At first it was to be temporary thing - I'd move to Sydney, but still keep an eye on the job situation in Tasmania. If something good came up, and if (definitely the more uncertain if, given my experience of unexpectedly brutal job market in Tasmania) I got the job, I'd move back in a heartbeat.
Now I see that my time in Sydney is not so going to be so temporary. I'm likely to be here for at least 3 more years. I'm not going to be looking at jobs in Tasmania anymore. My new job in Sydney is just what I've been looking for, and I have no pipedreams that there might be an equivalent job available in Tasmania which could entice me back. This isn't to put down Tasmania, it's just stating the fact that the way my career has developed, I am most competitive in legal and special library positions - of which there are very few in Tasmania. Although I'd be willing to work in just about any sort of library position, in most situations employers would prefer somebody with a background in their particular sort of library - whether it be public, school, academic science / humanities etc. This hasn't changed.
I can't just breeze into a public library position feeling all superior because of my academic or legal or special library experience, and expect a public library to fall over itself to hire me.
Yes, some specialties are generally paid more than others. Others might be more comfortable places to work - or provide access to more expensive resources/toys or be more intellectually interesting. While others may be rewarding in other ways. How is it possible to quantify the knowledge that one's work is clearly and unambiguously furthering one's goals in politics and social justice? The best or most ideal sub-specialty will vary according to each individual's priorities and situation.
I have made the decision although Tasmania is a beautiful place, and although I miss family and friends who are there, I cannot be sustained by these alone if I am miserable because I am unemployed or underemployed. I'm better off living in Sydney, where I have far superior employment options, and deal with feeling homesick for Tasmania. I can alleviate these symptoms by participating in the annual or bi-annual pilgrimage rites observed by other Gen-X members of the Tasmanian diaspora. I've already booked my trip back to Hobart for the week between Christmas and New Year's Day.
A few words about my current home in Sydney. Sydney gets a very bad rap amongst the rest of Australia. It is viewed as the epitome of the excesses of Australia's urbanization. Most Australians live in cities, and for the majority who don't live in Sydney, it's comforting to think, well at least my place is not as crazy and frantic as Sydney. In some ways it's true. Nowhere else in Australia can you see the extremes and chasms in Australian society than in Sydney, where the beggars and derelict haunt the same streets frequented by the Armani and Prada-clad beautiful and successful people. I've never seen people as hurried and stressed as certain people in Sydney - but having lived here for a year, I understand how people can stress out here. You can't really judge Sydneysiders until you've stood in their shoes and can see what it's like to live here. I've also found people in Sydney refreshingly accepting of people from different places, as many are from other places themselves. After all the negatives, why would any one move to this huge city which seems to be choking its own growth and expensive real estate? The bleak view is that people move to Sydney when their hopes dry up in their original home. But I prefer to think maybe it's that fairy tale notion of moving to the big city to find one's fortune. I vaguely remember Mary Donaldson from my high school, Taroona High. She certainly found her dreams in Sydney.