2018 Highlights week #25: meeting room views

I spend quite a lot of time in meetings. It is nice when they have good views.

2018 Highlights Week 7: keeping connected

One nice thing since I have been at Agriculture is that I am still feeling pretty closely connected to Education. Every week I have had coffee or lunch or drinks once or twice with one of my old colleagues (and this doesn’t even count my fortnightly dumpling date with James). We have conversations about career advice, work issues or just a good gossip. It is lovely to feel that you are not forgotten when you walk out the door and that your insight and company are still valued. And I love catching up on the gossip!

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!

Highlights 2018 Week 1: New Year New Job

This week was all about starting my new job. After 12 years working in Education – well, skills really – it was time to make the change to a completely new place. So here I am at Agriculture and Water Resources in the area of export regulation essentially. It is going to be a steep learning curve, and I don’t think I ever imagines I would be working somewhere where I had to clear documents listing how much blood we exported to the US and Canada (about 4000kg per annum, in case you are interested) or know what prawn diseases close fisheries, but here I am. Definitely looking forward to the challenges, have been welcomed by the Secretary and Deputy Secretary warmly and am looking forward to getting to know the team over the coming weeks. And I even got a good pass photo!

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 #353: empty!

Massive achievement! Of course, that wasn’t really it, but I got to go home with an empty in-tray at least. A bit od a psychological boost before the final official work day for the year.

A year in the life 2016 #352: Christmas brunch

Work James and I still managed our Christmas celebration – breakfast with mimosas – before another long gruelling day in the office.

A year in the life 2016 #350: a lot of work

This was about a third of the work I had to get through prior to Christmas – not including emails and meetings. Feeling exhausted in advance.

A year in the life 2016 #332: Red Ribbon cake

Who can resist cupcakes? Especially when they are to raise funding for HIV and AIDS related charities. As usual, the Department had an acknowledgement of Red Ribbon Day. I also got a red ribbon myself.

A year in the life 2016 #330: the year of the rooster, upcoming

First thing back in the office was a discussion with Japanese officials. It was primarily someone I had met when I was in Tokyo earlier in the year, so we had a great chat. They left me with a lovely gift – a year of the rooster calendar.