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The Great EscapeRTÉ One, Tuesday, 10.15pm

Programme 4: Australia

The Whittaker Family

Pam and Russell Whittaker from Knocklyon in Dublin saw a huge rise in value in their 3 bedroom semi-detached home. Pam, a trained hairdresser, managed a local salon, while Russell worked as a panel beater in a garage. They have two kids Ryan 12yrs and Charlotte 2yrs. A couple of years back they took a three month holiday in Australia, and visited Pam's only sister, who was already living there for a number of years. When they returned home to Ireland they made the decision to move to Australia and set the ball rolling for their visas. After two years of red tape with their visas the Whittaker family left Ireland on St.Patrick's Day, 2006.

They settle in Ipswich, 40mins from Brisbane, where Pam's parents have since retired. Within weeks of arriving Pam and Russell bought their dream house - a large detached house on stilts by a river with a huge garden and Russell has a job in a local garage. Pam busies herself with settling the family in first, getting Ryan into a suitable school and spend quality time with Charlotte, something she didn't have the chance to do in Ireland as a working mother. She's on the lookout for a salon she can run and Russell plans to learn how the trade works down there before buying his own garage.

E-mail the Pam and Russell at

The Whittaker Family