Friday, 1 May 2020

Covid-19 and Relocation Services in Australia

If you are likely to be in self-quarantine when you arrive in Australia, do not worry we can still assist you with relocation services. During this awful time we have been delivering virtual relocation services including virtual orientation, virtual home search and virtual settling -in. We have assisted with relocation services in Australia including everything from orientation through to home search, car purchase through to childcare placement and all virtually! We have also assisted with virtual departure services before a move to Australia. Whether you are moving to Melbourne, relocating to Sydney or moving to any of our Australian cities ask us how we can assist you. We are always happy to discuss our services and in these difficult times we all have more time for having a chat!

Repatriation Services for Returning Employees

When expatriates take on an overseas assignment they are generally well supported in every aspect however, a number of repatriating employees report feeling undervalued on their return as they struggle to put together their lives in a now somewhat unfamiliar environment. While their household goods are still in transit across the sea many repatriates are left to find a new home and schools or childcare for their children in a market that they previously may not have navigated through before they left, all whilst one parent may be at work or trying to work from ‘home’ and another looking for employment. Throw into the mix all the challenges which have been brought about by Covid-19 and you have a very stressful situation.

What can companies do to make sure that their returning expatriates feel valued? Provide support. As a relocation company we see companies support their employees and families navigate a repatriation like they would an overseas assignment and then those who choose view an employees repatriation as an opportunity to show self-sufficiency! The value of an employee rich in overseas experience should not be forgotten and it is often the case that the lack of support from the company can often be the trigger to move to another employer taking and in turn taking their experience with them.

Keeping the repatriating employees informed.
We believe it is important to keep in touch with the repatriating employee and family to understand their concerns and to be very clear about what they will face on arrival in their country of origin. Will they need to self-quarantine or, will the government put them into accommodation for 14 days? Do they understand the limits of what they can do and where, if anywhere, they can go. Do they understand the limitations in regards to arriving into one state and moving to the next? Are they going to be able to visit family and friends? Our relocation consultants offer the employee and their family that level of support in guiding them through this process and ensuring they are stayed informed of any updates and changes throughout their arrival.

Support during quarantine
After the frantic activity associated with any repatriation the thought of 14 days in a confined space sometimes with young children can be demoralising. This is the time to offer some structure to the employee and family.  As well as gradually reintroducing the employee to what is happening within the workplace this can also be a time for supporting spouses with career counselling if they are looking for work opportunities. It is also a great time for our relocation consultants to discuss strategies for immersion into the local community and to work through any unfamiliar environments that come with repatriating expatriates having to reinvent their lives. If the family have no house to return to this is a time that we can begin that process of finding a home by conducting consultations and working virtually with the employee. Discussions regarding schools, children’s childcare or activities for all members of the family can also take place at this time to keep everyone on track and excited for the task ahead of them.

During this difficult time Elite Woodhams Relocation is happy to speak to companies about making sure they are adequately supporting repatriating employees.

Monday, 23 March 2020

Departure Services and Repatriation Services

In these very difficult times we find ourselves in we are helping those who are needing to leave Australia or return from overseas back to Australia in a hurry. People need to just get on a plane and that sometimes means leaving things behind. Our consultants are actually taking charge of what needs to be sent overseas or, in Australia, sometimes interstate; what needs to be donated and what needs to be dispensed with. We are there for the house clean, the walk through if it is a rental property, to help with finalising everything for property handover and  make lives simpler in difficult times. Let us know if this can help you or one of your employees.

At the other end if you need a home and are in self quarantine we can assist virtually. We visit the homes and our client’s are with us on the end of the phone.

Kathy Nunn
Non-Executive Director

Sunday, 15 September 2019

Why you should think about relocating to Australia.

If you are thinking of relocating to Australia and unsure then there are lots of things to consider. Do your homework and look at the statistics but in brief here are some pointers:

Employment: Australia is seeing stronger job creation and unemployment figures are down. Across the states there is good incentive and support for setting up business.
Safety: Australian crime rates are low
Education: Australia boost some of the best education in the world
Transport: Australian transport in the cities is among the best and safest in the world
Housing: Australian housing is of good quality. Close to cities housing is relatively  expensive but if you are prepared to live a little further out or in regional areas then housing affordability is good.
Environment: Much of Australia is stunningly beautiful and a huge drawcard is clean air and the purity of the water.
Lifestyle: Australians value work life balance.

One of the best ways to evaluate Australia is to come to see for yourself. Ask us about an orientation which will give incredible insight into living Downunder!.

Saturday, 11 November 2017

Why are good rentals so hard to find and why is it even harder to be accepted on one?

The photos of the property on the internet were very promising. It was clear that a wide angled lens had been used to make the rooms look larger and it was a slight worry that there were no kitchen or bathroom shots but it had the right number of bedrooms, seemed light and bright and seemed reasonably priced. The open for inspection was a 5.30pm right in the middle of peak traffic but off I drove leaving enough time to be able to be one of the first to get through in the 15 minute allocated time slot. I was wrong. As I drove past the home a line had already formed outside the rental and with 15 minutes to go before the agent let people through, a parking spot was hard to find. I observed the opposition with interest. The first in line were a couple who were openly smoking as they leant against the wall. On the whole landlords are not keen on smokers. Couple two was a colorful pair sporting tattoos further drawn to attention by the short skirt in one case and the shorts and vest in the others. Property managers often read tattoos to mean wild parties: best to cover up for the viewing. Sadly, the other nine parties in front of me looked fine contenders for the Excellent Tenant’ award and even more sadly of the 12 parties  going through, only one was going to be offered a tenancy.

So why is there so much competition for good rental properties? There are many reasons why and one of the most obvious is that our population is expanding.  Our cities can not keep pace with the number of newcomers who need accommodation and the shortage of quality tradesmen means that our construction of new dwellings is lagging behind the demand. In addition property prices have been at an all time high so many landlords have taken the opportunity to sell their property when it comes to the end of a lease, this depleting the pool of rental properties available. A substantial number of these properties are left vacant rather than being rented out. Many who decide to put their home on the market choose to rent while the wait for the bubble to burst, again putting strain on the rental market and some young singles, couples and families simply can not afford to buy into the inflated market. Next we are in uncertain times and therefore Australians who are usually willing to travel overseas to take a job are sitting firmly where they are and so the usual lovely properties which would become vacant while the owner is being an expat are now not becoming available.

So all in all it is a tough market with Sydney being also one of the most expensive rental markets in the world and Melbourne having a vacancy rate of around 1.1% which is extremely tight. If you are looking for a rental property you need to put your best foot forward and be prepared to make a shortlist rather than assuming you will get the first property you apply for.

Friday, 4 August 2017

Is it worth moving everything with you?

We are wonderful accumulators of 'stuff' and when you are moving interstate or overseas that ‘stuff’ can cost you dearly. Years ago when companies were more generous with removals allowances there was little thought about what you would bring with you on a corporate relocation but now when household removals are so expensive and it is relatively easy to purchase items online or from companies such as IKEA it is becoming less common to ship everything.

Industry Trends which is published by AMSA noted that in 2016 shipment totals were down by 5.2%, a decline that has been progressively noticeable since 2013. Meanwhile the  Corporate Account sector represents a greater decline at 6.7% less annually.

It is not only the cost of the shipment itself which is expensive but the cost of the insurance which if your goods are valuable can be extremely expensive. Whenever you are moving goods in a container from one place to another there is likely to be some damage: these items were not made to withstand being hauled from country to country squashed between other items which push against them.

Before you decide to take your things overseas have a really good think about what you are not likely to use ever again and either sell or donate those items. Rarely used items will be expensive to move and limit where you are able to live at the other end. Moving is an opportunity to take a serious look at your wardrobe, your book shelf, unused wedding presents and duplicates of kitchen items you brought along with you when you first shared a home! Have a quick look online to see what new sofas and the larger furniture items would cost you and how much you might reasonably sell these for secondhand.

Sometimes your things can take 12 weeks to cross the seas and get cleared by customs and in that time you are either paying for serviced accommodation or renting furniture: by this time you would have saved a fortune to have bought new. Certain electrical items and whitegoods are not suitable for travel and do not work well in the new country so this is something it is not worth bringing with you.

Starting afresh is a liberating experience and not as difficult as it may seem these days: it also allows you to choose furniture suitable for the place you decide to move into rather than choosing the place you live in based on what is coming from where you lived last!

Monday, 16 May 2016

The Newcomer’s Guide to Australia: Innovative Ways to Spend Your Time

Oftentimes, when you move somewhere new you have a grace period before starting your new job. In the meantime, you’re trying to settle in and acclimate to your new surroundings.

I’m dealing with this now; I arrived in Melbourne three months ago and I’m looking for my next job, so I totally understand your dilemma! The worst thing is to sit in your room and stress about all the things you have to do, or that you don’t have anything to do. The best remedy for this anxiety is to get moving and involved in interesting events and classes in your area as well as finding positive creative outlets for yourself.

Here are some ideas, for newcomers of all ages, on keeping busy and finding your grounding during the first few weeks in your new home!  

Finding a job:
This task can feel most overwhelming of all, especially when you move somewhere with no personal connections. Fear no more! There are a number of very helpful websites to get you started on a clear and active job search. You can do a highly specific search on jobs in your area, in your field of expertise and the type of contract or hours you prefer. Here’s a list of great job-finding websites:


Ps. Here are two more ways to make an income before work starts:

Uber:  becoming an Uber driver is a great way to make some money until your new job is settled. For more details visit

Grants: Have an amazing new business idea? You can now apply for grants for innovative business ideas. Check out this article for more information:

What to do until work begins:
You have so many options! Read on…

If you choose so, you will never be bored in Australia. No matter where you live, there are countless activities for kids, teens and adults. I live in Melbourne, and I haven’t had one quiet weekend since I moved in! Here are some ideas to keep you busy no matter where you’re living, then I’ll give you a list of some adventures and events throughout Australia.

Volunteer work: great for all ages; a way to give back and connect to your new community and make friends

Babysitting: teens! this is a great way for you to make some money and keep busy when you first arrive. It could also be a good way to meet people and new friends in your neighbourhood

Tutoring: this is a great job opportunity for teens and allows them to give back to the community and make new connections

Blogs: writing a blog about your experiences is a great creative outlet and allows you to connect with friends back home. You can include photos, cafes and bars you enjoyed and stories about your first impressions of your new home.

Social groups/  joining and other local social groups is a fantastic way to make friends and connections. Events in practically every category are available (arts, sports, hiking, film, writing, etc.)

Workshops: Signing up for a workshop is a great creative outlet and a perfect way to meet other likeminded people. You can easily find workshops in writing, art, and more.

Short courses: Your little pocket of free time could be the perfect time to take a course in something you’ve always wanted to learn more about.  Many of the universities throughout Australia offer short or single courses in a wide variety of subjects. Here are just a few options:
Arts and crafts: Another fun activity is to get involved with arts and crafts. You can find local classes, art groups and great art stores. Check out for art groups and workshops

Shopping: for your new home (and maybe a little something for yourself...)
You just moved into your new place, so I’m assuming you’ll need to pick up a few things to make your new home feel like home. And perhaps you need to do a little bit of shopping before you start your new job. Here are some great sites for incredible deals:

1.      Trade Secret – you can find this store all throughout Australia. It offers incredible deals on clothing, home d├ęcor and more.

2.      50 Best Online Shopping Sites – perfect for when you’re too busy (or exhausted!) to leave your couch to go shopping. Tons of brands just a click away.

3. – shop for everything from furniture to clothing to electronics. Its all here and you can be sure you’ll find some great deals.

4.      IKEA – you can pretty much never go wrong with IKEA. I’ve furnished full apartments with IKEA furniture and it looks great. Affordable and beautiful. Plus, you can buy lovely wine glasses for under $10...  Relax and browse:

5.      My Furniture Store – great discount prices on every type of furniture.

6.      Buy furniture online – 17 places to buy furniture online:

7.      Sell Buy Swap – this is a great site to sell, buy and swap furniture and more. Definitely worth a look!

Events for you… and the Kids!
Don’t forget about the kids while you’re enjoying your online shopping and catching up on long forgotten art courses! There are tons of activities you can do with your kids before starting work. Here are some awesome events and activities for everyone: 


Kids Activities and Classes:
Trampoline Park:
200 Things for Kids and Families to do in Melbourne:
20 Things to do in Melbourne with Kids:


Daily Ideas for Sydney Mums:
Kids events and classes:

Kids Events and Classes:


Kids Events and Classes:


Kids Events and Classes:


Kids Events and Classes:


Kids Events and Classes:

Kids Events and Classes:
· -- Drama classes

I hope these tips help you fill your newfound free time, keep you thinking positive and allow you to enjoy your new home. I wish you the best of luck on settling in, exploring the city, and of course, finding the perfect furniture. Adventure on!

Elite Cultural Discovery assists you with every aspect of your move to a different country where you will live like a local with all the support or as little support as you need to fit right in.

As a world traveler from birth, Rahel has been sharing her experiences through photography, creative writing, poetry and film. Originally from Vancouver, BC, Rahel has moved to three countries on her own and hopes to inspire others to travel and learn about themselves and others in the process. Rahel currently lives in Melbourne, Australia.