2018 Highlights Week 5: New work adventures

So over the last few years I have done a lot of travel for work, including a lot of travel overseas. I have stayed in some amazing hotels, flown business class internationally and visited countries as diverse as Timor Leste, Colombia and Korea. This week I went on my first overnight work trip – a road trip to visit the cheese factory at Bega. Some things have changed.

However, the thing that hasn’t changed, is how interesting my work can be. I was there to look at the factory ahead of an audit that will be undertaken by the Chilean government to decide whether they can export cheese there.

It was fascinating to see inside the factory. I love factories. I love to see the way they work, the innovation- I always end up wondering how someone devised the process, came up with the machines. I have such respect for invention.

It was also a great learning exercise for me – understanding what we are interested in when we audit and how we go about it. There is a lot of paperwork involved in the process of exporting dairy foods!

I got to see processed cheese made – and I remain of the view tjat whwn we used to call it “plastic cheese” there was some justice to it!

We stayed in Merimbula and it was nice to have a chance to catch up with Jackie and John. The accommodation wasn’t quite the Santiago Intercontinental, but I did get to see a kangaroo out of my apartment window while I watched the rain. Can’t do that in Santiago!

Back in the air

Under Sydney Harbour Bridge here. This week I got back on a plane and did a quick three day, three city tour. 

My current job, unlike my usual one, doesn’t involve a lot of travel, so it was just under two months since I had been on a plane…and may be another two months (or more!) before I get on another.

I had to give presentations in Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane about the application process for our new program. Two identical presentations in each city. Six identical presentations in three days. I was glad we had questions as it was the only time I got to make a joke.

There was lots of work in between presentations and I reverted back to my mobile office set up. Fizzy caffeinated beverages weren’t optimal.

We flew to Sydney and back Tuesday, then to Brisbane first thing Wednesday. From Brisbane we went directly to Melbourne where we got stuck in traffic at 9.30pm and didn’t make it to the hotel until after 10.30pm. I was very tired.

But it all went well – no major dramas, no questions too difficult, no people too belligerent. It was nice to get home again though.

A year in the life 2016 #319: heading home

Definitely ready today to get on a plane and head home. So much action for one week, nice to.get home and see the family and relax.

A year in the life 2016 #316: Judgement day

After a hard day of judging (and it is always hard because the students are all so good in their individual ways) had a little bit of a wander around Darwin. Well, walked from.our juding site back to the hotel – in the heat that was enough!

A year in the life 2016 #314: off to Darwin

Time to head to Darwin for the Training Awards.

I have five days in Darwin as we have the trainkng awards ans Ministerial Council. Even though I had started my new job last week, it was a bit too late to change the arrangements for this week so there I was, ready to manage two jobs essentially at once.

At least I got to have a swim once I checked in – so hot! Made worse by the fact my room wasn’t ready for nearly two hours after I arrived, and there was only so much walking the streets I could so before I melted.

There was also a lovely sunset and, even better, a lovely mojito.

A year in the life 2016 #291: Sydney in the morning, Estimates in the afternoon

Over the bridge in Sydney in the morning for a meeting before heading back to Canberra and Parliament House for a long night at Senate Estimates.

A year in the life 2016 #289: quick trip to Melbourne

Back on a plane, and off to Melbourne for a couple of meetings. Got to go somewhere other than the airposrt and the CBD, so that was nice.

But like most Melbourne trips, I was on a plane again before the day had finished.


A year in the life 2016 #280 and 281: time to fly

After my two weeks in South America it was time to head home. I really enjoyed the opportunity to visit – it had been a very successful trip from a work perspective and I also got a chance to see a very small amount of a continent I had never visited before.

Of course, business travel being what it is, our flight was late into Sydney and I literally had to abandon my suitcases and run to get to the last flight to Canberra, or I would have been stuck in Sydney for the night. And by now, i wanted to get home and see the family.

Anyway, here is a last view of the Andes as we flew out.

A year in the life 2016 #278: hotel window view Santiago

I woke up to this view in Santiago before a day of meetings with Chilean government folk. I was particularly pleased to catch up with Alfie from the Chilean Productivity Commission who is leading a project on skills development in Chile. We first met a bit over a year ago and have now met in three different countries/continents.

Santiago definitely had a different feel to Lima – more developed and framed by the looming Andes. It was lovely too to see blue sky after the perpetual overcast grey of Lima.

A year in the life 2016 #277: last day in Lima 

The Peruvian President came to close the Ministerial meeting.

We got to watch the post meeting press conference.

And a phalanx of bodyguards waited to take their charges away. 

Then it was off to the airport and onto a plane and off to Chile. Goodbye Lima – you were unexpectedly delightful.