When James Dillon got the opportunity to live in Kalgoorlie-Boulder, rather than fly in and fly out from Perth, he and his partner Noeleen didn’t hesitate.
In April 2020 – just 10 days after their second child was born and in the middle of Western Australia’s initial COVID-19 lockdown – they drove to the Goldfields, 600 kilometres west of the capital and moved into a rental house, sight unseen.
“We love everything Kalgoorlie and its surrounding areas have to offer,” Noeleen says.
“We have made lots of new friends and explored some amazing new areas. We love learning about its culture and all the activities available. Kalgoorlie has brought our family closer and we really couldn’t be happier.”
Australia’s largest outback town markets itself as a place for the bold and the Dillons certainly take life head on.
Noeleen and James got married in January 2021 and found out two weeks later that Noeleen was pregnant with their third child.
In the leadup to the birth, they’ve bought the home they were renting and are renovating. James has changed careers, swapping shift-work in the mines for his original trade as a builder, as there’s huge demand for skilled labour.
“He usually works just minutes from home, which means our family is together every night,” Noeleen says.
James has also sharpened up his skills at darts, making the state championships.
“Kalgoorlie has quite a young community so we have made many fantastic, lifelong friends. It’s child friendly with beautiful parks and great local primary schools,” Noeleen says.
“I don’t miss anything about Perth, except maybe the beach.”
But weekend trips to the sparkling coastline of Esperance more than make up for that.