1.Where do you live in Australia and in what role?
I worked as a physiotherapist in Melbourne for almost 3 years in an aged care/community position. I lived in Windsor, Melbourne which is a great suburb to live in!
Working in aged/care community offered me a very relaxed lifestyle (it was a lot slower paced to my NHS MSK work), which suited me perfectly for this part of my life!
2.Where did Healthcare Abroad start and where are you based now?
I created Physio Abroad when I was living and working as a physio in Melbourne, this was initially to help/inspire other UK/Irish physios make the move and why you currently see more physios who have made the move with us (keep an eye out as OT/SLT’s will be catching up soon!).
Fast forward a few years and we are now Healthcare Abroad – I am currently spending time between the UK, Australia and New Zealand.
I’ve just arrived in Christchurch NZ and will be sharing my experiences of living in this city in a few months!
3.Who would you recommend Melbourne to?
Melbourne is a home from home, it’s very easy to settle in and there are a lot of other expats living there.
Melbourne has great bars/nightlife/events so it would suit those that enjoy this!
The best suburbs I would say are Windsor/Prahran/South Yarra/Fitrzoy/Richmond/St Kilda/Elwood
4.What is the main difference that you find with the healthcare system in Australia?
The main difference I find is that the healthcare for allied health services is not fully funded and it comes from different government schemes:
- E.g. NDIS (National Disability Insurance Scheme) – for those with a disability.
- ACFI – for those in aged care/care homes
- DVA – ex-army
- Medicare – subsidised allied health for everyone but you have to meet certain criteria, you can only have a certain number of allied health sessions and often there is a excess fee
- Private patients
It is also a lot more privatised so it can take time to get used to the business side if you have only worked in a public system before.
There are lots of opportunities for allied health professionals and I find you can progress in your career a lot quicker (if you want to!) – especially if you work in a regional area.
5.What is your favourite part of Australia?
I love beaches/surf towns and warm weather so I have really enjoyed trips to the East Coast of Australia – Byron Bay, Noosa, Gold Coast/Burleigh Heads.
Brisbane would be a great place to live if you want to have a city base and be able to visit these places on the weekends.
My favourite trip I have ever done in Australia (maybe my life) was on Fraser Island where you drive jeeps on the island for 3 days and camp. The stars are unbelievable, you have no phone service and they take you to see amazing beaches/lakes/rainforests.
6.What did you love about working in Australia/living abroad?
There are a couple of key things I loved about working in Australia:
- Making every weekend count and going on amazing weekend trips. Domestic travel within Australia is also really easy so you can visit different states for long weekends.
- Quality of Life –
- The weather – especially in places like WA and QLD where it is warm all year round
- Salaries – the salaries are higher in Australia (particularly for OT’s right now) and everyone (not just healthcare professionals) seems to be a lot more disposable income than in the UK
- Standard of living is great – there are so many great places to eat/drink, everything is very well maintained
7. What are your main recommendations when moving to a new city?
- Buy a car as soon as you can – it makes your time so much better if you can go on weekend trips whenever you like without worrying about rental fees every time you want to go away!
- Get stuck in as quickly as possible to sociable activities – sports teams, f45/gym classes, running clubs e.g. sunrise social, find groups of Facebook (we also have new Healthcare Abroad Facebook Groups that you can join in certain locations)
- Facebook Marketplace is amazing for buying everything from furniture to cars!
- Don’t panic if everything is not perfect at the start, it takes a few months to settle into a new healthcare system/job and make good friends. I’ve moved around a lot over the past 6 years and am still moving – sometimes it all happens straight away and other times it can take a bit longer but it will happen if you put yourself out there 🙂
- Say YES to everything!!