by Donna MacFarlane
It takes time to settle in to any new place. To truly feel at home, we need to feel connected to the place in which we live and the people around us. We need to know where things are and understand how things work.
It is normal to feel some discomfort at times when everything is new, but dive in, enjoy Perth and all it has to offer and you will soon feel like you belong.
In the meantime, here are some tips to help speed along the process:
Find the essentials
A good cup of coffee, a hairdresser, a doctor, a dentist…life looks brighter when the basics are covered. Try to locate a service provider you’re happy with before it’s an emergency.
Get a copy of the Perth Entertainment Book
The Perth edition of the Entertainment Book is released for sale each year around May. It contains discount vouchers and 2-for-1 offers for a wide range of tourist attractions, activities, restaurants, hotels and other businesses.
The book is particularly valuable to new residents of Perth, due to the ideas it contains about what to see and do. It includes the better known attractions such as the Perth Mint and the Fremantle Prison, but also activities such as whale watching cruises, surf lessons, camel riding and wine tasting tours.
The books are sold through fund-raising groups, organisations and charities. For more information, go to www.entertainmentbook.com.au.
Join your State (and local) library
The State Library of Western Australia, located in the Alexander Library Building, is part of the Perth Cultural Centre. Situated in Northbridge at 25 Francis Street, it is a short walk north of the Perth Railway Station and the Wellington Street Bus Station. (Phone: (08) 9427 3111).
Membership is available and free of charge to all residents of Western Australia. You can register online or by applying in person. You will need to provide proof of identity and your current residential address on official documentation. Once issued with a membership card, you can request and reserve materials held at the State Library and log in to a selection of e-resources from home.
There are also many local libraries around Perth. These require separate membership, apart from any State Library membership. The city of Stirling, for example, comprises six libraries in its network. It offers regular community events for adults and children and is a vital hub of local information.
Read your (free) community newspaper
The West Australian newspaper is a good place to start for developing a sense of life in the West. The weekend edition contains several lift-outs which can help you feel connected.
The humble community newspaper, however, should not be ignored. These newspapers are free, and include information on local real estate, businesses, general stories and other news affecting people in your neighbourhood. To find out more, go to www.inmycommunity.com.au.
Tune in to local radio
The ABC radio station in Perth can be found on the 720 AM band frequency. Find out about local news and the issues that Perth is talking about every day. To listen online, have your say or get connected on Facebook, go to www.abc.net.au/perth
Meet your neighbours
Be friendly. Go for a walk around the neighbourhood. Introduce yourself to the people next door. It’s not always easy, but it’s worth the effort.
Join a gym or a club
Whatever your interest, there is sure to be a club or group of like-minded people in Perth. Due to Perth’s beach culture and warm climate, you may even be able to take up a new hobby that hasn’t previously been an option.
Focus on the children
If you have children attending school in Perth, settling in can be relatively easy. Avoid ‘kiss-and-ride’ and walk through the school gates where you can get to know other parents.
Locate emergency services
It is worth the peace of mind to find out the location and phone numbers of the closest hospital and other emergency services.
The Australian Government also provides an after-hours GP helpline number: 1800 022 222. Calls from landlines are free.
Find out what’s in your neighbourhood
On the Australian parenting website, www.raisingchildren.net.au, you can search an interactive map of your neighbourhood to locate a number of parenting resources, including child care centres, playgroups, libraries and health services. Search online for other GPS-based sites that can help you learn more about your surroundings.
Get out and about
Get out of the house and explore Perth. Whether by public transport, on foot or by bike, see for yourself why Perth is such a great place to live (and discover where to take your visitors when they inevitably arrive!) If you would like to be shown around by the professionals, contact New in Town to arrange a Perth orientation tour.
See our Relocation Services to find out how we can assist
you and your family.