When some people arrive in Port Hedland, they’ve simply made the journey from Perth — not so Joel Schreiber.

For Joel — an advanced skills lecturer in management, accounting and training at North Regional TAFE — the journey started in Hawaii, where he was born and raised; included an eight-year stint, most of it as department head, at the College of Micronesia in the Federated States of Micronesia; and a year as acting CEO of the Ramingining Community Council in the Northern Territory.

By any measure, that’s quite a journey.

He said that when he arrived in Port Hedland 24 years ago from the remote NT community, he and his family’s expectation were exceeded; they certainly appreciated a lot more amenities.

Joel said the town made him feel welcome and he appreciated being “in such a caring community”.

He met his wife, Violette, while overseas lecturing and when they arrived in Port Hedland in 1997 their son, Vahid, was four months old. Daughter Shirin was born a year later.

Joel and the family clearly like Port Hedland; Joel says he’s staying until he retires.

In his 24 years, Joel has worked in training and delivery in the Pilbara region (mostly in Hedland), worked extensively in the development, delivery, and evaluation of award courses in management, accounting, and HR and other programs to the community, industry, business, and government.

He promotes liaison with industry, government, business and other relevant organisations and TAFE programs.

A member of Port Hedland Industries Council’s Community Industry Forum, Joel says Port Hedland thrives because of its diversity — in culture, attractions, geography, food, and lifestyle.

“Port Hedland has very diverse, multi-cultural and Indigenous populations which provide for a vibrant and prosperous community,” Joel said.

“There is such a diversity of activities, food, learning, and work that one can pursue in Hedland.

“The rich cultural history is often studied and practiced by a lot of different groups and ages.

“The visiting and camping within this beautiful country and fishing and water activities are very enjoyable. There are so many things to do in every direction: Broome and Eighty Mile Beach is a good escape, the inland gorges with camping and swimming are always popular and Karratha, Onslow and Point Sampson are also good places to rest, fish, shop and swim.

“We are grateful for the many kind people who have welcomed us as friends.”

He said the Pilbara and Port Hedland are known throughout Australia for being rich in cultural heritage, natural beauty, and natural resources.

It will always be friendly and offer opportunities to work and serve the community.

“The recognition that there is unity in diversity and our collective endeavours to ensure the wellbeing of each other will add to the betterment of the community,” he said.

“This process is really taking shape. Even if there are a few social problems, the majority of town is getting better and better.

“I’m personally grateful to organisations like PHIC and their staff which connect all parts of the broader Port Hedland community —industry, government, community groups, indigenous representatives and interested community members.”

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