Melbourne , Australia


So , after years of it being at the top of my “Dream List” , we have moved to Australia ! So far , it has exceeded all my expectations .

I’m here a full month now and it’s been all go since I arrived . As an indication of how things will go for the next few years , I was upgraded to Business Class on the longest leg of my flight here , from Abu Dhabi to Sydney , all 14 hours of it . Despite my protestations that I had bought an economy seat they insisted that I sit in a luxurious seat and drink a glass of champagne once I boarded the plane . I then recovered from the Bruce Springsteen concert (the previous night in the RDS) by watching premium movies and enjoyed a few great meals and caught up with a good few hours sleep . Ah , how the other half lives !! Mr Richard Branson didn’t make his customary profit on my seat !

I arrived on a saturday afternoon in the midst of an Australian winter – it was the warmest summer day I’d experienced this year ! Winter here seems to mean a cool night (maybe 5C) , heating up to around 16C by midday . That said , we did have a couple of days with rain like I haven’t experienced for a few years . The drains on the roads are about 3 foot deep – they were full !

I’m living (temporarily) in a suburb called South Yarra , just 20 minutes drive or tram ride from the office in Glen Iris and 20 minutes from the city centre . The city centre and environs are very well laid out , well thought out streets all built on a grid system with lots of lovely green parks and leisure areas . Lots of cranes on the skyline ! The public transport system is superb with very frequent train services from all areas to and from the city centre and CBD (Central Business District ) . The Australians love acronyms so they’re recovering from the GFC and I am out with clients in the CBD delivering DMPs with a view to securing TPE and TSE contracts We have a DQT and a TED in the office on a regular basis and and LMA is a big player over here with 40 years of brand awareness in Australia and New Zealand (check out . (OMG , LOL) .

There’s strong Irish community down here and we are just one of the many many races and cultures who mingle effortlessly in the area . Coffee has a major influence here – it reminds me of Ethiopia (from a coffee point of view), where most business / social / meetings happen over excellent coffee served in hundreds (if not thousands) of cafes throughout the city and suburbs .

I’ve met so many Irish people who live here and call Melbourne home . I’d like to profile some of these people on this blog as the months pass . They all have very interesting stories to tell . 

The sporting Irish are much respected here in this sports mad state . AFL is by far the main topic of conversation here on a monday morning and I’m under severe pressure to pick an Aussie Rules team to support (I’m going to wait until my daughter Emily tells me which team colours she prefers) . I went to see Geelong beat St. Kilda in the Ethiad stadium last friday night . A great night , but it would have to be as the game lasts well over 2 hours .

The great Jim Stynes is still one of the great icons of sport and is frequently discussed . I’m looking forward to reading Jim’s autobiography “My Journey” which was written in the last months of this Irish/Australian icon’s life . Rugby Union doesn’t have a huge following this far south but I did get to watch the All Blacks beat Australia in the 1st round of the Bledisloe Cup in the Moorabbin Rugby Club , surrounded by enormous , friendly and fun-loving ( and quite excited) pacific islanders . My son will be playing Rugby at this club with another boy from a lovely Cork family who have recently made Melbourne their home .

Melbourne is a bustling city with a great buzz and positivity with a great work environment and positivity . The company I have moved here to work with couldn’t have been more helpful . It is amazing the things you take for granted at home – bank accounts , mobile phone accounts , driving licences , etc etc . It would have been much more difficult to settle without everyone’s help . My most valuable possession is my GPS App on my iPhone – it guides me around the streets via a lovely French Language voice (I’m trying to improve my French) – still can’t figure what “fait un demi-tour si possible” means !

Enjoyed the views of Bass Strait last Sunday – magnificent ! I now know where we’ll be weekending !



Until the next post – g’day mates !



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2 Responses to Melbourne , Australia

  1. Joan McCarthy says:

    Great report of your first few weeks down under, Melbourne looks lovely

  2. Hi Bob

    Interesting and informative blog, a man with a military background then acronyms should be right up your street ;), was actually asking about you last night as we actually played against Gerry Buckley in Lower Aghada’s tournament and he said you had gone to oz. Place sounds fab and enjoy.
    Paul mc Carthy (P20 :))

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