Meet Ollie Ould, who moved to Sydney with her husband and three kids aged 3, 7 and 14 in October 2019, from South East London.
In our latest expat interview, you’ll find out how Ollie’s family has settled in Sydney in just under a year, as well as her tips on moving to Australia. You can follow Ollie’s popular Instagram page @followustosydney as she documents her family’s life living in Sydney.
Why & Where Did You Move To Australia?
We moved to Sydney in October 2019, and chose to live in the the suburb of Frenchs Forest in Northern Beaches NSW. We wanted the change of lifestyle for our family, and loved the idea of living in a better and safer area for our kids to grow up in. We also wanted a more outdoors lifestyle, and of course it was a career move for my husband too.
How Long Did You Prepare For Your Move To Australia?
It took us a year in total to prepare for our move to Australia. From looking into companies for sponsorship to securing an offer then the visa application process which was only 12 weeks. We also sold our house which went through quickly also 12 weeks. We felt like it was a quick process.
NEED HELP WITH YOUR AUSTRALIAN VISA?
Our go to migration agent in Sydney called AUREC Migration & Mobility are offering Londoner In Sydney FREE visa assessments. This means if you have any questions or concerns about applying for your Australia visa, you can simply email them here with your questions and they’ll get back to you at no cost!
What Australia Visa Are You On?
We came into Australia on the Sponsored TSS visa.
If you’re unsure what Australian visa you need to apply for to move to Australia, check out our comprehensive guide below which brakes down all of the visas to help you make your dream life a reality down under.
We actually decided not to ship anything to Australia. We looked into the cost of shipping and what we really wanted to take, plus the time scale and decided it would be better to start again.
We wanted to be in a rental within one month of arriving in Sydney and our shipping container would have taken 3 months. So, rather than hiring furniture, we decided to put the shipping money into buying new furniture.
We arrived in Sydney with one suitcase each but we sent 5 other cases via air freight with things like the children’s favourite toys, one full of winter clothes coats boots etc and one with all of the girls memory boxes and photos etc. They arrived one week after us and was about £150 a case! In hindsight I wish we had sent more as we put so much stuff away before we left!
Need To Find International Moving Companies?
It took Annie five years before she moved my belongings to Australia because she had no idea which moving company to trust. Luckily it all worked out! If you’re trying to find the best shipping companies, you can compare five shipping company quotes which will go straight to your inbox.
My husband has sponsorship with a recruitment company based in Sydney CBD (he specialises in construction, rail & civil engineering). He had his own recruitment company in the uk but wanted a change working for someone again and building a team. Luckily, he’s really happy with how it’s going with work in Sydney.
I have decided to take a year out of work to concentrate on settling the family. I had a business in UK making personalised favours for parties & events and event styling which I loved. I sold the business before we left UK, and will look for a new opportunity here in Sydney soon.
How Easy Has It Been To Make New Friends?
I have made friends really easily, and I haven’t put pressure on myself to go out and try and make friends. I’ve been lucky and met a really good friend who arrived here with her family a few months after us. She’s also English and we are grateful for meeting each other so soon.
I have been welcomed by lots of people and we have a good social circle already. My husband works in a great team of people mostly English, Irish, Welsh and a few Aussies, so he’s fitted in straight away which is a god send!
I haven’t made lots of mum friends through the schools as I tend to leave school to my kids to make their own friends. I know lots of people find the school pick up and drop offs a good way to make friends though.
I go to the gym most weekday mornings as that’s my time time to zone out from the three school drops, so I like to keep to myself. I just do my class enjoying the wind down from our hectic morning, so I’m a bit closed off at that time.
How Did Your Kids Feel About Moving To Sydney?
Our girls are very different ages and our youngest was three when we moved over and didn’t understand the process at all.
Our seven year old daughter was just excited for the adventure of having her own pool and having fun in the sun.
Our eldest was 14 and really wasn’t sure at first, it took her a few months to come round to the idea. Since she made the decision, she hasn’t looked back and has embraced it.
We are so proud of them all and how well they have settled in thought. They are in two different schools and a pre school so they have had to adapt to their new schools without the support of each other and they have all done so well so far.
What Was The Hardest Thing About Moving To Australia?
The hardest thing about leaving England was leaving my family and friends behind. It’s without a doubt the hardest thing we have ever had to do. Selling our house and businesses was a big step too and selling all of our furniture and a lifetime of belongings was difficult, but the biggest thing is leaving loved ones.
Do You Feel Settled In Australia Yet?
We’ve said so many times it doesn’t feel far from home because we feel so settled in Sydney. The lifestyle we have here feels like a dream come true! I can’t think of anywhere that could give us what this part of Australia has. We miss everyone back home so much but that’s the gamble and it’s something we have to learn to live with.
Do You Have Any Tips You’d Like To Share For Others Moving To Australia?
I think the biggest part is researching where you want to live. Australia is so diverse in many ways, even each suburb in northern beaches has a different feel. We spent so much time figuring out where we wanted to be, we didn’t want to be an hour from the beach. And being near to a beach comes at a cost so it’s important to get the balance right.
We spent a week travelling around areas to get a feel for them before we made the decision on where to live and I’m glad we did. Once your children start school, it’s not easy to just move.
Trying To Figure Out Where To Live In Australia?
If you’re unsure where to live in Australia, check out our guides below.
If you are considering a sponsored visa note you will have to pay for schools in Australia. This is something that wasn’t confirmed to us, and it can make a big difference to your finances if you are paying (In NSW) almost $6000 a year per child for school. Now just imagine paying that for the next 5 or so years until you can apply for PR!
We have three daughters and it really adds up. I spent hours and hours researching it and found it difficult to get a clear answer as to whether we would have to pay or not so I hope this helps.
Also if you are looking at rentals, make sure you view every single one because most of them don’t look like the images supplied on the websites. You also need to look out for mould as many Sydney housing suffers from it.
We spent hours eyeing up properties online and they looked nothing like the photos. As annoying as it is that you can’t secure a rental here ready for when you arrive, it’s to safeguard you from making a costly mistake!
Get Your Story Featured Next Month!
Thanks to Ollie for taking part in our monthly expat interview series. If you would like to share your tips and journey about moving to Australia on Londoner In Sydney, simply fill out this form and you could be featured next month!
Read More Expat Interviews
Find more inspirational interviews from other expats living in Australia below.