What does 'academic administration' mean? What does it mean to be an academic in administration, from program/course co-ordinator all the way to Vice-Chancellor? And why would any early career academic want to become involved, especially when first priorities are getting your teaching right and getting published? Many academic administrators, at least once in their tenure, ask themselves the same question and at those moments - when things are tough, support evaporating, resources low, the daggers out and morale out the door - it is a fair enough response. At other times, when you have just got approval for a new course, made your first new appointment to your course/department, influenced a colleague to do something new or different, supported and helped a student through a crisis, argued for and won extra funding, attended your first government or international meeting representing your faculty or institution, and so on, you feel on top of the world. But this is not the only response. I know, I've been doing it for 16 years. This is when you know there is no going back: when you no longer envy colleagues with their heads bowed over desks, neatly avoiding getting caught up in things outside their immediate interests and domain.