I made the decision to relocate to the Top End two years ago and immediately fell in love with Darwin's laid back and unpretentious style.
I’m a Registered Theatre Nurse and before my move to the Top End I was working in a remote town north of Broome, WA. I made the decision to move because I really wanted to increase my experience in working across different medical specialisations. I knew that Royal Darwin Hospital (RDH) had a range of specialist areas and nine theatres, so I packed my bags and headed north.
Working in the Territory has given me access to opportunities that I wouldn’t have anywhere else. Nurses don’t get pigeon-holed into one area of specialisation at RDH. We get to rotate around different departments, giving us the experience necessary to develop our skills across a range of medical specialisations.
At RDH I have the opportunity to gain experience in different specialty areas, including neurosurgery and cardiothoracic surgery. Nursing in the Territory also provides experience in treating tropical diseases that don’t occur elsewhere in Australia.
There’s always support for professional development. I am currently completing a post-graduate qualification in perioperative nursing that is fully-funded through the NT Australian Primary Healthcare Nurses’ Association.
Although it’s not compulsory for every nurse to travel, working in remote communities is certainly a unique experience. A group of nurses from Darwin recently travelled to Bali to educate nurses at the Sanglah Hospital.
In other major cities hospital departments tend to be segregated, with very little movement of staff from one department to another. Working across the different teams at the hospital means that you get to know everyone and this makes the job much more enjoyable. I have met some really great people who have become good friends. Wednesday night is trivia night for us at the Beachfront Hotel, so we really are a team both in and out of the hospital.
I don’t have a long and frustrating commute to work anymore. I remember the traffic I had to battle when I lived in Melbourne and how it made it difficult to wind down after work. Now my daily commute to work is a 2.5km bike ride along a quiet bike track.
I love Darwin’s tropical climate and spending time outside camping or swimming. Although we don’t go swimming at the beach here, there’s the outdoor pool at Nightcliff, which overlooks the sea. The sunsets there are magnificent. There’s also the new pool at Parap, so I don’t need to travel too far to get a swim.
My house is a traditional Darwin-style elevated house that is surrounded by a lush, tropical garden. It’s only a short distance to Casuarina beach and the Dripstone cliffs, so it’s perfect for sunset walks.
Although I’m not a big shopper, I do love the markets we have in Darwin. You can get unique arts and crafts at Mindil Beach and Nightcliff markets, but the fresh fruit and veg markets at Rapid Creek are the best.
Darwin’s proximity to South East Asia offers even more places to explore.
A few weeks ago I took a short trip to Singapore on my days off work. It’s so easy. You can just hop on a plane and in a couple of hours you’re in Asia. Places like Bali, Vietnam and Cambodia are right on Darwin’s doorstep, so it’s really convenient if you have a few days to spare.