'We love being outdoors and feel it's a better life'
ONE month into the move of a lifetime, and the Gernon family from Dublin have no regrets.
Richard Gernon (27) and his wife Suzanne (30) both worked in the banking sector but decided that moving to Brisbane in Queensland, Australia would be better for raising their young son Joshua.
"We'd been there a couple of times before and we fell in love with it. We loved the outdoor lifestyle and felt it would be a better life for our family," said Richard.
While the couple had been planning to emigrate for three years -- well before the Irish economic downturn -- they admitted it was nice to know they could "leave that behind". Richard has already found work just a few weeks after arriving.
"I feel that if you are the type of person who is willing to give it 100pc and put a big effort in over here you can do well.
"I approached the company I work for now directly. I called into the local branch and asked to speak to the branch manager. I took my CV with me and basically just had an informal chat. This worked for me as it showed initiative which I think a lot of the companies over here are looking for," he said.
While the Gernons may be a long way from home, they still have family nearby as Suzanne's sister and her husband have lived in Brisbane for five years.
And unlike the hordes of backpackers who head for Australia, this move is permanent. "We miss our family and friends so much and that is the hardest part of making a move like this. But we are only a phone call away and think about them all the time," said Richard.
He warned that emigrating was not for everyone and those considering a move abroad should be sure it was what they wanted. "This is a wonderful country with great opportunities for anybody who is willing to work hard. But you can play just as hard here as well," he added.
He said he and Suzanne hoped to see more of their Irish friends emigrating to Australia -- "just so long as they bring a few Lyons' teabags with them".