Vicki and Keith Buchanan say that marriage is better than a job promotion.
Vicki and Keith Buchanan say that marriage is better than a job promotion. Brenda Strong

Couple bucks trend as young workers choose loot over love

KEITH Buchanan has the best of both worlds, but don't tell that to the women of Gladstone.

The married father-of-three has been living in the industrial mining town for almost 20 years with his wife Vicki, and he hasn't thought twice about his decision to choose family over his career.

"For me family has been, and is, the most important thing in my life," the QAL diesel fitter and motor mechanic said.

"Having a family early on was always the plan for us."

But it seems Keith and Vicki's decision to focus on their relationship over their careers goes against the trend in the mining town, with many young professionals interested in chasing the big bucks over commitment.

Last month a survey commissioned by Universal Pictures Australia found two thirds of Australian women would rather a promotion over a proposal.

The survey also found more women were interested in becoming financially secure as opposed to being in a committed relationship.

Vicki, Keith's wife of 35 years, is proud not be included in that statistic.

"There are plenty of people who have put their careers on hold for their families and I have never been terribly career-orientated," Vicki says.

"I have three children and they each have three grandchildren. It was important for me to raise my children, instead of chasing a career."

Keith and Vicki met at university, where a chance dinner date with friends blossomed into a lifelong romance.

The pair wed in 1977 and spent the past 19 years building their lives in Gladstone.

"Maybe people can't find the right one," Vicki says, "but I think people have issues of commitment in this town."

And it seems Vicki isn't alone in her view on relationships.

In 2010, an Australian Bureau of Statistics report found more Queenslanders were interested in tying the knot than filing for divorce.

Relationships Australia Gladstone counsellor Denise Reichenbach said being in a committed relationship came down to what either person was willing to sacrifice for the relationship.

"It's only natural human behaviour to want to be in love," Ms Reichenbach said.

"But I think a lot of people who say their careers are more important than a relationship have had a bad experience in the past and don't want to engage in any form of commitment in the future."

As for those wanting to live the dream like Keith, Ms Reichenbach said there was the possibility of having both.

"It depends on whether you're motivated and willing to work towards both a career and a relationship."

And Keith agrees.

"I find more and more people, especially the younger workers, are finding partners and settling down in Gladstone," Keith says.

What would you prefer?

This poll ended on 19 November 2012.

Current Results

A promotion

27%

A proposal

30%

Both

41%

This is not a scientific poll. The results reflect only the opinions of those who chose to participate.



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