My name is Jess. I have nudged into my thirties. I am a physio. A decision later in life and one that at the time was really hard, but now I can’t imagine doing anything else. I am really enjoying my life at this point in time.
I’m from Brisbane. I’m from a very close family. Two sisters and Mum and Dad, who have been the perfect example of what it is to be married. Yeah, I come from a Catholic, farm-based side as well as a medical-atheist side of the family. I’m a blending of those two things.
Now in Hobart
I’m in Hobart after a pretty long and changing journey, but I’m in a good place. I don’t think I could have come directly here without having tried everything out. I’m someone who needs to try something before I know whether I like it or not and most things really appeal to me. There aren’t a lot of things that I don’t get excited about, so this has meant that I’ve had to try a lot of things out. Like, where I want to be and where I want to live.
How did you get here?
I think a very pivotal point for me was when I moved overseas after I finished uni. I applied for jobs in multi-national businesses and analytical firms. Unsurprisingly didn’t get offered any jobs, because it was so not me and I didn’t even want a job. So fortunately I went overseas and realised that what I have been doing previously wasn't what I wanted to do. It wasn't a waste of time, because I had made some great friends from the uni years and I had learned that from everything you do, you take certain bits from and it has lead me in the path that I have gone down now.
So I went overseas and I spent some time volunteering and decided that I needed to be doing a job where I could see that I was having some benefit on someone else’s life. It also made me realise that I was actually better off living away from home than I am at home. I think that I had to be challenged enough to give myself confidence to then follow the path that I’ve taken.
So how did I get here? I went back home a little bit disillusioned with aid work, but knowing that I wanted to do something that was more one on one with people. I worked for a native title group, which I loved, but I suppose I had my father’s and mother’s opinions in mind that I didn’t really have a set career path and it was a concern to me too.
That’s how I ended up in Canberra, working in a grad position. I saw that as an opportunity to get some more obvious experience. Something that you could write on a resume and people would realise the skills that you would get from a job like that and also some professional development that you get from being a grad. But then I realised that I can’t sit at a desk and the bit that I liked out of all the jobs that I had done previously was when I was up and talking to people and not in front of a computer and that I wanted to be active and promoting health and that’s when I decided to do physio.
Fortunately because the public service is so wonderful with professional development I actually started my physio prerequisites while I was working for the public service and they gave me leave to do that, which is pretty incredible.
Then I moved back to Brisbane. Did physio. Which was one of the hardest things I have done. Moving back home again and moving in with my sister, who is nine years younger. I also broke up with my partner, just before I moved back as well. So I was heartbroken, at home again at the age of 27 and starting to study again.
So that, of anything, was the hardest thing to deal with: Getting over my own insecurities in life, rather than the actual study side of things, because the physio, the actual learning, was fantastic and it was pretty obvious that this was something that I could really enjoy. One, because it is so variable, so I can change jobs a lot and still be interested. And two, it’s about the body and it’s about health and dealing with people.
But again, I was back in Brisbane and I never quite feel that I can be myself in Brisbane. There’s just too much baggage and I’ve changed too much to really be able to live there. So a friend said that she was applying for a job in Burnie and I said "hell no", I’m not going to Burnie. But there was a job in Hobart and I had never been to Hobart before. I think I saw things that I loved about Canberra in Tasmania. It was the right size for me. It was outdoorsy. It was somewhere where people ride their bikes. It was beautiful from all reports. It happened to be very far away from Brisbane, which was not actually a negative, but I was toying with the idea of moving to Darwin. I actually got given two jobs. In the end the cold won and I moved down here and I’ve loved it. I feel very at home here. I feel like I’m part of this secret that the rest of Australia doesn’t really know about.
On the horizon
I would love to say that I’m going to live in Antarctica. There are a few things that I would love to do and they have changed. A year ago I would have said that was my number one, to live in Antarctica for a period of time. Now it’s more that I would like to own a hobby farm and live on the land. I would love to be in a position where I could travel for six months per year and work for six months of the year, for the rest of my life. I would like to be self employed. I would like to be sharing it with someone. A particular someone. Yeah, that’s where I’m going, trying to make that happen.
What do you like and what would you like to change about yourself?
That I feel like I could be put in most situations and make a go of it. I have confidence that I could get along with most people and make most situations work or see the benefits out of most situations.
Lots of things! Some times I wish I could change that I feel the need to be continually challenging myself. It would be really nice to be totally content with being. But then again, that isn’t really me and I know that, but it would be really nice to just be able to be comfortable. To not feel the need to do something harder all the time.
To finish with, describe yourself in just one sentence
This is like the worst job interview ever! Curious, loving and someone people trust and can rely on.