Defence Family Matters : May 2016
DFMMay2016 15 DFM GEOGRAPHICAL MOBILITY IS AN ACCEPTED PART OF LIFE FOR THE MILITARY FAMILY. ALEX DEVALENTIN TALKED TO THREE ADF PARTNERS ABOUT THEIR RECENT EXPERIENCES AND HOW THEY FOUND AN OVERSEAS POSTING TAKES THIS TO A WHOLE NEW LEVEL. “It is also important to set up an office that is comfortable and free of distractions. “My first work location was not ideal—I was working on the end of our kitchen table!” In 2009, Narelle Biedermann, and partner Tom received a two-year overseas posting with Army to Fort Leavenworth, Kansas in the USA. “One of the biggest challenges we faced was the sense of the unknown. We were fortunate that our predecessors were willing to answer our many questions, but not everyone was so lucky. “Preparation for overseas postings for partners occurs often only through word of mouth, through private Facebook support pages, and through drawing on personal experience and connections.” Narelle said she found out the hard way that access to health care services is not universal. “Both of us required emergency treatment on separate occasions, but we weren’t allowed through the door to triage until we proved we had insurance—a process that took more than 30 minutes. “As a registered nurse, I found this quite confronting and frustrating in the case of a genuine emergency. “Overseas postings are a trial of tenacity, diplomacy, patience and tact,” Narelle said. “They don’t suit everyone. They require meticulous organisation, flexibility, and a ready sense of humour. “Going into the experience armed with information and advice will help prepare you for the posting but, ultimately, the success will come down to each family.” n I’M COMING TOO! “OVERSEAS POSTINGS ARE A TRIAL OF TENACITY, DIPLOMACY, PATIENCE AND TACT.” Na r e ll eB i ede r mannandhus b andTomspenttwoyea r s i ntheUn i tedStatesonapost i n g w i thA r my.Photousedw i thpe r m i ss i on. Squadron Leader Michelle Turner accompanied husband David to London on his exchange posting. Photo by Leading Aircraftman Michael Green.