While backpacking around Australia in her 20s, Alison Yaxley felt a connection with Adelaide. Little did she know she’d later move her family from the UK back to the city that charmed her, and begin a burgeoning career as a university lecturer.
With a young family in-tow, Alison had a number of considerations in choosing where to migrate.
The things that drew us to Adelaide was that it is centrally located in Australia, is a good-sized city, and we already knew some people who lived here.
The weather, the cleanliness of the city of Adelaide and the lifestyle were also definite drawcards for the family.
Migrating in 1997, Alison says the support of friends and family made the difference to their journey. While migration resources and services are more readily available nowadays, she says undertaking the process on their own back then took them four years from initial application. But they wouldn’t take it back for the world.
We have lived in Adelaide for the past 20 years. The children were quite young when we arrived; they are now 24 and 22. We have gone back to the UK to visit but Adelaide and Australia is really our home. We couldn’t imagine living anywhere else.
While education opportunities have proved enormously beneficial for her children, Alison says her own study options as a mature student have been fantastic too.
When my youngest child started school I had more time and decided to go to university to study nutrition and dietetics, an area that combines my two loves of food and science. I completed my undergrad, honours and PhD all at Flinders University.
Alison’s qualifications have led her to a completely new career path, something she could never have even imagined had she remained in the UK. She is now working as a lecturer at Flinders University in the College of Nursing and Health Sciences, which she absolutely loves.
She says life changes such as this are only possible if you make the most of your migration.
Don’t be limited by sticking only with people from your own background or country. You can grow and learn from other people and be part of something bigger. Don’t try to recreate what you had back in your home country, as it is never the same. Embrace what you’ve got and create new traditions.