Mount Isa. Glad to meet you!

One of the iconic views of Mount Isa, after sunset.
And the daylight version.

So to many outsiders, I suspect that the images above may encapsulate their perspective of Mount Isa. Sure it is a mining town. However, on my two recent visits, I was most privileged to meet with many wonderful people who reside in this town.

Firstly, all the many people we met in our hotel, in local cafes and restaurants, and elsewhere, they were all so helpful and friendly. I thank each of you for making our stay there most enjoyable. Sure, we were there recently late Autumn so the weather was not so harsh. Nevertheless, the town presented itself as safe, well equipped and confident.

Further images of the town are shown below.

Looking to the southwest over town. Lots of trees are nice.
Gotta have a race-course! Looking north east.
Leaving town. Looking east. Lots more rolling hills surrounding Mount Isa than expected.
Wow! Not just an icon but a vital cog for Outback education, for Queensland, Northern Territory and even students from Western Australia. “Through adversity to higher things”. This school does amazing work. Drop in for a tour if you are ever in town. Fascinating.

We too were grateful for the wonderful people and dedicated staff we met at Mount Isa School of the Air. What they do is quite extraordinary. Supporting children working on the many properties stretching in all directions for many, many hundreds of kilometres across Queensland, and well beyond.

Mount Isa is also the gateway to so many other extraordinary places in the Australian outback. Of course it is on the road from the south to so many iconic Australian locations in the north and north west. Lawn Hill, the Gulf, the Northern Territory, and so much more. But nearby, there is Lake Moondarra, a good place to watch the sunset I believe. They tell me there are good gemfields in the area, good fishing, and great road-trips in every direction.

Meanwhile the greatest privilege I had while in Mount Isa was not directly about this place, rather it was concerning a former young student of the Mount Isa SOTA. “Dolly” Everett died by suicide in 2018, after being cyber-bullied while at her new boarding school. While in Mount Isa recently, my privilege was to hear from her brave mother Kate Everett, who explained Dolly’s story. Pure tragedy and so horrific, for Dolly’s surviving family and close friends.

As some of you may know, Dolly’s family, with the help of the Melbourne based Alannah and Madeline Foundation set up their own foundation called Dolly’s Dream (refer https://dollysdream.org.au/ ). Friday 10th May 2019 was “Do it for Dolly Day”, commemorating such a fine young person whose life ended far too soon. Dolly’s foundation, driven with much focus and energy by her parents, is committed to preventing Dolly’s plight being repeated with other teenagers across Australia. I wish them every success, and ask that you support them, and like organisations elsewhere, to make this world, and our (or your) country a better place.

Until we meet again, Mount Isa holds fond memories, for the many reasons noted above. It also reminded me to not judge a town based upon our often city-centric expectations or interpretations, and my recent visits revealed this town, like so many in the Australian outback, to be so much more than what the iconic imagery might suggest.

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