Families sample Australian life. The Fosters from Derby test out life in Perth, Western Australia for a week. Husband Wayne has some questions, and Lois faces a tough decision.
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Welcome to Wanted Down Under, the show that catapults a British family
right across to the other side of the world,
to help them make the biggest decision of their life -
whether to stay in the UK or to move to Australia.
Wayne Foster is thinking of moving his family to the other side of the world.
My main hope and dream is to give them a good start in life,
that's really driving our decision to go.
But wife, Lois is torn
because 14-year-old daughter, Amy refuses to come.
It's so painful,
but I have three young children who I have to think of in this.
And, as the week progresses, Lois finds the decision impossible to bear.
The thing is, I'm really fearful.
But my hopes are phenomenal, my hopes are so exciting
and so my hopes for my boys and for Amy are what drives me, definitely.
There's recently been a 20% increase in families seeking jobs in Australia.
With its warm climate and promise of work, it's a very attractive option.
If you're on the skilled occupation list,
you and your family could obtain a visa and try for a better life down under.
But, is the grass always greener?
We've given another British family the opportunity to spend a week
down under to see if it's all they dreamt it would be.
After that, they'll have to make a decision one way or the other,
to stay in the UK or to move to Australia.
Today, we start with a wedding.
After four years together, Lois and Wayne have recently tied the knot
surrounded by their family and friends.
But they're about to leave all they know and love
to try out what life could be like in Australia.
On a normal day, our newly weds live in Derby, with Amy,
Lois's daughter from a previous relationship.
Lois and Wayne have three sons, Isaac who's three-years-old,
and year-old twins, Jackson and Elliott.
Or, is that Elliott and Jackson?
Wayne recently took voluntary redundancy from his job
as a security manager for a national retail chain,
and thinks the time is right for a brand new experience.
My main hope and dream in terms of going to Australia with the boys,
is to give them a good start in life.
I'm hoping the Australian culture is a bit more steady paced,
a bit more family orientated, because that's important to us.
That's really driving our decision to go.
But Lois has a massive dilemma.
Amy, at the moment, cos she is 14,
doesn't want to come to Australia for various reasons.
I think, when you're 14,
your friends are very, very important to you, your schooling.
But it's difficult as a family to make that decision to allow her
the freedom of choice to not come if she wants to.
It's difficult to know you're going to leave your daughter behind,
but I've come to the decision I love her enough to let her go.
Yes, not a day goes past that I don't sit and think,
what if she doesn't come?
I have good days and bad days where I think, she must come.
But I can't force her to come.
As a trial run,
Amy is already staying part-time at the home of a family friend.
And is sure that a move down under isn't for her.
I don't want to go to Australia because it's too far away.
I'm close with all my friends and I have a nice life in Derby.
If they want to go, they can go,
I don't want to stop them because of me.
But, I will miss Isaac and the twins.
It would be a very difficult decision for Lois to leave Amy
in the care of a family friend, if the Fosters make the move.
Lois would also have to give up her job as a senior nurse practitioner in a local GP practice.
She's worked hard to build up her career and is loathe to take a backward step.
One of the reasons for us going to Australia is to find a job
like I do now that pays as much as I'd have now.
So, if there's not the job that pays as well as I'm anticipating, then that is a dilemma.
Husband, Wayne also has other concerns.
I believe it's a multicultural society over there, so I'd hope the boys fitted in,
but again, once they get to school age, if they didn't fit in and didn't settle,
that would drive our decision maybe not to stay in Australia.
Wayne's parents have passed away, but Lois, who is close to her mum and dad
found telling them about their plans for Australia particularly difficult.
I think initially, it was devastation and I think it still is,
trying to get their head around the fact that their grandchildren
are such a young age, they may potentially miss so much.
Wayne thinks that Australia will be best for his boys,
but can Lois leave her daughter and family behind for a new life down under?
There's so much at stake,
the Fosters have a huge amount to consider over the coming week.
For their week down under,
we're sending the Fosters to Perth, capital of Western Australia.
Situated between the Bush and the Western Seaboard,
Perth has a relatively small commercial centre.
Busy during the day with office workers, shoppers and diners.
This area is surrounded by city suburbs, offering a mixture of apartment and town house living.
The suburbs spread out North and South along the coast.
The further you go, the more you can get for your property pound.
We've found three different lifestyles for our family.
Each one offering a brand new way of life for them to try on their budget.
But, which one will be the most suitable?
The various city suburbs that surround central Perth
would afford the Fosters a wealth of property options,
from traditional family villas
to high rise apartments with views over the Swan River.
The city is well connected by the Cat, a free inner-city bus service,
handy for making the most of all the cosmopolitan delights on offer.
But inner-city living can come with a hefty price-tag
with high-spec, two-bedroom houses like this one
costing in excess of £500,000.
However, potential work options would be nearby at the city-based hospitals,
where Lois could earn up to £30,000 a year.
So, very different from their life in the UK.
But what about the second option?
Houses in the outer suburbs offer more value for money
and plenty of space.
Relaxed leisure opportunities abound,
but finding time to enjoy them as a family might be an issue,
as Lois could face a commute of around an hour into the city for work.
In the more established district of Melville,
smart three-bedroom properties such as this cost £400,000.
But, travel further out to the newer suburbs
and you can pick up three-bed, new builds for 200,000.
That all looks very inviting, but what about the third option?
Life on the coast would be a world away
from what the Fosters are used to.
With lots of fun activities on hand for a growing family
and the city-based hospitals only a 50 minute drive away for Lois,
there would be plenty of opportunities for quality family time.
A luxurious home like this modern five-bedroom house cost £380,000,
but it does come with its own home-style cinema.
However, four-bedroom properties are available from £230,000.
So, three very different possibilities for our family to try.
Which one did we decide would suit them best?
With a manageable commute to the city centre, and an array of generously sized homes,
we thought a life by the sea would be the best choice for the Fosters.
We've lined up a job for Lois...
I'm looking for something very similar, but I'm worried am not going to find the same role here.
..and a selection of different housing options...
..and set up a taste of Australian life.
But they have a tough week ahead of them,
as they face what could be the biggest decision of their lives.
The Fosters are heading off for a week to sample life down under.
Wayne and Lois want to find out if Australia will provide a better environment
for their boys to grow up in and hope that Amy will be persuaded to join them.
But will Perth live up to their expectations?
After a 10,000 mile journey and 18 hours in the air
with three young children, how are they feeling?
I just want a cup of tea!
I'm not as tired as I thought I would be, which is good.
I'm still pretty fresh.
It's difficult eating when you've got three children, trying to juggle children on your knee
and who's going to eat and who's reaching for what food.
That's the only thing, you have to work out who's going to eat and who's not.
The Fosters are in for a surprise when they see
what's waiting outside for them.
Wayne hasn't packed for this kind of weather.
I didn't really expect this.
I've packed a coat, because I thought there would be rain.
I just need to dig it out of the suitcase a little bit earlier than I thought.
That's the spirit, Lois!
At least the journey's almost over.
The Fosters are staying in a four-bedroom family house in Seville Grove,
it's a southern suburb only a 25 minute drive from the beach
and 30 minutes from Lois's potential work.
The spacious lounge at the front of the house is opposite the first bedroom.
-It's a nice size.
-Is it the master bedroom?
-It must be.
-Oh, it's en suite.
-It's weird not having a door, but it's good.
There's a door on the toilet.
-That's the main thing.
Wayne's still not sure.
Maybe he'll be more impressed with the open-plan living area?
This is great, very similar to what I was saying about the American houses
where it is just a very large, open space, bungalow-type scenario.
-Very good, really good.
-It'll fit all our furniture in.
Yeah, easily. We'll probably have to buy some more furniture.
What's through here?
Behind the living room is the rest of the house.
This will be Isaac's room, I think.
It's a decent size.
Similar to what he's got back home.
Wardrobe again - or maybe call it a den of some sort. It's good.
There are two more double bedrooms and a laundry room.
Wayne thinks it's too good to be true.
This is your room, you know it's going to be small outdoors.
-You could fit a pool in here, it's massive.
This is lovely.
-This is great.
-It's so private as well, not overlooked.
If we could get a garden this big, it would be fantastic.
Good fencing. Very secure.
Can't escape, can you?
This child friendly, family house would cost around £240,000 to buy
and is ideally located for exploring all that Perth has to offer.
I think it's going to be a really nice week, with this amount of space. A really good base.
It would worry me we wouldn't initially be able to afford somewhere this big,
but I suppose it's what you aim for, isn't it?
Lois and Wayne have a lot to consider in the week ahead.
Fortunately, not something that Isaac has to worry about,
who's fallen asleep standing up.
Back in the UK, Lois and Wayne live in a four-bedroom house in Derby
which they bought in 2004 for just under £140,000.
They've recently extended the property, adding a new kitchen and family room,
which Lois loves, so any property in Perth will have a lot to live up to.
In Australia they have a budget of around £235,000,
to find a spacious, family home and as they prepare to head off
to the first property, Lois is already thinking about
how to make this work for the whole family.
We're looking primarily for a four-bed,
so that if Amy changes her mind and comes out,
we've got an extra bedroom waiting.
Let's hope our properties fit the bill.
We've found three suitable homes for sale.
The first is located in Port Kennedy
and there's only a golf course between this property and the beach.
It's a 45 minute drive from Lois's work,
but being further south it offers value for money,
as this four-bedroom property is on the market for £245,000,
so, at a push they should be able to afford it.
The spacious hall opens out onto the first reception room.
A bit smaller than I thought.
We'd get the settees in here along the walls, wouldn't you?
And they've got the fire for when it gets a little bit chilly.
So, mixed reactions there.
What will make of the next reception area?
This is more like it, it's a bit bigger isn't it?
This is probably the living room.
I think it's the living room, I don't know.
That's the first formal, this is probably a second formal space.
While they get their heads around the layout,
our childminder, Rachel, is on hand to keep an eye on the children
while Lois and Wayne take a look at the rest of the house.
Next door is a spacious kitchen and dining area which is sure to impress.
It's lovely isn't it? It feels very low, though,
if you notice, the ceilings feel quite low.
But does the kitchen stand up to further inspection?
I think it's workable, it's good.
But it's difficult when you've got the kitchen at home,
-you compare every kitchen thereafter to the kitchen at home.
It is, isn't it?
It doesn't live up to Lois's UK kitchen,
even if they do have matching toasters.
How will the rest of the house fare?
Behind the living area there's a light and bright double bedroom
next to a single, currently being used as a study
and another double bedroom. But, are they big enough?
It is much smaller than back home,
that's what's going through my head, it's smaller.
Would you give up the master bedroom so the boys could have a bigger bedroom?
YOU can consider that!
I did with Amy!
You have to, though, realistically, to make the space workable.
It's a lovely, lovely house.
-But we do need a fourth bedroom, I think don't we?
Well, it's a good job there is one then.
At the front of the house is the solution to their problem,
a master bedroom that Lois and Wayne didn't spot earlier.
-Ah! There is a 4th room.
That's much better, it puts the house on a different plane completely.
-Now we're talking.
His and hers sinks, very nice.
This is good. Look at the size!
-You could lay down in that shower.
Maybe later, Lois.
It's time to check out the garden first.
With its al fresco dining area and hot tub, there's plenty of space
for both children and adults to unwind in.
What do they make of the £245,000 asking price?
For the size you get, I think it's quite competitive really, isn't it?
-No, it's quite good value for money.
While they mull that one over, it's on to the second property.
Also in Port Kennedy, just round the corner from the first house,
this five-bedroom, two-bathroom property
is on the market for £255,000.
A little above the Foster's budget,
but with some negotiation on the asking price,
they should be able to afford it.
The hallway leads onto the first bedroom.
Bedroom number one.
It looks a lot smaller, doesn't it?
You can tell, it needs some decorating.
You can tell, just in this room, there is a bit of TLC needed.
They might prefer the next bedroom.
-This is nice.
-It's a massive room.
I do like this space and I do love the windows.
Come on, Isaac.
Things are looking up and it only gets better,
next door is the home cinema.
This is an unusual use of space.
Makes you think is this room is surplus to requirements? So they've made it into a cinema.
I do think you don't use your front room for your front room
in these places, I think there is a lot of outdoor living.
Isaac tries out the facilities.
Whoops-a-daisy, Isaac! Those seats need a PG rating.
While child minder, Rachel takes over, Lois and Wayne have a quick look around.
At the back of the house is a spacious, open-plan dining, kitchen and living area.
It's a good workable space, but it's a bit strange for me having the cooker in the corner!
I'm thinking, outdoor, outdoor.
Following on from here are two more children's bedrooms,
both good sizes for the twins and Isaac.
It's smaller than I imagined.
This is what, bedroom four?
Does it feel these two bedrooms are far away from the front two or not?
-I'm saying bedroom number four, there's two in the front isn't there?
This is four. This is the fourth bedroom,
with the two at the front and the two at the back.
That's interesting, this house has got five bedrooms, so Isaac could have one room,
Amy could have another, the twins could share and then they could go separate.
That puts a different slant on it with it being five doesn't it?
-No, I'm quite impressed with that.
-Shall we go and have a look outside?
Gosh, look at the barbecue!
-That's why I'm thinking...
-..the cooker's too small.
That's why I'm thinking the cooker is so small.
It looks like it's all geared up towards outdoor entertaining.
-And there's a pool, shall we go and have a look?
I'm not big on pools, though, me.
I just look at it and think it's lovely, I just think it's a shame,
the waste of space in the garden, because you wouldn't use this
as much as you'd use the outdoor with your wellies and a rain mac.
Wellies and a rain mac?! You're in Australia now, Lois.
It's lovely but would you fill it in?
-I don't want a pool.
So, no pool for the Fosters then.
What about the £255,000 price tag?
What do you think? Would you, could you live here?
I like the fact that it surprised me with the five bedrooms. Really, really, really liked that.
I like the point of view where you've got rooms on one side, rooms on another.
You've got that privacy in between, so parents can be parents, kids can be kids.
And you've got this meeting area in the middle which is the kitchen-come-diner.
I like the movie room that could be then quite a big living room.
I don't know if I'd pay that kind of price for it, to be honest,
but put an offer in a bit lower than that. I think we could make it work for us.
The property seems to have given them a lot to think about.
But there's still more to see.
Option three is located in the suburb of Baldivis,
north of Port Kennedy and closer to Lois's work,
which would be a 30-minute drive.
Being slightly more inland with the beach 10 minutes away,
this five-bedroom property offers more value for money.
On the market for £240,000, the Fosters should be able to afford it.
The first room, it's the lounge.
It's not a bad size.
It's a good size but it's an awkward shape.
There's like six walls in here.
-You've got a fair bit of painting to do.
I'm not going to get two beds that shape
-because I just don't think they get used a lot.
-I really don't.
As Wayne and Lois continued to look around, the childminder lends a hand with the kids.
Next door is the master bedroom.
I thought there'd have been a bigger window. No, it's good.
But the en suite goes down well.
This is a big en suite, isn't it?
It's fantastic. The whirlpool bath.
That's the biggest bath we've seen while we've been here, to be honest.
-His and her sinks again, like you've always wanted.
-Yeah, It's nice.
Next is an office, which could be converted into a child's bedroom.
But it's the living area behind this that's sure to make an impression.
Oh, this is lovely.
This open-plan stuff, it's fantastic, really is.
-It's just the size, isn't it? Just the size.
-I know, I know.
But this for me, it just makes the front room seem like
a bit of a nonentity and I do mean that in all the houses.
Once you've got this, you just don't use the other space.
-I love it in here.
-And the kitchen.
-It is, isn't it?
I know. You would get lost in there.
To the side of this living space is the laundry area and the family bathroom.
There are three more double bedrooms,
which should accommodate the boys and Amy if she decided to come.
It's another double bedroom.
-You can't believe we've got so many double beds.
-It's a lot bigger, this house, isn't it?
Yes. Really big house. This one's surprised me, this has.
Here's me talking about putting another bedroom at the front!
-When you've got these double rooms.
-We've got plenty of space.
-Lois And Wayne head outside.
-It's good, isn't it?
Yes, a good space again.
Your entertaining area and it's all under cover as well, which is good.
So the weather doesn't affect it at all, does it?
The garden's smaller than I thought it would be, the house just feels bigger inside
-because of all the double bedrooms.
-This is fine for me, really,
because the kids can still get a decent run around.
No, nothing wrong with the size, for some reason I just thought it would be bigger.
But taking into account the price...
With it being just under 460, and the cheapest one of the lot at, what is it, 240?
-I can see myself in this one.
I can see people coming to visit, entertaining outdoors. Very good. Really good.
The Fosters have seen three different options.
The first house was just above their budget,
Although the kitchen didn't match up to their one back in the UK,
they did like the large garden outside.
They were pleased to find five bedrooms at property number two,
but with young children, they decided they'd rather not have a pool.
The third option was the most affordable but still had five bedrooms
and plenty of living space and it seemed to fit their bill.
But has it been enough to help them choose Australia over their home in the UK?
It's time to vote on property.
We've had a great day looking at property.
We've seen three lovely properties and we can really see ourselves in all three.
And our vote is...
You surprise me.
But can they even afford property three?
Later, Wayne and Lois discover what their UK home is worth
and they find out how much everyday life down under will actually cost.
The Fosters are hoping that Australia will provide
a good environment for their boys to grow up in.
And a major selling point is the Aussie lifestyle,
so we've sent them out to get a taste of it.
And where better to experience that than cosmopolitan Fremantle,
a port town to the south of Perth famous for its shops,
a cappuccino strip, where you can watch the world go by, its yachts
and a covered food market, a hotspot for visitors who flood into Fremantle at the weekends.
Lois and Wayne are keen to sample the produce on offer in Perth
and head into the market to see how it compares to the UK.
It's certainly a bit different to the usual supermarket shop back home.
And it's not long before Lois spots Isaac's favourite food.
Look at the strawberries. Are these the big strawberries that you were on about?
Ah, you're in luck, Isaac.
Wow-wee! You want another one?
Local greengrocer Mark Scott takes a shine to Isaac.
He knows a strawberry fan when he sees one.
-Fresh from the farm.
-Lois is impressed.
The difference in taste is fantastic. Because these are grown locally,
the taste is fantastic. We've noticed that, especially in the bigger ones.
Our season's full in swing now.
Yeah, this is the strawberry season.
Back home, you see, the big ones like that are forced and the flavour's not the same.
You can really taste the difference and he's noticed
the difference cos he just can't get enough of them.
Mark wants to introduce them to a new delicacy.
-Isaac, come on.
-Now you're testing him!
-Come on, come on.
-Oh, that's a custard apple.
-Come on, let's eat.
-I'll taste it with you.
But Isaac would rather stick to his strawberries.
-Come on, Isaac.
-We're thinking about emigrating across.
-Yes, Do yourself a favour.
-Thank you very much. Thank you.
-You won't go wrong.
-Thank you. Thank you for that.
Well, Mark seems to think it's a good idea but there's plenty more
to see and do before they have to make that decision.
Lois and Wayne are taking in all the produce,
a lot of which is locally grown in Western Australia.
But with Asia on Australia's doorstep, this influence can also be seen,
with lots of wonderful and exotic-looking foods, and some foods which just have very strange names.
-That's a green pepper.
-No, they're not green pepper.
-That's what we call them.
-Oh. In Australia they call this a capsicum.
A capsicum? Back in England they're a lot smaller.
They're very, very big here. Is it because they're grown locally?
I think it's maybe the soil and maybe the weather.
With the price, it's a little bit more expensive than England
but because you get more for your money, it goes just as far.
So it looks, when I first bought them, to be more expensive. That's really good value.
But Lois finds that not all foods compare favourably to the UK.
In the local park, they're 1.20, I think, whereas that's 3.90.
So that's about £2.50, isn't it?
Something like that. So it's a very expensive ice-cream.
I'm sure Isaac thinks it's worth every penny.
It's certainly a different way of life on display
and Lois and Wayne head out to take in the rest of Fremantle's delights.
There are plenty of parks and open spaces for young families
to make the most of and Wayne, for one, is impressed
with what he's seen and tasted so far.
-Back home we do a lot of supermarkets and it's not as personal.
But you come over here and it's very much, it's all fresh, it's all open, it's not pre-packed.
It's local, it's bigger but it's still sweet, the fruit that is.
And the people are very much willing to interact, which is really good.
But Wayne knows it's going to take a lot more than
friendly locals and fresh produce to convince Lois to make the move.
Lois has got the situation with Amy
that she wants to resolve before she decides what she wants to do.
We've talked about it a lot but I don't want it to feel like I'm dragging Lois here.
It isn't that. Lois understands that my thoughts are bringing the boys here.
She's got the same thoughts because they're her children too.
But she has got this decision, this overbearing decision with Amy, that we've got to try and solve.
It's a state of affairs Lois is struggling to cope with.
My hopes for the future are,
Amy wishes to come and join us as a family and be with us as a family.
That's what I hope. Because we are a family.
But it's the reality of, yes, if we come here, she's not here.
And that's just really hard
as a mother
to adjust to.
It's truly been a day of highs and lows for Lois and Wayne.
But what have they made of their taste of lifestyle down under and how will they vote?
And our vote is...
I know I might surprise you.
That's just really, really, really surprised me. Why?
I know at the moment we've got more choice in the UK as to where we go with the boys and being outdoor
with the boys, the problem is, which we've always said, is the weather it stops us getting out and about,
here it has been really sunny but I've not seen enough of Freemantle
or Perth yet to say definitely the UK.
But for now, yeah, it is the UK.
For me it's just very similar, I could be in England on a summer's day.
The Foster's dreams depend on whether Lois can find work down under.
In Derby she has a successful career working as a senior nurse practitioner in a GP practice.
She's worked hard to develop her career and this specialised role
has responsibilities that give her a lot of job satisfaction.
In the UK, Lois can earn up to £35,000 so to consider a move to Australia
it's vital to find a similar position with similar pay.
Lois is up early to sample work in Perth
and she's keen to find out what career opportunities there are.
But she's worried that the job she's worked so hard to get
might not even exist in Australia.
I'm a little bit anxious that they haven't got the same equivalent here.
That's only because speaking to people they've said that
some nurse jobs are about 15 years behind the UK
which does concern me a little bit.
Whilst Wayne has his hands full looking after the twins and Isaac
Lois is visiting Glengarry Private Hospital in Duncraig
which serves Perth's northern suburbs.
As the main visa applicant it's vital that her day at work goes well.
She's meeting Sally Harris, acting director of nursing
who wastes no time in showing Lois around the wards.
You're a very experienced nurse.
-Your particular role that you're looking for is similar?
I'm looking for something very similar
but I'm really worried I'm not going to find the same role here.
To be honest you probably wouldn't.
Australia is still only developing the nurse practitioner role.
Here, probably, the role that would be nearest to that
would be an after-hours manager position.
So she couldn't do her UK job here.
Back at the house Wayne's very concerned about Lois and how much her job means to her.
We're aware that Australia aren't quite up to speed with nurse practitioners.
I'm not 100% prepared for her to consider taking a lower position
here and actually not being happy in that position.
If it doesn't work for Lois then it doesn't work for me, I want her to be happy.
Meanwhile Sally has left Lois to spend some time with Rachel,
a senior after-hours manager, the nearest equivalent
to a nurse practitioner who's giving patient, Vera, a quick check up.
So where are you from in England?
I'm from Derby which is near Nottingham.
Oh, beautiful, do you miss it?
I've left my daughter who's 14 at home
and I've brought the three boys with me, so I miss her.
But, no, I'm loving it here so far, it's really good.
That's good, we might see you over here for keeps.
That's what I'm here to talk to Rachel about, the job opportunities.
Good nurses are very hard to find.
We've got a lot here, but we always need more.
Well, Vera's keen to recruit Lois
but there's a lot to find out about the job first.
So what hours do you then work with it being called out of hours.
After-hours start at three in the afternoon and finishes at 9.30 at night.
Monday to Friday.
-That's not too bad.
I work myself four days a week.
I use day-care one day a week and I have a fantastic mum who can help pick up kids from school.
I wouldn't have any family here to do the pick up after school,
do schools have after-school clubs, is there day-care?
Yes, if you have children that are school age then we do have after school care, that's not a problem.
This is a typical birthing suite.
Do you mind if I ask you what your salary is in comparison to mine in the UK?
Sure, you would probably earn about 60,000 per annum for a 30-hour week.
Gosh. So it's not as much, is it?
I thought it would be a little bit more than that, to be honest.
But I think what you do is fantastic and I do love the sound of the job, it sounds amazing.
But I think financially it wouldn't support our family.
It's not good news. And Wayne knows the move could be in jeopardy
if pay doesn't compare favourably.
We've talked about what we would do to get this off the ground
we know we'd have to achieve certain salaries,
to afford certain living standards.
We're just not sure whether we'd actually go that far
to sacrifice where we've got to to really make this thing work.
Back at the hospital, Lois is taking stock of the situation.
I think what I've found is that everybody's really, really friendly, which is fantastic.
Unfortunately I think the salaries aren't comparable to the UK.
My job now doesn't exist here but I can use what I do in other jobs,
which is kind of exciting in many other ways, which is kind of
what I've got from today, is that I can do the job here just not what I'm doing now.
However what Wayne has discovered since he's been in Perth
has made him reassess their position.
To make ends meet in Australia, what we've seen even when
we're out shopping in Fremantle, things are expensive.
So it's difficult to say that we can make my salary,
Lois's salary work to get us where we want to go.
As much as it pains me to say it
would we come if we couldn't get the jobs? Probably we would not, no.
Contemplating a future career down under has filled Lois with thoughts of home.
Every time I think of moving here
it fills me with such excitement because potentially what there is to offer,
but it's such a comparison with what I could leave behind with Amy.
And it's so hard to genuinely try and be excited.
It's too much for her to bear.
It's such a conflict when you want to be excited. It's such a conflict.
Because I know the boys would get so much from here and I know Wayne is excited, and it's just...me.
I want to come, I so, so want to come I want to be here...
but as a family.
Lois is clearly battling within herself.
The thought of leaving Amy behind and uncertain work prospects
in Australia make the decision to leave the UK even harder.
It's time to vote.
My vote is ...
I can't decide.
Love my role that I do.
Love the potential that it has here.
Like my salary,
not sure what my salary will be, so kind of undecided. If that's allowed.
If the Foster's want to make the move to Australia they have to be realistic about their finances.
It's vital they take in to account what they could make
on their UK home as well as the cost of living in Australia.
In the UK the Fosters own a four-bedroom house in the centre of Derby
which they bought in 2004 for just under £140,000.
They've done a lot of work on it, including spending £40,000
on a recent extension and they now estimate it to be worth around £170,000.
But, what is the true value in the current climate?
We sent two estate agents round to assess the property.
The Fosters dreams of a life down under depend on the right valuation.
While Rachel looks after the boys we've got a DVD
of the estate agents' valuations for Lois and Wayne to see.
It may prove worrying.
Nice sized room, lovely bay.
Ideal for a dining room or even a family room, maybe.
Wow, what a lovely family room.
Lovely contemporary kitchen.
Big saleable factor of this property.
It doesn't look like our house, does it? Its weird, isn't it?
Good sized double room.
Lovely light, large en-suite.
It's a four-bedroom, semi-detached property that has been structurally
extended and it's added a great amount of space to the house,
however, I feel it would be a challenge in the current market to recover the full cost of that.
If we were looking to put the house to the market,
in today's market we'd put it on at 155,000.
However, if a quick sale be needed I'd look to put it on at 140,000.
If the vendors were looking to rent the property
I'd look again to put it on at £600 per calendar month.
So at £30,000 less than they were hoping for
much hinges on the opinion of the second estate agent.
They simply won't be able to afford to move if they don't get a good price.
At the moment in the current market conditions
we're looking at an asking price, in the region of £140,000.
For a quick sale somewhere in the region of 130 to £135,000.
If the vendors were to rent the property we'd be looking at
a figure somewhere in the region of £550 to £575 per calendar month.
It's not the news they were hoping for.
-The rent's less than what I thought.
-The sale's less than what I thought.
So I think we're in shock really on that one, to be honest.
Selling isn't going to be an option.
The lowest valuation for a quick sale, which ideally we'd want, at 130.
Well, that wouldn't even cover the mortgage, would it?
I'm looking for a bit more in terms of rental if we were to come out.
Because it just means having to send the money back to cover the shortfall.
That's a lot to cover the shortfall which goes back to everything
we've said today about my wages reflecting what we need to function.
Hmmm. Anyway, on that note, do you want a cup of coffee?
A shot of whisky for me.
The reality of how much they can rent their house for has disappointed the Fosters.
They need to take a closer look at their entire finances to see if they can afford to live down under.
The Fosters take a few minutes to gather their thoughts.
So can Lois and Wayne even afford to make the move down under?
We've provided them with some detailed information
on the day-to-day costs of living in Australia.
The mortgage they're saying in Australia being 1400.
Which is significantly more than at home.
Gas and electric is slightly cheaper.
Phone, slightly more expensive, internet again more expensive.
It's £10 versus £5, it depends what kind of deal you get I imagine.
It's still double though, isn't it? This is interesting.
Private health insurance for a whole family of six is £178 a month.
That's a lot.
I think looking about as a snap shot Australia is more expensive in terms of living costs.
The figures have come as a massive blow.
The life they had dreamt of in Australia could be in jeopardy.
If we're going to do comparisons then I've got to look at the job
and say that's the genuine same job,
I can't look at a nurse that's on a different grade, a different job.
There isn't the same job, that's the reality.
I'm not going to get the same job here as I've got at home.
-We may have to consider being more rural and not being so city centre based.
Again once you go out of suburbs things, housing costs get cheaper.
It's difficult because going more rural, does that then affect
the quality of life that we talked about?
Did we agree to raise the boys more isolated?
No, we're not going to a farmhouse in the middle of a field...
-It feels like it!
-You're going to a town instead of a city.
I'm not sure I'm 100% comfortable with that.
Obviously bringing the boys up with that kind of small town mentality, that's how it feels.
After their harsh reality check, the Fosters future is in the balance.
Which way will they vote?
So we've had a bit of a reality check on whether we can make
the transition from the UK to Australia.
Interesting figures, interesting comparisons as well.
So we're now ready to vote.
This is looking pretty bad.
Cutting ties to friends and family in the UK
and joining a new community is a major challenge for any family.
If they were to emigrate to Australia the Fosters would have to be sure they could make new friends.
So we've arranged for the family to meet up with locals Suresh and Elizabeth Rejan
and their sons Shikela and Rahul for a picnic in the park.
But as the Fosters arrive, the grey clouds roll in.
We had fine weather all of the last few weeks and as you've arrived you've brought the...
-Just the night we flew in.
It chucked it down.
While the kids get to know each other, Suresh is keen to
reassure Wayne about Australia's multicultural credentials.
Some of the studies indicate that there are levels of racism
that exist in Australia generally, and Western Australia in particular.
Mainstream Australians are still trying to come to terms
with how these people fit into the society, but generally,
I'd say it's a very peaceful place, very harmonious place.
In Western Australia, we've got some huge diversity.
I think the figures are that we speak 235 migrant languages,
and we speak another 215 or so Aboriginal languages.
-We only did French at school!
Meanwhile, Lois wants to find out where Australians go on vacation.
So, do you tend to stay in Australia for your holidays?
Yes. We tend to go down south a lot because Suresh
really likes his wine, so we do a lot of the wine tours.
For Wayne, Suresh is a mine of information.
The numbers are changing quite markedly.
Yes, Britain is still the highest, but India has moved into about third or fourth place.
So, the Italians and the Greeks and so on,
which we had huge migration from in the 40s, 50s and 60s,
we haven't had migration from there for many years so
the Vietnamese community is growing, the Indian community is growing.
But Lois is thinking about the boys.
So what are the school holidays?
Cos in England, we have six weeks in the summer, two weeks at Easter
and two weeks at Christmas, and then the odd week in between.
Is it very similar here, or just completely different?
No, very similar but I think we have more breaks than what you do.
They usually finish up around the 17th, the week before Christmas here in December,
and then they don't go back till the second week in February,
-so it's about eight weeks.
-So that would be your summer.
Wayne's feeling reassured by what he's found out.
People seem very welcoming and very willing to start conversation,
as opposed to wait for you to kick things off.
It all seems very good and very acceptable in terms
of actually the way the boys would be brought up over here.
I'm quite pleased about that.
Unlike Wayne, Lois wasn't worried how they'd fit in.
I think, from what I've seen, it's such a diverse country and
some of the cities are so, you know, cosmopolitan and so culturally mixed.
For me, I don't think it's an issue.
Certainly the school the boys go to.
Shakele's little boys' club, his friends,
Mwansa is from Zambia, his family,
his other little friend, Alex, they're Croatian
and then he's got another one which is Malaysian-Italian mix,
and a lot of African boys here.
Well, the boys are having fun together and Lois isn't surprised.
I think this morning has just confirmed the fact
that I had no fears about us, as a family, fitting in.
It's just been confirmed. Because I found Perth particularly
just very multicultural, very, very, a mixture from across the globe.
I suppose the only fear I have is when you're at school, who's going to be your best friend?
Because when you're all older, you've got your family and friend networks set, haven't you?
You've known each other since school and you've always known each other for years,
so I do hope that we, as a family, can fit into somebody else's social network.
It's been a positive morning for the Fosters, and they've certainly made some new friends.
But, coming up, will messages from their loved ones back home
make them reconsider their views on a life down under?
It's just a really, erm, really tough decision.
Before the Fosters can make their final choice, they have to consider who they'll be leaving behind.
For Lois, it may mean leaving daughter Amy in the UK.
To help them make the huge emotional decision that moving to the other side of the world would be,
we've recorded a series of messages from their loved ones back home.
While the boys are looked after, Lois and Wayne watch the DVD.
-Hi, Lois, Wayne and Isaac.
-Hi, Zac. Hi, Jackson. Hi, Elliott.
Hi, Isaac. Hi, Mum. Hi, Wayne. Hi, twins. I hope you're having a good week.
Hi, Lois. Hello, Wayne. How you doing?
When they first told us, we were absolutely gobsmacked and devastated.
It took us a few weeks, really, for it to sink in. Lot of tears,
it was awful, it was an awful time.
There was an initial sense of sorrow,
the thought of them leaving the church.
Of course, I then tried to think of it from their point of view,
and I think the more I listened to them, the more I realised that
it was quite deep in their hearts to do something pretty adventurous.
From a selfish point of view,
that my brother's not up the road any more.
He's not, like, "I'll see you in 20 or 40 minutes."
That's going to be difficult.
If it does happen, I'm not sure how I'll feel, but I know they won't be there.
They're just part of who we are at St Paul's,
so it'll actually be a very big gap when they go.
I think we'll always be thinking of them, and caring for them but we'll miss them a lot.
I'm trying very hard
not to talk about them, because it upsets me so much.
My only fear for them is obviously Amy being back in England
and for any mum, that's a really hard thing to do
is leave one of your children back at home.
If my mum goes to Australia, the thing I'll miss most is Isaac
because I love Isaac, he means everything to me.
It must be very daunting for a young teenager to suddenly uproot everything that you know.
She hasn't got the emotional stability as an adult would have.
Certainly with Amy, if she could maybe
think beyond that, the initial leaving her friends...
If she considered going,
she might look back and think, "Yes, it was a good move to do, or try."
I haven't really thought, "If she goes to Australia, who'll do my washing?
I suppose I'll just have to learn. I'm too young to be independent.
I understand you've got a lot of decisions to make,
some really difficult decisions but I'm sure you'll make the right ones.
We're here, no matter what.
I love you all. Take it easy.
I hope you make the right decision of going or not going,
and I'll see you when you get back home, to give Isaac a big hug.
I want you to really think hard about what you're going to do.
Listen to your head, maybe, and listen to your heart.
There's lots of decisions to be made and, just take your time over it
and you'll come to the right decision, I know you will. I love you. Bye.
Love you too.
I still think my mum thinks I shouldn't go.
I know. I know.
If it was just you and I, then
I can understand everybody saying we shouldn't go.
But we know why we're doing this and that's the thing. That's the thing.
I don't know,
it's just a really... A really tough decision.
The heartfelt messages from their loved ones
on the other side of the world have rocked both Lois and Wayne.
When I stop and sit down...
..I don't cope.
And I think the opportunity that here offers the boys I think is phenomenal
and it's like I keep thinking to myself, that has to be the drive
because they are so, so important in all this
and I can't let what I'm feeling cloud that.
It doesn't work if Lois isn't happy, it doesn't.
Because she's a centrepiece.
I can't repair the situation with Amy so I'd just look at it
and think either Lois is good with this or she's not. If she's not,
I'll support her in that situation and if she wants to go back, we go back and try something different.
That worries me for the boys, but if that's right for Lois, long-term, that's what we have to consider.
It's whether she genuinely believes that the boys are enough.
Whether that's enough for her to make that break.
It doesn't make it feel great.
It doesn't make it feel exciting like it should...
But I know the bigger picture,
like Michael said. My hopes and my fears, you have to balance them out.
And the fears are really fearful.
But my hopes are phenomenal.
My hopes are so exciting and so passionate, my hopes for my boys,
and for Amy are what drives me, definitely.
It's never easy.
There's a huge amount for the Fosters to consider.
Their week down under has certainly been emotional and eventful.
It started well when the Fosters discovered they could afford a five-bedroom property
on their budget, and still have a large amount of living space.
But Lois was disappointed to find she wouldn't be able to practise
her specialised nursing role in Perth,
and that the nearest equivalent job didn't pay as well.
Their dream of a new life in Australia was dealt a further blow,
when the valuation of their house proved much lower than expected.
Beyond all of this is the unresolved issue,
whether Lois can leave her daughter Amy in the UK for a new life down under.
Could this be the biggest decision of their lives?
Which way will they vote?
We've had a fantastic week in Perth.
We've looked at some amazing houses.
We've met some really friendly people.
We've sampled the lifestyle, and we've seen the videos from our
family and friends and with all that in mind, we've come to our decision.
And it is...
I'm so glad you did.
I thought you wouldn't!
No, has to be.
Even though it could come with a huge personal sacrifice, Lois
voted for Australia in the hope that daughter Amy will change her mind.
Let's hope it works out for the whole family.
We wish them the best of luck.
Join us again next time when we find out what happens when another
British family have to decide whether they're Wanted Down Under.
Series in which British families, keen to trade in the British weather for the down-under lifestyle, are given the chance to sample what life would be like if they moved to the other side of the world.
The Fosters from Derby test out life in Perth, Western Australia for a week. Husband Wayne wants to know how well they will be accepted as a mixed-race family, while Lois faces a momentous decision - if she moves to Australia for the sake of her younger children, it will mean leaving her fourteen-year-old daughter Amy in the UK.