Calling home from Melbourne is like “calling home from the future,” explains Ronan Marsh, Marketing Manager, who has lived in Australia for 13 years.
“Life is so different here now compared to life at home right now. My family and I visit restaurants and public places and travel to other states, meet friends and have barbecues, ”he says. “While it’s hard to know we can’t go to Ireland right now, we relish the fact that we have these bitter struggles for freedoms.”
Like many other Irish living in Australia, the Rathmines native had no intention of staying away when he first landed there in 2008, but the laid-back outdoor lifestyle was to be the foundation on which he built his life there.
After leaving St Mary’s College, Rathmines in 1996, Marsh studied Marketing and Languages at the Marketing Institute.
“I took some time off during my studies and moved to New York in 1998. I was lucky enough to find a job at CBS studios as a runner, living near Yonkers, an Irish destination. popular. It was a good time. “
When he returned to Ireland he wanted to work full time rather than go back to university and got a marketing position at Philips in their corporate division, specializing in lighting. “I have worked for over eight years in new business development and energy efficiency development in positions such as lighting specification manager, marketing manager and corporate brand manager.
He graduated from night marketing. But when he hit his late twenties, Marsh wanted to travel and widen his net.
“It was 2007 and I was majoring in my career, so I thought it was a good time. I went to South East Asia, crossed the Tibetan Plateau and Cambodia and ended up in Australia as so many people did back then – armed with a work visa for a year. After six weeks in Australia, he landed in Melbourne and immediately fell in love with it.
“I wanted to continue my career in lighting in Australia and found a job with an architect who sponsored my stay. After a year, I landed a position at Eagle Lighting in Melbourne, where I worked for four years managing projects before becoming a senior member of the management team and the steering committee, where I I led the product, marketing and design departments.
“I also maintained and developed a customer portfolio which included Fagerhult and the German lighting brands We-ef.”
After four years in Melbourne, Marsh continued to work with Versalux, an architectural lighting solutions provider serving a wide variety of project applications, as National Director of Sales Marketing.
“I traveled a lot in Europe which meant I could go home on the weekends and see my family and friends. I worked with them until March 2020, when everything stopped.
Marsh says he was happy to be home during the early stages of the lockdown to homeschool his children while his wife went to work.
“We had a very tough lockdown here and lost our spring because of it. We were literally locked in our homes, only allowed out for shopping or small amounts of exercise. It was really torture. ”
But that means summer was saved, and when the lockdown ended, Marsh took on the role of National Sales Manager for Australia and New Zealand for We-ef.
‘Back to normal’
“I started working with them in December, just when things were getting back to normal, as they say. We still have restrictions here, I just had a work trip canceled in Queensland but generally speaking we can travel all over the vast country for work and leisure. ”
Marsh has been home 10 times in the past 13 years, due to work commitments. “I’m very lucky to work in continental Europe and to be able to tag weekends in Dublin. I was last home in 2019 for a friend’s funeral and have met another friend who has since passed away. I’m so glad I got to give her a hug.
“You miss milestones and miss family and friends and it’s sad to be so far away at times like this. But I’ll be going home as soon as the situation allows and when my parents are vaccinated.
In the meantime, Australia is a great place to raise children, he says. “The freedom of the great outdoors cannot be underestimated. I sold my car and bought an RV this summer and we drove around the area. It’s amazing to see a country like this.
Marsh says there are fewer Irish people today than there were ten years ago, but those who are here are here to stay.
“Obviously there is a great Irish connection here, and I am grateful to my Irish friends here. When it comes to moving to Australia, whenever the Irish can, they will probably come back.
“From my experience, I suggest you specialize in something first. It certainly helped me move up the ranks, rather than hoping for the best when you get off the plane.
“Melbourne, and Australia in general, is a very expensive place to live and you need the money to get started. But once you sort that out, you’ve got a great life here.