Not Europe, but home for family
Karratha may be a long way from the ski slopes of Europe but for Yara Pilbara general manager Rob Stevens that is no problem, Karratha is an easy place to call home.
Mr Stevens still gets the opportunity to head back to Norway to ski, but has found equal pleasure in more stereotypical Pilbara hobbies since moving to Karratha to take the helm of Yara’s Burrup Peninsula operations.
“You look at my driveway and yes there is a boat, yes there is a camper trailer, yes there is a fourwheel-drive,” he said.
“My family loves the bush camping along the Ningaloo Reef as well as Karijini.
“My favourite is Osprey Bay at Ningaloo Reef, simply waking up there in the morning and ... hanging around snorkelling and standup paddling.”
Having followed him around from the Netherlands to the Middle East and Norway, family was an important factor in agreeing to a red dirt country move according to Mr Stevens.
He said Karratha had proved itself an ideal place for his wife and himself to raise their three daughters, the eldest of which is now back studying in the Netherlands.
“The middle one has a beautiful group of friends at St Luke’s College and my youngest is at Baynton West Primary School,” he said.
“She loves the school, the sports, the music and just playing in the street.
“We’re lucky — the street we’re living in she can just play with the neighbours’ kids.
“I think that is the most you can give your kids, that freedom.”
As for his view on the choice most people have made to leave their lives behind to make the move up here, Mr Stevens hits the nail on the head.
“A lot of people are far away from their family and social networks so I think that is the beauty of Karratha, that it is easy to get help from neighbours and colleagues,” he said.
“Home is where the family is.”
Yara Pilbara general manager Rob Stevens.