I moved over 3000km to my first job as a qualified librarian. Like many professionals do, upon my graduation, I opted to move to a regional city as a means of gaining valuable experience in a place where my skills were in high demand. And so, after living in Melbourne, Australia for 28 years, I relocated to the far northern city of Darwin, where I stayed for two and a half years and gained a wealth of valuable experience in collection development, branch management, cultural heritage and reference service delivery.
This was, at the time, planned with the endgame of developing a suite of professional skills that would ultimately bring me back to Melbourne, and to my dream job – wherever that might be. However, since my return, I have often felt the call to venture forth to other horizons – this time in the international development sector, where there is often demand for library and information professionals.
The past two years have taken me to Papua New Guinea – from the sleepy port of Alotau, gateway to an island paradise, to the somewhat-eery historic ghost town of Rabaul, under the shadow of the constantly-rumbling volcano, Mt Tavurvur. It has also taken me to Vietnam – from the beautiful world heritage site of Hoi An, to the bustling, growing metropolis of Hanoi. And soon, I will be departing for further information management adventures in Pristina, Kosovo, in what will be my first time in Europe – over 15,000 km from home.
These opportunities have presented a somewhat twisted path, establishing my librarianship skills, but also building experience in cultural heritage, museum programs, records management, and community capacity building. There are certainly times where I crave a more “settled” career back in Australia, but until the opportunity comes to settle into my ideal career path, I’ll opt to take the path less taken.
[image: the author posing for a carefully-positioned selfie in Hanoi]