Defence Family Matters : December 2015
17 DFMDecember2015 W hen Andrea Shaw’s partner, Mark, first suggested they move to Australia, she wasn’t keen. Eventually Andrea’s attitude changed and the family started planning their move from Grantham in Lincolnshire. “I saw it (Australia) as a great big country, I couldn’t comprehend the size of it — and that was a bit scary,” Andrea said. “Mark had family here — an aunt; and his parents had been out and come home with wonderful stories. As a young child, that had fired his enthusiasm. “Our visas came through in April of 2003 and by July we’d gone.” Andrea and Mark started out in Cairns, with Mark working in the computer industry. A couple of years after arriving there, Mark decided to apply for the Reserves. After a day of testing at an ADF recruiting centre, Mark returned home to inform Andrea he had been invited to join the Permanent Air Force. That was 2006 and the couple are now enjoying their second posting to East Sale. When the couple were previously at Sale in 2007–08, Andrea volunteered to be the treasurer of the East Sale Family Group. Andrea said she got back in touch with the group to let them know she and Mark were returning to Sale and again offered her services. It was good timing too—the group were approaching their Annual General Meeting and looking for a treasurer. Despite Andrea’s initial reluctance to emigrate, she said it was now unlikely she would ever return to England. “We’ve been afforded so many opportunities here we wouldn’t have got if we’d stayed put in England,” she said. “Apart from the obvious things like the weather, the people are friendly and you’re welcomed everywhere you go.”n “WE’VE BEEN AFFORDED SO MANY OPPORTUNITIES HERE WE WOULDN’T HAVE GOT IF WE’D STAYED PUT IN ENGLAND” READER PROFILE ANDREA SHAW GRAHAM ORAMS Andrea Shaw moved to Australia in 2003 and is the treasurer of the East Sale Family Group. Photo by Petty Officer Rick Prideaux.