Expat in Australia? Here Are 36 Online Groups To Help Get You SettledThe great weather, cosmopolitan cities, incredible outdoor life and friendly people have made Australia a popular destination for expatriates of every stripe. Some are long-term expats, working in Oz and raising a family. Others might be just passing through as students or backpackers, but everyone is far from home. When abroad, it’s always nice to find a group of like-minded individuals who will answer your questions, invite you to a local meetup and generally become your home-away-from-home. We’ve compiled a list of 36 groups for expats in Australia from all over the world. Whether you’re Irish, British, German, Italian, Swedish, French, South African or hail from the USA, you’re sure to find one that’s a comfortable fit.
Expat Groups in Adelaide
Expats in AdelaideThis private Facebook group is for expats living in Adelaide. The goal is for people new to South Australia to meet others who’ve been there a while. People from all over the world make up the membership, and Aussies are welcome to join, as well, whether or not they’re new to the area. There are more than 1,000 members, ranging in age from 20 to over 50, with some who’ve been in Adelaide as long as two decades.
Expat Groups in Queensland
Expats on the Gold CoastThis Facebook group, Expats on the Gold Coast, is closed to members only. Membership currently stands at just more than 1,000. The group description is straightforward: It’s for “those that live here and those that are moving here; a group site for meetups, info, help and anything else you want to talk about.”
Irish Australian Support Association QLDThe Irish Australian Support Association Qld Inc. is a non-profit organization that supports the Irish community in Brisbane and around Queensland in a variety of ways. Partly funded by the Government of Ireland’s Emigrant Support Programme, any Irish or Irish-Australian person can turn to IASAQ in time times of need or distress. Whether you need information on settling in advice about schools, a heads-up on playgroups and activities, or just wish to join other Irish expats, Irish Families in Brisbane is a small but active group to join.
Irish on the Gold CoastWith a membership of nearly 700, the Irish on the Gold Coast Facebook group is family friendly and specifically for Irish people who would like advice or wish to discuss issues with relocating or settling in on the Gold Coast. When you are added to the group, let everyone know where on the Gold Coast you’re situated — you might have an Irish neighbour! And don’t forget – if you are already using CurrencyFair, by referring any of new expat friends to our service means you get rewarded too.
Kiwis in BrisbaneThe founders of Kiwis in Brisbane, Melissa and Darren Lowndes, started the group eight years ago to connect with other Kiwis and make new friends. The membership today is going strong at more than 11,500 expats, many telling similar stories of getting settled in Australia and, as Melissa and Darren write, finding a “little bit of Aotearoa in Brisbane.”
Expat Groups in Melbourne
Kiwis in MelbourneJoin this closed Facebook group, and you’ll have 6,000-plus friends. People who say stuff like “Nau mai, Haere mai.” Kiwis in Melbourne is also known as KIM, and you’re welcome to “have your say, post your panui, meet new whanau and friends.” Members can find and are encouraged to post New Zealand-related events, look for Kiwi flatmates, find Kiwi food and drink, and generally say gidday.
Melbourne British Expats Meetup GroupThis is an active bunch of 1,200 Brits in Melbourne who’ve been getting together since 2008. They’ve had a couple hundred past meetups, and several upcoming (how does Friday night drinks at Ponyfish Island grab you?). In order to join the Melbourne British Expats Meetup Group, there are certain requirements set out on the homepage: You must be a Brit living in Melbourne and “crave the British sense of humour, pickled onion Monster Munch and a pint of Speckled Hen.” If you also fancy bar crawls and paintballing or perhaps lawn bowls and fancy dress, you should fit right in. There are less requirements to joining CurrencyFair when you need to convert your Pounds to Australian Dollars – just a desire for amazing rates and fair fees.
Melbourne Irish Brekkie Meetup ClubIf you’re Irish in Melbourne, you’re in. It doesn’t matter whether you’re on a working visa or have made a more long-term arrangement, this club attempts breakfast once a month and holds other meetups, including many with pubs and music involved. As it says on the Melbourne Irish Brekkie Meetup Club site: “It’s a chance to catch up, meet other Irish and have some craic, sharing stories about living here and, of course, stories about home.”
Melbourne Welsh | Cymry MelbourneJust a few years old, this Facebook group now has some 700 members, and states that it’s a home from home community for all the Welshies in Melbourne and Victoria. More than a rugby-watching club, the growing and social Melbourne Welsh group holds events and gives great advice on visa applications and extensions.
Expat Groups in Perth
French in PerthThis is a group for French-speaking expats working and living in Perth. Whether you want to plan road trips, or find roommates or parties and concerts in the area, this French in Perth Facebook group has it all. You can sometimes find job and apartment postings, as well as furniture for sale, and you can post your own sales, too.
Irish Families in PerthKnown as IFIP, this group of nearly 10,000 members is a non-profit organisation funded by the Irish government. Its aim is to provide Irish emigrants with advice on successfully assimilating into the culture and lifestyle of Western Australia. You can get help with issues such as relocation, settling in and visas, and you can join for social events. You’ll have to go to their sister Facebook page to buy or sell items: Irish Buy and Sell in Perth.
Irish Living in PerthWhether you’re already living in Perth or you’ve always really wanted to, if you’re Irish, you’re welcome to join the Irish Living in Perth community on Facebook. The 3,800-plus members use the page to talk about everything as well as to socialise and help grow the community. It’s active, with members posting about articles for sale, houses for rent and places to meet at the weekend.
ItalWAThe Facebook community of Italians and Italo-Australians living in Western Australia is known at ItalWA, and it is more than 2,600 members strong. The aim of ItalWA is to help others with their relocation and spread Italian culture. They do this by organizing Italian language classes, folk and traditional dance classes and workshops, cooking lessons, wine tastings, meetups, and themed parties.
Officielle Français à PerthThis Facebook group is for French-speaking expatriates living in Perth and is written in French. In fact, before you join the 4,500 member-strong community, you need to read the charter (in French) and agree to abide by the terms therein. If you don’t, you can be banned from the group and even subject to lawsuits, which is, of course très sérieux. While most of the charter seems to be about safeguarding member privacy, keeping it family-friendly and so on, one of the rules is that links to personal websites and blogs are not allowed, as they do not contribute to the support of the French community of Perth.
Perth Welsh GroupA relatively small community of about 800 members, the Perth Welsh Group, or “Cymry Perth,” is for any Welsh people living in Perth and Western Australia. They’re invited to join the group to meet friends and fellow expats from their homeland. Feel free to share stories and have a laugh about “Living the Dream.” You can even have a Welsh moan if you feel the need.
Positive Poms in PerthThis Facebook group is where British expats in Perth can get positive help and advice. There are about 2,200 members, with new expats joining Positive Poms in Perth each week.
Expat Groups in Sydney
Svenskar i SydneyA Facebook group of nearly 9,000 members, Swedes in Sydney welcomes all Swedish students, au pairs, backpackers, tourists and residents of the area. If you can read and write in Swedish, you’re also welcome to join their topic-specific sister groups, which include:
- Svenskar i Sydney – Socialt, the social forum for party invitations and social networking;
- Svenskar i Sydney – Boende, the forum for housing ads.