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PANNAWONICA 40th Anniversary 1972 – 2012

303 ECU7385 CRICOS IPC 00279B

Happy 40th BURDOO RA Anniver ~ y s





Jeffrey Breen CEO - Shire of Ashburton

~ Hap ary

ry Hap sa



his year is about celebrating 40 years of Pannawonica. As we look back on the town that was formally gazetted in 1972 to the diverse community today, I think you will agree we can be proud of what we’ve achieved together. Our close-knit town has truly flourished thanks to collaboration and co-operation from all members of the community since its foundation. We are now well equipped with education, recreation and entertainment facilities with residents enjoying the laid-back country lifestyle. From relaxing by a swimming hole at the Robe River with friends to enjoying the excitement of one of Western Australia’s largest regional rodeos, Pannawonica has a lot to offer both residents and visitors, and we are a community that embraces all. It is clear that the town’s community spirit is alive and more invigorating than ever. It is this community spirit that has put us in good stead throughout the years and positions us well to continue to grow and develop as a resilient community. I am confident we can look forward to celebrating many more milestones together.

ANNAW ~P E y Anniver O p


ongratulations Pannawonica, Paraburdoo and Tom Price on the 40th anniversary of officially being towns! All three towns were established in the late 1960s-early 1970s as residential bases for iron ore mining operations. Pannawonica is named after the nearby Pannawonica Hill. Pannawonica means “hill that came from the sea” referring to the Aboriginal legend that the sea spirit dragged the hill fom near the sea forming the Robe River in the process. Paraburdoo is named after the many little corellas that are live around the area. It translates from the local Aboriginal language as “meat feathers”. Tom Price was named after Thomas Moore Price, Vice President of a US-based steel company. Tom Price is the highest town in WA at 747m AHD. All of the towns are thriving communities, each with its own unique character. Over the years, the longevity of the towns has been uncertain in line with the world demand for iron ore but now a long term future for each of the towns is more certain. The towns are at various stages of a facelift (who doesn’t need one after 40 years?) to further enhance their lifestyle experience and livability. Even though the physical appearance of the towns may change over the next two or three years the sense of community and spirit of the towns that has endured for the past forty years will live on long into the future.


Regards, Bob Hirte Pannawonica Rio Tinto - General Manager



Timeline Pannadise – A community with spirit Neil Finlay – My Country Mr Community Cop King of the Rodeo Photo essay – Pannawonica in pictures The Logans – Remembering Party Town The Pannawonica 40th Anniversary Festival What you love about Pannawonica Did you know?


4 6 8 9 10 12 18 20 22 24

Credits This magazine was written by Tess Ingram, Sarah Vasey and Aaron Bradbrook – three Edith Cowan University journalism students who leapt at the chance to travel to Pannawonica to meet the locals and find out what they think of their town turning 40. Back at ECU’s Mt Lawley Campus two graphic design students Steffi Rosedel and Chanelle Percival created an InDesign document and made the words and pictures the journalism students brought back into this magazine. As an ECU lecturer I was delighted to be able to work with the Shire of Ashburton to offer these students the chance to showcase their talents and to introduce them to the rugged beauty and tremendous spirit of the people of remote Australia. ECU prides itself on offering practical as well as theoretical training and this real world challenge was a win-win opportunity.

study externally, and many are the first in their families to come to university; what matters for all of them is that they are learning skills that will help them find fulfilling careers and to make a valuable contribution to society. Their success in making a magazine that celebrates the efforts of Pannawonica people who have created and continue to maintain the town’s sense of community is a contribution these students can be proud of. We wish you all a happy anniversary. Best wishes,

AT ECU Mt Lawley students from all walks of life in WA mingle with international students working towards qualifications in a wide range of fields. Some of our students are part time, some

Journalists Tess Ingram Sarah Vasey Aaron Bradbrook Photos By Aaron Bradbrook Tess Ingram Sarah Vasey Archive photos courtesy of the Shire of Ashburton Back cover courtesy of Rio Tinto Designed By Steffi Rosedel Chanelle Percival Editor Dr Kayt Davies Senior Lecturer in Journalism Edith Cowan University 2 Bradford St, Mt Lawley Western Australia 6050 CRICOS IPC 00279B With help from: Deb Wilkes Executive Manager Community Development Shire of Ashburton

Journalism students From left to right: Rebecca, Tess, Aaron and Sarah.

Printed by: Graphic Source 12 Jersey St, Jolimont WA 6014


4 text by Sarah Vasey photography by Aaron Bradbrook

1984 Cyclone Chloe rocked Pannawonica.

1983 The Sports Club opened with the capacity of 300 people, it was an instant hit in the town and still is with its recent revamp.

1978 Pannawonica Panthers was formed so the boys could compete in the national sport.

1976 The Tavern opened and was located where the post office is now. It moved to its current sight in the 1980s.

1972 August 8 the first shipment of ore went out on a 72 cart train headed for Cape Lambert.

1972 Pannawonica Shopping Centre opened.

1972 October 20 Pannawonica Primary School doors opened to 32 students.

1972 Pannawonica town was gazetted.

1971 Robe River Iron was awarded permission to start building the town of Pannawonica. 53 houses, 15 duplexes and 36 single men’s quarters to house around 500 people.

Then to Now


2012 Pannawonica celebrates the town’s 40th birthday !

2007 Train driver jumps to safety when head on collision was unavoidable between his train and a stationary train.

2004 Craft Club was reborn.

2000 Robert Lee from Pannawonica carried the Olympic torch.

1997 Cyclone Ian didn’t seem to put a damper on the people’s spirits in Pannawonica.

1996 Cyclone Olivia devastated Maitland Street, 22 houses had roofs ripped off or torn apart.

1995 Cyclone Bobby came to town, shutting down production at the mine for four days.

1991 The Yalleen Pastoral company was bought by Robe River Iron Associates.

1988 The bitumen road into Pannawonica was completed.

Pannadise A community with spirit by Tess Ingram


Pannawonica is a town with personality. It’s that slightly kooky cousin in your family with the offbeat sense of humour and crazy hair… or shoe tree. Since its inception in 1972 Pannawonica has had a reputation for good parties and a good community spirit and 40 years later that spirit is very much still alive. Hugh Winterburn has been in Pannawonica for 38 years. He is the longest standing employee at the Pannawonica Mine and one of the few current residents who experienced Pannawonica in the 1970s. This doesn’t make him old, it just makes him the your go-to person for a good story! Hugh recalls Pannawonica in the 1970s to be ‘a real party town’ full of young people motivated to organise parties and community events, the best of these, Hugh says, was the annual Regatta. “The Regattas were the best days. It was held out on the river and everyone used to make rafts out of beer cans. Everyone used to come into town for it, the whole river bed was chock-ablock. It stopped because of lack of water at one point, and then when the water came back there were new rules because they were scared about meningococcal, but the kids had been in and out of the water for years. “But the Regattas were really good. Some of the best times I’ve ever had I think. Brilliant. We

used to have the Regatta Ball the night before, the Regatta the next day and then we would all come back into town and a band would be on that night. It was brilliant. “And at the Regatta they had this race in teams.You started off at the shops and you had a wheelbarrow per team and a carton of beer and all that beer had to be drunk by the time you raced down to the river. And when you got there, one of your blokes had to run down to the river’s edge, eat a cold pie, swim to the other side, have a warm beer and then swim back across. That was our marathon!” But it wasn’t just good times that brought the town together; through strikes and cyclones Pannawonica people have supported each other. “The cyclones then didn’t seem as bad as they are now, but maybe we were all too drunk to realise how bad it was. Olivia was bad, and it’s times like that as well that the community spirit really kicks in. Everybody helps each other, there’s no one sitting back. And the mine were really fast with help too so it builds a good feeling. “The best thing about this company, is if you ever have any problems, they bend over backwards to help you out. If someone passes away, or you have a sick friend they are so quick to get you out

on a plane and let you sort everything out when you get back. And the people here are the same, they rally around to help you. It builds a good spirit.” That same supportive community spirit remains strong in Pannawonica today. Heidi Virgin has been in Pannawonica since 2003 and loves Pannawonica’s ‘small town spirit.’ She says that the people in the town not only support each other but also fundraise constantly for other groups. “The community does the Purple Bra Day, raising funds for breast cancer. “In 2010 the craft club made an extra, extra large bra that got hung across the front of the haul pack that is located at the front entrance to town. And this year Kaye Drummond organised a high tea fundraiser for two ladies in town who have breast cancer.” This year’s Purple Bra Day saw 300 purple cupcakes baked and delivered all around town and $850 raised for Breast Cancer Care WA. Other fundraising efforts include collections for the Royal Flying Doctor, the Rodeo committee donations go back to community groups every year and the Lifestyle Centre take part in the annual World’s Greatest Shave, which this year raised a whopping $12,316 for the Leukaemia Foundation.

Regattas were the “ The best days. It was held out on the river and everyone used to make rafts out of beer cans. Everyone used to come into town for it, the whole river bed was chock-a-block

Hugh remembers the Old Bastards Club used to have fines and fundraisers to buy guide dog puppies for the Blind Association and the tavern used to display the pictures of the puppies they had bought across the top of the bar. Pretty cute for a country pub. “People here want to help each other. And if they can do that while having a good time… well that’s what Panna’ is all about!” It sure seems like a sweet life… living in Pannadise.


Neil Finlay story and photography by Sarah Vasey


–Neil Finlay


eil Finlay is a traditional owner of the land Pannawonica is built on and the land surrounding it. Born on Old Yelling station about 62 years ago, Finlay grew up on this land before moving away for a while to explore other places. Finlay has seen many of his people move away from the land and he too now lives in Onslow, but he tries to make it down to Pannawonica to spend time in his country once a month. “My elders left me to look after this land, to speak for it, and listen to it,” he said. He is responsible for educating people about where sacred land is and where they are allowed to build or not. Recently he gave the ‘okay’ for the Coastal Water Project by Rio Tinto to pipe water from an inland water reservoir out to the coastal towns of Dampier, Karratha, Wickham, Roebourne and Port Samson. The reservoir can be found 35 kilometers east of Pannawonica in the lower Bungaroo Valley, and it has an annual capacity of 10 gigalitres. “We have lots of water here, I’m not really happy to give it away, but you have to look at the people, the animals and the land. “I told this coastal mob that if they want, I will make it rain and stop that (drought), because I have done that with my people. (But if the project goes bad) I will tell them to stop ruining the country, it’s beautiful country up the back there. There is everything that you want back there, got water,

river and all that.” “We have told them that they have to monitor the water being taken, they have to watch it, every month for how much water is being taken that way. If they have gone below the table they have to stop it… the whole program,” Mr Finlay said sternly. He is very passionate about his land and likes to see that it is being looked after. He is currently training his nephew who lives out on the land in the ways of their people. Mr Finlay spoke at the opening ceremony of the 40th Anniversary festival in Pannawonica and cut the beautiful boot tree cake. “I want to look after this country, like my father told me. I want to look after it in case anything happens to the sights, water holes and everything. I want to protect that,” he said.

Mr Community Cop story by Tess Ingram photography by Aaron Bradbrook


ony Di Guiseppe has only been in town for community – But he had this mad method. On eighteen months but he is already an integral a Sunday morning, after a big Saturday night you part of the Pannawonica community. Having come would see him start to put chairs out on the police from Argyle where there was no town, let alone station lawn and he had a boxing ring out the back. community spirit, Tony is really enjoying being You want to fight, he’d say, ok off you go! But he somewhere where “it’s a community and a town had these real big gloves so it was more farce than and you can actually go and do things with people fight. He was a very clever cop, a community cop. after hours.” We’ve had a lot of good policemen that have done a Tony and his colleague Tom are both very lot for the town.” We retold this story to Tony and involved in the various groups around town, he laughed: “I have heard that one. Back in those everything from AusKick to the days the policing was very Rodeo, the Community Action different, but I could never I encourage people do that now!” Group to the sports club. to approach me “When you’re socialising Tony loves working in after hours, you quite often have Pannawonica and says the after hours because to work after hours. You might sprit in the town is unlike it helps them, be at a mates place having a few else he has been. and I don’t mind. That’s anywhere sherbies and watching the footy “It is a good community what being a and someone needs something of people, very giving to community cop is done because they’ve been at others. Always helping about work all day and haven’t had others. I was gobsmacked the chance to come and see you. And that’s ok. when I first got here, it was not long after I do a lot after hours and it builds a good rapport the Queensland floods and the New Zealand in the community. I encourage people to approach earthquakes and everyone was fundraising, quiz me after hours because it helps them, and I don’t nights, clothes drives, appeals, everything. One of mind. That’s what being a community cop is about.” the shining lights in this town is the community Pannawonica has had some policemen with spirit. Even with the 40th festival, everyone personality over the years, including one who used chipped in and helped out and did their little bit. to set up a boxing ring at the station. “It’s a big contrast to Perth. In Perth someone “We did have a brilliant first policeman,” recalls probably couldn’t tell you what their neighbour’s long time resident Hugh Winterburn. name is or what they look like but here everyone “He used to say it was a hard job because he was knows their neighbours, everyone knows everyone just one man by himself and there used to be quite on the whole town! It’s a great community.” a lot of fights at the time – being a mostly male

–Tony Di Guiseppe


King of the Rodeo story by Tess Ingram photography by Aaron Bradbrook



time, Peter Jacka, proposed that Don run a rodeo in Pannawonica. Don was thrilled but his wife at the time was not! She said that if he were to start a rodeo, he shouldn’t participate and with hundreds of formerly broken bones and a growing family, Don agreed. He has been the president of Pannawonica’s Annual Robe River Rodeo ever since. “In rodeo it’s you and the beast… that’s it. There’s no cheating. He’s going to buck and you’re going to ride him and you have to beat him or he’s going to beat you.You don’t have to rely on someone passing you a ball to get a try and all that sort of stuff, it’s you and the bull. The power of the bulls when they come out of the gate is unreal and so when you ride them you know you’ve done a real good job.Yeah the adrenalin rush… there’s nothing like it.” Last year’s Sweet 16th Rodeo attracted 2000 people from right across the country and went off without a hitch. It’s a dangerous sport but Don says their rodeo has seen more good times than injuries. “We had a streaker on the first one, I gave him a trophy! The Chief of Police from Perth was up here and I got him to present a trophy to the streaker and the poor guy s**t himself because he thought he was going to get a booking,” chuckled Don. “It was a trophy of a horse’s arse. God knows where it came from but that’s the thing, that’s Parra’. Someone would have made it at the last minute. That was the funniest thing I remember,

t all started when I saw this guy riding a bull at a rodeo and I thought, s**t I can do that! I was working at a dairy farm at the time and we had this big old burly bull and one day I was sitting up on the fence and he wandered past. I remembered the guy from the rodeo and so I dived off the fence and onto his back…. oh sh**! This old bull, I reckon he was the slowest thing on four legs, well he exploded! Just threw me to the s***ter and as I got up I thought, oh f**k that was fun! And that was it, that’s how it started. I’ll never forget that old bull. It was magic. Couldn’t get back on quick enough.” Something more than bruises stuck with Don Inall that day. The adrenalin rush of the rodeo snuck into his heart and has stayed there ever since. A cowboy through and through, Don worked on stations around Australia before coming to Pannawonica. He is was an avid follower and participator in rodeo and a former Australian Bull riding champion. But it wasn’t any kind of beast that changed Don’s involvement in the rodeo. It was a force of nature of another kind. It was April 1996 and Pannawonica was left in disarray after cyclone Olivia caused well over $10 million worth of damage. The people of Pannawonica worked hard to help those in need but the town’s spirit was severely battered and the Senior Constable at the –Don Inall and son Jesse

especially the copper giving him that present! A baby was delivered there once, and we had a marriage proposal… She’s a good thing the old rodeo.” Created for the community and run each year by various community groups on grounds built by Don and a group of willing volunteers, the Robe River Rodeo truly is a reflection of Pannawonica. “It’s good because the whole community gets involved. Different groups take on different roles, whether it be manning the front gate or keeping the toilets clean and it helps the whole thing run smoothly. And it’s nice because everybody becomes a part of it,” added Don’s wife Simone. And as it was originally intended, the rodeo gives back to the community. “The funds raised by the rodeo are channeled back into our community, we usually give $10,000 to the schools, clubs and committees in town each year.” The rodeo has grown and changed a lot since its inception, from the early days when nearby stations

would bring in local stock and men could just walk up and jump on a bull in shorts and work boots, to now where professional stock and judges are used and the event is organised and run in accordance with Australian Bushmen’s Campdraft and Rodeo Association guidelines. But the same spirit remains, and a circuit has developed around the Robe River Rodeo to help share costs and attract more participants from interstate. “It’s a long, expensive way for some people to travel just for one rodeo,” explained Don. “Now they can take part in the Pilbara circuit and their points carry across. We are the first full weekend in September and the other rodeos (Tom Price, Paraburdoo, Pannawonica and Onslow) arrange their schedules around us. We were the first and biggest after all! “I think my first win I got $34 but now these blokes here will take home $1800 a ride. So if you win two or three events that’s pretty good money…. Maybe I should sign up again!”

rodeo it’s you and the “In beast… that’s it.

There’s no cheating. He’s going to buck and you’re going to ride him and you have to beat him or he’s going to beat you. You don’t have to rely on someone passing you a ball to get a try and all that sort of stuff, it’s you and the bull


Photo essay – Pannawonica in pictures by Aaron Bradbrook


Pannawonica’s charm lies behind the ore in the rocks.

Welcome and drive safe.



Family spirit in full flight at the 40th Anniversary Festival.

Take time to think about all the fun you can jam into one day.



Fell free to hang up your boots on your way out of town.

Pannawonica Hill.


The Logans – Remembering Party Town story by Sarah Vasey, photography courtesy of Heidi Virgin

Before I knew it thirty people were in our house, that’s how parties started back in those days

– The Regatta, 1989



armel and Laurence Logan just can’t seem to stay away from Pannawonica, they say that it has that ‘eye catching Pilbara charm’ that keeps bringing them back. The Logans first arrived in 1974 and stayed until 1983. Despite trying to leave, their love for the area brought them back in 1985. They then remained in Pannawonica until 2003 and recently returned to town for the 40th anniversary festival where they spent time with me reminiscing about the 27 years they spent in ‘Pannadise’. Carmel’s brother was responsible for sparking their love for Pannawonica, encouraging their move in 1974. When they arrived there were only around 300 people in town and most of them were single men working on the mine. Life was different then; they didn’t work the 12 hour shifts of today. There were only two shifts,

morning and afternoon both 8 hours long. This meant that people were able to put together teams to play different kinds of sport. According to the Logans, the sporting community in Pannawonica was severely damaged by the change in shift length and still struggles to be revived. An example of the once thriving sporting community is that at one point, there were six ladies’ basketball teams and six men’s teams that competed every Sunday evening. Squash was popular in town too, as well as T-ball, tennis, swimming, mixed netball and children’s football. According to the Logans, the community also held more social events in the early days compared to now. There was an annual Anzac Day football game with two-up being played afterwards. Every July the Regatta was held down by the river where recycled beer cans, coke can, bottles, drums,

(pretty much anything that could make a boat) was used to race down the river. The Regatta was also used as a way to clean up the town. Gambling also took place out there too; it was a full day and night event for everyone in the town. The Regatta ball was a highlight for the Logans as well, there was always a great selection of music played, the food was delicious and they said it was “just an all-round great experience”. Unfortunately flooding, droughts and changes in safety regulations mean the Regatta is no longer held. There have been some dark times for Panna’, including when Cyclone Olivia ripped up the town. Maitland street was the worst hit, few houses survived with roofs still attached. The pre-primary building was found a few streets away, the drivein was also destroyed with bits of chairs and the

screen found way out in the bush, the projector however has still never been recovered. Laurence recalled how they had to wait three days for generators to be brought to town, and the barbecues being held every evening in an attempt to use up all the meat that was defrosting in the freezers. “The shops were so good then too, you didn’t have to worry about paying for much, and if you needed bottled water you could go in and grab some.” Some family homes were that badly damaged that families had to live in single bed apartments until their homes were fixed. Some people experienced so much stress after the cyclone that they had to be flown to Perth to recover. However, Cyclone Olivia brought the Pannawonica people closer in many ways. Laurence remembers the

many parties held in attempt to boost morale after the devastation of the cyclone. “I had just bought this new stereo, and my neighbour next door worked with a radio station and was helping me to set it up. I turned up the volume on the stereo just to see how loud it could go, and there was a knock on the door. Someone from two streets away that I hadn’t really chatted to before came over to see if I was having a party! Before I knew it thirty people were in our house. That’s how parties started back in those days. “No invites were ever needed; everyone and anyone would rock up to any party that was going on. Sometimes you would have to walk the streets to find your car, because everyone left their keys in the car, it was that kind of community. Someone would want to go to another party and your car

was just there, the keys in the ignition… so they took it to the next party! It was always a laugh to find out where your car ended up,” added Carmel. A thing that everyone in Pannawonica can say regardless of whether they still live there or have moved on, is that it is a great place to raise children. “The kids can do what they like here, and have the best of both worlds,” said Carmel. “They are free to roam around the town, and in recent years it has been made a little safer with footpaths being put into streets.” Although they no longer live in Pannawonica, the Logans said they will always call the town home. “You get up here and it just gets into your blood.”

19 – Carmel and Laurence Logan

– Delivering a knock out blow

– Jim and Margaret Bostock, 1994

The Pannawonica 40th Anniversary Festival by Aaron Bradbrook



n hour before the official opening of the Pannawonica 40th Anniversary Festival the excitement was mounting. Committee members, volunteers, employees and locals rushed to frantically put the finishing touches on what was shaping up to be a cultural landmark in the town’s history. The amusements on offer included a dunk tank, food and market stalls, magic and acrobatics

shows, show bags, horse rides, a petting zoo and a Ferris Wheel to name a few. The perfect weather could not damper the event, making it all the more special. To officially open the day Neil Finlay, traditional owner and elder of the Kuruma Marthudunera people, extended a whole-hearted welcome to: “everyone here from all walks of life.” General Manager Bob Hirte from Rio Tinto

gave a heartfelt speech thanking the residents for their tremendous passion and commitment over the past forty-years. “It’s certainly clear that the towns spirit is alive and more invigorating than ever,” Mr Hirte said. At the conclusion of the speeches the bull was out of the gate, with the school opening its doors displaying an incredible collection of the town’s history, a walk down memory lane for those who

It’s certainly clear that the towns spirit is alive and more invigorating than ever

– Dave Faulkner

have come and gone, as well as a collective mural of New York gallery prestige. The remainder of the day saw smiles firmly planted on the faces of families and friends as they geared up for the night’s proceedings. Adding a chance for the locals to display their newly polished dance moves to one of Australia’s most iconic bands, the Hoodoo Gurus, who were just as excited to play. “It’s one of my favourite parts of WA and Australia… I just love it,” said lead singer Dave Faulkner. “We just love seeing the raw scenery, the austerity of the landscape here. But I’m a West Australian so I enjoy it on a purely nostalgic level as well.” The atmosphere ignited when local act Maera graced the stage running through a range of cover songs before the Hoodoo Gurus placed the cherry on top. Ripping through all the hits including ‘1000 Miles Away’, ‘Bittersweet’ and finishing the night on ‘That’s My Scene.’ And with that the day was a wrap. The more committed of the bunch stayed on in the makeshift bar sharing stories of older times and reminiscing of greater days, while the rest hit the sack hanging up their dancing shoes until the next big anniversary, the 50th.


In Your Words - What do you love about Pannawonica? text and photography by Sarah Vasey and Tess Ingram

Julie and Craig Marsh, 8 years in Pannawonica

Pete and Elaine Walsham, 6 years in Pannawonica

Panna is just the best place, we used to have wire fences to keep the cows out and kids in. It’s looking fantastic at the moment with everything that is being spent on doing the town up.

Elaine and I were married here in the church in 2002, it’s a brilliant place to bring up kids, we never used to lock the house. It’s so safe.

Chris and Digger Mc Carty, 18 years in Pannawonica

From left to right: Julie and Craig, Elaine and Pete, Chris and Digger

Fantatsic town to bring up kids and make home brew! All the kids were friends regardless of background. It’s safe here, there was no trouble.

Damian Virgin, 12 years in Pannawonica

It’s a very laid back community, everyone is friendly and you get to know your neighbours, and may even go around the world with them too (in my case). Daryl West, 8 years in Pannawonica


I came here for a change of lifestyle, its relaxing here, you get to switch off on days off and spend it with the family. It’s what you make it, if you come with a negative attitude then you won’t enjoy it here.

Harris Comeagain, 2 years in Pannawonica

“Good people, good weather, quiet town.” On being FIFO- “I don’t have to worry about food and the dishes. And I escape from the Missus!”

Phil Dee, 7 years in Pannawonica

“Good family town. It’s a nice quiet place for the kids to run around.” Had just been dunked- “I was told I won a competition! But it’s all for a good cause. It’s a good laugh.”

Tallas Williams, 12 years in Pannawonica and Jordan Ferguson, 3 years in Pannawonica.

Asked about school, where he is now in year 7, Tallas said: “It’s fun. It’s nice to know everyone.” Asked about town, he said: “ It’s a small place, so you can just be free and walk around.” Jordan said: “Everyone knows each other, so it’s really friendly. Oh and there’s good sport.”

Monica and Amy Thompson, 8 years in Pannawonica

It’s a very clean and nice town, small tight knit community.Your kids don’t have to hang off you they’re off with their friends being kids!

Scott Fozard, just visiting Pannawonica !

Policeman from Karratha “Everyone’s been waving at me this morning... with their whole hand! (laughs) It’s a nice friendly place.”

Karen and Gary Skipsey, 7 years in Pannawonica

Both truck drivers. Asked about town:they said: “In a nutshell – everything. The lifestyle, the rosters, the people. There are good rivers to go camping by.”


Did you know? by Tess Ingram and Rebecca Parish

Pannawonica’s population is 650 : 369 male, 282 female. The median age is 33 Median weekly household income is $2762 The median weekly rent is $28

According to the Bureau of Meteorology 1971 to 2005 figures, Pannawonica’s highest temperature was 48.4 degree Celsius on January 20, 2003 The police officers based at Pannawonica supervise an area of approximately 33,800 square kilometers Mine surveyor Norbert Merscher and Marria Steer chose to be married at Panna Hill in December 1997 There are 10 qualified snake catchers in town Pannawonica is 1431 kilometres from Perth

24 Photograph courtesy of Rio Tinto

Pannawonica 40th Anniversary  

Written by Tess Ingram, Sarah Vasey and Aaron Bradbrook, celebrating Pannawonica 1972 - 2012.

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