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Migrate, Work, Live

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Jackie Bradshaw | Centre Manager

Jackie and a friend sitting in a waterfall

I'd always enjoyed a good adventure, but I'd never really explored that side of me until that first road trip to Darwin.

I grew up near Sydney before moving to work in a pre-school in northern NSW. After seven years and a big shift in my personal life, I felt I needed a change.

At the time my niece was living in Darwin and I thought that maybe what I needed was a bit of an adventure. So I planned a road trip up to Darwin for what was supposed to be only a three month holiday.

From the moment I arrived, I instantly loved the atmosphere. I remember thinking as I got closer to the end of my holiday; I’m not ready to leave. So I went home, resigned from my job, came back to Darwin and four years later I‘m still in love!

There were a few career opportunities available when I moved up so I threw my hat in the ring and I was lucky enough to get a role with the Department of Education as an Assessor in the Quality Education and Care team.

"It was such a different experience compared to the career I had been building down south. I was based in the CBD which meant I went from driving 45 minutes to work, to an easy 5 minute commute...peak hour traffic certainly took a whole new meaning."

The position gave me the opportunity to travel across the NT and see some amazing locations. Sometimes travel was in a small aircraft, which was always an adventure and has left me with some great memories, many of them absolutely breathtaking and some quite entertaining.

A while after moving out here I was asked if I would be interested in taking on a role opening a new integrated child and family centre in Palmerston, which I was happy to do. Once that contract was over I applied to stay on at the centre in my current role as the Integrated EC Services Leader.

My role is focused on working in partnership with families and community to support families to raise happy, healthy and strong children. It’s a very community and relationship focused position and gives me the chance to work on something that I am passionate about. I really enjoy the opportunity to grow both professionally and personally.

Honestly, no two days are the same. I am always challenged and motivated, and so lucky to work with a team that is so relationship focused. Life out here gives you that chance to really have a direct impact in the community and see the difference you’re making. You are a lot more connected to what is going on.

"When I was working in Sydney I was still so far away from the decision makers and the eventual impact, whereas here in Darwin I feel I'm right in the thick of it."

I could not imagine leaving Darwin to go back to a big city. Not long after moving here I wrote a (long) list of adventures I wanted to do while I was here. Slowly I am ticking them off, with some places definitely visited more than once.

I still have quite a few more to tick off my NT bucket list, so let the adventure continue!