Sunday, March 21, 2010


New home, new environment, kids happy in school, Lyn studying, everybody happy.

All we've needed to complete the sea change was for me to find a new job.

Let's be honest, working for the Tax Office was only the base line-- it was drudge work, more often than not, soulless and uninspiring, and whilst I might have liked the majority of people I worked with, it was no longer enough-- a 75 minute train journey each way to a workplace that was in great danger of becoming just another rostered call centre was not how I envisaged my working life. I liked the people, but the work and the infrastructure has become increasingly restrictive, increasingly unskilled and droneworthy. Something had to go. I had to go.

I've been looking. And I've found.

From tomorrow, I'll be the Community Development Officer in the Arts & Culture Office of the City of Rockingham. Ill be working with a team whose responsibility it is to enable artists within the local area to access the range of skill sets, grants, and busines structures available, to help them to become self-sustaining. I'll also be part of a team making sure the public art within the region continues to reflect and emphasis the values and attrributes of the City.

Cool job, but the title will look terrible on a t-shirt.

I grew up in Rockingham, at least, I lived there between the ages of 8 and 21. When we moved there, in 1979, it was a town of 26 000 people, connected to the somewhat-distant state capital by a bus service that can only be described as sparse. Now there's over 100 000 people in the area, it has its own University campus, and is a large part of a conurbation that stretches to Clarkson 100km to the North and Mundurah 30km to the South. Art flourishes within the region, particularly public art. It's a vastly changed place from the one I left 17 years ago, but then, I'm a vastly changed person.

The truth is, I'm 39 now. I've settled into the town, and house, in which I hope to spend at least the next 20 years as my children grow up and move into their own adult lives, and grandchildren begin to arrive on the scene. I want to enjoy my life. I want to create art, and be with my family. I want the space and time to become the successful artist I've wanted to be for a decade. To support these goals, I want to be at a job that rewards me and doesn't take 75 minutes just to get home from.

It's taken me until almost 40, but I might finally have found the final piece in my puzzle-- a job that satisfies me and gives me the chance to do something concrete in a field of endeavour that means something to me. Time will tell, but maybe, just maybe, I'm set.


Ben-M said...

Inspiring, Lee. I wouldn't mind cutting down the lengthy train commute one day myself.

Anonymous said...

I'm inspired, as this is exactly the type of thing I need to do, pretty soon. I've made comfortable rut for myself at the Museum, but it's time to move on, shortly.

Well done, Lee, and best of luck!

Jason Crowe said...

Congrats, Lee. Great news. It must be in the air--we just sold off our 'umble little apartment and are readying to expand into a house. Back yard! Better yet: kids in back yard! (Dad inside.)

Again, happy for you, man.

Lee Battersby... said...

That sounds great, guys; Jason, I love the backyard banging about with the kids. There are few joys greater than kicking a socccer ball about with a teensy tiny person. Chris, a museum is amongst the coolest places ever to make a comfortable rut for yourself! Ben, I tell you, it's amazing the impact an extra half hour a day has made to my days.

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