Lauren says moving to Emerald wasn’t her first or even second choice when she was job hunting after graduating from JCU with a Bachelor of Education (Primary) in 2019.
But she has since fallen in love with the town, the local people, and the career and social opportunities that have come her way since relocating.
“I like to describe Emerald in three words; country, sunsets and silence; it’s heaven.”
JCU Education Alumni Lauren Krause
“To be honest, I wanted to work in Mackay or Sarina after I graduated, but in saying that, I was happy to work anywhere in the Rockhampton Diocese. I think Emerald is probably one of the best places I could have relocated to — I’m not planning on moving anytime soon. I have made some lifelong friends and the families out here are just gorgeous.”
From outback races, a singing side-hustle, and starring roles in local theatre productions, Lauren says she leads a dream lifestyle in the rural hub. And she urges other graduating teachers to make the move.
“My principal gave me a wonderful piece of advice, he said ‘make sure you make an effort out here, because if you don’t you will struggle. Go out and do things, go out for dinner, do the events, don’t go back home every weekend’.
“That really stuck with me — that piece of advice should be given to anybody living rurally. Don’t worry that you are going to miss something at home; take the time to become part of the community.”
Lauren says rural communities like Emerald set up graduate teachers for success, offering an abundance of support and professional development opportunities.
“Don’t be scared to put the rural option down, you will likely get more support than you will anywhere else,” she says. “It’s a great lifestyle for young people because you can go to the races, you can go to the rodeos, you can do all the fun things.
“Yes, it’s going to be a little bit of an adjustment, yes, I wish I had a Kmart, or an Officeworks, but you get used to it, you adapt. I don’t have any plans to leave at this stage. In fact, I’m considering doing more study, so I’ll probably be out here for a few more years.”