I started my Move to Australia Facebook group up quietly for a very good reason. I wanted everyone in the group to get to know one another slowly – a bit like when you arrive at a party one at a time and are introduced to everyone who arrived before you. I wanted people to be able to mingle – I didn’t want to throw open the doors to the party and suddenly have a room full of people where nobody knew anybody and everybody felt awkward.
The group is a positive, supportive place where members look out for one another and hold each other accountable so everyone is encouraged to keep going after their dreams. And I’m so excited to see it unfolding right before my eyes.
I love hanging out over there, and members tell me they do too as it’s providing a more personal kind of support. So if you’re looking for a small community of like-minded UK families who totally get what you’re going through, then pop over to Move to Australia and request to join.
You might also enjoy this post about ways you can support Smart Steps to Australia
Why do you need a support group when moving to Australia?
I think for me, one of the hardest things about moving to Australia was that people around us didn’t get why we felt the need to leave the country. They were happy with their lives and they didn’t get why we weren’t happy with ours. We heard comments like: “Oh I could never leave my parents behind. I love them too much to move to Australia.” Comments like this made us feel terrible. We weren’t leaving because we didn’t love them, actually it was more the opposite. Our parents had raised us to be confident enough to follow our dreams, no matter how difficult that journey might be. And leaving them behind was the hardest decision we’ve ever had to make.
Other people told us we should wait until we had a job over here, or they told us we needed to get sponsored before we wasted our money on relocating. There was so much advice flying around (from people who’d never done it) that it made our heads spin.
The fact of the matter is, the only people who ‘get it’ are people who’ve made the move already or people who are going through it right now. Emigrating stirs up so many emotions, and creates so much paperwork, so it’s really important to set yourself up for success by having a strong support network around you. Of course, there are lots of amazing forums where you can hop in and ask questions. I love a good forum and I relied on them a lot when we were moving. But you also need the support of something stronger, where you can really get to know people. Where you can cheer each other on (and be cheered on yourself). Where you can commiserate if something doesn’t go your way. Where you can be honest and open with people who understand.
We were so lucky to know a family who had made the move already. For me, they were my online sounding board, my cheering squad, my advisors, my emotional support and everything in between. But I know that not everybody has this, so a big reason I set up this group was to create a safe place for people to build positive connections, share their knowledge and make friends with other people who are striving for a different life.
I see the Move to Australia Facebook tribe as a chain that has just begun. It started with a core group of people who were working hard to live their dreams. Now, as some of those lovely families land in Australia, they can go on to inspire and support newer members. It’s really incredible to see this already starting to happen and I’m excited to see the group starting to grow so it can support more families.
So, if you’re just considering moving to Australia from the UK, you’re in the process of applying for your visa, or even if you’re over here already and are happy to share your knowledge with people who haven’t arrived yet, I’d love to see you over in the group. Visit Move to Australia and request to join.
When you’ve been accepted, come and say hi! I’d love to get to know you.
Psst Did you see that last week I launched my Ultimate Emigration Checklist? It covers everything you need to do when you’re moving to Australia – all of those admin tasks are broken down into manageable chunks so you won’t forget a thing.