Name: Jimmy Van Eetvelde
Occupation: Air conditioning and Refrigeration Mechanic
We had our own business back in Belgium where we installed and maintained air conditioning and HVAC units in chemical factories, hospitals and office buildings.
We felt that we needed a change because life seemed to be passing by so quickly. We also wanted a healthier lifestyle and to be more connected with nature, especially for our kids. Queensland had everything we wanted – beautiful nature, a healthier environment and a lifestyle that suited us as people much better.
State nomination process
The application process went very smoothly. I have learned that Queensland has one of the fastest application processes in Australia. It did not take long before we got an invitation for State Sponsorship and after submitting our visa application it only took a few months before our visa was granted. The communication with our case officer was always very open and friendly and he helped and guided us throughout the whole process without any hesitation.
Living in Queensland
We enrolled our children as soon as possible into their schools and sport clubs. In that way we were socially involved in our new life and created a weekly routine. Through sitting in the waiting room at ballet class or cheering alongside the soccer field we quickly created a new group of friends.
I would advise new migrants to start building up your social life as soon as possible. Everybody here in Australia is super friendly and people are really interested in getting to know you. Don’t wait for people to invite you but ask them to come around. Get involved in the local sport clubs and local events. Try to get into weekly outdoor activities and that will easily create a new group of friends.
As Australia is so multi-cultural, I found it a real pleasure to hear, see and feel all the different cultures around. With great interest people ask us about our background and culture and it is awesome to hear that all Australians are really proud of their own heritage and background. So for me, every day is a multicultural day which I truly enjoy. Since I arrived, I have never felt home-sick. I feel blessed and privileged to be able to live in the most beautiful country in the world.
Working in Queensland
Besides one of us working full time as an administrator, we are pursuing our dreams and have opened up our own small batch beer brewery where we brew Belgian Style beers. It’s going really well, and we are very proud of what we have achieved so far in such a short period of time.
As it is a fast-paced industry here in Queensland I can only advise new migrants to not wait for the job to come to you but actively look around for a job. Present yourself with your resume, even if the company has not listed a job vacancy. If you have the right skills, they will contact you again if there is a job vacancy shortly after.
At this moment in life, we are perfectly happy with what we have achieved so far and where we are at. Our main future goal is to keep enjoying life with family and friends. Professionally everything is going well at this stage, and opening up a brewery with its own cellar door is highly possible in the near future.