It took me 30 years and a long, unruly Mr Squiggle line on the map to finally get to Eyre Peninsula and I am thrilled to be here. I was born in Gove, Northern Territory ahead of two younger brothers and we grew up in the tiny town of Burra, South Australia running around our dad’s newspaper office. Before I finished year 12 exams I started my journalism cadetship in that office. I finished it at my next posting, all the way out in Longreach, Queensland where we covered all sorts of industry issues, zany events like sheep and camel races, environmental disasters like cane toad invasions and floods, from Birdsville to Mount Isa and everywhere in between.
I came home to SA one Christmas before crossing the Nullarbor and working in Albany for a short time, then parked up at Broome for five amazing years. This is an enigma of a tourist town, regional centre and industry hub, and a melting pot of cultures, histories and environmental treasures. A fascinating experience for a journalist, and precious experiences for any person.
For many the Kimberley is a stepping stone and at first it felt hard to convince people I was staying long enough to be worth making friends with, but the friendships I made were as close as family because family can be so far away when you live in a place like that. Some people never leave, others try to leave but keep coming back, and I know why. I will go back one day, maybe not to live but at least to visit.
After Samuel (now six) was born I moved back to Burra to be closer to family, I learned to appreciate my home town in a new way after my adventures. My partner Shane and I spent time on a farm in the beautiful district of Mount Bryan and loved every minute there, before a new opportunity arrived. Almost two years ago we drove a couple of very loaded trailers down the Lincoln Highway and made our home in Tumby Bay. Shane has a job driving trucks for a local company, which has allowed him to see much more of the EP than I have, as he mainly transports sheep and cattle to markets and abattoirs.
Since becoming a parent I started retraining, which led to work in bookkeeping at a farm supplies store at Cummins and I am lucky to take the gorgeous drive over the hills from Tumby most weekdays. In between I am busy with commitments of being a school mum, involved in our local church, sports, seeing family, friends and trying to explore the EP. I love the diversity and enthusiasm of the EP’s communities. The way its locals do events, festivals and tourism with excellence, they draw everyone in to enjoying this place as much as they do – take for example the Teakle Auto Sprint, Colour Tumby Festival and Christmas events.
We have also been enjoying visits to tourist attractions from Tumby all the way up to the Nullarbor, where my parents work at the Yalata school. They visit us here more often, flying their two-seater plane directly to Tumby for a weekend. With them close by, and one of my two brothers having married a local girl and settling down here before us, family was partly why we moved here.
If home is where the heart is, this is home now. While those earlier adventures across the country were exciting, I just love the current chapter, being closer to some of our family and watching the kids grow up together in this beautiful place.