I have always wanted to work abroad, and the opportunity for a secondment was one of the things that attracted me to Grant Thornton. My secondment in Brisbane was a fantastic experience. I got to see and experience so much more than I would have just visiting on holiday. I made so many great friends while I was down there, and had so many great experiences. The only way it really could have been improved would have been for it to be longer.
1 of the 12 apostles along the Great Ocean Road.
Right from the start, the Brisbane office made sure that I had a smooth transition to Australia. They arranged for someone to meet me at the airport and take me out the night I arrived. They set up my accommodation, offered to take me shopping, helped me set up a phone, and made every effort to make me feel welcome in their office. They had a dinner to welcome the other secondees as well as myself and generally made a point of inviting us out to events including the end of financial year ball, a footy tournament, and the Bridge to Brisbane (10 km run).
While on secondment, I did a lot of traveling. I took a trip to Fraser Island, Melbourne, and Byron Bay with my fellow secondees along with several trips to the Gold and Sunshine coasts. We climbed Mt. Tiprogargan, and Mt. Warning with some locals as well as visiting several beaches, and went surfing.
At the end of the secondment, I took a month off and flew down to Hobart, Tazmania, rented a van and drove around the Island visiting the bread pans, Port Arthur, Mt. Wellington, Launceston, Stanley, many many beaches and Cradle Mountain. I then flew up to Melbourne, rented a 4wd camper and drove the Great Ocean Road, Then along to Sydney, Byron Bay, the Gold and Sunshine Coasts and Brisbane one last time, and finally onto Cairns, where I visited the Great Barrier Reef. I stopped all along the way to camp, sometimes right alongside the ocean.
Without a doubt, the biggest highlight was all the new friends I made down there. Everyone was so friendly, and I made a lot of close friends. Some of the other highlights during my travels were Fraser Island, Hobart, and Cairns and the Great Barrier Reef which may be the most incredible place in the world.
Shawn Gillespie, Senior Associate, Financial Advisory Services