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
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!!