OUR CITY OUR FUTURE - Janice Flood
AT 24 YEARS of age, Janice Flood made a decision that would change her life forever - with a simple eeny, meeny, miny, moe.
Torn between two dream jobs, Mrs Flood made a decision that saw her leave the wilds of her home Canada, and travel halfway around the world to take up a teaching position in Queensland.
"At the time I was teaching on a First Nation reserve about 500 miles north of Winnipeg,” she said.
"The people who lived there were Cree and Algonquin Indian and the only way to get in was by a chartered plane.
"It was wonderful, I loved the first nation Indian people and their wonderful sense of humour.”
A taste of this life only fuelled Mrs Flood's thirst for further adventures and she applied for teaching roles in the Yukon, the far northern Arctic reaches of the Canadian wilderness.
Around the same time, she heard of a recruitment drive, seeking teachers with degrees for work in Queensland.
"I had studied Australia when I was a Brownie,” Mrs Flood said.
"And I really wanted to go. So I applied.
"Then one day on the reserve I received two telegrams - I had been accepted for both positions.
Mrs Flood said the news devastated her.
"Only in so much as I now had to make a decision between the two,” she said.
"So I shut my eyes and started, eeny....meeny.
"Decision-making has never been my forte.”
In hindsight, Mrs Flood said she thought the opportunity to take a teaching job in Australia, might have been a one off.
"I may have had the chance to reapply for the Yukon job, but maybe not this one,” she said.
"There were over 1000 teachers from all over the world at my intake.
"From the UK, the US, Canada, Sweden, France - all starting life in Australia in the mid 1970s.”
Mrs Flood met now husband David, and has lived here ever since apart from the two years the couple spent teaching in Canada.
"We were living on 40 acres near Stanthorpe and we thought we needed more land, so we came to Warwick to check out 485 acres at Upper Freestone,” she said.
"We fell in love with it and still live there to this day.”
These days Mrs Flood throws herself into organising the Southern Downs Heritage Festival. Anyone wanting to get involved can get in contact at email@example.com