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by Colleen Bate
 
If anyone had told me seven years ago that today I would be living in a trendy Melbourne apartment, providing professional writing services to a range of Australian clients, I would have laughed out loud! But here I am, almost afraid to wake up in the morning for fear that it is all a dream. Not that I am a pessimist or anything, but since leaving my comfort zone in good old Joburg, things have been nothing short of challenging.
 
The moral of the tale you are about to read, I believe, is that immigrating is not for the fainthearted. Wherever you plan to go, believe me, it won't work out as expected - even if planned to the nth degree.
 
So why did I leave? Well, unlike a lot of South Africans who decide to ‘jump ship', I left because I had a zest to travel and I was ambitious. So, when I was offered a publishing opportunity in Auckland, I jumped at the chance.
 
Newly single, I left family and friends, the comforts of my Randpark Ridge home, and my career in a publishing company. My dog Gizmo was bound for a six month quarantine stint in England and I was bound for Singapore, Sydney and finally Auckland. I was so excited!
 
The bubble soon burst when I landed in Auckland. I learned very quickly that I had not been chosen to head up a trade magazine only because of my talents, but also because of my seemingly submissive nature. I had to get out of the pickle I was in as diplomatically and as quickly as possible. Within a matter of days, I had secured a place to live and work in the eastern suburbs of Auckland. I was independent at last. Or so I thought.
 
The 24 months that followed were probably the best and worst of my life. The best, because I learned how far I could push myself, running a publishing office almost single handed, coping with the admin, sales, design and writing of the publication. The worst, because a very deep sense of loss had set in.
 
Gone were the fun-filled weekends I had had in South Africa with friends and family, the gala events I had attended as an industry journalist, the comradeship I experienced working as part of a creative team. I worked around the clock and spent almost every weekend in my little suburban ‘prison'. No time for socialising and no team of my own - my only contact was electronic and telephonic via the Singapore and Sydney branches, and I was grossly underpaid. The only thing a relatively sensible person would have done was to run back home. But not this gal - I wasn't South African for nothing!
 
A legal dispute ensued. I left with very little - most importantly though, I still had my dignity. And within days I had been offered a job (via email) with a small publisher in Melbourne. Courtesy of one of the clients I had serviced in Auckland.
 
Talk about contrasts! This particular job was completely opposite to the one I had in Auckland. My talents were underutilised, my workload was insufficient and I felt I was overpaid (if this is possible)! For a time, the spot that I worked in made up for it all - a big house nestled in the Dandenong Ranges near a forest, lined with beautiful gum trees and haven to the most striking Australian birds: rosellas, king parrots and kookaburras.
 
Colleen and Gizmo at the RSPCA million Paws walk held annually at Albert Park in Melbourne
 
Not bad for a girl who was brought up in the Southern Suburbs of Johannesburg and attended a school well known for its gang fights and violence!!
 
Over time, the limitations of having a work permit (or sponsored employment, as it is known in Australia) became all too much. My attempts at permanent residency looked bleak - even though my brother and cousins are Australian residents, I didn't have enough points to keep me in Australia if I left my job.
 
Study seemed the only alternative, as I needed a degree to make up for the missing points. I remember attending an international students day at Monash university . potential new intakes were horrified to see that I, a mature, aged student, was submitting an application to study with them!
 
A few weeks later Cupid shot his arrow (bringing along Lady Luck for the ride) when I met the man who I am now engaged to. Very soon we were smitten with each other and celebrated by climbing the Sydney Harbour Bridge at sunrise a few months later. (What can I say? My man is an adventurer who goes Bungy Jumping in Queenstown and leaps from planes in Mornington!)
 
Would I go back to South Africa to live? I don't think so. Yet I will always miss the life I had in Johannesburg . in particular the professionalism at work. I miss the directness, where you say what you mean and people don't get offended or make a hasty retreat, whispering. Where you laugh and laugh and laugh with your buddies and family and they really understand my offbeat sense of humour! I miss the big African skies and the smell of wors and Christmas beetles on a hot summer night. I miss the petrol pump attendants and the way they often flashed their ‘pearly whites' and did a boot dance to cheer you up while you waited for your petrol tank to be filled.
 
But that was another life. I now love the quality of Antipodean life and the emphasis placed on families and holidays (Australia is not called the Land of the Long Weekend for nothing!).
 
I fell desperately in love with Auckland almost immediately, yet it took more time for me to feel at home in Melbourne - after five years it has grown on me and now I truly value its authenticity and diversity.
 
I love the café culture, the endless events they have here, the charming beaches and the freedom of being able to walk Gizmo and visit an all night store late at night.
 
I love meeting new Australians and guessing which part of the country they come from, and having them guess which part of the world I come from (as if my accent is not a dead giveaway!)
 
But most of all I love the fact that even though I may be so far, far away from the friends I left behind, they are easy to reach thanks to the convenience of electronic communication.
 
It really has become a small world after all.
 
Colleen Bate provides professional writing and public relations services from her home based office in Port Melbourne, which she shares with her beautiful South African Maltese terrier cross, Gizmo and her generous, adventure seeking Australian fiancé, Gary.
 
 
 
Posted in community |
Posted by Colleen Bate
01 Apr 2007



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I wonder if there is any mention of the other races like the Indians and Coloureds who live in South Africa and about how inhumanely the White South Africans treated people of colour in South Africa. My comment might get deleted probably because I am stating the facts. As a Non White South African who was born and grew up in Apartheid South Africa but now living in Australia, I run into a lot of racist White South Africans in Australia. Many White South Africans fled to Australia just before and soon as Apartheid ended in South Africa in 1994 because they feared for their safety. White South Africans in particular fled to Australia because of the White Australia policy that existed there previously since many White South Africans wanted to get away from democratic South Africa since they lost their privileges because they assumed they were the superior race and also because people are now race mixing and are not segregated as before. Usually when I meet these racist White South Africans in Australia, they are always White women. I am often asked by them on how I got to migrate, probably because they think that they are the smartest when they are not, probably because their White South African relatives want to migrate to Australia and cannot and I am also told that I should not speak English better than them to which I find hilarious. You see, South African Indians were taken to the British to South Africa from Indian in the early to mid 1800's to work as Indentured Labourers in the sugar cane plantations and railways hence the South African Indians followed the British English and Education system during Apartheid. South African Indians speak English better than the White South Africans and are smarter than White South Africans, White South Africans even wanted to get rid of Indians from South Africa at one stage and even now Black South Africans are envious of Indians in south Africa. I actually think that White South Africans are dumb/stupid, most do not know South African history. White south Africans chose to segregate from other races in South Africa hence they do not know anything about the other races. During Apartheid people of colour (Indians, Africans and Coloureds) were oppressed. During Apartheid, people of colour were not allowed to enter shops or any building through the front entrance, they had to enter through the back,only white South Africans could enter through the front, there were separate park benches one for White, one for Non White, there was separate public toilets one for White one for Non white, people of colour were not allowed to sit in first class on public transport on white people could even though they payed the same fare, people of colour were not allowed to study engineering, medicine, etc because they were not seen capable of doing so, which I find ironic, since South African Indians are brown and they are smarter than the White South Africans. Now, White South Africans might argue that Indian South Africans were given better rights and why do White South Africans think that is so? The reason is because Mahatma Gandhi who came to South Africa in the late 1800's saw how White South Africans treated the Indians there and helped the Indians to get better rights as a result, so before he came South African Indians were treated just as badly as the Black South Africans. South African Indians many of whom who owned businesses during Apartheid, were community orientated during Apartheid and built their own schools, Universities, hospitals, etc and many of whom became successful of course this did not make the White South Africans happy. Now, in Australia everyone is equal in terms of jobs people do. In Australia there are White people who work as postal workers, garbage collectors, gardeners, etc, whereas in South Africa those jobs were limited to Non Whites. There is racism in Australia like I found everywhere, but the racist people in Australia as I found apart from White South Africans I meet are the Greeks, Italians (not surprised since many of those two ethnicities are insular and marry their own), Lebanese, Eastern Europeans (Russian, Polish not born in Australia, next to White South Africans are the most racist as I found, they also do not believe in race mixing) and Orientals (Chinese, Filipino, Korean, Vietnamese, etc). Most Orientals dislike dark skinned people and tend to view White people as superior due to their colour as White people according to Orientals are the most attractive and wealthy. Many Oriental women worship White men and marry White men more than their own race, which most White women seem comfortable with in Australia, in fact most White Australian women are single as a result. I could never understand the mentality of Orientals since coming from Apartheid South Africa where White people treated Non Whites as crap, I view everyone as equal. My advice to South African Indians and Blacks who migrate to Australia is to be weary of Orientals, South Africa has much less than Australia, they will put down people of colour in work environments to get ahead in their careers, I have seen it. I wonder what White women in South Africa have to say about the White South African men marrying indian women there, I am sure many do not like it, but yet I know of so many White women who have married Indian, Sri Lankan men etc, could it be money is the reason perhaps since many White women along with Oriental women are materialistic. I also found Oriental women and White women in Australia to be the most dumb. For instance, I was asked what everyone in South Africa looks like? I was told by Orientals that White people only have blond hair, blue eyes and pale skin and that Greeks and Italians could not be, yet in South Africa they are considered white which they are and they benefited from the Apartheid system along with the Jews and Portuguese in South Africa. In fact most Australians do not travel much so most people could not believe that I was a South African, I mean South Africa is a migrant country like Australia after all and Durban has the largest Indian population outside India with 1.3 million Indians living there. I was then asked By Australian women after I was believed to be from South Africa on whether if I knew this particular person who lived there, which I found hilarious since everyone in Africa does not know each other. If White South Africans want to migrate to Australia, then they should leave their racist Apartheid views out of Australia because it is not welcome here and people of colour are part of Australia so get used to it after all the original inhabitants of Australia was Aboriginals.
Rating: 3 / 5
 
by anonymous on 20 Dec 2015

 
Hello
Rating: 3 / 5
 
by anonymous on 20 Dec 2015

 
Good article, glad you found good aspects I spent my first 25 years in S A. then left in 1974 with 300 rand in my wallet..I found a lot of kindness in Aussies I think you can find a niche in the society here in Melbourne its a very complex society is something for everyone. The medical education and entertainment is very good but like all things "shop around'. My kids grew up here and cope well that is the main reason people migrate As for comments about the local mentality I gradually got to understand it better step by step as for kiwis ..I lived there for 6 years recently..most of them are amongst the finest I have encountered anywhere its an awesome country .The Maoris were inclusive and most very friendly its all about adapting. .....Tony
Rating: 4 / 5
 
by Tony Smith on 07 Nov 2013

 
Good article, glad you found good aspects I spent my first 25 years in S A. then left in 1974 with 300 rand in my wallet..I found a lot of kindness in Aussies I think you can find a niche in the society here in Melbourne its a very complex society is something for everyone. The medical education and entertainment is very good but like all things "shop around'. My kids grew up here and cope well that is the main reason people migrate As for comments about the local mentality I gradually got to understand it better step by step as for kiwis ..I lived there for 6 years recently..most of them are amongst the finest I have encountered anywhere its an awesome country .The Maoris were inclusive and most very friendly its all about adapting. .....Tony
Rating: 4 / 5
 
by Tony Smith on 07 Nov 2013

 
Loved the article! I'm a Mauritian expat myself and related completely to Colleen's story. Would love to get in touch with her over a cuppa. Love the Melbourne cafe culture to bits! And love making new friends!
Rating: 5 / 5
 
by Hansa on 05 Mar 2013

 
I'm a 5th generation Australian but lived and worked in SA for 7 years. I worked in an office and whilst South Africans can be more intense in an office environment, I became used to the different ways of South African office life. I also got used to having my accent picked on as well and being reminded about the dismal failings of the Wallabies, although being from southern Australia, Rugby Union is a mystery to me. Overall I enjoyed my time in SA. Like every country, we in Oz have our peculiar ways, but if South Africans do decide to leave and come to my country, they should be consoled by the fact that Australian's overall like South Africans (despite a comment above)We speak English, like a beer and a BBQ, reside in the Southern hemisphere and some of us are attempting to unravel the mystery's of Rugby Union. Emigration is not for the faint hearted and that's what makes South Africans such great immigrants be they headed in our direction, Canada, US or wherever. I could never understand why the South African government does so little to deter such a highly trained and disciplined workforce to leave.
Rating: 5 / 5
 
by kevin francis on 10 Jan 2013

 
Aussies and Saffas don't mix usually. they hate us and it seems a truckload of us hate them too. personality differences are incompatible
Rating: 5 / 5
 
by patrick on 29 Mar 2012

 
Hi I am Sean. I am not South African but I live in Melbourne and I lived in Brisbane for 10 years so if anyone has any questions they can email them to me sullivan.sean79@gmail.com
Rating: 3 / 5
 
by Sean on 01 Nov 2011

 
I'm from Cape Town and I'm currently studying in Sydney. Often the South Africans over hear question me whether or not I am going to emigrate-I always say no. The reason why is I realised that many South Africans who live here moved out of fear, mostly J-Burg, Durban people. I recomend moving to another area of SA before leaving. Try Cape Towns nice suburbs... we are happy. We have a different government... Crime has decreased 25%... It's pleasant to live there! Can't wait to go home next year... Oz is great but home is where it's at.
Rating: 4 / 5
 
by Shawn Voges on 10 Jun 2011

 
Hi Coleen, glad you like oz. I lived in joburg for 44 years after leaving melbourne for a years holiday. I met my s.a. husband in canada and went to joburg to live.I really love south africa and had a wonderful life there but the crime overwhelmed us after having 10 cars stolen over the years and my husband hijacked so we have come here to retire and we actually left the kids there (usually the other way around) My uncle once said to me "africa gets into your blood" and I really am more south african than australian. regards Barbara
Rating: 5 / 5
 
by Barbara on 12 Mar 2011

 
great article... I am 21 busy studying Instrumentation but I want to continue my studies in Australia if anyone has information that can help me, would be greatly appreciated jan13@vodamail.co.za
Rating: 5 / 5
 
by Jan on 23 Jun 2009

 
For those of us that have left SA and feeling the pinch,where are earth would we go if Australia was not a viable option?We are incredibly fortunate and I have no complaints except the lack of biltong.
Rating: 5 / 5
 
by David Shapiro on 18 May 2009

 
Skrik wakker change to new NUUS man
Rating: 1 / 5
 
by Karooseun on 02 May 2009

 
Thanks namesake for moving article. Immigrating is not easy even when you speak the same (More or less) language and play the same sports. My family and I have been hear for nearly ten years and have made Australia home. One just has to appreciate the good points about OZ and try not to moan about the bad ones as all in all it is a good life and safer than SA especially for the children (both of whom have thanked us as they realize one has far more freedom her as a teen- ager. One has to remember than Aussies are less agressive in the workplace and can find South Africans quite abrassive. It doesn't help you to correct them or tell them they are wrong all the time. You catch more flies with honey than vinegar. When you move you take yourself. I have seen many come with the wrong attitude and wonder why they aren't welcomed with open arms. When you move over here you think getting here is the top of the mountain but soon discover that there is another one to climb. Be prepared and it should work out. I agree SA is a more beautiful country but I have made a point of finding the beauty here and now am identifying with it. Hey, I even like the shape of gum trees and I'm from Durbs. For those who have recently arrived, vasbyt.
Rating: 4 / 5
 
by Colleen on 01 Feb 2009

 
Karooseun,last visited here 23rd December 2007.so after reading YUSNOW? wat gaan aan,it is nice to read and to know that as a kaffirboetie,that at least here people do not insult blacks,do no write Suid Africa suigs,do not call it Bantustan,do not write or say bad things about their former country,as those on a forum that I belong to in Australia.I am back in the BELOVED COUNTRY for a while to visit relatives and friends,and once again to suig in the the alles of life in a small town in the northern Cape,karoo lam lamb,and just to relive the past,ag mense the beautiful sunsets in De Aar,and once again to sit on those koppies as I did long long ago,must I stay,or return to the country where I live as an EXPAT,se vir my mense wat dink julle.Dag se.....Karooseun
Rating: 3 / 5
 
by Karooseun on 02 Jan 2009

 
Hi all This is all very inspiring. I got here on a work visa 3 weeks now (Syndey)and have gone through exactly the same you guys described. My first day at work was a nightmare coming from my own office in the Sandton and a professional team of people to a office that was never cleaned and the environment seemed to be 5 years behind in technology. I have two kids and the outdoor life is what we came for and a quality of life. My wife is missing the orgainsed shopping malls and bigger shops. Whats up with the shopping trolleys here they have a mind of their own and you can never push them straight. The shops have weird names like "Bunnings" compared to "builders Warehouse".Cant they be more creative. Anyway enough about the complaints we are making the best of it.Looking hard for our spicy indian mutton sauages, so let us know if you come across any let us know. We missing the faimly, braais and the freedom to drive at a reasonable speed. I hate driving in this place. Way to many sign boards, tunnels, toll roads and speed limit changes that I cannot keep up with just enjoying a drive. Better off taking the train. Hanging in there and making the best with the bad fincial times we looking at this as a new start to get in here while the prices are good. Good luck to all of you and have a great New Year!!
Rating: 5 / 5
 
by Niven Perumal on 27 Dec 2008

 
after reading your article, it makes me even more headstrong (harde gat), to get to australia. We are aware of the challenges awaiting us, other than getting along with your colleagues. South Africa is my country, not my home, we are looking for a place to call home, and we can find it in Australia. Thank you for such a wonderful article.
Rating: 5 / 5
 
by eloise on 18 Sep 2008

 
Well, what a journey this has been, I am 24 years old and moved to OZ, all on my own, being offered a great job. This is not for the faint hearted or weak. My work experience is awefull, I can remember my fist day, I overheard a person whispering, lets see how long this saffer will last? I miss everything about home, I feel trapped with my Visa restrictions and contract with this company. I so badly want to adapt and make it work, yet the people here make it so hard, very unwelcoming. If you are going to do it, think about it very carefully and make sure you do your homework regarding your work situation. Maybe it is harder for me as I am all alone, it may be easier for a family. Good Luck to all of you are are thinking of immigrating. The safety and quality of life here is great, yet nothing compares to the happiness I felt living in Cape Town. Should be home soon.xxx
Rating: 5 / 5
 
by Mel on 16 Sep 2008

 
Hello Colleen, what a nice story. I also came to Australia on my own, for the second time, in February - first to Sydney and moved to Melbourne 4 weeks ago. I live in Armadale, just moved in this past weekend, and work at Melbourne uni. It is a big challenge, and I don't know if I'll ever feel at home here, but I hope so. Your story has inspired me though, and I always take my hat off to "us" who come all on our own. Thanks for the story. Bye Larraine
Rating: 5 / 5
 
by Larraine Becker on 26 Aug 2008

 
Wow . . as a fellow girl from the Southernsuburbs of Jhb (and I probably went to that very same school you talking about) yourarticle leaves me feeling very inspired for the following reasons. My husband and I have been doing so much research as to how we are going to get our golden tickets to Aus. Yes I say golden tickets because we havea 13 year old daughter and we only in our early 30's believe our destiny is Aus. Pretty wierd you might think since we don't know too much about the country but everyday we learn a little more and everyday we feel it pulling us closer, our main purpose a more quality filled life for our daughter. I'm a brand spanking new journalist myself but currently work in the Finance Industry, I know we can get there, We might not be doctors or nurses but my husband and I have great determination and workforce experience that could only benefit any country. So bring on the difficult times, pour on the hardship . . . afterall we South African, nothing is too great to conquer. We will be accepted to the land of Aus, I believe it and if you believe you achieve, look forward to seeing you down under soon!!
Rating: 5 / 5
 
by Kim on 30 Jun 2008

 
Howzit too all who read this and intend on going on a life altering journey,i live in Queensland Aussie ....I have been here 2yrs now and still miss home !!!aussie is a ugly country when compared to south africa [land scape]and extreme weather conditions make it even harder ...,but i must stress the important fact that value for life and respect is what u will get here,up until they find out u are from south africa then u become a bit hard on the eyes no jokes there folks [once u are here there are definately new issues at hand]so if u up for a challenge ,can handle ur self in a professional manner and atleast are able to ride out the storm for atleast a year u will be alright ,if not GO BACK HOME U MATE! AND FOR THOSE WHO WANT TOO KNOW I USE TOO LIVE IN CAPETOWN THE MOST BAK GAT CITY IN THE WORLD OU BROER!!!!!FEEL FREE TO MAIL MEIM STAIGHT TO THE POINT AND WILLING TO HELP WITH ADVICE ABOUT TOWNSVILLE QUEENSLAND.PS MOET NIE HUIL NIE DOEN DIT!!!
Rating: 5 / 5
 
by paul on 08 May 2008

 
Very informative.Also in the process of moving to brisbane,but through the company I work for which helps substantialy. Will sponsor my folks once over.properties have lost alot of value here because you never know if its realy yours or if a Zim situation can unfold.Holiday destination? I think not.And being an amputee will make for a challenging time, but have been through so much that what ever else comes should be a walk in the park.Memories a-plenty, but thats what it will remain. All the BEST!
Rating: 5 / 5
 
by Colin Ginsburg on 21 Apr 2008

 
We moved to Australia in our 60's(Port Macquarie) - Port where? you might say. About 400 km north of Sydney on the NSW coast. Lovely temperate climate, great people, many have retired here from Sydney and are looking for new friends. I am also finding leaving SA quite hard and have many great memories. To our great joy, our daughter, the only one left in SA, moved here a month ago. As to her dogs, they went to my eldest daughter in New York for 6 months (no quarantine) and only have 30 days quarantine here. Its great reading everyone's stories and how, with difficulty sometimes, they have nearly all settled down and enjoyed themselves.
Rating: 4 / 5
 
by John Oxley on 17 Apr 2008

 
Great article Colleen. My wife, daughter and i are considering immigrating to OZ. Our concerns mainly revolve around the quality of life our 9 year old daughter deserves.
Rating: 5 / 5
 
by Sean on 16 Apr 2008

 
Good article, and finding it hard have been in Perth 5 Weeks and still miss everything so much, but we have done it for our two girls the shcools are different but am sure it will be better. Waiting for our furniture to arrive it got lost (typical SA)and only be here next month (that sucks) anyway good luck to everybody its good and its going to be a nice life...
Rating: 4 / 5
 
by Nolz on 19 Mar 2008

 
Doesn't anybody care about their aged, helpless parents they are leaving behind? We all know there is a great unrest coming were thousands of whites will die,but yet you'd leave your "loved" ones to fend for themselves. Could have pulled the shot yourself.
Rating: 4 / 5
 
by LOYAL on 18 Mar 2008

 
Well done on an excellent article. Leaving the home of your birth is always a difficult experience and it takes time to adjust but if you are positive and work hard on your new life you can achieve anything. My husband and I came to Sydney from Durban, Westville for his work (2 year contract on a 457 visa) but are applying for residency soon as we love it. How can you ever go back after living free from worry, crime, injustice, corrupt government, no electricity, taxi's,etc. I do promote SA as a great holiday but no more. There's no use in moaning about what you can't change as you have left now but to make the most of what you have. We have the most amazing friends, great jobs, a small but lovely apartment right in the city and a lifestyle to boot! Good Luck with your adventures!
Rating: 5 / 5
 
by Kerry on 01 Mar 2008

 
Also lived in Auckland for almost 4 yrs before moving to Perth. Been in Perth 11 yrs now and while it is definitely home it took so much longer to settle into than Auckland did. We found NZ to be a healing experience after the turmoil of SA. Sometimes I too struggle with the culture difference but it gets better and better as the years go by and you learn to develop a bit of a "split personality"to cope. Be SA with your SA friends but also fit in with the Aussies and accept the culture of the place you have chosen to live in.
Rating: 5 / 5
 
by Shelley on 09 Feb 2008

 
Still in SA but will be in OZ soon. also just started to read your mag and its cooking.hi to all da sa-oz.
Rating: 5 / 5
 
by Jack Sivanda on 29 Dec 2007

 
Howzit,so 'n bietjie meer van ons land en ons mense
Rating: 1 / 5
 
by Karooson on 23 Dec 2007

 
Thanks for the great article. I would like to know how Gizmo handled the move and the quarantine. We are in the process of leaving SA but are worried what to do with our beloved dogs.
Rating: 5 / 5
 
by Sandra Turner on 11 Dec 2007

 
Immigration is hard, but Colleen found her niche in the end. Getting there is painful though, missing the beauty of SA,being treated as an outsider and having one's pronunciation corrected to Oz English etc. How many South African's have had to resort to legal action against their employer's I wonder? I know of at least 4 including ourselves. Something to be aware of all prospective immigrants.
Rating: 5 / 5
 
by Joan on 03 Dec 2007

 
Its motivating article ,well done to you .Even that I am living in SA for last 15 years I call it home.I have to say it did take me awhile to get used to not been able to walk around and I still love it here.Meeting SA man and getting married 12 years ago with now two beautiful daughters helped a lot.But the crime is getting out of hand and we have decided to move to OZ.I would love my girls to feel freedom to ride they bikes on the street and not be locked behind the gates.It is nerve raking but I have done it before and I just know that first year in the strange country is not ease,but you have know that life gets better. Thinking of red carpet on arrival is only illusion but we have to remind our selfs why have we done it on the first place.I am looking forward to a new adventure but there is still sadness in my heart.I suppose that is just a process I have to go through. Best luck to everybody Branka
Rating: 5 / 5
 
by Branka Baker on 27 Nov 2007

 
Thank you for the insparation. we have only been in Australia (Perth) for 6 weeks after a painstaking 3 years to get in here we are finally here. Been quite a huge adjusment I must admit from the point of view coming from working full time to becoming a full time mom with no support structure and not being able to work for the moment because child care is pretty costly and my 3 year old son who was always in creche but all those things will come right in the end and it is just a stepping stone that we need to cross.
Rating: 5 / 5
 
by Alison Hunt on 14 Nov 2007

 
Thats a great article!!!! Its really nice to hear other stories and not feel alone about the experience you've had, and also to know the emotions you feel are normal. Im 18 and live and study in perth and it has been a long and hard road, but all that trying finally paid off. Great work colleen!!! You brought a tear to my eye.
Rating: 5 / 5
 
by Lynn on 11 Nov 2007

 
Ditto to falling in love with Auckland - lived there for 4 years (all good!). In Brissie for 7 years now, but still feel an affinity to Auckland and the early days of immigrating that you have highlighted. Went back to J'burg last year due to sad family reasons, felt the pull and emotional tug of "Egoli" and family. A year later, I am more settled, cannot go back now as my kids would never fit in. SA is truely unique in people and culture no matter where in the world you are!
Rating: 5 / 5
 
by Carlette Palmer on 14 Sep 2007

 
Nice article. Immigrated a year ago and still miss SA alot. I guess we will always miss SA (apart from the crime). And yeah, it is very nice to be able to walk on the streets, be it day or night. Guess the saying is true, win some lose some. Will never regret leaving SA, but got to make things work in Oz though. Best of luck to all SA immigrants and hope y'all have a lekker life in Oz! :-)
Rating: 5 / 5
 
by Matt C. on 14 Sep 2007

 
i have to agree on some of your comments that you have said it is true how different they are in the work place I respect the way they react to your so called directness as well as the way they deal with conflict I find the work enviroment less agressive and stressfull The work still gets done in a much safer way Every body seems to be happy and their career is not defining them I have worked with people for 5 years not once have they asked me what job is your husband doing were do you live ect The questions you would get in South Africa to class you Everybody have a fair go and have the right to have their say believe me i was a unit mannager in a busy private hospital I can handle stress but their is live after work i agree on how importand their family time is to them
Rating: 5 / 5
 
by Amanda joubert on 23 Jul 2007

 
We also want to move to Australia. What a process! Hopefully everything will go "smooth"....
Rating: 5 / 5
 
by Elsabe Smit on 16 Jul 2007

 
Well done! It is hard, but worth it! especially when you meet a good man! makes it all worth while! I know!
Rating: 5 / 5
 
by Deb on 29 Jun 2007

 
Great read. My husband and I are seeing a consultant to immigrate to Australia and I am a little nervous as we hear all sorts of stories from the Australian not being friendly towards South Africans and that they don't like South Africans, is this all true? We are pretty excited at the prospect of moving regardless of all the stories. Thanks for the read.
Rating: 3 / 5
 
by Mechelle Werner on 22 May 2007

 
Lovely informative article about life in a distant land but still written with an African pen. Very nice.
Rating: 5 / 5
 
by Donovan Ridley on 07 May 2007

 
Well done Colleen, I immigrated and landed in Brisbane 3rd March 2007, married 17th! You give me inspiration! Carol-Anne
Rating: 5 / 5
 
by CArol-Anne on 01 May 2007

 
9 Rani Ave, Coomera, QLD, 4209
Rating: 5 / 5
 
by Sandy Lowe on 23 Apr 2007

 
Excellent article. Brought tears to my eyes, just immigrated (2 weeks). All the very best to you.
Rating: 5 / 5
 
by Roanne Karlsen on 22 Apr 2007

 
Good and solid article - Interesting reeding
Rating: 5 / 5
 
by Derrick Baney on 17 Apr 2007

 
Well done Cols. Certainly brought back heeps of memories and a huge lump in my throat. Keep you the good work.
Rating: 5 / 5
 
by Bev Van Vuuren on 16 Apr 2007

 
 
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