Expat in Australia? Here Are 36 Online Groups To Help Get You Settled
The 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 Adelaide
This 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 Coast
This 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 QLD
The 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 Coast
With 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!
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Kiwis in Brisbane
The 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 Melbourne
Join 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 Group
This 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.
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Melbourne Irish Brekkie Meetup Club
If 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 Melbourne
Just 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 Perth
This 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 Perth
Known 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 Perth
Whether 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.
The 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 Perth
This 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 Group
A 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 Perth
This 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 Sydney
A 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.
This Meetup group for American expatriates in Sydney calls itself a fun group of young professionals, between the ages of 25 and 35ish, who have been working and living in Sydney for up to four years. While most are expats on working visas, some are on working holidays and others have permanent residence status. They’ve got events planned every few weeks to celebrate all things American, such as college football and talking US politics to others who actually understand either of those things. Friend them on Facebook to get all the updates, and check out their American Families in Sydney group for family events.
Sydney British Expats
Launched in 2007, the Sydney British Expats Meetup Group of nearly 1,500 members is not limited to British expatriates. Anyone with an interest in Great Britain and its culture is welcome to join. The last two meetups were a pub crawl and mid-week drinks, each attended by about 40 group members.
Sydney ESL Meetup
Meeting for a drink at the rooftop bar of the Metropolitan hotel on Bridge Street for an evening of chat and socialising seems a pretty good way to practice your English. That’s how the more than 7,000 members of Sydney ESL Meetup roll, unless they’re taking in a migration seminar (great for international students, temporary migrants, families with relatives overseas and business owners who want to sponsor skilled workers from abroad) or heading over to The Pontoon Bar at Cockle Bay Wharf for an International Friends social night.
The Sydney Expat Club
The goal of The Sydney Expat Club is to bring cosmopolitan expatriates and locals together to socialise and connect. Members attend exclusive parties and enjoy fine dining and unique events. Take a look at the group’s Meetup page to see past events that the nearly 3,000 members typically enjoy, including a “Young Professionals Ball” and an “International Social.”
Sydney Irish Brekkie Club
Team Brekkie, as these Brekkie Clubbers likes to call themselves, is a social network for Irish folk in Sydney and their Aussie friends. Its primary purpose is to provide an opportunity for Sydney-integrated Irish to “get their fix of Barry’s” as well as have a chat with fellow expats — wherever in the world they’re from. While most of this club’s members are Irish-born, anyone is welcome, especially if they like copious cups of tea, don’t need subtitles to understand and are familiar with craic.
Expat Groups Throughout Australia
Les Français en Australie
This French group is for expatriates already living in Australia or who will be soon. The 2,000-plus members of Les Français en Australie share experiences, tips and advice on jobs, visa issues, taxes, housing matters and roommate information. The Event section is where outings, road trips and recommended nightclubs and bars are posted.
With more than 22,000 members, this Facebook group of German backpackers in Australia is the place to find advice on travel routes, car rental location, hostels and where the best parties are. It’s also a place to arrange meetups and exchange experiences with like-minded travelers from back home.
Backpacker Jobs in Australia
This is a public group of more than 27,000 people, so you’ll see some off-topic posts on the Backpackers Jobs in Australia page. However, you also get comments on job posts that can be really helpful in steering you away from a potential employer who is known not to pay employees. You’ll also find out whether a job counts for the second working holiday visa, and find specific postings for those jobs that do.
For information on short-term rental in Australia read our article on short stay accommodation Down Under.
Danish, Swedish, Norwegian and Finnish Au Pairs in Australia
You must be an au pair to join this Facebook group; in fact, you must be a Danish, Swedish, Norwegian or Finnish au pair, either currently residing in Australia or New Zealand, or planning to. The aim of the group is to share information and connect au pairs for friendship. It is not for the families that the au pairs work for, nor is it a place for seek work. There are other groups for that: AuPair World Australia and AuPair World Perth.
Germans in Australia – Kochen!
This Facebook group will make you hungry. Called Germans in Australia – Cooking!, it’s made up of nearly 1,300 German expats who miss good German food and are on the lookout for it. You can find your favorite recipes and share some of your own, as well.
Germans Living in Australia
With more than 4,200 members, the Germans Living in Australia community is a sizable Facebook group. These expats exchange information and help each other as they settle into their new lives in Australia. If you’re a German backpacker just passing through the country, you’re certainly welcome to join. Please note, however, that posting ads (whether for the sale of travel equipment and cars, or those looking for travel partners, jobs or short-term accommodation) are not accepted.
Irish Around Oz
Stephen Palmer from Cork started the website Irish Around Oz, with its several location-specific groups, as a kind of one-stop resource for expats. This might be advice on places to stay, job information and tax questions, many of which are answered in a PDF guide that is free to download on the site.
Irish Engineers in Australia
Founded by Simon Whelan, this LinkedIn group is for Irish engineers who are based in Australia or who are currently thinking of moving to Australia. The Irish Engineers in Australia group shares information on opportunities for Irish engineers and construction professionals pursuing careers in Australia. Make sure that you scroll down on the landing page for the most recent discussions.
Irish Executives in Australia
The aim of the Irish Executives in Australia LinkedIn group is to provide a focal point to the professionally skilled Irish people who are interested in connecting with their peers in Australia. The owner of the group, Odhran O’Brien, writes that its 1,100-plus members share a bond through heritage as well as business activities. While being born in Ireland and an Irish Citizen is preferred, those with close ties to Ireland are most welcome.
O’Brien writes that “this is essentially a business network where people can share upon their experiences, whether planning on moving, newly arrived, established residents or just interested in staying in touch with developments in Australia.”
Irish in Australia
Irish in Australia is a LinkedIn group for Irish professionals in Australia or those going to Australia for job opportunities. The primary focus of this group is for networking and job opportunities, and you see different sub-groups for different jobs and sectors. The networking group currently has 148 members.
Irish Professionals in Australia
A LinkedIn group, Irish Professionals in Australia was founded by Ben Groom in 2009 and is managed by David Eccles. The group’s aim is to bring Irish professionals within Australia together, helping them with respect to networking and getting introductions to the right people: “As with most expats, we have to rebuild our networks again when moving abroad, and this group aims to help Irish people connect to other Irish people in order to grow their networks.”
Irish Australian Chambers of Commerce – IACC
The Irish Australian Chamber of Commerce is Australia’s premier Irish Australian business organisation. Modern, vibrant and inclusive, they’re a membership-based organisation that is committed to adding value and bringing opportunities to all their members. Responsibilities include hosting Irish Government visitors, facilitation of transactions supporting export of Irish products to Australia and a number of exciting partnerships with new Irish Australian businesses.
New Italians in Australia
If you’re an Italian expatriate in Australia, you might like this Facebook group called Nuovi Italiani in Australia. The group serves as a platform for its 3,100-plus members to keep in touch, organize parties and meetings, and generally help each other. The admin does ask newcomers not to seek highly specific information on immigration and/or Australian laws. There is also a helpful FAQ section.
Southern Africans – Jobs in Australia
A non-profit Facebook group with nearly 18,000 members, the Southern Africans – Jobs in Australia community was started three years ago for South Africans from any part of the world who are looking for jobs in Australia. The founder, Chaleen Botha, writes that “this group is about paying it forward and sharing information about jobs, training and education.”
The Welsh Downunder
The full name for this Facebook group is The Welsh Downunder – Wales and Welsh People in Australia. Its purpose is to “encourage and promote Welsh culture, language, music, eisteddfods, art, sport, social events and business in Sydney, Brisbane, Darwin, Perth, Kalgoorlie, Auckland, Wellington, Christchurch, Bluff and everywhere else Downunder.”
It also aims to help Welsh expats assimilate into the communities of Australia, New Zealand, and Pacific Islands as well as provide an open forum to arrange events and discuss all things Welsh and Welsh-related.