Ciara Kenny

The Irish Times forum by and for Irish citizens living overseas,

New guide for Irish emigrants moving to Western Australia

Booklet prepared by the Claddagh Association contains information on everything potential migrants need to know

Fri, Apr 12, 2013, 00:00


Ciara Kenny

A new information booklet has been published to assist Irish emigrants planning a move to Western Australia.

The 38-page guide, prepared by the Claddagh Association of Western Australia, contains information on everything potential migrants need to know, from registering with the Department of Foreign Affairs and purchasing travel insurance before leaving Ireland, to finding a job or a place to live on arrival, paying tax, negotiating Perth transport or accessing healthcare.

There’s also a chapter on Australian history and Aboriginal culture, and a comprehensive list of support services and community, cultural and sports clubs in the region.

The booklet was researched and written by nine volunteers working or associated with the Claddagh Association, who do fantastic work with the Irish community in Perth and surrounding areas.

The association has been providing welfare assistance to Irish people particularly in times of crisis and trauma since its establishment in 1997, but has seen a significant rise in the numbers contacting them who have arrived “unprepared and with an unrealistic expectation of life in Perth”. Last October, the association’s president Joan Ross told Generation Emigration that they had recorded a 35 per cent increase in requests for assistance or advice in the previous year.

“They get money together for a one-way ticket and a visa, and hope to walk straight in to work. They might have a couple of hundred dollars in their pockets when they arrive, but the cost of living is extremely high here and if they have trouble finding a job at all their money can run out very quickly.

“We are getting calls from the embassy referring young lads to us who are practically homeless. They might have enough left for a few nights in a hostel, but no other money for food or anything. That’s the kind of desperation we are faced with at the moment, which is very different to what we have ever seen before.”

The Claddagh Association is part of the LINK network of Irish welfare organisations in Australia. To read more about the work of these groups, see When things go wrong far from home. The Information on Moving to Western Australia guide can be downloaded here.

The Canadian Department of Immigration also recently published a similar guide for migrants moving to Canada.