Scottish bird flies Home

Date published
3 Mar 2016

Louise standing beside NZLocums placement map

NZLocums has bid a fond farewell to Louise Pert, Project Coordinator extraordinaire, who has flown home to Scotland.

For the past six years Louise has led no less than 64 orientation courses. Since taking on the course coordination role she’s grown the marketing activities, gained CME accreditation, and included online components into the course. She views the course as “a real draw card for overseas candidates”.

“I enjoyed helping people with their transition into a new country. I noticed a change in the demeanour of our course candidates, by the end of the course attendees had made friends with each other, and gained new confidences about the New Zealand health system. They always left excited to go to their new placements.”

She also enjoyed the diversity of the role, “In one month I could meet someone from Canada, UK, USA, Europe and places as far-flung as Turks and Caicos Islands. I enjoyed learning about where candidates are from, what their lives are like, what brought them here and what they want to experience in New Zealand.”

The candidate that most stood out in Louise’s memory was a doctor originally from Africa. He picked up on Louise’s Scottish accent and guessed she was from Aberdeen, she said “no, close”, he guessed Montrose, when she said “yes” he literally almost fell off his seat in surprise, his comical reaction is now permanently imprinted in her memory. The doctor’s previous posting had been Montrose.  It was at that point Louise remembered thinking how startlingly small the world that we live in is.

Some of the aspects Louise most enjoyed about her time in New Zealand was the friendliness of the people. “You could stop anyone in the street and ask for directions. Compared to the UK, people were in less of a rush. New Zealanders have a habit of smiling and making eye contact; their kids enjoy a large degree of freedom, often playing outside in the parks and taking advantage of the mild climate.”

While travelling around Aotearoa, she enjoyed the dramatic variations in landscape, from the sub-tropical Coromandel to the mud pools of Rotorua. She loved the green fauna of the South Island's west coast, the golden grasses of the Canterbury plains, and the “champagne air” of Otago's mountains.

When pressed for a favourite place, she admitted that Arrowtown held a special appeal. “It’s quaint, and I’ve always enjoyed the countryside, plus there’s a great little pub (very Scottish!). She recalled the locals there sharing stories with her about their time spent living in the UK, and how it compared to NZ.”

Upon returning to Scotland, Louise looks forward to being closer to her family, and the land her heart belongs to. She plans to explore more of Europe, and discover the places described to her by former candidates. Louise was accompanied home by her Scottish partner Doug and New Zealand acquired Cockatiel, Sooty.