This is home…

My name is Amanda Firenze Pentney.  I am 39 and I live in Port Hedland.  I run a small home based art business and at the moment I am busy creating the fourth Pilbara Pixies book.  This is a series of kids’ books about life in the magic Pilbara.   Below is an image of the Queen Pixie who appears in The Pilbara Pixies.  I have my own blog amandaprint.blogspot.com.

Hedland has changed so much in the last few years which helps in so many ways – so much art and culture, better shopping, more pride and sense of community from many of the people who live here.   But even if it hadn’t of changed I don’t think it would matter.  At the heart of it I think the most precious thing the Pilbara gives is space – space to be, space to find out who you truly are, space to breathe.  I am a better person for living here.

You can find the strangest things in the places you least expect them – particularly when you stop looking.  In Hedland I’ve found home and community and belonging without really trying and certainly without expecting to.

Ten years ago we drove through drove through Port Hedland on the way to Broome and I was astonished that anyone would choose to live here.  Five years ago work bought us here and we were like so many people I’ve talked to since – staying for 2 years to save some money so we could get ahead.  The first 12 months was a shock to the system and we constantly found excuses to get away – even a quick day trip to Karratha was enough to give us some variety so we could keep going.  The second 12 months we began to settle in – made some friends, settled into work, had another child.  We still travelled a bit but more out of family obligations than that overwhelming need to escape.  The last few years finds us travelling more but now it is about getting out and experiencing the Pilbara and the North West.  It is definitely not about escape and when we do have to travel interstate it is always a relief to come back home.

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