We spoke with Defence partner Brychan recently about life in a remote posting.
How did you meet?
Neal and I met in 2009 at RAAF Base Richmond. Back then I was in the Army, posted to 176 Air Dispatch Squadron and he was at 1CCS.
Neal is originally from Brisbane and I am from Daylesford in country Victoria.
Approximately how many moves/locations/countries?
We were both posted to RAAF Base Richmond for some time, then the day that Neal deployed I did my removals and was posted to Darwin. On return from his deployment he moved as was posted to RAAF Base Amberly. After a couple of years of being MWD-U and more deployments I discharged from the Army and moved to Amberly. We lived there for a couple of years and then moved to Tindal together.
And at the end of this year we are moving to Darwin so Neal can take up promotion to FSGT.
What were the challenges you encountered in the beginning of your Defence life?
I guess being so far away from family, which is still a challenge to this day. Another challenge would have been the busy tempo of Defence life trying to juggle personal life with exercises and deployments and postings.
How do you look back on them now?
Now I look back at them fondly. At the time it may have been stressful but too see what was achieved, now makes me feel like we could take on any challenge.
What has helped you to adapt to change over the years?
Beer…I guess just trying not to get to stable. By keeping in the back of your mind that a change may be just around the corner and you may have to change plans. We are lucky because we like change as we see it as a new adventure.
How do you like living in a remote location such as Tindal?
Love it! I know there isn’t a lot of shopping or coffee shops, but life is slower which allows you to enjoy the small things in life. Tindal is in a very lucky location. Yes, the distance to places may be a few hundred kms but there are so many beautiful locations to visit.
What activities / hobbies do you enjoy?
Camping, traveling, fishing, bush walks, driving and finding new places.
What do you enjoy doing independently, especially when you are separated for work reasons?
Taking the dog for a walk, going for a bush walk to a waterfall for a swim, heading out to a National Park and go camping for a night or just sitting at home watching TV.
What was your favourite or most rewarding posting and why?
Tindal. Because the weather is amazing all year round, even though the build up can get a bit hot. There are amazing natural wonders at your doorstep. It has been a place where you get to know almost everyone, there are lots of social events happening and if you make the effort to get off the couch you can have a lot of fun.
How do you deal with relocations and housing changes?
Just take it in our stride. At the end of the day, if you are extremely unhappy you can always do something about it.
How you cope during periods where your partner has been absent?
As we have been apart quite a lot over the years, I find it quite easy. Though it does help to stay busy, exercise, have long uninterrupted sleeps.
Do you have any tips/tricks for new Defence couples?
Try and find the positives in places and give things a try. Do something that you haven’t done before or do something that you may not know anything about, engage with the local community, volunteer for a local organisation or join a team to play some sport.
Any plans post Defence life that you want to share with us?
No post Defence plans as of yet. Just adopt a few kids, raise a family and keep exploring.
For support for Defence families please call the Defence Family Helpline on 1800 624 608 or email [email protected]