Untouched beauty is Pilbara perfect for environmental health officer

Having grown up in the hustle and bustle of Sydney, City of Karratha environmental health officer Corey King is enjoying the untouched beauty that has come with working remotely.  Describing herself as a travelling nomad, Corey said she had previously felt disconnected in the City but the Pilbara region had changed all that, now calling it home.

“I didn’t want what was on offer in a major City (Sydney) but didn’t know any different,” she said.  “Over the years with each move the City or town has become smaller and before moving I’ve focussed on what I would be missing including major events, shopping centres and mainstream cinema.  What I’ve found is the complete opposite as I never realised how much I would gain with each move.”

Studying Environmental Health as a mature aged student at Curtin University before making the move north, Corey said she had been working in the industry for more than a decade both in the Northern Territory and regional Western Australia.  “For me the saying ‘variety is the spice of life’ rings true and something that environmental health offers is variety,” she said.  “Environmental health officers become involved in a wide range of issues and no day is ever the same.”

Spending some of her time working within the community, Corey said it was this aspect of the job she enjoyed most.  “The contact with the community is what I love most about the job,” she said.  “I get satisfaction from working with a wide range of people to resolve issues particularly those that pose a risk to public health.”  A volunteer with the West Pilbara Turtle Program, she said she and her family were lucky to be afforded such opportunities.

“The program has allowed me to spend time on the Dampier Archipelago tagging turtles,” she said.  “I love what the region has to offer and feel privileged to have had the opportunity to explore the pristine environment that is relatively untouched due to its remoteness.  “Since moving to Karratha to work in the Environmental Health Team I’ve also seen my step daughters’ benefit from opportunities, given birth to my first child, adopted two dogs and three chickens and generally become a part of the fabric of the Karratha and more recently Dampier community where I now own a house.”

With International Women’s Day (IWD) fast-approaching Corey said it was important to reflect on and celebrate the achievements of women.  “My number one role model will always be my mother, she was the strongest most compassionate person I’ve ever known and without her I would not be the person I am today,” she said.  “I am forever thankful for the 20 years I had with her.  “For me it’s (IWD) a time for women to come together, celebrate their successes and draw strength from each other,” she said.  She added women were often faced with the challenge of maintaining a good work/life balance.

“Finding balance between work and life is ever increasing and we tend to focus too much on what we could do better rather than what we are doing well,” she said.  “Events like IWD help shift that focus to the positive.  “Collaboration is powerful with much more possible as a collective than working in isolation – that’s the long-term benefit of things like IWD.”

As for what’s next, Corey said she was enjoying watching her daughters grow up in a close-knit community.  “When I first moved to Karratha I came across numerous people who came for two years but 10, 20, 30 years later were still here,” she said.  “I didn’t think at that time that I’d become one of those statistics and then life just happens.”

City of Karratha Environmental Health