Imagine living 18 hours away from your children.
For many families in remote Australia, this is a reality, and for Frontier Services' staff too.
Katrina McGregor, Field Coordinator with our Remote Area Families Service was based in Longreach. Katrina's children were 18 hours away, at boarding school in Alice Springs.
Recently Katrina relieved at Mutitjulu Childcare Centre in the Northern Territory, says she had a great time out in the red centre. "I must start off with saying that the centre has one of the best work place views in Australia."
Katrina says her time at Mutitjulu was inspiring. "Although I have visited Uluru on a number of occasions it is still an amazing sight to see no matter how many times you see it. On the first day going to work from Yulara it was raining and it was a new sight that I got to witness especially having worked in drought stricken Longreach for the past 12 months."
The children are always the reward, and sometimes they present staff with treats, including local wildlife. "On one of the mornings at work I was a little apprehensive to receive a gift from one of the community children of a Thorny Devil, which Layla felt quite comfortable in playing with. I wasn't going to touch that lizard."
The tranquillity of her surroundings rubbed off and Katrina says she found herself exploring them even though she's not typically much of a walker. "With the amazing scenery out in the Red Centre I found myself walking every day after work and also on the Sunday I actually hired a bike and rode the 10.5 kilometres around the Rock for fun."
Katrina is now excited at the opportunity to head back to the desert to take up the position of Assistant Coordinator at the Childcare Centre.
"I really appreciated the opportunity to go out there as my Husband works on a community south of Alice Springs and I have 2 children at boarding school in Alice Springs. So needless to say I jumped at the chance to not only relieve, but then take up the position at the childcare centre. Now instead of an 18 hour drive home, it will only take 4 hours."