Expat guide to life in Australia



Australia is a unique and diverse country in every single way; from culture to population, geography to history. The Australian culture is as broad and as varied as the country’s landscape. The country is multicultural, multiracial and this is reflected in the country’s food, lifestyle and cultural practices and experience.


If you are (or plan to be) an expat living in Australia, please find below a list of expat clubs, schools, general links for women living in Australia, country information and more...

Australia Gold Coast

Expat Clubs in Australia

If we were able to list every single expatriate club in Australia, the page would be endless. The sheer size of the country makes it somewhat difficult to do just that. So we’ve selected a few from different states across Australia for you.


American Women's Auxiliary (AWA)


Founded in 1931 with the primary objective of providing fundraising and volunteer services to the Royal Children's Hospital (RCH) of Melbourne. The AWA is also a social group, gathering in members' houses or at venues around the metro Melbourne area for fun and friendship. Membership is made up of women who are American citizens or who are the spouse/de facto partner of American citizens and women of other nationalities living in Melbourne who are friends of Americans.


Ionians Clubs - Making Newcomers Welcome


Are you new in town? Would you like to meet women who are, or have been, in the same situation? There are 19 Ionian Clubs around Australia as well as one in Auckland and one in London, all devoted to friendship and support. Our members are from both Australia and overseas. We organise regular outings and activities such as movies, restaurants, galleries, walks, book groups, card games, craft activities and much more. There is something for everyone and we invite you to attend our meetings and activities before deciding if you would like to join. We look forward to hearing from you.


Melbourne Newcomers and Friends Association


Melbourne Newcomers & Friends is a friendly group who provide opportunities for people who are new to Melbourne from interstate and overseas, to meet with others who have lived in different places to come together in friendship through interesting activities.


Newcomers Clubs in Australia

Network for Newcomers with events, activities, resources, local information and message boards.



Newcomers Network

Newcomers Network is the first and now the largest online information and advocacy service for newcomers in Australia. It also holds free Welcome events in Melbourne, Sydney, Brisbane, Perth and Adelaide on the Second Friday of every month. Everyone is welcome to attend.



Sydney Newcomers Club

Newcomers to the area who want to meet new people, try new things and be part of a network of friendly people are welcome to attend. Members are of all nationalities and from all walks of life. Enjoy coffee mornings, lunches, nights out, family get togethers, book club, children's activities, day trips, a babysitting co-op and more.



Sydney Women's International Club Inc. (SWIC)

A non-profit association, founded and incorporated in January 1997 by a group of like - minded women who collectively sought to create a club that welcomes women to Sydney, promotes opportunities for social contact between newcomers and local women, and provides opportunities to explore Sydney with friends.


International Schools in Australia

Education in Australia is primarily the responsibility of the states and territories. Each state or territory government provides funding and regulates the public and private schools within its governing area.

The educational system in Australia provides primary, secondary and tertiary education, and is distinguished from many other countries by the Australian Qualifications Framework, all of which are of a high standard.

Regardless, expatriates may prefer international schools and educational systems while in Australia, and we’ve listed some for you here.


Carey Baptist Grammar School

Carey is a co-educational Christian school for students from 3-year-old kindergarten to Year 12.

Curriculum: Australian

Address: Carey Kew 349 Barkers Road Kew 3101

Tel: 613 9816 1222

Email: [email protected]

Website: www.carey.com.au


Glenunga International High School

At Glenunga International High School we value Internationalism in many ways: The International Baccalaureate (IB) is an International two year Matriculation Curriculum, taken in some 1000 schools in more than 75 countries throughout the world.

Curriculum: IB

Address: 99 L’estrange Street, Glenunga, South Australia 5064

Tel: 618 8379 5629

Email: [email protected]

Website: www.gihs.sa.edu.au


Kardinia International College

Kardinia International College is an IB World College offering high quality education to boys and girls from Australia and all parts of the world. The College provides a caring environment for both day and homestay students from Kindergarten to Year 12, preparing them to be leaders and productive participants in the world of the 21st Century.

Address: 29-31 Kardinia Drive, Bell Post Hill Vic 3215

Tel: 613 5278 9999

Email: [email protected]

Website: www.kardinia.vic.edu.au


St Paul's Grammar School

A co-educational Pre-Kindergarten to Year 12 interdenominational Christian school, St Paul's Grammar School is dedicated to equipping its students to become people of discernment who value Christian faith, integrity and excellence in all of life, and who will serve in the world as confident, competent and compassionate adults.

Curriculum: IB

Address: 52 Taylor Road, Cranebrook NSW, 2749

Tel: 612 4777 4888

Email: [email protected]

Website: www.stpauls.nsw.edu.au

Local News in English

Country Information for Australia

Full Name: Commonwealth of Australia

Location: Australasia

Capital City: Canberra

Other Important Cities: Sydney, Brisbane, Melbourne

Currency: 1 Australian dollar = 100 cents               

Language: English

Religion: Christianity

Calling Code:  +61

Internet TLD: .au

Electricity: 220 - 240V

Emergency Number: 000


Australia ranks as one of the best places to live in the world by all indices of income, human development, healthcare and civil rights. The sixth-largest country in the world by land mass, its comparatively small population is concentrated in the highly urbanized east of the Australian continent.


The country has a rich history, and the island continent combines a wide variety of landscapes. From deserts, to hills and mountains, to tropical rainforests and densely populated coastal strips with long beaches and coral reefs off the shoreline.


Through its isolation from other continents, Australia has developed an abundance of unique plant and animal life, most famously marsupials such as the kangaroo. 

Embassy Information


Residents Visa and Work Permit information

To apply for a permanent visa in Australia, you must have lived for two years in a Specified Regional Area and worked, included being self-employed, for one year in these same areas or obtained a sponsorship under the Regional Sponsored Migration Scheme.


The pathway to residency in Australia is somewhat complicated, so we advise that you do full research prior to attempting and beginning any route in seeking permanent residency in the country.


All information can be found on the Australian Government, Department of Immigration and Border Protection site: www.immi.gov.au


Housing in Australia varies across the land, and expatriates such familiarizes themselves and research full the type of housing they wish to rent or invest in. Types of houses range from queenslanders to units in terms of style, layout and design.


Prices are expensive in city centers, as is with most cities. Even in Sydney, the cost of a surburbian three-bed house can cost over $1 million. And while Sydney is somewhat of a popular choice for expatriates, a surprising number of people head to Perth in Western Australia where a mining boom has led to speedy economic expansion and the need for a larger workforce. Brisbane in Queensland is also a popular choice, as well as Cairns. 

Driving License

Australians drive on the left hand side of the road and the majority of vehicles have the steering wheel on their right side. Driving conditions vary. Most Australians live on or near the eastern and south-east coasts, so roads within and between these cities and towns are paved and well maintained, as are the highways that join the state and territory capital cities.


In more remote areas – a.k.a. the Outback – motorists may travel for hundreds of kilometres between towns or road houses without opportunities to refuel, get water, refreshments or use toilets. So you must plan your trips in advance and efficiently! Motorists should be self-sufficient and prepared for emergencies when travelling off any major road in Australia.


Drivers in Australia require a valid driving licence. Foreign licences in English are considered valid for driving in Australia for visitors for three months. If you licence is not in English, an International Driving Permit (IDP) which is issued in your home country before arrival in Australia is required.


Use of seatbelts is compulsory for drivers and passengers, and infants should be secured with approved safety capsules and harnesses. The blood alcohol limit is 0.05% throughout Australia. 


Healthcare in Australia is provided by both private and government institutions. The federal Minister for Health, currently Peter Dutton, administers national health policy, elements of which are operated by state governments.


Medicare is the publicly funded universal health care system in Australia and was instituted in 1984. It coexists with a private health system.


Australia is a high income country and this is reflected in a good status of health as a population overall.