Thursday, 26 January 2012

Happy Australia Day Mate!

The 26th is Australia Day. An Aussie national holiday consistently celebrated since '94 in every state and Australian territory. Community festivals and fireworks; live outdoor concerts; picnics, parades and parties. Citizenship ceremonies. Canberra raising the national flag with a 21 gun salute and aerial flyover. Celebrating what's great about Australia.

In the UK, the other side of the world has always held a fascination. The convicts and the £10 Poms started us off, paved the way to emigration. Sun, surf, and barbies. Coast, city and country. The Australian twang with their “G'day mate”. The cosmopolitan vibe and laid-back hospitality. For Poms the attraction to a better life is overpowering. Australian imports have for years tempted us, programmes in particular. Neighbours, and Home and Away hitting our shores, offering us a taste of Australia. There, the grass always looks greener, the sun shines even in Winter. The Australia Effect: a lineage of boomerangs that don't come back. Otherwise known as relocation. C4, ITV, and the BBC have caught on. Channel surf and I guarantee you'll see those two magic words, “Down Under”.

Who wouldn't jump at the chance to live in Australia? To test out the quality of life before giving everything up? Jobs, homes, and activities scored. The big question asked: Will we be better off down under? For the most part, the answer is yes, but there are pros and cons. The dream life may not materialise as anticipated. Relocation is tough. Our expectations are unrealistic. In Australia, the sky's the limit. A large house complete with swimming pool, or perhaps some land and horses. Working less, earning more, less time poor. The lifestyle will be cheaper. Pom standard criteria. The bubble burst as soon as the plane touches down. The distance's too great, homes are open plan, and potential income does not bowl people over. The gamble will not pay off without research. Surprised by many who haven't done their sums, searched the job and property market.

Successful ex-pats transplant their roots to Australian soil with determination. A better life achieved with dedication. Australia is like everywhere else, just bigger. What us Brits need to adopt is the Aussie bravado; that sunny outlook, no worries. A daily dose of Aussie soap is far better than Eastenders. Celebrate this slice of Aussie life brought to us by Fremantle media. Make this the day to turn to our Aussie migrants and say “Happy Australia Day Mate!”