Defence Family Matters : May 2017
DFMDecember2016May2017 19 READER PROFILE: SUSIE CAMPBELL, GYPSY SAILOR Susie Campbell has had a PRETTY VARIED WORKING LIFE—along with being a PE teacher, customer service manager at a department store, and a self-employed marketing consultant, she SPENT A DECADE IN THE ROYAL NAVY. W hen Susie moved to Australia with her family in 2013, she didn’t know a soul. But she was determined to forge a career for herself despite the challenges of parenting young sons, Thomas and Patrick, while husband Johnny was at sea. A gypsy at heart, Susie is used to doing things a little out of the ordinary. Patrick was born in the middle of a family holiday where they spent five months travelling around the United Kingdom in a campervan! “We had to be in Devon by a certain day for Patrick’s birth. We stayed there for a few weeks to give me time to recover then travelled on,” said Susie. “I’ve lived in all corners of the UK and been fortunate enough to explore the most unusual parts of the world, mixing with locals and soaking up cultures.” She and Johnny, now a Marine Engineering Officer with the Australian Navy, first met on a British warship, where they became friends over a mutual love of sport, with Susie introducing Johnny to rugby, a particular passion of hers! When it came time to make a decision about moving to Australia, Susie said it was simply a case of trying something different. But, despite always having had a career, she had no idea ofwhattodoforajobwhen they got here. “I couldn’t just go out and get regular a job right away. Self-employment was the only way to go until we could afford day care,” said Susie. It was networking on social media that presented Susie with her first opportunity—a local retailer who needed help with marketing and was happy for her to work from home. “I started with nothing more than a laptop and mobile phone, doing eight to ten hours a week, during the boys’ naps and at night,” said Susie. “As I picked up clients, I was bringing in enough money for a day of childcare, then two days, and so it went on. “I sat at my computer one evening and counted four clients and thought, I ought to do this properly! So my marketing business was born. “It inspired me to use my love of people and business in a creative way and make money flexibly around my family, but with the capacity to go big. “And, being new to Australia with no friends or family, it was a super way to meet people and feel like I belonged.” n TAMARA ROBINSON Susie Campbell, with sons Patrick, 4, and Thomas, 7. Photo by Able Seaman Bonny Gassner.