But, my departure offered another opportunity to pat ourselves on the back for what we've accomplished and to reflect on the journey we've been on together. And, to have one awesome farewell party of course!
Very nearly the entire team, past and present, was able to spend an afternoon at Barry's lovely home sharing food, homebrew, mead and good company.
The team: Jeff, Wayne, Amy, Adam, Jenn, John, Bart and Natalia in the back. In the front, Tim, Steve, Barry, Teifi and Beth. Cream of the crop, these folks.
The gathering doubled as a farewell party for Adam who is off for a year of traversing round the Americas with his US passport and Aussie accent. Look out girls!
The lovely Beth who despite having moved on from our team several years ago, has remained one of my most treasured people in Canberra.
Our charming heritage guru, Amy, is now the only girl in the office!
Great memories around the fire.
Sarah, solo mama to three boys and all around awesome gal is the third dual American Australian citizen who's been part of the team!
Student turned staff member, Natalia is destined for great things. She and all the others went home with a bottle of our specially crafted lemon mead.
I was showered with so many thoughtful gifts - books and music and wine and an Aussie care package and even gifts for the kids. And, as if to capture the thoughts and memories swirling in my head, the team presented me with a beautiful book of photos from my years at ANUgreen featuring my programs, my interns, my events, my awards, my team. Priceless.
I held it all together pretty admirably until the very end of the evening when the tears burst forth. So much gratitude, grief, joy and uncertainty collided. I was about to get on a plane in three days and leave it all behind and the sadness of leaving so many friends spilled out. Deep breaths. Trust we're making the right decision.
So, at the risk of sounding redundant yet again, I'll take this opportunity to say one more time to my team:
Thank you for the opportunity to forge a meaningful career on a beautiful campus, for enthusiastically supporting my ideas, for always sticking together through thick and thin and for sharing so many stages of my life with me. You filled up my tiny dining room when my firstborn made his debut, you've serenaded me at my desk more times than I can count and you gave the phrase "another day in paradise" real meaning. It has been an honour and a pleasure to know and work side by side with all of you. I will carry the knowledge and professionalism you've shared with me to wherever my journey leads me next. Keep up the good work!
Jenn aka J-Mac