Ramon Querol researched many countries before deciding to settle in Australia
Why did you leave Catalonia?
In April 2011, with the economic crisis in Catalonia, I lost my job as project manager of construction firm in Barcelona and at same time I broke up with my girlfriend. After looking for a new job without success, I started to look abroad. I decided on Australia because it's a country with low levels of unemployment, good quality of life, nice weather and it's a really safe place to live.
Why did you choose the Gold Coast?
There were more opportunities and it was cheaper than Sydney or Melbourne.
How long have you lived there?
I arrived here the October, 2011 with a student visa. I studied English then Advanced Marketing, International Business and Management.
Are you happy with the job opportunities you found?
The Gold Coast is a place of tourism and the main jobs are in hostlery. I didn't know anything about this sector but I've reinvented myself. It isn't the job of my dreams, but the stability gives me the possibility to work in my free time on my real passion and vocation; growing and strengthening the Catalan community throughout Oceania. I'm the founder and coordinator of the Catalan Assembly of Australia.
What do you think is the best thing about living there?
The subtropical weather, with around 10 summer months and the heavenly beaches make it a special place to live and enjoy the flora and fauna, and the multicultural atmosphere.
Any suggestions for a brief visit for the first time?
The extraordinary beaches, the lighthouse viewer of Byron Bay, awesome waterfalls and glow-worm caves.
And if visitors have more time or make a return visit?
Marina Mirage or Surfers Paradise and rent a jet-sky, or visit the aboriginal culture heritage in Burleigh Heads National park.
What do you miss most from home?
My family, especially my twin brother, the food, the snow and skiing with my friends, the old architecture, Barcelona and the peace of the Pyrenees.
Do you plan to go back to Catalonia?
In the short term no; I still have a lot of things to discover in this amazing continent and a lot to do explaining the political and historical will of the Catalan people to the Australians.