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Old Jan 2nd 2005, 1:37 pm   #1
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Default It's been a long, long time!

Well, folks, I have an anniversary coming up. On Jan 4th, it will be 36 years since I migrated to Australia with a husband and 2 daughters, one 11 year-old and a 3-year -old.
We arrived in Perth, but only stayed here briefly. Since then I have lived and worked in Toodyay,Geraldton, Northampton ,Carnarvon, Derby and Halls Creek in Western Australia; in Katherine and Darwin in the NT; in Cairns, Atherton,Topaz and 10 kms north of the Daintree in FNQ.
I have worked as an hotel receptionist, airline cook, manageress of a hostel for Aboriginal school children, book-keeper; and caretaker at a mining camp, 50 miles out from Halls Creek. I have picked tea, house-sat, worked for Telstra, and the Commonwealth Departments of Defence (Army), Education, Housing and Construction.
Along the way, I and both my daughters achieved University degrees.
My husband succumbed early to the dreaded Australian disease of alcoholism - more prevalent then than now, I think, especially in the NW - so effectively I was a single mum.
I have been reading your posts for quite some time now and it seems that so many of you just want to recreate an English life with sunshine, near the sea. But hey, Australia is so much more than a beach-side suburb. It's an adventure!
Do, please, see as much of it as you can, and enjoy it!
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Old Jan 2nd 2005, 1:56 pm   #2
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Default Re: It's been a long, long time!

Quote:
Originally Posted by TheCrone
Well, folks, I have an anniversary coming up. On Jan 4th, it will be 36 years since I migrated to Australia with a husband and 2 daughters, one 11 year-old and a 3-year -old.
We arrived in Perth, but only stayed here briefly. Since then I have lived and worked in Toodyay,Geraldton, Northampton ,Carnarvon, Derby and Halls Creek in Western Australia; in Katherine and Darwin in the NT; in Cairns, Atherton,Topaz and 10 kms north of the Daintree in FNQ.
I have worked as an hotel receptionist, airline cook, manageress of a hostel for Aboriginal school children, book-keeper; and caretaker at a mining camp, 50 miles out from Halls Creek. I have picked tea, house-sat, worked for Telstra, and the Commonwealth Departments of Defence (Army), Education, Housing and Construction.
Along the way, I and both my daughters achieved University degrees.
My husband succumbed early to the dreaded Australian disease of alcoholism - more prevalent then than now, I think, especially in the NW - so effectively I was a single mum.
I have been reading your posts for quite some time now and it seems that so many of you just want to recreate an English life with sunshine, near the sea. But hey, Australia is so much more than a beach-side suburb. It's an adventure!
Do, please, see as much of it as you can, and enjoy it!
Blimey TC.....you really have "been there, done that".............

Welcome to the forum BTW

What an inspiring post. Seems life has thrown many doggy doos at you..... but rather than feel sorry for yourself, you've just got on with it. A real positive and can-do attitude to life. Good for you. Good luck with whatever else you do. You deserve it
 
Old Jan 2nd 2005, 2:16 pm   #3
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Default Re: It's been a long, long time!

Quote:
Originally Posted by TheCrone
Well, folks, I have an anniversary coming up. On Jan 4th, it will be 36 years since I migrated to Australia with a husband and 2 daughters, one 11 year-old and a 3-year -old.
We arrived in Perth, but only stayed here briefly. Since then I have lived and worked in Toodyay,Geraldton, Northampton ,Carnarvon, Derby and Halls Creek in Western Australia; in Katherine and Darwin in the NT; in Cairns, Atherton,Topaz and 10 kms north of the Daintree in FNQ.
I have worked as an hotel receptionist, airline cook, manageress of a hostel for Aboriginal school children, book-keeper; and caretaker at a mining camp, 50 miles out from Halls Creek. I have picked tea, house-sat, worked for Telstra, and the Commonwealth Departments of Defence (Army), Education, Housing and Construction.
Along the way, I and both my daughters achieved University degrees.
My husband succumbed early to the dreaded Australian disease of alcoholism - more prevalent then than now, I think, especially in the NW - so effectively I was a single mum.
I have been reading your posts for quite some time now and it seems that so many of you just want to recreate an English life with sunshine, near the sea. But hey, Australia is so much more than a beach-side suburb. It's an adventure!
Do, please, see as much of it as you can, and enjoy it!

Good onya Sheila!!!

Truely inspirational post!! Welcome to Expats.....

Hels
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Old Jan 2nd 2005, 2:21 pm   #4
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Default Re: It's been a long, long time!

Quote:
Originally Posted by TheCrone
Well, folks, I have an anniversary coming up. On Jan 4th, it will be 36 years since I migrated to Australia with a husband and 2 daughters, one 11 year-old and a 3-year -old.
We arrived in Perth, but only stayed here briefly. Since then I have lived and worked in Toodyay,Geraldton, Northampton ,Carnarvon, Derby and Halls Creek in Western Australia; in Katherine and Darwin in the NT; in Cairns, Atherton,Topaz and 10 kms north of the Daintree in FNQ.
I have worked as an hotel receptionist, airline cook, manageress of a hostel for Aboriginal school children, book-keeper; and caretaker at a mining camp, 50 miles out from Halls Creek. I have picked tea, house-sat, worked for Telstra, and the Commonwealth Departments of Defence (Army), Education, Housing and Construction.
Along the way, I and both my daughters achieved University degrees.
My husband succumbed early to the dreaded Australian disease of alcoholism - more prevalent then than now, I think, especially in the NW - so effectively I was a single mum.
I have been reading your posts for quite some time now and it seems that so many of you just want to recreate an English life with sunshine, near the sea. But hey, Australia is so much more than a beach-side suburb. It's an adventure!
Do, please, see as much of it as you can, and enjoy it!
Welcome to the forum!
My philosophy is to live life to the full - you don't know what its' going to throw at you, good or bad.
I'm heading downunder next week - I'm a nurse and will be working as one when I get there - but then? Who knows...............

Cas
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Old Jan 2nd 2005, 5:16 pm   #5
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Default Re: It's been a long, long time!

That is a fab post. You must have had a fascinating 36 years. Good luck with the next lot.

Quote:
Originally Posted by TheCrone
My husband succumbed early to the dreaded Australian disease of alcoholism -
Unfortunately it isn't just an Australian disease. It's worldwide and there but for the grace of go the rest of us.

Please keep posting, I'm sure you have loads of advice for everyone on here
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Old Jan 2nd 2005, 6:10 pm   #6
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Default Re: It's been a long, long time!

Hi there,
sorry to hear about the husband, my wife is from one of the old Soviet states and it's a big problem there, but not very sunny!

I look at it as an adventure, isn't every day?

I plan to live in Oz for a couple of years, get citzenship & decide whet to do from there!
Who knows, I may stay in Oz or just retire there

Hope it all works out for you and your adventure continues.

Bye
Mark.
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Old Jan 2nd 2005, 6:33 pm   #7
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Thumbs up Re: It's been a long, long time!

That's a fantastic post TheCrone. Good on ya, and I hope when I reach the same point in my journey that I can exude the same positive attitude. It makes me incredibly angry when I hear people complain about things "not being the same or as good as in the UK or wherever". It's not the UK, it's a completely different ballgame, and you have to go into it with a completely open mind otherwise you miss out on so many fantastic experiences. I'm not picking on any particular thread or post or person, it's a generalisation.

BTW I'm new here. Hello everybody! To set the ball rolling, and to help me meet some new people, the first drink's on me....

Best regards,

Jamie
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Old Jan 2nd 2005, 10:06 pm   #8
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Default Re: It's been a long, long time!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jamiem
That's a fantastic post TheCrone. Good on ya, and I hope when I reach the same point in my journey that I can exude the same positive attitude. It makes me incredibly angry when I hear people complain about things "not being the same or as good as in the UK or wherever". It's not the UK, it's a completely different ballgame, and you have to go into it with a completely open mind otherwise you miss out on so many fantastic experiences. I'm not picking on any particular thread or post or person, it's a generalisation.

BTW I'm new here. Hello everybody! To set the ball rolling, and to help me meet some new people, the first drink's on me....

Best regards,

Jamie
Hi, Jamie! Believe it or not, my journey began in Baildon, all those years ago.
You're quite right, it is a completely different ballgame. I've come to the conclusion that most Brits cross the Channel and accept that everything is foreign because of the different languages. Yet they come here, half a world away and expect England with sunshine. And I find it rather sad that they are making it so, particularly in Perth's northern suburbs. When I arrived, most of those housing estates were just sandy scrub, with a single lane road to serve them; there were no freeways at all. Effectively, Perth stopped at
Karrinyup and a visit to Yanchep was a big day out. All the pubs closed on Sundays and the only way to get a drink was to be a bona fide traveller; the Yanchep hotel and Noble Falls pub (on the Toodyay road) were the closest places where alcohol was served. Highway 1 degenerated into a gravel road just north of Carnarvon and, with the exception of 14 miles of bitumen running through Port Hedland, stayed that way until you met the Northern Territory border, several thousand kilometers 'up the track'. In fact, a common toast at closing time was "Here's to the bitch!" - and it didn't refer to wives, but to the coming of sealed roads. But what fun it was!
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Old Jan 2nd 2005, 10:16 pm   #9
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Default Re: It's been a long, long time!

Quote:
Originally Posted by TheCrone
Hi, Jamie! Believe it or not, my journey began in Baildon, all those years ago.
You're quite right, it is a completely different ballgame. I've come to the conclusion that most Brits cross the Channel and accept that everything is foreign because of the different languages. Yet they come here, half a world away and expect England with sunshine. And I find it rather sad that they are making it so, particularly in Perth's northern suburbs. When I arrived, most of those housing estates were just sandy scrub, with a single lane road to serve them; there were no freeways at all. Effectively, Perth stopped at
Karrinyup and a visit to Yanchep was a big day out. All the pubs closed on Sundays and the only way to get a drink was to be a bona fide traveller; the Yanchep hotel and Noble Falls pub (on the Toodyay road) were the closest places where alcohol was served. Highway 1 degenerated into a gravel road just north of Carnarvon and, with the exception of 14 miles of bitumen running through Port Hedland, stayed that way until you met the Northern Territory border, several thousand kilometers 'up the track'. In fact, a common toast at closing time was "Here's to the bitch!" - and it didn't refer to wives, but to the coming of sealed roads. But what fun it was!

Good to hear your story. Migration to Australia was very different in the past, easier in some ways, harder in others.

Out of interest - have you and your children become Australian citizens and if so, after how many years? Although it was possible for British migrants to take Australian citizenship after 1 year when you arrived, there was little encouragement to do so. Things are very different now.

Jeremy
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Old Jan 2nd 2005, 10:50 pm   #10
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Default Re: It's been a long, long time!

Quote:
Originally Posted by JAJ
Good to hear your story. Migration to Australia was very different in the past, easier in some ways, harder in others.

Out of interest - have you and your children become Australian citizens and if so, after how many years? Although it was possible for British migrants to take Australian citizenship after 1 year when you arrived, there was little encouragement to do so. Things are very different now.

Jeremy
]
It took me a long time to decide that Australia really was 'home' and that I wasn't on a long-term working holiday, so I'd been here for 25 years before taking citizenship. Both my girls work, or have worked, for the Commonwealth Public Service, where it is obligatory to have citizenship.
But even after so long, sometimes it's hard; you know that you have had such different experiences here that it's impossible to go back to the UK and fit snugly into the social milieu you left, if it even exists any more; on the other hand, sometimes it's quite hard to find much in common with Australians, particularly those of the older generation. So occasionally, one feels one's neither 'flesh, fowl, nor good red herring". Until, of course, one's talking about cricket or Rugby........
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Old Jan 2nd 2005, 10:56 pm   #11
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Default Re: It's been a long, long time!

Quote:
Originally Posted by TheCrone
It took me a long time to decide that Australia really was 'home' and that I wasn't on a long-term working holiday, so I'd been here for 25 years before taking citizenship. Both my girls work, or have worked, for the Commonwealth Public Service, where it is obligatory to have citizenship.
Ironically the people like you (who haven't become Australian citizens) who really can get stuffed are those who decide to go back to the UK for a few years and then find they can't return to Australia as their permanent residence is gone.


Quote:
But even after so long, sometimes it's hard; you know that you have had such different experiences here that it's impossible to go back to the UK and fit snugly into the social milieu you left, if it even exists any more; on the other hand, sometimes it's quite hard to find much in common with Australians, particularly those of the older generation. So occasionally, one feels one's neither 'flesh, fowl, nor good red herring". Until, of course, one's talking about cricket or Rugby........
The experience of a migrant is fundamentally different to that of someone who lives in one place all their life. You get a broader view on life but do encounter the issues you mention.

On the other hand, there are those back in the UK of your age group wishing they had taken a chance to go to Australia when they were younger.

Jeremy
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Old Jan 2nd 2005, 11:30 pm   #12
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Default Re: It's been a long, long time!

Goodness, did you infer from my last post that I regret coming to Australia? That wasn't my objective at all. But I wouldn't be human if there were not moments of regret, specially on those days of 40 degree heat, when one longs for grey skies and drizzle; something one could never envisage wanting!
Australia has been very good to me and mine. I'm certain that my girls are educated to a far higher standard than I could have afforded in the UK; we have been places, seen things, had experiences that many people only dream about. Australia has given us a rich, full, if not always 'safe' life and I'm so glad I live here.
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Old Jan 3rd 2005, 12:06 am   #13
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Default Re: It's been a long, long time!

What a brilliant thread!

Seems like you worked your way gradually North from Perth and then across to Cairns! Where are you now?

What would you recommend about the North West? It seems almost like pioneer country to me, and I'd love to explore the region.

Please post regularly. Your experiences may serve as an example to many.
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Old Jan 3rd 2005, 4:09 am   #14
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Default Re: It's been a long, long time!

Quote:
Originally Posted by tonyk38
What a brilliant thread!

Seems like you worked your way gradually North from Perth and then across to Cairns! Where are you now?

What would you recommend about the North West? It seems almost like pioneer country to me, and I'd love to explore the region.

Please post regularly. Your experiences may serve as an example to many.
It was nowhere near as organised as you make it sound, tony!
To begin at the beginning!
When I arrived in Perth with the girls, my husband had been here almost a year. Ostensibly he'd come for a holiday, but after a short time I received a telephone call saying he wasn't coming back to the UK, and I should sell up, pack up and join him. As we were in rented accommodation, there wasn't the problem of selling a house. As he would sponsor us as Ten Quid migrants, we had to go on a waiting list, a process that was made much longer by the fact that my elder girl was the child of an earlier marriage and both her father and I had to appear before a judge to get permission to remove her permanently from the UK.
During the time we were going through this, my husband got work with the Dept. of Lands and Surveys, which saw him walking from Onslow to Port Hedland surveying sites for the first microwave towers. This was where he first fell in love with the wide open spaces of the North West.
When we arrived, he was managing an hotel in what is now Northbridge, so that was where we stayed for the first few months. We enrolled the elder girl in school. She'd begun High School in the UK, but here we were told that she was too young and that she should repeat the last year of primary school. But the standard was much lower than that she was accustomed to, my husband was getting decidedly itchy feet, so we decided we'd go on a long trip, so thnat we would all be able to see something of the country we now called home.
My husband's Outback experience really came in handy. We left Perth in an old FJ Holden, pulling a trailer containing not only camping gear, but an adequate supply of water, food and extra fuel. And so we headed North.
It took us four months to reach Darwin. We stopped where there was anything interesting to see, camped, for the most part, just by pulling off the road, cooked on a camp fire, did the laundry in any water-hole we came across.....such a change from the twin-set and tweed skirt life I'd been used to! Now it was shorts and a T-shirt, a 'style' of dress I'd never thought I would wear!
We saw such amazing things on that first journey; being woken by a group of emus examining our tent by moonlight; an Aboriginal woman sitting on a pavement, waiting for the shop to reopen after the afternoon siesta, feeding a baby on one breast, a dingo pup at the other; crocodiles on a river bank where we'd intended to set up camp...........oh, I have lots of stories!
We didn't much care for Darwin, so we headed back to Perth, but it was winter by this time and, comparatively speaking, cold. We were also fast running out of money, so work was an imperative. We haunted employment agencies that specialised in finding work for people who wanted to go North and the first thing that came up was a position for me as cook in Derby, in a hostel which catered for airline staff. So it was back in the car and heading North once more.
We were able to get housing in Derby, and M. (husband) soon got work also with the airline, in charge of the stores which temporarily held goods air-freighted in from Perth. But this required him to meet planes at 2am, three times a week, which became a bit much, after several months. So we applied for, and got, positions as manager and manageress of a hostel for Aboriginal school-children in Halls Creek.
(We arrived at 3.30pm on a Saturday, were met at the plane by what was then called a Native Welfdare officer, were told that all the staff of the hostel were at a wedding and there were 104 children expecting to be fed at 5pm. And welcome to Halls Creek!)
We ran the hostel for 3 years, then moved out to look after a mining camp, 50 miles further out bush; from there we drove to Queensland, to meet up with some of my husband's relatives who had recently migrated. But we found we much preferred WA, so it wasn't long before we were on the road again.
To be continued!
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Old Jan 3rd 2005, 5:36 am   #15
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Good on ya! Sounds great!! Keep writing - your stories will inspire some of this whinging lot...

I love meeting and hearing of people who are real 'Australians' if you see what I mean. England in the sun!..there are so many surburbanites with the Land Cruisers who actually change their lives very little...

I loved all that country life when I first got here..

BM
 
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