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Some days the travel I do for business exposes the extremes of Australia more than others. Today was such a day – I have been in Cairns to speak at a newsagent’s conference.

Beyond the extreme difference in weather I experienced in Melbourne this morning and Cairns this afternoon, there is an extraordinary difference in doing business. Here in Cairns, business is less formal and dress more relaxed. I don’t know how they do it frankly – being this relaxed I’d feel like I am in holiday mode the whole time. I noticed it walking into some businesses late today – it was quite jarring, jostling with people in holiday mode with one’s own head in a business space. I felt guilty, I was here for business yet enjoying the walk along past the water, listening to some good music. (Reading that back, I suspect I am not making sense.)

I guess locals, true locals, get used to it. It would take me a while.

Back at the conference – once you strip away the weather, dress code and pace of life and shut out the sound of the tourists, the core business challenges are the same and the approach in Cairns as businesslike as anywhere. They must be used to living in paradise.

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