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Thinking of moving to Sydney?
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Thinking of moving to Sydney?

Posted on 20 October 2018

Thinking about a move to Sydney? The market is buoyant, especially for contractors, summer is coming….conditions are perfect.

When I moved to Sydney what feels like a lifetime ago now, it certainly was a daunting experience having come from Dublin (a city of just over 1 million people). With a much larger city to navigate, where to live, where to work and where to socialise was something that took a bit of trial and error. Now I am the proud holder of Australian Citizenship and a settled life here! Here are some tips if you are planning a move to Sydney.

Where to live:

This is the question that I think burns on most people’s minds coming to Sydney. With so many suburbs it’s hard to know what’s for you. Transport is relatively good in Sydney (perhaps not compared to London), but you may not want to sit on a bus for 1 hour on a 40-degree day. See below a short summary on some of the main expat destinations – this is by no means exhaustive and as the need for rental properties increases, we’ve seen many people moving into areas such as Zetland, Waterloo, Mascot and also further West where development is booming.

Manly/The Northern Beaches

Ah the stuff that dreams are made of – kilometres of sandy beaches, many of them relatively quiet if you look hard enough, beautiful bars and cafes, this is where you can really settle down and enjoy Australian life. Manly town, or Mantown to the locals, tends to attract younger couples or backpackers from the expat community, tearing it up at the Boatshed. Families with children often will opt for areas slightly further out like Allambie, Dee Why, Manly Vale etc. in favour of more space or perhaps the elusive backyard. Allow 1 hour for travel time from the Northern Beaches to the CBD on the bus or 30 mins on the ferry.

Bondi/Coogee and the Eastern Suburbs

Bondi rescue – you know it, you love it, just swim between the flags and don’t make a cameo. Bondi and Coogee are likely to be where you will find the largest contingent of British and Irish expats, with a smattering of other nationalities. Generally, a fairly lively area to live, both Bondi and Coogee are chock full of bars, restaurants, live music venues and a good holiday atmosphere. I’ve never lived in the area personally but the reports are that it’s a good place to join a social circle if you’re looking for one with plenty of sports groups and an ease of meeting new people. I’d allow a decent 45 minutes from either location to bus to the city. From Bondi, you can also schlep to Bondi Junction and take the train.

Surry Hills/Darlinghurst

Surry Hills and Darlinghurst are both classed as inner-city (both walking distance to the city) areas and are known for their large enclave of galleries, restaurants, bars and cafes. There is generally a creative, relaxed vibe. This is where you can ramble through Crown Street looking through galleries, vintage clothes stores and high-end pet accessory boutiques. This crowd here is diverse and elective and very LGBTI friendly (as is most of Sydney to be fair).

Newtown/Enmore/The Inner-West

Inner-West is best as the old adage goes. The Inner-West is known for its very diverse culture, artistic schtik and the best area of Sydney for live music lovers! Here you’ll find awesome food from all around the world at very reasonable prices. A bit grittier than the East or North, you’ll love it if you’re looking to get involved in the local community, art exhibitions and an open and diverse neighbourhood.  Not forgetting a few really good pubs.

The visa situation:

Yes the rumours are true – the visa situation in Australia has tightened significantly. If you’re coming on a Working Holiday Visa the terms are more or less the same – you can come for 1 year but you must change employers every 6 months (there is a new rule that means you can stay with the same employer after 6 months if they transfer you to another location). You can also do 3 months of regional work to extend your visa by another year for many countries.  For those hoping to gain sponsorship or a skilled migration PR visa, you would be well advised to look into your personal situation here:

The market:

At AccountAbility, we specialise in Accounts Payable, Accounts Receivable, Payroll, Assistant Accountants and any hybrid of the aforementioned. The good news is we’re always busy! The market here is buoyant at the transactional accounting level and we have great success in placing new Sydney residents into contract roles. Note your chances will be increased if you have used Tier 1 or Tier 2 systems, or you have worked for a recognised multi-national company. Communication will be key for securing a job, so if English isn’t your first language make sure that you are practising as much as possible in the lead up to your arrival.

The salaries:

You will find that Sydney salaries are generally more generous than most other cities globally! As a contractor, you can expect to get a very decent hourly rate in lieu of receiving the annual leave and sick leave that permanent employees receive. For the record, the minimum entitlements are 20 days annual leave and 10 days sick leave.

If you would like to look into your personal situation have a look at our salary guide.

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