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Hi All,

I was SO glad to stumble onto this forum a couple of weeks ago, after Danie(husband) and myself had a backyard braai for exactly two people (me and him), on a lovely Sunday afternoon. It must have looked as sad as it felt. I have Googled for contact with other South African people before but found only slightly scary (to me) sites were I got the idea you needed loads of kids and a boere musiek collection to take part. Sadly I have neither, phew! I was starting to wonder what kind of SA person actually came over to Aus? What a relief to then find you guys and realize that all sorts are welcome. :blush-anim-cl:

I am from Somerset West in the Cape and Danie from Simonstown but he finished matric in Durban (without too much lasting damage, hie hie). We met in Stellenbosch and speak Afrikaans to each other, but can tune you either way my bra.

We have lived in London for the last 11years and traveled a lot, so moving continents again was probably not as big a deal as for some of you, other things worried us, like would Aus be a cultural wasteland after multi cultural London? We had been thinking for a while to relocate to somewhere a little bit more like home. And being a hairdresser I heard from a client that Aus was looking for hairdressers and that we could get a Skilled Independent 136 visa with no strings attached because of my profession. We were in no hurry, so the year and a half it took was ok for us. Could of course have taken less time if the agent had experience of SA and the speed it takes to get stuff: birth cert=2mnths, letter form Navy=2mnths,

new passports=2months! We came out in Feb 2007 for a LSD and to stamp our visas, we did the rounds (Syd, Mel, Bris) for a month. Struggled to decide between Syd and Mel, but in the end we had Danie's sister in Syd and right at the end 2 girlfriends (Kiwi and Aus) from London moved to Syd. At least we would know 3 friendly faces in Sydney. We then put 15 boxes (no furniture, mostly art) on a ship bound for Aus and grabbed our backpacks for a 7 month adventure of a life time while we had no jobs to go to in Aus. Thank God we were by that time on UK passports because we only needed one visa for the entire trip that included: SA, Greece, Norway, Denmark, Sweden, Russia, Poland, USA, Canada, Brazil, Argentina, Peru, Bolivia, Ecuador, Mexico and Cuba before we landed here in Sydney on the 17th of Nov 2008. Luckily Danie had sent his CV round to agencies just before we got here and had interviews lined up. He got a job quickly enough and started working on the 8th of Dec. Looks like they did not mind him turning up for the interview in hiking boots (his only other option was thongs/plakkies)!!! Before we left London we had a ruthless culling of possessions, but I did not know that his heavy hand extended to ALL the shoes he owned!

After living with Danie's sister and her family in Wahroonga (North Shore, Sydney) for a bit we got a little rental house in Balmain (Inner West) close to the water. We are so happy with our choice of areas and love the greenery and outdoors here (looking to buy Kayak now) with the city only being either a 15min ferry or 15min bus ride away. We have not owned a car for 12 years (Vespas in London) and it is very low down on my list of things that we need at the moment. I have started working at a great salon here in Balmain called Access Hair Design from Tue to Fridays and also do hair at home (mine or yours) to make some extra money. I found out with a shock that the Aussie hairdressers earn half of what my old colleagues in London AND Stellenbosch earn. So that has been a bitter pill for me to swallow as I'm really bad at the little woman role and lets be honest money gives you confidence, freedom, choices etc. Keep on telling myself that we moved here for other reasons, and I know its true and we are very happy, but sometimes it gets me, like when I wanted to book flights to SA for Christmas when it is my parent's 40th anniversary and the tickets are double the London to SA return price, it makes me feel very powerless and out of control (I'm not a control freak, just the organizing type, honest). :ilikeit:

So, I have joined the Sydney dinner club list and looking forward to meeting at least some of you. Danie teases me about having a affair with someone online now that I have been getting into reading your journals and posts, so it would be good if he can meet some of you and see that it is completely innocent. :holy: Give me a shout it you need your hair done over here in Sydney, cut, high-lights, mens, kids, the whole family.....


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Hey Rozelle, welcome to the forum! You will fit right in! And, I am sure that you will meet many other ex-South Africans who are now based in Sydney, perhaps even some who need a haircut! LOL!

Thanks for the great intro post.

Best wishes


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Hi there! We recently landed in Melbourne. I am surprised that you aren't making that much as a hairdresser. They seem really expensive here to me, but then I am a cheapskate :rolleyes: (last cut my hair about 12 months ago!)

Hope you have a great time in Sydney and meet a lot of new friends soon.

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Welcome to the forum - seems like you have had a great time travelling the globe.

Im sure hairdressers get paid much much more in Canberra - yes Im in desperate need of some hi lights and I'm missing my work from home hairdresser !! :rolleyes: Wish you lived closer - I cant stand salons !!!

All the best in Sydney

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Hello Rozelle, and welcome, from another SA-UK-Aus’er.

(well, actually, a SA-UK-SA-UK-AUS’er, but who’s counting)

I can definitely relate to the pain of paying twice the amount for a flight to SA and not earning pounds. We earn more here than we did in the UK (even though that’s circumstantial) but still struggle to come to terms with paying $2500 for a flight home. I used to fly home once, sometimes twice a year from London (Yay for the 10 hour overnighters with no jetlag!) but these days it’s going to be happening a lot less.

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