My Grant Thornton secondment took me to Adelaide, South Australia where I spent 14 weeks working with the local audit department and 4 other secondees from the UK and Ireland. The client base was considerably different than my Canadian clients and included multiple junior resource and mining companies, in addition to stock brokers, aged care facilities, wineries and an internet search optimization company. The majority of the companies were public/listed clients, and many had international operations which made for very interesting and challenging work while abroad.
A well earned rest after climbing to the peak of Cradle Mountain on the island of Tasmania
In Adelaide our accommodations were comfortable and well organized. I shared a flat with a lad from Manchester and a lass from Dublin. We were in the heart of the city within walking distance to the office as well as the necessary amenities (pubs, transit, groceries and pubs).
My time in Adelaide was a busy mix of work and play. We worked a lot, but my co-workers were very social and happy to show a visiting Canadian a really good time! The office sponsored monthly social events including poker night, a wine tour, bowling, and a pub night. I was welcomed onto the men’s basketball team which was really good fun and a great way to socialize outside of work. The people were great and really made the experience a fantastic adventure. The highlight of the work-term was by far a weekend trip to Kangaroo Island where one of the partners hosted 12 of us at his family cottage overlooking the ocean and cliffs, and lent us his Landcruizers to explore the island. ‘The remarkable rocks’ were….remarkable!
Once I finished work I took 4 weeks to backpack around Australia solo. I climbed the Grampians and drove the Great Ocean Road to Melbourne. I spent a week on the wild island of Tasmania where I saw Tasmanian devils and wombats, and sat on the peak of Cradle Mountain. I grew a beard and lost my camera. I travelled 3,500 km north from Melbourne to Cairns. Along the way I saw a play at the Sydney Opera House and hundreds of penguins on Philips Island. I slept on buses and on beaches, chased dingos, and stood in quicksand. I went scuba diving on the Great Barrier Reef and surfed at Byron Bay. I spent three days on a ship at The Whitsundays and drank cheap wine by night and snorkeled all day. I met a lot of people and made some really good friends. I even saw a kangaroo or two!
Brad Hall, Manager, Assurance Services