We Bought a Zoo! Have you ever seen the Matt Damon movie? The moment my family and I watched this movie, it sparked a desire for us to relocate to the country.
Working at a major tertiary hospital, I had a stable job, two healthy kids, a motivated husband; why on earth did this seem like a good idea. It’s funny how your life takes you on a journey and before you know it, you are off to pony club, volunteering on local committees and at agriculture shows.
My name is Marcia Beere. My family is made up of Isabella, 16, and Harry, 14. My husband, Steve, is a volunteer Deputy Captain of the Rural Fire Service and President and qualified rescue operator for our local Volunteer Rescue Association.
Born in New Zealand, I travelled to the UK for my great overseas experience, I met Steve and soon after we married. Isabella was born in Kent, UK. We came to Australia in 2008, moving to Canberra to be close to family. It wasn’t long before Harry arrived.
I worked with ACT Health as a Junior Medical Officer Manager, later becoming the Scope of Clinical Practice Manager, prior to our move to the country. Working in this setting was a great experience for me. It exposed me to some of the challenges faced by trainee Medical Officers as well as Specialists. I felt privileged to be able to offer support across the health network and to see trainees flourish in their medical careers.
In 2015, we moved to live in the Bega Valley, located on the Far South Coast of NSW. Known for the local production of Bega Cheese and award-winning gin, the Bega Valley is dairy farming country and one the best-kept secrets of regional NSW.
With our move to regional NSW, employment opportunities were limited, which led me to join Prescript Recruitment. Prescript place doctors in regional and remote locations around Australia. Being regionally based myself, I was drawn to the values and focus of Prescript. It also allowed me to remain within the medical environment and to continue to connect well-trained doctors with rural communities, in need of these professionals.
With flexible work-from-home options not considered the norm in 2018, I was daunted by the prospect of not leaving the house to join a team face-to-face. It took about 12 months for me to really settle into this routine. I worked hard on my motivation, mindset and most of all, discipline to maintain my success. To this day, I continue to work with Prescript, a team with purpose that I thoroughly enjoy contributing to. I have established wonderful friendships, following our doctors on their journey. I had an opportunity to work with Google, sharing the experience of one of our GP obstetricians and her time in the Kimberley. It was incredible to participate in this and to tell the story of doctors in remote settings.
In 2019/2020, our area was devasted by bushfires, an experience I hope to never have to endure again. As we were working through our trauma and the scale of this, the world was moving to respond to COVID-19. I recall a conversation I was having with a Senior Consultant, who said to me, ‘the world will shut down’, and remember thinking I just couldn’t see those decisions being made. How wrong was I. Looking back, at times I am not sure how we got through it, but we did. I learnt to take nothing for granted and be prepared for anything, from bushfires to global pandemics.
Towards the end of 2022, I had an unfortunate fall which left me with a broken foot, unable to bear weight and wondering, what’s next. I quickly realised farm life on a knee scooter was tough going. Upon my (slow) recovery, earlier this year I decided to transform myself mentally, physically, and emotionally. For the first time, in three years I began to feel confident and committed to doing something for good. So, I ditched the wine, changed my entire diet, started exercising (albeit lightly) and started to journal my thoughts, goals, and experiences. Seven months in and I have lost 20kgs, regained my energy, focus and determination.
I am looking forward to the next chapter, as the consumer representative on the O&G Magazine Advisory Group. Helping to inform the narrative, I am excited to contribute, listen and evolve with the team to produce interesting articles for the readers.