Today is the tenth anniversary of the submission of my PhD thesis, ‘”Such a longing”: black and white children in welfare in New South Wales and Tasmania, 1880 to 1940’. I graduated in September 2007, after a revision or two. I’ve had a pretty good run since then – a couple of years as a project officer, a couple as a cultural development officer, three wonderful years as a research fellow on the Find & Connect web resource, before heading to the Dictionary of Sydney and writing New South Wales and the Great War. And now I’ve come back to the substance of my PhD, in a way, working as a senior policy officer at the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sex Abuse.
Workwise, it’s all been good and I’m pretty happy with that particular life choice. My son was born 18 months after I started my PhD, which I don’t really recommend, although he is the best thing I’ve ever done. Once when he was four and tucking him into bed he told me he wanted to stay up to help me write my PhD. It seemed like it would take forever and it did because he was six before I was done with it. Now, of course, he’s six foot two. Ten years. Wow.