On the move: Moving down-under

This month we chat to Lee Ascroft, a father of three (aged 17, 4 and 8) decided to follow their lifelong dream of relocating to Australia. With the promise of excellent weather and a beautiful house, Lee and his wife Charlotte decided to leave their Bolton home in the UK to start a new life in Perth, Western Australia. 
Why did you decide to move?
We were unhappy with England and had been thinking of moving abroad for a few years. It seemed like a good time to take the jump – the migration cut-off age is 45 and the children were at an appropriate age to move with their schooling. We decided it was now or never!
Why did you choose relocating to Australia?
We considered a number of countries but the lure of the laid-back Aussie lifestyle was too much to resist. Australia offers a much brighter outlook then our old life in Bolton. The long coastlines of sandy beaches and beautiful public parks make each day enjoyable. It’s a place where there is something that appeals to everyone whether you are young or old – our children love it and so do we.
What was the next step?
We attended an Opportunities Australia Expo in Leeds and the information was really helpful in preparing us. We sat through a number of presentations for a number of different Australian locations but immediately Perth was our preference
After that I focused on finding a job in Australia as this determined where we could settle. I sent out 27 emails, to firms in my line of work as a senior contracts manager and the following day had received 3 positive responses. This progressed to a telephone interview with one Perth-based company and I was delighted to be offered a job.
How did you get settled in?
We travelled to Perth and spent a while getting to know the local area before actually moving. Perth had a big impact on us when we visited. It’s a clean city and everyone was very friendly. What appealed the most was the Australian ethos – ‘work to live’ not ‘live to work’ like it is in England. They appreciate the value of enjoying their lives and this is important to us.
We organized new schools for the children as it was important for us to find them schools quickly to help ease the transition. With plenty of good primary and secondary schools to choose from in Perth, it wasn’t a smooth process
Did you buy a house?
We initially rented a house in Perth, with a view to buying after 12 months or so. After securing a 2 year rental we decided to keep the Bolton property, which we currently rent out. We will eventually sell up to fund the purchase of a family home in Perth.
How was the whole process?
The whole process was remarkably smooth. We expected there to be a few hiccups along the way but there wasn’t any. The two boys were very excited about relocating to Australia, especially as they are quite active and have been even more so since we’ve been here. I have to admit Emily wasn’t so keen in the beginning. In fact, she was adamant that she didn’t want to go, but now she loves it.
What advice would you give to other families considering a long term relocation?
Do your research and explore every avenue for house/job searches. Don’t be put off if you get any negative responses as there is always a way. Remain focused on the end result of living in your dream location and that will get you through the process.
Remember any relocation begins with a Visa, be sure to check out our immigration support for help with your new start.