Godfrey Family Wanted Down Under Revisited


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Godfrey Family

Julie's job working away from home had turned life into a nightmare, and her husband Alan couldn't take any more. A life down under beckoned, but did they go?


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In 2012, Julie Godfrey's job working away from home

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had been turning her life into a nightmare.

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He's got the window down, he's screaming, "Mum, Mum, don't go!

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"Come back!" You can see that he's heartbroken and it's just horrible.

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And husband Alan couldn't take any more...

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It was snowing, it was freezing, my wife was in London.

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I was depressed, and I just decided enough is enough.

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..but on the trial week down under,

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it looked like they would struggle to cope with leaving loved ones.

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I'm welling up.

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One year later,

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we found out if the family had made the move...

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We had a lot of really difficult decisions to make

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and a week in which to do it.

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..but the big question is,

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where are the Godfreys now -

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UK or down under?

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With famously laidback way of life and sunny climate,

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Australia is the number one destination for people

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leaving the UK in search of a new life.

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In fact, around 40,000 Brits emigrate there every year.

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However, the grass isn't always greener,

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and nearly a third return to the UK.

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In 2012, the Godfrey family

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experienced a week down under

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that changed the course of their lives.

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Today, we'll find out what's happened since we last met.

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Having made the 11,000-mile trip

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to Perth in Western Australia,

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the two days of travelling had definitely taken its toll.

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The first leg of the flight was fine,

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the second leg of the flight was torture.

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There's no way we could make that on a regular basis.

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-I think you could make that flight maybe once a year, max.

-Pfft!

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-Oh, aye. You could do it once a year.

-Not on your life.

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The long flight had confirmed

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that this is going to be a life-changing week.

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I need to leave here knowing the worst that it has to offer

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as well as the best.

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They'd face plenty of challenges in the next seven days -

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but, then, the Godfreys were desperate to change their lives.

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Alan, Julie and Cole, who was then eight, were living in east Glasgow.

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Alan worked as an electrician

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and three years previously, Julie had qualified in nursing

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and had become a midwife.

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It was a job she'd always dreamt of doing.

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I love it.

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From the first moment when I qualified

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and went in and had my first patient, you know,

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my knees were knocking, I thought, "I can't do this on my own,"

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and then one of the coordinators just closed the door and said,

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"You're a midwife, aren't you?" And I thought, "Yeah, I am."

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However, since qualifying, Julie hadn't been able to find a vacancy

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in Scotland and was having to work nearly 400 miles away in London.

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This was going to be the short-term fix.

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This was going to be six months, a year, maximum,

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get me some experience,

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and then I should be able to get a job at home -

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and it just hasn't worked out that way,

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so this, instead of a short-term fix,

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this is a long-term arrangement.

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Working away for three weeks at a time

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was taking its toll on everyone.

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In the last year, she has been home for just over a third of the year.

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That's quite a long time to be away from your family

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in the space of a year.

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It's definitely a long time for Cole to be away from his mum for a year.

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Julie's long absences from home were having a big impact on Cole.

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I want my mum to be with us all the time

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because...she's always away

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and I want her to have a job near us.

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When it comes to the airport

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and he's got to say goodbye to his mum,

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that's when he really gets really worked up.

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Sometimes he's shouting, you know, and he's got the window down,

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he's screaming, "Mum, Mum, don't go! Come back!"

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You just have to keep walking

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and then you feel heartless for keeping walking.

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You're trying to wave him off

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but you can see that he's heartbroken and it's just horrible.

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It was a painful situation that couldn't go on any longer.

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I was on a job, it was snowing,

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it was freezing, my wife was in London.

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I was depressed, and I just decided enough is enough.

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I want something better for me, my wife and my son.

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I want something better for my family.

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The desperation for a normal life

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had pushed the Godfreys to look towards Australia.

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Knowing there was a demand for their skills,

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Alan and Julie were convinced their family's happiness lay down under.

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It can't be worse than what we are doing right now.

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It has to be better -

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and, you know, all the other things, the nice climate, bigger houses,

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maybe they are just a bonus. That's not what we are going for.

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We are going to try and find some kind of way

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where we can all live together.

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A move could have given them that time together,

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but would come at a very heavy price.

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Cole's the only grandkid that my mum and dad have got,

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and I feel really guilty that there's a very strong possibility

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that I'm going to be taking him away from them.

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I'm basically tearing my family apart

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to make me, Julie and Cole a family again.

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That's really difficult.

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Words can't describe how much I'll miss my parents.

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Even with so much to lose,

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the couple felt they just couldn't carry on as they were.

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If Australia doesn't work out, we are running out of options fast.

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-We're not living, the now - we're surviving.

-Yeah.

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Yeah, we're just existing at the moment,

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and that's not what we want for us

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and we certainly don't want that for Cole.

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We definitely don't want it for Cole.

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The trial week was in Perth.

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With over 50 miles of coastline,

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it was the ideal place for the family life

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the Godfreys were searching for.

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Home for the week was the beach-side suburb of Shoalwater

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in the south of the city.

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Right, Cole, where's your room?

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I think he's found it.

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What bed are you going to have?

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Cole quickly made himself at home

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but Mum and Dad were far from impressed.

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It's a bit smaller than I expected.

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I wouldn't move from Scotland to something like this.

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It's only two bedrooms as well.

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You just think if people were coming to stay with you,

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I would kill someone in here.

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Aye.

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Luckily, one little person was a bit more upbeat...

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I think the house is amazing.

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..but once Cole's in bed, Julie's fears become very apparent.

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It scares me a bit that this might be what people live in.

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And what we can afford?

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If it's what we can afford,

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I wouldn't put our family through all of that for this.

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In the UK, the Godfreys had been living in a two-bedroom semi

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in the Garrowhill area of Glasgow

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and they were keeping their feet firmly on the ground

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when it comes to finding a home in Australia.

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-It's got to have a nice area.

-Yeah.

-Nice school, parks.

-A few shops.

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I mean, I'm not looking to be in a city.

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If it's not within five minutes, ten minutes to the beach,

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we would like a pool.

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Julie and Alan believe they could stretch their budget

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to around £300,000

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so we arranged for them to see a slice of the Perth housing market.

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We showed them three houses based on their budget and needs,

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ranging from the affordable house to the dream home.

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The first house was 20 miles south of central Perth

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in the Wellard area,

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making it ideally placed for Julie and Alan's work.

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A brand-new show home

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was the Godfreys' first taste of the Perth housing market.

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-It looks nice from the outside.

-Yeah, it does.

-Doesn't it?

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-What do you think, Cole?

-Yeah.

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Our first house, Cole.

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It looks nice and modern.

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Cole, you've missed bits.

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I like this.

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It's a big room,

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considering what you would get at home in a new-build.

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Oh, look at this wee room.

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This looks like a wee living room for Cole.

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This place had certainly got house-hunting off to a good start.

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-It's lovely, actually, isn't it?

-It's actually quite deceiving.

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Cos it doesn't look as big from the outside, but it's long.

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-Yeah, that's the thing, isn't it? It goes back.

-Aye.

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What about the outside space?

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The rest of the house was also a hit.

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-This is lovely, actually.

-It is nice. It's really nice.

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Seating area over the back. What do you think, Cole?

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I think we should take this grass away and put a pool there.

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The absence of a pool wasn't the only problem.

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Alan and Julie worried about the new suburb's lack of amenities.

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If this is literally being built out of nothing, where's the school?

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And if it's a new school, has it got any reputation yet?

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-Facilities and stuff. Shops.

-Yeah.

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I wouldn't want to drive 20 mile for a pint of milk.

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The location wasn't ideal -

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but would this house even be affordable with a £300,000 budget?

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It was time to go back inside and find out.

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Ready?

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That was right at the top of their price range.

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I wouldn't pay that to live in somewhere that has nothing yet.

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What do you mean, it has nothing yet?

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I'd pay that if it was more established.

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With so much resting on this move

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the Godfreys wanted to get everything right.

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The second house was in the Secret Harbour area,

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40 miles south of Perth.

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A more established neighbourhood

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with shops, schools and beaches nearby,

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it could have been just what Julie and Alan were after.

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This house was typically Australian

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but was smaller, and an older style than the first.

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So, did it go down well with the Godfreys?

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-The front garden is beautiful.

-Yeah, the front garden is nice.

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It's small but it's a big couch, isn't it?

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-It's older than the last one, anyway.

-Well, that's the thing -

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you've got to remember you just come from a completely new, modern house.

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I don't like this house.

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Alan wanted a modern house,

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but that could mean a less-than-perfect location.

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Perhaps the garden would change his mind.

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Is this it?

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You'll not be able to play football in this garden.

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The front garden is beautiful,

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-but you expect to have grass at the back.

-Aye.

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-Nah, this is a definite no.

-No.

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This house didn't go down well with anyone...

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..but was it within their £300,000 budget,

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and could that have turned things around?

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-Will we have a look?

-Yeah.

-Are you ready for this?

-Yes.

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£260,000 was well within the family's budget.

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-I still wouldn't.

-Aye.

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It's further away from Perth,

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so maybe that's why it's a wee bit cheaper.

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I like the area, and that's where it stops.

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With two houses receiving negative reactions,

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everything rested on the last property in the Waikiki suburb -

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a family-friendly area near the beach

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and close to the main hospital,

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it would have been ideal for Julie's work.

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This is horrible.

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It certainly wasn't a good first impression.

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This is by far the worst.

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No, you would need to pay me to live here.

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It would be depressing.

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I'm devastated if this is it.

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I couldn't live here.

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Will we have a look through there and see if it gets any worse?

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-What do you say?

-This better be going for a song.

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Outside was one feature which could lift everyone's spirits.

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Oh, come on.

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They've got a swimming pool, so they have.

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That's the only redeeming feature.

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So, at least there was one thing they liked.

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Would the price make this property more appealing?

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Turn it over, Cole. Let's go for it.

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It was just over budget, but that wasn't any consolation.

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I'm flabbergasted that this is the most expensive house we have seen.

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That's shocking.

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It was a disappointing end to their day.

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It had started with a house in an area lacking most amenities.

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Things continued to go down with the second property,

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despite being affordable.

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And hopes of finding the dream home crashed in the third house.

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So when it came to voting,

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did the Godfreys choose UK or Australia?

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Based on the three properties we've seen today, our vote goes to...

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-Australia.

-Australia.

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I don't know.

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If I was voting on the first property, it would be Australia...

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..but the second two really disappointed me.

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I voted for Australia because I think the first property

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represents what we are looking for,

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just not in the area that we are looking for -

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but I think, given the space that we still had

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to manoeuvre in the budget,

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that we can get something similar in a better area

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-that we are more comfortable with.

-Aye.

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With a mixed reaction for property down under,

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it was important they found jobs

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that would not only provide a good Australian lifestyle,

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but also keep the family together.

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Three years previously, Julie had qualified as a midwife,

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but she'd been unable to find any suitable vacancies in Scotland.

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She'd been working nearly 400 miles from home, in London,

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and had reached the end of her tether.

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I'm really struggling to find a way to bring it all together.

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It brings it home every time I'm in a room and a baby's born

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and you see that family brought together

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and then you think, "Where's my family?

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"I'm not with my family."

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Julie spent a morning at Rockingham Hospital

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to see if Australia could offer any hope of a normal work/life balance.

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If not, she'd be no better off than at home.

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Maternity manager Karen had all the facts and figures to hand.

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You have a monthly turnaround of about 120 women.

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That gives us a very manageable amount of work.

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Karen wanted to test out Julie's bedside manner,

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so gave her a chance to meet one of the newest mums on the ward.

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-Hello.

-Congratulations.

-Thank you.

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She's beautiful. What did you call her?

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-Gracie.

-Aww!

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-BABY SNEEZES

-Oh, dear!

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While Cole was looked after by a childminder,

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self-employed electrician Alan

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went to find out about his work prospects.

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If we do make the move, me and Julie need to hit the ground running,

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get jobs straight away,

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and the two of us need to start working straight away

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to realise the dream, basically.

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I'm feeling a bit nervous.

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Luckily for Alan, company owner Bruce Marshall wasn't too formal

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when it comes to the interview.

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What's your background, as far as electrical?

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Basically, I've done a bit of everything, to be honest with you.

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I've done industrial, commercial, domestic.

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Despite his nerves, Alan seemed to be off to a good start -

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and he was keen to address his biggest worry -

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getting the necessary licence

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to work as an electrician in Australia.

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I might be in a wee bit of a Catch-22 situation

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where a lot of companies won't employ me on a restricted licence,

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but I need to be working to get my A grade licence.

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-Is that right?

-Yes, you do.

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You need to be sponsored by an electrical contractor,

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and then you will have to do training.

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Is there a big difference in pay between the restricted licence?

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-Absolutely.

-Is there? Is it a big difference, yeah?

-Yeah.

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-What are we talking?

-Your income in WA for a good licensed tradesman

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would be between 60 to 75, working in Perth.

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That was a good result.

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Once qualified, Alan could be earning

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nearly £20,000 more than he did in the UK.

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At the hospital, Julie and Karen were getting down to the details.

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-So, you'd come in with three years of experience?

-Yes.

-Yes.

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You'd come in at 57,565.

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You'd go up to 60,155.

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Generally speaking, as far as operational services go,

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the on-the-ground midwifery staff,

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the top salary for that one would be 80,000.

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Sure.

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That could mean a salary of nearly £50,000 -

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£20,000 more than Julie was earning at home.

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However, the entire move was about something more important than money.

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I'm looking for a change of lifestyle, as such.

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I'm still willing to be completely flexible with my shifts,

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but I'd like to occasionally be able to take my child to school,

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which is something I don't get the chance to do.

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How do you work it, if it was full-time?

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How would the shifts pan out over the week?

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The morning shifts, we start at 6:30, finishing at 3pm.

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So that's an idea that you have the whole afternoon with your children

0:17:420:17:45

and the same thing would be night shift if you're coming on at night.

0:17:450:17:48

The night shift will start at 8:30

0:17:480:17:51

and finish at 6:30 or 7:00 in the morning

0:17:510:17:54

and you'll be able to go off and get everybody ready for school.

0:17:540:17:57

The pay and hours sounded ideal,

0:17:570:18:00

which just left one last crucial question.

0:18:000:18:02

Do you think there's much in the way of opportunities

0:18:020:18:05

if I was to try to arrive in Perth and get a job as a midwife?

0:18:050:18:09

I would say we would all be fighting for you.

0:18:090:18:11

THEY LAUGH

0:18:110:18:13

Visiting time was over for both Julie and Alan.

0:18:150:18:17

It was time to vote for work.

0:18:170:18:19

Based on my chat with Bruce,

0:18:190:18:21

and everything that he had to tell me about work in Perth...

0:18:210:18:25

..I'm going to vote for...

0:18:260:18:28

..Australia.

0:18:300:18:31

That wasn't a surprise - but had Julie been swayed, as well?

0:18:330:18:38

I've managed to get all the information that I thought I had to,

0:18:380:18:41

and based on that, my vote for work goes to...

0:18:410:18:44

..Australia.

0:18:480:18:49

I can work in a nice unit,

0:18:510:18:53

give the care that I want to give, and yet I can also have the shifts

0:18:530:18:58

that support the lifestyle that I'm looking for.

0:18:580:19:01

You know, it sounds like I'll be able to spend much more time

0:19:010:19:04

with my family, which is the reason that we're here.

0:19:040:19:06

During their trial week, Cole turned nine.

0:19:110:19:15

To celebrate, the Godfreys visited Rottnest Island,

0:19:150:19:18

just a short ferry ride from Perth -

0:19:180:19:20

and the birthday boy was in for a special treat.

0:19:200:19:24

-There, you see?

-Look at you!

-Check you out!

-Yeah!

0:19:240:19:27

Now, you're in charge of that, so if we crash, it's your fault!

0:19:270:19:30

HE LAUGHS

0:19:300:19:31

Rottnest Island is renowned for its pristine beaches,

0:19:330:19:36

making it popular with day trippers from Perth and beyond.

0:19:360:19:39

Cole loves the beach.

0:19:410:19:43

He only learned to swim recently,

0:19:430:19:44

he was never really a swimmer, either.

0:19:440:19:46

So, all of a sudden, he's just...

0:19:460:19:49

The beach is his place,

0:19:490:19:51

and it's lovely to think that if we moved here,

0:19:510:19:54

that we could do this regularly.

0:19:540:19:56

For Alan, the day was just what he'd been dreaming of,

0:19:560:19:59

bringing his family back together.

0:19:590:20:02

You just couldn't do it in Scotland -

0:20:020:20:04

you don't get the weather, you don't get the time...

0:20:040:20:07

and, er, as I say, it's just really good to see somebody happy again!

0:20:070:20:12

Never done anything this exciting on his birthday, you know?

0:20:120:20:16

And he's said to me, you know, "Can we do this next year?"

0:20:160:20:19

So, that's enough for me. He's having a great time.

0:20:190:20:22

It had been a day of simple pleasures,

0:20:230:20:25

but one that had highlighted the importance of time together,

0:20:250:20:29

and what the Godfreys had been missing.

0:20:290:20:32

It makes me realise more

0:20:320:20:33

that we've got to do everything we can to get here.

0:20:330:20:37

The more time Julie and Cole spend together...

0:20:370:20:39

..they're going to start bonding a lot more again.

0:20:400:20:43

It would be good just to see what I can see from here.

0:20:440:20:48

It's no' very often I see a sight like that back in Scotland.

0:20:480:20:51

I like spending time with my mum and dad.

0:20:520:20:56

I don't spend enough time...

0:20:560:20:58

..with Mum in Scotland.

0:21:000:21:02

It was time to vote on lifestyle.

0:21:020:21:04

It's been a great day today,

0:21:040:21:06

it's been a good birthday, so today we are going to vote for...

0:21:060:21:11

TOGETHER: Australia.

0:21:140:21:15

It was good news all round - but Alan and Julie needed to know

0:21:220:21:26

if they'd be able to afford that lifestyle.

0:21:260:21:29

While Cole enjoyed a kickabout,

0:21:290:21:31

Mum and Dad sat down to look at their finances.

0:21:310:21:34

We'd prepared a comparison of costs in the UK and Australia,

0:21:340:21:38

starting with the weekly food shop.

0:21:380:21:39

Peppers!

0:21:410:21:42

£1.65 in the UK - £3.89.

0:21:420:21:45

I can't believe how much more expensive fruit and vegetables are.

0:21:450:21:49

-So there's a difference of £13...

-35.

0:21:490:21:53

Oh, could totally deal with that.

0:21:530:21:55

Next up, the bigger outgoings.

0:21:550:21:57

The Godfreys were looking to take out a large mortgage.

0:21:570:22:01

If we take it on property two,

0:22:010:22:02

because that's the middle of the road one,

0:22:020:22:04

the monthly payments are massive.

0:22:040:22:06

They are massive.

0:22:060:22:08

That's what you're talking about, £1,730.

0:22:080:22:11

That was an extra £1,000 per month just on the mortgage.

0:22:110:22:16

Was the move suddenly becoming unaffordable?

0:22:160:22:18

There was one large expense at home they'd both forgotten about.

0:22:180:22:22

But look!

0:22:220:22:23

HE LAUGHS

0:22:230:22:25

-£900 per month in costs in London.

-We forgot about that, didn't we?

0:22:250:22:29

And that's a minimum cost.

0:22:290:22:30

That is a minimum cost.

0:22:300:22:32

So what's the cost in Australia?

0:22:320:22:34

Nothing!

0:22:340:22:35

THEY LAUGH

0:22:350:22:36

So we're saving £900 per month.

0:22:380:22:40

Yeah, that's...that's the difference in mortgage completely absorbed.

0:22:400:22:43

Suddenly, the financial cost

0:22:430:22:45

of Julie working in London had become apparent.

0:22:450:22:49

You're talking £1,700 better off.

0:22:490:22:52

We are financially much better off by living here.

0:22:520:22:56

Had the Godfreys figured out how to afford the life they dreamt of?

0:22:560:23:00

It was time to put their calculations to the vote.

0:23:000:23:04

Based on the exercise we've done today, looking at the cost

0:23:040:23:07

of living in the UK and also here in Australia, our vote goes to...

0:23:070:23:12

-..Australia.

-Australia.

0:23:160:23:18

Finances had given the Godfreys' hopes a massive boost...

0:23:220:23:26

..but there was one big obstacle they still had to confront -

0:23:260:23:29

the reality of leaving loved ones in the UK.

0:23:290:23:32

You've been looking forward to this bit, haven't you?

0:23:330:23:36

-Yeah.

-Are you sure you want to see it?

-Yeah.

-Yeah?

0:23:360:23:38

-Are you sure?

-Yeah.

0:23:400:23:41

Hey, guys, hope you're having a good time.

0:23:420:23:45

-Hi, Cole.

-I hope you are having a good time.

0:23:450:23:47

He's always been there for me.

0:23:470:23:49

He always helps me out with any problems that I've got,

0:23:490:23:52

and...more so, he doesn't judge me for anything I've done,

0:23:520:23:56

he just basically helps me out, then lets me get on with it.

0:23:560:23:59

Julie's great, life and soul of a party

0:23:590:24:01

whenever we get together.

0:24:010:24:03

She's up for a laugh.

0:24:030:24:05

Alan came up to my house one day

0:24:050:24:06

and just basically got me and my mum in the living room

0:24:060:24:09

and said, "I've got something to tell you."

0:24:090:24:10

He obviously found it hard to tell us,

0:24:100:24:12

because it's a really big move and obviously there's a lot involved.

0:24:120:24:16

Oh, it's indescribable how much I'll miss him.

0:24:160:24:20

I hope you have really thought about what you need to do here.

0:24:200:24:23

I hope you make the right choices for yourself.

0:24:230:24:26

I'm welling up!

0:24:260:24:27

And I'll see you guys when you get back.

0:24:270:24:29

Hi, guys, just to let you know, I'm going to miss you

0:24:320:24:34

absolutely hundreds... especially the wee man.

0:24:340:24:38

Just want to say that I hope everything

0:24:380:24:40

that you go over there for works out for you

0:24:400:24:43

and I hope to see you soon.

0:24:430:24:44

Thanks, pal.

0:24:540:24:55

The Godfreys' dream was within touching distance,

0:25:010:25:04

but with their week nearly over, there was still much to think about.

0:25:040:25:07

Watching messages from home had been a painful reminder

0:25:070:25:10

of everything they stood to lose.

0:25:100:25:13

The friends and family video really upset Alan.

0:25:140:25:16

What they said was really heartfelt, and they are not the kind

0:25:160:25:19

of family who are particularly over the top with each other.

0:25:190:25:23

They don't really tell each other how they feel very much.

0:25:230:25:26

I think he feels like he's abandoning them.

0:25:260:25:29

For Alan, though, the future was far from certain.

0:25:290:25:34

Landing in Australia, I just...

0:25:340:25:35

..I felt as if I had the world on my shoulders.

0:25:370:25:39

This is by far the biggest decision I've ever had to make in my life.

0:25:400:25:44

So when it came to the crucial vote, would a new life in Australia

0:25:440:25:48

be worth what the family would have to leave behind?

0:25:480:25:51

Well, this is our final day in Australia.

0:25:510:25:54

We've had an absolutely amazing week.

0:25:540:25:56

We've learnt pretty much everything we need to know.

0:25:560:26:00

We're about ready to make our final vote.

0:26:000:26:02

Australia.

0:26:100:26:12

Australia.

0:26:120:26:13

Undecided.

0:26:130:26:14

-That's a shock!

-You've been Australia all week, Cole.

0:26:160:26:19

I know, he's been Australia all week!

0:26:190:26:21

Did the videos make you a wee bit undecided,

0:26:210:26:23

although you really like the place?

0:26:230:26:25

Now that I've seen the film, like...

0:26:250:26:28

..it's really hard and I don't know what to vote.

0:26:280:26:31

-That's OK.

-Yeah.

-That's all right.

0:26:310:26:34

Well, that's your decision.

0:26:340:26:36

OK?

0:26:360:26:38

After a week to remember,

0:26:450:26:46

Alan and Julie had fallen for the promise of a new life down under,

0:26:460:26:51

but Cole wasn't convinced.

0:26:510:26:54

One year later, in 2013, we caught up with the Godfreys in...

0:26:540:26:57

..Australia.

0:26:590:27:00

A year ago today, we were in Perth, Australia, on Rottnest Island,

0:27:000:27:04

celebrating Cole's birthday -

0:27:040:27:07

and a year down the line, we're now in Secret Harbour,

0:27:070:27:10

Perth, Australia, celebrating Cole's birthday.

0:27:100:27:12

It's Cole's second birthday in Australia.

0:27:120:27:15

We thought it would take quite a bit

0:27:150:27:17

to top last year's birthday for Cole in Rottnest,

0:27:170:27:19

cos that was just beautiful and great fun

0:27:190:27:22

and seeing something new,

0:27:220:27:23

but actually, if it's possible to top it,

0:27:230:27:26

it's just lovely being here surrounded by so many friends

0:27:260:27:28

for Cole's birthday.

0:27:280:27:30

Having made the decision to uproot themselves

0:27:300:27:33

to the other side of the world,

0:27:330:27:34

the Godfreys wasted no time putting their plans into action.

0:27:340:27:37

From basically deciding to do it,

0:27:380:27:40

and then getting here, it was really quick.

0:27:400:27:43

We went home on the 15th of April, or we left Australia on the 15th.

0:27:430:27:48

I spent a few days at home,

0:27:480:27:50

then went straight back to work in London,

0:27:500:27:53

and handed my notice in.

0:27:530:27:55

-I....

-And we booked our flights for the 2nd of August.

0:27:550:27:59

Yeah, we arrived in Australia on the 4th of August.

0:27:590:28:02

So, what's that? May, June, July...

0:28:020:28:06

Three and a half months, maybe, from when we left,

0:28:060:28:08

we arrived back, and that was us here for good.

0:28:080:28:11

Pretty much, yeah.

0:28:110:28:12

It's about time!

0:28:120:28:14

And the massive upheaval of moving their lives

0:28:140:28:17

lock, stock and barrel to Australia

0:28:170:28:19

wasn't nearly as fraught as the family had feared.

0:28:190:28:22

We knew what we were coming to,

0:28:220:28:24

-we had a list of things to organise, and...

-Yeah.

0:28:240:28:27

..to be fair, all of them, there wasn't a hitch.

0:28:270:28:31

-We did a lot of organising.

-Sold everything.

-Yeah.

0:28:310:28:35

We had six boxes, and that was our worldly belongings.

0:28:350:28:37

-Six boxes and three suitcases.

-And that was us.

0:28:370:28:41

Slimming down on their possessions may have been easy,

0:28:420:28:46

but leaving friends and family behind was much harder.

0:28:460:28:49

The main stumbling block between all this is actually the fact

0:28:490:28:53

that we're taking Cole away from his gran and granda,

0:28:530:28:57

his uncles and the rest of the family.

0:28:570:29:01

That's the main...the main point.

0:29:010:29:03

I think the worst one was watching Cole say goodbye to his two uncles,

0:29:060:29:10

who had been so instrumental in his life up till then -

0:29:100:29:15

they'd done a lot of the childcare when I was in London -

0:29:150:29:18

and I couldn't honestly say who was more heartbroken, him or them.

0:29:180:29:22

But saying goodbye to loved ones was a sacrifice

0:29:240:29:27

the Godfreys felt they had to make

0:29:270:29:29

if they were to get their family back on track.

0:29:290:29:32

Obviously, you're feeling sad,

0:29:320:29:33

you're leaving behind what you know,

0:29:330:29:35

but, obviously, excitement, as well,

0:29:350:29:37

for the fact that we're going to start a new life in Australia,

0:29:370:29:41

it's a new adventure,

0:29:410:29:42

it's getting the family back together the way it should be.

0:29:420:29:46

So there was kind of mixed emotions, sadness and excitement.

0:29:460:29:50

During their trial week, property had been a major worry for them.

0:29:510:29:56

Thankfully, the family found a place they could call home

0:29:560:29:59

in a suburb of Secret Harbour.

0:29:590:30:01

It's a pretty new house,

0:30:020:30:04

and it's in an established area, as well - an up-and-coming area.

0:30:040:30:10

-Yeah.

-Which suited us, because that's what we wanted.

-True.

0:30:100:30:14

And it makes you realise that you can afford a nice house

0:30:140:30:18

-on the money that we're earning.

-In a good area.

-And in a good area.

0:30:180:30:23

It was Julie's work/life balance in the UK

0:30:230:30:26

that led the Godfreys to consider

0:30:260:30:28

the move down under in the first place.

0:30:280:30:30

In the UK, I had a bit of a horrendous commute,

0:30:300:30:33

in that I used to fly down from Glasgow to London,

0:30:330:30:37

work roughly 15 night shifts, and then fly home for eight days.

0:30:370:30:42

Now, nothing could be more alien.

0:30:420:30:44

By choice, I work seven nights on, seven nights off,

0:30:440:30:47

I start at seven o'clock at night and I finish at 7:30 in the morning.

0:30:470:30:51

The best bit about that is I'm able to take my child to school

0:30:510:30:54

every single day.

0:30:540:30:56

But electrician Alan had to take a slight step backward in his career.

0:30:560:31:01

I am currently working as an electrical trade assistant,

0:31:010:31:05

because I need to transfer my qualifications to Australia.

0:31:050:31:11

I've had to take maybe a wee step back and say, "Right,

0:31:110:31:15

"if this is what I've got to do, this is what I've got to do."

0:31:150:31:18

If I need to jump through a hoop, I jump through a hoop.

0:31:180:31:20

It's only for a few months,

0:31:200:31:22

and then I'll be back working as an electrician again, hopefully.

0:31:220:31:25

On the plus side, I'm actually earning more money

0:31:280:31:31

as a trade assistant than I was as an approved electrician

0:31:310:31:34

back in the UK.

0:31:340:31:35

For the Godfreys, Australia had delivered everything

0:31:350:31:39

they'd been looking for.

0:31:390:31:41

Our family life is better,

0:31:410:31:43

our bank balance is better,

0:31:430:31:45

and we've left a lot of family and friends behind,

0:31:450:31:49

we still think about them,

0:31:490:31:51

but we've actually made quite a close knit

0:31:510:31:54

kind of circle of friends over here.

0:31:540:31:58

And it wasn't just Mum and Dad who reaped the benefits of the move.

0:31:580:32:02

Cole's been really, really enjoying it since we got to Australia.

0:32:020:32:06

He's made lots of friends at school, and apart from that, you know,

0:32:060:32:10

he's started with a soccer team and he's got, you know,

0:32:100:32:14

he's got swimming lessons and he's certainly kept very busy -

0:32:140:32:17

and then, in our free time,

0:32:170:32:20

we're usually out doing things as a family.

0:32:200:32:22

Also, weekends, he can have sleepovers at his friends' houses,

0:32:220:32:25

his friends come here for sleepovers.

0:32:250:32:28

So, he's settled in pretty good.

0:32:280:32:31

Alan and Julie finally managed to bring their family together,

0:32:310:32:34

though it took a move to the other side of the world to achieve it.

0:32:340:32:38

-Whoa!

-Oh!

0:32:380:32:39

We're in the same place at the same time,

0:32:390:32:41

and we're all enjoying being back as a family unit again.

0:32:410:32:47

That makes us happy.

0:32:470:32:48

It does.

0:32:480:32:50

The Godfreys' lack of a family life in the UK

0:32:540:32:58

had brought them all to breaking point,

0:32:580:33:00

but in just 12 months, Alan, Julie and Cole

0:33:000:33:03

really had turned their lives around,

0:33:030:33:06

achieving a lifestyle they could once only have dreamed of.

0:33:060:33:10

So, four years on, in 2017, and the Godfreys are living in...

0:33:100:33:15

..Australia.

0:33:150:33:17

And since their trial week back in 2012,

0:33:170:33:20

life down under just got better and better.

0:33:200:33:23

I actually remember our trial week in Australia quite vividly.

0:33:240:33:28

I remember a lot about it.

0:33:280:33:30

I remember arriving and feeling at home, like, I remember...

0:33:300:33:35

-That was it.

-The first time we got off the plane, we were arguing!

0:33:350:33:39

And then, the next day, I think, when we got up,

0:33:390:33:41

because obviously we arrived at night, and the next day,

0:33:410:33:44

when we got up and we kind of got out and about, it just felt great.

0:33:440:33:49

But Cole wasn't sure at the time

0:33:490:33:51

if Australia was the right place for the family to live.

0:33:510:33:53

In the trial week,

0:33:530:33:55

I voted undecided because at the end, I just felt like...

0:33:550:33:59

..I was leaving everyone behind and starting a new life.

0:34:010:34:04

I think when we did the trial week and Cole was asked to decide,

0:34:040:34:07

he came up undecided, and we were a bit shocked, actually,

0:34:070:34:11

because we knew that we'd all enjoyed the week

0:34:110:34:14

and everything that we had done -

0:34:140:34:15

but I think a lot of that goes with being nine

0:34:150:34:18

and being asked to make a huge decision like that.

0:34:180:34:21

When we had to say goodbye to everyone,

0:34:210:34:24

me and my dad went round everyone's houses

0:34:240:34:27

and we said goodbye to everyone,

0:34:270:34:31

and the hardest one to say goodbye to

0:34:310:34:35

was definitely my gran and my grandad,

0:34:350:34:38

because they were crying and everything,

0:34:380:34:41

so it was really hard to say goodbye.

0:34:410:34:43

But with the help of the internet

0:34:450:34:47

and taking a surprise visit trip back to the UK,

0:34:470:34:50

Cole realised that goodbye wasn't forever.

0:34:500:34:53

I only really keep in touch with my family, like, my uncles

0:34:540:34:58

and my nanny and grandad, and sometimes my cousins -

0:34:580:35:03

but that's about it, and only...

0:35:030:35:04

..and I used to do that through Facetime with my dad and my mum.

0:35:040:35:08

He speaks to his gran every week. She's good.

0:35:080:35:11

He speaks to his uncles and he speaks to his granda -

0:35:110:35:15

but he doesn't really spend a lot of time, er,

0:35:150:35:18

speaking about friends and stuff like that,

0:35:180:35:22

he's kind of moved on and he's got all his friends over here,

0:35:220:35:25

which is good. So, he's...

0:35:250:35:28

He's pretty settled here, and he knows this is home now.

0:35:280:35:32

Cole is thriving down under.

0:35:320:35:34

Not only does he have Scooby the dog to share his life with now,

0:35:340:35:38

but also nonstop soccer, where even his dad gets involved.

0:35:380:35:43

Cole loves football, and not only does he play it at school,

0:35:430:35:46

but he also plays for Rockingham, where Alan is his coach,

0:35:460:35:49

so that's a bit of a challenge!

0:35:490:35:51

I basically started coaching

0:35:510:35:55

at the start of the season last year,

0:35:550:35:57

because the team that Cole had joined

0:35:570:35:59

didn't have a coach that year, so, I basically put my hand up.

0:35:590:36:02

Having my dad coach me is fun, but at the same time,

0:36:020:36:07

he pushes me more than any of the other players,

0:36:070:36:09

so it can get annoying, but I just have to get on with it.

0:36:090:36:11

I think Cole finds it a wee bit tough, at times,

0:36:160:36:18

having his dad as a coach,

0:36:180:36:20

because I'm always going to be tougher on him

0:36:200:36:24

than I am on the other kids, because I can't be seen

0:36:240:36:28

to be favouring my own son across other people's kids.

0:36:280:36:31

So, Cole does get it in the neck quite a lot.

0:36:310:36:34

It's all right, it's not that bad, actually.

0:36:340:36:37

I can actually go along to the training sessions and watch them,

0:36:410:36:45

I get to most of the games,

0:36:450:36:46

so it's just a huge turnaround for us, you know?

0:36:460:36:49

I also feel very involved in his sport, now, as well.

0:36:490:36:53

Right, so, enjoy the rest of your week,

0:36:530:36:55

and I'll see you all on Sunday.

0:36:550:36:56

THEY CHEER AND SHOUT

0:36:560:36:58

Living in Australia, though, for Alan,

0:36:580:37:00

doesn't mean he's forgotten his roots.

0:37:000:37:02

As much as, er, as much as Australia's my home...

0:37:020:37:06

..er, I still enjoy the chances that...

0:37:070:37:10

When I get a chance, I still enjoy going back to Scotland.

0:37:100:37:14

It's where I was born, it's where my friends -

0:37:140:37:18

where all my friends from childhood are,

0:37:180:37:20

it's where most of my family are.

0:37:200:37:22

I enjoy going back, but it's...

0:37:240:37:28

You go back for a holiday to see friends, Australia's home now.

0:37:280:37:32

Also, it's important to the Godfreys

0:37:320:37:35

that family and friends back home

0:37:350:37:37

understand why they chose to live in Australia.

0:37:370:37:40

A lot of people are...

0:37:400:37:42

Like, their feelings are hurt when you pack up and you move...

0:37:420:37:45

-That's true.

-..and it's not, you know...

0:37:450:37:49

..and it's nothing that they've done, but...

0:37:490:37:51

I think the best thing that my parents done

0:37:510:37:54

since we left was actually come and see us.

0:37:540:37:56

Because I think, until then, they didn't get it.

0:37:560:37:59

-Yeah.

-People don't get it until they come and they see your lifestyle

0:37:590:38:03

and how settled you are, and what life means for you here...

0:38:030:38:07

..and I think that's...

0:38:080:38:10

..that was really heart-warming for us,

0:38:100:38:12

-was that they got it.

-Yeah.

-They understood.

0:38:120:38:16

Since making the move nearly five years ago,

0:38:160:38:19

both Julie and Alan have advanced their careers.

0:38:190:38:23

I've just started a new post in the private sector.

0:38:230:38:27

It's more to do with managing the growth of the unit

0:38:270:38:31

and upscaling the midwives,

0:38:310:38:34

basic day-to-day running of the unit,

0:38:340:38:38

and I'm the go-to person for the staff on the floor.

0:38:380:38:42

I'm currently working for the main electrical utility company

0:38:420:38:46

in Western Australia,

0:38:460:38:48

and I have been for the last two and a bit years now.

0:38:480:38:52

It's totally different from what I did back in the UK.

0:38:520:38:55

Back in the UK, I was mainly working on domestic

0:38:550:38:58

and commercial properties,

0:38:580:38:59

but now I'm working for the utility company,

0:38:590:39:02

and all my work is basically based outside.

0:39:020:39:05

And both now enjoy much more civilised working hours, too.

0:39:050:39:09

I start at six in the morning

0:39:090:39:11

and I finish at two o'clock in the afternoon.

0:39:110:39:13

So, that's a lot better, I've got a lot more...

0:39:130:39:15

I've got a lot more time for myself in the afternoons.

0:39:150:39:19

I'll be working a nine-day fortnight,

0:39:190:39:20

starting at seven in the morning, finishing at three.

0:39:200:39:24

So, yeah, Alan and I will both be home

0:39:240:39:26

before Cole gets home from school.

0:39:260:39:28

And after renting a property for nearly two years,

0:39:280:39:31

the Godfreys finally found a house in a neighbourhood

0:39:310:39:33

they could call home.

0:39:330:39:34

Julie is friends with a lady who works in real estate,

0:39:360:39:40

and she must have took us through about 20 houses.

0:39:400:39:44

But we did give her Mission: Impossible,

0:39:440:39:46

-there was only so many streets we wanted to live in.

-Mm-hm.

0:39:460:39:49

Eventually, she was in the office one day

0:39:490:39:51

and she heard a couple come in asking for a valuation,

0:39:510:39:54

she heard the address and she immediately hopped out and said,

0:39:540:39:59

"If you give me a 48-hour listing, I think I'll sell your house today,"

0:39:590:40:04

and it was ours by 10 o'clock that night.

0:40:040:40:07

When you think back to when you're in Scotland,

0:40:070:40:10

and the big Aussie dream is the house with the swimming pool,

0:40:100:40:12

you know, by the beach, and I think we've scored on all fronts

0:40:120:40:17

with that, I think, yeah, it really is the Australian dream.

0:40:170:40:21

But without friends to share this dream, life down under can be hard.

0:40:210:40:26

I found it really hard when we first got here.

0:40:260:40:30

Er...

0:40:300:40:32

I wanted to be everybody's friend.

0:40:330:40:36

I'll tell you what I remember.

0:40:360:40:37

I remember you saying to me one night,

0:40:370:40:40

you think it's weird that you go and get groceries

0:40:400:40:44

-and you don't bump into anyone at the shops that you know.

-Yeah.

0:40:440:40:47

That got you for a while...

0:40:470:40:49

You're used to walking round the shops and somebody shouting,

0:40:490:40:52

"Oh, Alan, Julie, how you doing?" But you don't know anybody.

0:40:520:40:55

And you can feel isolated.

0:40:550:40:58

Luckily, they met Jackie and Tony and instantly formed a bond.

0:40:580:41:03

They're from Johnstone, just outside Glasgow,

0:41:030:41:06

which actually is only a 20-minute drive at the most

0:41:060:41:09

from where we were from - and yet we'd never, ever met -

0:41:090:41:13

and they invited us round

0:41:130:41:14

because the boys had a mutual love of football

0:41:140:41:16

and they thought it would help Luke get settled in,

0:41:160:41:18

to meet someone like-minded.

0:41:180:41:20

We've obviously got a really strong support network here,

0:41:200:41:22

-so we've been very lucky, haven't we?

-Yeah, very, very lucky.

0:41:220:41:25

Yup, we wouldn't... We just wouldn't look back at all, would we?

0:41:250:41:29

Definitely not, no.

0:41:290:41:30

That's the nicest thing you've ever said to me!

0:41:300:41:33

-Al, I love you.

-THEY LAUGH

0:41:330:41:34

You love us so much, you bought a house five minutes away!

0:41:340:41:37

Yeah, we bought a house five minutes away -

0:41:370:41:39

and the boys are obviously very close,

0:41:390:41:41

they play in different football teams,

0:41:410:41:43

but we all go to watch each other's games.

0:41:430:41:45

And they've already created their very own annual tradition.

0:41:450:41:49

Christmas morning, we all meet down the beach, glass of champagne,

0:41:490:41:53

-the kids are in the water...

-Santa's there.

0:41:530:41:55

Santa comes in on his, er... Is it the jet ski this year?

0:41:550:41:59

-He surfed one year.

-He surfed one year,

0:41:590:42:01

jet ski last year, and sometimes on the surf club's ute,

0:42:010:42:04

-he just drives by each...

-Drives round. Gives out lollies.

0:42:040:42:07

A guy plays the bagpipes, as well.

0:42:070:42:08

Yeah, there's a guy who comes down to the beach

0:42:080:42:10

-and plays the bagpipes on Christmas morning.

-Yeah, it's awesome.

0:42:100:42:13

Having achieved the Australian dream through hard work and determination,

0:42:130:42:18

there was just one obvious thing left for them to do.

0:42:180:42:22

So, at the beginning of the month, we became Australian.

0:42:220:42:25

-Citizens.

-Australian!

-Yeah.

0:42:250:42:28

It's the icing on the cake for everything that we've done,

0:42:280:42:31

-for everything that we've worked towards.

-Yeah.

0:42:310:42:33

-You know what I mean?

-It really does, and it...

0:42:330:42:35

I don't know, I mean, I think we always thought it was our home here.

0:42:350:42:39

Yeah - but that just confirms everything, really.

0:42:390:42:42

-I'm excited to get my Australian passport.

-Yeah.

0:42:420:42:45

I'll still keep my British one,

0:42:450:42:47

but I'll probably use my Aussie one more!

0:42:470:42:49

The Godfreys were determined from the start

0:42:550:42:58

to make their move to Australia work,

0:42:580:43:01

and it's this resolute spirit that has certainly enabled them

0:43:010:43:05

to settle with such success.

0:43:050:43:07

We wish them all the very best for the future.

0:43:070:43:11

In 2012 the Godfrey family experienced a week down under that could change the course of their lives. In this programme we find out what's happened to them since we last saw them - and discover just where in the world they today call home.

Five years ago Alan Godfrey lived with his wife Julie and son Cole, then eight, in east Glasgow. Alan was an electrician and three years previously Julie had qualified in nursing and become a midwife. It was her dream job, but finding work locally proved difficult so Julie took a job in London - 400 miles away. It meant she was away from home working three weeks at a time. This was taking its toll on Julie and the family. In particular young Cole found saying goodbye to his mum particularly distressing, and Alan was at the end of his tether.

It was a painful situation that just couldn't go on any longer. The desperation for a normal family life had pushed the Godfreys to look towards Australia. Knowing there was a demand for their skills, Alan and Julie were convinced their family's happiness could lie down under. A move could give them that time together but would come at a very heavy price as they would be leaving a beloved family behind, including grandparents whose only grandchild was Cole. But even with so much to lose, the couple knew they just couldn't carry on as they were and a move might have been the best option.

A trial week in Perth allowed the family to sample what sort of life they would have if they were to move. But family messages showed just how much they would struggle to cope with leaving. So where is the family now?