doesn’t want you taking his daughter to live 11,000 miles away. And without his signed permission, I’m pretty sure there is no way around it. I’ve written about it before, it’s to do with the Hague Convention.

  • Dawn February 14, 2012, 8:00 am |

    Hi Bob, I love your site and I so want to move to oz now!

    I was just wondering what is the culture like in australia in terms of things like youths getting drunk like in the UK? I have two young children and im very worried what the future will hold for them if we stay here in terms of them growing up with this culture.

    I would also love to know how respectful the australian people are towards others? Im sick of english people being rude e.g not giving up seats to old/pregnant people on trains/buses etc.

    I have also been watching “wanted down under” which is what has made me seriously think about moving. Are there really lots of jobs for graduates about like they make out on the programme. Im a business graduate and so is my husband. How easy would it be for us to find jobs. Would we need to get sponsored as we don’t have any of the skills on the occupation list, or is it best for me to train in something on the list first. I was thinking about primary teacher training as a possibility.

    Thanks in advance for all you help.

    • BobinOz February 15, 2012, 6:47 pm |

      Hi Dawn

      By and large, I find the youth less worrying and more respectful here than I thought they were back in the UK. Kids still shout out thank you to the bus driver as they get off the bus here. As for drunks in the street, there are quite a few hotspots in the major cities where drunkenness goes on until four or five o’clock in the morning.

      But I don’t ever see youths walking the streets, or sitting in parks getting drunk like I used to back in England. But that’s where I live, I’m sure there are some areas of Australia where that happens.

      As for all your other questions, you should take a look at my page called Migration Advice. Lots of useful information there.



      • Dawn February 16, 2012, 8:06 am |

        Thanks Bob for all your advice.

        One thing I meant to ask and totally forgot. Is how much does it cost to go to university in Australia? I really would love my children to go if they want to in the future but as I am sure you are aware universities here can now charge up to £9,000 per year and I would love to know how they compare.

        Many thanks


        • BobinOz February 17, 2012, 12:11 am |

          Hi Dawn

          I have no idea, it should be another 10 years or so before we have to think about university for Elizabeth. but maybe somebody else knows about the cost of university; anybody?

        • Leanne August 7, 2012, 1:34 pm |

          Hi Dawn and Bob

          University in Australia is paid by a system called HECS. There are a lot of variables but it costs about $5-6000 per year for a full time student. Most students pay their HECS in arrears via an extra levy on their income taxes which kicks in once you earn a reasonable amount of money. You do incur interest doing it this way rather than paying up front, but the interest is charged by the government and is pretty reasonable. Wikipedia has a bit more info as do a number of other sites – just type in HECS and you will find it. Hope that helps

          • BobinOz August 8, 2012, 2:01 pm |

            Thanks Leanne, that’s very useful information to know. I will look into it further and maybe write a post about it.



          • Dawn August 14, 2012, 2:55 am |

            Thanks so much for your reply. I will definately look up HECS.

  • Rupert November 19, 2011, 9:52 pm |

    I don’t know if I’ve mentioned this before Bob, but we were also looking to move to Pezenas! How weird is that? We have a few friends there (French and British) and we’ve spent a lot of time there.

    At the end of the day, however, my wife realised that I’d be commuting back to London every week and she’d be left alone with no French. I’m fluent, so I think it was a little intimidating for her. I tried to make her understand how quickly she’d learn the language, but she soon became home-sick and the plans for moving to Oz began!

    • BobinOz November 22, 2011, 3:52 pm |

      And the coincidence (almost) continues. My wife is the fluent French speaking half of our relationship, and she feared I wouldn’t bother to learn the language and prefer to become totally reclusive, befriending only the cheap French wine.

      Sounded like fun to me, but we came here instead. Trust me, I really do think it’s a better decision, we “regret rien”.

      That’s French, isn’t it?

  • Nikki June 21, 2011, 9:34 pm |

    HI Bob
    Brilliant website and very informative! im glad i came across it!
    I would like to move to Australia ( Sydney) for a year with my husband and two young childrem- partly for the experience and partly to see if we could live there permanently. Im a lawyer and my hubby works in the building industy. We are both over 31 so cant do the working and holiday visa way! is there another way in for us temporarily? will i need to get a job before i arrive? many thanks!! NIkki

    • BobinOz June 23, 2011, 12:41 am |

      Glad to hear you are enjoying my website. I hope you and your husband get the chance to come over here and see what it’s like.

      I’m not sure what options you have to come here for one year and work while you check out Australia. But I suggest you visit my page about visas and watch my video about the government’s visa wizard, then click on the link to the wizard and have a go yourself.

      It may turn out that you’ll need to get a job sponsorship first and commit to 2 years here, but who knows, the wizard might give you some better suggestions.

      Good luck!


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