Moving away from home can be stressful and overwhelming, particularly when moving to another continent on the other side of the world. Throw in a pandemic, and even the most adventurous might hesitate. But not Johan Magnus! He and his wife, Lindi, together with their one-year-old son, Christiaan made the big move from Johannesburg, South Africa to Adelaide in June 2021.
Johan is an Electronic Engineer with years of automation experience and is one of only two people in Australia certified by TÜV Rheinland as a Cyber Security Specialist. Lindi has worked as a journalist and communications specialist in the agriculture, legal and non-profit industries before starting her own consulting business in 2018.
At the end of 2020, Johan was offered a job with Dematec Automation and knew after the first discussion with Dematec that it was the right company for him. “It was a fantastic opportunity that we couldn’t pass up!” said Johan. They have always wanted to experience living and working overseas and moving to Australia checked all the right boxes.
After accepting employment with Dematec, the Magnus’s sold their house in Johannesburg, gave away and sold most of their belongings, and eagerly awaited their visas and travel exemption to be approved. In May, the news came that everything was approved and airplane tickets had been booked.
“Stepping onto that plane was one of the hardest things we have had to do,” said Johan.
“Because of Covid, we did not get to say goodbye to all of our family and friends. Christiaan is the first and only grandchild of both our parents and not knowing when they would be able to see him again is tough. We miss our family and wish that they were here to see Christiaan growing up – he changes and learns something new every day.
We also miss biltong and boerewors rolls, the South African Woolworths (Lindi would consider going back just for Woolies), the summer rain and afternoon thundershowers, and the African bush and wildlife.
Although we have only been in Australia for a few months, we are already starting to feel at home. Lindi and Christiaan have even befriended a Magpie whom they call “Maggie” and we are enjoying ticking off all of the beautiful birds we are seeing in and around Adelaide.
Some days we forget that we are in another country, and on other days, we cannot help comparing the differences and similarities between South Africa and Australia.
The first thing that stood out to us was the well-regulated traffic, the lack of hooting minibus taxis, and the snail’s pace at which cars move along. Lindi’s nerves definitely are thankful for this! When driving 120km/h on the highway in Johannesburg, you are holding up traffic!
Just like Aussies, we enjoy a beer and a barbeque on weekends. We just call it a “braai”. Note that it is not a braai if it is on gas and there are no “braaibroodjies” (a barbeque sandwich in Afrikaans – it is like a toasty)!
Tea in South Africa is literally a cup of tea, and we eat Marmite…Vegemite just cannot compete.
A Ute is called a “bakkie” in South Africa, and we are sure that we have left a few Aussies wondering what we are talking about when referring to a “bakkie”.
We have heard (and have been warned by our family and friends) about the giant spiders that will be out to kill us in Australia…we are still alive but are wary when seeing all the spider webs on cars.
Overall, we are enjoying Adelaide. We love exploring the hills, beaches, winelands, and local parks and reserves. We wish there were more hours in a day to see, do and taste everything Australia has to offer! Everything just works here and we find the people to be very friendly, kind, and helpful. We are excited about our future in this wonderful country!” said Johan.