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Brisbane (Read 3686 times)

Paul B

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Brisbane
September 27, 2023, 02:12:17 pm
It's not something we can currently say yes to (the dog is circa 13 years old now) but recently we were approached by two separate consultancies offering us a package to work in Brisbane for ~1-3years. This isn't likely to go away as the contract they're both bidding for will last 7-10yrs and the work looks fantastic. I've worked with the people involved from both and like them with one being my boss during perhaps the best project of my career to-date.

I've not spent much time in Aus. but when we visited my BiL pre-pandemic I walked around Sydney wondering why I lived in E Lancs (we were staying/climbing in the Blue Mountains and getting the train in to see him).

Do any UKBers live there / has anyone here worked there (or Aus in general)? I fear it'll be slightly complex as our house being where/what it is I don't see that it'll be easy to reliably rent out which would probably mean a sale and getting rid of a fair amount of accrued crap (anyone want to buy a portaledge?).

chriss

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#1 Re: Brisbane
September 27, 2023, 02:43:06 pm
I lived & worked in Aus, but this was 13 year's ago. Overall I loved it, but Brisbane was my least favourite area. Melbourne was my favourite followed by Sydney. Personally the thing's I disliked about Aus outweighed the things I liked, so I didn't stay longer.

On the other hand my brother emigrated to Brisbane 7 years ago & absolutely loves it. He's never coming back! His quality of life, work/ life balance is much better. He can afford to send his kids to private school, which has been the making of them.

It's definitely worth considering, I had friends that stayed there, had their kids there & came back 8 years later.

T_B

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#2 Re: Brisbane
September 27, 2023, 02:47:50 pm
I spent a month putting up pallet racking in Brisbane. Enjoyed the job but it was by far the grimmest place I went to in Australia! Like Chesterfield but a bit more soulless.

Moo

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#3 Re: Brisbane
September 27, 2023, 02:49:34 pm
Given your history of injuries and the vast amount of dangerous wildlife in australia I'd recommend investing in a stout suit of armour to keep you alive if you're gonna head that way paul.

Paul B

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#4 Re: Brisbane
September 27, 2023, 02:52:54 pm
Thanks.

Overall I loved it, but Brisbane was my least favourite area. Melbourne was my favourite followed by Sydney. Personally the thing's I disliked about Aus outweighed the things I liked, so I didn't stay longer.

Do you mind expanding a bit? The one thing that concerns me is my old boss very much lives for work (although he doesn't expect that of his staff) and I'm aware that currently his family aren't overly happy there with his eldest having taken the choice to return to the UK for University this year.

It's definitely worth considering, I had friends that stayed there, had their kids there & came back 8 years later.

It's definitely being considered.

My BiL is back next year for his wedding to another Brit (they met in Sydney). I'm expecting they'll move back here permanently in the next few years to have kids and be nearer to her folks. I find it a little baffling after they've both been jumping the permanent residency hoops which has included staying in a role that wasn't ideal for whatever the required period is/was.

I spent a month putting up pallet racking in Brisbane. Enjoyed the job but it was by far the grimmest place I went to in Australia! Like Chesterfield but a bit more soulless.

5/10 Tom. I thought you'd tell me to get on with having kids and stay put?

Given your history of injuries and the vast amount of dangerous wildlife in australia I'd recommend investing in a stout suit of armour to keep you alive if you're gonna head that way paul.

I made Nat walk ahead when we were walking out at dusk, just to be safe you know.

T_B

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#5 Re: Brisbane
September 27, 2023, 03:08:47 pm
Iíll shut up but you did say ďIíve not spent much time in AusĒ and mentioned Sydney. Get on Google earth and have a zoom around and you might think me less contrarian.

spidermonkey09

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#6 Re: Brisbane
September 27, 2023, 03:12:33 pm
I'm off to Brisbane in the spring for a few weeks research work. I've never been before, its the only major city in Aus I haven't been to. Heard conflicting things; some people seem to absolutely love it (a prof at my uni says its her favourite places in Aus), others hate it with a passion, definitely a marmite place. People I met in Aus used to refer to it as "Brisvegas" which might go some way to explaining it.

Queensland is objectively more dangerous than other areas of Aus in terms of crocs, snakes, sharks and jellyfish if thats relevant. I also recall that beach scene isn't as good as you'd think around Brisbane due to the box jellyfish which renders a lot of beaches dangerous for a good chunk of the year.

In terms of Aus more generally its an amazing place but after I'd spent a year there the relentless racism had become too much for me to bear. Queensland does not have a good rep in this regard. However, the climate is obviously awesome and the standard of living very good for the middle classes. I'm not ruling out going back for a few years if my partner gets a suitable job offer, but as you allude to dogs complicate the issue.

Paul B

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#7 Re: Brisbane
September 27, 2023, 03:26:53 pm
Queensland is objectively more dangerous than other areas of Aus in terms of crocs, snakes, sharks and jellyfish if thats relevant. I also recall that beach scene isn't as good as you'd think around Brisbane due to the box jellyfish which renders a lot of beaches dangerous for a good chunk of the year.

Currently I seem to spend my time riding bikes which I believe has the main problem of being swooped by magpies (that aren't actually magpies).


Paul B

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#9 Re: Brisbane
September 27, 2023, 03:38:26 pm

SA Chris

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#10 Re: Brisbane
September 27, 2023, 03:47:34 pm
nai has just relocated there, tap him for knowledge.

If the Urban Climb in Townsville is anything to go by, they are great climbing gyms, good aircon too which is needed!

A surfing mate now lives in Brissy working for some SAP consultancy and likes it,  seems to spend a lot of time on his road bike, so might be a good source of knowledge of the scene. I can put you in touch. His wife teaches English at some private school, might even have taught chriss's nephews / neices.

Can confirm stingers stories, swimming in sea outside of nets is a no go for a lot of the year. And it is very hot for a lot of the year, I mean really hot, and humid.

duncan

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#11 Re: Brisbane
September 27, 2023, 06:14:53 pm
Iíve spent a lot, some, and a little time in Australia 40, 30, and 20 years ago respectively and came close to emigrating at 40 and 30. Iíve visited Brisbane with a view to studying there, for a conference, and to and from N Queensland: multiple short stays.

I liked Melbourne and Sydney eastern suburbs a lot and could easily live in either. Adelaide seemed very pleasant. I loved the Blue Mountains and could still be there if my girlfriend of the time hadnít been set on moving to the red centre (she now, of course, lives in Katoomba!). Australian landscape is spectacular but harsh, as well as family and friends I most missed green rolling hills. I'm also pretty snobby in my music tastes and Australia couldn't give me what I wanted in that respect. 


And it is very hot for a lot of the year, I mean really hot, and humid.

This is my abiding memory of Brisbane. I found it hard to cope with.


In terms of Aus more generally itís an amazing place but after I'd spent a year there the relentless racism had become too much for me to bear. Queensland does not have a good rep in this regard. However, the climate is obviously awesome and the standard of living very good for the middle classes.

Plus one to all these points. I was hoping the overt racism might have improved. Like the UK, middle class living standards depend quite a bit on when you bought a house.

In your shoes I'd be very tempted to go for a couple of years and see how you feel about the place. At worst its a great base for visiting tropical Queensland which is spectacular: see the rain forests and Great Barrier Reef whilst they still exist.


chriss

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#12 Re: Brisbane
September 27, 2023, 09:40:30 pm
Please bare in mind my experience of Brizzie/ Aus is from 13 years ago. I also live in the South East (Southend-on Sea) & worked in London for a loooong time, Lastly I'm pretty liberal / left leaning.... Anyway.

For me Brisbane was just a bit stale and lacking culture. There was also only one rubbish climbing gym at that point too (that I found). The Gold cost/ Surfers paradise areas were fun as I can surf a little, but the land of the Bogan (chav) this from a Southend Lad. Obviously there were some nice parts like the Southbank, Stradbrook Island odd museum etc. Where as Melbourne was like being at home/ London-  culture, beautiful architecture, music, food, art, good vibes etc. I was also incredibly lucky to spend a lot of time in the Grampians with no restrictions.

As mentioned it was taken aback by fairly open racism, misogyny & was a bit backwards. We lived in Syd in a pretty diverse area & my climbing buddy asked why I lived with 'all these f-ing foreigners' I said I'm one of them I just look like you. It was also election time so the media was like the current Tory rhetoric trying to convince everyone their lives are shit because of immigration.

I don't want to sound all doom n gloom I'm sure they are more with it these days. I found the wages pretty good, my then girlfriend had a good job earning about 60k PA. The weather is also fantastic & 99% of the people we met were ace. Regarding work life balance my sister-in-law is a midwife, so does shift & earns well. My brother re trained from a thatcher to a chippy, his boss tries to load him up, but he pushes back so he's alright. They left a 2 bed semi in Cambridge worked their nuts off & now own a dethatched bungalow with a double garage, pool, games room etc so a good life can be had.

Lastly the wildlife. It's ace, they call bodyboarders shark biscuits, bull sharks can also swim in fresh water, so your not safe there. On the plus side sharks don't want to eat you, but croc's sure do, but don't come down to Brizzie. I got bitten by a bastard spider, so watch out.









« Last Edit: September 27, 2023, 09:47:44 pm by chriss »

SA Chris

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#13 Re: Brisbane
September 28, 2023, 08:22:54 am
I found earnings hard to quantify in conversations with friends and family there. On paper salaries are good, and housing appears better value, but detached bungalow on a fairly large plot is standard, and pools are pretty common. Taxation seems to be pretty high in QLD, and from what I could see, groceries etc are a lot more expensive. And it seems to a lot more expensive to fly anywhere from Oz (including back to the UK) relative to the UK. Swings and roundabouts.

Paul B

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#14 Re: Brisbane
September 28, 2023, 04:17:16 pm
I found earnings hard to quantify in conversations with friends and family there. On paper salaries are good, and housing appears better value...

Thing is, when you're comparing that to E Lancashire, as we are, I think anything is going to look like poor value. The roles being offered, specifically for Nat, are something that she needs to be involved with to progress to the next obvious position and due to what that entails, until recently it was impossible to do without working abroad.

I'd be interested if you have a link to your mate's Strava or similar so I could take a look at what's on offer (I have been looking at Komoots Discover function to see for myself).

II loved the Blue Mountains and could still be there if my girlfriend of the time hadnít been set on moving to the red centre (she now, of course, lives in Katoomba!). Australian landscape is spectacular but harsh, as well as family and friends I most missed green rolling hills. I'm also pretty snobby in my music tastes and Australia couldn't give me what I wanted in that respect.

When we visited we met up with friends we'd made in Yosemite in '12/13 who lived locally so we really were spoilt by being pointed at good crags, being taken canyoneering and just generally having a very sociable time. In the city we were staying with my BiL who seems to model himself on Jordan Belfort (he works in tax law). I can remember the food being excellent and sitting (hungover) in some very nice coffee shops on tree-lined streets.

Please bare in mind my experience of Brizzie/ Aus is from 13 years ago.

Noted (and thanks for adding more). We were watching the news in Sydney soon after we arrived (a year or two prior to the start of the pandemic I think) and I can't remember if it was racism or sexism that stood out but it was definitely one or the other.

Paul B

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#15 Re: Brisbane
October 18, 2023, 11:37:33 am
Thanks for all of the helpful input on here (and the lurkers that messaged me through other means). The consultancies are each proposing a sponsored TSS visa for ~2-4 years (they prefer the latter as the cost is spread further obviously) but they're in competition so I don't yet know which has won the work.

The offices are ~South Brisbane and ~Spring Hill if that helps with any further commentary. My original contact seems to have made life hard for himself by moving ~1hr out of the city.

From friends in Australia, I was under the impression climbing gear is quite tricky to get hold of / very expensive. Does anyone happen to know if that's the case with bikes (/ components) too? I'd imagine not.

Paul B

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#16 Re: Brisbane
February 06, 2024, 09:48:04 am
Well, the original bid didn't quite work out how I'd hoped, in that consultant A (my preference as an employer) didn't win. Consultant B did win but they hadn't mentioned they were in a joint venture with the bits I was probably most interested in being delivered by consultant c.

However, out of the blue I got a message from someone at consultant A who presumed I still worked for them (to be fair to him, he had moved to Aus himself) asking how I felt about a short term gig out in Adelaide as someone with exactly my job title happened to have handed in his notice and their client needed someone to plug that gap. This was the 15/1 and since then it's been an absolute roller coaster of it looking to be on/off and originally what was meant to be a 3-month thing suddenly jumped up to 12-months (the day before I flew to La Gomera). We're back on my terms now and following the usual HR headache of onboarding and proving my degree is real etc. it looks as if I should be heading out that way for Mar, Apr and May. I'd be really grateful if anyone has any beta as beyond Duncan's post I don't think Adelaide was mentioned. The consultant and client offices seem (like everything) to be in the CBD.

SA Chris

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#17 Re: Brisbane
February 06, 2024, 09:58:52 am
Obviously climate in Adelaide is much more amenable than Brisbane, Can get a bit wet in winter. my sister in law went to see friends who have moved there recently and she loved it. I think he is a keen cyclist, but mostly MTB.

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#18 Re: Brisbane
February 06, 2024, 11:07:09 am
Great city. I drove across the Nullabor to Adelaide having just finished three months of graft on a gold mine site and I had an absolute whale of a time. This may or may not have had anything to do with being flush with cash and drinking enormous quantities of Coopers...(the red and the green ones are the best)

I can't offer any advice on where to live as I was in a CBD hostel but remember the cultural attractions of Adelaide being brilliant. great museums, galleries, food, and of course the Adelaide Oval, best cricket ground in the world.

 

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