Jannette's Auckland Speech
Hi, my name is Jannette and I'm a Brat.
I didn't realize I had this condition, as a Air Force kid, we never lived on base before or after Singapore, so didn't have the association with other military kids.
In fact when we returned to Christchurch, NZ in 1981, my first week back at a NZ school was form 3, high school, and it was pretty damn awful, I learned very quickly not to tell anyone that I had been living overseas.
Our first English assignment was to tell the class what we had done over summer; up I stand and tell them about moving back to NZ. That went down like a lead balloon, and the classes automatically assuming you were rich, not to mention the fact most kids had never heard of Singapore.
I was also sent to the Principal's office, my mum had only bought me a winter school uniform, and as such I was the only kid in the school wearing it. So sitting in front of the Principal's office, the door opens and there standing before me was Derek Chapman, my history, social studies teacher from Singapore who had only returned to NZ a couple of months previous. After half hour of a catch-up on all the happenings in Singers, I was given a uniform exemption for the year. Yip, it sure helps to have friends in high places.
Pretty much from 1981 to 2003, I put my Singers life in the background. As with a lot of brats, we don't make long term friends, you don't join clubs and our lives are just a bit different. You don't really feel like you belong, when people ask where you from are, it's always the last base, not where you were born.
That changed for me in August 2003 while reading a NZ Womans Weekly that I saw a notice asking for Aussies and Kiwis that had gone to school in Singapore.
With a grin from ear to ear, I said, THAT'S ME.
As soon as I got home an email was fired off to Jo-Anne, and joined this exclusive and rewarding club, finally I belong somewhere.
I'M A ANZ MILITARY BRAT AND DAMN PROUD OF IT.
I would like to propose a toast to Jo-Anne Rendle for changing all our lives, and giving me excuses to have decent holidays in exotic places, yeah ok, so it's Auckland this year!