Brisbane at a Glance
Moving to BrisbaneiStockphoto
Like so many Australian cities, Brisbane attracts lots of expats and skilled migrants from overseas.
When relocating to Brisbane, you have the opportunity to settle down in a highly livable city that is often called one of Australia’s economic engines. Unfortunately, the last time that the capital of Queensland made the headlines around the world was in December 2010 and January 2011 when the entire state was affected by severe flooding. However, this should not deter anyone from moving to Brisbane now.
Although the natural disaster curbed the region’s – even the nation’s – economic growth, Queensland soon recovered from the shock. Brisbane remains an attractive option for both expatriates and immigrants. The metropolitan area offers employment in such fields as finance and commerce, IT and bio-technology, ship-building and logistics, as well as the many amenities of living in Australia’s “Sunshine State”.
Like quite a few Australian metropolises, the history of Brisbane – today a flourishing city – began full of harshness and violence. The first European settlers moving to Brisbane were convicts, the inhabitants of a 19th-century penal colony founded near the shores of the River Brisbane and Moreton Bay. This region on the east cost of the continent, rather remote from Sydney back in the day, seemed to be an ideal location for one of the strictest prison settlements in the colonial era.
Moving to Brisbane, the deported from Great Britain squatted on land of the Jagera and Turrbul clans. Sadly, the Aboriginal populace was soon decimated by imported diseases and violent clashes with the colonists. So, when the penal settlement became a self-governing town in 1859, more people from the mother country came to Brisbane in search of “uninhabited” land. One and a half centuries later, Brisbane has turned into an enormous urbanized area.
Located in the southeastern corner of Queensland, about 100 km from the border to New South Wales, Greater Brisbane includes the City of Brisbane and the local government areas of Ipswich, Logan City, Redland City, and Moreton Bay. Together, they are home to about two million residents.
If you have a look at the entire “Southeast Queensland conurbation”, this urban sprawl spreads further to the booming holiday resorts of Sunshine Coast in the north and Gold Coast in the south. More than three million people – over 50% of the state’s entire population – are concentrated here. And the demographic growth won’t stop. Moving to Brisbane is as popular as ever.
Today, Aboriginal Australians only make up 3.6% of Queensland’s population. However, the original settler population, moving to Brisbane from the British Isles, has long turned into a multicultural mix of various residents. Depending on the local government area surveyed in the 2011 census, between 16% and 24% of all Brisbanites were born overseas. Up to 15% of new residents from abroad came from a non-Anglophone background.
The birthplace countries of Brisbane’s overseas residents include China, Germany, New Zealand, the Netherlands, the Philippines, Samoa, South Africa, the UK, and a variety of other nations, especially in the Asia-Pacific region. After moving to Brisbane, you’re likely to run into residents speaking Cantonese or Mandarin, Spanish or Tagalog, German or Dutch, Khmer or Lao. As an expat or migrant, you might be interested in the multicultural resource directory of all foreign communities represented in Queensland.
When preparing for your move to Brisbane, don’t forget to pack accordingly. The city has a subtropical and humid climate, and temperatures below 0°C are so rare as to be virtually non-existent. The average minimum in winter is 9°C while it’s usually between 21°C and 30°C in the summer months.
If you remember to take your sunscreen, a wide-brimmed hat, and sunglasses, you can enjoy the beaches of “the Miami of Australia”. Keep in mind that Brisbane is technically a risk area for hurricanes and cyclones. Make sure you know the emergency hotlines of your consulate and the local authorities, just in case. However, Cyclone Yasni and the 2010-11 floods were rare exceptions, and moving to Brisbane is mostly safe.