BETWEEN TWO SYSTEMS (2)

The Northern Territory Beckons (2)

About three months after we arrived in Perth, I saw an advertisement in “The Western Australian“, advertising on behalf of the Commonwealth Teaching Service in Canberra for teachers to go to the Northern Territory. We began to think that from the beginning of 1976 the Territory might be a place for us to consider. With that in mind, I made inquiries of the Commonwealth Teaching Service office in Perth about the possibility of an appointment from the beginning of the following school year. All in all, this was just an inquiry and the first lodgement of a verbal expression of interest in the possibility of appointment by the Commonwealth Teaching Service to the Northern Territory.

Within 24 hours of having enquired about the Northern Territory and possibilities for 1976, We were rung up and offered appointments either at Snake Bay (Milikapati) on Melville Island, or at Numbulwar on the Rose River. We were asked to consider one or the other location and told the appointment, if we accepted, would be immediate

We were keen to leave the Western Australian Education Department in good standing. A requirement if resigning was that a month’s notice of intention to resign had to be given. To jump ship and rocket off, would be frowned upon. Without a ‘good standing’ departure, we would never be welcomed back into WA Education, should we ever want to return.

Resignation had too be negotiated through the school principal, so I had a conversation with Mr Griffith. Ken was able to organise for us to resign, in effect giving less than a month’s notice, by backdating the date of our handing in resignation documents. His understanding and support were deeply appreciated. In fact, many of the leadership nuances I observed in Ken, became elements of the Principalship practices I tried to emulate through my own leadership performance.

With our movement to the Northern Territory all but confirmed, we were contacted by the Commonwealth Teaching Service (CTS) office and asked to come in for an interview as this important detail had been overlooked.

The formalities were completed, and our goods divided into two consignments. The firmest consignment was goods going into storage and the seconds for items we were having shipped to Darwin and them onto the barge service from Darwin to Numbulwar.

On returning to Perth we had purchased a Datsun 180B. This we were putting into storage in Perth with arrangements made to ship our Mini Moke (the one we had at Warburton in 1974/75) to Numbulwar.

Things were now moving quickly.

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