Gerrard Halsey and his family are fulfilling their dream to move to Australia by starting a new life in the capital city, Canberra. Gerrard - who works for Crown Relocations - is no stranger to the ups and downs of the relocation process. Although he’s worked in the industry for 17 years, his experience didn’t fully prepare him for the whirlwind of moving overseas.
Gerrard, aged 36 has worked for Crown for 12 years, joining as a Relocation Consultant in 2001 and becoming Bristol’s Branch Manager in 2006. Together with his wife Caroline and their two children; Michael aged seven and Chloe aged three, the family have always dreamt of relocating to Australia for many years, so when the opportunity presented itself, they jumped at the chance.
“Caroline and I spent six weeks in Eastern Australia in 2004, travelling from Cairns down the Gold Coast to Sydney. We fell in love with Australia then and vowed to emigrate there if we ever got the opportunity,” said Gerrard.
“Over the years I’ve been working for Crown and I’ve always been on the lookout for opportunities, so when the position of Branch Manager in Canberra became available in January, I was keen to apply. By the end of January I had confirmation that the job was mine and that they’d like me to start in April! Shortly afterwards we got our 457 visas and it was all systems go!”
“What followed can only be described as a whirlwind of organising the move and the logistics of relocating to the other side of the world. I’ve worked with many clients who have embarked on similar journeys, but having now gone through it myself, I have a true understanding. We describe relocating as an emotional rollercoaster and it certainly was for me, and a very fast one too!”
“I flew out to start my new role on April 1, having six weeks to settle into the job before my wife and children join me. Just to complicate matters, we already had a family holiday booked to Disneyworld in Florida in May, which we didn’t want to miss out on. So Caroline and the children will leave the UK and fly to Florida for our holiday and I’ll join them there. At the end of the trip we’ll fly to Canberra to start our new life together.”
“Before my family join me, I’ll be using my spare time wisely to get to know the job, local area and find out about local schools. I expect I’ll get plenty of help from my colleagues. It will be good to have the chance to find my feet at work and do some house hunting.”
“The kids are really excited about the move; we’ve explained it all to them and they understand the process. Michael is particularly looking forward to the move because Bruce, the shark from Finding Nemo, was from Australia and Chloe can’t wait to see the kangaroos. We also helped them to compile their ‘Moving Memories’, including photos of family and friends to take with them. We used Crown’s materials aimed at moving with children; these are special packs with Leon the Crown Lion to help kids understand and be part of the experience. The two of them really enjoyed using them and it certainly made them feel involved.”
“The move has been a bit of a shock for our parents and extended family. They have always known we were determined to move if we got the chance, so they knew it was on the cards; however it all happened much quicker than they anticipated, but they are really supportive.”
“I’ll miss Caroline and the kids during the transitional period before they join me, but we have a fun-filled holiday together to look forward to and then a completely new life to start together. For me it’s been a real eye opener. We intend to make a success of our relocation and make Australia our forever home, living our dream.”