Thom Family Wanted Down Under


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Thom Family

The Thoms have travelled the world with the RAF. Lori's dream is to settle in Australia, but with his latest posting back home, has everything changed for husband Kev?


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The Thom family has travelled with the RAF across the world,

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but now mum Lori's dream is to settle next in Australia.

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We have got to pick somewhere to settle down,

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and I think, why not Australia?

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Originally the one pushing for the move,

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a latest posting has changed things for husband Kevin.

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I'm the one putting the brakes on.

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Could a trial week in Melbourne convince the whole family?

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I got to play football in Australia.

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Or is the pull of home just too strong?

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I would feel so guilty. I'd feel like I'm pulling their grandchildren

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away from them.

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With sun, sea and opportunities,

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it's no surprise so many of us flock to Australian shores every year in

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search of a better life.

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Today, the country has over one million UK-born residents,

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but the grass isn't always greener,

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and leaving everything you know half a world away

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can be a lot harder than you think.

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Uprooting the family goes with the territory when you're military,

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but after 20 years of relocation, relocation, relocation,

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the Thoms are desperate to settle down in their forever home.

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The only problem? Dad Kevin thinks this should be close to his nearest

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and dearest in his Scottish hometown,

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while mum Lori has her heart set on planting those roots much further

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away in Australia.

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With everything up in the air, the time has come for this RAF family to

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decide where their dream landing should be, once and for all.

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To get from the UK to the south of Australia,

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the Thom family have spent more than 22 hours in the air.

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As they touch down in Melbourne,

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the huge distance between them and Scotland is hitting home.

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My bag's broken. The journey was probably worse than what I expected.

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Definitely not fun, especially when you've got the little one,

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when he's just screaming most of the way.

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-And Lori's in no doubt about the challenge ahead.

-Where is it?

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Really hoping that the weather's going to be on my side and that

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we're going to see lots of things that's going to help convince the

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men in my life that our future lies in Australia.

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And are they up for convincing?

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I think I could be convinced,

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but it's quite a slim chance that I could be.

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It's a huge decision to make,

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and if it doesn't feel right, then...then it will be a no for me.

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Lori has just seven days to convince her family Australia will give them

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the outdoor lifestyle they so desperately want.

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Meet the Thoms -

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dad Kevin, mum Lori, Niall aged 11, and baby Lachlan, 18 months.

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Lori and Kev met in the RAF in 2005.

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It was love at first sight.

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So it was a whirlwind romance.

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Met in the March and married in the November.

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-Someone described us as a really, really happy, perfect couple.

-LAUGHTER

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Is everyone coming on the trampoline?

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As a couple, we're both really outdoorsy. We're both very active.

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We love keeping fit. We need to be out and about.

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We both love travelling.

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And travel they did, together and on their own.

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They were deployed to the troubled hotspots of the world.

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Lori was a medic on board a Chinook helicopter at the front line in Iraq

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and Afghanistan.

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I joined the Royal Air Force when I was 16 years old, so very young.

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I absolutely loved the majority of it.

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And that's where I met my lovely husband Kev,

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who was serving as a physical training instructor at the time.

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The RAF has meant being constantly

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on the move, and Kevin's latest posting is RAF Lossiemouth in

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north-east Scotland.

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Born and bred in the local area, for Kevin it's a return home.

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I think I moved up here thinking I would move on again at some point.

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But the time we've spent here,

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I'm starting to feel that I could settle up here.

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However, being at the RAF's beck and call is taking its toll on Lori.

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So, we've moved five times in the last ten years,

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and Kev will just come home from work and say,

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"Right, we're moving here in," you know,

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"two months', three months' time."

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And I just...I find that really difficult.

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The Thoms are desperate to put down roots once and for all,

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and initially Kev hoped a new life in Australia could bring that about.

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It was my dream, because I travelled there in 1997 and '98, and I had an

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-amazing time.

-He went travelling there before he joined the Royal Air

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Force, and he's gone on about it to me for the past 12 years.

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However, Lori was not on board.

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The thought of leaving my sister and my mum and my friends behind,

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I just thought was absolutely ludicrous.

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But when Niall came along, she was grounded.

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She retrained as a post-traumatic stress counsellor.

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Determined to create a better life

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as a family, the tables slowly turned.

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We were on our own up here to start off with,

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and we made it work.

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We have got to pick somewhere to settle down,

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and I think, why not Australia?

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I really do believe it can offer us a much more outdoorsy lifestyle.

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And now it's Kevin who's stalling.

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Moving back home and the draw of home, friends, family,

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my perspective has changed.

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I kind of feel guilty, because I'm thinking I was the one that almost

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planted the seed in her head, to some extent,

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and now I almost feel like I'm the one putting the brakes on.

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Niall...

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And he's not the only one.

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Son Niall has settled into his fifth school in almost as many years,

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and he loves it.

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When my mum and dad told me I could be moving to Australia,

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I wasn't happy, because, like, I was all settled.

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He's on the football team and he's pretty good.

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That's it, Niall, come on!

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My biggest worry about moving to Australia is there might not be as

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much football as there is here,

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and, like, also leaving my friends behind.

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CHANTING AND CHEERING

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And then it's back to Granny and Grandad's for tea -

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another unexpected bonus to Lossiemouth living.

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For Kevin, leaving his job is difficult enough,

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but leaving his parents is virtually unthinkable.

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The thing I would feel the most guilty about moving would be for my

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parents missing the boys.

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Because they missed a lot of Niall growing up.

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To see them growing the bond with Niall, and then see how they are

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with Lockie, that... I would feel so guilty.

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I'd feel like I'm pulling their grandchildren away from them.

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And Lori's only too aware any move would tear apart these newly-formed

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emotional bonds.

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I'd feel like I was taking my mum's grandchildren away and my sister's

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nephews away.

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It'll be so emotional to see them...

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Sorry.

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Sorry. Seeing them say goodbye to

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their, um...their grandchildren, because they just dote on them.

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One thing the couple do agree on is that it's now or never.

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I just want to give it a go.

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I know we've got to settle down somewhere,

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and I expected to just...

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that place to feel like home when I found it,

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and I don't feel like I've found it yet in the UK.

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-Lockie.

-With the couple divided, everything rides on this trial week.

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We have the security, we have the stability,

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we've already got a great work-life balance, good quality of life.

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And what if we can't get that?

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If the trial week can't help convince Kev and Niall that we

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should move to Australia, then

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unfortunately my dream will be over.

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For their trial week down under, the family is visiting Melbourne,

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the capital of the state of Victoria,

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dubbed one of the most liberal cities on the planet.

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Their home for the week, this modern,

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open-plan house is about seven miles

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north of the city centre.

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Nice to finally be here.

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When the family arrive, everyone is visibly exhausted with the journey,

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but Lori knows she's got work to do.

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I'm apprehensive, but I'm going to have to be a bit of a saleswoman,

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to be selling it to you and Niall.

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For you to sell this week to me,

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I guess what we're going to do - the two key things are

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employment and a good lifestyle with a nice home.

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-Well, we shall see.

-We shall see.

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Back in Scotland, the Thom family live in a rented house provided by

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RAF Lossiemouth. It's their fifth military house in ten years.

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We have moved around quite a bit, but I know, coming to Lossiemouth,

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it feels like home for me here.

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With all the family photos and children's paintings,

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she's done her best to make it their own,

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but it's not the place Lori wants to call home.

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It doesn't feel like my home.

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I can't decorate the way I would like to decorate.

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We're only here for a couple of years.

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There's no point putting wallpaper on the walls, cos you have to take

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-it all off.

-However, she has definite ideas as to what her home

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will look like in Australia.

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I definitely want an en suite.

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It would be imperative to have a huge walk-in wardrobe.

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State-of-the-art kitchen with a big island in the middle.

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-Open-planned, you know.

-I'm never going to get to see it, because I'm

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-always going to be on my second or third job...

-So we...

-LAUGHTER

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To see just what their £400,000 budget could buy them around

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Melbourne, we've lined up three houses -

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two close to their budget, and a third which might very well be their

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dream property.

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The Thoms travel half an hour north to Craigieburn.

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It might sound Scottish, but it is in fact a sprawling Aussie suburb

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popular with families.

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Its population is set to double in the next decade due to its flat

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surroundings and proximity to central Melbourne.

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You get a good return on your bucks,

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but let's see if it's up their street.

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And it's off to a great start for Niall.

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-You like it?

-Yeah.

-What do you like about it?

-The balconies.

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You can see yourself chilling on the balconies?

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-And things look even brighter inside.

-Oh, this is nice!

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It's nice and wide.

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-Yeah, it's nice. It's big, yeah.

-It's nice. Nice and spacious.

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But what about Lori's must-have -

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an open-plan kitchen, her family hub?

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So, it's open-planned. It's nice and big.

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Maybe we'd make some friends in Australia, or when family came to

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visit we could all kind of sit in this area.

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-Yeah.

-You could be cooking away.

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-Yeah?

-Yeah.

-And that's one thing I can't see.

-No, I can't see that!

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So, Kevin's no good in the kitchen. What about the bedroom?

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Oh, this is a nice, big bedroom.

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It's definitely got the space that we want.

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It's light, it's airy. Perfect for us.

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-Yeah, the size is good.

-Let's hope the en suite is big enough for them.

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-Oh! En suite.

-Yeah, not the biggest en suite.

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I've got to admit, I thought, given the size of the bedroom,

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-it would be bigger.

-We could redo it. It's got a nice floor.

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A little disappointing.

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Well, Lori's staying positive.

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And to the must-have on everybody's wish list...

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Our walk-in wardrobe.

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I don't think I'd get a look-in in getting any of my stuff in here.

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But why are you thinking that your stuff would go in here?

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I don't understand that logic.

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We'd never share a wardrobe.

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-Dad's would go in that box.

-LAUGHTER

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Young Niall seems more impressed with his own room.

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Ah, this is nice and bright.

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I would be happy in a room like this, just because, like, I like the

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view, and when I wake up it would be, like,

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I can just look out the window.

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He liked the balconies from the onset,

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so maybe the garden will interest this footy fan.

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Oh, now, this is nice. This is a nice outdoor space.

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-It's a nice big space.

-Could have a nice big set of patio chairs,

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-table, barbecue.

-So, would this space suit you?

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Is this big enough for you to kick a ball around?

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-Definitely not.

-OK.

-Hmmm.

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This property has slightly underwhelmed.

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But, if it's within their £400,000 budget,

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would that make it more attractive?

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Big moment. So, what does everyone think?

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I think I like the ones more in the UK.

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But, yeah, the space... Overall, the space is fantastic.

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So how much do you think it is?

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I'm going to say £397,000.

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I'm going to say £375,000.

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I'm going to go for 425,000.

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So, Niall, do you want to do the honours? Turn the card over?

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-Ooh!

-Oh, it's over budget.

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-So Niall was actually £2,000 out.

-Niall was £2,000 out.

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-He doesn't want to move.

-LAUGHTER

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I just think it's unaffordable, really,

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with the work we'd need to do on top.

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So, yeah, no, I'm not going to lie, I'm disappointed.

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That's £23,000 over budget, but Niall is pleased as punch he got the

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value right. This is one competitive family.

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Lori's dream is off to a wobbly start.

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Let's see if property number two can get things back on track.

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The 40-minute drive gets them to the family-friendly pocket

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of Burnside Heights. Close to shops, schools,

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and a fast train direct to the city centre,

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this four-bedroom house could be more to their liking.

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First impressions aren't great.

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I'd say my only reservation is I've never considered a single-storey.

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I've always liked the idea of two-storey.

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-Double storey.

-Yeah.

-Once inside,

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the lack of an upstairs is immediately forgotten.

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-Oh, no, this is lovely.

-Aw, that's nice.

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Just a nice impact as you walk through the door.

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I absolutely love this front room. I think it would really suit our

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needs. And I actually like that there's no TV in here.

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-I think that's something we could carry on.

-Yeah.

-Uh, no.

-LAUGHTER

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This is very much to my taste. Well, to our taste, isn't it?

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-To your taste.

-Oh, Lori, are you not picking up the lack of enthusiasm?

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This is exactly like the kitchen I'd kind of imagined.

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It's done exactly to your style.

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I can just imagine me cooking

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and you guys having breakfast here.

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There's a lovely dining area as well, which is separate.

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If I were to envisage my dream house in Australia,

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so far, from what I've seen here today, this is pretty much it.

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Oh! That's making our decision to

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-say no even harder now, isn't it, Niall?

-Yeah.

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And it's going to get even harder.

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Oh, a bedroom. It's definitely a beautiful space.

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Oh, wow! Look at the size of that bath!

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And the shower. Oh, his and hers!

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-Or hers, hers, hers, hers.

-Well, yeah.

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Oh, dear. So is there anything for the boys?

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Ah. If Mum got her way and we moved across, this could be your room.

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I'll obviously not like the decorations...

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-No.

-No, we'd de-girly it.

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You could throw your stuff on the floor like you do at home,

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-make yourself at home.

-Can Niall see himself getting comfortable here?

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-Family bathroom.

-Yeah.

-That's a lovely size, isn't it?

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Especially if we do have guests.

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Nice big mirror for you to gel your hair in the morning.

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-No, it's natural beauty, isn't it?

-Of course, of course.

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And outside is definitely an improvement on property one.

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-In fact, this outdoor space could have it all.

-That's nice.

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That's bigger than what I'd think from being inside the house.

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It's enough room for the children's trampoline and slide,

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and Niall to kick a football about.

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-What do you think, Niall?

-Yeah, it's big enough to do all of that.

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Lori loves this property so much.

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Is the downside going to be they simply can't afford it?

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So, what do you think, Kev?

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I think the house is done to such a high spec.

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I'm going to say £430,000.

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-Oh. OK, Niall?

-£432,000.

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I'm going to go for 412.

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You were 11 off, and how much was I off?

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Yeah, Mummy's losing at this, isn't she?

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It's slightly over, but it's still over.

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Unless I worked three jobs for you.

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Well, yeah, that's always an idea.

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And finally, the dream house.

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It's ten minutes away in Caroline Springs -

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a green field suburb development, started from scratch at the

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turn-of-the-century, with every possible amenity on-site.

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But it's going to take something extra special for Lori to prefer it

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over the last one. And you know Lori -

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her face always tells a story.

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-OK.

-It does make an impact when you come through the door.

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Yeah, I'm not sure it's the impact

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that I would personally be going for.

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It's my...this is my personal opinion - I like it.

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It's like the water all coming down...

0:18:380:18:40

You just love the water features.

0:18:400:18:42

It's everything they asked for on paper...

0:18:430:18:46

OK. The kitchen is a really good size.

0:18:460:18:50

The kitchen, the dining area there,

0:18:500:18:53

the massive open-plan living room, I love.

0:18:530:18:57

-It's a huge space.

-It's massive!

0:18:570:18:59

-We could have 11 more children, Kev!

-Oh, wow!

-LAUGHTER

0:18:590:19:03

If I'm truthful, the only box that it's ticking is the amount of space

0:19:050:19:09

it has. And if the Queen lived in open-plan living,

0:19:090:19:13

this is kind of the sense of what I think her drawing room would look

0:19:130:19:17

-like.

-And upstairs,

0:19:170:19:19

the huge open spaces continue to astound and appal in equal measure.

0:19:190:19:25

-Oh, my word!

-Oh, that's a massive space.

-This is huge!

0:19:250:19:30

-Gigantic.

-We'd need three Hoovers.

0:19:300:19:33

It's just too large.

0:19:330:19:35

It's too open-planned for it to feel...homely?

0:19:350:19:39

So, maybe be careful what you wish for, Lori.

0:19:390:19:42

Wow, again!

0:19:430:19:45

I asked for open-planned living, I asked for his and hers sinks,

0:19:450:19:49

I asked for lots of space, and it over-delivers.

0:19:490:19:53

And things get bigger and bigger with the walk-in wardrobe.

0:19:530:19:58

Probably bigger than Lachlan's bedroom at home.

0:19:580:20:00

-Oh, definitely.

-Would Dad's stuff fit in this one?

0:20:000:20:03

Yes, I actually think your stuff would fit in this one.

0:20:030:20:06

That is absolutely massive.

0:20:060:20:08

This place certainly has lots of space, but rather than that being a

0:20:080:20:11

plus, it appears to be putting Lori off. Can the garden redeem this

0:20:110:20:15

property to a family that adores being outside?

0:20:150:20:19

So, Niall, this is what you wanted.

0:20:190:20:21

You wanted a swimming pool if we were to move to Australia.

0:20:210:20:23

-What do you think?

-Does this fit the bill?

-It's spacious, yeah.

0:20:230:20:27

-I like it.

-I think it's unnecessary. I'd rather have a garden area with,

0:20:270:20:31

like, a barbecue and, like, a patio area.

0:20:310:20:34

But it's at the detriment to a garden, so it's pool over footy.

0:20:340:20:38

Are you happy with that?

0:20:380:20:40

Obviously I can still play keepie-uppies over there.

0:20:400:20:44

It is really nice, but not to my style.

0:20:440:20:47

And even with a budding footballer in the family,

0:20:470:20:50

could they afford it anyway on their £400,000 budget?

0:20:500:20:54

-So...I think it's too small for us!

-LAUGHTER

0:20:540:20:58

-I can't get past the decor.

-It's just not us.

0:20:580:21:00

-It doesn't reflect our personality.

-No, so turn the card

0:21:000:21:03

over and put us out of our misery.

0:21:030:21:05

Remember, they have a £400,000 budget.

0:21:080:21:11

-Is that a mistake?! I don't understand that!

-No.

0:21:140:21:17

It just makes me think, for that money,

0:21:180:21:21

what could we buy to our taste?

0:21:210:21:23

I personally think it's worth more than that much money.

0:21:230:21:27

I'm hoping we get some good news on the jobs,

0:21:270:21:31

and we'll be swanning around our palace in Australia.

0:21:310:21:36

A day house-hunting in Melbourne has been an eye-opener for the Thoms.

0:21:360:21:40

Property one was in a nice area, but was on the small side,

0:21:400:21:44

and the lack of grass space meant it was a no from the family.

0:21:440:21:47

Despite being single-storey,

0:21:480:21:50

Lori fell in love with property number two.

0:21:500:21:53

Perfect in shape and size and decor.

0:21:530:21:55

However, Kevin's reaction was much more measured.

0:21:550:21:59

Property three had their eyes out on stalks, but this five-bedroom

0:21:590:22:03

mansion was too much for the Thoms in every sense.

0:22:030:22:06

It over-delivered, but not in a good way.

0:22:060:22:08

So, when it comes to property, will they vote home or away?

0:22:090:22:14

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

0:22:140:22:18

-Australia!

-Australia!

-Undecided.

0:22:310:22:33

You picked Australia!

0:22:330:22:35

Well, just based on what I've seen today,

0:22:350:22:38

and while I haven't seen my dream house,

0:22:380:22:40

you get a lot more for your money.

0:22:400:22:42

We saw some, you know,

0:22:420:22:43

pretty spacious houses that were near enough on budget,

0:22:430:22:48

which has been really encouraging.

0:22:480:22:50

So you voted undecided, son.

0:22:500:22:53

I like the houses, some of the houses here,

0:22:530:22:57

but I don't like the area they're in.

0:22:570:22:59

Quite positive so far. However, finding the right jobs for both

0:23:070:23:11

Kevin and Lori is crucial.

0:23:110:23:13

Both these high-flyers won't settle for anything less than what

0:23:130:23:16

they've already got.

0:23:160:23:18

Ex-RAF medic Lori has retrained as a post-traumatic stress nurse.

0:23:190:23:24

Back in the UK, she works for the Ministry of Defence,

0:23:240:23:27

and she'll be the family's main visa applicant.

0:23:270:23:30

I absolutely love my job.

0:23:300:23:32

You see so much post-traumatic growth, actually,

0:23:320:23:34

much more than you do trauma, which is really, really interesting,

0:23:340:23:38

and something that I didn't expect when I went into the role.

0:23:380:23:42

Still in the RAF, Kevin is responsible for the training and

0:23:420:23:45

personal development for over 2,000 servicemen. It's a senior position -

0:23:450:23:51

one Kevin has worked hard and long to get.

0:23:510:23:54

I've been in the Air Force 17 years now.

0:23:540:23:56

I absolutely love life in the Air Force.

0:23:560:23:58

Good morning. Welcome to today's training session...

0:23:580:24:01

The ability to move different jobs, different units, different places,

0:24:010:24:04

different people. I have never, never been bored.

0:24:040:24:08

Unfortunately, all that opportunity comes at a price.

0:24:080:24:12

Because of Kev's career and having to move every few years, my career,

0:24:120:24:17

unfortunately, has definitely taken a backseat.

0:24:170:24:20

I feel the move to Australia would really give me opportunities that

0:24:200:24:24

I've not been able to seek out before, because we're never in a

0:24:240:24:27

-place long enough.

-If he does go,

0:24:270:24:30

Kevin's looking to take a new path as a training consultant.

0:24:300:24:34

But after 20 years in the military, it is a gamble.

0:24:340:24:37

I have a great career.

0:24:390:24:40

We've got great stability, great security.

0:24:400:24:43

To kind of give all that up,

0:24:430:24:44

move to the other side of the world, into the unknown...

0:24:440:24:47

I'm just not sure how I feel about that.

0:24:490:24:51

To check out job opportunities down under,

0:24:550:24:57

we've arranged for Lori to visit a mental health clinic in Melbourne to

0:24:570:25:01

meet Lisa Stokes, the head of nursing,

0:25:010:25:03

and right away it's good news.

0:25:030:25:06

Hi, Lori. I've had a look at your CV. You've certainly got a lot of

0:25:060:25:09

interest and expertise in working with people who have complex trauma

0:25:090:25:12

issues and PTSD.

0:25:120:25:14

That's also an area that we're doing a lot of work in.

0:25:140:25:17

So, from our perspective,

0:25:170:25:18

you would be someone who would be highly desirable as an employee.

0:25:180:25:23

Encouraging news.

0:25:230:25:25

But Lori's keen to tick all the boxes.

0:25:250:25:27

For my current level of experience,

0:25:280:25:30

if I were to get a full-time role in a hospital such as this,

0:25:300:25:35

what kind of salary could I expect to earn?

0:25:350:25:38

For your level of expertise, coming in at a starting rate,

0:25:380:25:41

you'd be looking at around £56,000 a year.

0:25:410:25:44

-Oh, wow!

-Is that good?

-Yeah, that's really good!

0:25:440:25:48

-So, yeah, that's a lot more than I'm...

-OK.

-..on at the moment.

0:25:480:25:52

It couldn't be more positive for Lori.

0:25:520:25:56

Across town, Kevin is dropping into one of the oldest and

0:25:560:25:59

established training companies in Melbourne,

0:25:590:26:02

and to start with, it seems like it might not be as straightforward as

0:26:020:26:05

Lori's skill set.

0:26:050:26:07

So, from my CV, are my skills easily transferable to Australia?

0:26:080:26:12

Certainly, your background lends very easily to transfer.

0:26:120:26:15

What you might need to do is get an upskill in a certificate for

0:26:150:26:19

-training in assessment.

-OK.

-A lot of organisations look for that...

-Yes.

0:26:190:26:23

..as part of the core skills that

0:26:230:26:26

people have, coming into an organisation.

0:26:260:26:28

Well, he's not one to shy away from hard work.

0:26:280:26:31

But what about employment opportunities at the moment?

0:26:310:26:34

In this market, in the learning development market,

0:26:340:26:36

there's always quite a few positions around,

0:26:360:26:38

and if you're looking at the training consultancy role as well,

0:26:380:26:42

I know our organisation is always looking for things like that, too,

0:26:420:26:45

so I definitely think that there's a lot of jobs around in this space.

0:26:450:26:49

In line for promotion in the UK,

0:26:490:26:51

Kevin's keen to know if a move down under will pay off.

0:26:510:26:55

So, I guess the big question -

0:26:550:26:57

what kind of salary can I expect to earn if I were to make the move to

0:26:570:27:00

-Australia?

-So, for the training consultant role,

0:27:000:27:03

you'd be looking at around £48,000 per year,

0:27:030:27:07

and the learning and development manager role,

0:27:070:27:10

about £66,000 per year, too, as a base level.

0:27:100:27:14

Actually, that training consultant is similar to what I'm on in the UK,

0:27:140:27:17

but the learning development manager -

0:27:170:27:19

and I think perhaps my skills could fit into that -

0:27:190:27:23

that's a little bit more

0:27:230:27:25

than what I'd expect to earn in the UK for that, so that's good news.

0:27:250:27:29

So, all in all, a good result all round.

0:27:290:27:33

Can this day get any better?

0:27:330:27:35

If you were to apply today, I could give you a job today,

0:27:350:27:38

so I'm looking forward to hearing from you.

0:27:380:27:40

-Wow. I will be speaking to my husband later on today...

-LAUGHTER

0:27:400:27:45

..about filling out an application form.

0:27:450:27:48

As the sun goes down over Melbourne,

0:27:480:27:50

Kevin and Lori meet up to swap notes.

0:27:500:27:53

-Hey, darling.

-Hey, how are you doing?

0:27:530:27:56

Kevin goes first.

0:27:560:27:58

-So?

-I met a lady called Lauren.

0:27:580:28:02

She spoke about two main roles.

0:28:020:28:04

The first being training consultant,

0:28:040:28:06

and the second being a learning and development manager.

0:28:060:28:10

The training consultant was £48,000 a year,

0:28:100:28:13

and for the learning and development manager, was £66,000 a year.

0:28:130:28:18

So that's fantastic news.

0:28:180:28:20

So a little bit more than what I'm on in the UK at the moment.

0:28:200:28:23

I also had two other bits of amazing news today.

0:28:230:28:26

Firstly, my starting salary would be £56,000.

0:28:260:28:31

And if I was to apply for a job today,

0:28:310:28:34

they could offer me a role within that clinic.

0:28:340:28:37

Oh, that is absolutely tremendous!

0:28:370:28:39

That is literally everything you've ever wanted.

0:28:390:28:43

That's amazing.

0:28:430:28:44

Right, well, I guess it's time to put this to the vote.

0:28:440:28:48

Based on our work meetings today, our vote goes to...

0:28:490:28:53

-Australia!

-Australia!

0:29:010:29:03

Second time you've voted Australia, Kev!

0:29:030:29:06

Logic tells me, if I'm going to earn £20,000-plus more a year,

0:29:060:29:11

then it would be silly to vote on the UK. If anything else, I had to

0:29:110:29:15

-vote Australia, otherwise I feared for my life.

-LAUGHTER

0:29:150:29:18

Well, it's two down, but affordability and

0:29:180:29:21

the emotional stuff is still to come.

0:29:210:29:24

LAUGHTER

0:29:250:29:27

Halfway through their trial week and two votes apiece for Oz.

0:29:300:29:35

It's going pretty much Lori's way.

0:29:350:29:38

A move down under looks very much on the cards.

0:29:380:29:41

But, as Kev points out,

0:29:410:29:43

there's still that all-important financial reality check,

0:29:430:29:47

and messages from family to hear.

0:29:470:29:50

And as we all know, these very often change everything.

0:29:500:29:55

First, though, it's time for them to sample the sort of lifestyle this

0:29:550:29:59

super-energetic family might be able to endure -

0:29:590:30:02

sorry, enjoy - down under.

0:30:020:30:05

The reason most families are thinking of moving across the world

0:30:070:30:10

is to spend more time together in the great Aussie outdoors.

0:30:100:30:14

But this family takes outdoor

0:30:140:30:15

pursuits to an altogether different level.

0:30:150:30:18

-No pain, no gain.

-Ten more. Nine.

-Three.

0:30:220:30:27

Well done, son.

0:30:270:30:29

LAUGHTER

0:30:320:30:35

Thanks, Niall. High five for Team Mum?

0:30:350:30:38

And that's just the warm-up.

0:30:380:30:41

Next stop, footy training, Aussie style.

0:30:410:30:46

Before we start, I'd like to give you this courtesy bag

0:30:460:30:49

that contains our home kit.

0:30:490:30:50

-Go put it on and we'll see you on the pitch.

-OK, thank you.

0:30:500:30:53

Despite having moved with his family countless times in his short life,

0:30:590:31:03

Niall is proving to be a natural team player.

0:31:030:31:06

-Well done.

-Good touches, Niall.

0:31:060:31:08

-Good touches.

-Watching Niall made me realise that he does fit in really,

0:31:080:31:13

really quickly. He'd settle in, probably quicker than any of us.

0:31:130:31:18

-Well done, Niall.

-I got to play football in Australia,

0:31:180:31:21

I got to keep this kit, and I made...

0:31:210:31:23

I think I made a couple of friends today.

0:31:230:31:26

And back on the beach for a cool down, a surprise call

0:31:290:31:32

from sister Kylie really puts Lori through her paces.

0:31:320:31:37

Oh, show-off!

0:31:370:31:39

-Hello.

-Hello, darling. How has your week been?

-LACHLAN GURGLES

0:31:390:31:44

It's been absolutely amazing.

0:31:440:31:46

Oh, I just wish you were here to experience it with us.

0:31:460:31:49

I've missed you guys so much. We're always going to be here,

0:31:490:31:53

whatever, you know, whatever you decide.

0:31:530:31:55

-Are you going to blow a kiss to Auntie Kylie?

-Bye, Auntie Kylie.

0:31:550:31:58

-Love you lots, guys. I'll see you soon.

-THEY BLOW KISSES

0:31:580:32:01

Aww.

0:32:010:32:03

Me and Kylie speak at least four times a day.

0:32:050:32:07

With the time difference, we won't be able to speak so much.

0:32:070:32:12

I'm wondering whether I can live without that daily contact.

0:32:120:32:15

I think it's fair to say the cold reality is starting to dawn on

0:32:150:32:18

-everyone.

-Right, I'm getting out! That is freezing!

-LAUGHTER

0:32:180:32:23

Is it cold?

0:32:230:32:24

Second thoughts after that call from Kylie.

0:32:240:32:27

The big decision for me will always be family and the pull of home.

0:32:270:32:30

The call from home has unsettled them in the most unexpected way.

0:32:320:32:35

How will the Thoms now vote?

0:32:350:32:38

After our great day out today, our vote goes to...

0:32:380:32:41

-Australia!

-United Kingdom!

-Undecided.

0:32:530:32:56

So, how come undecided?

0:32:570:32:59

I have had a fabulous day,

0:33:010:33:04

but it also scared the living daylights out of me.

0:33:040:33:08

I'm thinking, is the lifestyle worth not being close

0:33:080:33:13

-to the people we love?

-Yeah.

0:33:130:33:15

Don't get me wrong, I had a really wonderful day today,

0:33:150:33:18

and especially the football.

0:33:180:33:20

But the football I've got in Scotland,

0:33:200:33:23

-I can't split the difference between it.

-Sitting on the fence?

-LAUGHTER

0:33:230:33:27

-Like you?

-I'm really surprised you voted undecided.

0:33:270:33:30

So, but...

0:33:300:33:32

the fact that you have and the reasons for it,

0:33:320:33:34

that's my exact reasons for not wanting to move.

0:33:340:33:36

-So it's true - at times I can see your point of view.

-LAUGHTER

0:33:360:33:40

-I never, ever thought I would say that.

-LAUGHTER

0:33:400:33:43

Things are anything but clear-cut for the Thoms.

0:33:510:33:54

With Kevin getting keen on a move and wife Lori retreating slightly,

0:33:540:33:58

all could be settled by the reality check.

0:33:580:34:02

The couple sit down to compare the cost of living in the UK and

0:34:020:34:05

Australia, starting with the weekly food shop.

0:34:050:34:09

-Right, let's have a look at some sums.

-Yeah.

0:34:090:34:12

So, nappies - we go through an awful lot of those, obviously.

0:34:120:34:15

£9.52 more expensive.

0:34:150:34:18

-Can we potty train him early?

-LAUGHTER

0:34:180:34:21

-I think we're going to have to.

-So, just going down the list, cat food,

0:34:210:34:24

-£3.27 of an increase.

-You never wanted a cat.

-Well, if we do move,

0:34:240:34:29

maybe we leave the cat as a gift for my parents.

0:34:290:34:31

-LAUGHTER

-What a lovely gift that would be.

0:34:310:34:34

So what does it all add up to?

0:34:340:34:36

So we are £49.81 worse off every week.

0:34:360:34:43

So, not a great start.

0:34:430:34:45

Next the couple move on to examine their biggest outgoings,

0:34:450:34:48

basing their figures on the dream house they viewed.

0:34:480:34:51

For our military quarter in the UK, we pay about £500 per month.

0:34:510:34:58

And a mortgage in Australia would be £1,780.

0:34:580:35:03

Wow!

0:35:040:35:06

And factoring in other household bills, it's not great news,

0:35:060:35:11

as the couple discover they would be £1,703 worse off per month.

0:35:110:35:16

-That's ridiculous.

-It makes me feel a bit sick, if I'm being honest.

0:35:180:35:21

-Yeah.

-I'm feeling a bit defeated at the moment.

0:35:210:35:23

Both Lori and Kev could earn substantially more in Oz.

0:35:240:35:28

Could the Australian salaries rescue the dream?

0:35:280:35:31

I've got an extra £1,300 per month.

0:35:310:35:34

And I've got an extra £1,500 per month.

0:35:340:35:37

So that leaves us £1,097

0:35:400:35:45

better off in Australia per month.

0:35:450:35:48

-Wow!

-And the reality is suddenly looking better.

0:35:490:35:54

-I'm speechless.

-£13,000 better off a year!

0:35:540:35:59

Not living in a military quarter with a pink carpet...

0:35:590:36:05

-I like that pink carpet.

-LAUGHTER

0:36:050:36:08

I think I know how this vote's going to go.

0:36:080:36:11

Based on our reality check today, our vote goes to...

0:36:110:36:15

-BOTH:

-Australia!

0:36:250:36:27

-Australia again, Kev?!

-Yeah, well, I...

0:36:290:36:32

-You're loving it.

-You'd be daft not to,

0:36:320:36:34

based on the reality check and the figures.

0:36:340:36:36

I find it so encouraging that you voted for Australia again today,

0:36:360:36:40

and I really think that you're starting to see that we could have a

0:36:400:36:43

much better lifestyle in Australia.

0:36:430:36:45

Knowing they wouldn't lose out financially is reassuring,

0:36:520:36:55

but whether they can cope with their emotional wobbles is about to be put

0:36:550:36:59

to the test, as Lori and Kev sit down with older son Niall to watch

0:36:590:37:03

messages from loved ones back home.

0:37:030:37:06

Right, are we ready?

0:37:060:37:08

Ready.

0:37:080:37:09

Hello, Auntie Laurie, Uncle Kev, Niall and Lockie.

0:37:100:37:13

-Hi.

-Hi.

-Aww.

0:37:130:37:15

Hi, everyone. I hope you're well and

0:37:150:37:17

I hope you've had a fantastic week.

0:37:170:37:19

Kev is our only son.

0:37:190:37:21

He means the world to us.

0:37:210:37:23

Lori is amazing.

0:37:230:37:26

She is my best friend.

0:37:260:37:29

Niall and Lockie are just two beautiful grandsons.

0:37:290:37:33

When Kevin was 21, he went to Australia for a year,

0:37:330:37:37

and that was so hard.

0:37:370:37:39

To see four of them moving to the other side of the world,

0:37:390:37:42

I think it would break my heart.

0:37:420:37:44

-Aww!

-I would support them, of course.

0:37:440:37:47

But at the same time, you know,

0:37:470:37:49

the selfish part of me doesn't want them to go,

0:37:490:37:51

the selfish part of me wants them to just be down the road, and...

0:37:510:37:56

Yeah. I think I will put on a brave face for them.

0:37:560:37:59

Um...

0:37:590:38:01

But it'll be something that I'll find really difficult.

0:38:010:38:04

Kevin, I will say this -

0:38:040:38:06

that you're like my brother to me,

0:38:060:38:08

and I will miss you so, so much.

0:38:080:38:10

But please, just make the best decision for yourselves,

0:38:100:38:13

and you know fine that I will support you through whatever

0:38:130:38:15

-decision you make.

-If it's something you want to go for,

0:38:150:38:19

then go for it.

0:38:190:38:22

And I hope you've found a decent-sized house that has an

0:38:220:38:26

annexe or a granny flat, because we will be there.

0:38:260:38:29

-LAUGHTER

-Enjoy yourself.

0:38:290:38:32

You'll make the right decision.

0:38:320:38:34

-What will be will be.

-Yes, que sera, sera.

0:38:340:38:37

-Mmm. Oh, Doris Day.

-I won't start singing.

-No, Don't.

-LAUGHTER

0:38:370:38:41

We wish you the best of luck,

0:38:410:38:43

but we truly would like you to stay here.

0:38:430:38:46

Bye.

0:38:490:38:51

Did you realise she found it difficult when you went travelling

0:38:520:38:55

-when you were 21?

-No.

-No?

-No. No, no.

0:38:550:38:57

I've never been 100% sure on moving to Australia,

0:38:570:39:01

and that 1% that I added on the football, that's just gone down.

0:39:010:39:07

I almost feel like, after watching Mum,

0:39:070:39:10

I almost feel like I'm running out on them.

0:39:100:39:13

So...

0:39:130:39:15

At the start of the week, Lori Thom had one mission -

0:39:180:39:22

to convince husband Kevin and their boys that her dream of moving to a

0:39:220:39:26

healthier life in Australia could be their dream, too.

0:39:260:39:31

But during the trial week,

0:39:310:39:33

it was the pull of family from home that hit Lori hard.

0:39:330:39:37

Tempting though the job offers and lifestyle are, it might not be

0:39:370:39:41

enough, and as Kevin says,

0:39:410:39:43

they're in this together or not at all.

0:39:430:39:46

So, as the family prepare to vote for this, their final time,

0:39:460:39:50

just what way will it go?

0:39:500:39:52

Will they all vote the same way?

0:39:520:39:54

This is a hard one to call.

0:39:540:39:57

What would you do?

0:39:570:39:59

When the Thoms arrived in Melbourne a week ago,

0:40:000:40:02

Lori was convinced it was where her family's future lay.

0:40:020:40:06

Australia has ticked so many boxes for me this week.

0:40:060:40:10

It's shown me that we can have an amazing lifestyle, and everyone has

0:40:100:40:15

welcomed us with open arms.

0:40:150:40:17

But emotions have run high unexpectedly, making Lori wobble.

0:40:170:40:21

Today, after seeing messages from home,

0:40:230:40:26

it has made me realise that the move is not as clear-cut as I'd first

0:40:260:40:31

anticipated. So if I'm the driving force behind this,

0:40:310:40:35

it really worries me what kind of extra doubts have crept in

0:40:350:40:40

for Kev and Niall.

0:40:400:40:43

And is she right to worry?

0:40:430:40:46

Everything in my head says moving to Australia

0:40:460:40:49

seems like the right decision,

0:40:490:40:52

but my heart's saying no.

0:40:520:40:54

And it's so difficult to separate head and heart.

0:40:540:40:58

And with a maturity that belies his 11 years,

0:41:000:41:03

is Niall still hanging on tight to his convictions?

0:41:030:41:06

I never wanted to come to Australia, never mind move to Australia,

0:41:060:41:10

but since I've been here, I've changed my mind a little bit.

0:41:100:41:13

This week has been amazing. It's been such a good experience.

0:41:130:41:18

As the last vote of the week approaches,

0:41:180:41:21

-it's crunch time for the Thoms.

-It's so tough.

0:41:210:41:24

It's so hard to explain how tough it is to make a decision.

0:41:240:41:27

It's time to vote.

0:41:270:41:30

Based on our amazing week in Australia,

0:41:300:41:32

our final vote goes to...

0:41:320:41:34

-Australia!

-Undecided!

-United Kingdom!

0:41:500:41:53

Wow! I really thought we'd done enough this week to convince you...

0:41:550:42:00

I'm confused. I can see us having a great life here.

0:42:000:42:04

But then I also think we can have a great life back home. I'd be willing

0:42:040:42:07

to try, but just not... For us not to consider it to be permanent.

0:42:070:42:10

For you to say that you could possibly give it a try

0:42:100:42:14

-and to vote undecided is much better than you voting UK in my eyes.

-Yeah.

0:42:140:42:19

So you voted UK, buddy.

0:42:190:42:21

There are two things that are important to me.

0:42:210:42:24

I don't want to move school, and I like the football club I'm at.

0:42:240:42:27

I know, buddy. I know.

0:42:270:42:28

I think we can all agree we've had an absolutely amazing week with a

0:42:280:42:32

great insight into Australia,

0:42:320:42:35

and I think we have lots to talk about.

0:42:350:42:37

-Definitely.

-Group hug. Come on, buddy.

0:42:370:42:40

Finding their forever home was top of this ever-moving RAF

0:42:470:42:51

family's agenda.

0:42:510:42:53

Australia or Scotland?

0:42:530:42:55

The trial week was meant to give them the answer,

0:42:550:42:58

but it seems it has simply divided or confused this family more.

0:42:580:43:03

As Kevin says, there's still a lot of talking to do,

0:43:030:43:07

but one thing's for sure - whatever the Thoms decide,

0:43:070:43:10

they'll do it together, and we wish them the very best of luck.

0:43:100:43:14

Uprooting the family goes with the territory when you are in the military, but after 20 years of relocating the Thom family is desperate to settle down in their forever home. The only problem is mum Lori and dad Kevin cannot decide where that should be. Kevin thinks it should be close to his nearest and dearest in his Scottish hometown, while Lori has her heart set on planting those roots much further away - in Australia.

Along with Kevin and Lori there are sons Niall, who is 11, and Lochlan, who is 18 months. Lori and Kevin met in the RAF in 2005, and it was love at first sight. They married after a whirlwind romance and then travelled the world.

Originally the one pushing for a move, Kevin's latest posting to RAF Lossiemouth has changed all that. Born and bred in the local area, for Kevin it is a return home to friends and family. The fact it's a healthy work promotion as well is a welcome bonus. Lori has now retrained as a PTSD counsellor but has never thought of the north east of Scotland as being where she should put down her roots.

It's not only Kevin who is stalling. Son Niall has settled into his fifth school in almost as many years, and he loves it. He is on the football team and is pretty good - local scouts are showing a fair bit of interest. An added plus for the two boys is this is the first time they have their doting grandparents nearby to spoil them. And as for Kevin, leaving his job is difficult enough, but the idea of leaving his parents is virtually unthinkable.

Could a trial week in Melbourne convince the whole family otherwise? Or will the pull of home be just too strong? There is a lot up in the air for the Thoms - the time has come for this RAF family to decide once and for all where their dream landing should be.