Advocating for Defence families

Posting to Tindal during a Pandemic

When my husband got his posting to Tindal I cried. I know that sounds kind of (super) pathetic, but everyone always described it as the ‘least desirable’ posting and I’d heard nothing but bad things about moving here. A tiny seed of doubt was planted in my mind and as time went on, the seed grew into a giant tree of anxiety.

I was painted a picture of a small supermarket with empty shelves and crappy old ‘fresh’ fruit and veggies, which of course created panic because I thought I wouldn’t be able to feed my family of 5 properly.

All these negative vibes leave so many of us bombarding the local Facebook group with ridiculous questions because we’re under the impression we need to panic buy everything we could possibly need for the next 3 years before we arrive. Behind each question, people are seeking more than an answer, they’re seeking reassurance. Or at least I was.

Now that I’ve arrived, I’m #teamtindal and ready to throw some good vibes to anyone posting in who might be feeling the same anxiety. I can see why it’s not considered an ‘ideal’ posting due to the remoteness, but it makes a difference when you remember this isn’t your forever home. Consider it a temporary lifestyle change and come with an open mind because you’ve probably never heard this before (just as I hadn’t), but there’s loads of people who have opted to come here for a second posting! Surprise! It ain’t all bad here.

The heat is so intense you could just rub the sweat over your body and consider yourself washed, but it’s also a great conversation opener. You haven’t bonded with someone until you’ve bonded over the patch of sweat on your back. I drip drops of embarrassment from my sweat moustache on the daily, but guess what? Everyone does.

I’m not an ‘outdoor’ person, but there are amazing (croc free) swimming spots around. The Hot Springs in Katherine is nearby and just beautiful.

Despite what you’ve probably heard, the supermarket is a NORMAL sized supermarket. It may be missing some items but hey, just buy the beef instead of the chicken. Buy a different brand cereal. Adjust your meal plan. Save the money you can’t spend on the groceries and put it towards your electricity bill because yes, the electricity is higher as you’ve probably heard, but you won’t need to take out a personal loan unless you’re planning to run every single aircon in your house 24/7. Deep breaths.

There are alcohol restrictions at bottle shops such as not opening until 2pm and having your license scanned to ensure you’re not overbuying, but it’s not a deal breaker.

There’s only a temporary medical centre but it is now open several days a week which is probably the most frustrating part, but word on the street is they are looking for more doctors to open for even more days, plus there is still the hospital. I’d probably be annoyed if I needed weekly doctor or specialist appointments, but for our family who doesn’t rely on frequent specialist appointments or doctor visits, we’re ok.

Here on the patch (Defence base) we are walking distance to everything on base including parks, AAFCANS, and the pool. It’s enough to help us get by, plus remember, this isn’t life forever.

I could tell you so many more positive things about living here – kangaroos at your fence, the relaxed lifestyle, the community spirit, etc. but I’d need to turn this into a book for that.

I know I probably sound like little Miss Positivity who should dim her shine down a little, but who wants to spend a few years of their life being miserable? Tindal needs more good vibes and who knows, maybe I’ll even cure my ridiculous city slicker shopping habits.

Coming to Tindal? Sweat with drips of joy instead of crying tears of sadness. It’s actually kind of a nice lifestyle change!!

Katie is a mum of three under six and ADF partner living her best life in the Territory despite the sweat. She likes to blog at Living My Family Life.

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