City girl’s move bit­ter­sweet

Pilbara News - - Opinion - Court­ney Fowler

A year-and-a-half ago to the day, I took a gi­ant leap of faith and de­cided to leave my friends and fam­ily in Perth, pack up house and quit my of­fice job to start a new ca­reer and make a fresh start in life.

The only thing I knew about Kar­ratha be­fore I got here was that it was a min­ing town that was home to some fa­mous ca­nine called Red Dog that ev­ery­one went crazy for and there was a lot of red dirt.

A week be­fore I left, peo­ple started telling me I was crazy. What could there pos­si­bly be for me in Kar­ratha that I couldn’t get in Perth?

I wasn’t even sure how I would sur­vive a year out of the city or if I even had it in me to be a jour­nal­ist. I was pet­ri­fied but the thought of not mak­ing a change to what had be­come some­what of a mis­er­able and mo­not­o­nous life scared me more.

So I quit my day job, packed up my house and got on an early flight full of blokes wear­ing high-vis won­der­ing where all the chicks were at?

Turns out, my gi­ant leap of faith was one of the best de­ci­sions I ever made for my ca­reer and my life.

It took me two days to re­alise how ridicu­lous my pre-con­cep­tions of Kar­ratha were ... I knew al­most im­me­di­ately this was some­where I could call home.

Com­ing here made me feel alive again; I fi­nally had found a job which gave me pur­pose, in a won­der­ful com­mu­nity which I have grown more pas­sion­ate about day by day.

Over th­ese past 18 months I came to re­alise there was so much more to Kar­ratha than the iron ore that gets dug out of our vast, dusty land.

It is home to some of the most spec­tac­u­lar stretches of coast imag­in­able, with 40,000-year-old Abo­rig­i­nal rock art and beau­ti­ful green hills which stretch as far as the eye can see.

The beauty of this place takes my breath away ev­ery day and I feel in­cred­i­bly lucky to be part of the small mi­nor­ity of West Aus­tralians who have been lucky enough to ex­pe­ri­ence all that the Pil­bara life has to of­fer.

My time in the re­gion has given me pre­cious mem­o­ries, new friends and ex­pe­ri­ences I will take with me for the rest of my life.

A friend re­cently asked me what I loved most about my time liv­ing in Kar­ratha, and with­out a doubt it has to be the peo­ple ... all you guys who have wel­comed this “city girl” into the com­mu­nity with open arms.

I can hon­estly say this town has been the best sec­ond home I could have asked for but my time in K-town has come to an end and I am on to my next ad­ven­ture.

Luck­ily, I’ll only be up the road in Hed­land tak­ing on a new po­si­tion at the news­pa­per, the North West Tele­graph, so you don’t get rid of me that eas­ily.

Leav­ing is a bit­ter­sweet feel­ing for me but I am look­ing for­ward to this next ex­cit­ing chap­ter in my great North­ern ad­ven­ture.

So bye for now, Kar­ratha. It has been a plea­sure.

A whale calf breaches near Malus Is­land in late Septem­ber. Pic­ture: War­ren An­gel

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