Where to call home?

Today I interviewed a lovely lady called Sue Mc Cormack who has lived in Queensland, Sydney, Canberra and currently Melbourne. Here she compares what it’s like living in each city.

Australians are leaving Sydney. For more than four decades, Sydney has lost more people than it has gained, and Australians are leading the charge. According to the 2016 census, on average each day 129 people leave Sydney and only 85 people decide to call it home.

Sue Mc Cormack, aged 55 is one such flighty person. Growing up in Queensland, she moved to Sydney and decided it was not for her. The IT trainer has the luxury of not being restricted to a place based on work availability, which is one of the many reasons why Sydney is such an attractive destination. There is a great need for skilled migrants to the city and the overall growing population has made its impression on the inhabitants. Some of these impressions are positive, but for some they are negative. Sydney’s traffic is like a ‘motorway, back to back’, Sue recalls. So for someone who can choose where to live and employment is not a requirement, where is the ideal place?


Sydney Harbour

Sue found that ideal place in our nation’s capital. She is not alone. According to the 2016 census data, the population rose by 10% in the last 5 years. ‘Canberra is easy. It’s like wrapping yourself in a big warm blanket’, said Sue. The population growth can also be attributed to a baby boom, and with the current trajectory, more people will be calling Canberra home within 10 years than Tasmania. The appeal of Canberra is dawning on more Australians due to the well planned city and the affordable lifestyle, something that Sydney is lacking. ‘You don’t have to work very hard at anything,’ says Sue.


Parliament House, Canberra

However, Sue left the comfort of Canberra and currently resides in the busier Melbourne. Her fondness of Canberra shines through, as though reminiscing about an old friend, ‘Melbourne has wonderful cafés, but Canberra was easier’. It was a friend that convinced her to give Melbourne a go, and from the comforts of her sofa she describes the four seasons she experienced during the day. In Canberra, Sue did most of her shopping via the internet, whereas in Melbourne, the shops were found on the streets. The shops and café culture of Melbourne has resulted in a distinct European feel, that appeals to many. The population of Melbourne is hot on the heels of Sydney and with the current influx of skilled workers, will move up into number one spot.

Busy life of Melbourne

Be it Melbourne or Sydney, many factors come into play when deciding on where to ultimately live. A growing number of Australians are voting with their feet on what is important for them. Sue’s love of travel has helped her discover what is important to her in a city. It was a surprisingly enjoyable trip to Japan that crystallized this. ‘Japan is beautiful. The people are just so heartfelt. I love their aesthetics’. In the end, the choice of city comes down to the people and town planning, and maybe a few cafés.

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