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Blog // Thoughts
March 10, 2006

Can’t Call Australia Home

Owen Young is a PhD student at the Australian Graduate School of Management and has written an accurate and counter-intuitive piece on difficulties Australian Expatriates face in relocating back to Australia. Australia’s three biggest selling points when attracting migrants to plug our skills shortfalls are lifestyle, lifestyle and lifestyle. Yet lifestyle is far more elusive […]

Owen Young is a PhD student at the Australian Graduate School of Management and has written an accurate and counter-intuitive piece on difficulties Australian Expatriates face in relocating back to Australia.

Australia’s three biggest selling points when attracting migrants to plug our skills shortfalls are lifestyle, lifestyle and lifestyle. Yet lifestyle is far more elusive when Australia’s best and brightest consider returning home after furthering their careers overseas.

Expatriates on low incomes can readily be encouraged home by a cheapish house by the beach and good family environment. But those earning big money overseas soon find that Australia could rarely – or never – offer them the lifestyle to which they have become accustomed in the United States or Asia.

Australia’s low wages and high tax are proving a significant disincentive in trying to stem the brain drain.

The Australian Diaspora represents a massive braindrain for such a small country. It may well prove difficult to fill this gap through immigration. Moreover, expats from other countries who might welcome the chance to work in Australia for 3-4 years (as long as they are paid elsewhere) may baulk at being localised in the current climate.

When added with the persistent racism issues, it seems that the hoary refrain of the lucky country with the best lifestyle in the world may no longer be true for many.

[tags] Australia, Australian Diaspora, Expat [/tags]

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