Local returns to take up Post Office manager’s role

The Cobar Post Office is staffed by locals who include Cathy Powell, Kerrie Chandler and Sarah McClure. (Other staff members absent when the photo was taken were
Donna-Lee Fugar and Katherine Dennis.)

It’s not that long ago that Kerrie Chandler was thinking about scaling back at work and she and her husband Bill were looking ahead to retirement.

However a re-think during the COVID-19 pandemic has seen Kerrie move in a totally new direction she’s just been appointed as the Cobar Post Office’s new manager, starting in the role last week.

Kerrie’s been with Australia Post for almost 20 years having first started at the Cobar office on work experience.

She then became a Postie for six years before moving over to the retail side of the business.

For the past 15 months Kerrie has been working at Australia Post in Dubbo and said she absolutely loved it.

“I loved everything—where I lived, working in a big post office and the experiences that I had there—I never would have had them here.

“It was always busy,” Kerrie said.

During that time Kerrie was still a regular visitor to Cobar coming back to spend time with her family. She also did some relief work at the Cobar Post Office including a five week stint over the busy Christmas period.

She said when the COVID-19 pandemic hit however, a lot of things changed.

Kerrie said it really made her think about what she wanted to do and where she wanted to be.

So when she was offered the promotion of manager in Cobar, Kerrie said it only took her a few days to make the decision to return.

“It just panned out well,” she said.

“It is good to be back and it’s good that so many people are happy to see me back.

“It’s nice to see familiar faces, especially in the older community.”

Kerrie said that’s the best part of her job, the personal interactions with customers.

“If I didn’t like people, then I’m definitely in the wrong job,” she joked.

Kerrie is one of five locals now working in the retail section of the post office, one of whom is former Cobar resident, Cathy Powell (nee Roberts).

Cathy said she made the decision last year to return to Cobar to help out her parents.

“Having worked in aged care for the past five years, I understood where mum and dad were coming from having to get to Dubbo for specialists appointments etc and so I thought I would come and help them out,” Cathy said.

After seeing the advertisement for the vacant retail position at the Cobar Post Office, Cathy applied and began working there last August.

“I was trying to do fly-in/fly-out back to Tweed Heads every three months but that hasn’t really worked with COVID-19,” she said.

Cathy said she’s enjoyed being back in Cobar, trying to remember people’s names as they come into the post office and catching up with old school friends.