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14 Years out of RSA


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Today 14 years ago I boarded a Qantas flight from what was then Jan Smuts International Airport for Sydney, on my way to Auckland New Zealand. These 14 years now represent almost a third of my life. In that time I have returned to South Africa for a total of 7 days. I do however continue to have ties to South Africa, my brother and his family continue to live there, some cousins and an elderly aunt continue to live there. Many of my family are buried there. I still have some RAF's there.

I joined this forum, as well as a forum about South Africans emigrating to NZ mainly because I have a continued to have an interest in immigration to Australia and NZ, more from a policy rather than process point of view. My contributions tend to more about life in Australia, rather than what visa someone should use to apply to emigrate to those countries. I hope my contributions help some people in their decisions about their life in Australia and New Zealand, and that they are the correct decisions.

Normally this type of anniversary would go unnoticed in my life, but been a member of this forum made me think about it and I thought I'd share some of those.

I guess the biggest difference from my immigration experience and those of today has been the internet. When I decided to emigrate my version of the internet was to tear out the relevant pages out of the Yellow Pages from the hotel that I stayed at during my LSD trip. Every inquiry had to be done by writing to suppliers and hoping and waiting for responses. The result was that I was not nearly as prepared as immigrants of today about almost everything, or my information was so out of date that it was almost worthless. I forum like this to ask for help .............................. I don't think so!!!!!!

I did take to New Zealand like a duck to water. It took me three months to land a job in Wellington, in a role that was at a level higher than what I had been in south Africa. Initially I felt out of my depth but grew into the role and my fellow team mates. My first reaction to my employment contract was " why is there so much about redundancy", no employment contract I had in RSA included anything about redundancy. It was in NZ that I learned that shedding staff was an acceptable method of reducing costs when profitability was been affected. Since then my position has been made redundant 4 times, fortunately I have been able to re-invent myself 3 times and have only been made redundant once.

The biggest joy during this time has been meeting my partner. She was also an immigrant to NZ from the UK. We are now married.

I have now been living in Australia for almost 6 of those 14 years. I consider myself to be an Australasian and am proud to be a citizen of New Zealand and Australia. There may be a lot of perceived animosity between the two countries, but I consider the relationship to more like competing cousins. New Zealanders may wear T shirts saying they support the All Blacks and anybody playing Australia, but they were one of the first to have firefighter teams over here during the devastating bush fires outside Melbourne and NZ rescue crews were in Australia after the Thredbow disaster. While I cannot think of any reciprocal instances, I have no doubt if NZ needed any sort of help Australia would be the first to be there.

Both Australia and NZ are countries of great (but different) beauty. As a quick summary I would say "if you want sun and beaches go to Australia, rivers, lakes and mountains go to New Zealand." I have been very privileged to be able to see many of these places. The Australian outback, brilliant beaches, Sydney harbour, the South Island of NZ are some that roll off the tongue.

I now have no concept of conditions in RSA and probably cannot relate to current crime levels, what affirmative action means, but know it can only be worse that when I was there. The other thing I have noticed from the 2 forums and by reading forums designed for emigrants from the UK mainly, is that Australia is a "premier" immigrant destination. Australia has the ability to pick and choose its immigrants. This is mostly seen by how accommodating potential immigrants are to long time frames, constant changes to policy by DICA and all the hoops people are prepared to jump through. I have also noticed a significant increase in the desperation of South Africans. It was only in the last week that I discovered that potential immigrants from South Africa are now considered to be high risk for submitting fraudulent applications for immigration to Australia. This can only bode ill for future immigrants from RSA.

As with all countries there are some downsides. In NZ the culture of compensation got to me, in Australia the wastefulness of the State system and government waste because of natural resources funding grate me.

I hope all the forum members, whether in Australia or on their way will be able to have the great love I have of Australia.

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LOL, you need to change your name!!

Thanks for sharing your experiences with us, this forum is a wonderful source of information, and as you say the internet is a real bonus for immigrants.

I too love it here!

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Yes, you have had a wonderful journey over the last past 14 years!!! Am sure you cannot believe how fast time has gone.... :whome:

A very interesting read!!


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So are you going to change your display name?

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Loved reading your journal, 2 of my best friends I have made here are Kiwi's, such super people!

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New Zealand looks like an amazing country - it must be great to have experienced both New Zealand and Australia. Great journal! I enjoyed reading about how technology has made moving countries so much easier.

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There is one funny story about my application to become a permanent resident of Australia

I moved over in Nov 2004 using my New Zealand passport. As most people are aware New Zealand citizens my live and work in Australia without restriction. New Zealand citizens are not entitled to the same benefits or privileges in Australia as Australian citizens and I was always going to apply to become a permanent resident of Australia, with the ultimate aim of becoming a citizen. (New Zealanders moving to Australia, the requirements and rights are worthy of a topic in its own right)

The one thing in a New Zealanders favour is that they can apply for PR whilst been in Australia, and having the right to work allows them to include the fact that they have a role on their application.

During 2005 I converted my NZ Chartered Accountancy qualification to the Australian equivalent, by writing the relevant exams. I graduated in early 2006 and it was at that point that I applied for PR. In my application I stated that I was an Australian Chartered Accountant (obviously) and included all the relevant documentation from the Australian Institute of Chartered Accountants.

I received a response stating that my qualifications needed to be assessed by the relevant Australian body. So I had to ask the Institute of Australian Chartered Accountants to provide a document that basically stated that I was good enough to be an Australian Chartered Accountant because I was an Australian Chartered Accountant. The person at the Institute could not believe it when I explained to her what I needed. The Institute provided the documentation and had the good grace not to charge the normal fee for providing such a document.

This has to be one of the most extreme examples of bureaucracy gone mad.

It still took over a year for my PR to be processed. That with both applicants already having the right to live and work in Australia, both candidates having jobs in Australia, both candidates been members of their Australian professional bodies and both candidates been on the skills shortage list.

Ironically if me PR had been delayed for 30 more days I would have qualified to become a citizen a year earlier.

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