Friday, 26 January 2018

Mark, top bloke, top family

Hello. Those who have been reading this blog for a long time, may recognize this bloke sitting in my office chair. This photo was taken in April 2011, when my office was upstairs in the back bedroom.

I lost my computer whiz when Mark took his family off to Australia for a new life. He talked about it a lot when he came to fix my computer, how he wanted a better life for his kids, more opportunities to find work, and of course the warmer climate had a lot to do with it as well.

He spent hours preparing his application, keeping records of the work he was doing here, updating his qualifications, and attending interviews. Nothing was left to chance, he wanted to get everything covered to give them the best chance of being accepted for emigration. Putting it simply, he was jumping through many hoops, complying with the Australian requirements to start a new life in their country. They left the UK on the 4th of October 2012.

I kept up with his progress through Facebook, they often send pictures back home to friends and family. Within days of arriving on the 5th of October 2012 he had found himself a job in computers which he loves, and he is still employed there today. Not contented with just being an employee, he also wanted to put something back into the community which had accepted him and his family, so he trained and qualified as a voluntary firefighter for the Mornington Fire Brigade.

Moving on forward to the present day, look at him, and Nicci and the girls now. Today they officially became Australian Citizens. A proud moment for the family for sure.

Mark has shown what can be achieved with a lot of planning, a lot of determination, and a lot of self belief. No short cuts, and following the rules of the system to the letter are what got them where they want to be. They applied, filled out all the forms, made sure they met the requirements which were asked for, and satisfied the immigration authorities that they were honest and decent people to be allowed in. And five years later, they are there to stay. Fantastic.

Thanks for popping in, have a good weekend, we'll catch up later.
Toodle pip

40 comments:

  1. Many congratulations to them. May their life continue to be wonderful.
    J x

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  2. When I was training to be a midwife 14 years ago my clinical practice teacher emigrated to Perth. Last year we went to Australia and I looked her up and met her in Perth for lunch. I’d not seen her for 14 years we talked non stop mostly about how fabulous Australia is and what a wonderful life she and her family had and how they had never regretted it. We travelled a great deal did all major cities and I loved it everywhere. I hope I don’t have to ever say goodbye to any of my children but if they wanted to live in Oz they would have my blessing. Also I’ve just discovered that you can now fly direct to Perth from Heathrow in 17 hours I will be going back.

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  3. They look like a lovely family. It's quite a thing to move halfway across the world. I often wonder if there is less depression etc in Australia as their weather is much sunnier than here in the UK.

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    1. Maybe some of our Australian readers will enlighten us.

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    2. I don't think there is any less depression in Australia but there is more opportunities to help yourself.
      eg. Its a nice day lets go for a walk and get those endorphins flowing.

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    3. I'm not an Aussie but it was only within the last 2 weeks that I read they have a high rate of depression. I'm not sure why as I was busy looking for other information and just happened to stumble on that tidbit. Perhaps someone can enlighten us further.

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    4. That is very true, Joyful. Life here is not a bed of roses for all. Cost of living is very high. Work is precarious and for some difficult to find, house prices are out of reach of too many, rents exorbitant, wages stagnant, health care and health insurance costly and rising, and I could go on and on. I think the pressures of life in this country are a big contributor to depressive illness. We like to believe we live in the land of great opportunity and can have it all but in reality its a little more complicated than that, at least for some.

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    5. Thank you for enlightening us. I think the same thing is happening in many places including where I live. It's very beautiful here but sadly people are moving out due to the high cost of living and no affordable, let alone available housing.

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  4. I always like a good story with a happy ending - especially during a snowstorm with no end in sight. Our ancestors came over from Jersey many moons ago, but I suspect it was under a small black cloud. Legend has it they were mercenary pirate-types. Now we're all tame lawyers and book-keepers. Hugs from Barbara (Canada)

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  5. What a lovely story and shows that dreams do come true. Like Wendy I hope I never have to say goodbye to my family it was bad enough when my grandson spent 8 months in New Zealand it was a wonderful experience for him but I was 78 and wondered if I would ever see him again. Hazel c uk

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  6. It is lovely that they have a new life but I do belive if you take education free from this country at least give back for a few years before letting another country have what our tax payers have paid for . I’m assuming he got a free education here - he doesn’t look old enough to pay uni fees.

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    1. Don't make assumptions when you know nothing about him.

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    2. Hi Anonymous, Mark here live from Australia. Thanks for your kink comments on my age. I believe I was around 43 when the photo was taken by Ilona. I hit the ripe age of 50 last June.
      In my days at Uni, yes there were no fees but most of us carried jobs in our vacations. My family had to contribute to my living costs and the local education authority gave us a grant. This was never enough and most student completed their courses with a substantial overdraft.
      So yes I missed the introduction of Tuition Fees by the Labour Government by 9 years!
      Since arriving in Australia, I had my first interview 4 days after arriving (Fri-Tue) and was offered the job after a second interview two days later.
      My children settled straight into school and kinder here and my wife got an office admin role. We live in one of the best areas of Australia for life style but that was only by chance. Our Visas were for the state of Victoria and I was given the name of a local couple who had short term furnished rentals for new immigrants. We moved to our own rental 7 weeks later when our goods arrived from the UK.
      I joined the local fire brigade to give back to the area. I was offered the chance to take my truck license and now I am one of the few lights and sirens drivers of the fire engine. Victoria is one of the most dangerous regions of the world for bush fires in the summer and there is an amazing public spirit to fight these. Not only that I have a second family and they are the other members of the brigade.
      Enough about me and many thanks to Ilona for writing that article after seeing my Citizenship Ceremony Australia.

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    3. Anonymous. What about those who come to our country get free education, health and housing.
      Hazel c uk

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    4. Thank you Mark for responding to the twisted comment from Anon, and filling in parts of your story which I didn't know about. I always knew you were a top bloke.

      I would ordinarily think twice about publishing what is bordering on a troll comment, but as I have recently been accused of only publishing comments which agree with my own point of view, I decided to let this one through. So Anon, go and make your assumptions elsewhere, they are not needed here.

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    5. Aussie here again. Thank you Mark. I’m a Victorian and still remember vividly Black Saturday. My partner’s children and parents were in King Lake at the time, lucky to survive.

      I want to let every body know that as a fire fighter, Mark is not just ‘giving back’. He’s doing much more, and to say that he is saying lives is no understatement.

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    6. I don't believe the comment was 'twisted' as you put it Ilona. No disrespect to you or to Mark and his family but here in Melbourne we are having a massive population explosion as a result of migration (mostly from Asian countries). Its putting huge strains on our infrastructure (roads, schools, transport, housing). It seems that there is 'no room at the inn' a lot of the time and I think people are starting to react to the pressures and thinking how is this? I work all my life and pay taxes (high ones at that) and I struggle to get access to services. So, I think the comment was made in a context and for a reason. I for one am glad to see that Mark and his family have settled in our beautiful state and that they want to contribute to community life here. Many immigrants appear not to get involved in community. So, welcome aboard, Mark!

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    7. Anon accused Mark of getting a free education in the UK, then abandoning his country and taking his skills elsewhere. That was a nasty thing to say when Anon knows nothing about Mark.

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    8. Don't worry....there will be enough Aussie young and newly graduated who are now in the UK working and having their big OE...(Overseas Experience) for a few years.

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    9. Aologies Ilona, I didn't understand the comment. Thank you for explaining.

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  7. I get the impression that people are a lot more health conscious in Australia & there is far less junk food generally x

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    1. Hi Flis, I'm an Aussie born and bred but I don't think Aussies are more health conscious and there is definitely as much junk food here, the same as most other countries, and I have travelled to many.
      Mark, you are doing a good job and I am glad you are now an Australian citizen. Australia is a great country but only as good as the many great people that do the right thing.

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    2. Thanks Rosemary-I imagined that everyone ate gorgeous salads & exotic fruit every day & protected themselves sensibly with high factor sunscreen x

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  8. Wow! Good for them! That’s a big step.

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  9. If one is willing to put in the work they can make things happens. Too many just sit and talk about things but it takes action. WEll done to your friend Mark and his family.

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  10. I admire your friend and his family for planning and immigrating legally. That is a big accomplishment. I would like to visit Australia.

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  11. I’m Australian so thought I’d offer my opinion that we are prone to depression as well. I think a common misconception is that the weather is lovely all the time. We are in the middle of summer right now and many days in a row above 40 degrees really starts to wear you down. I avoid playing outside with my son between 10am and 2pm as that’s the hottest part of the day. I can imagine that your UK winters can seem endless as well! Love your blog Ilona and congrats to Mark, what a beautiful hard working family we are lucky to have them!

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  12. I’m an Aussie, and it’s lovely to see that Mark and his family are now citizens. The timing of this post makes me think the family was naturalised on Australia Day, which is really nice. It’s also really gratifying to see people following the immigration process. I wish them much luck and happiness. And of course, welcome.

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  13. I was going to reply to the comment above, "what our tax payers have paid for" - oh you mean his parents who have probably worked hard and paid into the system then! Well done to Mark and his family who have done something with their lives and not sat back and claimed benefits from, what was the phrase used again.."what our tax payers have paid for" Jo

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  14. Well done and well deserved. After reading Ilona's post one immediately realises what an Ace guy you are. Message one feels is being conveyed is anyone decent & hardworking with a bit luck and perseverance can achieve there dreams!

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  15. It's always uplifting to hear a success story, and congratulations to Mark and his family on becoming Australian citizens and contributing so much to our wonderful country. I love visiting England but Tropical Queensland is a beautiful place to live. Pauline

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  16. Many congrats to Mark and his family. Natalie

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  17. I'm in the US and immigration, both legal and illegal, is a touchy subject. There is so much disagreement the federal government has officially closed for four days. Not sure what the outcome will be or just where our country is headed. If I were a few years younger than 73, I might seriously consider a change myself.
    Congrats to Mark and his family for doing the hard work and "jumping through the hoops" to better themselves the legal way. I really enjoy this blog and read it everyday.

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  18. Just now my Aussie lodger Brenna has to go back to Australia on 19th April. Her 2 year work visa will run out then. She was in tears when i said only a few months and you will be home in the sunshine!. She hates the sun says you can,t do anything and she loves the weather here! In Scotland!. Has a job she loves here with a tour company and lots of friends she says she does not have at home!. Ye gods so sad that productive nice people just can,t stay if they wan,t to.

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  19. All four of my grandparents emigrated to the US before WW1. My dad was actually born in Canada where his parents went first before coming here. When he signed up for the US Navy in WW2, he renounced his Canadian Citizenship and received US Citizenship. In the last year, I have wondered if he hadn't done that would I have been able to claim dual citizenship?
    All the best to Mark and his Family!
    Joan from Michigan

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  20. Congratulations to Mark and his family. It is a great honor to be made an Australian Citizen. My husband, two sons, our cat and I emigrated from the south of England to Perth, Western Australia 38 years ago and settled very happily. Australians are very open, friendly people and have a great attitude to life generally. Everyone is always welcome to any event, the more the merrier is their silent motto.
    Of course people in Australia do suffer from depression but I think that the relaxed lifestyle and great weather do help to keep good health, both mentally and physically. It is easy to smile when you know the sun WILL shine tomorrow, the next day and the next ........
    Mark has chosen a particularly beautiful part of the country to settle. Good luck to him and his family.

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  21. Another Aussie here. My husband's family came here from Scotland when he was 9, about 63 years ago. Australia is a wonderful country to live in. We live in the capital city Canberra. It is gorgeous and just like a big country town. Pleased to have you here Mark. You sound like a great person.

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  22. Congrats to Mark and his family - how lovely to become a citizen on Australia Day. Mark, thanks to you for your community service work as a firefighter - fires are a real danger here in summer and our local volunteer fire brigades do amazing & dangerous work. welcome!

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