President: Diana Greer
I was with the National Audit Office in Spring Gardens, when I met Adrian. (Yes, he married the auditor!). I have accompanied Adrian to Tokyo, London, Maseru (Lesotho), Lusaka, Manchester, Moscow and Singapore.
On these postings I have worked as a book-keeper for a school and for Zambia's fledgling internet company. In Moscow I worked as a TEFL teacher, after the BCFA helped me to get the CELTA qualification.
I was on school governing boards in Lesotho and Moscow. We have four children, who have enjoyed rich experiences overseas. Many good ones and a few difficult ones.
I think the postings have made us resourceful as a family. This is my second time on the committee and hope my experience can be useful.
Chair: David Sinclair-Jones
Current Location: UK
Previous postings: Bangkok (twice), Warsaw, Vienna, Brussels and São Paulo.
David Sinclair-Jones has trailed around the world for twenty-five years in the wake of his wife, Ruth, acquiring three children and various pets on the way. Six tours and three home postings have given him and his family wide experience of “starting again”.
David has a portable career-cum-hobby as a copy-editor and translator. He is also used to cooking, often for large numbers at relatively short notice, and has served his time as chair of the PTA at a British school abroad. Children’s education is where he feels the BCFA can be especially helpful to its members. He and Ruth have seen their children at day schools (at post and back in London), at boarding school and at university, with all the problems one expects with such a peripatetic lifestyle.
Piloting children through their school years is becoming more problematic as career paths give way to projects and contracts, often necessitating moves at ever shorter notice. David hopes to pass on the fruits of the family’s experience in this area and in the general ins and outs of moving to and fro across the world.
Manager: Joy Amobi
I moved into the role as maternity cover in October 2014, from my role as an International Mobility Adviser at the British Council with the International Mobility Team, so I am aware of the challenges involved in moving posts and of relocation in general.
Prior to this I spent a number of years working in the Abuja office of the British Council. First as a customer services officer and a short stint as the manager of the Knowledge and Learning Centre as it used to be known before relocating to the UK. This gave me an appreciation of expat living and the challenges they face adapting to a new environment having worked closely with some as well as helping them settle down in the country.
My aim alongside the committee members is to support you, so please do not hesitate to contact me with any ideas/suggestions you might have to develop/improve on the information and support the BCFA provides.
Current Location: UK
Previous Postings: South Korea, Kuwait, Libya, Qatar
Jane worked for the British Council in London for four years before embarking on overseas postings with Tony to South Korea and Kuwait, and later to Libya and Qatar.
Having settled back home on two occasions, with a young family and then teenagers, she understands how demanding and disorientating re-engaging with your own culture can be and contributed to a recent joint Shell/BC families seminar on ‘Repatriation’.
Jane has taken part in briefing sessions on international mobility for Farnham Castle and has also experienced the challenges of being alone in UK while Tony has been on unaccompanied postings to Afghanistan and Pakistan.
Current Location: UK
Previous postings: Nigeria,Singapore, India
I first became associated with the BCFA when my husband Andrew joined the British Council in 1979 – If I remember rightly it was called the British Council Wives’ Association back in those days!! Our first posting was to Lagos, Nigeria in 1981 followed by Singapore where our two children were born. After a spell back in London we were posted to New Delhi in 1993 for four years. After another stint in London we went back to Singapore where we had a party to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the BCFA. We returned to the UK in early 2007.
I am a secondary trained Languages teacher (French and German) and have also done some EFL so I have usually managed to find work when I have wanted it. One of the bonuses of the British Council lifestyle as far as a linguist is concerned is the opportunity to add to the repertoire – so I have picked up some Malay, Hindi and Mandarin on the way. Currently I am doing odd bits of teaching and consultancy work.
I am particularly interested in education matters and the way in which our itinerant lifestyle affects our children. I also hope that my experience of moving away from and back to the UK, both with and without children, will be of benefit of members.
Current Location: UK
Previous Postings: Russia, Qatar, Jordan, Dubai, Portugal, Saudi Arabia
I have been involved in Education for most of my life. As an English teacher, I worked initially in comprehensives in Britain and subsequently taught EFL in schools and universities abroad.
My husband, Allen, and I have been posted through the British Council to Russia, Qatar, Jordan, Dubai, Portugal and Saudi Arabia. After over twenty years overseas, we returned home four years ago. I got ECDL computer qualifications which enabled me to find a job very quickly and I then worked in the International Office at Oxford University advising overseas students. It seemed like a natural career progression after my experience working for the British Council abroad.
My mother is Swedish and I have a large, extended family in the south of Sweden. We have three sons, Tom, George and Henry.
Having felt rather isolated in some of our postings (particularly Saudi Arabia), I felt I could encourage and advise others in a similar position about how to survive (and, even thrive!) in difficult posts and that is why I was pleased to be asked to join the BCFA committee. I also feel that I could use my own experience in gaining employment upon returning to the UK to benefit those in the same situation (particularly the more “mature” returnees!)