21 September, 2015. 16:45

ERROL PARKER | Editor-at-large | Contact

[dropcap]A[/dropcap]FTER CONTINUING TO languish in his dead-end job that brought him no joy in life, a 24-year-old man from Brisbane has decided to pack up his life and move to London. In a quest to find meaning in life, Brett Gill said he’s ready to take advantage of the widely exploited Youth Mobility Visa scheme, which sees hordes of Australians arrive in the UK each year.

“I’m looking forward to having all of my dreams crushed in London,” said Gill, who’s just quit his job in media sales. “A mate of mine did it a few years ago and he said he loved it. He got his hopes and dreams obliterated in London. Now he mows lawns for the Logan Shire.”

In the last quarter of 2014 there were 8000 more Australian and New Zealand nationals working in the UK than in the same quarter a year earlier – a jump of almost ten per cent.

However, the numbers still have a way to go before they reach the heady levels of the mid-noughties, when you could barely move in London suburbs like Clapham without hearing the lovely Down Under twang. Australia has also seen a huge influx of British workers arrive on our shores. For a brief while last summer, you could barely head down to a Sydney beach without some idiot lobster-skinned Englishman being dragged semi-conscious out of the surf.

Mr Gill says he’s heard rumors that the London rental market is akin to the situation in Sydney – where only those who earn more than a livable wage can afford to exist.

“Yeah, I’ve heard it’s bad. But it can’t be all doom and gloom. I’ve lived in some rough places,” said Gill. “I’ve had to masking tape phone books around my torso before a night out in Logan. The knife crime is out of control.”

Despite hearing only bad things about London from the well-informed minority, Gill is still completely sold on the move. While he admits he doesn’t know a soul in the British capital and agrees that he might have to spend the first few weeks sleeping in a park, the romantic appeal of a big European city has the low-rise boy smitten with adventure.

The Brisbanean is set to leave our shores in mid-October, with his parents and grandparents planning to see him off from the airport. As the boy has only purchased a one-way ticket, his father Graham is looking forward to receiving a phone call in the coming months asking for a ticket home.

“His blood’s too thick for London, he’ll be home before Christmas.”


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