How a Novocastrian found himself to be a Canberran

Posted 24 Jan 2017

Story by CBR Canberra

Is Canberra still the world’s best kept secret? Perhaps it was once upon a time, but when Canberra was voted ‘the most liveable region in the world’ by the OECD1 in 2015, the secret was well and truly out.

Twenty-six year old Patrick Fester, who recently left his coastal lifestyle in Newcastle, NSW to become a ‘Canberran’, is just one of a growing army of people choosing to build their careers and lives in Canberra.

After completing a Bachelor of Arts and a Masters of Social Change and Development at the University of Newcastle, Patrick was keen to land a great job.

He applied for positions in a number of locations and was soon offered an exciting opportunity with the Australian Government’s Department of Employment in Canberra.

The job was amazing. It was exactly what he wanted. But, he had doubts. The idea of relocating to a place where the nearest beach is almost two hours away was a big drawback for Patrick.

His friends weren’t exactly raving about Canberra either. Comments like, ‘It’s so boring, it’s just full of public servants and everyone works for the government’, really had him wondering if he was making the right move.

However, not long after he arrived Patrick realised that his friends couldn’t have been more wrong.

“When I moved here I realised that Canberra is actually thriving. The city is very young, everyone is keen on their work and people love going out and having a good time,” Patrick said.

What really surprised Patrick was the open-ended list of things to do and see, constantly energising.

“The city is really vibrant, I think it has a lot going for it,” Patrick said. “There is plenty to do here. There are watering holes, a great café and bar scene, there is the National Gallery of Australia and Australian War Memorial.

“I’ve also got outdoors and done a bit of archery and rock climbing.”

Home to many of Australia’s government departments, world changing ideas and transformational technologies, a move to Canberra is a great way to expand your employment opportunities.

For Patrick, he has immersed himself in the city, making new friends and professional connections through the myriad networking events and opportunities.

However, the aspect of Canberra which has impressed Patrick the most are the people.

“The community is so warm and welcoming, unlike other places where it is easy to get lost in a crowd,” Patrick said.

“Everyone is so nice. If you say that you’re new to Canberra everyone is always willing to show you around and show you a good time.

“I would love to live here as long as I can. There are employment opportunities, social opportunities, great public transport and access to good health care.”

So, if you are thinking about a change, think Canberra. The Nation’s Capital is your next best move.


1Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development

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