There is increasingly scholarship on gender and migration, yet the international migration of highly skilled women is still somewhat under-researched. This article focuses on this neglected area in the context of Australia?s discretionary inward migration policies to solve skills shortages. The article draws on empirical research using a qualitative case-study approach with in-depth narrative interviews to explore understandings of the experience of highly skilled female secondary migrants. The findings resonate with a growing body of work in North America, Europe and the UK. Applying a gendered and intersectional analysis to the case of Australia with its complex mix of skilled migrants from predominantly English speaking countries, as well as many countries in the Asia-Pacific region and Africa, reveals a more nuanced understanding of the temporality and gendered and racialised ways in which the processes of career disruption, deskilling, intensification of domestic responsibilities and re-feminisation of health and human service work play out through tensions between migration and education policies.