I read a recent article about a British couple's experience of Perth with interest. The Green family came here with dreams of a relaxed and idyllic life in a place far sunnier and more spacious than the United Kingdom. But ultimately they found it unsatisfying, and returned home after several years.

Many Brits have a similar experience. They are so numerous, in fact, that they even have their own collective label: "ping-pong Poms".

There are also many of their countrymen who feel little or no such ambivalence and absolutely love Australia. Such people include many members of my own extended family.

Back in the early 70s my uncle on my mother's side came out here with his family as "ten pound Poms". They loved it and his brother and family followed not long afterwards. Sadly, one of my uncles has passed away, but both families remain. They did feel some sense of ambivalence but they chose to build new lives here and now have Aussie grand-kids galore.

Speaking of ambivalence: What's interesting about the Greens' story is that even though they now live back in England they haven't written off Australia entirely:

Ms Green said perhaps the family made the move too early and might reconsider their options later.

"I truly hope the kids decide to travel and settle in Australia when they get older," she writes in her blog.

This country in general (and this city in particular) has a powerful pull, even for people who grew up overseas.

And if you grew up in Perth, as I did, this attraction is even stronger. I've left it to live in Sydney and Melbourne for extended periods, yet I've kept coming back. This has a lot to do with my family being here. But it's also due to the unique character of the place.

Perth is blessed in so many ways. And while it is changing rapidly it still has a strong sense of optimism, goodwill and openness that I haven't found over east. Perth really is a great place to come back to and start again.