The late great Slim Dusty once sung "over Isa, my old Isa, girl you've got a charm of your own, Isa, my old Isa, oh girl you make a man feel well at home."
This was my favourite song during my stay and I think old Slim summed it up perfectly with those two lines.
Mount Isa really does have a charm of its own and the people that live there really do make you feel well at home.
But sadly my time in Outback Queensland has come to an end.
Today (July 22) marks exactly one year since I walked through the doors of the North West Star, where I began my first ever job that I was truly passionate about as a journalist.
I never thought I would live in the Australian Outback and I still don't think my experience has fully sunken in. But I suspect I will look back with a smile and remember my time as some of the greatest days of my life.
I am leaving with mixed emotions, I would be lying if I said there wasn't any lows and this is certainly not how I thought it would end (during a pandemic).
Yet I am taking away with me an exceptional amount of growth, as an individual and someone who has learned so much not only about myself but about the rural folk, the impact of journalism and the outback way of life.
I approached my time with an open mind, met some amazing people and created memories that will remain vivid until I pass on into the next life.
There's lots of things I will miss, from playing cricket for the Panthers - your club culture is very special and it's why I still play the game after over 20 years, once a Panther always a Panther! I'll miss where I lived - in an outback shed where I shared countless yarns and cold cans of XXXX Gold in the blistering heat with big Lez and the 530 crew.
I'll miss the wild rodeos, the star lit sky, Pamela St Hill, the Overlander Hotel, the sunsets and of course the pride that stems from the locals of Mount Isa.
I would like to thank my colleagues Derek, Sam, Shelly and Barb for welcoming me with open arms from the get go and remaining patient with me while I learnt the trade of journalism. Your efforts will never be forgotten. In particular Derek for taking me under his wing and Shelly who day in day out was an absolute pleasure to work with.
But now it's time for me to move to Townsville to take on a new challenge where I will be working on the Queensland election with the Katters.
If I ever shared a yarn, a beer or a laugh with you I would just like to say thank you for being a part of my experience, goodbye and farewell Mount Isa, I will miss you and as always take care.
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