Episode 153 – From Singapore to Sydney before a Seachange to the Northern Rivers with lawyer Cara Austen
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This week’s episode is a special one for me! I got to hang out with a lawyer I have come to know and love this past year in Cara Austen. Now putting Cara in a box and giving her a label as to just what sort of lawyer she is is itself a trick! This year Cara has been busily building her own practice in Grafton a town in the Northern Rivers of NSW where she is specialising in working with food and agriculture businesses. All of that will make so much sense when you hear the amazing and interesting path that Cara’s law career has taken her on.
Now you do need to know that Cara is one fun, vibrant and determined woman! Law may not have been her first choice, or even her second but she found her way there and hasn’t looked back. Her career has taken her all over the world- literally- and she is a self confessed law nerd! Having spent much of her career working in in-house roles all over Asia and Sydney, Cara has a deep love of the business of law and I think I can say this is in part what drove her decision to pivot this year and build her own unique practice.
The decision to leave her busy life in Sydney and relocate with her family to Grafton is the perfect Sea Change. At the time I am sending this interview live, Cara is only moments away from having her second child and like so many of us, is determined to find a way to ensure her career and her life outside of the law can work together! This is where her new business Twine comes in and already Cara is building an innovative practice that services businesses all over Australia from the comfort of her home office.
In this interview, Cara Austen and I also chatted about-
- If Cara was not a lawyer she would have been in the business world in some way.
- Cara grew up in Penrith, Sydney and after graduating high school joined the army! Yes the army!
- After Cara decided that the military was not for her she started to follow in her grandmother’s footsteps of becoming a lawyer.
- Cara enrolled in the University of New England, and started her double degree in Arts and Law.
- Although her family still lived in Sydney, Cara moved to Armidale, New South Wales to attend University on campus to gain some independence.
- Halfway through her degree Cara moved to Canada for a year and her love for all things international was sparked.
- Cara started her legal career in Canberra having the chance to enjoy a few different roles in the public service.
- After graduation, Cara worked in private practice in contractual law, tax law and IT law and is a self confessed ‘law nerd’.
- Cara moved to Singapore to work for a Japanese company where she fast learned just how different business in another culture can be!
- Living and working in Singapore as an expat and lawyer.
- Making assumptions in the law.
- Being a white woman living in Asia and how this affected Cara’s career.
- Cara’s decision to move back to Australia after the birth of her first child.
- Cara started working for a US multinational and her experience of moving from a Japanese corporation to a US corporation.
- Working remotely for an international business- how it worked for Cara and her team.
- Cara’s decision to move to Grafton and establish her own firm- Twine Business and Law.
- Cara’s predictions for the next year both in and outside of the law.
- Cara’s Happiness Tip.
Sit back and enjoy this interview with Cara Austen.