Series 1: Episode 6 – Jacinta Reddan


Written by Bec Bignell

Originally from the seaside tourist town of Warrnambool on the Great Ocean Road in Victoria, Jacinta Reddan always had a keen curiosity and a burning desire to travel from a very young age.

An understanding of tourism became natural through the ebb and flow of visitors descending upon Warrnambool on a seasonal basis, and it grew to become the core of her career….an extraordinary one at that.

Ever ambitious, Jacinta landed on her feet as a copygirl at Warrnambool’s daily – the Standard Newspaper – which gave her exposure to dynamic perspectives and exciting opportunities that she was hungry to pursue.

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“I got a role as a copy girl three afternoons a week after school at the Standard Newspaper in Warrnambool and that’s really where newspaper journalism got under my skin, and journalism and media remain that way for me today. I really love working in and around the media and have retained a really strong curiosity about what’s happening around the world.”

Rising up the ranks in the Australian media landscape, Jacinta took a leap of faith and headed for London – a rite of passage for many Aussie journos, “I was very keen to go and work in London and work on Fleet Street as all journalists back in those days did. So, the plan had been that we would travel via Hong Kong and spend about 18 months in Hong Kong and then move on to London. And I came to Hong Kong and the opportunity, the vibrancy, the fact that it was just so foreign and so different from anything I’d experienced before really grabbed my attention and whet my appetite.”

Jacinta wasn’t worried about bypassing the fast-paced frenzy of Fleet Street because Hong Kong offered the adventure she was after, “it’s so different, so dynamic, so multicultural. I welcomed the opportunity to learn about Chinese new year and what the different cultural traditions mean.… I was working across cultures as diverse as from Indonesia to India and North to Beijing South to the Philippines and each one is incredibly different, each one having its own rich cultural experience.”

Even though she was miles away in a city that was so much bigger than where she’d grown up the environment still felt intimate, “there are so many interesting, dynamic, very successful businesspeople in a place like Hong Kong, but there was that familiarity or a sense of community where people were connected by who they knew and where they worked and so there was a degree of familiarity for me in establishing myself in a place where you could walk down the street and pretty much guarantee you’ll bump into someone you know just like you might do walking down Liebig Street in Warrnambool.”

After 30 years living overseas Jacinta was happily settled and never imagined she’d wind up back in regional Australia however, an amazing career opportunity in North Queensland enticed her back home.

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Having worked in a range of roles at the highest level of communications, marketing, government relations and public affairs in the Asia Pacific region, Jacinta was excited to embrace a new challenge when she was appointed as the CEO at Advance Cairns.

However, despite her extensive experience and appetite for adventure, Jacinta understood that the transition from Asia back to Australia, was going to be vast, “when I first became aware of the role I too thought – from Hong Kong to Cairns…. really? How could I possibly make that adjustment?”

Thrust back into regional Australia among cane toads and crocodiles, the ‘roll up your sleeves’ spirit of the copy girl from the local Warrnambool rag proved very handy in helping the high-flying CEO reacquaint with regional Australia.

Diving straight in, she bought a house after six weeks, made connections in the local community and getting outside to enjoy the incredible natural wonders and energising experiences in her new community.

“I find on weekends I’m either snorkelling on the Great Barrier Reef, yesterday we went on the Skyrail up to Kuranda over the World Heritage rainforest…I’m either driving along the Atherton Tablelands or down to Mission Beach or up to Palm Cove, Mossman Gorge last weekend and Port Douglas. I mean, honestly, there is no absence of absolutely extraordinary things to do. I keep pinching myself and thinking I can’t believe that this is the part of the world that I call home.”

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After so many years living outside Australia, Jacinta didn’t just have to contend with the usual adjustments that come with a move – she also had to adapt back to Australian processes such as registering for private health and getting a licence. She quickly realised the answers to all her questions, including matters of where to get the best coffee, who to go to for a haircut and how to find a trusted dentist, were going to be found with friendly locals.

The recommendations from within the community were invaluable, and going through the motions of organising all the little things that are part of the transition also helped Jacinta foster friendly community connections.

“Everybody’s up for yarn, so you end up making all sorts of friends from that person on the checkout to the person at Medibank… whether I’m buying my coffee, or any interaction, people deal with you as a human being, and they’re interested. They love a yarn and they’re very authentic.”

Jacinta’s outsiders’ perspective is advantageous in her role as it allows her to approach the work with fresh eyes, “I’m looking at the region from the outside and it enables me to better tell the story about the region externally. So, there’s balance that I think that I can also bring.”

Her social life is just as fulfilled, and her diary has been heavily populated with events and experiences involving new friends. Though old friends have not been far from reach – the perks of living in such an exquisite environment have meant people have been happy to travel to stay in touch, and Jacinta has had a constant rotation of guests through the door.

Coming back to a regional coastal town has been a welcome change for the CEO who is drawn to community and loves the outdoors but is also keen to pursue the same level of ambition and adventure she’s enjoyed in big cities, “I’m finding there are many other people like me who are drawn to this part of the world for exactly those same reasons so there’s a very international global and outward-looking group of professionals here as well.

In Cairns, Jacinta gets the best of both worlds – international connectivity with easy access to airports and global opportunities, and localised community interactions that provide the sense of familiarity and human connection she’s cherished since Warrnambool days.


Jacinta’s regional rouse:

“If you could imagine leaving behind the rat race and the daily commute, for being five minutes away from your office, five minutes away from jumping on a boat and snorkelling the Great Barrier Reef, an hour from water skiing up at the Atherton Tablelands, half an hour from one of the world’s great Heritage rainforests… it’s an easy choice to make. I think more broadly, it’s the sense of community in the regions that really differentiates living in the regions from the cities. The cities have much to boast about and rightly so, but the sense of community, the sense of belonging, the sense of pride that people feel in where they live is a really compelling reason to consider the regions.”

Aussies are relocating from Capital Cities to Regional Australia in
record numbers.
We could give you all the stats about better house prices all the
jobs on offer and higher levels of happiness. But what’s better than
hearing from someone who’s made the move themselves.
Welcome to you moved where the podcast where we interview every day
Aussies who have moved from the city to the country.
I’m your host Bec Bignell a girl from Regional Australia who moved
to the city and then you guessed it back to Regional Australia. This
is you moved where?
Just because country kids live far away doesn’t mean they can’t dare
to dream about exploring the wide world that exists beyond that road
mailbox. Just ask just into reading a girl from the seaside tourist
town of Warrnambool on The Great Ocean Road. Jacinta. Always had a
keen curiosity and a burning desire to travel from a very young age.
Working as a coffee girl at Warrnambool’s daily Standard newspaper,
okay for exposure to Dynamic perspectives and exciting opportunities
that she was hungry to pursue a leap of faith move to London to
embrace the fast-paced frenzy of Fleet Street was redirected when
she made a stopover in Hong Kong with a vibrancy and energy hijacked
her heart 30 years on and just into felt very settled living here
expat life until an amazing career opportunity entire from high
Rise Hong Kong.
Typical Cairns during late 2022 thrust back into Regional Australia
among cane toads and crocodiles just into had to get ahead around
the less death Define, but just as persky personal admin Essentials
that were foreign to her after so many years away things like
Medicare mygov where to get your scale and clean and the best place
in town for foils and a French the roll-up your sleeves Spirit of
the coffee girl from the local warrnambool rag has risen to the
Proving very handy and helping this high-flying CEO reacquaint with
Australia’s Regional coastline.
Jacinta Redden you moved where?
I moved from Hong Kong after many years in Hong Kong to Cairns in
tropical North Queensland. And now you originally grew up
in warrnambool, Victoria Regional Town. What do you remember
about growing up recently? Well, I was actually born and raised in
the outer suburbs of Melbourne and was 10 when my family moved down
to warrnambool and I’m eternally grateful to them for doing that for
anybody who is listening in knows that beautiful part of What’s
called the Shipwreck host. It’s Southwest Victoria right on the
beautiful surf Coast down along the end of The Great Ocean Road, and
it’s a beautiful part of the world and I’m throwing up by the coast
in a smaller Community was just fabulous.
So what was your average Saturday like growing up as a teenager in
that Coastal Community?
Well I’m saying it was fabulous. But of course there were times when
it was really quite dull in the middle of winter down on the windy
shipwreck coast, and those Saturdays were spent watching the local
Wearing various layers of winter clothes to try and keep warm but in
summer which is when we like to say back then that the population of
warrnambool trebled it was fabulous because the place was inundated
with thousands of tourists coming to the region. It really came to
life the weather was nicer and it was really fabulous. So even back
then we would actually go camping with some friends. We would we
would Camp down at the warrnambool Falls Shore Caravan Park and many
warnable families would do the same to really just enjoy the very
best that warnable has to offer at the heart of Summer.
It’s interesting that you talk about the tourist capacity of a town
like that special given where your career has taken you I’m really
interested. How did your aspirations emerge within a small town that
may not have had visibility of high-powered career women.
Well, I was fortunate my first role. It was actually part-time job
was at the Standard newspaper in warrnambool. I had as soon as I
turned 15, like like most Australian kids. I think I was desperate
to get a part-time job and get some Financial Independence and
worked at the local Milk Bar and a couple of fast food places, but I
was so fortunate that after extinctive work experience I going to
roll as as a copy girl three afternoon a week after school at the
Standard newspaper in warrnambool. And that’s really where newspaper
journalism got under my skin and and journalism and media remains.
That way. I really love working in and around the media and have
retained a really strong curiosity and what’s happening around the
world. So when you work for
A daily newspaper. And again, the Standard newspaper is it is a
daily Regional newspaper an award-winning newspaper. I’ve worked
with some incredibly smart career journalists who’d worked elsewhere
worked overseas and come back to warrnambool to work. So I was
working alongside some absolute professionals and in a small town
you often as they say a
A big fish in a small pond. I was also working at the newspaper
during the devastating 1983 Ash Wednesday bushfires, which destroyed
swathes of farmland and very sadly took some lives down at that part
of the world and the team that put that story together won a walkly
award for that coverage. So again, when you work in a smaller
Community you do get exposure to to people to events to to places to
really defining moments that you really wouldn’t get if you are
working anywhere else and I should also say that as a teenager in
more of all, I was really Keen to leave to get to explore the
Metropolitan big city lights, and I had planned to go to UNI in
Melbourne and I was desperate to get there. And in fact, I had
enrolled at Uni on the day of the Ash Wednesday fires and was coming
Via the train that had to be abandoned for a coach that was caught
by the burning fires around us and as again Serendipity I wasn’t
able to actually go to university at that point. I was then offered
the cadetship at the at the standard it was it still remained open
for me. So Serendipity dictated that I stayed in mournable for
another two or three years and I’m really pleased that I did because
I learned so much at the newspaper and it really did stand me in
good stead for the rest of my career. And I think that’s one of the
things back where when you look back on defining moments.
As a journalist in a smaller environment you’re exposed to so many
people of influence.
That you they don’t hold the same degree of or I guess that they may
if you’d met them under different circumstances and I was really
fortunate that I had that start in my career.
Yeah, you’re right. You can’t underestimate the importance of the
Grassroots journalism in Regional communities. I totally understand
that as a person who went who started in journalism myself. I
believe this storytelling capacity in Regional communities is so
rich and that’s obviously something that you followed throughout
your career in a range of different ways.
And I’m really interested as well in the fact that you had that
aspiration at the young age. You were surrounded by people that
really gave you a sense that that was achievable. So from
warrnambool with the population of about 26 27,000 people you then
find yourself down the track in one of the most densely populated
areas in the world Hong Kong population about 7.4 million people.
How did that happen? Yeah,
roughly the same size as the population of Victoria that was really
part of my whole burning desire to travel as I said curiosity I
think is an inherent trait for any journalist and it’s just part of
my nature and I was really desperate to travel to explore to live
and work overseas and in the early 90s. I’ve been working at the sun
and it became the herald sun in Melbourne really love that
experience and had made some lifelong friends in that role, but I
was very kind to go and work in London and work on.
Lights Traders or journalists back in those days did and so I the
plan had been that we would.
Travel via Hong Kong and spend about 18 months in Hong Kong and and
then move on to London and I came to Hong Kong and the opportunity
the vibrancy the fact that it was just so foreign and so different
from anything. I’d experience before really grabbed and waited my
appetite and so 18 months became nine years in that stint. I then
returned to Australia for six years and was and have only recently
returned to Australia after a further 15 years in Hong Kong. So
ultimately in 18 month plan turned into a 30 plus year.
stay in 34 years stent or thereabouts in one of the world’s Global
cities, and I loved
Every minute of it. It really was a fantastic opportunity and a
little bit like what we just talked about growing up in Regional
Victoria in Hong Kong because of the very nature of the city because
in some ways it is a small community particularly amongst The
Expatriate or financial services Community again you tend to find
yourself being well many big fish in a small pond. There are so many
interesting Dynamic very successful business people in in a place
like Hong Kong, but because it’s a small community there was that
familiarity or a sense of community where people were connected by
by who they new and and where they worked and so there was a there
was a degree of familiarity for me in establishing myself in a place
where you could walk down the street and pretty much guarantee you
bump into someone you just like you might do walking down my big
straight in warrnambo.
And that’s a lovely commonality to draw but it’s interesting. I did
a bit of work with ABC International. So I’ve worked within Asia
Pacific in different markets and obviously there’s very different
cultural and social conventions that are quite different when you’re
working in the region. How did you adjust to
that? Well, that was part of what I loved about the experience. It
is so different. So Dynamic so Multicultural, I welcome the
opportunity to learn about Chinese year and what the different
cultural Traditions mean. I love learning about the different the
different celebrations during the Chinese calendar year, but the
Hungry Ghost Festival a whole range of different ways that in Hong
Kong and and again different again in the mainland relate to family
and the importance of family the importance of food in coming
together over a meal. I was fortunate also to have Regional roles
for most of my
I’m based in Hong Kong. So I was working across cultures as diverse
from Indonesia to India and North to Beijing South to the
Philippines and in each one.
H1 incredibly different each one having its own Rich cultural
experience for someone like me who had come from warrnambool, which
is not known for its cultural diversity. I think that’s certainly
changed since I live there. But when I grew up there was definitely
not not known for that. And so I think for me it was part of the
fact that was just so different and I was learning all the time from
everyone I met and the ways in which businesses would interact the
ways in which paper would interact.
The ways in which people conduct themselves in meetings the ways in
which families operate it is fascinating to me. And yes, the whole
thing was just a fabulous experience and it’s also you know, what
are not what wonderful opportunity to be based in a place that has
such beautiful natural environment as well. That’s not what so many
people know about Hong Kong but extraordinary hiking trails in the
national parks beautiful waterways that are certainly much cleaner
now than they were when I first arrived there. So I spent a lot of
time out on the water on weekends or hiking the the trails there’s a
lot more to different cultures that just lie north of us then we
give ourselves credit for
understanding. So there’s so much more to explore. It sounds like
you fully Embrace The Experience. However in 2022, you took a job in
cans of all places
Now Queensland is a known for their laid-back culture Crocs cane
toads and characters. Did you feel that there was a bit of a culture
shock moving from Hong Kong. Well,
I’ve been here now for four months and I have to say that when I
first became aware of the role I too thought
From Hong Kong to Cairns, really?
How could I possibly make that adjustment and there is The
Stereotype of tropical North Queensland that you’ve just outlined
and it became a bit of a joke actually amongst my friends in Hong
Kong who are from all over the world, you know to the list that
you’re just described we would add poisonous snakes and because the
worries so, you know, we all learned about cassowaries and that can
be dangerous too. And so when this opportunity came up
my first reaction was I couldn’t possibly imagine how I could make
that transition to?
The role sounds really interesting. This is a fascinating part of
the world that are really don’t know well at all, but I’m very keen
to learn more. It’s an incredibly beautiful part of Australia and I
had had the privilege of promoting this part of the world. When I
worked for Tourism Australia in Asia, and I had brought a group of
journalists here, but many many years ago and we had a fantastic
time bungee jumping scuba diving whitewater rafting and so I had
that memory but it wasn’t actually until the organization Advanced
Cairns flew me up for the interview in July that I learned as I
walked the streets and listened and just looked at the restaurants
just how Multicultural cancer as well and that was not something
that I’d appreciate it. I think we have again. We have a
stereotypical view of many destinations about lied it really
perfectly there.
And having lived away from Australia for so many years. I think
learning the opportunity to learn and I have so much to learn about
indigenous Australia and the the cultures in which I have their
honor to to work in the region that we Now cover was all all
combined to be to make a really compelling reason to when I was made
the offer of the role to think this sounds fantastic. What a great
next step and sort of, you know bring on the adventure and I think
the the other thing I would say is that I’m finding there are many
other people like me who are drawn to this part of the world for
exactly those same reasons. So there’s a very International Global
and outward-looking group of
professionals here as well. You’re an expert in understanding how
to, you know, tell the story of places with an incredible background
in branding marketing.
Messaging really influencing the way Australia’s perceived on a
global platform through tourism and in particular you’re involved in
the Sydney Olympics because you were the Asia PR and marketing
manager for tourism Tourism Australia at the time. What was that
experience like
That was such an honor. I’d look I was just a very small Cog in a
very large wheel in the light up to the Sydney Olympics, but it was
an extraordinary opportunity and I honestly think that’s part of the
reason why I did return to Australia back in 2000 just before the
Olympics because you know, we’d spent four or five years in the lead
up building this momentum, but there was I working to promote
Australia one of the world’s favorite tourism destinations in one of
the fastest growing regions in the world in the lead up to the
Sydney Olympics.
I mean, it really doesn’t get much better than that plus now. I’m
sitting here in Cairns and where we’re looking forward to the
Brisbane Olympics in 2032, and I’m really interested to see in terms
of the storytelling the opportunity to build the brand of Queensland
and Australia more broadly globally and
you talk about the story of Australia abroad.
And obviously understanding the functions of good storytelling which
is an art to make people understand and connect to a place takes a
lot of thought and a lot of planning in recent years Regional
Australia has had you know, a very stereotypical or a very kind of
mainstream narrative that is mainly engineering through people in
the city.
What do you think Regional Australia could do better to tell its
story and how are you hoping to influence that?
When you think about weighing up the difference between the
livability and the lifestyle in a place like Cairns which has
International connectivity?
versus sitting
in in a commute in Melbourne in traffic and the traffic jam that
itself is just you know a good reason to really think twice about
what’s important and what makes for a really good work lifestyle
when we think about the impact that covid has had particularly on
expatriates. I certainly know and I felt feel that kindly that. It’s
a great privilege to be here in Australia and to be able to travel
freely and to be reconnecting with family and friends and to be part
of community here in tropical North Queensland, you know for two two
and a half years in Hong Kong that wasn’t an option and for a time
we were locked out of our own country and it really causes you to
think about
What’s important?
And causes you to reflect on what you value.
And I think that the regions and living in a Regional Community
becomes even more compelling. So what I’ve very much enjoyed about
moving to Cairns and I I sort of dived in and bought a house within
six weeks of being here. I really enjoying Making Connections in the
community getting to know my neighbors.
Being invited to drinks on a Friday night with my neighbors. I’m not
sure and again, I love Melbourne, but I’m not sure that that would
necessarily happen in Melbourne or in Sydney or any other capital
city, but to be walking around the fabulous Rusty’s Market if
anybody hasn’t been to Rusty’s market and they’ve been to Kansas
well worth coming back just to look at this extraordinary produce
that is that is a reflection of the Multicultural diaspora that
leaves here in Cairns.
To walk through rusties on a Saturday morning and bump into
colleagues neighbors. I’d loving that. I’m really loving feeling
that I’m part of a community and you really can’t put a price on
that. I think the sense of community has become even more important
and I think that is a huge benefit and bonus of living in the
regions and one compelling reason that I chose to live in Regional
Australia rather than elsewhere.
What is a Saturday in Cairns like now for you to Center? And do you
get to go to like, what’s your favorite restaurant? Where do you get
your coffee? Is it social take me through your Saturday in Cairns?
Well, I have to say I actually don’t have a routine because what I
have found and everybody says it will be like this for the first two
years. I have had a steady stream of visitors and I currently have a
friend staying with me from Hong Kong and my daughter who is about
to start my youngest daughter who’s about to start uni in Melbourne
is with me on the way from being born, you know raised in Hong Kong
she and her sister know nothing of life in Australia, but they’re
now forging their lives as University students in Australia. She’s
with me as well. And so I find on weekends. I’m either snorkeling on
the Great Barrier Reef yesterday. We were up our fire went on
skyrail up to caranda over the world heritage rainforest caught the
Doric extraordinary train back down from the caranda range to
Cairns. I’m either driving along the Atherton table lands or down to
Mission Beach or up to Palm Cove, or is it mosman Gorge last weekend
and Port Douglas. I mean, honestly, there is no absence of
absolutely extraordinary things to do. I keep pinching myself and
thinking I can’t believe that this is the part of the world that I
call home when you can be there was one weekend when my sister and
her family were here. We were water skiing up at Lake Tina row and
the Beautiful Atherton table lands on a Saturday and on Sunday. We
were diving and snorkeling on the Great Barrier Reef. It really
doesn’t get much better than that.
You mentioned that your four months into the journey and we’re
talking to people that have been in their transitioned place for
varying amounts of time. Some people early like you some people who
have been there for about 10 years and
respectively looking back and remembering what that felt like with
within yourself what have been some of the grittier things that have
challenging that you’ve had to kind of walk through as you’ve made
this earlier adjustment. Sure. Look, there’s a great.
Term called The Invisible migrant which applies to people like me
and to my daughters. I’ve spent most of my adult life living in
Asia. And so the day-to-day of how do I even get my energy
Where do I go to get Private health insurance?
How do I get a license when I don’t have proof of residence in
Australia, all of these things made it really challenging. Of
course. It’s the personal admin that I found the most difficult and
that people moving into State wouldn’t necessarily find the same
challenges, but it is finding the right footing where to go for your
favorite coffee.
It’s the little things where you know, I’m very fortunate that I
work with a great team of people who’ve been very patient with me
asking the very basic questions. Like how do I even get freighter
air television? Because it’s a completely different platform in
Australia than what I’ve been dealing with in Hong Kong for so many
years. And so this invisible migrant Pace plays out when I’m at the
checkout and I’ll be asked do you have flybuys and that’s a reminder
that’s still on my list of things. I’ve got to sign up yet. I didn’t
even know what they were talking about. All these questions that
people just take for granted that you know, how things work.
And you actually don’t have a clue make it quite challenging. Google
Maps was my best friend and remains. So I sit there in meetings and
someone mentions because again, we cover a huge area someone
mentions a town or a region that I’m not familiar with. I’ve always
using Google Maps to figure out that’s where they fit within our
region. I must get there. So I’ve got this ever never-ending list of
towns and centers that I’m wanting to travel to but Google Maps was
important. Also just meeting other people who have moved here from
elsewhere who will say aha. I’ll tell you who you need a
hairdresser. You need a doctor you need a dentist. Let me give you
these recommendations and those sorts of recommendations were
invaluable early on it took me three months possibly a little bit
more to get a Medicare card. So that was really tough when I had to
try and provide and validate my identity for various other things
like utilities.
Those but I got there in the end. So yes, it’s not easy. I don’t
have the patience for personal admin. Anyway, I find that stuff
really dull and I would much rather be out there just getting on
with it. But so that slowed me down quite a lot and I’m now feeling
four months in having bought a house and figured out what the
council you know, the council bin collection night Sarah and all
those sorts of things and what it all means having had a deal with
Had to deal with bush turkeys that are roosting above my swimming
pool thoughts are really important North Queensland things that I
kind of love because it’s so so unique. I’m now feeling like I’m a
little bit better equipped to deal with some of those administrative
aspects of living in an entirely different place and Hong Kong of
course is incredibly efficient. You’ve got just some one of the best
public transportation systems in the world all of those things, of
course, there’ll be elements. So that that of course I will miss in
a place like Cairns in a regional center. You don’t get the same
public transport connectivity, of course because you don’t have the
same scale on the other hand. The benefit of that is ignore you
traveling to jail every morning on a crowded MTR to get to the
office. So there are benefits of that. But yes, it’s not it’s not
smooth sailing, but I think that an important
Element of it of this journey for me has also been that I was very
much looking forward.
To relocating to Australia and I feel it is a real honor and a
privilege to be back.
I feel it’s an honor and a privilege to be back in a part of
Australia that is new to me and that I’m seeing with fresh eyes and
I want to try and retain that fresh eyes perspective for as long as
I can because I think that makes me
better at my job because I’m looking at the region from the outside
and it enables me. I hope to then better tell the story about the
region externally.
So there’s that balance that I think that that I can also bring from
being bringing outside as perspective.
Convey that you are an outsider because like you said people might
just assume that you’ve been part of the community for a long period
of time. We you just upfront in saying get any my name is jacinta
and I’m new in town. How did you tap into that reservoir of no local
Well what I love about here is everybody’s up for yarn. So you end
up making all sorts of friends from that person on the checkout to
the you know, the person at medibank when I finally figured out
where to get Private health insurance and you just sit down and talk
to people and I have to explain it the answer look I haven’t I’ve
lived outside Australia for many years. So I’m really not familiar
with the system. Would you mind just helping me through this and
explain what all of this means like? What is my love? I didn’t know
what that was, but I just sign up to my God. I’m thinking what are
you talking about? And so everybody made at least starts with oh
Hong Kong. I was there for my honeymoon, or I’d love to go there and
then I end up having those long.
Sensations with people whether I’m buying my coffee or
Any interaction and it’s great people deal with you as a human being
and they they’re interested. They love a yarn they’re very
authentic. And so when I’ve said that people have been very
welcoming and quite proud, you know of well, what’s brought you to
our beautiful part of the world and they want to hear the story. So
it’s been a lovely way to get to know people as well and a great way
to just open a conversation.
How does Regional living as a child feel different to living
regionally again is just into the
adult to completely different parts of regional Australia one is
tropical and I have to say that visitors that are with me from Hong
Kong or that have visited from
Victoria arrive here and say wow.
It doesn’t all my feel like part of Australia. It’s more like
they’re all saying is that this like Hawaii or is it like Singapore
or Thailand? It is a truly beautiful place to live and yet it is
very Australian. And so that’s very different from Windy warnable
where I was a teenager desperate actually to experience what was out
there in the world such an interesting story to listen
to the differences and also the intersections where things are quite
similar going from a place that’s as far away as Hong Kong to a
place like cans but tell me what do you feel like you gave up and
what did you gain from? The point of viewers just into the mum the
friend. My daughter’s
were going to be in Australia in any case from Hong Kong. So I was
going to be either eight hours away or three three and a half. So
I’m actually closer to my daughter. So even though people say I’m a
long way from them.
Feel a lot closer I do miss.
Friends, of course and my partner in Hong Kong but international
flights make anything possible. We’ve got virtual any any number of
ways to reconnect virtually.
And I am looking to build another Community here.
In Cairns as I have a very dear friend from Hong Kong staying with
me for a month and my my home is booked at now until at least the
end of June. So I think that’s the other advantage of living in a
beautiful part of the world is everybody’s coming to stay. So I’m
sure that they will come a time when I’m going to feel quite
isolated. But at this point I’ve been too busy and I’ve had such a
constant stream of visitors that that hasn’t come to pass. I’ve
really enjoyed the culture experiences here in cans that I guess I
had an anticipated. I’m looking forward to the tropical Writers
Festival that’s coming up in a couple of weeks which is attracted
some excellent speakers and on the weekend. I saw my first live
music performance for three years because of the tight restrictions
in Hong Kong. So in many ways, I feeling that I’ve gained
More than I’ve lost that’s not to say I don’t miss Hong Kong
terribly and my friends there, but I also think that that’s that’s
part of life and it’s a very transient community in Hong Kong. So I
have the benefit of a Global Network of fabulous friends, but it’s
two very different experiences. However, the common links are
feeling part of a community a degree of familiarity a sense that
people really want to get to know you and that an interaction is not
transactional. It’s very much a human person to person interaction.
As I said, I strike up Yarns with people wherever I go. It’s really
lovely and it’s a very big change from age where you also have a
language barrier which does prevent that from happening. But the one
thing that there is one culture or big cultural difference that I
find coming back to Australia, and I don’t know if it’s Unique to
Tropical North Queensland, but in Hong Kong, which is still really
emerging from very strict covid pandemic Public Health measures. We
were very much.
100% mask wearing keeping our distance not going there anyone to
people greeting each other in the workplace with a hug and a kiss on
the cheek.
And I know that that’s quite an Australian thing. And if I think
about the big cultural adjustment, that’s the one that I’m just
sometimes struggling with because I’m just not familiar with that.
It’s lovely and it’s welcoming and it’s warm but it’s very different
from the last several years
to send it just to end. I would love you to give me your pitch for
people thinking about moving to the regions. You’re obviously an
absolute expert in compelling people to come to places. So in one
sentence, what would you say to get us all to head out to the voice?
It’s really tough to put it into one sentence.
Leaving behind the rat race and the daily commute.
For being five minutes away from your office five minutes away from
jumping on a boat and snorkeling the Great Barrier Reef.
An hour from water skiing up at the Atherton table lands half an
hour from one of the world’s great.
Here it will Heritage rainforests. It’s an easy choice to make I
think more broadly.
It’s the sense of community in the regions that really
differentiates living in the regions from the cities. The cities
have much to boast about and rightly. So, but the sense of community
the sense of belonging the sense of Pride that people feel in where
they live is a really compelling reason to consider the regions.
Thank you so much for taking us on an amazing journey from Hong Kong
to Cairns. It’s been really wonderful to listen to your story
jacinta. Thanks for your time today. Thank
you very much.
You moved where is made on the land of the Kenyan people with
jacinta Redden joining us from the land of the gimoy wallaburra
yadindji and the erikandi people. We would like to acknowledge the
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people as the traditional
custodians of the land and pay our respects to Elders past and
Episode was produced by Grace Rubray and hosted by me, Bec
Make sure you follow us wherever you get your podcasts because on
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died than what did and it’s due to the local community that that didn’t happen you moved. Where is brought to you by
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