Since 1945 more than six million people from across the world have come to Australia to live. Today, more than 20 per cent of Australians are foreign born and more than 40 per cent are of mixed cultural origin.

Tuesday, 31 January 2012

Land of inventors

Stumbled across this and thought I'd share it, I'm sure the Kiwi's will try to claim some of these....I hear there's and issue over who invented the Pavlova?? I'll leave that to you to work out

Australians invented notepads (1902), the surf lifesaving reel (1906), aspirin (1915), the pacemaker (1926), penicillin (1940) the Hills Hoist clothesline (1946), the plastic disposable syringe (1949), the wine cask (1965), the bionic ear (1978), dual-flush toilet flush (1980) anti-counterfeiting technology for banknotes (1992) and long-wearing contact lenses (1999).

Who'd have thought ey?

Monday, 30 January 2012


Well....two words......GET FOXTEL!

I don't mean to sound like a big moan, maybe its just annoying for me but ill let you judge.

Tv is terrible here. And I'm not really even exaggerating. Digital is still in it relative infancy. Not many channels, and the ones they do have seem wasted on showing the worst in TV shows of the last 30 years. Brady Bunch? Maybe a little Yes Prime Minister? How about Happy Days, Bewitched, or perhaps a bit of McGyver? These aren't on a dedicated old program channel. They're just on.

Not only this but if you have any sort of recording device, set it to record for at least 30mins after program is set to finish. All channels seem to not care about keeping to program schedules. They'd rather just put adverts in. This is a huge pain when you set your favourite program to record, only to find when your getting to the end, and you cant wait to see who the killer was, or what happened to the nice lady next door....BAM, it stops. You'll just never know.

Just to throw another one at you, PREPARE for "Harvey Norman" adverts. You will know what I mean. They are the most annoying audio-visual event since the creation of Glee.
All of a sudden theres a man screaming at you through the TV, urging you to hurry in right now and buy a coffee machine. Sometimes, they can fit in 3-4 of these same ads in one break. And it drives me MAD!

In-between these they might get 2-3 "Domayne" adverts in, which are equally as sickening.

In th UK, TV stations are allowed to show 7 Mins of adverts every hour. In Australia they are allowed to show 14 mins of adverts every hour. TWICE as many adverts!

One more thing, the half decent programs they have are from the U.S
Nothing wrong with that, except 2 weeks after the series has finished, the same series in on AGAIN.

If you dont like crime, dont watch TV, you'll only get CSI, CSI New York, Miami, Hollywood, San Fransisco, Chicago, Iowa, Ontario and on and on. To compete the other channels shows 6 different versions of SVU, while the others show all the Law & Orders, The Mentalist, Castle, Ghost lady detective, Pet detective, and on it goes.

Having said all of this, this stuff is mostly the commercial channels. Ten, Seven, channel 9/WIN.

I must say that SBS and sometimes the ABC show really interesting stuff, more along the lines of documentaries which are a huge relief from the other crap that's on all the other channels.

Channel 7 just cant work the TV equipment.

Every night I come home and watch channel 7 news, only to find EVERY time it comes back from the Ad break, the guy in the control room just cant seem to get the news on in time so I catch the first 6 words the news reader says.

You'll hate watching sport too. Seriously. So your watching your new favourite sport of Rugby League and lets say the try of the century is scored. Your watching, waiting for the replay, and BAM......A god dammed Harvey Norman ad comes on. Aaaaarrgh! SHOW ME THE REPLAY!

There will be another post about sport coming soon. I can't wait.

Wednesday, 25 January 2012

Its Australia Day!

So its Australia Day today and everyone is celebrating. Mainly by going to some kind of concert and getting totally smashed. Needless to say probably half the workforce will throw a sickie tomorrow and take the long long weekend they deserve.

I came across this doing the rounds today so I thought Id post it here for you to read and probably have a laugh! Happy Australia Day!

YOU KNOW YOU'RE AUSTRALIAN WHEN: You believe that stubbies can either be drunk or worn. You've made a bong out of your garden hose rather than use it for something illegal such as watering the garden. You understand that the phrase 'a group of women wearing black thongs' refers to footwear and may be less alluring than... it sounds. You pronounce Melbourne as 'Mel-bin'. You believe the 'l' in the word 'Australia' is optional. You can translate: 'Dazza and Shazza played Acca Dacca on the way to Maccas'. You call your best friend 'a total bastard' but someone you really, truly despise is just 'a bit of a bastard'. You think 'Woolloomooloo' is a perfectly reasonable name for a place. You're secretly proud of our killer wildlife. You believe it makes sense for a country to have a $1 coin that's twice as big as its $2 coin. You understand that 'Wagga Wagga' can be abbreviated to 'Wagga' but 'Woy Woy' can't be called 'Woy'. You believe that cooked down axle grease makes a good breakfast spread - you've squeezed it through Vita Wheats to make little Vegemite worms. You believe all famous Kiwis are actually Australian, until they stuff up,at which point they again become Kiwis. Beetroot with your Hamburger... of course! You know that certain words must, by law, be shouted out during any rendition of the Angels' song 'Am I Ever Gonna See Your Face Again' And 'Living next door to Alice'. You wear ugg boots outside the house. You believe that every important discovery in the world was made by an Australian but then sold off for a pittance. You believe that the more you shorten someone's name the more you like them. Whatever your linguistic skills, you find yourself able to order takeaway fluently in every Asian language. You understand that 'excuse me' can sound rude, While 'scuse me' is always polite. You know what it's like to swallow a fly, on occasion via your nose. You know it's not summer until the steering wheel is too hot to handle and a seat belt buckle becomes a pretty good branding iron. Your biggest family argument over the summer concerned the rules for beach cricket. You shake your head in horror when companies try to market what they call 'Anzac Cookies'. You still think of Kylie as 'that girl off Neighbours'. When working in a bar, you understand male customers will feel the need to offer an excuse whenever they order low-alcohol beer. You know how to abbreviate every word, all of which usually end in "o": arvo, combo, garbo, kero, lezzo, metho, milko, muso, rego, servo, smoko, speedo, righto, goodo etc... You know that there is a universal place called 'woop woop' located in the middle of nowhere, no matter where you actually are! You know that none of us actually drink Fosters beer, because it tastes like piss. You sleep with Aeroguard on in the summer and don't mind it as a perfume. You've only ever used the words - tops, ripper, sick, mad, sweet, to mean "good" and when you place 'bloody' in front of it then you really mean it. You know that the barbecue is a political arena. You say 'no worries' quite often, whether you realise it or not. You understand what no wucking furries means. You've drank your tea/coffee/milo through a Tim Tam. You've given your kids wheet-bix and milk for dinner when you can't be naffed. You own a Bond's chesty - in several different colors. You know that some people pronounce Australia like "Straya" and that's ok. And you will immediately forward this list to other Australians, here and overseas, realising that only they will understand! Aussie Aussie Aussie.!!

Sunday, 22 January 2012

If your wondering roughly how big Australia is, and how far away everything is, well...this is your answer.

Thursday, 19 January 2012

The language

Quite quickly after landing I realised that in Australia, every occupation seems to have a nickname. You'll know what I mean if your already living here, but you'll notice when you land if not. Just put the news on the TV and you'll see what I mean. (If you manage to catch the first lines of the news after an ad break....but that's for another post)

So there's been a car crash....but don't worry because the "fireies" and the "ambos" are at the scene. (Fire brigade and the ambulance / paramedics)

So it's 6 AM and you hear a lorry outside....ahhh its just the "Garbos" (Bin men) another point to one knows what a lorry is...its called a truck.

I'm sure there are more examples of this but I cant think of them now...feel free to have your input.

I've been here 9 months now and I still say things sometimes and get the strangest looks, and the reply..."the what?"

Lorry is one of those...sweets is another one, they call them lollies...I know, weeeeird. Lolly's are called ice blocks if your wondering.

You'll also need to find the right time and place to ask for chips. Chips are chips however are....well....chips.

Avoid embarrassment by not telling anyone that your thong is wedged up your bum. You definitely WILL get a funny look.  What the Aussies call thongs are what the Brits call flip flops. I don't need to explain why that could be embarrassing.

There will be a lot more of these you'll come across, I wont go telling you all of them, I'd rather you learn the hard way :)

Australian War Memorial

A very moving place to be. All of the names of those Australians who have lost their lives in conflicts all over the world. Sadly it's still being added to.

Helpful but slightly boring booklet from DIAC on settling in Australia

There's a helpful booklet from the Department of Immigration and Citizenship (DIAC) outlining what you need to do and other various things when you arrive. It's not very specific, but you can learn a thing or two from it.

Feel free to get in touch with me if you want to know anything too.

Highest working post box in the southern hemisphere!

Snapped this while in Sydney when the family came over for our wedding. It's at the top of the Sydney Tower. Go check it out for yourself!

Wednesday, 18 January 2012

The job hunt...

So settling in nicely so far, I will however, need to find a job...errggghh.

I hit the websites, and papers hard.

There was no real shortage of jobs, however, newly arrived off the boat, I was somewhat limited with what I can do (And still am)

In Wales I was a chef, but had a break from it before leaving for Oz, (Working in Argos would you believe)

I wanted to go and try something new, but as time went on I found myself thinking of going back to it. I had the experience and needed a job. So I went ahead and applied for a job at the Royal Canberra Golf Club. (A verrrrry posh place) I got the job...not cooking however. Washing the dishes.

I went for my first shift, and promptly decided.....nope....this is not for me. Back to the job sites.

It's worth mentioning that when you do arrive here, you're not entitled to claim any public funds (quite rightly so) My visa (Partner Migrant Temporary) means that I can live and work unrestricted in Australia, and enter and leave as I please. However, it means that I am only a temporary resident for the first two years, so I'm not entitled to government funds (And a lot of other things like loans etc which is poop)

If you want to take a look at jobs out here, the best site (In my opinion) is

Another tip is nobody in Australia calls it a C.V.

Avoid putting this in big letters at the top of the page if you can, you'll stand out like a sore thumb. Businesses use the term Resumé, and so should you :)

Take a look at those job sites and you find a fair few of them will require you to be an Australian citizen. at least here in Canberra, it's teaming with public servants and government departments. that rules me (and you) out. You will need to go from a temporary resident, to a permanent resident, and then apply for citizenship for these jobs. This is mainly as you'll need a security clearance for them. Note that you will need to surrender your native citizenship in order to do this. Now that's a BIG decision.

Anyhow, I got a job in the end through word of mouth. Em's best friend in Oz put me onto her boyfriends dad, who was looking to take on somebody to train up in the role of building big super computers. I jumped at that. And here I am.....writing's a quiet day OK?

What to do now

After getting off a 24hr flight, and jumping into the car for another 3 hours, needless to say you're not going to be all that that excited. It's been a loooong day. We had the fortune of being picked up by Ems family at Sydney airport who needless to say were very happy to see us.

For our situation we we're going to stay living with them until we could find a place to live. It was nice, being able to adjust with your second family for a while, rather than being plunged into the unknown.

The opportunity of a place for us to live came up just before we left the UK. Friends of Em's mum and dad we're going touring around Australia for six months and were looking for people to house sit. Of course we jumped at the opportunity.

So we had a place to to get down to getting all the things I needed to get to start the process of being able to live here.

Spent about a month going around in circles trying to get the basics.

Tax file number, easy peasy, the rest of the things? not so easy.

Drivers Licence - Easier and quicker than the UK. Because I had a full UK licence, they simply swapped it with a full ACT one, you get your eyes tested and your photo taken there and then (So be prepared ladies) and they print your licence on the spot. All done in about 30 mins.


You need to provide several forms of ID. Example, household bills (Which I didn't have as the bills remained in the house owners names) Medicare card (Public health insurance card, which I didn't have because you needed to show your Oz driving licence) Bank statement and card (which I didn't have because I didn't have a Oz driving licence or Medicare card)

Do you see the circle???

Eventually a very nice man at the Medicare office agreed to take a Statutory Declaration (A legal statement made by another person to say you know them, or vouch for them etc) from Em's mum so I could get my Medicare card. After that the ball got moving and I got my driving licence, tax file number, medicare card, and bank account all up an running. Phew.

I started to feel at least a little bit less of a foreigner!

An Introduction

I'll start by giving you a little background...

In 2010, I made the huge decision to make the move from a small country town in Carmarthen, South Wales, to Canberra, Australia.

Now this was not on a whim I might add, while living in Wales, and working as a chef at Vincent's restaurant in Swansea, I met a gorgeous Aussie girl. Em came to work for us as a waitress, and the rest as they say is history. We're now married and expecting our first child.

This of course was a big factor in deciding to up sticks and move to Oz. It wasn't a decision rushed, and I needed to do a lot of thinking before deciding to take the plunge. Leaving your whole life as you know it behind you and moving to the other side of the world is not done lightly!

Family and friends were told, and met with a fair bit of trepidation at first. Any mother, grandmother, father, aunt, uncle, would have their concerns.

It hit hard for the family at first, but they gradually came around to the idea and realised it was something I had to do.

Em had lived in the Wales for 4 years, at first with her parents and brothers who moved to Wales "for a year" and ended up staying 3. They eventually moved back to Oz, and let Em in Wales to live with me in Swansea.

As you can tell in this situation, one side of the family will be without their son or daughter, not easy for anyone.

So the visa forms were applied for, filled out, evidence gathered, medicals completed, police check conducted, statements taken, and all the necessities ticked off the list.

Then the wait.......

The agonising wait, hearing nothing, and taking months. Not knowing is the worst, you can't make any plans, you just........wait.

It all came through fine. I now had a "Partner Migrant Visa"

Packed up, said our goodbyes, jumped on the plane to start a new life in a new country.

I had been to Australia a couple of times before with Em so I had an idea of what the life, the people etc were like. Visiting before hand, and for a length of time is advisable before you up and move your life. I'm here I aim to blog my way through "What the go is" as the Aussies say.

Hopefully if your thinking of making the big move, some of the information in here you'll find useful. Things you might not have thought of perhaps, or stuff you just want to know. we go!