Mathew Royle Evatt was searching for somewhere to call home, and he believed that could be Australia. But did a trial week convince his fiancee?
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After years on the move,
Mathew Royle-Evatt was searching for somewhere to call home...
I don't feel as a part of this house as the dog, to be honest.
..and believed that could be Australia.
We're moving to Australia now.
Let's go find a house.
Did a week down under see fiancee Phillipa Rowley
put up a fight for life in the UK...?
I don't think Mathew appreciates the gravity of what he's asking.
..or bind her partner's vision for their future?
It's not as straightforward as, like, "Do you like the weather?"
It's so much more than that.
So the big question is, where are Phillipa and Mathew now -
in the UK or Australia?
Whether it's for stunning natural scenery,
an outdoors lifestyle or the climate...
..Australia continues to attract people from across the world.
But it's the unique bond the Commonwealth country shares
with the UK that sees over 30,000 Brits
making the move there every year.
Mathew Royle-Evatt joined the army when he was just 16,
but after ten years of active service, he was ready to swap
his military career for married life
and believed Australia was the place to do it.
But for fiancee Phillipa Rowley,
the thought of leaving everyone she loved in the UK
to start a new life on the other side of the world
was a scary prospect.
So was a week sampling everything the country had to offer
enough to help destroy Phillipa's defences
and secure Mathew the future he so desperately wanted for them?
The journey began with a 20-hour trek from Manchester to Perth
via Abu Dhabi.
And although Mathew was used to travelling,
both he and Phillipa were relieved when they finally touched down.
The flight was very long and challenging,
especially for Phillipa, because she couldn't sleep.
All that time in the air had given Phillipa plenty to contemplate,
being so far from family in the UK.
When my mum dropped me off at the airport, I was really emotional.
It's really far away and the flight definitely reiterated just the fact
that it's at the other side of the world.
But Mathew had his eye firmly on the target.
But we're in Perth now, so I've just got to push it to Phillipa
to tell her why we've got to live here, really.
Meet Phillipa, Mathew and their pet doggie, Ollie.
Childhood sweethearts, Phillipa and Mathew first met at school,
but with Mathew signing up to the army a few months later,
their relationship got off to a rocky start.
Mathew's job has had, like, a huge impact on our relationship,
because Mathew is away, like, 80% of the time.
As soon as we got together, I was off to Afghanistan for seven months.
I didn't have a date of when I was coming home.
We didn't know what was going to happen, did we?
True love blossomed, though, and the couple were convinced
they'd found their soul mates.
I think we do complement each other quite well.
Like, we're good at what we're good at
and then other is good at the stuff the other isn't at.
-They're good at.
-No, that made sense.
I'm not sure it did.
With plans for their wedding underway,
Mathew was ready to give his army career the boot in pursuit of a more
stable life with Phillipa and believed that could be in Australia.
I joined the army to get away from England
and then somebody decided that she'd steal my heart
and now I want to steal her away from her family
and take her to Australia with me.
Mathew fell for the country during a brief visit with work a decade ago
and Phillipa had been hearing about it ever since.
I've never been to Australia, but Mathew goes on about it
all the time.
It's the most wonderful place in the world, according to him.
I just liked the place, how warm it was, the climate,
everyone seemed really friendly.
But Phillipa wasn't convinced it was where their future lay.
I'm kind of the only thing really in his way.
Besides the weather,
I don't think he's got any actual real-life reasons
how it would be better.
Mathew knew he had a battle on his hands to get his fiancee onside.
In order for Phillipa to be convinced to move
to the other side of the world, I need to have an all-singing,
all-dancing job where I can come home every evening,
have the weekends to ourselves and it be for at least a little bit
more than what I'm on in England.
And he was prepared to fight for what he wanted -
not just for him and Phillipa, but for future children
they might have, too.
A family out there would benefit a lot more
from the Australian way of life than England.
After we're married, at some point, we would like to start a family,
so wherever we are, we need to be settled.
But the prospect of starting a new family
thousands of miles from the people she already shared her life with
was too much for Phillipa to comprehend.
They've been there for me this whole time and if we now leave
and just I don't have them in my life at all,
I will find that really difficult.
And she knew leaving would break her dad's heart.
My dad constantly jokes that I'm not going
and he won't even enter into a conversation with me about it.
-You don't actually tell me anything.
-There's nothing to tell.
Every time I speak to him about it, it's like, "You're not going,
"you're not going." So, I think it will be difficult for my dad.
Ultimately, the choice for Phillipa was between the man she was about to
spend the rest of her life with and her family.
I think it would be very important for us to start married life on the
same page, rather than I'm kind of leaning towards one thing,
she's leaning towards another.
It's a big deal, really, that I've got to make that decision
for the both of us.
To find out if Australia could offer the couple the lifestyle Mathew was
dreaming of, they've visited the country's western capital, Perth.
Their base for the week was the coastal suburb of Hillarys,
just a 30-minute drive north of the city centre.
But what did Phillipa think of her first taste of Aussie living?
I'm happy. Are you happy?
-You're never happy!
-I'd probably just redo the whole thing.
Phillipa's lack of enthusiasm suggested Mathew's Australian
campaign might struggle to get off the ground.
If this was all grassed off, it would be much more appealing to me.
And I think everything as a whole has just been a bit,
Like, it's not really done anything for me.
It was ten years since Mathew was last on Aussie soil.
I'm concerned whether it's going to be as good as I remember
-it to be.
-You're a different person now as well.
I wasn't thinking about properties...
It's different priorities.
..I wasn't thinking about jobs or anything like that, but now I am.
But I'm hoping for a good result in my favour.
And the week ahead was his one and only chance
to make Phillipa share his dream.
For me to leave my whole family...
I know I could speak to them every day
and see them over the computer and whatever,
but it literally has to tick every box.
In the UK, Mathew and Phillipa live in a two-bedroom terraced house
in the Rossendale area of Lancashire.
I don't feel as a part of this house as maybe Phillipa
or even the dog, to be honest.
With Mathew's army career often taking him away,
he wanted Australia to give him the feeling of home he'd been missing.
In the next house, when I'm actually living there,
I'll be able to command a bit more of a say.
So what was their ideal home down under?
I'd need a big garden, an outside seating area.
I'd like it a bit more modern, with a little kitchen diner,
-maybe a separate lounge.
-You don't want much.
Oh, and three bedrooms as a minimum, please.
"Please" at the end!
At least you've got manners!
To find out what kind of house they could have,
we showed them three properties,
two on budget and a third as a possible dream home.
Only after they have saw each one did they find out its value.
Mathew and Phillipa had set themselves a budget
of between £180-190,000.
The search began in the coastal suburb of Alkimos,
40 minutes outside of central Perth.
They viewed a house in the new-build Shorehaven estate.
So, did this three-bedroom property hit the spot?
The front garden is quite small.
I don't think we need a front garden, anyway, do we?
No, I just hope that there's a back garden.
Hmm, fingers crossed!
First, was the inside...
Nice bright entrance, isn't it?
-Nice and big.
..which was about as positive as it got from Phillipa.
I find it strange that the main bedrooms are at the front.
-Is that just me?
Possibly, but Mathew was not giving up.
Was the open-plan living a selling point?
Much better shaped than our kitchen.
And you could be washing up while I'm eating my tea.
You won't be getting any tea!
This is definitely not an upgrade to what we've got, is it?
You wouldn't move across the world for this.
Mathew may have been fighting a losing battle
but did the main bedroom improve Phillipa's mood?
-It's got an en-suite.
-Oh, well, that's just what we need.
I hope there's another bathroom because I'd want a bath.
Yeah, obviously a separate bath and shower
for the potential children we might have.
One step at a time!
Mathew's excitement was short lived, though,
when even he couldn't muster the enthusiasm for the bathroom.
Rental properties' bathrooms are bigger than this.
-That's not very big.
-And the outside didn't fare much better either.
-It's quite small, isn't it?
-It doesn't feel like it's a garden.
-No, it's just like a little patio sort of situation.
-I don't know, it feels quite claustrophobic, doesn't it?
Phillipa's mind was made up.
We need better than this to move.
But how much change, if any, would they have got
from their £190,000 budget?
Well, I'm guessing £156,000.
I'd be happy to pay about £140,000 for this.
-Shall we find out?
Wow. It's quite expensive.
That was at the lower end of their budget.
We don't really need to see anything else because if that's what we can
afford then it's not...
-There's no point, is there?
Disappointment all round, really.
-Well, we can see the others.
It may have been affordable but neither Mathew nor Phillipa
believed this house was good value.
The next property was in the much sought-after Vines area,
a wine-growing region around 20 miles from central Perth.
But did this three-bedroom house harvest
a better reaction from the couple?
It looks more like a home.
It sounded promising.
-Oh, this is much nicer.
-That is really nice.
-It's got a fire. It looks like it might be pretend but...
..but the fact that it's there is good.
Was this the house to get Phillipa fired up about Mathew's dream?
This is definitely a million times more homely than the last one.
-And a million reasons for Mathew to be happy, too.
You cook, you eat, you sit down and chill out, don't you?
Yeah, I suppose.
And then you go outside for a suntan.
I really hope that the rest of the house, kind of...
-The theme continues.
-This is more like it, isn't it?
-And it did.
The door's a bit annoying, though, it's next to the shower and that
but I think I'd just remove the door.
-I'd like a door.
Slightly encouraged, Mathew went in for the kill.
Would you move for this bedroom?
If all the other boxes were ticked then, yeah, this bedroom's lovely.
That's what we're after.
Unfortunately, the bathroom was a wash-out for Phillipa.
-Oh, no bath.
-No. Very small.
Do Australians just not like bathing?
I don't want a house where there's not bath.
I didn't realise this was one of your things.
I didn't but I didn't think there would be a house without a bath.
And outside, the mood really took a plunge.
-It's a bit small.
-It is a bit small.
Obviously we've got Ollie, the dog, so if we were to get chickens
as well, then they'd need that whole area.
Well, we just won't get chickens then.
-I want chickens.
I think this outside space is fine.
Just like the fact that there's no bath is fine.
I think we'd get over it.
-I'd move out here for this house.
It didn't look good for Mathew's dream,
but would the price make a difference?
I think it's going to be about £211,000.
I'm going to say £195,000.
-OK, let's have a look then.
-Oh! What did you say?
That was almost £6,000 over budget.
I think that's a decent price, especially compared to the last one.
-You're getting a lot more for your money.
I don't know if I'd move to the other side of the world
for this house, for that price, but it's definitely an improvement.
Property two proved to be better quality and,
with the right jobs down under, possibly affordable.
But it still wasn't quite perfect.
The next house, however, we thought might be their dream home.
It was in the family-friendly suburb of Aveley,
but did the house win over Phillipa?
-This is massive.
This is much more what I expected
-from an Australian home.
-Yeah, the expensive one!
Mathew was already fearful that his dream was beyond their reach.
This is unbelievable.
You see, that's a kitchen.
-Very, very, very nice.
This is the kind of kitchen I had in my mind
as to why we should move out to Australia.
But then Phillipa started worrying about the price, too.
This could be, like, if we worked really, really hard.
We just won't ever be able to afford to have children.
-Or a life!
-Or a life.
They were equally impressed with the main bedroom.
That's really big.
And it leads out on to that outside patio area...
-Yeah, that's lovely.
-..which is really nice.
This is a dream house for us, isn't it, really?
I think this house is amazing.
They were both bowled over, but there was something
there just for Phillipa.
-Oh, look, Phil, there's a bath.
See, that's not much to ask for, is it?
How can you not want this?
Before Phillipa got too comfortable, though,
a turn of the card was required to see
if their £190,000 budget would pay for this property.
-How much do you think it's worth?
I'd say a little bit more. £224,000.
-Shall we find out?
I don't think we could afford this!
Right now, anyway.
-Maybe in the future.
At almost £100,000 over budget, it was something to aspire towards
if they could secure the right work and salaries down under.
Property one came in bottom on the couple's budget
but it lacked outdoor space and they felt it wasn't good value for money.
Priced at almost £6,000 over budget,
property two had the right location but its narrow back yard got the
thumbs down from Phillipa.
Despite another small garden,
house number three got both Mathew and Phillipa excited,
but at almost £100,000 over budget,
it was the kind of house they could have aimed towards in the future.
So, how did they vote between property in the UK and Australia?
Based on the properties we have seen today, our vote goes for...
Why have you voted for the UK?
I just think that we'd genuinely get so much more for that money at home.
I think we'd only get maybe a bit of outside space
which we wouldn't be using anyway because the weather's so bad.
At the moment, I just think we could afford more at home.
Phillipa's vote for the UK didn't completely surprise Mathew,
but it placed even greater emphasis on the importance
of them finding good jobs.
Back in the UK, Mathew was an engineer in the army.
I fix predominantly the electrics on armoured vehicles.
I've been all over the world including Ghana and Afghanistan.
But he was ready for change.
I've been in the army since I was 16 and I am actually looking
-for my next career.
-Phillipa was to qualify as a teaching assistant,
hoping to work with children with learning difficulties.
If you spent ten minutes, half an hour,
speaking with a child and you can see the difference
that's made to them, it makes you feel
like it's a bit more worthwhile.
As the main visa applicant,
the pressure was on Mathew to secure the right job,
ideally one that would give the couple more time together.
My Australian job will hopefully be more nine to five sort of thing,
not having to travel as much.
Yeah, I just really want to spend more time with her and just have a
better life, really.
Hoping to work with life-saving medical equipment in Australia,
we arranged for Mathew to meet engineering manager John Pereira
at Perth's Fiona Stanley Hospital.
How come that one's not yellow?
-Because they're off-line at the moment.
After a tour of the facilities,
Mathew got straight to the heart of the matter -
were his skills transferable?
Most of your English qualifications will be recognised over here but you
have to apply for that recognition.
Knowing your skill level,
I'd probably look at being a field service engineer.
In a field service job,
would I be based here or would I be based somewhere else?
No, field service, by its definition, is a field service,
so then you would actually be moving from place to place.
That wasn't good news.
Travel was something Mathew hoped to avoid.
Next was the hours.
I'm currently working five days away from home
so I don't get to see my partner very often.
What's it like being in Australia working?
We do try to keep the work-life balance correct
so that you do get your family time.
But if you're a field service engineer, it's a bit more varied.
You can probably be working some longer hours,
you might have to do some weekend work.
Variable hours were also far from ideal.
Meanwhile, Phillipa went to Hillarys Primary School
to meet with associate principal Gary Deere.
We have about 19 education assistants
here at this school looking after the kids who have special needs.
So would my qualifications be transferable here?
You don't need a qualification to actually start.
Most of the education assistants we have here would have started off as
-people who came in and did some relief work in the school.
Well, that's kind of how I've started as well so...
-And the salary?
Between 35-38,000 Australian dollars,
which is probably around £18,000.
£18,000 was the same amount Phillipa would start on in the UK.
But what were her chances of getting a job down under?
I think with your background that you'd be quite a good candidate.
Your prospects are quite good to find employment here.
The future looked bright for Phillipa on the work front.
For Mathew, however, he still needed to know
if his earning potential was comparable to pay in the UK.
Obviously, you haven't got the direct experience so they'd probably
put you on a junior level, about £45-50,000.
As you progress, £60-70,000.
Even at the lower end, that would be more than what I'd be expected
to get in England, so that's really good.
Well, this is Australia!
The potential to earn over £10,000 more a year than he did in the UK
was great news, which left just one question.
If I were to come to Australia today, would I get work?
Absolutely. The sky's your limit, really.
Both Mathew and Phillipa were encouraged
by their prospects of work down under,
but was it enough for them to both vote for Oz?
So after our day looking at what jobs
we could possibly get in Australia, our vote goes to...
I'm quite surprised you chose Australia.
It's nice to hear you sounding so happy about something
outside of the army, like, looking forward to something else.
I'm just happy that you're happy, really.
Obviously, you've got job opportunities as well
so it makes it good for both of us, really.
With such positive news on the work front leading to Phillipa's first
vote for Australia, Mathew's dream was back on track.
And a day together sampling all that a lifestyle down under could offer
was hopefully the best way to keep it there.
So this is how you start it.
-This is the red one to stop the engine. OK?
After the required safety briefing,
it was time to jet ski off into the lifestyle
Mathew had been promising Phillipa.
The day got off to a great start and Mathew played the advantage.
We're moving to Australia now. Let's go find a house!
And he didn't give up over lunch.
So can we move to Australia now, please?
-Still no "yes"!
No definite "yes"!
I've had really enjoyable day spending the day with Mathew,
but it's just really, really strange to think that...
Like, I wouldn't be able to do this with my family.
Mathew knew what he was asking her to give up but he didn't back down.
She's always talking about contacting her family.
Well, I'm just trying to explain to her
that this is better for us and better for our future family.
I've just been brought up constantly around all these people.
I just think I don't want any children of mine to think
well, I've took that away from them.
With family firmly in mind,
was Phillipa able to vote for an Australian lifestyle?
Based on today's activities, we're going to vote for...
Why did you vote for Australia?
It's important for me to think about us and our future and the fact that
we want to start our own family one day.
I just can't really think of a better place to do it.
Another vote for Australia was a great result for Mathew,
but he knew the move needed to add up in more ways than one.
To help work out how they would fare financially,
we've provided a cost of living comparison,
starting with the weekly food shop.
That's mushrooms, they're more expensive.
-We actually eat quite a lot of mushrooms, really.
So far it looks like our shop here would be more expensive, doesn't it?
So in Australia we would be £18.10 worse off.
Which isn't dramatic, is it?
Next, they looked at the bigger monthly bills,
basing their mortgage repayment on the second property they viewed.
Water's a bit more.
Electricity is a bit more.
-It's just when everything's a bit more, isn't it?
And it soon adds up.
All in, they would be paying out almost £80 more per month
But Mathew's higher earnings soon put a positive spin on things.
That's £671.64 extra a month,
which is obviously a lot of money.
See, that would make a huge difference.
Together, their joint income would be almost £1,000 more.
That's like another person.
-I'm quite happy with that.
That will sort us right out, wouldn't it?
The sums confirmed they would have a sizeable amount
of surplus cash down under.
Overall in Australia, every month we'll be better off by £877.32.
-Write that down on that piece of paper.
That's £10,000 more every year and Mathew was ecstatic.
I'll ring the estate agent now and put a deposit down.
OK, then, you go and do that! Make me a brew whilst you're there.
-With such positive figures,
there was very little doubt when it came to the vote.
After working out our earnings and potential cost of living here
in Australia, our vote goes to...
No-brainer, isn't it?
The realisation they could thrive financially in Australia
was encouraging, but Mathew was all too aware that the big hurdle
for Phillipa was the prospect of leaving her family.
Are you ready to see what our families think, then?
I'm ready. Are you?
-Yeah, I think.
-Hi, Phillipa, Mathew!
-How you doing?
Hi, Phil, hi, Matt.
Hope you're having a good time.
I've walked the dogs, fed the chickens,
so you don't have to hurry back!
She is my eldest and she's incredibly fierce.
There's no-one more loyal and protective.
She is like my second mum.
She looks after me.
She is the absolute go-to girl.
If you need any help, it's Phillipa all day long.
Mathew would probably drive her crazy because she's very,
I would say, organised, whereas Mathew,
although he's in the army,
-is a little bit disorganised.
I think it will be really strange if Phil and Matt do decide
to stay out there.
So it would be really strange not to talk to them day-to-day
and see how they're doing.
The thought of Phillipa having a grandchild of mine and me not being
around, it doesn't bear thinking about.
I'd hate to see her go.
Just the thought of it...
We really are close and it will be such a big change
that it will be hard to deal with it,
but I think it will be a good change for Phillipa,
so I'm happy.
Just make sure, Phillipa, that you think long and hard
about what you do and that it's right for you,
and both of you.
Good luck with whatever decision you make.
Well, if Phillipa and Matt do decide to go,
I'd be really pleased for them, even though I'd be devastated.
I couldn't even think about it.
How do you feel about that, then?
Even though I know...
I obviously know how they all feel, it's quite strange
to hear them saying it like that.
Everyone thinks we should do it.
Maybe on a personal level, your dad doesn't.
Yeah, it would be difficult but I know we've got their support.
A blessing from her family to follow her heart may have made the final
vote for Phillipa even more difficult
because now she had to truly contemplate whether or not a move
down under was what she wanted.
Right now I think Phillipa's
seriously debating on whether we should come out here.
I think she's got more demons to wrestle with than I have.
I'm one of, like, 16, 17 cousins and stuff,
there's loads of us, and for my, you know, potential children
to not have that, I just think is really sad.
I think we have been on a journey this week.
To come out and see the job prospects that we have,
the environment we could be bringing up our family in, our future family,
I think it's been invaluable.
Even with her doubts,
Mathew believed Phillipa would come to terms with the distance.
I still think she can be persuaded to move out here based on the good,
positive feedback we've had from the rest of the family.
Hopefully it's Australia, that's where I think we should be.
I just hope whatever decision we both make,
we're both happy with it and we just support each other
in whatever we both decide.
The couple had to choose.
Do they pursue the life in Australia Mathew wanted for them
or stay close to Phillipa's family in the UK?
After a fantastic week in Perth, our final decision is...
I didn't think you were going to vote for Australia then.
I don't know if I did but...
Yeah, I want to do it,
I want to start this next chapter of our lives here.
Good. Me too.
-Not just for me and you, for the future, obviously.
Mathew was confident he could persuade Phillipa
Australia was the best place to start their married life,
and he was proved right.
With the potential to find well-paid jobs and enjoy more time together,
it looked like the couple had found the perfect place
to start the next chapter of their lives.
So, 12 months later,
it's time to find out if the couple are living at home or abroad.
It's summer 2017 and Mathew and Phillipa are living in...
..Lancashire, but it might not be forever
as they have their sights firmly set on a life down under
following their experience of the trial week in Perth.
The trial week was awesome.
It was genuinely better than we could have hoped for
or expected, really.
You hear about these kind of postcard places and you just think,
"Oh, it can't be that good," but it really, really was.
I really enjoyed it and there was no kind of side of it where I thought
that wouldn't be for us, or anything like that.
I thought that she was always, always thinking about her family
and maybe not thinking about our future family
as much as I maybe was.
But she said Australia in the end
and I think she must have also realised
that we did have such a good week,
and we've just had a really good opportunity
and a chance to experience what it could be like.
And I think she was just sold by the week.
When I flipped that card for Australia, it was me saying,
"I am willing to put 100% in giving it a go."
No-one can ever say, "Yes, I'm going to move there forever."
You know, you might get hit by a bus tomorrow so there's no point...
You can't say anything is going to happen tomorrow,
all I can say is that I will, hand on heart, give it my best shot.
After the trial, they spent a further week down under.
We wanted to stay longer, to be honest,
but we only just about managed to get the two weeks off,
because obviously Mathew was still in the army.
We went to different places like Rottnest Island and went to the zoo.
-We saw wildlife stuff, really.
-It was quite interesting.
The thing that struck me is just how when we were there it was winter,
and we were just in a vest top and shorts, like...
It was just so nice to be outside.
-I mean, here, when we're out walking Ollie...
..you can't... Yeah, you can't talk to each other!
You can't appreciate it.
You can't hear each other for the wind.
We'd literally be able to do it all year round over there.
But on their return to the UK, life quickly took over
at a head-spinning pace, leaving them with little room
to contemplate a move.
We kind of had to switch on, really and, like,
kind of put it to one side because I was getting out of the army,
I kind of needed a job.
We had the wedding coming up, hen do, stag dos -
we had a lot of things coming thick and fast.
At one point they even considered
whether the cost of a wedding could be spent in a different way.
We had the discussion, you know,
we've got this pot of money that we've saved for the wedding,
but this money could get us to Australia.
Like, we could literally start tomorrow, the process,
we could nip to a registry.
It's the same outcome, you're married.
You know, it is what it is at the end of the day.
We could have a holiday.
You know, we're in Australia so that could be the holiday anyway.
But to do this would have stopped them enjoying their planned
wedding with both families together in Cyprus.
This would most probably be the last holiday
with the likes of my grandad and, you know...
Having all the family together.
Having the family together, yeah, you know?
So it was that that kind of prompted us to go ahead with it.
So they chose to use the money to pay for the wedding
later in the year and then start saving again for Oz.
But before they could start filling this Australian purse,
Mathew had to leave the army and find a job on Civvy Street.
Yeah, trying to get a job outside the army is a bit daunting
really at first because you don't know whether your skills
are transferable and it's a way of trying to tell the civilian company
that you've done similar sorts of things,
but, obviously, like, tanks are a lot different
to electronic producing, er, machinery.
When he discussed with me that he was thinking of leaving the army,
you know, I was a bit wary of it
because it is kind of the most secure job
you can probably have, you know?
And it was a massive decision.
I knew, kind of, what could possibly happen and, you know...
I don't know, I was just really wary of it.
But he was kind of insistent.
But he couldn't take just any job,
as Mathew knew that if they were to move down under,
his skills in electronic engineering were their only way to get a high
enough income to be able to fulfil the dream.
I did apply for quite a few jobs as well and sometimes you don't hear
anything back so it's a bit difficult, like...
Morale-wise, you're looking at it and it's like,
"Why have I not heard anything back about this?
"I thought I was perfect for that job."
And then you're thinking,
"Oh, am I going to be good enough for, like,
"any sort of job whatsoever?"
The pressure of finding a job was not the only strain.
Mathew's departure from the army
was nothing less than a culture shock for him.
Because I've never really lived with Phillipa properly,
it's always been flying visits on a weekend,
maybe the odd, "Oh, right, you're here for two weeks now."
And she'd try to book time off to spend time with me, two weeks,
and we'd go gallivanting or do something else.
But this is actually, like, proper home life,
this is actually, like, proper living and things like that so...
It was a shock to the system.
He was really, really anxious about the fact that he needed a job
sorted straightaway for when he's left.
I mean, we had savings, it wasn't a huge issue.
I mean, obviously it would have been nice but he was really, really...
He'd had a job 24/7 since the age of 16,
you know, and not the easiest job in the world.
It's a difficult job.
So the prospect of him not working, he gets fidgety, and, you know,
"I'm not doing anything, I need to be doing things."
So I was just, sort of, like, stewing in my own self-pity, really.
So that wasn't great and obviously she was getting annoyed with me
because I was constantly, "Isn't this rubbish, blah, blah, blah."
She's like, "Yeah, it's been rubbish for quite a while now but..."
So it was quite emotional getting back to grips with things.
But get a grip they did.
As a young couple forging a life together,
they faced the unknown and took that leap of faith.
And after a short time, Mathew settled and life began to look up.
Since he's come home, it's...
It is just so much better.
I feel like I can support him a lot more.
And he can support me as well. We're there...
Even just doing the weekly shop together,
like, we never did things like that before.
You know, it would all be there when he got home and
it's nice just to do these boring kinds of things together.
-I didn't die!
And a few months before the wedding, Mathew had some good news.
I managed to get a job working for an electronic component-producing
factory in Oldham.
So I maintain and repair the equipment that makes the electronic
Life was on the up and up and with Australia back to the
forefront of their minds,
they booked their wedding in Cyprus along with an extended holiday for
their families there.
We did come to the conclusion that, you know, actually,
if we do make it to Australia, this will be the last family
holiday we have with them.
So we just decided it was worth it to do it that way.
The wedding was amazing, really.
We had 17 days in Cyprus in a 5-star hotel.
It was genuinely perfect in every way for me.
It was just brilliant.
We had the church wedding that we wanted still,
we had the sunshine, you know, everyone was...
Everyone knows that when it's sunny, it makes people happy
and it was a wedding day as well,
so everyone was smiling and you weren't having to worry about
wind and cold.
Yeah, it was just really, really nice.
And whilst, for some, the wedding may have been tinged with sadness
at the thought of them emigrating, there was now,
especially in the case of Phillipa's dad,
more of an acceptance for their move.
Well, initially when they first said it,
it's really powerful for someone to say that.
Yeah, and it was hard then.
But now we've sort of come to terms with it a little bit more.
It's... Yeah, it's a good thing that they're doing.
If that's what they want to do then,
then the world's a small place now so, yeah, good luck to them.
But there is still one thing holding them back.
We kind of had the discussion that if we did one to Australia,
you know, got pregnant whilst we were over there and then,
I just said, I would kind of put money on the fact that
-I'd just be straight back.
-No support from anybody.
Yeah, like, I work with children, I've been around children
all my life but that's just...
I mean, I've never done it before
and it's just a completely different kettle of fish.
We're not, like, putting pressure on ourselves saying we want a baby
by X, Y, Z date, or whatever.
I think we want to try and have a baby in this country
before moving to Australia, just so at least our families
can, like, meet the child first off and get to know them
and just so we can have them there for support and help,
more than anything.
But of course this plan does have a flaw
which both Phillipa and Mathew are aware of.
The idea of taking a child away from grandparents might be a bit...
..hard for them. We might find it difficult just...
-Well, when I introduced...
-..just for the child really,
if it's not going to have a relationship and things
and then obviously grandparents might get annoyed and upset.
I would like to think that my motivation for giving that child
and our family the best kind of life would override...
-And they're not going to lose...
-Feelings of parents.
Yeah, they're not going to lose out completely.
We will come back and...
Family will go over there.
Regardless of the support that we'd want, I wouldn't...
I mean, I'm saying I'm going to take them away, I suppose,
but I'd want my family to be there for that, you know,
that first period initially.
-Just so they can meet their grandchild
and then we'd take them away again, can't we?
-They'd obviously meet them...
-"Hey there. See you later!
-"We're going now!"
The plan clearly needs some more finessing,
but where do they see themselves in five years' time?
I would say in five years' time
-about to board the plane to Australia.
-I don't know.
-I'd say we're already there.
By that point we'd have hopefully had a child, you know,
hopefully, all being well,
and we'd be over there and we'd just be getting on with it, really.
-And we'd be booking the flights. It would be...
-For your mum.
Yeah, they'd be boarding the flight to come and see us.
-We'll book it but she can pay!
-Will you stop?!
Phillipa and Mathew have clearly set their sights
on making down under their home.
With so much ahead of them and so many plans,
it promises to be a life rich with love,
adventure and frequent visits from family!
We wish them all the very best for the future.
Mathew Royle Evatt joined the army when he was just 16, but after ten years of active service he was ready to swap his military career for married life and believed Australia was the perfect place to do it.
But for his fiancee Philippa Rowley the thought of leaving everyone she loved in the UK to start a new life on the other side of the world was a scary prospect. So was a week sampling everything the country had to offer enough to help secure Mathew the future he so desperately wanted for them?
Mathew and Philippa were childhood sweethearts. They met at school, but with Mathew signing up to the army a few months later their relationship got off to a rocky start. He was away almost all the time and in dangerous corners of the world. It was a very uncertain time for the couple, but love blossomed and with plans for their wedding under way Mathew was ready to give up his army career for a more stable life with Philippa - and he believed that could be in Australia. He had fallen for the country on a brief visit with work ten years previously.
But Philippa wasn't convinced. They knew they wanted to start a family soon, and the prospect of doing this thousands of miles from the people she already shared her life with was too much for her to comprehend. Ultimately the choice for Phillipa was between the man she was about to spend the rest of her life with and her family. Mat had a battle on his hands.
So twelve months later, it's time to find out if the couple are living in Lancashire in the UK or in Perth down under?