I have been the Postmistress on Macquarie Island for the last year, living out a childhood dream (think Postman Pat) and finessing my stamping skills — they have greatly improved.
Before we left Australia, a whole year ago now, I attended a half-day training course at Australia Post in Kingston, Tasmania. Thankfully I passed the two 40-page exams on postal security, phew, and was signed off as a Community Postal Agent.
Half of my job has been selling postcards and stamps to the tourists who have visited us on various ships over the summer months. The other half is processing the mailbags that arrive during ship resupply visits in November and March. Philatelists from all over the world send in mail and other paraphernalia to be stamped by the elusive Macquarie Island postmark.
The full mailbag leaves once a year (with us in a week or two) so some enthusiasts have been waiting for their return mail for 12 months or more. Good things take time.