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Australian Boomerang

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Australians market themselves especially well. Now, I'm not talking specifically about tourism or other forms of literal marketing, but rather the overall communications. They have created a vast sense of national pride and a global perception of being a relocation idyll.

By Roger Little

I made the decision to return to the UK after nine years abroad. I spent two years in Ireland consulting for a cable company and then seven years in Sydney. It only took one Christmas back in London to realise that the sun and the beach was where I wanted to be. So the chance to head to the antipodes was opportune, and thus I set off to help start up a consultancy company in Sydney.

After seven years in Sydney I was pretty much comfortable. I had made a new group of friends and had got my kids involved in all kinds of recreation. I had certainly found my niche; both in social and business terms. My consultancy was running at full capacity, and I had even been ranked in the top-10 marketing personalities by an Australian magazine. So returning to the UK was certainly not a decision based on any lack of opportunity or success. That's probably why it may seem odd to some people.

It seems only right, then, that I should give some insight into why I decided to move back, as well as some impressions on antipodean life. The reasons I returned home are simple really: my family is still in the UK (in London), and I desperately wanted to spend time with them, and let my kids get to know their grandparents a little better. I also wanted to be part of an extended family.

But what about Australia? What was the experience like? Australia is a comparatively smooth transition for Brits with a desire to emigrate. It is unsurprisingly similar to the UK actually. They love sport, they have an outgoing lifestyle, and culturally, they tend to have some similar ideas. Australia has low rates of crime, lower rates of interest, and social and economic structures that work. It also has very low levels of unemployment, which result in a high demand for skills. It is a country which is easy to adapt, live and work in, with great beaches and recreation facilities, good schools and, on the whole, very sociable people.

It is a country where you can live comfortably in the thick middle class, but where it is exceedingly difficult to get ahead. The salaries are not globally competitive, particularly in a city which, in my opinion, is far more expensive than any I have lived in (including London).

Like Britain, Australia still holds socialistic values dearly. The status quo is praised, middle class equality is encouraged, and tall poppies are cut down as fast as they arise. You should not expect to be lauded for successful entrepreneurial ventures. If your ambition is to live a relaxing life of comparative success and anonymity, it might just be the ideal location. However, if you are adverse to overregulation and conformity, and want to get out there and make a mark on the world's stage, you will probably find it frustrating and restrictive.

Australians market themselves especially well. Now, I'm not talking specifically about tourism or other forms of literal marketing, but rather the overall communications. They have created a vast sense of national pride and a global perception of being a relocation idyll. Australia are generally acknowledged as a land of opportunity, and you only have to look at how many Brits have emigrated there to realise the opportunity and success.

Why did we come home again? Well, home is always home. I am a vehemently proud Brit, and to live somewhere else will always be a compromise. The UK is part of my DNA, and I feel I should be a part of making it stronger and reach its potential. And like I said, I want to live surrounded by the family and friends I love. Surely that should be enough reason for anyone.

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