Tish Lees was born in Perth in 1940. Three weeks later her life on a remote sheep station called ‘Karratha’, 1700 kilometres north in the Pilbara District in Western Australia, began. Educated by correspondence prior to boarding at St Hilda’s CEGS in Perth, she chose to return to Karratha where she worked as cook, rousabout, or in whatever capacity was required.
In 1960, she and her parents took a six week tour of the Far East. Two years later, she travelled throughout the British Isles and Europe with a friend on a working holiday. Remaining in Perth on her return, she worked for Amax and in 1964 drove around Australia with a Scottish girlfriend. Returning to Karratha to work, she saw the commencement of construction of the port and associated infrastructure at Dampier situated on the property. In 1965 she joined the construction arm of Conzinc Rio Tinto as site secretary to the Area Manager and was the only single female among some 1800 men!
Tish realised a dream to visit Expo ‘67 in Montreal, an adventure cut short by a marriage proposal! She is married to Richard and they have two children and two grand-daughters.
She has accepted the challenge of telling the Karratha story before it returns to earth with the dust of her bones.