The small business specialists
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Deciding to uproot a family of six to live on the other side of the world is not a decision made lightly, but when you’re sitting in the sunshine at the Mosman Bay restaurant with blue skies overhead, the beautiful Swan River lapping at the jetty and dolphins swimming gently by, it’s not hard to see why the Pollard family chose Perth as their new home.
After a banking and entrepreneurial career in London, followed by ten years building a successful tourism and hospitality business in Kent, Brent and Fiona Pollard felt the time was right to fulfil a long held dream of living abroad.
As a holiday they explored Europe, the United States and the east coast of Australia, before following a tip from a West Aussie friend in the UK, who suggested Perth as the ideal destination.
They were as good as sold on the idea after the first visit, but a few more fact-finding trips, and the deal was sealed.
Brent advises others in similar situations to start the immigration process early, so as not to lose momentum.
“Particularly when children are involved, you need to keep the ball rolling pretty fast or they can lose their enthusiasm for the idea,” Brent said.
“We lodged the paperwork with Immigration before we made our final decision, but things really got moving when we approached the State Migration Centre at the SBDC, as suggested by our UK-based migration agent.”
Western Australia’s process for State sponsorship is more streamlined than in other states, and the Pollards got their approval in a matter of weeks.
“We got our State sponsorship in January, the DIAC permanent visa in June and then moved to Perth in August,” Brent said.
“Getting this kind of response makes you feel like you’re on the right track and that you’re welcome to come.”
The Pollards are now settled into their new home in Dalkeith, have their children happily enrolled in schools nearby and are developing their new business ventures.
Brent says it can be a bit daunting moving to a new country, with different business and social cultures, but the secret is to stay positive and expect a few hurdles along the way and, particularly in business, take your time and do your research.
“I like to find a business with a good heart and a worthy purpose that just needs some intensive care to make it successful,” Brent said.
“I’m not into quick fixes, dressing things up and selling them on, but rather creating something really special that serves a useful purpose and will be enjoyed by many.”
In the past, Brent and Fiona have resurrected a wide variety of businesses including a group of 14 nursing homes and a number of hotels as well as transforming a hop farm in Kent into a unique hospitality and tourism destination. His current projects are the Mosman Bay Restaurant and Black Tom’s Bar in West Perth.