Tania Tucker arrived in Newman with her family, planning to stay for 12 months.
Now, almost 23 years later she is finally ready to move on. Having raised four children in town, and made her mark in a variety of jobs and running a successful small business, she and husband Mark are trading the red dirt of the Pilbara for a new life in the Perth Hills.
“It just feels like the right time to go,” Tania tell us.
Tania has spent the past 4 1/2 years as business development manager at the Newman Chamber of Commerce and Industry where she has had a big impact on the local business community, but she has also been a migrant community worker, had a stint with BHP, and owned and run a children’s clothing and florist shop.
She says the thing she will miss most about Newman is the people.
“The town has been really good to me,” she says. “We turned up here in a motorhome and didn’t plan to stay long. But there’s something about the people here, and I’ve worked with so many people who have become friends. It’s a great place to live and to bring up kids.”
Tania has had wide involvement in the community over the years, including as a volunteer tutor for children with disabilities, volunteering at the wildlife park, helping run junior football, and coordinating cat adoptions at SAFE Newman. She has also been on boards or committees with Newman Senior High School, Newman Neighbourhood Centre, Mainstreet and more.
Her role at NCCI has given her new insights into the local business community and she is proud to have helped restart the business excellence awards and switch the focus to innovation as part of a sponsorship arrangement with BHP.
Shire of East Pilbara president Lynne Craigie has seen firsthand how much Tania has contributed to the Newman community over the years.
“She’s a real community player, she’s involved in everything,” Lynne says. “A lot of people wouldn’t know all the things Tania has done for the community.
“She’s a quiet achiever in some ways. She doesn’t want thanks. She just goes about her business.”
Tania won’t be cutting ties with Newman completely. Apart from the friendships that will endure, her eldest son Morgan is still working at Newman Senior High School, and she has the prospect of work which could bring her back from time to time.
For now, though, she plans to take a break and enjoy the view of the trees in her new home in Roleystone, and perhaps a few day trips on the motorbike in the hills with her husband.