Our lead story this issue is about making the move to live and work in regional Australia. I have to say, I’m a bit of a convert myself, having moved from under the flight path in Sydney’s inner west to Jervis Bay in NSW over four years ago.
Talking to optometrists Joshua Clark and Rachel Cauchi, and ophthalmologist Dr. Todd Goodwin about practising eye health in regional Australia was refreshing to say the least. Their passion for their patients and the communities they live in was palpable. It really made me wonder why more eye health professionals don’t take the plunge and experience living and working in regional Australia, at least for a while.
I suppose the problem is we all get on the treadmill of life and the thought of stepping off can be daunting. It means finding your way in a new environment, forging new friendships, creating a new professional network and discovering new ways to get things done. Then there’s the fear of it not working out. How difficult will it be to slip back into the city you came from, find another job and re-establish your home?
It took my family a year or so to make the decision to move out of Sydney and even then we were unsure of how it would pan out. As it happens, we regularly say to each other that it’s been the best decision we’ve ever made. In a small town we know our neighbours, enjoy swimming on a long beach with barely another person in sight and my husband and I have watched our kids grow up with freedom to surf, skateboard, bike ride and build huts in the bush. Now we’re seeing them gain access to careers they would never have thought of, had they been living in the city.
I suppose the problem is we all get on the treadmill of life and the thought of stepping off can be daunting
Of course the city never leaves your soul and so we’re all back in Sydney regularly for work and to catch up with friends. But four years on, we still love getting home to regional Australia; it’s fresh air, quiet streets and friendly community.
As an eye health professional, you’ll find an abundance of opportunity for employment in regional Australia. Many towns are crying out for your help – and the bigger employers offer incentives to get you there – whether you want to leave the big smoke for one year or forever.
Let’s see if our lead story can convince you to give it a go.