Would you shift to Australia?
Record numbers of Kiwis jumped the ditch to Australia in the past year, new data shows. Opportunities abound, money is better, as is the weather. But the coffee is worse and people still get laid off. Tom Hunt talks to interior design company employee Charlotte Dentice and Logie-winning actress Chelsie Preston Crayford.
Australia is a mixed bag, says award-winning actor Chelsie Preston Crayford.
On one hand, it was there that she nabbed the role for which she won a Logie award this year.
But it is also the country where her boyfriend and other friends all suddenly found themselves out of their temp jobs when the last financial year turned.
For Preston Crayford, now 25, the move to Sydney was not about culture or moving to a bigger city. In fact, given the choice, she would live back in Wellington.
"It's just about how many opportunities there are. Of course, if you chose a vocation you want to be able to do it all the time.
"The sad fact is you couldn't do that in New Zealand. I couldn't make a living as an actor in New Zealand."
She scored the role of Tilly Devine in Underbelly: Razor - the role for which she won Most Outstanding New Talent at this year's Logie awards.
The role prompted the move to Sydney, where she has been "loosely" based since.
There was a definite cultural difference on either side of the Tasman, she said. Australians were more open about going after what they want. "We are quite humble but we can also be quite apologetic."
Both countries' traits have positives and negatives, but Australia could definitely learn something from New Zealand - especially when it came to race relations, she said.
Long term, she hoped to live in Wellington while still being able to make a living as an actor. "I guess that means working in Australia or the States."
SWAYED BY SYDNEY'S CHARMS
Life in Sydney is better than expected, says former Wellingtonian Charlotte Dentice.
The 27-year-old jumped the ditch almost three months ago when her boss at Wellington interior design firm Montage Interiors offered her a job in Sydney.
She made the move for a change, and "I was keen to check out Sydney". But life there turned out to be better than expected. "I guess I was worried I would miss the cultural aspects in Wellington, but there's definitely a lot going on in Sydney."
She did miss Wellington's superior coffee and cafes, however. But they would not be luring her back any time soon, with a timeframe for Sydney "indefinite".
She said Kiwis in Sydney tended to hang out together, and were "quite optimistic". "I think [New Zealanders] here seem happy - they are in a place with quite a bit more opportunities."
And then there is the weather: "At the moment it is sunny and 21 degrees. So I'm going to say that, yes indeed, it is part of the attraction.
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