Capturing the Essence: Shire of Roebourne

In July, FORM ran a Place Activation Workshop in Karratha to articulate as a community what makes Shire of Roebourne unique and explore what it can be.

Thank you to everyone who attended, your effort and commitment to the workshop process generated a wealth of ideas. These are captured in the workshop summary. The summary is broken into two parts: a summary of the key big ideas and small wins identified in the workshop; and an attachment with the detailed notes gathered from the workshop.

This report includes the five important ‘tools’ that emerged from the workshop that can inform action from here:

  1. Identified principles to guide community, stakeholder and planning efforts
  2. A developing community identified essence for the Shire of Roebourne
  3. Small Wins identified that can be taken into action
  4. The beginning of a network that could become a powerful group
  5. The impetus to build further on the Karratha Vernacular with a’ Place Vernacular’

The Next Steps

Keep the conversation going

Don’t let the workshops be the end of this conversation, keep in contact and spread the word further about the ideas and outcomes. Remember, word of mouth and your passion to make a difference in this town can help build the core group of champions to make the changes in this town.

We are very excited that David Pentz at the Shire of Roebourne and Jacinta Harvey at LandCorp have indicated they are eager to keep this conversation among all of you going and encouraged a wider community participation. They are keen to establish a community ‘place maker’s reference group and would like to encourage your participation in regular discussions. They’ll be in touch to invite you to participate, or you can get in touch with questions.

For the next 2 weeks a survey will be available online to help capture other people’s ideas here. Forward on the online survey to capture other people’s ideas.

Harness the momentum

The workshops in July were a starting point to a new level of activity in Karratha. The big ideas and small wins generated over these two sessions are opportunities for making your town the place you want it to be. Each person has the ability to make things happen, and collectively we do even more so.

Build the network

Get others involved and on board with small wins and the outcomes of the workshop. The more people engaged and connected to this process, the more powerful it can be. You suggested running a Facebook group to help build connections and create a central place to share ideas. If anyone wants to take a lead on running this group we can help guide you in setting this up.

Take action

Think about the ideas and outcomes which resonated with you the most. Which ideas had the energy behind them? Let others know about how you want to take action, get them involved and start to make the changes you want to see in your town

Congratulations on an exciting start to shaping your place! If you have any queries, feel free to contact Zane Hill or Rebecca Eggleston at zane[at] and rebecca[at] or (08) 9226 2799.

Thank you to everyone who attended FORM’s Place Activation Workshop in July.

Your effort and commitment to the workshop process generated a wealth of ideas. These are captured in the workshop summary. The summary is broken into two parts: a summary of the key big ideas and small wins identified in the workshop; and an attachment with the detailed notes gathered from the workshop.

Pilbara Project Exhibition opening at FORM Gallery

On February 10, the Pilbara Project launched its first exhibition “52 Weeks On: A Pilbara Project Exhibition” at the newly renovated FORM Gallery in Perth.  The exhibition also opened the following night at the Courthouse Gallery in Port Hedland, details shown on the previous blog post here.

Tony speaking along with the rest of the artists

The exhibition features new photography and film by renowned artists Les Walkling, Tony Hewitt, Christian Fletcher, Michael Fletcher and Peter Eastway.  It is curated by William L. Fox, Director of the Art + Environment at the Nevada Museum of Art.  More details on the exhibition can be found here.

Squeezing in to see Michael's film launch

Les talking with filmmaker Curtis Taylor

Hon Troy Buswell MLA opening the exhibition

The book launch for “The Pilbara Project: Field Notes and Photographs Collected over 2010” was also a great success, with the artists on hand for signing.

Photographs by Michelle Taylor

Port Hedland Port Authority

Through ‘The Pilbara Project’ I was offorded the opportunity to tour the Port earlier this year.  It was amazing to see the massive ships up close.  The whole area was buzzing with activity the entire time I was there.  I was able to view the activity up close on the warf as well as from the tower and a ship loader.  A fantastic experience :)

A Different View

On the first day of out Pilbara project we got a half hour jolly in a Heli over town, BHP, the Port and Dampier Salt. Was a fun experience and a first for Les as he hadn’t been in a chopper before. Hope he got some shots as he had one hand firmly on side of the heli for most of the trip. That Hassleblad of his is a bit weighty, one handed for 30 mins could be interesting. I held on with my butt cheeks and was sort of comfortable.

This was a pic over the tanks, don’t know who’s they are, but found the scene interesting. Stylized in Photoshop and using Nik Colour efex pro. Great software.

My first hour

I first arrived in the Pilbara after already spending most of the year traipsing the globe, my most recent sojourn being a leisurely three weeks sunning myself on the Greek Islands. Returning to winter in Perth left me restless. Seeking instant change and Vitamin D I migrated North to Port Hedland in search of warmer weather and a career in journalism.

I touched down on the late afternoon flight, met by my manager and an exquisite sunset - those in the know will tell you this is prime landing time in Hedland. What we see at ground level translates to ethereal in-flight views as twisted creeks snake through mangroves and the stillness of salt lakes meet with rough red earth.

Following a brief stop at my new office I found myself  largely outnumbered by men – all orange and steel capped - at the local pub, perched on the waterfront and catching the cool sea breeze perfectly. With drink in hand (the house white in a plastic cup) I was introduced to ”the cricket boys” and had my vital statistics assessed: How long have you been here? How long are you staying? Got a boyfriend?

I was feeling a little out of my depth in my new surrounds, and when somebody handed me a grubby looking stubby holder to cool my drink the look on my face must have said it all. ”Ah she’ll never make it through the summer” said one particularly loud orange man. A challenge, “Oh I’m pretty sure I can handle a couple of hot days thank you.” Politely accepting, I slipped my plastic cup o’ wine into the stubby holder.

It was right then, with a determination to prove to myself I could “make it through the summer” in this dusty red town, my Pilbara adventure began.

a shout out to FORM

The Pilbara Project week was an awesome adventure not only for me as well as for the professional photographers, and that’s all thanks to FORM who made sure that the week was well planned and everything we needed were there. FORM is dedicated to nurture creativity in every aspect.

I like to give a really big shout out to FORM especially to Carolyn and Peter Z who were there for us the whole week. They organised everything to the very detail and made sure that we enjoy every part of the adventure. Carolyn was just awesome ensuring we have water to keep us hydrated especially under the Pilbara heat in summer (which is HOT!). Thank you, you were fabulous!

To Peter Z, thank you for ensuring we had fantastic time in Marble Bar. You were great! (remember to take that 4WD driving lessons!) I really like the light on Peter while we had the harbour cruise and just captured him at the right time. You see how much he is enjoying the cruise. Nice pose!

The Pilbara Project Teaser

The Pilbara Project from Michael Fletcher on Vimeo.

Well here it is. A post at last. In my defense editing video is a longer process than editing one still image at a time. Those stills guys, Tony, Les, Christian, and Peter have it easy.

It was a real honor to be involved with “The Pilbara Project” and many thanks go to FORM for giving me the opportunity to hang out with some amazing photographers and not just the professional ones. It was also great to see the graduates of the previous photographic courses enjoying the experience of shooting with the pros and not being intimidated by their experience.

This clip though short took a lot of time to produce and I am already seeing ways I could of done it better but it’s just a taste of what is to come. I have hours of footage and audio to sort through and hope to add to the project in future visits to the Pilbara with my new mates Les, Tony, Peter x2, Carolyn, Linda, Jane, Faye, Judith, Nicole, and Simon. Christian didn’t get a mention because he’s my brother not my mate (too long sharing the same room hehe!!) but I must say that he is instrumental in all of us being here and for that reason I think we all cant thank him enough.

Cheers for now guys……

Mike Fletcher

Opening night

Tony Hewitt addresses the opening night crowds in the Gallery gardens. Photo by Rob Cameron.

The Courthouse Gallery was the place to be last Thursday as a 550-strong crowd turned out for the opening of ‘I took the time to look’: perspectives of the Pilbara and From Somewhere Else.

Both exhibitions showcase the wealth of local talent in Hedland with ‘I took the time to look’: perspectives of the Pilbara featuring images captured throughout the 2009 P.H.otography program and From Somewhere Else showing artwork by local artists Nicole Yardley, Leny Davis, James Reus and Pam Armstrong.

The night kicked off with attendees taking in the stunning works whilst enjoying a glass of bubbly or two – and squeezing into the photo booth in the Gallery gardens provided by BHP Billiton Iron Ore principal supporter of the Gallery and P.H.otography program.

Speeches by John Slaven Chief Development Officer BHP Billiton Iron Ore, renowned Western Australian photographer Tony Hewitt and Hon Norman Moore MLC highlighted the sense of town pride and appreciation of the Pilbara region that both exhibitions had captured with Tony urging the crowd to ‘take the time to look’ at their surroundings.

We always look forward to our opening nights at the Gallery – the chance to share the creativity of others with the wider community is an absolute pleasure and definitely a highlight in my time spent in the Pilbara. The Gallery becomes a hive of excitement and the positive energy of the experience is electric. 

Since opening night we’ve had an amazing response to the exhibitions with people travelling from across the Pilbara to take in the stunning images and artworks on show.

Our Pilbara Experience in Pictures Go to this link to view my slideshow of images from our recent trip to the Pilbara.

The Pilbara Project from Christian Fletcher on Vimeo.

Designed and Delivered by FORM

FORM is an independent, not for profit organisation dedicated to advocating for and developing creativity in Western Australia.