Thousands of miles from home, Postal Manager Kylie feels more connected than ever

When Kylie took a role as Postal Manager in Tennant Creek, she was looking for a new adventure. She now has a new home and feels part of the community.

From the outback town of Tennant Creek, it’s a long drive to the nearest major centre.

“Any major shopping that needs to be done—furniture, clothes, homewares, Coles or Woolies—that’s all a ten-hour round trip. It’s pretty remote,” says Kylie Smith, the Postal Manager at the Tennant Creek Post Office.

Kylie, a Gamilaraay woman, was already working for Australia Post when she came across the advertisement for the Postal Manager job in our dedicated Indigenous Employee Network. “I saw (this job) on the Mob@Post Facebook page, and it intrigued me,” Kylie says. “I’d always wanted to come over and experience Central Australia.”

And that’s where the adventure began.

How Kylie settled in to a new, remote home

Moving to Tennant Creek was an adventure that Kylie was excited about, but it took a little while to adapt to her new location. “It was pretty intense,” she says. “I was like, ‘Wow, I am a long way away from everything I know!’”

There were two things that helped Kylie to feel at home. 

One was the environment she found herself surrounded by. “When I got taken out to Lake Tingkkarli, I saw the beauty of the lake. This place feels familiar,” she says, before describing the beautiful landscape. “You find the plateau where all the funky-shaped eucalypt trees are, and there are willy wagtails … doing this amazing ballet dance and, if you’re not watching the bird, you’re watching their reflection. Oranges and yellows and apricots: it’s like every sunrise you ever want to see, and it’s like that every single day.”

The other aspect of Tennant Creek that has helped Kylie settle into her new home is the people. It’s the community who have proven to her that it’s possible to live in a remote area without being isolated.

“Being exposed to all the facets of the community is what gives me the opportunity to learn. There’s no isolation when it comes to community here,” Kylie says.

“We’ve got people who are here on short contracts, people who are here on long contracts, people who were born and raised here, the local Warumungu people and other First Nations peoples who come in quite regularly.”

Kylie is now right at home in Tennant Creek and says she wouldn’t change a thing. “There’s been challenges, but I’ve had the opportunity to learn a completely new way of life and work with a community that’s so unique, you’re not going to get it anywhere else.”

The people of Australia Post: at the heart of a small community

In such a remote community, delivering mail and packages is an essential part of each day. 

Kylie describes the Australia Post Office in Tennant Creek as “the heartbeat that keeps this place connected to the rest of the world.”

She explains, “The mail bags go out by plane to communities, stations and families that are so remote that we are providing them their medication and fresh groceries. These people would be absolutely stuck if we didn’t have this service going.”

It’s a job that fits with Kylie’s sense of adventure and eagerness to keep learning about life in different places.

“Out here, everything is different,” she says. “I’m building that relationship with the locals so that I can ensure that AusPost is representing the Country that we’re standing on.

As for her new home in Tennant Creek, Kylie says she’s here to stay. “I don’t see myself being a seasonable member of this community. I think I have purpose here. I’m in the right place at the right time, for the right reasons.”

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