I was told, "Thank you for your deployment, you are never going to be promoted above the rank of Lieutenant Colonel and here's your job in Melbourne". And I was devastated and that's why that adjustment for me, that transition from a deployed in an important role to one that was then presented as the end of my career, I was devastated, absolutely.
And I thought, "Oh, no, I don't want this to be the end of my career". And so, "What am I going to do with this job now, to now put me on a path for a next career?" And it just so happened that my next career was still serving and I was able to be to go on because I made something of that new job, which I'm very proud of that. It was devastating to be told that was the end of my career but it was interesting back then, and this is not a criticism, it was just one career was to take precedent and it was selected that his career would take precedent, I had been told that Bougainville would be a good opportunity for me to be promoted to further ranks but when I came back that wasn't the case.
But I do have to look back and say, "Well, actually, they did me a favour". The job I went to then took me on a new path in the Australian Army which was into that corporate services area and base management and delivering logistics to our 80 odd bases around Australia. If I hadn't have gone into that job, I would have never been promoted to a major general.
It took me up along a completely different path. If potentially I had gone into a job after Bougainville, that was still that type of job, I would have never reached Major General. So you think sometimes you're losing but actually it's a win. If you take that opportunity and not see it as a step backwards, take it as an opportunity and say, "What am I going to do with this?" And I was very fortunate to connect with some incredible leaders who wanted to help me along that path and I've never regretted that job and I've always been grateful that I went into that job after Bougainville.