Former South Australian Wayne Kraft came to the Territory when he was 18. Apart from a year out, he has called this place home ever since.

“Living here has been one of the great blessings of my life. I’m proud to say I’m a Territorian.”

Wayne Kraft, or ‘Krafty’ as he likes to be known, first came to the Territory in 1972.

He was 18 (and a half), had just joined the ANZ Bank and was one of two people at his local branch in the South Australian town of Gawler who put their hand up to go to a remote place called Tennant Creek for two years.

“I loved it,” he said. “It was a great place and so many of the people I met there are still my friends.”

He returned to South Australia, but within a year was back on the plane to Darwin – nursing a hangover from his 21st birthday the night before the flight.

“I wasn’t Territory tough back then,” said Krafty, now in his 60s.

A stint as a co-proprietor of the Barrow Creek Hotel “provided my now ex-wife with a two-year honeymoon” and enough stories for Krafty to be the perfect dinner guest for years to come.

Throughout his 48 years in the Territory, Krafty has become something of a local legend. He is probably best known for the iconic Overlanders Steakhouse in Alice Springs, which he owned and managed for nearly three decades.

“There are so many aspects of Territory life I’ve learnt along the way – like the true meaning of friendship and helping each other out during difficult times. And where do I even begin with the characters I’ve met over the years.

“Living here has been one of the great blessings of my life. I’m proud to say I’m a Territorian.”

Krafty is looking forward to celebrating living in the Territory for many more years to come.

“You hear people talk about retiring down south one day, but I’m not going anywhere,” he said. “Alice Springs – the Territory – is my home now. Psychologically, that’s really freeing. You can go out bush and practice social distancing while sitting under a gum tree, if you like. It doesn’t get much better than that.”