Defence Family Matters : May 2016
14 14 POSTING OVERSEAS? Overseas postings are unlike any Australia-bound move. They can impact on you, your relationships, your finances and your career. For most, this impact is positive and enriching but it’s not always as easy as you might think. this posting extended me well outside my comfort zone. For a little while at least, you will not fit in. The same can be said for returning to Australia,” Kelli said. “I see the world very differently now and have come to appreciate our way of life in Australia even more.” Dual-serving partner, Squadron Leader Michelle Turner, wanted to continue her service with the ADF, while accompanying her husband David on his exchange posting to London. “I literally asked everyone I knew if they had any administrative work available, so I could continue working part-time for Air Force,” said Michelle. “It was my responsibility to find the work and initiate the application through my chain of command. I also contacted the Australian Kelli Watkins and her Army husband Jason were posted to the United Kingdom and found the costs associated with an overseas posting a bit of a shock. Setting up a new home, buying a car and even buying climate-specific clothing wasn’t something they’d really considered. “We were lucky that we had some savings that we could use,” said Kelli. “Knowing this wouldn’t have stopped us taking the posting mind you. We travelled extensively and made the most of the privilege.” Even in the UK where English is the main language spoken, there was still an element of culture shock too. Not only was the food and way of life different, the social norms both in the host nation’s military and in the community are different. “Even though I consider myself to be flexible and adaptable to most situations, High Commission in London to confirm that there were no limitations on me working here. “I applied initially for two days a week because I wasn’t sure how I would go working from home and what other personal responsibilities I would have in our new location. But I am enjoying my work so much I increased it to three days a week. “Flexible work does require some discipline and structure around working hours.” Michelle emphasised that communication is critical to working remotely and there are some sacrifices when it comes to managing time zone differences. “I work with a great team who I speak to every fortnight using Skype at 2200 my time and 0900 the next day in Australia. I’M COMING TOO! YOURSTORIES Kelli Watkins accompanied husband Jason to the United Kingdom for a posting. Photo used with permission.