In November 2014, Miok Choi-Payne will celebrate eight years in Defence, the last half of which has been in the Navy and then in the Chief Finance Officer Group.
Canberra is a long way from the Republic of Korea where Miok was born. She lived with her family in the countryside and moved to Seoul in Year 8. After leaving school, she secured an administrative job with Samsung.
When Miok moved to Australia in the early 1990s, she spoke little English and was keen to improve her language skills and take advantage of educational opportunities. Living in Nowra and married with small children, she studied part-time, successfully completing a Certificate IV in Accounting. She obtained an accounting job and went on to complete a Diploma in Accounting.
Miok moved to Canberra and joined the APS, working in the DMO and completing an accounting-related degree through the University of Wollongong with Studybank support. Determined, she commuted to the coast during the last year of her degree.
She said she loves ‘number crunching’, which is why she chose an accounting course, eventually becoming a CPA two and a half years ago. However, she said she was quite pleased to have survived her first end-of-financial-year in the Treasury and Banking Directorate Cash Team.
Because the Defence environment offers good work–life balance, Miok said she is able to exercise regularly. One of her recent achievements was jogging 10 kilometres in less than 60 minutes during the Australian Running Festival in April 2014, and in August 2014 she participated for the first time in the City2Surf race in Sydney.
While Miok is now an Australian citizen, she still keeps ties with Korea. She participates in local community events, including assisting at the Korean food stall during Canberra’s Multicultural Festival.
Of her many achievements, Miok said she was proudest of her family, including her husband and two sons.