The pathway back to Australia for global Australians is fraught with cultural, financial and social challenges. For many, this experience comes as a shock. Advance.org research with Indeed in 2019, and with the NSW Government on Talent Flows in 2020, uncovered the specific difficulties faced by returning Australians, and possible actions that can make this process simpler.
To begin to address the challenge, Advance.org held its inaugural virtual #CoffeeHour on 12 June, with over 35 guests who had already returned or were planning their return registered to attend.
Due to the global pandemic, some participants found themselves in Australia unexpectedly or were currently in quarantine in hotels around the country.
The virtual coffee hour also included legal and accounting experts who were available to provide assistance to those moving back to Australia.
The participants share the challenges associated with:
- accessing basic services, including banking and healthcare
- needing to manoeuvre the complexity involved in re-establishing themselves in Australia
- having overseas skills/experience valued by local employers and the headhunters engaged to fill domestic roles
- working out where to locate themselves on their return without first arranging employment
- establishing new social and business networks in Australia.
So what do Australians returning from working globally need?
- Assistance in raising their profile, building local networks and maintaining global networks
- Introductions to Australian employers and headhunters
- Tips to navigating the administrative hurdles of resettling facing anyone landing in Australia and needing to become ‘part of the system’.
- Connections with financial and legal advisers
- Help settling the family with recommendations on accommodation, schools and local networks
- Giving back by sharing their experience, networks and ideas
Advance.org CEO Maria MacNamara addressed the group and encouraged them to consider the many options available including:
- Living local and working global – we have proven that your physical location is immaterial to many roles, and being in a different timezone can now be an advantage
- Connecting with high growth companies who are ‘born global’ – such as those backed by Main Sequence Ventures and those being incubated and accelerated by Stone & Chalk
- Considering emerging ecosystems, particularly those encouraged by state governments who were inviting global talent to settle in their jurisdiction.
- Building portfolio careers, so that they can share their expertise as advisers, make themselves available to Boards seeking their expertise, networks and global insights
- Taking a role at an Australian organisation (public or private sector) that is undergoing transformation.
And if expats are unable to find the work that absorbs their expertise, experience and talent, perhaps they might want to find a problem they really want to solve and launch a startup, like the founder of Volt Bank!
Typical among the responses received were these comments:
“Thank you and the team at Advance for the great morning coffee on Friday. It was a real joy to be able to see the faces and hear the stories of the attendees, I really appreciate the experience!”
“I just wanted to say a huge thank you for organizing the virtual coffee meeting this morning, what a fantastically valuable experience that was. I can’t tell you how much it means to hear others going through the same kinds of challenges that we are in returning ‘home’. So thank you again to you and your team and have a good weekend”
There are plenty of ways to become involved. Advance.org will begin shaping a Transition Program. If you would like to:
- collaborate on this important program of work, please let us know.
- attend the next #CoffeeHour, join Advance.org
- sponsor the #CoffeeHour program, contact our CEO Maria MacNamara
- access the network of global Australian talent, contact our CEO Maria MacNamara
Membership is free