Anita, Craig, William and Alex
The decision to move to Newman in April 2006 began with an offer from to Craig's work. After discussion, we made a joint decision to make the move because we wanted to stay together as a family unit meaning Fly In Fly Out wasn't an option for us. As with any move, there were many things to consider and what Newman offered to the family was a huge consideration. We had spent the last three and a half years in Leinster, a small closed mining town. Although we enjoyed our time there, our children were getting older and we wanted to be able to offer them more for schooling and after-school activities.
Newman offered both of these things, and more opportunities for us as a family. It was an easy town to settle into and make friends. William was welcomed at school and easily made new friends. He is now thriving at school and has a wonderful array of after school activities to get involved in. Much to his delight he was able to have music lessons. Alexander was still a baby when we moved and I found a haven in the Newman Neighbourhood centre. It offered (and still does) these wonderful sessions called "Time Out" where Alexander could safely go into creche for a couple of hours in the morning whilst I could meet new people, have a coffee, continue with my studies or participate in one of the workshops they run throughout the year. For me it was a great place to meet people and find out about the town. For Craig, Newman offered a chance to play sports again.
Its hard to just list the things we love about Newman – but I think lifestyle, opportunities and the countryside are great starting points.
We can ride our bikes to school or walk and it only takes 20 minutes if everyone drags their feet! Everything is close, you don't have to drive an hour to get anywhere in town. Sometimes you can't always get what you want shopping-wise, but the upside of this is the special set of skills you develop for online shopping and frenzied precision shopping when in a large city (no dawdling or window shopping, as time is usually limited!). Not to mention how much your packing skills improve. You'd be surprised what I can now fit into a suitcase or car on the return trip! I've even nursed 'essential items' for the 12 hour trip home just to make it fit! In small towns I believe there are more opportunities to be involved in projects, community groups, businesses, really anything you want and Newman is no different.
Newman has stunning countryside literally on its doorstep, Karijini is only two hours away and there are numerous water holes closer to town for a Sunday picnic with friends.
The Pilbara has a beauty unto its own, and being able to explore the area and share this with our children is important to us. The boys love camping. Their only complaint would be we do not go often enough!
Being a photographer and artist, I find the raw beauty in the Pilbara a constant source of inspiration. The boys love it when we go to Perth for a school holiday, it's a grand adventure… For now weekends are normally busy with sports for the boys, especially in winter. Sports is fairly popular in Newman for the boys there is football, soccer, tee-ball, basketball, swimming, gymnastics, cricket to name a few. And there is a great range of sports for the adults as well, Football, Vets Footy, Twenty/20 cricket, netball, golf, mixed netball, tennis are some that come to mind. I prefer the gym, walking, riding my bike and swimming. There are activities for younger children as well; Family and Friends, Playgroup, Music and Movement. Newman even has The Beach (an indoor play centre). Pretty much what you want to do is available and if it isn't, then there is the opportunity for you to get it up and running! As with any community groups and clubs, new committee members are always welcomed!
When we are asked how long we will stay in Newman I often think "How long is a piece of string?!!" We are very happy in Newman but understand every town is what you make of it. I guess eventually we will move on as Craig work's in the mining industry, but hopefully it won't be too soon.