Fast facts with Darren Keenan - Arlparra

03 June 2013
Why Remote?
I’ve worked at a number of remote stations and thought I’d give Arlparra a go! What better way to see the country whilst being paid?
Darren Keenan with local bubba
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It’s a lot of fun and also gives your career a boost as I'm yet to see a job vacancy that doesn't have part of the desirable criteria ‘worked in a remote locality.’ While I personally really enjoy the bush lifestyle, there are a lot of financial incentives to give the bank balance a kick (HDA, extra 5% remote allowance, up to 9% GPA, overtime and the tax free allowances of TA and disturbance allowance).

Should members go remote?

Stop wasting time thinking about it or talking about it and just do it! You won’t regret it and the onlyway you can find out if it’s for you is to take on a posting.

How does the work differ from regional locations?

The work is very different. Having worked in Alice Springs, bush work is (generally) much more relaxed and slower paced, however there are times when you're pushed to your limits and have to make do with just yourself and your partner with no other assistance or backup. It's a big learning curve - you are required to do absolutely everything from serious investigations to emergency management, licensing and, in particular, working with other agencies and stakeholders for community benefit.

The biggest difference is that you're working with people in their home communities with much less grog and it really gives you a completely new perspective to experience the positive side of indigenous culture. Additionally, you really need to step up, involve yourself and work with the community.  If you put the effort in you'll be rewarded with the respect and acceptance by the locals - and probably be claimed and given a skin name.

What do you do for fun?

It's a case of making your own fun. I have an interest in 4WDing, dirtbikes, photography and rock climbing - all things that I can do out here. You do plenty of 4WDing throughout your daily duties, but I've also got my dirt bike out here and regularly go for rides around the region. There's plenty of water holes, hills,  rocks and lookouts to explore. Police in the region also have a very good relationship with local cattle stations which often result in a good social night out whenever we attend or drop in for a visit.