A new home in Pingelly
Tara Whitney thought a short stint in a small West Australian Wheatbelt town would be a bit of a holiday. Relaxing. Something different. She never expected to build a business employing five people, earn more than she did in Perth and find her tribe in the one-thousand strong community of Pingelly, which she now regards as home.
“I never expected friends to become family and to never want to leave,” says Tara, who moved from Perth with her three daughters and husband Dan, when he got a transfer with work.
“The community is incredible,” she says.
“There’s so much more socializing than in Perth. The women you play netball with are the same mothers at the tennis club and the same people on the P&C committee, so you very quickly become friends.”
Leaving her city job, she thought she’d scramble to find work amidst the fields of grain and sheep, 160 kilometres south-west of Perth.
Instead, she discovered “huge opportunities, because people in regions want to work with people who understand their situation.”
With her skills as a grant assessor, Tara set up a consultancy, and now employs five women, many of whom work around kids and farm-life. “We’re ten-times better off financially than we were in Perth,” she says.
When Dan, a policeman, got a transfer back to the WA capital last year, the family shed “so many tears.” “We’re still members of the Pingelly tennis club and play in all the tournaments and go back for celebrations,” Tara says. And there’s every chance they’ll move back “when the kids are out of high school. I see Pingelly as home,” she says.