Strangers in a familiar land

Divided by a common culture

Featured in

  • Published 20200804
  • ISBN: 978-1-922212-50-4
  • Extent: 304pp
  • Paperback (234 x 153mm), eBook

THERE ARE THINGS you miss about Australia when you live in London, but you need never want for Australian company. There’s an Australian teacher at my kids’ school. I find Australians serving coffees, working at reception desks, handling public relations, running tech start-­ups, churning out think-­tank papers, poring over spreadsheets at accounting firms, publishing books, designing buildings. They may not be in Earl’s Court or Shepherd’s Bush anymore, but they’re in Clapham, Putney, Islington, Whitechapel – all points of the London compass.

Even in the era of coronavirus – when our government and our families are urging us home, and the sense of geographical distance between Britain and the Antipodes feels greater than it has in many, many decades – there are probably more Australians living in London than there are in Darwin. It’s a source of constant bemusement to our English hosts. What are you doing here, the Brits always ask us; what’s wrong with you, choosing bleak and bleary Blighty over Australia’s eternal sunshine?

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About the author

Hans van Leeuwen

Hans van Leeuwen is The Australian Financial Review’s Europe correspondent. He previously worked as a senior political and policy adviser at the Australian High...

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