More to the re­gion than first ex­pected

Pilbara News - - Opinion - Ali­cia Per­era

■ An­other year, an­other city slicker comes to the Pil­bara and writes about the stereo­typ­i­cal ex­pec­ta­tions they had of their time here.

Like so many, I had vi­sions of noth­ing but red dirt, suf­fo­cat­ing heat and hordes of work­ers in high-vis vests.

In my case, the stereo­types were prob­a­bly more ex­ag­ger­ated than most be­cause I’ve never ven­tured up north un­til now.

But in the few days I’ve been here, I’ve al­ready learnt there’s a lot more to Kar­ratha than most Perth res­i­dents as­sume.

I’m ex­cited to be join­ing the Pil­bara News as a jour­nal­ist, a role that I know in­volves a lot of re­spon­si­bil­ity to the com­mu­nity.

I’ve spent the past few years try­ing to break into jour­nal­ism af­ter chang­ing ca­reer di­rec­tion from law.

The Pil­bara is, thank­fully, a world away from the flashy cor­po­rate en­vi­ron­ment of Perth.

The re­laxed life­style here is a breath of fresh air. Kar­ratha is prov­ing to be a pleas­ant sur­prise.

Ev­ery­one I’ve met here so far has been so wel­com­ing and the more I learn about the area, the more fas­ci­nat­ing it be­comes.

There was a dis­tinct lack of high-vis cloth­ing on my flight here, and walk­ing around town it’s clear not ev­ery­one is in­volved in min­ing.

I think you ac­tu­ally have to be here to ap­pre­ci­ate the re­gion’s land­scape.

The Pil­bara has a harsh beauty of its own, and driv­ing along seem­ingly end­less roads through the wide, flat land gives an im­mense sense of free­dom.

Learn­ing about lo­cal in­dige­nous peo­ple’s deep con­nec­tion to this land also gives it an in­trigu­ing spir­i­tual di­men­sion — a per­spec­tive that just isn’t pos­si­ble to get in Perth.

I’m look­ing for­ward to ex­pe­ri­enc­ing “the real Aus­tralia” up here in the Pil­bara, and fi­nally look­ing be­yond the stereo­types to hear the real sto­ries of this unique part of WA.

Pic­ture: Tom Zaun­mayr

Ali­cia Per­era takes in the views of Kar­ratha.

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