In the past, Australia represented a country that supplied expats to the world with citizens of the country flocking to Europe and America in their droves to find new opportunities and explore life outside the southern hemisphere. However, it seems that the tables are finally turning and, after losing executive talent to foreign shores for many years, Australian high-flyers are finally returning home to avoid the economic issues that are impacting Europe and the US.
“Anecdotally, we are definitely seeing an upturn in resumes and applications from the diaspora wanting to head home, or out of the UK to Asia,” says John Rawlinson, chief executive of white-collar recruiter Talent2.
“Not only has it got tougher in the UK but (the country) has instituted a caps on bonuses that has led a number of successful bankers to say they might as well be in Hong Kong or Singapore.”
Among the reasons cited for fact that many expat executives are returning to Australia include high taxation overseas, the higher standard of living on offer in their home country and the fact that, although local salaries are still relatively low in comparison to those on offer elsewhere in the world, the earnings potential has improved a great deal in recent years.
Noteworthy expat returnees include well-known advertising executive Mike Rebelo, from Saatchi & Saatchi, who has returned to Sydney to head up the agency’s local branch. When questioned by newspaper The Australian on his reasons for returning home, Rebelo commented:
“To be honest, it had little to do with the gloom in London,” he said “The London riots showed tension in society was bubbling away . . . and since I left more companies have been collapsing through debt.”
“It was very much about career opportunities. I made a decision on where I could make the biggest impact and play to my strengths.”