Education Career Ambassador – Marika’s story

(dramatic music) – Hi, I'm Marika. I'm back home visiting in Barcaldine where I've taught for the last two years. I was working at a big school
in the north side of Brisbane, but I was teaching out
of my teaching areas and I really wanted to be
making a difference in the arts. I got offered a job teaching visual art and drama at Barcaldine, 12 hours away. So obviously, it was a
big decision to make. I've got a husband and two kids and we didn't really know
what the future would hold. When we came out, we were really worried about being isolated and that feeling of
just not knowing anyone and leaving everything we had behind. But I really didn't need
to worry about that. When we came out here, I
had a better time out there than we ever did in the city. The best part about living in Barcaldine is the country lifestyle. You know, my family got to be a family. We'd go to work and hang
out with these people and then, after school,
go to the pool with them. We would go riding out in Saltern Creek and every night of the week, almost, I was cooking dinner for people, they would come over, we'd just hang out. We made a family out
here, not just friends. Everyone's trying in the same boat and everyone knows what
you're going through and, if I had a bad day, one of my mates would be at the door before
I'd even put my phone down. And it's not like that in the city. (bird chirping) (soft guitar music) Teaching in Barky was amazing for me because I also got to
run my own department. I wrote the entire
curriculum for prep to 12, not only in art, but music, drama, dance. The career opportunities
out here are just amazing because, as a graduate,
you get these opportunities that you wouldn't get in the city. I've always been interested in art, but being out here is so inspiring, the landscape and the animals
and the colours, even. I did so much artwork out here. I sold a lot of art, I ran art classes and workshops and I got to do
so much more with my passion. Coming back is a bit bittersweet because it makes me
realise how much I miss it. Out here, everyone knows each other and everyone looks out for each other and you can walk into any shop
and everyone knows your name. The people out here are just amazing and you build friendships so quickly. Out here I grew so much, I learnt so much as a professional, as a teacher, and I get to take that
with me wherever I go now and have more opportunities
because of what I did out here and the time with those people. And they really looked
after us as a family. And I'll never forget that.
(birds chirping)

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