Orrett Family Wanted Down Under Revisited


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Orrett Family

An updated look at families previously featured on Wanted Down Under. Four years after their trial week in Australia, where do the Orrett family call home?


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Moving your family is always stressful,

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but when it involves taking them to the other side of the world,

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it could push everyone to their limits.

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In 2012, the Orrett family faced a massive decision -

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whether to stay in the UK

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or start a new life in Australia.

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Four years on, we've caught up with them

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to find out where they now call home.

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Gill and Stuart Orrett were desperate to move closer

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to their eldest daughter Christine

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and get to know their first granddaughter,

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who was growing up thousands of miles away.

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How she changes every day is something that can only...

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you know, make you beam inside with happiness and pleasure,

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more than anything else.

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But moving to Australia meant facing some heartbreaking decisions.

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We knew we'd have to make this choice between

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being there for our parents and being here for our kids

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and our grandchildren.

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-Yeah.

-It's a tough one.

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So, four years on, have the family being reunited,

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or do they remain on separate sides of the world?

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It's been a win-win situation.

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I'm still 100% sure we've done the right thing.

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Australia is the most popular destination

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for Brits emigrating abroad.

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They're tempted by the promise of a better life down under.

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But the reality of leaving behind everything and everyone

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can sometimes turn that dream into a nightmare.

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In 2012, the Orrett family set off on a journey

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they hoped would change their lives for ever.

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They'd just one week to decide whether to leave behind

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friends and loved ones

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so they could be closer to their baby granddaughter.

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Today, we're going back to find out the final outcome for the Orretts.

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Back then, the family were living in Chester.

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Stuart worked in catering, while wife Gill was a paramedic.

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Of their four children, the two youngest, Matt, then 14,

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and Lauren, 17, were still living at home.

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They were enjoying life, but at a cost.

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For the past 20 years,

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Stuart had been working incredibly long hours

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to build up his catering business.

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I mean, I might do a 60-, 70-hour week,

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but that feels part-time to me.

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When you've done probably 100 plus hours a week,

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going down to 60 or 70, it's like being let off early.

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You feel guilty coming home!

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Providing for his family had meant missing out

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on seeing some of his children grow up.

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It has taken its toll.

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I feel as though, with the two older children,

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I didn't spend as much time with them as I do with the younger ones,

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because we were developing the businesses when they were young.

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Stuart and Gill have two other daughters -

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Samantha, who's spent a lot of time working on cruise ships,

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was happy to emigrate,

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and eldest daughter Christine was already living in Australia.

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With Christine expecting her first baby,

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the couple were desperate to move down under

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and bring their family together.

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Christine's emigrated out there in January

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and married to a chap who lives in Perth

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and having a baby and it's going to be our first grandchild.

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And we just feel this is a big transition in our lives.

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We don't want to be just visiting them for two or three months

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and have to come back here.

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Moving wasn't going to be easy, though.

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As a qualified paramedic,

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Gill was the only family member eligible for a visa,

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and that meant finding work in Australia.

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You know, I will feel quite disappointed

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if I let them down by not getting a job.

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But the clock was ticking.

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With the age limit for a skilled migration visa set at 50,

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Gill was running out of time.

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-The years just sort of ticked by, didn't they?

-They did.

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And then we suddenly realised,

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"We keep talking about it, we're going to have to do it."

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However, the ideal life in Australia meant facing potential heartache,

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for the Orretts and those they loved.

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Talking about Stuart's parents, they're not going to be able to

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travel over to Australia - we know that,

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they won't make that journey.

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The people I would miss the most are, obviously, my parents.

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That would be the hardest thing of all.

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Everything was resting on their week in Australia.

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Could they find the life they were dreaming of,

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or would it be too difficult to leave family and friends behind?

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Thanks to its warm Mediterranean climate

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and plenty of job opportunities,

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Perth looked like the perfect place for the Orretts to explore.

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And with their daughter Christine and her new family already there,

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Stuart and Gill were desperate to see

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if they could make a go of it in the city as well.

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All the Orretts, including older sister Samantha,

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made the 10,000-mile, 24-hour trip to Perth,

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and their first priority when they landed

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was to meet the new arrival.

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This is what a potential move was all about -

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a chance to bring their family together again.

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So cute!

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It really opens your eyes, you know,

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to see your eldest with a baby of her own and a new family starting.

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We're going to be considering our grandchildren

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as well as our own children.

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It's been tremendous, just watching expressions change

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as her face starts to open up a little bit.

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Everyone was smitten with the new baby,

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but the Orretts had only seven days

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to see if they could make a life there.

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Hopefully we'll be here to spoil her

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and watch her grow up but...

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..only time will tell.

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Beautiful girl, aren't you, yeah?

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The Orretts stayed near Christine, in the Rockingham area of Perth.

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Their accommodation for the week would give them

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a good idea of Australian-style living.

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-Oh, this is nice.

-The decking is nice, isn't it?

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-It's good.

-I like it open-plan.

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The layout went down well.

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How do you turn on the TV?

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You get the remote.

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-You can watch it when you're cleaning all the dishes!

-Ha, no.

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Nice try, Stuart!

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Overall, the reactions were positive.

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-For rented accommodation, yeah, I like it. Do you?

-Yeah, it's OK.

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It's practical for what we need at the moment. It's a good base.

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The area's right for us to have a look,

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and everything seems...simplistic,

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which is ideal for what we need.

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Back in the UK, the Orretts lived in a four-bedroom house in Chester.

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Their budget for a property in Australia

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was between £350,000 and £500,000.

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An Australian home would have to give them

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everything they needed straightaway.

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I think what I'm looking for in an Australian house is,

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I would like a pool.

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-Snooker table.

-I like the open-plan living.

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-Easy to maintain.

-Some outside space to entertain.

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A hot tub, or something.

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-Modern.

-Modern.

-A nice balcony.

-Games room.

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We would very much like to be able to just move in,

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put our furniture there

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and go out and enjoy the Australian lifestyle.

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The family had strong ideas about what they wanted

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from a house in Perth,

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but couldn't be sure their budget would be enough

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to buy them their dream home.

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Australian house prices had risen

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while exchange rates and property prices had dropped in the UK.

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We gave the Orretts a taste of the housing market in Perth.

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We lined up three properties based on their price range

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and what they wanted from their ideal home.

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Only after seeing each one did they find out how much it cost.

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The first house was in the Secret Harbour area,

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an hour from Perth city centre and, in an established neighbourhood,

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there were plenty of facilities nearby for families.

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The four-bedroom house was typically Aussie in style.

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Oh, this is nice, isn't it?

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This must be the lounge.

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I think it's quite dark, though.

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The kitchen is nice.

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Oh, it's got cupboards! It's got walk-in cupboards.

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I love them.

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It was sounding positive,

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but would this be a house worth moving across the world for?

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It hasn't got the wow factor. It's got the sensibility factor.

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But not the wow factor.

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It's got within-our-grasp factor.

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It wasn't a great start for the family's dream,

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but there was one feature that would lift their spirits.

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This is my ideal outdoor space.

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It's lovely. It's not overlooked.

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This would probably be a very good stepping stone property

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to feel our way over here

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and find out our actual needs when we get here.

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Overall, the house wasn't wowing the Orretts,

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but perhaps the price would make it more appealing.

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OK, Sam, would you like to do the honours?

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Wow.

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-That's good.

-That's cheap.

-That's OK.

-Yeah.

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£358,000 was well within their £500,000 budget,

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but Lauren wasn't buying it.

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-You'd be comfortable in this house?

-No, I think it's too boring.

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I think there's no view.

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It's more for, like...old people.

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Lauren had set the bar high,

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but Australian properties weren't really exciting

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the rest of the family either.

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Hopefully the next one would prove more popular.

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Also in Secret Harbour,

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this four-bedroom house was big enough for the Orretts

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and had a style that wasn't typically Aussie on the outside...

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or on the inside.

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Oh, that surprised me.

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-I expected that to be a bit more

-open-plan. Yeah.

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There was just something about the look that wasn't working.

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-It's not a typical Australian home. I feel it's...

-Too English.

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Too British.

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And things went from bad to worse.

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I'm sorry, but this is horrendous.

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It's not what I'd expect to see.

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Maybe the unusual feature in the open-plan living room

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would add some appeal.

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I wouldn't imagine a kitchen, dining room, snooker table.

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then it be rather than a kitchen, dining room, lounge.

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Luckily, there was something not so typically British

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to bring the family round.

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-That's a nice pool.

-Oh, I love this pool.

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-That is awesome.

-This bar area is...

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-It's very usable.

-HE CHUCKLES

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The outside bit, I think it is so cool.

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I like it.

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While the house wasn't to everyone's taste,

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the outdoor space certainly tickled the family's fancy.

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But was it affordable on their £500,000 budget?

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The moment of truth.

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£467,000.

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750,000 Australian dollars.

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No, I think that's overpriced.

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No, that is well overpriced, in my estimation.

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It wasn't their idea of good value,

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but that could mean they were overestimating

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what they could achieve on their budget.

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It would all boil down to the last property.

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Staying in Secret Harbour,

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the third house was closer to the beach

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and surrounded by lots of open spaces.

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With plenty of room for the family,

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perhaps they could see themselves living in this five-bedroom house.

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That's nice, isn't it?

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Oh, that's nice.

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Oh, Matt, you want to see this.

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Oh, wow!

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Now, this is an entrance, isn't it?

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-This is a lot better.

-Oh, it's gorgeous, isn't it?

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Oh, my God...

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It looked like they could imagine living here.

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-Very nice.

-Oh, my God.

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This is fab, isn't it?

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Aw, it's dead good, isn't it?

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Stuart, get me a drink from the kitchen.

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This is stunning.

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-This is my ideal house.

-Look at the kitchen, it's massive.

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And it wasn't just the inside winning Gill over.

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I need this house.

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-Do you, darling?

-Yeah, I need this house.

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-You NEED.

-I do.

-What do you NEED about this house?

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Well, this is moving to Australia, isn't it? Look at it.

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The Orretts seemed to have finally arrived.

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I feel like I'm at home already.

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You've got your long drive, your gates, and your hammock, and...

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Yeah, and the jacuzzi, and the barbecue.

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I think it's gorgeous. I feel really comfortable here.

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This house got a great reaction all round,

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but there was still the small matter of the price.

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Ready? OK, no sharp intake of breath.

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The house cost nearly £600,000.

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That's not bad!

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Do you know what? That is actually less than what I thought it'd be.

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I thought it would be well over a million.

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That's not out of our reach completely.

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-Is it?

-Well...

-Nod, Stuart.

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-Say yes...

-It's just...

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It's certainly one to think about, isn't it?

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What do you think, kids? Like the house?

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Yes. If we moved here, I'd do all the cleaning.

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-What was that, Matthew?

-I'll do some cleaning.

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Nice try, Matthew,

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but affording this house would mean taking out a large mortgage,

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never mind the housework.

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So, what did the Orretts make of Perth houses?

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The first one was within budget

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and somewhere Gill and Stuart could call home - just.

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The second house was far too British in its styling

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and just didn't excite.

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But the third property was everything the Orretts had imagined,

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even if it would mean stretching their finances.

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-UK!

-Australia!

-Australia!

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-UK, Lauren?

-Yeah.

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Why have you said that?

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I think that, out of the three houses that we've seen,

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only one of them is, like, amazing,

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and the two others are like typical English houses.

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And we're moving from England to have a fresh start,

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so what's the point in going to another house

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which is exactly...well, pretty much similar

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to the one that we've got in England?

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So the most expensive house would, obviously, swing your judgment

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at the end of the day?

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-Yeah.

-Just a diva!

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In the UK, Stuart was running a busy catering company

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that he'd built up from scratch over 20 years.

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However, the recession meant the business had been suffering.

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It's been a very hard slog in comparison to what it was

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in, like, the glory years of maybe ten years ago.

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Stuart was hoping to sell his business

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and work for someone else in Australia.

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But it was Gill and her paramedic qualifications

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that held the key to emigrating.

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It's our ticket into Australia, me getting a job,

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so I do feel as if there's a certain responsibility on my shoulders

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at the moment for the family.

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I will feel quite disappointed if I let them down by not getting a job.

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We had arranged for Gill to meet Christian,

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an expat paramedic at the St John Emergency Centre in Perth.

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It looks smaller than what I'm used to working on.

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Absolutely. It's about half the size, I think, of a UK ambulance.

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While Gill got to grips with an Aussie ambulance,

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Stuart was beating Michael Davis, owner of a local catering firm.

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We have a team of staff that work over here, polish everything,

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straight back out onto the shelf, ready to go again.

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I have a couple of women who work for me who would die for this!

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Impressed, Stuart was keen to hear if a job would mean

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escaping the punishing hours he put in back home.

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The reason that we've focused so heavily on corporate catering,

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it's Monday to Friday, it's during the day.

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I'm home every night to have dinner with the kids.

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Regular hours were just what Stuart wanted,

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but what about the salary?

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We'd be looking at an average wage of about 60,000 per year.

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In my eyes, I'd be working part-time for a sensible wage,

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which is something I'd be interested in.

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Across town, Gill was getting down to

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the details of being a paramedic in Australia.

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As the main breadwinner,

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everything depended on her potential salary.

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Christian, could you tell me how much I could be expected to earn

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as a paramedic with three years' experience, in Western Australia?

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Well, a paramedic that has worked between one and three years

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would be on about 80,700 a year.

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Probably approximately double

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to what I'm earning at the moment in the UK.

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It was a great result for Gill.

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All in all, it had been a good day,

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and on meeting up, they were excited to share their news.

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So, what sort of hours would you be doing?

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You wouldn't be doing five o'clock starts

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and working till seven at night still, would you?

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No, it would be part-time - 40 hours a week!

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I just couldn't believe 40 hours a week is achievable,

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even for people who own the company.

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You know, it had to offer something pretty special

0:17:380:17:40

to leave what I've got in the UK.

0:17:400:17:42

But, yeah, the salary here is double what I'm earning in the UK.

0:17:420:17:47

We're on a win-win situation by the sounds of it.

0:17:470:17:50

So, when it came to voting for work, which way did they go?

0:17:510:17:54

-Australia!

-Australia!

0:18:010:18:04

That was a surprise - not!

0:18:040:18:06

Gill and Stuart's work prospects in Australia were looking promising,

0:18:100:18:14

but they still faced the task

0:18:140:18:16

of taking a hard look at their finances.

0:18:160:18:19

To figure out if they'd be better or worse off,

0:18:190:18:21

we'd provided them with a breakdown of their expenses.

0:18:210:18:24

Oh, bacon's cheaper.

0:18:260:18:27

You'll be all right for your bacon butties in the morning.

0:18:270:18:30

I'll be spending £46.80 a week more.

0:18:300:18:33

The cost of a weekly food shop wasn't the best start.

0:18:330:18:37

Next came the bigger costs.

0:18:370:18:39

£1,144.67 increase by living in Australia per month.

0:18:390:18:46

It was a healthy boost in income,

0:18:460:18:48

but basing their figures on the cheapest house they saw,

0:18:480:18:52

would it allow them to take on a bigger mortgage?

0:18:520:18:55

So, it would be £74 a month worse off living in Australia.

0:18:550:18:59

That quite surprises me considering my income has...

0:18:590:19:02

increased an awful lot.

0:19:020:19:05

£74 a month wasn't a huge amount, so on paper, it was looking like

0:19:050:19:10

the Orretts could afford Australia,

0:19:100:19:12

but only if they opted for the house they least liked.

0:19:120:19:15

Was that a sacrifice worth making?

0:19:150:19:18

-Undecided!

-Australia!

0:19:240:19:26

Why have you voted Australia?

0:19:270:19:29

We're not going to be much worse off,

0:19:290:19:31

but we are going to benefit from, obviously, seeing our grandchild,

0:19:310:19:35

the weather.

0:19:350:19:36

The whole lifestyle here will benefit us as a family.

0:19:360:19:39

Seeing their living costs in black and white

0:19:420:19:45

was a shock for Gill,

0:19:450:19:46

but a move down under was always about being together as a family.

0:19:460:19:50

With Stuart working long hours and Gill doing shifts in the UK,

0:19:510:19:55

spending time outdoors was rare, and limited by the British weather.

0:19:550:19:59

The Orretts visited Fremantle Harbour

0:20:010:20:03

to enjoy a spot of fishing.

0:20:030:20:05

It would offer a taste of what Australia could be about for them.

0:20:050:20:09

We're here at the moment, enjoying this wonderful lifestyle,

0:20:090:20:13

and I'm trying to put family and the UK to the back of my mind.

0:20:130:20:17

But Stuart couldn't escape thoughts of leaving his parents in the UK.

0:20:170:20:21

To take that safety blanket away is going to be a big, big

0:20:210:20:25

you know, wrench for me particularly.

0:20:250:20:28

So, would the Orretts be hooked by

0:20:300:20:32

the lifestyle they could enjoy down under?

0:20:320:20:34

-Australia!

-Undecided!

0:20:430:20:47

Oh, why?

0:20:470:20:48

-Because you didn't catch any fish!

-Sore loser!

0:20:480:20:53

Wahey!

0:20:530:20:56

Voting against the girls because he caught less fish?

0:20:560:20:59

That's what I call unsporting.

0:20:590:21:01

Emigrating would mean the Orretts saying goodbye

0:21:050:21:08

to loved ones in the UK.

0:21:080:21:10

The family had decided to watch messages

0:21:100:21:12

from friends and family together.

0:21:120:21:14

Would it make them rethink their move?

0:21:140:21:16

'Hi, Stuart, hi, Gill, hi, kids.'

0:21:160:21:18

Hope you're having a great time there.

0:21:180:21:21

-Hi, Stu.

-Hello, Stu.

0:21:210:21:22

'Hope you're enjoying yourself.'

0:21:220:21:24

Hello!

0:21:240:21:25

-Yay!

-'We miss you.'

0:21:250:21:27

Gill and Stuart, and the family,

0:21:270:21:29

they're very supportive of each other.

0:21:290:21:31

'And very caring towards each other.'

0:21:310:21:33

They're great fun to be with.

0:21:360:21:38

'They're committed 100% to whatever they're doing.'

0:21:380:21:41

Stuart is like his mother, he's soft.

0:21:410:21:45

That's true.

0:21:450:21:46

'He takes everybody's worries on himself, you know?'

0:21:460:21:50

'He's a good-hearted lad, very good-hearted.'

0:21:500:21:54

She's been my best friend since I was four and stuff,

0:21:540:21:57

and it's going to be a big

0:21:570:21:58

-'part of my life, like...

-Gone.

-Gone, yeah.'

0:21:580:22:01

-'We really felt...

-It wasn't going to be a holiday.

0:22:030:22:05

'..we'd better be prepared

0:22:050:22:07

'because we're going to be told

0:22:070:22:09

'they're going to want to go to Australia.'

0:22:090:22:13

To think they're all going so far away, it's pretty difficult.

0:22:150:22:20

'We'd really miss them, wouldn't we?

0:22:200:22:22

'Yeah, we would.'

0:22:220:22:23

It's only when they're packing and they go,

0:22:230:22:27

we'll sit down and we'll realise, they've gone.

0:22:270:22:30

And that's that initial link gone.

0:22:320:22:35

Come on.

0:22:370:22:39

The reality check of seeing friends and family...

0:22:430:22:47

is...so hard to take on board, really,

0:22:490:22:54

because you do tend to...

0:22:540:22:55

..think that they're always going to be there.

0:22:570:23:00

And as much as they're there, they're a long way away.

0:23:000:23:02

We knew we'd have to make this choice,

0:23:130:23:15

between being there for our parents and being here for our kids

0:23:150:23:18

and our grandchildren.

0:23:180:23:19

-Yeah.

-And it's a tough one.

0:23:200:23:22

A really tough one.

0:23:230:23:25

The week had shown the Orretts

0:23:270:23:28

the heartache of missing family back home

0:23:280:23:31

had to be weighed up against a huge positive.

0:23:310:23:34

Seeing Olivia, just a few days old, how she changes everyday,

0:23:340:23:38

it's something that can only, you know

0:23:380:23:41

make you beam inside with happiness and pleasure,

0:23:410:23:44

more than anything else.

0:23:440:23:46

The thought of not seeing that is very daunting

0:23:460:23:49

and not a thought I'd like to dwell on too much.

0:23:490:23:53

I still do worry, when we do get on that plane,

0:23:540:23:57

if that's the decision we're going to make, what are we leaving behind?

0:23:570:24:00

Will they be able to make this journey out here to see us?

0:24:000:24:03

Particularly Stuart's parents, who don't travel that well these days.

0:24:030:24:09

It hits home exactly how hard it is.

0:24:090:24:11

Being so close to them...

0:24:130:24:14

I don't know.

0:24:170:24:18

It's going to be a very hard decision to make.

0:24:180:24:22

There will always be the daily contact with them, no matter what.

0:24:220:24:25

It's just for the emergency times, it's going to be hard.

0:24:280:24:31

So...

0:24:320:24:33

It was time for the final vote.

0:24:350:24:38

Had everyone been convinced to move,

0:24:380:24:40

or would the Orretts remain divided across the globe?

0:24:400:24:43

We've had a fantastic week in Australia,

0:24:460:24:48

and based on our experiences, we've decided to live in...

0:24:480:24:51

-Australia!

-Australia!

0:25:060:25:08

You're undecided, Lauren?

0:25:100:25:12

Have you decided Australia?

0:25:120:25:14

-Why did you say that?

-Because I don't know. Still unsure.

0:25:140:25:18

I knew you'd be like that.

0:25:180:25:19

Like, now being here,

0:25:190:25:20

and now, like, seeing back all my friends and everything,

0:25:200:25:24

-I'm just unsure.

-That's all right.

0:25:240:25:26

How about you, Gill?

0:25:260:25:28

We've just got to give it a go, for the kids, for our grandchildren.

0:25:280:25:32

If we don't try it, we'll never know, will we?

0:25:320:25:35

I think Lauren could probably be convinced about the move.

0:25:350:25:38

I think it's just seeing your friends has reminded you about

0:25:380:25:41

what you have got in the UK.

0:25:410:25:43

-It does make you a bit sad, doesn't it?

-Yeah.

0:25:430:25:46

I'll just have to bring them all along, put them in a suitcase.

0:25:470:25:51

I think the decisions have obviously spoke volumes

0:25:510:25:54

for the family's thoughts overall,

0:25:540:25:57

weighing up all the pros and cons of what we have to do,

0:25:570:26:00

and...I think we've got to make the decision,

0:26:000:26:04

which we have done, and go for it!

0:26:040:26:07

-Yay!

-Yay!

0:26:080:26:10

When we caught up with the family in 2013,

0:26:140:26:17

they were still living in...

0:26:170:26:19

the UK.

0:26:190:26:21

But their week down under had convinced Stuart and Gill

0:26:210:26:23

Australia was where they wanted to be.

0:26:230:26:26

It felt as if you were home, really, the minute you arrived there.

0:26:260:26:29

Being introduced to the couple's first granddaughter, Olivia,

0:26:290:26:32

was an experience they'd never forget.

0:26:320:26:35

Meeting our granddaughter for the first time was absolutely perfect.

0:26:350:26:39

To have that time with her when she was just born

0:26:390:26:42

and seeing her just born, it was really great.

0:26:420:26:45

When they arrived back home, Gill and Stuart were desperate

0:26:450:26:48

to return to Australia as soon as they could.

0:26:480:26:51

We felt as if we really just wanted to pack and go back again,

0:26:510:26:53

I think, didn't we?

0:26:530:26:54

And it looked like that was going to happen quickly.

0:26:540:26:57

Paramedic Gill had a job interview

0:26:570:26:58

at the end of the family's stay in Perth

0:26:580:27:00

and had received great news on her return to the UK.

0:27:000:27:03

When we arrived home, one of the first things I did

0:27:040:27:08

was check my e-mails, and I was quite excited

0:27:080:27:10

because I'd passed the interview that I'd had while we were out there

0:27:100:27:14

and everything was set in order.

0:27:140:27:15

And they said the next stage will be to start the visa process.

0:27:150:27:18

I was pencilled in to actually start on the 3rd of February.

0:27:180:27:22

Daughter Lauren had proved a sticking point

0:27:220:27:25

after voting undecided in Australia,

0:27:250:27:27

but with her boyfriend recently having moved to America,

0:27:270:27:30

she was slowly coming round.

0:27:300:27:31

I do want to go out to Australia for a couple of months.

0:27:340:27:37

The first few weeks will feel like a holiday,

0:27:370:27:39

and then, like, settle in a bit more,

0:27:390:27:43

see what it would be like as, like, lifestyle out there.

0:27:430:27:46

Everyone was excited about the prospect of returning to Perth,

0:27:460:27:50

but a devastating message from Gill's future employer

0:27:500:27:53

brought everything to a grinding halt.

0:27:530:27:55

Just before Christmas, I received an e-mail,

0:27:580:28:01

a very apologetic e-mail,

0:28:010:28:04

that due to their workforce requirements,

0:28:040:28:06

they were unable to give me a start date,

0:28:060:28:08

but would be in touch in the future.

0:28:080:28:10

We were really flat.

0:28:100:28:13

We'd been looking forward to going for so long.

0:28:130:28:15

And there was more bad news to come.

0:28:150:28:18

My dad passed away at the beginning of the year.

0:28:180:28:21

If Gill's start date hadn't been postponed,

0:28:230:28:26

Stuart would have missed the chance to say goodbye to his dad.

0:28:260:28:29

When we looked at it, we would have been on the plane,

0:28:310:28:33

or had just arrived in Australia, to start our new life

0:28:330:28:37

when his father was in intensive care here.

0:28:370:28:40

So, ironic as it was, in a way, we were glad we were still here.

0:28:400:28:47

They'd come so close, but the loss of Stuart's father

0:28:470:28:50

and Gill's job offer being put on hold

0:28:500:28:52

blew their plans out of the water.

0:28:520:28:55

It felt as if we saw the new life within touching distance

0:28:560:29:00

and then had the rug pulled from under us.

0:29:000:29:03

With the future in mind

0:29:030:29:05

and the thought of missing granddaughter Olivia grow up,

0:29:050:29:08

the Orretts were still determined to make the move, though.

0:29:080:29:10

I mean, she's changing all the time.

0:29:120:29:14

You know, we've noticed, since we've come back from Australia

0:29:140:29:17

and speaking to her on the internet,

0:29:170:29:19

the way she's changed.

0:29:190:29:21

And to miss those early days

0:29:210:29:23

is something that we don't really want to miss.

0:29:230:29:26

But until Gill's offer of work came through,

0:29:280:29:30

the family had no choice but to stay put and play the waiting game.

0:29:300:29:34

We really do feel as if we're teetering on the edge of a cliff,

0:29:340:29:38

and we want to make that leap and we can't at the moment.

0:29:380:29:41

Matthew, like the rest of the family,

0:29:410:29:44

was waiting on that crucial call confirming Gill's job is back on.

0:29:440:29:48

It really is frustrating not knowing when you're going to Australia

0:29:480:29:50

cos I just want to get out there.

0:29:500:29:53

He comes in everyday from school,

0:29:530:29:54

"Have you heard, have you heard yet?"

0:29:540:29:56

I just keep saying, "Trust me, you'll know when I've heard,

0:29:560:29:59

"I'll be the one walking around with Billabong on my hat."

0:29:590:30:02

It was taking longer than they'd hoped,

0:30:020:30:04

but the Orretts were ready and willing to up sticks and move

0:30:040:30:08

to the other side of the world.

0:30:080:30:10

Should we get the call, we'll have a last-minute party and off we go.

0:30:100:30:15

Secretly, we'd like to be out there in the next three or four months,

0:30:150:30:18

but because we've had this disappointment,

0:30:180:30:21

we're not getting our hopes up.

0:30:210:30:23

But we're ready to go whenever they want us.

0:30:230:30:26

And they were confident the long wait would be worth it.

0:30:260:30:30

It's very exciting, to go out there and...

0:30:300:30:33

..hopefully live the life in the sunshine

0:30:350:30:37

and enjoy it to the full.

0:30:370:30:39

I think we'll be doing an awful lot of baby-sitting.

0:30:390:30:41

Will you?

0:30:410:30:42

Having survived heartbreak and disappointment,

0:30:470:30:51

Stuart and Gill were looking forward to finally getting the green light

0:30:510:30:55

to start their new life in Australia.

0:30:550:30:57

So, three years on, where are they now?

0:30:570:31:00

It's April 2016, and the Orretts are living in...

0:31:020:31:05

-..Western Australia!

-Yay!

-Yay!

0:31:070:31:11

Having finally made the move just under a year ago.

0:31:110:31:14

Home is a ground-floor apartment in the port city of Fremantle,

0:31:150:31:19

just 25 minutes south of Perth.

0:31:190:31:22

Getting here, however, hasn't been easy.

0:31:220:31:25

Australia tried to keep us out, but didn't achieve it.

0:31:250:31:27

You know...we have had lots of knockbacks.

0:31:270:31:30

But we've stuck together as a family, as the Orretts do.

0:31:300:31:34

The biggest hurdle was more bad news about Gill's offer.

0:31:350:31:39

I've been e-mailing them every month to find out what was going on

0:31:390:31:43

and wasn't really getting any straight answers.

0:31:430:31:45

And then I was told, eventually, that it didn't look likely

0:31:450:31:48

it was going to happen for about 18 months to two years.

0:31:480:31:51

The couple knew they couldn't wait.

0:31:510:31:54

But giving up on the dream wasn't an option.

0:31:540:31:56

We were 100% sure that we wanted to be here,

0:31:560:31:59

this is where we wanted to be.

0:31:590:32:01

And it was just a case of, right, how are we going to get there?

0:32:010:32:03

It was the focus we'd had, and obviously,

0:32:030:32:06

there's more ways of skinning a cat at the end of the day.

0:32:060:32:10

The turning point came when Gill discovered she was eligible

0:32:100:32:13

to become a nursing student in Australia.

0:32:130:32:16

I started the ball rolling from home,

0:32:160:32:18

filling the application forms in online

0:32:180:32:21

and being interviewed on the telephone.

0:32:210:32:25

Gill received an offer from Perth's University of Notre Dame

0:32:250:32:28

in April 2015,

0:32:280:32:30

and from that moment, it was all systems go.

0:32:300:32:33

Put this on to do your pulse.

0:32:340:32:36

Everything happened quite quickly.

0:32:370:32:39

Accepted for July, visa and everything was sorted.

0:32:390:32:41

The house went on the market, we got an offer on the house...

0:32:410:32:43

Just everything seemed to happen in...

0:32:430:32:46

-Weeks.

-Within weeks, didn't it?

-Yeah.

0:32:470:32:50

The couple decided Gill would go ahead

0:32:500:32:52

while Stuart and Matthew stayed in the UK to tie up loose ends.

0:32:520:32:56

You said as well, "No, you just go. I'll sort the house out."

0:32:560:33:00

And... Which was the scariest thought.

0:33:000:33:03

The drinking champagne as a family on the plane

0:33:060:33:08

coming over here celebrating what will be a new life

0:33:080:33:11

and that sort of thing was definitely shelved for a bit.

0:33:110:33:14

You make all these plans and, you know,

0:33:140:33:17

you have all these grand ideas, but it never happens like that.

0:33:170:33:21

That's life. Well, that's our life, isn't it?

0:33:210:33:23

It is, yeah.

0:33:230:33:24

Gill set of just weeks later,

0:33:240:33:27

but panic set in when she touched back down in Australia.

0:33:270:33:30

When I opened my phone at the airport,

0:33:300:33:32

I'd had a message from the university -

0:33:320:33:34

"If you don't enrol by 5 o'clock tomorrow, you're not on the course."

0:33:340:33:37

So that was a bit scary!

0:33:370:33:39

But I had e-mailed them prior to say that I was going to be arriving

0:33:390:33:43

very close to the uni start date.

0:33:430:33:46

Fortunately, she signed up the following day.

0:33:460:33:48

Staying with family,

0:33:480:33:50

Gill then spent the next few months adjusting to student life.

0:33:500:33:53

It was a big change for me, coming here

0:33:530:33:54

and getting my head in the books again.

0:33:540:33:56

Although it's great cos I'm just expanding my clinical knowledge

0:33:560:34:00

into another area, and it's quite exciting to go...

0:34:000:34:03

There's so many different areas you can go into in nursing.

0:34:030:34:07

By October, the house in the UK was sold,

0:34:070:34:09

and Stuart and Matthew could finally look forward

0:34:090:34:12

to starting their new life, too.

0:34:120:34:14

The money eventually hit our bank

0:34:160:34:18

the night before we were due to fly out,

0:34:180:34:20

which was just such a relief, more than anything else.

0:34:200:34:25

It was now... It's done now.

0:34:250:34:27

Let's get on this plane, let's enjoy the flight,

0:34:270:34:30

and let's just go.

0:34:300:34:31

But the journey back down under wasn't straightforward.

0:34:310:34:35

We ended up having a 40-odd-hour flight to get here,

0:34:350:34:39

which was, to say a bit of nightmare, was an understatement.

0:34:390:34:42

But, once you're here, you're here, and there's no going back.

0:34:420:34:46

Five weeks after their reunion,

0:34:460:34:48

Stuart, Gill and Matthew moved into their apartment in Fremantle,

0:34:480:34:52

minus their belongings from the UK.

0:34:520:34:54

It's just, like, nice for just finally to just be the three of us.

0:34:560:35:01

-Yeah.

-And it's our home.

0:35:010:35:03

-Sleeping on the floor.

-Sleeping on the floor.

0:35:030:35:05

But then, when the container arrived the following week,

0:35:050:35:08

it was just great.

0:35:080:35:10

It was like Christmas again.

0:35:100:35:11

Gill had picked the property before the boys arrived,

0:35:110:35:14

but Stuart was more than happy with her choice.

0:35:140:35:17

When I first viewed this apartment, I mean, this just blew me away.

0:35:190:35:23

To have an apartment with so much outdoor space.

0:35:230:35:26

A lot of the houses I was looking at didn't have this outdoor space.

0:35:260:35:30

And this sort of made me decide,

0:35:300:35:32

"Yeah, this is the sort of place that we could be."

0:35:320:35:35

It's certainly a fabulous outdoor space,

0:35:350:35:38

and the aspect overlooking the water is just...it's phenomenal.

0:35:380:35:42

It's so relaxing, very tranquil,

0:35:420:35:44

and it just adds to the whole environment.

0:35:440:35:47

Just watching the weather change of an evening,

0:35:470:35:51

watching everything go by,

0:35:510:35:52

You've just got everything here that you want, just to sit.

0:35:520:35:56

we have a lovely conversation, and the world goes by us.

0:35:560:35:59

And the one thing I like about out here -

0:35:590:36:01

if you spill the beer, you just hose it down.

0:36:010:36:04

How many beers do you have to spill?

0:36:040:36:06

Oh, heaven forbid! I'm never going to spill one.

0:36:060:36:09

Stuart and Gill's original plan was to convince

0:36:110:36:13

daughters Lauren and Samantha to follow them to Australia.

0:36:130:36:17

As it turned out, Lauren was first to make the move in 2014.

0:36:170:36:21

So, I came back from America, and two weeks later,

0:36:210:36:24

I packed my bags and went over to Australia, and I haven't been back.

0:36:240:36:27

it was a couple of months after her 18th,

0:36:270:36:29

she decided it was definitely the place for her,

0:36:290:36:31

she wasn't waiting for anybody else, and she just upped and went.

0:36:310:36:34

The two years since have seen massive changes in Lauren's life.

0:36:340:36:38

I met my partner over here, managed to build a house,

0:36:390:36:43

managed to get a job.

0:36:430:36:45

You know, I work six days a week, and on the Sundays,

0:36:450:36:49

you're allowed to go to the beach and appreciate the weather.

0:36:490:36:53

And done with sailing the world,

0:36:530:36:55

sister Samantha had decided to follow in her footsteps.

0:36:550:36:58

I'd finished on cruise ships, but I still wasn't settling at home.

0:36:580:37:02

Both of my sisters were out here at the time,

0:37:020:37:04

and I just thought I'd come out here and give it a go.

0:37:040:37:07

Stuart and Gill's original plans had been well and truly cast aside.

0:37:080:37:13

It was initially our dream to bring them here,

0:37:130:37:15

-and they're all here and we're not!

-They went without us!

0:37:150:37:18

Yeah, we're being left out a little bit here.

0:37:180:37:21

which was a bit strange, but we knew we'd get here at some point.

0:37:210:37:26

I won't invite you next time...

0:37:260:37:30

And now here, they're able to spend time as a family again.

0:37:300:37:33

Obviously the main reason coming out here

0:37:350:37:37

is to be with the children and the grandchildren.

0:37:370:37:39

Although at times, Stuart and I think, "What have we done?"

0:37:390:37:42

because it's so flipping noisy in here.

0:37:420:37:43

We had 13 for Christmas dinner.

0:37:430:37:46

They always seem to need feeding when they turn up.

0:37:460:37:48

Somehow or other, these kids don't seem to eat in their own homes.

0:37:480:37:52

Do you want a burger to go on your bun?

0:37:520:37:54

But it's great.

0:37:540:37:55

All joking apart, that's why we're here, that's family life.

0:37:550:37:59

Matthew is enjoying spending time with his sisters.

0:37:590:38:02

It's so much better just seeing them face-to-face,

0:38:020:38:05

having a laugh with them, or doing whatever.

0:38:050:38:07

-SAMANTHA:

-It is like dream come true

0:38:070:38:09

cos it's been a long road to get here.

0:38:090:38:12

We've all come out in dribs and drabs and now we're finally here,

0:38:120:38:16

it's like the icing on the cake.

0:38:160:38:18

Gill and Stuart meanwhile are enjoying getting to know

0:38:180:38:21

their new granddaughter Elsie

0:38:210:38:23

and hanging out with Olivia, who is now four.

0:38:230:38:26

It's lovely the way she runs up, "Hello, Nanny!"

0:38:260:38:28

It's nice, it's better than just seeing her on a television screen.

0:38:280:38:32

It's great to be able to go and pick her up after school.

0:38:320:38:34

When we get in, just spend an hour or two together, take her home.

0:38:340:38:37

We're going down!

0:38:370:38:39

It's such a pleasant time.

0:38:400:38:43

Gill's parents flew out for some time with them all recently, too.

0:38:430:38:47

Yeah, it was great, and they genuinely did have a great time.

0:38:470:38:50

I've spoken to them since they've been home

0:38:500:38:52

and they're already planning another trip out here.

0:38:520:38:55

And Stuart's still in regular contact with his mum back in the UK.

0:38:550:38:59

I still speak to her everyday, which is wonderful.

0:39:000:39:02

-We bought her an iPad.

-We bought her an iPad.

0:39:020:39:05

And, yeah, she's got really used to using that.

0:39:050:39:08

Mum is very non-techno,

0:39:080:39:11

but she can now do her shopping online, which is wonderful.

0:39:110:39:13

Great to see her on a daily basis.

0:39:150:39:17

-Can you see Grandad?

-I can see Dad!

0:39:180:39:21

It's been an enjoyable few months, and having come this far,

0:39:210:39:24

Gill's determined to make sure her decision to retrain pays off.

0:39:240:39:28

Failing's not an option.

0:39:290:39:31

We've committed too much to this.

0:39:310:39:33

I mean, the ambulance service, that was completely out of my hands,

0:39:330:39:36

applying for that job and not getting it at the end of the day.

0:39:360:39:39

This is all in my hands.

0:39:390:39:41

If I don't pass, come up to the grade,

0:39:410:39:44

well, I fail, so that's just not going to happen.

0:39:440:39:47

Meanwhile, she has a few casual part-time jobs on the go.

0:39:470:39:50

I'm now teaching medical terminology to medical receptionists.

0:39:520:39:57

I'm still doing a little bit of paramedic work as well.

0:39:570:39:59

I'm on the books of an events company,

0:39:590:40:01

so a combination of being able to go and watch

0:40:010:40:04

some really fabulous events for nothing

0:40:040:40:07

but doing my paramedic work as well.

0:40:070:40:09

Although no longer his own boss,

0:40:090:40:12

Stuart has recently returned to the catering industry.

0:40:120:40:15

Since being in this industry again,

0:40:150:40:17

I've realised that I have missed the industry a great deal

0:40:170:40:20

and enjoy the hustle and bustle of what it provides.

0:40:200:40:23

The salary has also proved palatable.

0:40:250:40:28

For doing less hours,

0:40:290:40:30

you're actually far better off financially than what you are,

0:40:300:40:34

so it's been a big plus from our point of view,

0:40:340:40:37

with coming over here.

0:40:370:40:38

Certainly, financially, we're far better,

0:40:380:40:41

time wise, we're far better.

0:40:410:40:42

A win-win situation.

0:40:420:40:44

Another perk is being able to work with daughter Samantha.

0:40:440:40:48

I'm in charge of the cafe side

0:40:480:40:51

and the daily runnings of the shop,

0:40:510:40:54

and he's in charge of catering.

0:40:540:40:56

All the orders in for that

0:40:560:40:57

and everybody knows they're working off there?

0:40:570:40:59

'And it's been working really well.'

0:40:590:41:02

We haven't fought yet, anyway!

0:41:020:41:04

Out of everyone, the only one Gill and Stuart have any concerns about

0:41:040:41:08

is Matthew.

0:41:080:41:09

When we first started talking about this journey, he was 13.

0:41:090:41:13

He's arrived here at 17. He's neither a child nor an adult.

0:41:130:41:16

Combining a business studies course with a part-time job,

0:41:160:41:20

Matthew admits settling in has been hard.

0:41:200:41:23

It's a bit surreal, really.

0:41:240:41:26

Work and everything like that, pay, wages,

0:41:260:41:28

everything is better here,

0:41:280:41:30

and I feel the lifestyle is a lot better here,

0:41:300:41:32

but...I'm still not sure yet.

0:41:320:41:37

I think over the next six, eight months,

0:41:370:41:39

time will tell on what's right for Matt,

0:41:390:41:40

but I'm sure he'll decide what's right for him

0:41:400:41:43

and make the right decision.

0:41:430:41:44

Assuming Gill can secure a job once qualified,

0:41:470:41:50

the couple will be able to apply for permanent residency.

0:41:500:41:54

So now they're finally here, do they think they've made the right move?

0:41:540:41:58

It's a dream come true from our point of view.

0:41:580:42:01

Everything we wanted here is here for us in abundance.

0:42:010:42:04

It's just a case of us appreciating everything that it's got.

0:42:040:42:07

It's a big, big place, and we've got a lot to see,

0:42:070:42:11

so we've got plenty of time to do it and we'll take our time enjoying it.

0:42:110:42:15

I'm still 100% sure we've done the right thing.

0:42:170:42:20

It's all worth it. The financial cost of it,

0:42:200:42:22

selling everything we had in the UK to be out here,

0:42:220:42:25

you can't put a price on being here with your children

0:42:250:42:28

and your grandchildren.

0:42:280:42:30

We haven't sacrificed anything by moving here.

0:42:370:42:41

We've just gained a big yellow blob in the sky every day

0:42:410:42:45

that seems to make everybody smile.

0:42:450:42:47

Finally reunited with their children and grandchildren

0:42:590:43:03

on the other side of the world,

0:43:030:43:05

Stuart and Gill are living proof

0:43:050:43:07

that where there's a will, there's a way.

0:43:070:43:10

We wish the whole family a very happy future down under.

0:43:100:43:14

In 2012, Stuart and Gill Orrett longed to move their family to Australia to be closer to their eldest daughter Christine and their baby granddaughter. A trial week in Perth showed them a snapshot of how their life would look on the southern hemisphere, and while youngest daughter Lauren wasn't convinced, the rest of the family agreed it was the place for them.

When we caught up with the family in 2013, they were living in limbo in the UK. Convinced their future lay in Australia, paramedic Gill had managed to secure a job down under, but with a start date proving elusive, the family had no idea how long it would be before they were on the move.

Three years later, have the Orretts finally made it to the other side of the world, or did they decide their future lies a lot closer to home?