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PPWR Reflections 2017: FIGT Second Impressions by Jane Barron

05 May 2017 3:33 PM | FIGT Blog Editor (Administrator)

The Parfitt-Pascoe Writing Residency (PPWR) encourages development of writing and blogging skills with scholarship support for the FIGT Annual Conference. 

2017 PPWR recipients were: Jane Barron, Tone Delin Indrelid, Mariam Ottimofiore, and Sarah Stoner. Congratulations!

We continue with our post from last week where we highlighted Mariam Ottimofiore and her write-up of the conference by learning more about Jane Barron's experience at the FIGT conference. 

 Jane Barron with FIGT members (third from left). 

There was plenty of opportunity to anticipate the coming days of the 2017 Families in Global Transition (FIGT) Conference during my 39-hour journey to The Hague from Sydney, Australia. I would not have missed those two flights and two trains for anything, knowing what was ahead of me. #FIGT17NL was my second FIGT conference and the connections made last year have propelled me forward, professionally and personally, over the past 12 months. 

I was not disappointed. Even in the registration queue on Day One, I was reminded of why I had returned. Joining the back of the line, the attendee before me turned around to say hello, introduce herself and before we knew it, we had found common ground. This greeting set the tone for the entire conference. It was no coincidence that this year’s theme was Building on the Basics: Creating Your Tribe on the Move; after all this is what we do as families in global transition. 228 attendees from 36 countries spent three days amongst our Tribe – a place where we could connect, share, learn, inspire and most importantly, belong. 

It was such a privilege to be immersed in the depth of experience, wisdom, authenticity and intentionality from across the globe. As a self-confessed research junkie, I sat riveted listening to the latest findings on Third Culture Kids (TCKs), from their unique mindset to their educational experiences. Yet I was equally as captivated by the team from The International School of Brussels as we actively engaged in their redefined admissions process. I gained a new understanding from Kim Hunt and those who sat around her Kitchen Table Conversation discussing Military TCKs and was taken into the world of Third Culture Families, those with an international track record and no defined plans or home base to return to, by Marielle de Spa. These were just some of the enlightening and enriching moments, each of which provided inspiration for personal and professional reflection, which is ongoing.  

The variety of presentation formats is one aspect of FIGT that really sets it apart as a conference, in my opinion. The Keynote speakers and Concurrent Sessions provided well-founded learning opportunities, whilst the Kitchen Table Conversations, Early Bird Forums and Panel Discussions provided the freedom for sharing and collaboration. As a Writers’ Forum presenter, I learned almost as much as I imparted. One of my favorite formats was the Ignite – the fast-paced session exposing attendees to a variety of viewpoints and experiences. In each six minute 40 second presentation, I was transported to new places and new perspectives.

Whether it’s the connections ignited and re-ignited, the knowledge gleaned, the perspectives gained or the self-reflection provoked, this year’s FIGT conference was like coming Home. It’s where I added another layer of understanding of who I am and the role I play in supporting my family and the broader Tribe of families in global transition. I count it as a privilege to travel nine time zones to be amongst like-minded global citizens – My Tribe. 

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Thanks Jane for your contributions to our FIGT community! Read more next week from another PPWR contributor. 

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