From born-and-bred Hedlanders and traditional owners whose ancestors have called the Pilbara home for thousands of years, to those who have arrived from across Australia and overseas, the Port Hedland community is a vibrant melting pot of cultures. To celebrate the town’s 125th anniversary, the North West Telegraph spent the week asking a wide range of people why they moved to Port Hedland and why they love calling this place their home. Carol Bath Born: Bendigo, Victoria. Moved to Port Hedland: 2016 I was travelling around Australia in a bus and I just love Hedland. The people are so friendly, and I love the red dirt. Sheena Coleman Born: Philippines. Moved to Port Hedland: 2018 I came here for a full-time job with my husband and we got our baby boy and just started my own business as an educator. I like the small town and being included in a lot of stuff, especially with a small business because you get a lot of support and everyone is quite close-knit. Fiona Dolenc Born: Melbourne. Moved to Port Hedland: 2018 My partner and I had been travelling around Australia since 2006. He is a truck driver and always wanted to work in the mines so he got a job here. I absolute love the community spirit here; everyone is so friendly and it is easy to get around — no traffic lights. Peter Pope Born: Subiaco. Moved to Port Hedland: 2010 I came up as the officer-in-charge of the South Hedland Police Station and when I retired from policing I chose to stay. It is free and easy-going, has great weather, that is all you need. Renee Coles Born: Albany. Moved to Port Hedland: 2001 I lived here as a child and loved my time here going to South Hedland Primary School. I came back again, bringing husband and we have had three kids — the last one born at Hedland hospital. I love the community spirit and lifestyle. Jess Rennie Born: Wangaratta, Victoria. Moved to Port Hedland: 2016 My partner and two dogs were doing a lap of Australia. We stopped and never left. We had some family here but it was just the job opportunities and nice weather really. Wayne Coles Born: Albany. Moved to Port Hedland: 2001 We came up for a lifestyle change, loved it, and have stayed ever since. I like the people — everyone gets along — and the environment, summer. Rowan Whitby Born: Port Hedland It is a good environment, good footy, and I have a lot of friends and family here. Arnold Carter Born: Cottesloe. Moved to Port Hedland: 1962 I came up here with the commencement of the iron ore industry as accountant for the Mt Goldsworthy Mining Associates, who were the first iron ore operators in the town. I was working for Utah Construction and Mining doing the preparation, contracting and whole feasibility for the project. People — easy — the people here are so great. AJ Downes Born: Philippines. Moved to Port Hedland: 2017 I moved here to start a family and ever since I have just loved it. I love the outback, and the people here are more friendly. In Perth I felt isolated. Here, I feel I belong. Jan Gillingham Born: Cardiff, Wales. Moved to Port Hedland: 1985 I love Port Hedland because of the community, the friendliness and it is just a great place to live. People come to stay for one night and stay 30-odd years and I have been here 36 years. We have a great future so long as we all move forward and progress together. I met somebody as a pen pal who lived in Port Hedland. I got to know that person, stayed together, had a daughter who finished high school here, went to university and is now back working here. Especially when you are on your own, the friendliness here is very good. My son and daughter don’t live here anymore but when they do fly-in, fly-out they get on the plane in Perth and say “I am going home.” Roman Gillings, 3 Born: Port Hedland I like planting trees. I have my friends Noah, dad, mum and Alexander that I like at school. Sheridan Green Born: Port Hedland I left town a few times, have lived around Australia and travelled the world, but my family is always based here in the community and I can’t find anywhere else — this is my home. The red dirt runs in my veins deep. Emma Grundy Born: Perth. Moved to Port Hedland: 2017 It was essentially for work for BHP. What’s not to love about it? The weather is beautiful for part of the year. There’s a variety of things to do, it’s not your typical city life and there are also great people. Leanne Jones Born: Port Pirie, South Australia. Moved to Port Hedland: 2016 We moved for my partner’s work. It is a good family community here, a good spot to raise kids. Lewis Kew Ming Born: Victoria. Moved to Port Hedland: 1995 I was in Karratha for 17 years before coming up here. I love the heat, the warm weather and the people. The place is still natural, it is still a country town, and that is what I love about it. Julia Rahman Born: Melbourne. Moved to Port Hedland: 2007 We moved over for my husband’s job with BHP, had two young children at the time who have gone to school here. They are both very successful young adults now. We love Port Hedland because of the lifestyle — it is outdoors, there are incredible sports available for children, incredible camping opportunities and just a generally healthy lifestyle. Sumit Sheokand Born: India. Moved to Port Hedland: 2016 Living here there is so much — the people are really friendly and I love living in a different area, that is why I love living in Port Hedland. Shakera Cunningham Born: Durban, South Africa. Moved to Port Hedland: 2020 It is the first country I have been too, I like that. It is different and I get to experience new people and new cultures. Andy Barrow Born: Ipswich. Moved to Port Hedland: 2020 I love that work is close to home, the outdoors and it is just a good community to live in. This is our second time here. Kristy Bonney Born: Kalgoorlie. Moved to Port Hedland: 2021 The weather is good. I like the fishing too, that is better than Kalgoorlie June Derschow Born: Abydos Station. Moved to Port Hedland: 1960 I used to come up and down when I was going to school and lived in Marble Bar. It is all different now than when I first came here. I love the football, I go every weekend and am a life member of the football club. Sally Gould Born: Philippines. Moved to Port Hedland: 1980 I moved here to get married. The people are friendly, the environment is good and it is not crowded. Kwal Hnin Born: Burma. Moved to Port Hedland: 2016 I loved the weather — my country and here is the same weather. Kaydn Barrow, 9 Born: Brisbane. Moved to Port Hedland: 2020 I like to play with my friends at the park and at school. The one near my old house (Pretty Pool) is my favourite. Kohbi Barrow, 11 Born: Brisbane. Moved to Port Hedland: 2020 I like that I can be with my friends and play with them at school and also the RFDS for saving my mum. I go mud crabbing with my dad and do sport like hockey, water polo and cricket. Som Kumar Born: India. Moved to Port Hedland: 2015 I moved from Melbourne. It is pretty diverse here — I like the mining giants like BHP, FMG and Roy Hill. There is so much to discover and there are so many different people and cultures here, whereas Melbourne and Sydney I have seen. There are more career opportunities and there are so many different things because it is an isolated area. It is pretty hot I will say, but I just love this place and am looking forward to staying here for a while. Merlyn Mills Born: Melbourne. Moved to Port Hedland: 2020 I have been coming here for seven years because me daughter lives here. I have been here now for the past two years because of COVID and I am getting used to the weather now. I recently had a trip to Perth and I froze, it was like being back home. I love history, and the history of this place is great Michael Obonyo Born: Kenya. Moved to Port Hedland: 2021 I moved in July to work. What I like being here is about the culture, learning about culture, how the people are welcoming and the traditions they have kept, keeping the buildings as they were and the heritage. Also looking at the old trains, vehicles, vehicles that they used to have. Also the beach.