Parsons Family Wanted Down Under


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Parsons Family

Fireman Matt has a passion burning deep inside him to live in Australia, but so far his wife Jessica has poured cold water all over his desires for a move.


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Fireman Matt Parsons has a passion

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burning deep inside him for Australia.

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-Always fancied the lifestyle, outdoor living.

-SIREN

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Over here, we have barbecues in the summer, but...

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and then we don't really see many people in the winter.

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But so far his wife, Jessica,

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has poured cold water all over his desires for a move.

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We love the place we live in.

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We've got great jobs.

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I love our life here - I'm happy with it.

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Will a week in Melbourne see the Aussie dream spread like wildfire to

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-all the family?

-Ah, this is lovely, isn't it?

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Beautiful.

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Or will it finally become clear that this is not a drill,

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leaving hopes of a move all but snuffed out?

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I'm worried that we might end up not enjoying it,

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and it could go wrong pretty quickly.

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Around 23 families per day migrate to Australia in search of a better

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life. And anyone who's under the age of 45 and on the skills shortage

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list could be heading down under at the front of the queue.

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But for all these families, how hard is the decision,

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and do they find what they're looking for?

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When Jessica Choux moved to England from France and married Matt

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Parsons, she thought her life would settle down in England.

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But boy, was she wrong.

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She soon discovered that her husband had always harboured a passion for

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moving to Australia, and family life hadn't dampened it.

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The couple have now decided that they need to deal with this issue

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once and for all, in a trial week that will see them check out where

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they might live, what jobs they could get,

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and whether they'd be able to afford the lifestyle Australia offers.

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At the end, they'll vote - to stay in the UK, or finally make the move.

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After a journey lasting over 23 hours and a punishing three flights,

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the Parsons arrive in Melbourne.

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And it's fair to say that the tiredness is showing for Jessica.

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The journey's been exhausting, er,

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particularly because we've got a 15-month-old,

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and Stanley's not been very well as well.

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Not an experience I'm going to want to repeat on a regular basis,

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let's say!

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Matt's trying his best to put a positive spin on matters.

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I thought it was OK. I'd be quite happy to do it again,

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but only a one-way ticket next time.

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Matt, you might be getting ahead of yourself!

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I have to say, I'm a little bit worried that Matt's going to be

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disappointed, potentially,

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you know, that doesn't completely crush his dreams,

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in a way.

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He's got just seven days to convince Jessica their future lies

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-in Australia.

-If I can't prove to myself and to Jessica that it's a

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better move for us, then the move to Australia will be over.

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No pressure!

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Meet the Parsons family.

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They're Dad Matthew, Mum Jessica,

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and that's 15-month-old baby Stanley, I presume!

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Jessica moved from France to work in England,

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and met Matt in 2005.

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Well, I guess it was almost love at first sight!

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-That's really cheesy!

-THEY LAUGH

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-It's lunchtime!

-The pair have been together for 13 years,

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against all the odds, you could say.

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I think Matt and I are quite an unlikely couple,

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but we complement each other, don't we?

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Yes, we work as a team, and it seems to work.

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Although there was one particular thing they had differed on over the

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-years.

-Matt's always had this dream about moving to Australia.

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He's gone on and on about it every,

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every week for 13 years now.

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Always fancied the lifestyle, outdoor living.

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Over here, we have barbecues in the summer, but...

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and then we don't really see many people in the winter.

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I think it's hard when you're that young

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to commit to moving somewhere forever.

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But I never really thought about how serious a decision it was at the

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-time.

-Here you go.

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But then life took a serious turn, and a series of tragic events

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brought any plans screeching to a dramatic halt.

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My mum passed away, my dad passed away, and recently

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my stepdad passed away.

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So, we've...we've had a very, very tough few years.

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It was absolutely heartbreaking.

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No-one should have to go through so many losses in such a short amount

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of time.

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You think it gets better after the years, but it doesn't.

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During these times of losing people,

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Jessica was very, very strong.

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But, yeah, she's... She still gets upset about it now.

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We've come out much stronger, erm, you know,

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having, having gone through all this,

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sadly.

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And yet, what initially put paid to the Australian dream has also

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brought it back sharply into focus.

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In a strange way, these tragedies have made me want to do this even

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more. And I'm sure my mum,

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dad and stepdad would be proud of me to do it.

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-They'd want me to go.

-Now that Matt's come out of the other side,

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and I think he's realised that life is short, so,

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so he wants it more than ever.

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# Happy birthday to you. #

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CHEERING

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And a recent addition to their family has only made Matt more determined.

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The reason I want to move to Australia now is because of work-life balance.

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I'm working every day, most nights,

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and I don't get to see Stanley or Jessica for up to

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two days some weeks.

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He wants to give Stanley

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a better life, with a better

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family life, better weather, more of an outdoorsy lifestyle,

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and I think he thinks Australia will give him that.

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Matt, however, is aware that Jessica has potentially more to lose.

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Jessica's parents are still alive.

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They still see Stanley very, quite often, you know, once a month.

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We're happy with our life, we love the place we live in.

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We've got great jobs, erm,

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and we're going from strength to strength with our careers.

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So, we've actually got quite a lot to lose - and that's my main thing,

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it's just, can we replicate that in Australia?

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I love our life here, I'm happy with it.

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-Right, we're almost ready.

-One thing's for sure -

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they're almost certainly not on the same page.

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If Matt said tomorrow that he was quite happy to stay in England and

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drop the Australian dream, then I would be quite happy!

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But, for me, I could...

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I could just go tomorrow.

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Oh, dear. So, is there anything that will persuade Jessica?

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If we were to move to Australia,

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it would have to be for something better than what we've got here,

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on all fronts. Hello!

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We have to have all the boxes ticked, you know, wouldn't we,

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for most boxes ticked, I would have to move for all the boxes ticked,

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-and EXTRA boxes ticked!

-SHE LAUGHS

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-It's not very nice weather today, is it?

-Yeah.

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I've no idea which way it's going to go.

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I might get down there and think it's amazing.

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Which gives Matt some hope.

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But he's also well aware that this trip could also bring the end to his

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-dream.

-At the end of the week,

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if Jessica's decision isn't to move to Australia,

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then my dream will be over -

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which, which would be devastating for me.

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But I've got to stick with Jessica, she's the mother of my child,

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so wherever she is, that's where I will be.

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Home for the week is the historic seaport of Williamstown.

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When the family arrive at their rental accommodation,

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there's only one thing on Matt's mind.

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I can't wait to have a cup of tea.

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Oh, it's so lovely!

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Yours, Stanley, in here...

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And when the brew is made,

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it's a chance for the couple to look forward to the week ahead.

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I'm really looking forward to this week.

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I've wanted it for ages, and I think, you know,

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this week's going to be good.

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Jessica, however, wants to remind Matt of the ground rules.

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Things would have to be, you know,

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a major improvement from what we've got at home.

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-It's the same for me, though.

-Yeah.

-Well, that's that sorted.

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-I think.

-We'll see. You don't know because you've never seen it,

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you've never experienced it.

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-No, but I've got a good feeling.

-SHE LAUGHS

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Back in the UK, the Parsons live in Harpenden, in Hertfordshire,

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in a small but perfectly formed pad, which, it's fair to say, was a

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-labour of love.

-We've literally done everything in the flat -

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new flooring, new bathroom, new kitchen.

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New Year's Eve, Christmas Eve, when I was eight months pregnant,

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I was doing grouting, and we had family come over to help us paint

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walls, and lots of blood, sweat and tears have gone into it.

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Good boy!

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With a growing family, however, it's time to upscale,

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and they're looking for their ideal home in Australia.

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My dream home in Australia would be a three or four-bed house...

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With enough space for us to, you know, eventually have two children.

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Ten, 15-minute bike ride to the beach.

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Without needing too much work,

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because I'm not sure I'd want to start again with a one-year-old.

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The Parsons have a budget of £525,000 to spend down under.

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To find out what kind of home their money could get them in Melbourne,

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we'll show them three properties - two based on budget, and a third

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which could be their dream home.

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Only after they've seen each one will they find out its value.

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Their search begins in the heart of the Sanctuary Lakes estate -

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a new development 25 minutes from the centre of Melbourne.

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It boasts shops, amenities and a range of leisure facilities on-site.

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As Matt and Jessica pull up to the outside,

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it's fair to say they're impressed, and a little intimidated.

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It just looks out of our budget, doesn't it?

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Yeah, it looks, er... It's really impressive.

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Can't wait to see what's inside.

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Inside, well, they're almost lost for words.

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LAUGHTER

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-I really like this.

-It feels really open, and...

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-Yeah.

-I really like it.

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I can imagine myself, you know, on the sofa with Stanley, and, you

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-know, playing.

-Well, at least Jessica is starting to imagine her life here.

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Although she's going to have to start thinking bigger.

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-That is big.

-Really big. This is like the dream kitchen, isn't it?

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You can just see everything from here, can't you?

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Yeah. For Stanley to play while I cook, for example.

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-Yeah.

-It's so open-plan, but it's really lovely.

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It's almost too perfect,

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and a quick look outside brings the first downside of the property.

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I think I would want a bit more grass.

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It's not the most child-friendly. I'm just keeping Stanley in mind,

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you know, if he fell over that, he could hurt himself.

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Right, we need to get back to being positive.

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So, upstairs for a look at the main bedroom.

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-That is amazing.

-Big, big area.

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-Yeah.

-So, would a bedroom like this convince you to move?

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It would definitely sway me towards moving here, yeah.

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And how about the en suite?

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Oh, wow!

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-I'm speechless, it's huge again!

-LAUGHTER

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Our bathroom at home is...a quarter of the size?

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-About half the size?

-Oh, yeah, yeah, it is.

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-I'd be really happy with this.

-Modern.

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-Yeah. Yeah.

-I really like it.

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Well, that's Mum and Dad sorted.

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What about Stanley's room?

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Aww, that is so lovely, isn't it?

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-Really nice, yeah.

-Oh, Stanley would love this.

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-Yeah.

-Or, you know, if we decided to have another baby,

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-this would work really well as well.

-Mmm. Yeah.

-Another baby?!

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This IS getting serious!

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Well, we're going to need to see the family bathroom, then.

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Yeah, it's lovely. You know, perfect for Stanley and family,

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-if we've got family visiting.

-Yeah.

-The sort of stuff that we would, we would have at home.

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So, yeah, I really like it.

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It's been a blockbuster start to their property day,

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and Jessica is suitably impressed.

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So, what do you think?

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I...am really, really shocked, actually, because

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I wasn't expecting anything on this scale.

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It's just got everything you need.

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But can they afford a place like this on their £525,000 budget?

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So, I think this house is over our budget...

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-by quite a bit.

-Mm-hmm.

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I'd say £700,000?

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Well, it's not as close to the centre of Melbourne, so maybe...

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600,000 is a bit of a wild guess, but it sounds about right.

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Go on, then, turn it over.

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Oh, I'm nervous.

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-Ah!

-Wow!

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-It's under budget! £515,000.

-I can't believe that!

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Can't imagine what our budget would get, you know,

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going from a little two-bedroom flat to, to this.

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-So, could be doable, yeah?

-Yeah.

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And to think, their day has only just begun.

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Property two is situated in the Altona North suburb of the city,

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and as well as the usual shops and amenities,

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is located close to primary schools and the beach.

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Unlike the first house, this is a single-storey affair,

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but that's not putting Jessica off.

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I really like this, because it's got character and it's really lovely.

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Good start. Let's get inside.

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I really like it. Quite open.

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-Not very big, is it?

-It's bigger than our lounge in England.

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Yeah. Yeah. I think if we had family over,

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you'd be on top of each other here.

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Hold on, Matt - aren't you meant to be persuading Jessica?!

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And unfortunately the kitchen doesn't wow either.

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The biggest priority for us is to have open-plan living,

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cos that's what we've been used to having at home,

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and I think once you've had it, it's hard to go back, isn't it?

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-Yeah.

-It just looks dated.

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Oh, dear. It's lacking what the first property had.

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The main bedroom next.

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-Master bedroom, nice and big.

-Yeah, nice, spacious.

-Yeah.

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I love the fact that it's got, um, shutters.

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-Yeah.

-Which you really wanted at home, actually.

-I wanted shutters, yeah.

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-But then I got told I wasn't allowed them.

-SHE LAUGHS

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It doesn't work in our flat, to have shutters,

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but here it looks beautiful. It feels...

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-Like something's missing?

-Yeah, it feels like it needs more.

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Like an en suite? I'd like an en suite, I think.

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-Yeah. Maybe, yeah.

-Mmm.

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Well, Stanley may be with a childminder,

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but you feel even he wouldn't be convinced.

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-It's smaller than Stanley's bedroom at home.

-Yeah.

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This would be a downgrade for Stanley, wouldn't it?

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Yeah, a little bit, yeah.

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Every room we went in in the first house, you had the wow factor,

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-didn't you? I haven't got the same feeling here.

-Yeah.

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And there's not enough room for family, either.

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-A nice area.

-Yep.

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-Nice.

-Playroom, or would it be a spare room?

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Yep. You know, we'd need some... a bigger guest bedroom.

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-Yeah.

-We just need a bit more space,

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because in this house we'd just be on top of each other all the time,

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-when we had people staying over...

-Yeah.

-..and that just...it just wouldn't work.

-No.

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I get the feeling this house is running out of chances.

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Can a quick look outside offer a last-minute reprieve?

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This is really lovely. I love the fact that it's got sort of a covered

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area, but it's really bright.

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And you can tell that it's, it's lived in by family.

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It's nice, it is nice.

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Yeah, I think it would be lovely for us, with Stanley.

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-Yeah, more child-friendly, isn't it, the outside area.

-Yeah, yeah.

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It's got a lemon tree!

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-That's so lovely!

-SHE LAUGHS

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Well, good to finish on a positive!

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But on the whole?

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So, what did you think?

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I like the outside.

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-Yeah.

-But disappointed when we came in.

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We can make improvements to it, there's lots of potential.

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Erm, but again, it's a lot of work, therefore a lot of money to spend.

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-Yeah.

-So, what about the price?

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-I think this house is worth £525,000.

-Mm-hmm.

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Because we're close to the city, close to the beach.

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I think this house would be roughly £550,000.

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They've got £525,000 to spend.

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Come on, then. Let's...turn it over.

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-Ah!

-Oh! That's really good.

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I'm quite excited to know that, you know,

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I could get the type of property that I really love...

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-Mmm.

-..and make some improvements.

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It does excite me, because we know that we can upgrade from what we've

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-got in the UK, if we move to Australia.

-Mm-hmm.

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The final property the pair is viewing is what could be their dream

0:17:330:17:37

property. Situated just 20 minutes south of Melbourne,

0:17:370:17:41

Spinnaker Rise is waterfront indulgence with everything the city

0:17:410:17:45

has to offer right at the doorstep -

0:17:450:17:47

sport, leisure, beach, the markets...

0:17:470:17:50

Oh, and the view. Pretty stunning!

0:17:500:17:54

This place looks, well, impressive.

0:17:540:17:57

I think this is the style I would go for.

0:17:570:17:59

If this is in our budget, I'll be very surprised.

0:17:590:18:01

Inside is as big as it looks on the outside.

0:18:010:18:04

-Wow!

-Well, it's spacious!

0:18:060:18:08

And it's...well, it's bigger than our lounge, isn't it, at home?

0:18:080:18:12

-Yeah, it's modern.

-Yeah, very nice.

0:18:120:18:14

And if you don't want to relax in this sitting room, well,

0:18:140:18:17

there's a spare just a short walk away.

0:18:170:18:19

-This can be my one!

-LAUGHTER

0:18:200:18:23

Because it's got a bigger TV!

0:18:230:18:24

-We need another one for Stanley!

-LAUGHTER

0:18:240:18:27

Well, there might be one in the next room.

0:18:270:18:31

Well, almost! Not another sitting room, but a very

0:18:310:18:34

big open-plan kitchen area that leaves Jessica in stitches!

0:18:340:18:38

This is the open-plan area.

0:18:380:18:41

-Wow, it's quite big, isn't it?

-LAUGHTER

0:18:410:18:44

My God, I just can't believe it!

0:18:440:18:47

Better believe it, Jessica!

0:18:470:18:50

I almost feel like it would be almost too big.

0:18:500:18:52

But I'm sure we could find a way around that.

0:18:520:18:55

I'm sure you would, Jessica!

0:18:550:18:58

The pair go off to inspect the main bedroom,

0:18:580:19:00

and let's hope they don't get lost in there.

0:19:000:19:03

-It's ridiculous.

-LAUGHTER

0:19:030:19:06

-Wow, it's stunning.

-It's just like being in a hotel.

0:19:060:19:08

-This is the dream bedroom.

-Yeah.

0:19:080:19:10

I mean, I couldn't imagine anything better than this.

0:19:100:19:12

-Definitely, yeah.

-The en suite, meanwhile, is also super-sized.

0:19:120:19:17

Wow! Yeah, his and hers sinks.

0:19:170:19:20

-Yeah.

-And a small shower.

0:19:200:19:23

I was going to say double, but actually it's not even double, it's

0:19:230:19:25

-like, quadruple shower!

-Yeah.

0:19:250:19:29

And you'd never get stuck in this walk-in wardrobe!

0:19:290:19:32

Wow! This is my dream!

0:19:340:19:37

You'd need to buy some new clothes to be able to fill this up.

0:19:370:19:39

Or you just have this one here, and then you can have the rest.

0:19:390:19:42

-Yeah, I'll have the rest!

-Yeah.

-Yeah.

0:19:420:19:44

Having people to visit is crucial for the Parsons.

0:19:440:19:48

The difficulty in this house, however, will be getting them to

0:19:480:19:51

-leave!

-It's a lovely bedroom.

0:19:510:19:53

-This would be, what, for family and stuff?

-Yeah.

0:19:530:19:55

-Cos it's got a nice balcony...

-Yeah, it's got a lovely view.

0:19:550:19:58

..if they want to come and relax.

0:19:580:20:00

-Yeah.

-And can they relax here themselves?

0:20:000:20:03

Outside offers the perfect space for Stanley to play, too.

0:20:030:20:07

Very nice barbecue area.

0:20:070:20:09

-Yeah.

-Lovely view.

0:20:090:20:11

Just, again, it just keeps getting better and better, doesn't it?

0:20:110:20:14

-For Stanley, growing up, you know, by the water.

-Yeah.

-You've got

0:20:140:20:17

ducks, and, well, it's very calming and...

0:20:170:20:20

A lot of children wouldn't have that opportunity, would they, to...?

0:20:200:20:23

-Yeah.

-It's taken their breath away.

0:20:230:20:27

But what would it cost?

0:20:270:20:28

This exceeds my dreams, I think, for living in Australia.

0:20:330:20:37

I wasn't expecting something this big.

0:20:370:20:39

I don't even know if we can afford something this big.

0:20:390:20:41

I think this house is worth... £650,000.

0:20:410:20:46

Erm, I'm going to say £700,000.

0:20:460:20:50

Their budget is £525,000.

0:20:500:20:53

You ready?

0:20:560:20:57

-Oh!

-Oh!

0:20:580:21:00

-Ouch!

-Yeah.

-For me, that's just unattainable, basically.

0:21:010:21:06

Yeah, it's a bit disappointing,

0:21:060:21:07

but I expected it to be over our budget anyway, so...

0:21:070:21:10

Yeah, I didn't expect it to be quite that much, though.

0:21:100:21:13

-Yeah, I know.

-What a shame.

0:21:130:21:16

Well, it was nice to look around, wasn't it?

0:21:160:21:18

A day's house-hunting has given the Parsons a real idea of what they can

0:21:180:21:22

and can't afford on their budget.

0:21:220:21:25

Property one got things off to a cracking start.

0:21:250:21:28

It was big, bright and surprisingly within budget.

0:21:280:21:33

House number two flattered to deceive,

0:21:330:21:35

and although they liked its quirky character, ultimately

0:21:350:21:38

it was too small and needed a lot of work done.

0:21:380:21:42

Property three was sensational, with massive rooms,

0:21:420:21:46

a lakeside backyard and, yes, three sitting rooms!

0:21:460:21:50

But it also came with a huge price tag.

0:21:500:21:53

So, when it comes to property in Melbourne,

0:21:530:21:55

will the family vote for the UK or down under?

0:21:550:21:59

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

0:21:590:22:03

-Australia!

-Australia!

0:22:100:22:12

-So, why did you pick Australia?

-We saw two houses today which were,

0:22:150:22:18

you know, under budget, and they were,

0:22:180:22:21

you know, so much nicer than what we had expected anyway,

0:22:210:22:24

-so...

-The first property was amazing, still, wasn't it?

0:22:240:22:27

Yeah, yeah. The second one I absolutely, you know, really liked

0:22:270:22:30

-as well.

-Yeah. Yeah, well, I'm glad you picked Australia...

-Yeah.

0:22:300:22:34

-..which makes me happy.

-SHE LAUGHS

0:22:340:22:36

It's a great start for Matt,

0:22:420:22:44

and it looks like Jessica is definitely coming round to his way

0:22:440:22:47

of thinking.

0:22:470:22:48

But they'll only be able to move into any of these houses if

0:22:480:22:51

they can secure the right jobs.

0:22:510:22:53

FIRE ALARM

0:22:540:22:56

Back in the UK, Matt works as a firefighter.

0:22:560:22:59

It's not so much a job as a vocation.

0:22:590:23:02

I'm on Blue Watch, and it is my dream job.

0:23:020:23:04

We get on really well, we do a lot of things together.

0:23:040:23:07

You know, we socialise together. It's like a little family, really.

0:23:070:23:11

I spend more time with them than what I do at home.

0:23:110:23:13

Unfortunately, over the last few years, he's had to take on extra

0:23:130:23:17

work on top of his firefighting to supplement the family income. SIREN

0:23:170:23:21

-What number house is it?

-20, mate.

0:23:210:23:23

It has become very difficult at home,

0:23:230:23:25

because I'm working every day that I'm off,

0:23:250:23:27

and I'm hoping in Australia it will give me more time to be with

0:23:270:23:31

the family, so I will literally just do one job,

0:23:310:23:34

I won't have to worry about going to...going from one job to the other.

0:23:340:23:37

Jessica, meanwhile, is in HR for a leading biscuit firm,

0:23:370:23:41

and life is sweet.

0:23:410:23:43

I've been here, erm, almost from the beginning of my HR career,

0:23:430:23:47

and I've grown into a HR advisor, and I've learnt a lot.

0:23:470:23:51

-I think that one.

-Yeah, so...

0:23:510:23:54

Seeing her position in the company grow makes giving it up difficult,

0:23:540:23:57

to say the least.

0:23:570:23:59

I've been promoted, and career-wise I'm doing really well at the moment.

0:23:590:24:02

I would feel very disappointed if I couldn't get something similar, erm,

0:24:020:24:07

to what I've got here, in Australia.

0:24:070:24:09

But it's not only Jessica who has lines in the sand

0:24:090:24:12

when it comes to jobs.

0:24:120:24:14

I'm not willing to leave the Fire Service and go to Australia and not

0:24:140:24:18

be a firefighter. So I'm really hoping that I can get

0:24:180:24:22

in the Fire Service over there.

0:24:220:24:23

To check out job opportunities down under,

0:24:270:24:30

we've arranged for Jessica to visit one of the city's premier insurance

0:24:300:24:33

firms to explore her options about getting into HR.

0:24:330:24:38

She's meeting Shelley Abrams, the general manager, and right away,

0:24:380:24:41

-it's good news.

-If I were to move to Melbourne,

0:24:410:24:44

would you say I would find a job easily as a HR advisor?

0:24:440:24:47

Yes, I think your skills are absolutely transferable.

0:24:470:24:50

I think your background is really interesting,

0:24:500:24:53

with the blend of PR and HR,

0:24:530:24:54

and I imagine your communication skills are really strong, and that's

0:24:540:24:57

going to be very appealing to an organisation like ours.

0:24:570:25:00

So, positive news for Jessica so far.

0:25:000:25:03

Across town, Matt is getting ready for his interview with a visa

0:25:030:25:07

specialist, and it's clear that he's very, very nervous.

0:25:070:25:11

The meeting today, for me, is really important.

0:25:130:25:17

-How are you? Thanks for coming.

-Yeah, nice to meet you.

0:25:170:25:19

If this doesn't go well, then the whole move to Australia will be off.

0:25:190:25:22

Time to face the music, with immigration officer Michael Walker.

0:25:220:25:27

The reason I'm here today is because I need some information about

0:25:270:25:32

transferring from the UK Fire Service

0:25:320:25:34

to the Australian Fire Service.

0:25:340:25:36

I understand that your ambition is to work as a firefighter,

0:25:360:25:39

but you may be aware if you've seen it online that recently our Prime

0:25:390:25:42

Minister announced that he was pruning back the occupations

0:25:420:25:47

available for skilled migrants to nominate for the purposes of their

0:25:470:25:50

skilled migrant visa application.

0:25:500:25:52

That also impacts on Australian employers who wish to sponsor

0:25:520:25:56

people. So, unfortunately,

0:25:560:25:58

the bad news is that firefighters have been taken off that list,

0:25:580:26:03

which was previously available.

0:26:030:26:05

For me, being a firefighter,

0:26:050:26:08

I...I'd just...I'd just have to forget it, I think.

0:26:080:26:11

It's devastating news for Matt.

0:26:110:26:14

But there is a Plan B.

0:26:140:26:17

The fact that you're doing a plumbing qualification

0:26:170:26:19

or a trade qualification in plumbing

0:26:190:26:21

means that there is perhaps a potential pathway for you.

0:26:210:26:25

I have some clients who are doctors, who are adamant that plumbers are

0:26:250:26:28

getting paid more than they are. They are in such high demand.

0:26:280:26:31

Then, once you have permanent residency,

0:26:310:26:33

you're free to do whatever you wish.

0:26:330:26:36

You're not bound to work as a plumber in Australia.

0:26:360:26:39

Some encouraging news, but Matt is clearly disappointed.

0:26:390:26:42

It was very bad news.

0:26:450:26:46

So, for me, at the minute, the Australian dream is over,

0:26:460:26:50

and I'm gutted about it.

0:26:500:26:53

While Matt's left feeling dejected, things could not be more different

0:26:530:26:56

for Jessica on the other side of town.

0:26:560:26:59

If I were to get a job as a HR advisor here in Melbourne,

0:27:000:27:04

what sort of salary would I expect?

0:27:040:27:06

Someone with your type of background and experience I would expect could

0:27:060:27:10

get a salary from around £45,000 to £51,000 per annum.

0:27:100:27:14

Wow, that's really great!

0:27:140:27:16

That's, that's actually more than what I get in the UK,

0:27:160:27:19

so, um, so, yeah, I'm really happy.

0:27:190:27:21

It's been a tale of two very different workdays,

0:27:210:27:25

which Matt and Jessica meet up to discuss at the end of the day.

0:27:250:27:29

-How was your day?

-Yeah, it went really well.

0:27:290:27:32

I went to a massive insurance company,

0:27:320:27:34

and got some really good news about a potential job in HR.

0:27:340:27:38

And they told me that I could potentially earn £20,000 more than

0:27:380:27:42

-what I earn in the UK, so...

-Oh, really?

0:27:420:27:44

-Yeah.

-Wow, that's a lot.

0:27:440:27:45

You know, I know that I can get the career that I really want.

0:27:450:27:48

So, how did your day go?

0:27:480:27:51

-Er, it's bad news.

-Oh, no!

-Yeah.

0:27:510:27:54

-The...firefighter isn't on the list any more.

-Oh, no!

0:27:540:27:58

So the chances of me getting in the Fire Service are basically

0:27:580:28:01

-non-existent.

-Oh, really?!

0:28:010:28:03

So the only option is, is to get in as a plumber.

0:28:030:28:05

That is literally the only option.

0:28:050:28:07

But it was very disappointing.

0:28:070:28:09

Yeah. Yeah, I'm disappointed for you.

0:28:090:28:12

So, how will this impact the voting?

0:28:130:28:15

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

0:28:170:28:20

-UK!

-Australia!

0:28:330:28:34

I'm not surprised that you said, er, the UK.

0:28:370:28:41

Because I wouldn't be doing my dream job in Australia,

0:28:410:28:43

that's the only reason I voted the UK.

0:28:430:28:46

But having said that, there is options.

0:28:460:28:48

I would be mad not to vote for Australia, because I'd be

0:28:480:28:52

earning, you know, £20,000 more,

0:28:520:28:55

which is like an extra salary, almost.

0:28:550:28:57

So, I'm glad you voted for Australia,

0:28:570:28:59

cos it's one less job for me to convince you now.

0:28:590:29:02

I'm a bit jealous that you've got your job opportunity,

0:29:020:29:05

but I'm really happy for you.

0:29:050:29:06

Halfway through their trial week,

0:29:140:29:16

and it looks like everything has changed.

0:29:160:29:19

Matt, the one always pushing the move,

0:29:190:29:22

now seems to be disillusioned and dispirited,

0:29:220:29:25

while Jessica, who was always sceptical,

0:29:250:29:28

is now seeing its benefits.

0:29:280:29:30

However, with the all-important financial reality check and messages

0:29:300:29:35

from home to come, things could still turn back.

0:29:350:29:40

First, though, can a day sampling the sort of lifestyle the family

0:29:400:29:44

might be able to enjoy in Melbourne remind Matt there's more to his

0:29:440:29:48

dream than work?

0:29:480:29:51

It's a beautiful day in Williamstown, as the Parsons put

0:29:510:29:54

bad news behind them and set out on a family day with Stanley.

0:29:540:29:58

First up, a nice walk along the gorgeous bay.

0:29:580:30:01

Of course, you can only get so far with a 15-month-old baby on those

0:30:030:30:07

little legs! So the family decide to swap leg power for pedal power.

0:30:070:30:12

STANLEY CRIES

0:30:120:30:14

Although I'm not sure Stanley is super enthusiastic.

0:30:140:30:17

Oh, dear! But once in the saddle, it's all smiles again!

0:30:190:30:23

High-five! Yeah!

0:30:230:30:25

-Stanley, shall we go?

-Are you ready?

-Yay!

-Make sure you keep up.

-Yeah.

0:30:250:30:29

Thanks.

0:30:290:30:31

Wow!

0:30:350:30:36

-Look, Stanley! Oh, this is lovely, isn't it?

-It's beautiful.

0:30:390:30:43

Bike-riding along the promenade is hugely popular in these parts, and

0:30:430:30:47

it's not long before Matt and Jessica get chatting to Maddison,

0:30:470:30:51

who is also out for a bit of exercise.

0:30:510:30:53

So, we're thinking about moving to Melbourne,

0:30:530:30:55

but I've got to try and convince Jessica, too.

0:30:550:30:57

So, Melbourne, like, if you love the outdoors and love doing outdoor

0:30:570:31:01

activities, I would say it's definitely the right place to come.

0:31:010:31:04

You can go up, like, into the mountains and Dandenongs,

0:31:040:31:06

or you can go along to the beach, or just even into the city,

0:31:060:31:09

just, like, walk all day through the city as well.

0:31:090:31:12

Hope you end up moving here.

0:31:120:31:14

Yeah, thanks a lot. I think that's helped me convince her a little bit

0:31:140:31:17

-more, so...

-Maybe a little bit, yeah!

-LAUGHTER

0:31:170:31:20

It seems that Matt is slowly putting the disappointments of yesterday

0:31:200:31:23

behind him, as a trip down to the beach rounds off their day.

0:31:230:31:27

This is one of the reasons why I want to come to Australia,

0:31:280:31:31

to have more family time.

0:31:310:31:32

If everything goes to plan,

0:31:320:31:34

we will have a better work-life balance in Australia.

0:31:340:31:37

For Jessica, meanwhile...

0:31:370:31:40

well, she continues to warm to the idea of moving.

0:31:400:31:43

It's been really great with the beach, the sunshine,

0:31:430:31:47

spending lots of time together as a family.

0:31:470:31:49

Maybe one day you can go out there and swim.

0:31:490:31:52

Matt is now officially torn.

0:31:520:31:54

I've got a couple of decisions, big decisions, to make -

0:31:540:31:56

whether I stay in the UK in a career that I love, or come to Australia,

0:31:560:32:02

for Stanley and my family, for a much better lifestyle.

0:32:020:32:05

And Matt's work dilemma is getting to Jessica, too.

0:32:060:32:10

He loves being a fireman, and if he doesn't get that here,

0:32:100:32:13

I'm worried that we might end up not enjoying it,

0:32:130:32:16

and it could go wrong pretty quickly.

0:32:160:32:19

Are you enjoying Australia so far?

0:32:190:32:21

So, will the family vote for lifestyle in the UK or Australia?

0:32:210:32:26

Based on our great day out today, our vote goes to...

0:32:260:32:30

-Australia!

-Australia!

0:32:370:32:40

-Are you surprised?

-No!

-LAUGHTER

0:32:410:32:44

It's been a great day, hasn't it? And it's sort of reignited my dream

0:32:440:32:47

to come to Australia after yesterday.

0:32:470:32:49

We've done some cycling, we've been on the beach, and, you know,

0:32:490:32:52

all these things we don't get a chance to do in England.

0:32:520:32:55

I'm glad you picked Australia.

0:32:550:32:57

Now we just need to decide about jobs and stuff.

0:32:570:33:00

Yesterday you were really disappointed, but I'm not surprised,

0:33:000:33:04

and I'm very happy that your dream is back on track.

0:33:040:33:08

Well, Jessica seems to be coming round to Matt's Australian dream,

0:33:150:33:19

but it remains to be seen whether it's possible financially.

0:33:190:33:23

Getting the right price for their home in the UK could be a good start.

0:33:230:33:27

The couple think it's worth £350,000.

0:33:270:33:31

-Nice front door.

-JESSICA GIGGLES

0:33:310:33:33

Will two local estate agents agree?

0:33:330:33:36

Got a nice, open-plan, refitted kitchen

0:33:360:33:39

with white, high-gloss units,

0:33:390:33:42

wooden top. Living room, we've got a nice wood burner

0:33:420:33:46

with the brickwork exposed,

0:33:460:33:48

and I quite like the logs that stack down the side here.

0:33:480:33:54

-That was my...

-That was your idea.

-It was, yeah.

0:33:540:33:56

Nice, bright room. Good storage.

0:33:560:33:59

Neutral colours. Good for first-time buyers.

0:33:590:34:02

-It looks like I'm in Stanley's bedroom.

-LAUGHTER

0:34:020:34:06

Gas central heating.

0:34:060:34:07

A good-sized second room.

0:34:070:34:09

OK, main bathroom.

0:34:090:34:11

Nicely presented, clean, white suite.

0:34:110:34:14

-Mmm. Thanks.

-Bath with power shower over. Very nice indeed.

0:34:140:34:19

In today's market, I would value this flat at £365,000.

0:34:190:34:24

And for a quick sale, I would put it on the market at £360,000.

0:34:240:34:29

Absolutely no way!

0:34:290:34:31

I would value this flat at £375,000.

0:34:310:34:35

For a quick sale, I'd put it on the market at £350,000.

0:34:350:34:39

-I don't agree with that price at all.

-No.

0:34:390:34:42

Yeah, I would never sell that for that much.

0:34:420:34:44

-Yeah, that's shocked me, really.

-Yeah.

0:34:440:34:47

While Stanley is looked after by a childminder,

0:34:470:34:50

Mum and Dad prepare to tackle the price of everyday living.

0:34:500:34:53

We've provided a comparison of costs in the UK and Australia,

0:34:530:34:57

starting with the weekly supermarket shop.

0:34:570:35:00

Right. Er, so, dishwasher tablets, clearly an essential.

0:35:000:35:05

Yeah, so, in the UK it's £8,

0:35:050:35:07

and in Australia it's £11.97.

0:35:070:35:10

-That's quite a lot.

-That is quite expensive.

-We'll just have to start washing up by hand.

-Yeah.

0:35:100:35:15

-Beers - that's quite an important one, isn't it?

-LAUGHTER

0:35:150:35:18

-Yeah, it is.

-£4.50 in the UK, and £7.12 in Australia.

0:35:180:35:24

So that's £2.63 more expensive.

0:35:240:35:26

-Mm-hmm.

-So, what does it all add up to?

0:35:260:35:30

So, in Australia, we would be £32.06 worse off each week.

0:35:300:35:35

-That's quite a lot.

-Mmm.

0:35:350:35:37

-But it's not...

-Yeah, I don't think it's too bad.

0:35:370:35:40

Unfazed, the couple move on to examine their bigger outgoings,

0:35:400:35:44

basing their figures on the dream house they viewed.

0:35:440:35:47

So, mortgage in the UK is £825,

0:35:470:35:52

and in Australia it would be £1,592.

0:35:520:35:57

We would be £767 worse off here.

0:35:570:36:02

It's the price to pay, I guess, for a bigger property.

0:36:020:36:05

Yeah, but I don't think it would be that expensive in the UK.

0:36:050:36:09

Jessica could earn substantially more in Australia,

0:36:100:36:13

and if Matt took that job as a plumber,

0:36:130:36:15

could the Aussie salaries rescue the dream?

0:36:150:36:18

So, in Australia,

0:36:200:36:22

we would be earning

0:36:220:36:25

£1,841 more per month

0:36:250:36:29

than in the UK.

0:36:290:36:32

Their new salaries would make them £1,738 better off per month.

0:36:320:36:37

And there's only one word for that.

0:36:370:36:39

-Amazing.

-A lot.

0:36:400:36:42

I mean, that extra income would help us out.

0:36:420:36:44

-That's just a whole...

-In the UK, we can't save, really,

0:36:440:36:47

because it's all gone, hasn't it? We need to start...

0:36:470:36:51

-moving.

-Really?

-Yeah.

0:36:510:36:53

I'm shocked, I am really shocked, because...

0:36:530:36:55

We could do so much with that money, each month.

0:36:550:36:57

Well, even Stanley's impressed.

0:36:570:37:00

So, which way are they going to vote?

0:37:000:37:03

-It's time.

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

0:37:030:37:07

-Australia!

-Australia!

0:37:150:37:17

It's like we've got one extra income, and we'd have, you know,

0:37:170:37:23

so many more opportunities here, erm, with that extra money.

0:37:230:37:27

Everything's going towards us moving now, so I'm

0:37:270:37:30

-getting a bit excited!

-LAUGHTER

0:37:300:37:33

With the finances firmly in the black,

0:37:360:37:39

is Matt's Australian dream becoming a reality?

0:37:390:37:42

There's still one final hurdle to overcome, though,

0:37:420:37:45

as the couple sit down to watch messages from loved ones back home.

0:37:450:37:51

-Hello!

-Hi!

-Hi, Matt.

-Hi, Matt.

0:37:510:37:53

Hope you're having a great time.

0:37:530:37:55

Matt and Jessica are actually perfect together.

0:37:550:37:58

Great family unit, hard-working, and they do everything for Stanley.

0:37:580:38:03

-One thing I will say, Mum and Dad would be proud of them.

-Oh, God.

0:38:030:38:07

When I first found out, I was really happy for them.

0:38:070:38:10

The only thing is, it's just like, it's me and my brother now,

0:38:100:38:13

so that's a bit of a sad thing, like, splitting up.

0:38:130:38:16

But I love it, cos I'll be out there on holiday every year.

0:38:160:38:19

It would really break my heart, but I would be so happy for them,

0:38:190:38:23

really so happy, because they've always wanted that,

0:38:230:38:27

-and I would make sure that I go there as many times as I can.

-LAUGHTER

0:38:270:38:31

Not seeing Stanley growing up, erm, is going to be hard for all of us.

0:38:310:38:36

Just go where your heart feels.

0:38:360:38:40

I'll just figure a way out, er, to be close to you in thought.

0:38:400:38:47

You are very well-travelled,

0:38:470:38:49

and I think you could adapt to living to Australia very well.

0:38:490:38:53

But you also must remember where we are.

0:38:530:38:56

All the family love you so much,

0:38:560:38:59

but we will all support you in whatever decision you make.

0:38:590:39:03

As far as you are happy, we will be happy with you.

0:39:030:39:07

You will stay next to our heart, that's what I can tell you.

0:39:070:39:10

Having seen that video,

0:39:110:39:13

I think I will miss people more than what I actually thought I would.

0:39:130:39:17

Yeah, it's just sad, isn't it? Seeing them all, and...

0:39:170:39:20

well, knowing how far away they would be, but also, how we'd be...

0:39:200:39:25

-..erm, you know, making them really sad by going, so...

-Yeah.

0:39:280:39:32

At the start of the week, Matt Parsons wanted to convince his wife

0:39:370:39:41

Jessica that moving to Australia

0:39:410:39:43

was in the best interest of their family.

0:39:430:39:46

But a trial week that has seen lots of twists,

0:39:460:39:49

turns and revelations makes guessing

0:39:490:39:52

how they'll vote near impossible.

0:39:520:39:55

Now it's time to see if they'll choose home or away.

0:39:550:39:59

What would YOU do?

0:39:590:40:03

As they prepare to depart,

0:40:030:40:04

the Parsons are reflecting on a week that might just change their lives.

0:40:040:40:09

For Jessica, it's put a lot of her practical fears to rest.

0:40:090:40:13

When I first arrived in Australia a few days ago,

0:40:130:40:16

I was pretty much decided, I thought,

0:40:160:40:19

"There's no way I'm going to come and live here."

0:40:190:40:22

Erm, but this week has really shown me that, actually,

0:40:220:40:25

life in Australia could be a lot better.

0:40:250:40:28

Matt, however, so sure at the beginning,

0:40:280:40:30

is more confused than ever.

0:40:300:40:32

After the lifestyle, I was back to 100%.

0:40:320:40:35

And now, after the family and friends, I'm back to,

0:40:350:40:38

-don't know what I want to do.

-Emotionally, however,

0:40:380:40:41

there are still a lot of questions to be answered.

0:40:410:40:44

We grew up with lots of family around us, Matt and I,

0:40:440:40:46

and I want Stanley to have the same thing,

0:40:460:40:48

and my parents absolutely adore having their grandson,

0:40:480:40:51

and you know, for them it's what drives them,

0:40:510:40:55

and they just have so much love for him,

0:40:550:40:57

so I think it would really break their hearts if they didn't see him

0:40:570:41:00

-grow up.

-Then, of course,

0:41:000:41:02

there's the one issue that could leave Matt feeling deflated.

0:41:020:41:06

This week has really answered quite a lot of my questions,

0:41:070:41:10

but it's raised many more.

0:41:100:41:12

I'm not 100% sure that Matt will be happy if he can't get in

0:41:120:41:16

the Fire Service.

0:41:160:41:18

The thought of leaving isn't a nice thought,

0:41:180:41:21

but my life doesn't revolve around the Fire Service.

0:41:210:41:24

My life is for Jessica and Stanley.

0:41:240:41:26

It's such a hard decision to make.

0:41:270:41:29

My mind is all over the place at the minute.

0:41:290:41:32

Stanley, I'm going to come the other way!

0:41:320:41:34

Well, you can't hide forever.

0:41:340:41:36

-The final vote has arrived.

-Boo!

-STANLEY GIGGLES

0:41:360:41:39

Based on our fantastic week in Melbourne, our final vote goes to...

0:41:400:41:44

-Australia!

-Undecided!

0:41:580:42:00

-What?

-LAUGHTER

0:42:010:42:04

Really?

0:42:060:42:08

I do feel like, erm, I'm not too far away from voting Australia,

0:42:080:42:13

because I do know that we can get our family over here,

0:42:130:42:16

and I think I'd probably get my head around it,

0:42:160:42:19

but I'm just worried about your, your work.

0:42:190:42:21

Well, don't worry about my work,

0:42:210:42:24

because I think my work will be fine.

0:42:240:42:26

-Yeah.

-It will be tough, but I think we will have a better life in

0:42:260:42:30

-Australia.

-Yeah. I'm not saying no to Australia. I'm saying that

0:42:300:42:35

there's a few bits we need to iron out before I say yes.

0:42:350:42:39

Maybe in the future, one day we can move here.

0:42:390:42:42

Yeah, maybe.

0:42:420:42:43

In the end, while the Parsons haven't voted decisively for a move

0:42:500:42:54

down under, it looks like it's moving in Matt's direction.

0:42:540:42:59

I suspect, though, it'll take a few more conversations and even tears,

0:42:590:43:04

before they come to an ultimate decision.

0:43:040:43:06

Whatever move they make next,

0:43:060:43:09

we'll be following their progress with interest, and of course

0:43:090:43:12

wishing them the best of luck.

0:43:120:43:15

When Jessica Choux moved to England from France and got married to Matt Parsons, she thought her life would settle down in England. She soon discovered that her fireman husband harbours a passion for moving to Australia, and having 15-month-old Stanley hasn't dampened it.

At one time, Jessica was almost convinced to give it a go, but life took a serious turn and a series of tragic events brought any plans to a halt. Matt lost three close relatives in a short period of time. Yet what initially put paid to the Australian dream had also brought it back sharply into focus as Matt realised that life is short and he needed to seize each and every moment.

The recent addition to the family, Stanley, has only made Matt more determined to go. But Jessica feels she has a lot more to lose if she goes. She has a good job that she loves, a loving support network to help with baby Stanley and loving parents - if not close by, frequent visitors courtesy of the cross channel train service from France.

In a trial week in Melbourne, they check out where they might live, what jobs they could get and whether they would be able to afford the lifestyle Australia offers.