Victoria’s relaxed and outdoor lifestyle was the main attraction for the Seini family to migrate in 2005.
Ian Seini enjoyed a good IT career and comfortable life with his family in the United Kingdom after migrating from South Africa, but he always felt something was missing.
‘I spent five hours a day commuting to work in the UK,’ Ian said. ‘I wouldn’t say we were unhappy but we missed South Africa’s lifestyle.’
Ian and his wife, Lisa, were keen for their three young children to enjoy a similar childhood. They did their research and found Australia offered good career opportunities with a lifestyle to match South Africa’s.
When Ian logged on to an international IT recruitment website in 2005 he immediately saw a job in Victoria with one of Australia’s biggest retail companies.
‘I did a phone interview, got the job and six weeks later I was in Melbourne,’ he said.
The recruitment agency sponsored Ian’s temporary work visa which allowed the family to stay four years in Australia and apply for permanent residency.
The move was also made affordable because Ian received an allowance from his employer to cover the family’s relocation costs.
The employment agency offered significant support to the family as they settled in. They arranged the family’s new bank accounts and the company’s director even lent his car to Ian so he could inspect rental properties.
The family initially rented a home in the beachside suburb of Hampton just 30 minutes from Melbourne’s city centre while they settled in.
Ian was keen to own horses and enjoy an outdoors lifestyle, so the family has now settled in Cottles Bridge on Melbourne’s northern outskirts.
The small hamlet offers all the benefits of a rural lifestyle with Melbourne’s city centre just a short journey away.
The Seinis have purchased a comfortable house on 18 acres of land and three horses, two dogs, two cats and two lizards have been added to the family.
The village of Hurstbridge is a few minutes drive away and provides all the essential services. Hurstbridge is also connected to Melbourne’s metropolitan rail system and so it takes just an hour to reach the city centre. Major outer suburban centres are well-connected by road and 20 minutes away.
The children have settled well into a nearby school and are enjoying the active outdoor lifestyle that Ian and Lisa wanted for them.
‘I have a busy family life now instead of a busy commuting life,’ Ian said. ‘My son plays football and we spend a lot of our free time with the horses and are involved in the local pony club and show jumping.’
Victoria has a temperate climate with distinct seasons, which means the family enjoy horse rides into the countryside all year round and it’s never too cold for football.
The family feels welcome in the small community and it was easy to make friends.
Ian has been in constant employment since arriving in Victoria.
He has worked with some of Australia’s biggest companies on major projects and recently started a new contract with IBM. While this has meant temporarily travelling to Sydney, this is easy with Melbourne’s major airport just 30 minutes away and the flight to Sydney taking 90 minutes.
‘I’m working for one of the biggest IT companies in the world on a project for one of Australia’s biggest banks,’ he said. ‘The work is challenging and rewarding but the workplace is a little more relaxed than in the UK.’
The Seini family has never looked back.
‘I knew soon after we arrived that we had found the right place,’ he said.
‘We’ve got everything you’d ever want here. It’s safe for the kids, there’s good education and jobs and lots to do together as a family.’
The Seinis are now permanent residents, which qualifies them for Australia’s generous medical and other government benefits. They plan to become Australian citizens soon.
‘The kids already consider themselves Australian and Lisa and I are very happy here,’ Ian said. ‘We’ve found everything we were looking for in Victoria.’