- First Secretary (Political)
- Australian Embassy
Hometown: Kiama, Australia
Number of years in Japan (cumulative): 4 (as of May 2020)
I first visited Japan on a school excursion in 1992. I enjoyed it so much I applied to become an AFS Intercultural Programs’ exchange student and I spent a year of high school in Kumamoto when I was 16. My lovely host family helped me experience many parts of Japanese culture. But I still don’t really like the local delicacy of raw horse (basashi).
“Don’t let perfect be the enemy of good.” I like taking action and making progress, even if there is still some uncertainty. It’s especially useful to take this approach when trying to speak in a foreign language — most times, when I’ve tried and made mistakes, I’ve still been able to convey a message and I’ve often learned something along the way.
Prior to working in Tokyo, I helped deliver the Australian government’s aid program while working in the Australian embassy in Jakarta. It was very rewarding to be able to make a difference in people’s lives. I think there is a lot of potential for Japan and Australia to work together to help countries in the Indo-Pacific region be more stable and prosperous.
My goals for my time in Japan are to enjoy as many parks and playgrounds of Tokyo as possible with my three-year-old daughter, and meet Kumamon if possible. I would also like to become better at polite keigo language, but that is a very challenging task.
Japan can sometimes be a confusing and frustrating place for a foreigner. I think it is really useful to find an aspect of Japanese culture that resonates with you — be that “Terrace House” episodes, cherry blossom picnics, baseball fan chants or Kit Kat flavors — and find time to engage with the delights of that.