Sunday, March 26, 2006

Going Downunder (no not the dirty way)!

Ahhh Mark and I have been racking our brains to try and remember exactly what made us move 12,000 miles from family and friends! Its all a bit vauge (story of our lives) but it had something to do with a holiday to Sydney in 2002, a cold, rainy British day and a tad too much alcohol! One thing led to another, and hey presto a Visa was born!

Don't want to bore everyone, but basically obtaining Permanent Residency for Australia is done on a points system. You have to achieve over 120 points, be of good health and character and be under 45 years of age. Points are awarded for having an Occupation in Demand; as a Registered Nurse with over 3 years post grad experience I got 60 points, I also got points for being under 30 (when I initially applied), having a job offer and being married (knew he'd come in handy at some point)! We flew through the medicals (altho we were a tad lighter - £700 lighter in fact), and our character and police checks came back ok (phew)! We paid some more money to DIMIA (Dept of Immigration and Multicultural Affairs) and got our visa! Process from start to finish took around 6 months. You can use a migration agent, but being fairly sensible and being able to read and write; we decided to apply ourselves (and save £2000)! All I can say if you are DIY'ing it is get organised! Triple check everything before you submit it, otherwise things just get delayed!

Dreamworld, 2004

In August 2004 we flew via Hong Kong with 3 kids and 7 suitcases! We landed at Brisbane and made a home in Victoria Point. Cut a long story short, it wasn't the area for us and a few months later we jumped back on the plane to the UK! Now I know we could have moved to a different area, after all Aus is pretty big, but we needed to return to the UK anyway to sell the house and tie up loose ends!

Eventually 13mths later we sold the house - hurrah!!! So we packed up the house, organised the shipping and said goodbye to friends and family.

We decided to cut costs and self ship! Probably not the best move as EXTREMELY stressful, but once everything arrived in one piece we knew it was worth it!!!! The hardest thing was getting all the documentation together (then realising we've packed it in the sealed container - oops)! Very odd feeling watching your whole life - photograps of the kids as babies, documents,paintings - disappear down the road on the back of a lorry. I actually remember asking myself if we'd ever see it again! With no insurance, it was a case of crossing fingers and hoping for calm seas!

A massive thanks to Debbie,Ned,Kev,Danny and Hopkins for helping out! Sarah and Jocel for keeping me sane and Lisa for child minding!

Leaving family and friends had to be the hardest part of migrating. Mark was leaving a job he loves (thanks for giving him a good send off guys), the kids were leaving their mates and of course we were all leaving family. On Mothers Day we packed the car up and headed down to see my Nanna in Devon. Nanna was great, we said the best goodbye we could (bearing in mind nobber BIL frogmarched her to his car before we could a final goodbye). Our last evening was spent at the Holiday Inn! My sister Katy came out to see us and we drove to my brothers flat for fish, chips and beer! Our last few hours were spent saying more goodbyes before Kev (Mark's BIL) piled us up in the car and drove us to Heathrow. It was odd saying goodbye at the airport as it still didn't seem real!!!
Sis Katy, bro Richard and the rest of us!Me and Reubs, my Nanna and family!

Mark's leaving do! Me,Stacey,Kyn,Reubs,Cam! The one and only.........Nanna Doreen!!!

Anyway 4 hrs later we jumped back on the plane (with 3 kids, 5 suitcases) and headed for Brissy!

We spent a week in the city sorting out bank accounts, medicare, and TFN (tax file numbers) so we can legally work (boo). We brought cars and headed up the Bruce Highway to Noosa. Its an area we all love, not just the beaches but the hinterland and bush are beautiful. We eventually found a nice place at Peregian Beach alongside the golf course. Peregian's not a developed area, so lots of scope for the future. Its just 10 mins from Noosa and 15 mins from Eumundi where we planned for the boys to go to school.

New home, new car!

After seeing the sites of Noosa, we threw the kids into school! Don't they look thrilled?

In May 2006 I started working as a Nurse Practitioner for a local medical company covering the rural areas of Cooroy,Imbil,Pomona and Eumundi. Fab job, love it. Now based permanently at Eumundi just across the road from the boys school. Colleagues I work with are great! Have even appeared in local rag showing off new defibrillator donated to us by the locals!

Mark starts with Queensland Police in 2007. He's been doing the house husbandy thing!

The boys are doing great; they love the beaches,surf and bush walking. They all have right little aussie accents, long blonde hair and lots of mates!

Really that this site can help us all keep up to date! Missing you all (yes that includes you Winter), take care love Annie,Mark and boys XXX

1 comment:

BIG BAD JOHN said...

hey thanks for the account of how you left us all and moved down under ,realy pleased it has all turned out realy well for you all , jealous as hell !!!
a good move getting mark to be the house husband he always did do the house work better than you annie !!
keep in touch,
john,tracey mia and taz.

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