“Melbourne has been very good to us and we’re very happy being here.”
When Karen set off from Glasgow, Scotland to Melbourne with her partner Dave, she told her parents that she wanted to spread her wings but it would only be for two years. Four years later and the couple have no intention of returning to Scotland to live.
“It was really easy to come to Australia, I can’t stress that enough…we thought ‘how on earth are we going to get a bank account, we don’t have an address?’ the statistician said.
“But everyone just made it so simple to get everything we needed sorted and within the first couple of days we had a flat, a bank account, mobile phones - we were good to go,” said.
It was a holiday to Australia in June 2011 that set Karen and Dave down the migration path, after they fell in love with Melbourne.
“I grew up in a small village in Scotland and lived there all my life - my family are there and they always knew I wanted to leave Glasgow and leave Scotland at some point but saying goodbye to them was definitely hard, and remains the hardest thing about being here,” Karen said.
“My parents have been over here a couple of times, they came over for our first Christmas and my Dad said ‘I don’t think you should come home, this is fantastic’.
“I just really loved the city. It was quite a comfortable city to be in and it reminded me of Glasgow, so it wasn’t completely alien to me…get public transport in Glasgow, random people give you banter, it’s the same in Melbourne.”
“I worked for a couple of years at the children’s hospital, I was very lucky, to get a fellowship with Deakin University, with the people I originally met in Glasgow when I was working there,” Karen said.
“I’ve always been a bit of a maths geek, which is good because it makes you quite employable and generally my work during the week is speaking to people who are terrified about statistics and data analysis, which puts me in a good position, because I have a skill they really want and I feel really useful which is really nice.
“We were both very fortunate that we found jobs that we really liked here, and I don’t know where else that might have happened, so Melbourne has been very good to us and we’re very happy being here.”