We’ve been in Australia for 30 years and the Pilbara for 24 years, in Karratha, Wickham, Point Samson and Port Hedland. We spent six years down in Kalgoorlie and Perth. My Uncle introduced us to the mining sector; he took a liking to my husband and said, would you like to come to Australia? Tom jumped at it, that was in 1981 and we’ve been here ever since. During my first years here I never worked, my daughter was just born and our son was four years old, now he’s 35 and she’s 31. We also have six grandchildren.
We’ve given a lot to the towns we’ve lived in; we’ve always organized sporting groups, and fund-raising functions. We were founders of the Touch Rugby Association, that was in 1983 and now all the towns have started playing. Port Hedland is probably the best town in the Pilbara, even the state, given to help others with fund-raisers, and money for certain things. We do lots of fundraising events and people are always generous.
We manage the Finucane Island Club (known as ‘The Finny’) a not for profit organization with a committee. It’s a membership based club and at our last tally we had just over 5000 members. It’s a place for people to come, enjoy a good meal and enjoy the atmosphere. It used to be at the end of Finucane Island but they needed more land for the iron ore so they picked it up and put it in South Hedland. It’s a multicultural club; anyone is welcome here as long as they behave themselves. We don’t have high vis or work boots, people come here to relax and our patrons love it. We have a lot of FIFO’s coming here too and they enjoy feeling as though they are part of the community. We start our day at 6.30 – 7 am in the morning and go to bed about 1 or 2 am. We have excellent staff, when we need to rest they will just take over. Eventually we are going to retire, but we’ll never leave until we’ve seen the redevelopment of the club.
Tom is from the coast of New Zealand and I’m from the middle of the north Island, the hot pools and all that. We’ve enjoyed ourselves in Australia, at end of the day I’ll go back home, even if it’s in a box eventually.