Rebekah signs off
Saturday, 22nd December, 2018
By Callum Marshall
Local ABC Presenter Rebekah Lowe says she’ll miss the Hill, its people and its places after giving her final broadcast yesterday and reflecting on her time in the Silver City.
When Rebekah arrived in the Hill in early 2016, she said the dry landscape was the first thing that stood out to her.
“I come from the wet south-east of South Australia where it rains nine months a year and when it gets dry we think it’s quite bad,” she said.
“But ever since I drove up the highway to Broken Hill I’ve gotten to experience what dry really is, as well as what it’s like to live in drought.
“So I arrived here in February or March 2016 for two weeks of backfill work and after that I didn’t know if I was coming back or not.
“Eventually I was given the job ... so six weeks later I packed my car up and drove here not knowing how long I’d be here for or what my future held.
“I’ve now been here for just under two years and nine months.
“So I had trouble telling people I was leaving because I get quite connected to people and (saying goodbye) was pretty tough.
“It’s always emotional when you connect with people in a community, particularly in my job as a radio presenter.
“Sometimes you might be sitting in a studio on your own but the reality is you’re affecting a lot of people in the community.
“You’re touching them and they invite you into their cars and homes every morning and you’re a part of their day.”
Rebekah said getting to know more about the Barkindji people, the Far West landscape, understanding the water issues and seeing the infrastructure changes in the city had been particularly rewarding experiences.
“I think learning a lot about the Indigenous community here, the Barkindji people, has been really rewarding,” she said.
“I really loved trips to Wilcannia, Menindee and other places too, so that’s been a highlight of my time here.
“(I’ll also miss) the red soil, blue skies and sunshine all the time. I remember when my boss Andrew (Schmidt) came into the office during winter and said, ‘Rebekah it’s cold in the mornings but blue skies and sunshine for the rest of the day.’
“That was something I got used to pretty quickly because winter in the south-east of South Australia is just dark clouds.
“Even when it rains here it doesn’t last very long, so that’s something I’ve gotten used to which I’ll find hard to let go of if I went somewhere like the south-east again.
“Clearly the water issues around the Darling River and the Menindee Lakes, and getting my head around those things, (has been another big part of my time here.)
“So leaving will be hard because I feel quite attached to some of those stories and I want to know their outcomes and developments.
“It’s something that’s so passionate to the community and in my job you’re a voice for those stories to keep people informed.
“So I’ll find that topic a little hard to let go of. So I’ll be keeping a keen ear out on that.
“I also think all the infrastructure changes to Broken Hill has been fascinating.
“Coming here and seeing a town that’s so full of history, where you walk around and you see how it was such a wealthy town at one time, and how they’re going through the tough times now but you know that they’re going to come out of it.
“So I’ll miss seeing some of those projects (coming up now), whether it be the library, the cultural centre being done or Patton Park.”
She said the hardest part though was saying goodbye to Hillites, particularly the camping trips with friends.
“When I moved here some people said to me, because I come from a regional town and I was missing the people down there, ‘when you move to Broken Hill what will you love?’,” said Rebekah.
“I said that the sunsets were amazing, the sunrises incredible, the outback and desert is just breathtaking, but it’ll be the people that I love and I’ll find difficult to leave. And that’s been the hardest part.
“I’ll also miss all the camping at Menindee Lakes and in creek beds at Silverton as well.
“Sometimes you feel isolated here in Broken Hill, but just go an hour down the road to a creek bed or to the Menindee Lakes, Lake Pamamaroo, and just set up camp, roll the swag out, light a fire and sit around with friends.
“I think that’s been one of the biggest highlights for me. I think also the fact that the people you meet here, and the friends you make, are such an eclectic mix.
“But it’s been an eye-opening experience, one that’s changed me and which I’m really grateful for.”
Rebekah said she’ll be carrying on as a presenter for ABC but will be trading up the Far West of News South Wales for the Far West of Victoria, with Horsham her new destination.