Australia is often referred to as the land of milk and honey, and is renowned for its opportunities and the quality of its leisure options. It is a massive country, and one of the most beautiful places in the world. From its magnificent beaches, to the Great Barrier Reef, which is one of the Seven Wonders of the World, to its abundance of kangaroos and koalas, to its sunny skies and friendly people who are known for their laid-back disposition, and their love of sports, Australia has it all.
It’s no secret that if there were to be an ideal expatriate location that Australia would certainly be able to compete for one of the top spots. Australia has always ranked as one of the top countries that expats want to work in, and has proven itself to be one of the top countries of choice for expats from the United Kingdom amongst other regions, for many years.
Australia is the smallest continent in the world; it is also the 6th largest country in the world, after Russia, China, Canada, the USA and Brazil. Australia has a relatively small population given its enormous size, and there are just over 20 million people living in Australia. Australia is divided into 6 states and 2 territories. Its capital city is Canberra. What is interesting is that 40% of the population is made up of immigrants, or the children of immigrants. Australia is an island and the majority of its population lives along the coastline. Australia is proudly multicultural and very accepting of immigrants and people from different backgrounds.
Australia has always been a destination of choice for mining expatriates, from all over the world. Australia’s quality of life, low crime rates and relatively low population levels are all contributing factors for a good quality of life. The only thing stopping expats at the moment from moving to Australia are the lack of job prospects in mining due to the downturn in the mining industry. Mining has in years gone by been the dominant industry for expats, but as Australia’s mining boom turned to dust, so have opportunities for expats dried up. This has resulted in fewer opportunities for expatriates in Australia, and many expatriates especially those from the UK are considering moving back home because of the lack of job stability.
Many mining companies in Australia are cutting costs dramatically, and the industry has been shedding employees at an alarming rate. At the peak of Australia’s mining boom, mining companies were recruiting candidates from all over the world, and expatriates were flocking to Australia, but times have changed and the amount of expatriates entering Australia have decreased dramatically. A lot of the reason for this is that there is not as much need for mining companies to import skills from abroad, as they have enough locals to fill these positions; and this has meant that expatriate opportunities have been hard hit.
However for those expatriates in mining who are lucky enough to get offered an expat position in Australia, the sky is the limit. The weather ranges from tropical to temperate, with cool winters but mostly the skies are blue and the sun is shining. There are few countries that can offer the lifestyle that Australia offers. For many expats living in Australia weekends consist of spending time on their famous ultra-white beaches with crystal clear water, or in the mountains, or the vineyards.
Expats in mining work hard, and play hard. Mine site living can be tough, and most expats will be required to work on a roster, and may spend as much as 4 weeks in a row in a mining camp. Mining companies have however worked hard to ensure that mine camp life is as comfortable as possible, and many camps now provide a gymnasium, a swimming pool, and possibly even tennis or basketball courts. All meals are provided for and often cleaning services. Many camps will have a leisure room with TV a pool table and a pub. Salaries for expats are good, and the majority of expats working in Australia are earning a far higher wages to other industries and often a lot more than they would back home. Expats do need to keep in mind though, that the cost of living in Australia can be high, especially if located in cities such as Sydney and that the cost of living does need to be factored in, when negotiating salary.
As a whole though for expats in mining lucky enough to be working in Australia, the sky is the limit, and when they clock out of work, their leisure time is nothing short of world class.