Being so far from home and everything that is familiar, such as the lousy British weather, can feel incredibly isolating at times and you may well begin to feel the first pangs of homesickness. You would not be alone, the BBC news magazine reported that during 2005 and 2010 more than 30,000 Brits left Australia to move back to the UK permanently and whilst that trend may now be reversing according to Lloyds TSB, there is no doubt that some Brits do fall by the wayside and make the difficult decision to return to UK shores.
Reasons for returning home may vary however the BBC claims that missing friends and family and feeling displaced is one of the main reasons, with sociologist Prof Roger Burrows stating; “The people who don’t settle have always lived close to their friends and family [in the UK] so any move comes as a shock … it gets lonely.” Yet for many people, meeting up with other expats to share experiences and making friends within the expat community goes a long way to helping them feel settled and happy in their new lives and can even make the difference between them staying put and moving back home.
There are many British communities living all over Australia. We’ve listed some of the main ones which have localised groups in a few of the six territories.
The Perth Education City website states that around 10.6% of the population of Western Australia in 2006 were British so you are most definitely not alone in this corner of Australia!
PerthPoms is an expatriate site for those living in and around the Perth area. It’s a largely online community but there are organised meet-ups as well as useful articles, blogs and forum posts from those living in Western Australia and wanting to share their experiences. http://www.perthpoms.com/
Brisbane in Queensland is growing in popularity with Brits according to the BBC with 1 in every 10 Brisbaners a British expat, which means you’re in good company!
LifeInQueensland is another online community site for British citizens who have moved to the Queensland region. Articles and blogs give information on housing, jobs and visas whilst an active forum offers free advice, general chat and meet-up information.
South Australia makes up just 8% of the total population and most of those people live in Adelaide so if you are an expat in Adelaide try the PomsInAdelaide website which is run by the same people who are also behind PerthPoms and which has a lively community.
The Northern Territory, Victoria and New South Wales have no specific local community expat groups but are equally well served by popular sites such as PomsinOz and British Expats who have local territory categories.
The British High Commission also offers help and advice for British citizens living in Australia. They have a range of useful articles about life in Australia and where to go for help should things go wrong. A list of local Consular offices is also provided.