COVID-19 information for our workforce
COVID-19 information for our workforce
| By Craig Gibson

To kick this series off Scottish midwife Alexandra Blair shares her experience of moving down under, and working across the country.

Sydney, Melbourne, Canberra...

Coming to Australia has been the experience of a lifetime. Since touching down in Sydney a year ago, the opportunities, both as a midwife and outside work, have been endless and I’ve managed to see so much of the country. After starting work in Sydney last December, I moved to Melbourne in April and, after a bit of hopping around, have been working in Canberra for the last few months. Canberra’s a lovely city with a great vibe and plenty of things to do (the wages are also the best I’ve had in Aus), but Sydney is now calling me back!

Nationwide flexibility

One of the many reasons I love being an Alliance Nurse is the flexibility it gives me, which is just incredible. I can pick my shifts, based on time, location, and any areas of nursing I want to explore. I can head to wherever I want to in Australia, even at the last minute, and I know there will be nursing opportunities waiting for me with Alliance. I’ve been fortunate enough to live and work in Perth, Tasmania, Gold Coast and Brisbane, all with Alliance Nursing. It was always my dream to see all these places, and to tick them off my Aussie bucket list. I'm also so grateful to Alliance for giving me the chance to travel while I work as a nurse across the country.

Help making the move down under

When I was back home, I began considering a move down under as I really wanted to experience life outside of the UK and the NHS. I got in contact with Alliance Nursing who explained the whole moving process for me, including all the logistics involved with visas, APHRA registrations and all the available nursing opportunities. The team were so friendly, helpful, and efficient and the support I received from Alliance helped massively with my transition. Aoife was always checking in on me and helped me to get set up in Sydney; she even ensured I had shifts in community work whilst I was waiting for my APHRA, to help me pay my bills in the meantime.

I still receive fantastic support from Alliance Nursing now. When I first arrived in Canberra after my time in Melbourne, I met the branch there who gifted me some essential items to help me settle in and the branch manager even bought me a candle to get my new flat looking more homely. It was such a kind gesture and showed me that Alliance Nursing really do care about their staff.

British nurses the gold standard

Another benefit I’ve found since moving over is that, coming from an NHS background, I have been very well respected. Everyone here recognises that there are heavy demands in UK hospitals, so British nurses are viewed as the ‘gold standard’. This has allowed me to be given more responsibility, and I’ve been put in charge of wards, providing support for other staff in the hospitals I’m placed in, which is great experience for me. As well as this, I’ve noticed that healthcare staff here are more inclined to give positive feedback, recognising and praising you when you do your work well, so it’s been really nice to receive a confidence boost and it can definitely improve your morale at work.


Pick your own shifts

Outside of hospitals I am quite an independent person. I love going on runs, taking gym classes, and just exploring everything this beautiful country has to offer. Australia’s known for its breathtaking beaches, and its unique wildlife, but some of the parks, forests and mountains have also been stunning to witness. The weather here is such a huge plus and the flexibility of working as an agency nurse, and picking your own shifts, allows you to properly take advantage of it.

Just do it!

I always say to any nurses in the UK thinking of coming over, “Just do it!”. My time over here has given me not only invaluable work experience but also incredible life experiences which will benefit me greatly when I come back to work in the NHS. The UK isn’t going anywhere, so just take some time out and live your best life down under!