April 25, 2021

2: Steve and Dianne Hargreaves, Wanted Down Under


More than ten years after they originally decided to move to Australia, British couple Steve and Dianne Hargreaves emigrated from Preston to Perth with their two children in 2018 and starred on the BBC’s Wanted Down Under TV show. 

They discuss why they came to Australia, how they got their visas, what it’s like behind the scenes filming for the show, how their children - who were aged 4 and 9 at the time of the move - have settled in, buying land and building their dream Aussie home. 

The Hargreaves also shed light on the differences in their working lives, their salaries, the cost of living and lifestyle in general since making the move. They discuss the difficulties of applying for jobs in a new country, career changes, leaving family behind and finding new friends  

Bullet points of key topics & time stamps:  

 ● 07:25 – find out how their children settled in 

 ● 08:36 - schooling / education  

 ● 09:45 – find out what their Aussie home is like and what it’s like to build a new home  

 ● 18:18 – find out about their new jobs 

 ● 20:10 – we discuss salaries

 ● 20:44 – cost of living bills, food etc. 

List of resources mentioned in episode, suggested reading & social media handles: 

 ● Wanted Down Under

Office of the Migration Agents Registration Authority

***

This episode is sponsored by True Blue Migration Services.   

Take the FREE True Blue Migration Services assessment here to see if you’re eligible for an Australian visa: https://truebluemigration.com/assessment 

 This will go straight to a MARA-registered agent who will look over the information for you. 

 Find them on Facebook or email them at: info@truebluemigration.com

True Blue offer split payment options and are one of Australia's longest-established agencies, having been around for more than 14 years. 


***

Britstralian Producer and Host: Anna Moran

 USEFUL LINKS

Like us on Instagram

Follow us on Twitter 

Find us on Facebook 

 Join our Facebook community to discuss the show. 

Share this podcast 

***

Britstralian acknowledges the Traditional Owners of the Land we have recorded this podcast on. The area now known as the City of Armadale was originally occupied by the Noongar people many thousands of years before European settlement. We pay our respects to their Elders past and present and extend that respect to all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures.

 ***
NOTE: The views and opinions shared by the guest(s) in this podcast are the views and personal experiences of the guest(s) and are not necessarily representative of the views or  opinions of Britstralian and the host.

See Buzzsprout’s Privacy Policy for Privacy Information

Disclaimer:

The views and opinions shared by the guest(s) in this podcast are the views and personal experiences of the guest(s) and are not necessarily representative of the views or  opinions of Britstralian and the host. 

Britstralian will not be liable for any inaccuracies in this information.

Transcript

Steve (00:13)

I’m Steve, I’m originally from Preston in the UK. 

 

Dianne (00:15)

I'm Dianne.

 

Steve (00:17)

We moved to Australia in 2018 with our two kids.

 

Dianne (00:19)

And we appeared on wanted down under in 2019 and 2021. 

 

Steve (00:25)

And we are Britstralians.

 

Anna (00:28)

They might have moved 9,000 miles across the world with their kids, Briar and Peyton. But there's some things that will just never change.

 

Dianne (00:37)

We still watch our Brit telly. We still watch Corrie and things like that. So you know, I can't say we watch any less. It's just nice to go ooh, d’you know, look at that weather, I don't miss that.

 

Anna (00:51)

It's been a couple of years since the Hargreaves family appeared on UK TV to investigate a new life in Perth. And now here they are to share the tale of their Australian dream. 

What made you think about moving to Australia in the first place?

 

Steve (01:09)

Yeah, so it stems from years and years ago when I were younger. My mum's sister moved out here as a ten pound pom in erm-, I was two, so it would have been in ‘76. So we holidayed in Australia two or three times when I were school age. And yeah, just fell in love with it straightaway.  Just always really loved Australia, really fancied everything about it. Just stems from there. 

 

Anna (01:41)

So what made you decide to go on the show?

 

Dianne (01:43)

We came out for a holiday. It was the first time that me and the kids have been. And I was like, right, I want to go and do all the sights. If I hate it, I'm never going back. So we came over and we had a three, four week holiday. And we went over to Sydney cause I wanted to see the Harbour Bridge. So we took the kids to Taronga Zoo. We did all that. And then Steve was like, well, I want to go see my auntie as well if we're going all that way. So we came over to Perth as well for two weeks. And he literally got off the plane and was like I'm just at home and that's it. And I was like, “ooookay”. And we actually got back and it was actually somebody at Steve’s work that said jokingly, “Oh, you two want to go on that program, Wanted Down Under”. And lo and behold, that night, we saw something on Facebook or something advertising for applicants to go on the show. So we just kind of-

 

Steve (02:37)

It was just jokingly weren’t it.

 

Dianne (02:38)

We just jokingly applied sort of the day before the application shut. And then that was sort of September, October time, wasn't it? That -

 

Steve (02:47)

Yeah, something like that. 

 

Dianne (02:49)

And we got a phone call. We got an email from the production team saying we were down to last 100 families. And then we got another email saying they wanted to do like a Skype interview to see whether we got through to the last 25. Well, we were all sat at home. Poor Briar was only young then. And we started talking about her best friend who lived across the road from us in the UK. And she got really upset about it. And Peyton was two-ish

 

Steve (03:15)

He was only young and he were jumping around

 

Dianne (03:17)

And he was jumping all over us and he was a very chatter-boxy child. And never shut up so we couldn’t get a word in edgeways. And we came off the Skype interview. And I just looked at Steve and just said that just couldn’t have gone any worse if we tried. Basically, we just put it to the back of our minds and thought that’s it, nothing's going to happen. And I think it was a few days before Christmas that they said, “Oh, Congratulations, you've been picked. Where do you want to go and when do you want to go?” And it was like, “Woah”. That's kind of how it all happened. 

 

Anna (03:46)

And what's it like being on TV, watching yourself back?

 

Steve (03:49)

It's something I'm really glad we did. But no, I hated every minute of it being on camera. Yeah.

 

Dianne (03:56)

It is hard work. Everyone goes, “Oh my gosh yeah free holiday, they pay for your flights, accommodation”. But it's not. It's 14 hour days. You've got to be at certain places for certain times. And obviously, they take three or four shots. And if there's noise in the background, they've got to re-record that bit and -. So it is a long, long day. I mean, we went to view houses and you spend like three or four hours at each house because they're going, “Oh, we just want to take this shot from this angle, So can you just walk through this way. And don't look in this room and - 

 

Steve (04:25)

And every room is three or four takes. Minimum. 

 

Dianne (04:30)

And then you'll just say something like quickly off the top of your head and they go, “Oh my gosh, yeah that's amazing. Just go back and say that as you come in”, and so it’s really-, it is full on. It’s not an easy- 

 

Steve (04:40)

Yeah you've got to look surprised every time you walk into a room, like you've never seen it before.

 

Dianne (04:44)

You’ve never seen this house before or this room and you’ve got to be like, “Whoa, this is amazing.” Or, “Oh no, not keen on this bit.” 

 

Anna (04:50)

So you became good actors?

 

Dianne (04:51)

Yes. Yeah, it is hard. And you know, we were setting off at you know, seven in the morning to get to places and yeah, it is a freebie in the sense that they pay for you to get here. But you have to work when you get here. It's not a freebie you know, you literally-. They’re there at the airport when you walk out the door. They're in your face as soon as you walk out the gate. And you’re like, “Oh my gosh, I've just been on a 24-hour flight. And I don't really want somebody in my face at that-.” We must have walked around the airport for an hour, going in and out the doors, just so they could get the shot right, wasn't it? 

 

Steve (05:20)

Yeah, yeah.

 

Dianne (05:21)

You know. “Oh can you just go back in again and just walk back out”. 

 

Steve (05:23)

Security asking what we're doing? 

 

Dianne (05:24)

Yeah. They must have thought like stalking them.

Security came over and said, “What are you doing?”. And we were like, “Oops! Sorry!”

 

Anna (05:31)

Wow. You just don't think of any of those things do you? 

 

Steve  (05:32)

No, no. You don’t, no.

 

Dianne (05:33)

You don’t. They are literally waiting. As soon as you get your bags, they are waiting for you as soon as you come out the doors on the airport. So you literally get one day to yourself in the whole week. So you get like the day after you arrive. But obviously, you've got your shopping, you know, you’ve got to go and buy food and you're getting unpacked, and you're jet lagged. And so you really don't appreciate that day anyway, because you're so tired. So that day was a null and void day really for us, wasn't it? 

 

Steve (05:56)

Yes.

 

Dianne (05:57)

We just didn't really do anything. And then Monday, we were like really in to it and that’s it and you’re off and you’re going. And it is a full five days, it is not a holiday, it really isn't. 

 

Anna (06:06)

So it was just a week that you were here?

 

Steve (06:08)

Yeah, with the show, they bring you over for a week, for seven days. For the first and last day you are travelling, so you're only really here for five days. And that's five days of filming. So they pay for your flights over and Your accommodation and car hire for that week. And then they give you the option of arranging your flights back. It's like an open-ended ticket, so you can fly back whenever you want, from wherever you want. They sort of applied for everything. They applied for the schools. You don't realise, but they also have to apply to the courts to be able to take the child out of the country, because they're filming.

 

Dianne (06:44)

It's not straightforward as everybody thinks that you just come here and they start filming because it's not it's not like that. Particularly where children are involved.

 

Steve (06:50)

I even found that filming in the UK as well. Even just filming all day, just around our house and talking. But after they had gone that night, at seven o'clock or so. We just sat down and think ,“Oh my, I've never been so tired in my life”.

 

Dianne (07:02)

A lot of what goes on behind the scenes isn't shown. You know, because like, you know, people that have seen the interview saw Briar get upset at the end of the program because she was missing her family. She misses her friends and- but obviously the bit that was cut out before was where we were talking about sadly, Steve's dad had passed away and that she missed him and she was so sad that he's not going to get to see us here and that gran and grandpa had had the flights canceled so close to them coming and one thing and another. So all that was missed out and it just showed her crying at the end of the program. Which, if they’d of seen the build up, they’d have understood why. So we got lots of messages saying, “Ooh I hope she settles”, and all this. Well, she is settled here. 

 

Anna (07:40)

Good

 

Dianne (07:40)

She loves her life here, but she does miss her family and her friends.

 

Anna (07:43)

Of course.

 

Dianne (07:43)

For a child of her age, she- you know, she was nine when she came and it was really hard. It was hard for her. You know, if we’d left it much longer I don't think she would have really wanted to come, would she?

 

Steve (07:53)

No, no. I think it was the right age to bring them, yeah. 

 

Anna (07:57)

How old was she when she came over?

 

Dianne (07:59)

She was nine and Peyton was four. So he was-, he just run 100 miles an hour with the life here. He’s just-, yeah typical Aussie kid. No shoes. He loves the life. He doesn't really know any different. He doesn't really remember much about the UK. He knows that grandparents live there and-. He doesn't really remember how our house were or anything like that. So, to him, this is his life and this is how it’s always been.

 

Anna (08:21)

Yeah.

 

Dianne 08:23)

Briar is a little bit more of a sensitive soul. And she had a lovely little group of friends in the UK. She struggled here getting a bond again with-. She's gone to high school now, so I think she's got, she's starting to get that bond again now. She's got some really lovely friends and you know, she's starting to embrace life a little bit more and obviously it's a big change for her. Obviously school ages are different here, so she kind of took a step backwards and went back a little bit in terms of age group. She kind of struggled a little bit ‘cause she found the work a bit too easy at school. So she's actually done two years in primary school since she's been here. And now she's gone to high school and you know, she's really settled and she's doing us amazingly proud. She's really settling in and finding her feet now.

 

Anna (09:05)

Brilliant. And is the school system quite different over here, would you say?

 

Steve (09:08)

I'd say a lot more modern, but that may be just because we're living in an upcoming area. Everything is new in the- where we are living. They certainly don't lack anything, do they?

 

Dianne (09:16)

No, no.

 

Steve (09:18)

The high school definitely was really good facilities, you know. It’s like a university.

 

Dianne09:22)

It's brilliant the high school. I mean, she's doing kickboxing, you know something she would never be able to do at school in the UK. She's doing rock band, that's something she probably would never have the opportunity in the UK to have done either. Just the facilities at the school, we seem to think- well, from my perspective as a mum, I seem to think that kids are allowed to be kids longer here. It's just totally changed for us. And we're at the beach or we're at the park or we're having a barbecue. 

 

Steve (09:47)

It's more laid back and more chilled out.

 

Anna (09:48)

So actually, you just mentioned about the facilities in the school. I was gonna ask you about your house. What's your house like? 

 

Dianne (09:54)

Ooo, it’s amazing.

 

Steve (09:57)

Yeah, we're pretty spoiled, really. We couldn't have that back in the UK. We couldn't have what we do here.

 

Dianne (10:02)

When we first built the house, I think Steve actually worked out and sort of-, because we had like a traditional semi in the UK with obviously upstairs, downstairs. I think Steve worked like the floor plan is if you took the upstairs and the downstairs and put them together, they would actually fit under our alfresco area. So our house is like three times the size.

 

Anna (10:19)

You design the house, did you? Because you bought land- 

 

Dianne (10:21)

Yes, yeah we bought land after two weeks. 

 

Steve (10:23)

It wasn't our intentions.

 

Dianne (10:224)

It wasn't our intentions. But somebody showed us this piece of land.

 

Anna (10:28)

Over here, like it's dead normal to build your home, isn't it? It's just the norm. 

 

Dianne (10:32)

Yep.

 

Steve (10:32)

It's so different. Yeah, we just didn't know where to start. When we're looking to build a house, erm-. We bought a new house in the UK as well. But, over there you go to, you know, you find in estate where you want to live and all the houses are built by one home builder, and you just pick-

 

Dianne (10:49)

Your house style-

 

Steve (10:49)

Your house, which house you want and that's it. Over here, you buy your land separate the house. There's hundreds of home builders, they all have hundreds of different, like basic plans, and then somehow you try and narrow it down to pick your house that you like, and then you start customizing it after that. And you literally pick every single detail down to the plug sockets

 

Dianne (11:14)

You pick the colour of your bricks over here, you know. In the UK your house is built and that’s it. You know, that's- 

 

Steve (11:18)

What style of color gutter you want. Absolutely every single detail. It took us days-

 

Dianne (11:23)

You know, colour of your window frames, and oh, it's just-. It took us months didn’t it, to decide on a style. 

 

Steve (11:29)

You totally customize everything. Yeah, it's very different. We didn't know where to start. Everybody we speak to who’ve moved over here, they've come without plans, without anything in place. And things just tend to fall into place. 

 

Anna (11:42)

Yeah? 

 

Steve (11:43)

I don't know how? But they do, don't they? They have for us and they have for pretty much everybody else we've spoken to, as well.

 

Dianne (11:51)

Going back to the land, we actually-. We arrived on the Thursday into the AirBnB we stayed in after we filmed with Wanted Down Under and just as luck  happened, we sort of stumbled on our rental as well, around the same time. We loved the estate we were living on at the time of the rental and we saw this piece of land for sale. And we went and inquired about and they went, “Oh, you've just missed it by a day”. And then lo and behold, there was a bigger lot that came up on the sister estate. We went to see that. And then we were like, wow, we're not going to get a piece like this big for this price again.

 

Steve (12:26)

So yeah, we just decided to push the budget a little bit. 

 

Dianne (12:29)

Bit the bullet and signed up.

 

Steve (12:31)

Why not?

 

Dianne (12:33)

And yeah that’s it. We've got to stay now. 

 

Anna (12:33)

And you do still feel like that. You do still feel this is home for you?

 

Dianne (12:34)

Yes. This is home.

 

Steve (12:37)

Yeah.

 

Anna (12:38)

Ah, fab!

 

Dianne (12:38)

Definitely home. Yeah.

 

 

 

 

 

Steve (12:38)

I often think, you know, it’s still-. Weekends still feel like a holiday, sometimes. 

 

Anna (12:41) 

Yes.

 

Steve (12:42)

They really do. It's just-

 

Anna (12:45)

Why is that? What do you mean by that? 

 

Steve (12:47)

It’s just got to be the weather-

 

Anna (12:48)

Yeah.

 

Steve (12:48)

Yeah, it's just got to be the weather and then just being able to go outside. Just do, you know- Even just wandering across the road to the park, or down to the beach. You know, it's just-

 

Anna (12:57)

Yeah. 

 

Steve (12:58)

You can just do it whenever you feel like it. 

 

Anna (13:00)

And are you-,are you close to the beach?

 

Steve (13:02)

Yeah.

 

Dianne (13:02)

About five minutes drive from the beach, yeah.

 

Steve (13:04)

We can see from the end of the street, yeah. 

 

Dianne (13:06)

Yeah, we can actually see it, yeah. The kids school-, well, the primary school that they both were in- it’s a kilometer from the beach. They go for six weeks of beach safe lessons with the school where they actually get taken down to the beach. They actually get taught by the surf lifesavers, how to read rips, how to be safe if you go swimming in the sea. What's do somebody get stung by blue bottle?

 

Anna (13:29)

Dianne, on the show you were undecided about moving to Australia at first? 

 

Dianne (13:33)

Yes. 

 

Anna (13:34)

But then in the end, you all chose Australia. What changed your mind?

 

Dianne (13:38)

Erm, obviously people that have seen the first show will know that erm, just before we came out, Steve’s dad sadly got a terminal diagnosis a couple of weeks before we flew, which, obviously, for us as a family was- we kind of found difficult. But he told- we weren't going to actually come and do the show. We were going to cancel it all. And he was like, “No, no. Go and do it. Do just live your life and do everything you want to do and-“. It kind of, I don't know, it was kind of like-

 

Steve (14:06)

Sort of put things back into perspective, I suppose, wasn’t it?

 

Dianne (14:09)

Yeah. It was- it was really difficult because obviously people who saw the first show know that I’d had cancer when I was 28. And that kind of put everything-, sort of in a different lifestyle perspective for us two, didn't it, erm, at the time-. Well, not even at the time, sort of going forward in our lives, didn't it? And we, we were like, well we’ll not go because we want to be here with you, you know. My two were the only grandchildren at the time and it was-, it was a really difficult decision to come out. And it was quite emotional for us two I think at that time because everything was so new with his dad being so ill and, you know. I think it kind of kept repercussioning that if we've bring the kids here, you know, it's -he’s going to not see them again. And I think that's kinda was weighing on my mind a little bit and that you needed to be there with your family, you know and have- you know, treasure those last days and what have you. And I think that was kind of weighing on my mind quite a lot all through the program. But from a finance- obviously, when did the sums, the financial point of view. The houses were just erm, you know, the cost of living- we could afford to live here. It was just-

 

Steve (15:15)

It was also the last chance we're going to get to be able to come as well, because of our ages and things. So we were sort of right on limit of the age limit, weren’t we?

 

Dianne (15:23)

I think right up until changing-, turning that card, I didn't know which way I was gonna go. Seriously. I was like, which-, what do I do?

 

Steve (15:31)

Our initial plans were to maybe, to move 10, 15 years earlier, weren’t they? And, you know, that would have been a no brainer. That would have been 100% per cent, we would have gone then, wouldn't we?

 

Dianne (15:15:41)

We'd been married about three years, hadn’t we? And we were like- Steve was like, “Shall we just go and try it? It's just as two, let's just go and try it. And we did, you know-, Steve started looking into it, we did put wheels in motion to, you know, you contacted a few visa agents and one thing and another. Then obviously, I got my diagnosis. And, well, everything stopped. Well, it had to stop, didn’t it. Cause we didn't know what was going to happen. And, erm, it kind of went on the back burner for quite a number of years, didn't it? And then Steve’s job sort of changed in hours and he was doing shifts. And Briar was at the age where she started noticing daddy wasn't quite around as much as he had been. And it was getting to the point where we used to sort of ring you at night to say night night, and she was getting so upset that Steve was just like, I need to do something, something needs to change here, big style. And there wasn't really the opportunity in your job to be able to change the lifestyle at that time was that?

 

Steve (16:35)

No, no.

 

Dianne (16:36)

So he kind of thought, why don't we try Australia again? And it kind of set- and I was like, “Ooh, you know. Do we, don't we?” And I said look, start looking into it, do what you want. And then obviously, by this stage, a lot of things had changed with the visas. And to get Steve in- because we've come on Steve’s job, he had to do a degree. So, good for him. I cannot fault him, whatsoever. I champion him all the time that he was working full time shifts, he was doing online studying for a degree as well. And, in all of that, as a surprise we ended up with Peyton as well. It was a busy- busy few years. But, you know, champion to Steve, he was coming home from work at half past 11 at night and sitting up till three, four in the morning doing his dissertations for his degree. And he got us through, got his degree-

 

Anna (17:22

Well done. That’s amazing!

 

Dianne (17:24)

He got us- he got us here. So I couldn't really say no to him I the end after all that, could I?

 

Anna (17:29)

Oh wow. So, actually, by the sounds of things, you’d planned this for ages? This is-. You’ve really-

 

Steve (17:34)

On and off for a long time. Yeah, but for, you know, for different reasons. Yeah, yeah. 

 

Anna (17:39)

Oh well done.

 

Steve (17:40)

Yeah. 

 

Anna(17:41)

Yeah, You’ve made it happen.

 

Dianne (17:42)

Eventually. It took a long- like you say, it’s took us fifteen years.

 

Steve (17:45)

Yeah, its been a long journey.  Yeah, yep.

 

Anna (17:46)

Has it been worth it? 

 

Steve (17:47)

Oh, yeah. 100%? 

 

Dianne (17:48)

Yeah, definitely.

 

Steve (17:49)

Definitely.

 

Dianne (17:50)

Definitely.

 

Steve (17:50)

Yeah, best thing ever.

 

Anna (17:51)

So, for people who are at home who are like, you know, thinking about coming out, and they might have to go and do some more study or whatever. What advice would you have? 

 

Steve (17:58)

Yeah, just- just go for it. Don't think about it. Just, just go for it. 

 

Dianne (18:03)

Yeah, if it’s something  you really want to do, you have to work at it. And you have to- you have to put the effort in to get the rewards out. So just do whatever you. It’s-

 

Steve (18:10)

Yeah, we always said- if we didn't move, then we would have always thought whatever would have always thought “what if”. It would have always been in the back of our minds. You know, “what would have happened if we did go?” 

 

Anna (18:20)

Yep.

 

Steve (18:21)

At least he would go and try it and don't like it, we could go back. 

 

Anna  (18:24)

Exactly. 

So tell me about your jobs. So you've obviously- you’ve both had a bit of a career change, haven't you? 

 

Steve (18:28)

Yeah, yeah. Little bit, yeah. I was always- graphic design, is what I did for 20 years. And then more recently it was a bit of marketing. But now, yeah, I've moved into web design full time now, which is, yeah-, you know, it's not a massive change. 

 

Anna (18:46)

Okay.

 

Steve (18:47)

It’s a little bit different. But it's, it's a good enough change to really enjoy it. 

 

Anna (18:51)

Good, good.

And what about yourself?

 

Dianne (18:54)

I started as a dental nurse when I was 16. And I qualified in the UK. And I did that until I was 24. And then I fell on my dream job in the local hospital on the cancer unit, of all places. So I was in the NHS for 20 years till coming out here. So I had a total career change in the UK. And then I came here and- and it was a case of neither of us were working, one of us had to get a job because- you come over here and your savings, you might as well just chuck them in the sea basically. Because everything's paying out, cars, rent, furniture, whatever. 

 

Anna (19:24)

Yeah, it’s expensive.

 

Dianne (19:26)

So basically, Steve was applying for everything he saw. And I just said, I'm just going to put myself out there as well. So I applied- gosh, must have been about 250 jobs. And I sent out 40 begging letters to local area for doctors, dentists, any office-type people maybe looking for admin and I basically got an interview from one of the jobs in a dental practice. Not really what I wanted to go- kind of go back into, but a jobs a job when you first get here. 

 

Anna (19:53)

Yeah.

 

Dianne (19:54)

So, I went in as a sort of reception-type person to help build up the reception. Obviously I had the nursing qualification so I did a bit of nursing. And then, I was there six months and got promoted to their manager.

 

Steve (20:06)

It is hard to get your foot in the door when you first arrive. Being new I think it is, with no Aussie experience, I think it is really difficult to- to find something, but you know, once you start putting yourself out there, you know, it definitely is word of mouth.

 

Anna (20:17)

On the show it talked about like what you were earning back in the UK and you're like trying to do the cost of living for over here. Are you the same? better? What's the situation?

 

Dianne (20:25)

I’m double.

 

Anna (20:26)

What, you earn double? 

 

Dianne (20:27)

I earn double and I was in the NHS on a decent- I was, I was at top of my band and I was on a pretty good wage over there. And I earn double.

 

Steve (20:34)

I'm earning slightly more. But less hours. 

 

Dianne (20:37)

You’re probably averaging roughly the same aren’t you. But, say you do work slightly less hours here.

 

Steve (20:41)

I'm doing less hours. So the lifestyle-, yeah. Just enjoying the lifestyle. 

 

Dianne (20:43)

You’ve got a better lifestyle balance. You know, his work life balance is a lot better here.  So- 

 

Steve (20:48)

People go on about the cost of living, you know, saying it's really expensive. It scared us a little bit , didn’t it?

 

Dianne (20:54)

It frightened me to death. I was like, “Oh my gosh, it's gonna be-“.

 

Steve (20:56)

It's not- and even what the show on the show isn't a really a true representative, is it?

 

Dianne (21:01)

We actually spend less for the four of us here on food than we did in the UK. 

 

Anna (21:07)

And bills. Do you not find bills are less here? Or do you think it's the same?

 

Steve (21:10)

Erm, yeah. It does work out we’re erm-, it probably is less. Council tax is less.

 

Dianne (21:17)

Yeah. Obviously you don't have a lot of gas. 

 

Anna (21:20)

Exactly. Yes., central heating doesn’t exist.

 

Dianne (20:22)

Yes. So you know, you don’t-

 

Steve (20:23)

We have solar. 

 

Dianne (20:25)

Yeah, that helps with the electrics, doesn’t it. Because obviously we do have the pool and hot tub as well. 

 

Anna (21:29)

Oh, of course!

 

Dianne (21:30)

So that helps massively!

 

Anna (21:32)

Brilliant!

Since you've been out here, have you been back home? 

 

Dianne (21:33)

Nope.

 

Steve (21:34)

No.

 

Dianne (21:34)

No intentions of going back. We want them to come here, really and see what we've got and what we've achieved. And so we want them all to come to us first.

 

Steve (21:41)

Obviously, apart from family, then you know, there's nothing else that we-, we’re missing in the UK, are we? There's no pull to go back to the UK. I don't even really want to go back as a holiday. 

 

Dianne (21:52)

It's going to be quite a number of years before we go- 

 

Steve (21:53)

We will we will go back. But, not yet.

 

Dianne (21:56)

No.

 

Anna (21:56)

That's the best way to do it, apparently is to get settled here as well is to not go back. 

 

Dianne (21:58)

Yes. 

 

Steve (22:00)

Yeah.

 

Anna (22:00)

I was told that.

 

Dianne (22:01)

Well everybody told us that you find in the first two years if you’ll settle or not. So we're like two and a half years now. 

 

Steve (22:08)

Yeah. Yeah. 

 

Dianne (22:09)

This is it.

 

Steve (22:10)

We’re settled, yeah. Yep.

 

Anna (22:11)

And on the show, Briar said that friends will become our family.

 

Dianne (22:15)

Yes.

 

Anna (22:15)

Was she right? 

 

Dianne (22:17)

Yes, you do. Because, obviously- I mean Steve does have family here, but they're not near us. So you've got to put yourself out there. Again, it's same as jobs. You've got to put yourself out there to get-, make friends, you know. Nobody's gonna come knocking on door saying please be my friend, type of thing. We've made some really, really good friends here. And-

 

Steve (22:35)

But there's a lot of us in the same position out here. There’s a lot of Brits that have moved out here, especially in the area we live. There is a lot around there. And we, you know-, I'll say yeah, you know, we do stick together, don’t we?

 

Dianne (22:44)

Yeah, you do because you help each other through the tough times. And you know, somebody could be having a really bad day going, “I just want to go home”, and we're all there for each other. And they- there's certain ones that you really, really gel with and they kind of become your adoptive family. My kids called two of them in particular Auntie. They've kind of got that real strong bond and, you know. But you do have to put yourself out and there you have to make the effort. 

 

Anna (23:06)

And how do you put yourself out there? What do you do to make friends?

 

Dianne (23:09)

You just go to ev-, you know. We found a lot of family and friends-

 

Steve (23:11)

It’s just, you know, Facebook and local events. There's always-, there’s so many family events going on around in the parks. You’ve got food trucks in the evenings. There’s cinema in the parks-

 

Dianne (23:21)

If you go to a family event though as well, like the kid- kids tend to get talking to other kids. And then you start getting talking to- obviously if you've got school aged kids, there’s mums and dads at school. Briar plays soccer. 

 

Steve (23:32)

And clubs-

 

Dianne (23:32)

So there’s like her soccer team parents as well. And so this is how you kind of get you-, but you have to put it out there. You have to put yourself out there and you know, you get an invite to a party for the kids or something. You've got to go to it. You can't just say, “oh, I don't want to be bothered, I can’t- I don't know them”, cause you're never gonna meet anybody if you do that. 

 

Anna (23:49)

Do you miss anything from back home?

 

Dianne (23:50)

No. 

 

Anna (23:51)

Have you noticed in the schools are there a lot of- because the area that you live in, like you said, there's quite a lot of Brits go up to the northern suburbs in Perth. And at the school, are there a lot of children in the same boat whose parents are- or who have come over from a school in England?

 

Dianne (24:05)

Yeah. Briar she had a sort of mixture of sort of Aussie kids and sort of English kids. Peyton seems to have, obviously, because a lot- he’s younger, the parents were probably already here by time they had the child so there’s a lot more sort of Aussie kids, as I call them, in his year.

 

Anna (24:24)

Yeah.

 

Dianne (24:24)

But there does seem to be a mixture of-

 

Steve (24:26)

Not just from the UK though. There’s kids from all over the world

 

Dianne (24:30)

Briar has someone from Norway in her class. 

 

Anna (24:32)

Oh?

 

Steve (24:33)

South Africa.

 

Dianne (24:34)

It’s very varied, isn’t it.

 

Steve (24:35)

Everywhere. Yeah. Yeah.

 

Anna (24:37)

That's nice, though. I guess for people back home who are thinking of coming out here. They've got kids. And they're thinking, “Oh, my child's going to be the only one that’s foreign..”.

 

Dianne (24:44)

No, they’re not.

 

Steve (24:46)

Yeah, it depends on the- I suppose it depends a lot on the area that going to move to. But erm, but yeah-

 

Dianne (24:52)

Yeah, the area we’re in, cause it’s quite up and coming and new-ish. There’ll be a lot of people-

 

Steve (24:57)

Everybody’s in the same position, yeah. Yeah. They’re all trying to fit in, aren’t they?

 

Dianne (25:00)

Yep, yeah.

 

Steve (25:00)

They're all new. They're all they're all finding the feet. 

 

Dianne (25:03)

Yeah. 

 

Anna (25:04)

That's brilliant. I have literally ran out of questions. I’m like-, you two, honestly. I didn’t need to ask you anything. You’re just like, “do-do-do-do-do-do-do”. I've just sat here like-, okay.

 

Dianne (25:14)

We’ve had lots of practice from wanted down Under.

 

Anna (25:17)

You’re brilliant. Honestly, I do feel, I honestly do feel really star struck. I’ve watched you on the telly, I’ve cried with you. 

 

Steve (25:28)

We’ve had a couple of people recognize us out and about in IKEA, haven’t we?

 

Anna (25:32)

If you were talking to you ten years ago, five years ago, what would you say to yourselves?

 

Dianne (25:37)

If you're given the opportunity, just grab it with both hands. And if you've got to retrain, really, really consider it. And obviously, the visas do change really, really quickly. And if it's something you've set your heart on, you have to work hard to do it. 

Anna (25:52)

Yeah.

 

Steve (25:53)

It's a lot more difficult now, to get a visa now than it was even when we moved out here when we got our visa four or five years ago, and it's getting tougher all the time. If you can do it sooner rather than later, then yeah, I'd go for it.

 

Dianne (26:06)

Obviously, because we've been there and we've done it and you see people, I know- and some people are really nasty on Facebook, like somebody asks a question- and yeah, you may think it's absolutely stupid and daft and what have you, but, to that person that's asking, it's not. 

 

Anna (26:18)

No.

 

Dianne (26:18)

It's a genuine question. And, you know, just a bit of kindness, just to say look nobody can answet that question for you, just speak to an agent. They give free advice. Or just speak to somebody that’s in the know more-, because you're gonna get so many random answers on Facebook, because everybody's experience is different. Everybody's journey is totally different. And one size isn't to fit all, you know.

 

Anna (26:43)

Definitely

 

Dianne (26:44)

Everybody's journey is totally different, you know. Job wise, it's different. There's a lot of people that come out on temporary visas and, you know, one thing or another, so, and, yeah, it's just, you know, just-. There are just some nasty people out there that just go, “oh well, why don't you Google it? And, you know”, that's not the answer the person is looking for. They probably have googled it and not be able to find the answer.  And in that moment, they just want to get down what they want to ask, and-

 

Anna (27:08)

Yeah. Because you can Google something, and you can get four different answers.

 

Dianne (27:11)

Exactly. Or you just don't get the answer-. You don't get any definite information. You know, it's very vague. But yeah, everybody's journey is different. So, and the only advice I would say was, make sure you got a MARA agent, because we have-, we have seen people get stung by visa agents.

 

Anna (27:28)

MARA meaning…? Migration?

 

Dianne (27:30)

Migration Agent Registration Authority or something? Yeah, because obviously they're regulated. And we've seen people that have been done out of £1000’s of £1000’s by a so-called agent, that hasn't done what they've said, and they're not MARA registered or anything like that. So-

 

Anna (27:48)

Goodness me, that's- 

 

Dianne (27:49)

The advice is to make sure they’re MARA-, you know, make sure you’re going with somebody decent and you check out that they’re MARA registered and-. From our point of view, it's money well spent. 

 

Anna (27:56)

Yep.

 

Steve (27:57)

Oh definitely, Yeah.

 

Dianne (27:57)

Just to make sure you get everything right because we’d have never thought about half the things that we were asked to supply. 

 

Steve (28:03)

Unless you've got a really straightforward case. 

 

Dianne (28:06)

Yeah.

 

Steve (27:07)

Then yeah, I would use an agent. Definitely.

 

Dianne (28:10)

Yep.

 

Anna (28:10)

Yep.

 

Dianne (28:11)

I know it's a lot of money. Where we paid quite a bit. 

 

Steve (28:14)

It’s a couple of thousand pounds. You know, but-

 

Dianne (28:17)

But, from our point of view, it was worth the extra couple of thousand pounds to get us here. 

 

Anna (28:20)

Yeah.

It's been really nice talking to you both.

 

Steve (28:23)

Yeah, yeah. It’s been good

 

Anna (28:24)

Thank you sooo much.

 

Dianne (28:35)

Thanks for having us.

 

Steve (28:36)

Thank you for make us feel so welcome. 

 

Anna (28:38)

It’ lovely.

 

Anna (29:30)

If there’s something you want to hear about on the podcast, please reach out to us on either the Britstralian Facebook or Instagram pages.