-finding jobs in Manufacturing and IT field ?
Alot of work in the IT field at the moment - industry seems booming - especially in telecommunications and finance
-how difficult it is and how long it would take us there roughly?
To find work depending on your speciality - 3 day - 6 weeks I'd imagine - less if you search over the net say www.seek.com.au
-are Degrees from the US recognized in Australia?
Yes, you hear folk here say your PhDs are slightly better than our Masters - which may be a conceit - but I found the standard of top students in Oz ranks with just about anywhere in the world. Basically a degree shows you have a depth of talent, commitment, experience. ATtitude and skills and behaviours are equally important factors in alot of roles.
-Your thoughts on lifestyle /workculture in Australia ?
It excellent and very healthy. The Gov't doesn't subsidise housing loans with off setting tax breaks and house prices are horribly expensive in Sydney - but everthing is is great. AUstralia is not yet a service culture - its slowly getting there - so don't find folks rude for the quality of service - its just we are totally unused to a Japanese or American quality of service in many areas.
Lifestyle is generally great - the weather and beaches are to die for. Every wonder why a Country with a population around the size of New York comes 4th in the Olympic medal tally? Well the conditions lend themselves to team sports and a natural outdoor, healthy life style. I grew up next to the water on on a boat - its a great and safe place to raise a family - and the terrors of the rest of the world are a long, long, long way away.
Sydney is a world class city - 7 * 24, the folk are generally friendly and life is many suburban 10 miles out from the city. We have a very modern technical infrastructure - but we import too much pop culture from the USA by ways of the TV.
-Bringing up kids in Australia?
Simply great, treated with appropriate preparation. Its safe, clean, fun - treated with respect. For example the bush is huge - we have individual cattle farms and oil fields larger than Texas! Some of the most venomous snakes and spiders etc in the world live in our back yard - but I know of no one who has been stung or bitten or eaten!
There are alot of parks, beaches, rivers, kids sporting groups, scouts, family centres etc...
Australians are alot less prudish then most Americans - fewer sexual fettishes are hidden here, its casually on display and goes largely unnoticed. Probably 100 people are sun bathing topless or naked on Bondi beach any day in Summer and no one minds. Casual nudity on tv happens after 8pm etc.
Buying alcohol is easy, a gun is a hell of alot harder to get - not impossible but you need alot of licences and precautions and club memberships to get one. A pistol - forget it! I know of no one who owns a gun - and frankly that makes me feel alot safer.
The major cause of death here is probably car accidents - 1,500 per annum and heart attacks. There are probably 50 murders per year in Australia and several thousand muggings.