ATramore native David Power is currently living and working in Victoria,  Australia. Son of Bridget and Michael Power, David attended CBS Secondary School in Tramore before going on to study a Bachelor of Business Studies at Waterford Institute of Technology (WIT). From there, David completed a Masters by Research in Rural Entrepreneurship and an additional Masters of Arts in Journalism at Dublin Institute of Technology (DIT) in 2010. Before moving to Australia, David worked with IDA Ireland as a Communications Executive.
“I was lucky to land such a great job so soon after finishing college with such a reputable organisation given how volatile the Irish jobs market was at the time,” he explained. “After spending a year with IDA Ireland, Australia began to call and I knew it was now or never”. David said he always wanted to live and work in Australia. “I knew I had to do it before I turned 30, so regardless of the economic climate back home in Ireland I would have still made the decision to go. Unlike most, I left a great job to come to Australia and followed a dream that I had since I was a kid.”
David left Ireland August 2012, stopping off for a break in Hong Kong before arriving in Melbourne. “I had no friends or family in Melbourne and I arrived with two friends so all we had was each other,” he said. “It was scary to begin with and there was so much we hadn’t expected. No landlord was willing to lease us a property because our visa was only for 12 months. Everywhere comes unfurnished and no employer would give us jobs because we only had a 12 month Working Holiday Visa. The sheer expense of living in Australia’s second biggest city and a weak Euro meant we had a lot of hard work ahead.”
He continued: “If I’m being honest, when we talk of Australia in Ireland we speak of it with such fondness and it is the picture of paradise, but living in a big city here is the same as anywhere else in the world minus the heat. I was expecting my life to mirror that of Alf Stewart in ‘Home and Away’- I’d go fishing every day, wear a straw cowboy hat and start saying things like ‘stone the flamin’ crows’! However, the reality is much different.
After enduring five months of doors being slammed in his face, David  finally landed a job with Mitchell Shire Council as a Coordinator Economic Development, Marketing and Communications. “This role is sponsored by my employer so I can work here for a minimum of four years,” he explained.
“The best thing about this role is that I get to use my degree and both my masters on a daily basis, something I was finding impossible back home in Ireland.  I work one hour outside of Melbourne in central Victoria.” He said his job has allowed him to avail of many exciting opportunities. “This has been one of the best opportunities I never saw coming,” he said. I get to live in Melbourne metropolitan and drive out to rural Victoria everyday for work in a company car and enjoy both city and country living. I have experienced things I never thought I would see.  Like crazy storms, lighting ignite bushfires and see that fire spread at 100 kph, severely hot days, emergency programs come to life in rural settings to cope with the harsh environment along with massive and deadly sneaks and spiders.”
BHe continued: “Not many Irish have made it to Mitchell Shire in Victoria so I am currently the new novelty in the five major townships that I work over with Council. I’ve had the local schools all draw me leprechauns for St. Patrick’s Day and a lot of locals say ‘top of the morning to ya laddie” which is all part of the fun. I have also received hand written letters from the community to welcome me to their town and ask me all about Ireland. The community has really embraced me here and it is certainly a place where I am very happy. The people are friendly and kind, but lack the criac that an Irish person of the same age would automatically have.”
Although life is good for David in Australia at the moment, he said he often thinks of life back in Tramore.
“I had a fantastic childhood growing up in Tramore and I miss all of my family and friends and the only drawback about being in Australia is not being able to be in Tramore, a place I consider to be safe, familiar and packed with happy memories. Who knows what the future holds, but here’s hope that it’s good and that Ireland will be a big part of it.”
If you have a relative or friend you would like to see profiled in our Living Abroad series email or call 051-872141 for more information.