Encountering French on a day-to-day basis
was just one of
the new experiences Paviour has had during a 12-month
work term as a Policy Advisor for the Telecommunications
In 1979, the
Australia and Canada agreed to let federal departments
country exchange employees for specified periods. The
exchange is not
done on a person-for-person basis; rather departments
may request an
employee from a
specified area, or employees can apply for exchange
Employees are paid by their own department.
Paviour came to Canada
with her husband
Adrian, a computer programmer, who is on an
Statistics Canada. Originally a
Broadcasting Operations Policy Advisor
with the Department of Transport and Communications in Canberra, Australia's capital, Paviour made arrangements to work as an exchange employee at the Department
"It's been a real
work in Canada," says Paviour. "You don't really have
any idea how other
people live until you live with them."
Despite the fact Canada
and Australia are
countries, there are striking differences,
"even with basic
things like driving on the right hand side of the
road," says Paviour.
Departmental employees Gwen Andrews and Larry Greetham have recently
returned from 27
months in Canberra. Andrews was picked for
the exchange in 1986. Her husband, Larry Greetham, at that time the Acting Chief of Spectrum Control, in ADMSR, went along and ended up working for the Department in Australia as well.
"The agreement between
the two countries allows the spouses of exchange personnel to
apply for jobs
within the public
service," says Greetham. His salary, however, was
paid by the
Andrews, former Director of Public Interest and Access Policy with the Cultural Affairs and Broadcasting Sector, says the exchange provided her with exposure to areas of communications
that she would not have been able to get
"Australia's communications system is, in many ways, about 10 years behind Canada, so I got the opportunity to work on things that have already happened here, such as the expansion of FM radio into rural areas and the
establishment of an independent regulatory body for telecommunications,"
Andrews says her
communications as a whole has broadened
an exchange employee, she was moved to a new area
every nine months. She held the
positions of director of commercial broadcasting
policy, director of radio
policy, and director of multilateral strategy in the Department's
international telecommunications area.
Andrews is now back as
the Director of
Policy and Liaison with the Federal-Provincial
Branch. Her husband returned to become the National
Training Co-ordinator in ADMSR Sector Co-ordination.
Greetham says the first six months in a new
place is the hardest time. "During that time you're finding all the
differences between what's there and what you're used to," he says. "You
gradually stop doing that and become more conditioned to the way things are,
and become much happier."
He says they enjoyed the
warm climate and the working environment, which
is more relaxed and much less formal. He recommends employees there." considering an exchange should try
to contact someone from the
country they're going to before
"We would have never thought to bring
our skates and
skis to Australia if someone
hadn't told us we could do that."