It may be the world’s most isolated city but Perth is unquestionably a gem in Australia’s landscape. Situated in Western Australia, over 3000km from Sydney and nearly 4000km from Singapore, relocation to this remote city presents some unique challenges. Named the ‘City of Lights’ by US astronauts, the city boasts the highest ratio of restaurants per person, the largest inner park city in the world and the world’s sunniest capital.
Perth attracts expatriates to the booming industries of oil, gas, mining and resources for both long and short term assignments. Three to six month projects are common with new opportunities for tenders and contracts. Many workers operate according to an ‘on and off’ roster; mining workers often work two weeks on then one week off while oil and gas employees regularly work one month followed by a month respite.
Interestingly, Perth has the only International School in Australia. The curriculum follows Northern Hemisphere school terms so work assignments often change according to these dates. As such, the vast influx of expatriate families to Perth occurs in January and July.
The Central Business District of Perth is located on the North side of the bridge which divides the North and South areas of the city. Perth offers a wide range of accommodation options including very attractive properties in the CBD, Northern and Southern suburbs. Most leases are 24 months with the option for an extension.
Rebecca Gulvin, Director at Executive Step has been looking after Perth relocations since 1990. Gulvin says that expatriates from certain countries often prefer areas which are reminiscent of their home countries. “Our Italian families tend to want to live in Subiaco and West Leederville, this is a vibrant area just five minutes from the CBD and within walking distance from fantastic restaurants and cafes. Americans enjoy the larger properties on the coast, while Asian clients gravitate towards the modern convenience of newly build CBD apartments.”
Extreme weather during cyclone and monsoon season hits during the local summer. Accommodation prices in Perth can skyrocket during these times and options may be limited. Expatriates working with the oil rigs often need to change their plans, flights and accommodation.
Annette O’Brien-Oxley, Director at Leasing Elite comments on the benefits of local knowledge. Oxley says, “Expats coming to Perth cannot truly understand the intricacies of this isolated city without help. Having a Relocation Agent to assist them and work with us, the Real Estate Agent, can eliminate a lot of confusion and uncertainty in choosing schools and homes.
As a provider of accommodation Leasing Elite ideally works through the relocation agent to find the right home, thus eliminating the stress from the clients’ life and handling the legalities of leasing which vary from state to state.”
As Gulvin emphasises, “A move, either locally, interstate or internationally can be stressful.” Relocating to a remote location such as Perth requires preparation and management of expectations for expatriates. Gulvin is pleased to provide a fully personalised, flexible service which provides invaluable local information and knowledge to expats to make them feel at home in their new city. “We are proud to show off our city and welcome the Expats – my biggest ‘kick’ is when they extend their stay.”
Rebecca Gulvin, Director at Executive Step
Annette O’Brien-Oxley, Director at Leasing Elite
Director at Executive Step
Tel:+ 61 8 9328 1113
Freelance Writer, The Employee Mobility Institute
Lana Lachyani is a Melbourne-based Freelance Writer and Communications Consultant. Lana lived overseas for several years, working across Europe and the Middle East before returning to Australia in 2012