As Lord Mayor, I get to meet so many people from all walks of life. I recently had the idea of using my blog to spotlight some of the wonderful individuals within our Darwin community. I hope you’ll enjoy this new feature of my blog.
Amy Hetherington is a comedian, business owner, arts worker and youth advocate who has lived in Darwin for 5 years. She’s just bought a home in Wanguri with her husband and is working towards the exclusive title of ‘Darwin Local’ (long while to go yet Amy!). Here’s her take on life as a born again Darwinian.
Evolving for Darwin
It’s a clever play on words and the title of a blog I started when I moved to Darwin in 2012. It was a big move (4,041.5 km to be exact) and a big change for me as I left a solid profession and family in WA to support my boyfriend’s engineering career.
In the about section of the blog I wrote about my anxieties to “find a job, sell my things, drive to Darwin, find a home, make new friends and try to become a local”.
I wish I could have told past Amy that it was all going to be ok – in fact it would end up being the best decision of my life.
I love Darwin. I love the size (not too big, not too small). I love the sense of community. I love the multiculturalism. I love that we have a drive to prove ourselves but also a stubborn frontier mentality. I love the people. I love the opportunities. And I love what it’s done to me.
If you’d have told Amy in 2012 when she started that blog that in 5 years time she would have started a business, toured as a professional stand up comedian and bought a house in Darwin with her husband… she would have laughed so hard. But here we are.
There is something so empowering about Darwin. It’s the sort of place that rewards you for the effort you put into the community. And if you’re willing to put your hand up, it’ll present you with an endless stream of opportunities (inevitably resulting in you learning to juggle a dozen hats).
But. It’s important to say for those new to Darwin, it takes time and effort for Darwin to open its abundance.
It took me 6 months to really find my place in the Top End. And it was volunteering with a City of Darwin youth program that started it for me. I sent a random email out to offer my skills in media to mentor young people and a City of Darwin staff member (Sean Pardy actually) took a gamble on the random southerner and invited me to get involved.
And from there, there was no looking back.
For those of you who are new to the Darwin community here are my five bits of advice for you… I promise it’ll help you evolve for Darwin
– Hair styles will flatten in the humidity, makeup will drip from sweat and thongs ARE shoes. Let go of your expectations and just embrace being you, the moment you stop fighting it the more you’ll love the authenticity.
– Volunteer. Put your hand up and get involved in something. Darwin rewards those who are willing to give first and it’s the best way to meet new people.
– Go see some strange music or performance from the local arts community. There are so many unique voices in Darwin and our arts scene celebrates them with vigour.
– Bully family and friends to visit you here… there is something quite awesome about showing them around and bragging about your new home.
– Do something out of your comfort zone in Darwin. Try a new sport or join a club or do something adventurous.
For me it was to try stand up comedy… it was a dare to give it a go at Happy Yess… and I just performed at the Melbourne International Comedy Festival. Doing things out of your comfort zone in Darwin will ALWAYS lead you to something crazy and fun.
Thank you Darwin for embracing me and making me evolve.
PS Want to connect? I’m on Facebook – www.facebook.com/amyhetheringtoncomedy