Kate Foran moved to Tennant Creek with her teenage son in 2001, and never left.
“Throughout my time here I have come across so many welcoming and community-minded people with big golden hearts. Their generosity of spirit is incredible.”
Kate Foran will never forget her first trip to Tennant Creek. Born in Echuca, Victoria, she travelled by train from Melbourne to South Australia, then up to Alice Springs on The Ghan.
Aged 19, she then went on a road trip to Uluru with her older brother before he drove back to his place in Tennant Creek, about 500km north of Alice.
On the way they stopped at Karlu Karlu (then known as the Devil’s Marbles) to take a snapshot. “It was a magical place and I was blown away by the large boulders, red dirt and the vast blue skies. I just loved the colours and the rugged beauty,” Kate said.
“I’d forgotten the impression that trip made on me until I came across that picture in an old photo album. It’s symbolic of the love I have for this region.”
Kate returned to Tennant Creek in 2001 with her teenage son, Jason. She fell in love with a local man, but when he was transferred to Vienna, Austria, for work, Kate chose to stay in the Territory.
“I did visit Vienna to check the place out, but despite growing up in country Victoria it was way too cold for me. Besides, I had grown incredibly fond of Tennant Creek by then.
“I like the fact you can get involved straightaway in this community, be accepted and not be alienated as an outsider. That’s important.”
Kate, who manages the Barkly Vet Practice, said there are many reasons why she remains – including the climate and country-town vibe – but it’s the people who keep her rooted in this outback town of more than 3,000 residents.
“Throughout my time here I have come across so many welcoming and community-minded people with big golden hearts. Their generosity of spirit is incredible,” Kate said. That includes herself – she won a Golden Heart Award in 2014 for her role as a Tennant Creek Ambassador.
“I’ve also had the privilege of being involved with the local Warumungu people and getting to know them, along with a diverse bunch of other locals from all walks of life and cultures.”
Now when Kate visits her family in Victoria she tells them Tennant Creek is home.
“Echuca is where I was born, but Tennant Creek is home. The connection to the people here and the country is a huge part of the appeal,” she said.