Perth is nestled on the banks of the Swan River in Western Australia. From my office window I can see blue sky reflected off the water of the river with one solitary boat cruising by.
I can also see a multitude of office buildings, towering cranes and flowing traffic. This is the vibrant contrast of Perth - a beautiful natural setting closely entwined with an economy that is still booming.
With its mild winters and hot summers, the climate is one the best aspects about Perth. The city comes alive in summer. This is the time for enjoying Perth’s beautiful beaches, with clear white sand and pristine blue water, hat and sunscreen in hand. This is also the time to relax after work or on the weekend by attending one of the numerous outdoor cinemas, picnic in hand, to watch anything from alternative festival films to Hollywood classics.
During summer, in the morning before work, I often drive to Kings Park, which is 400 hectares of bush and parkland about 1.5 kilometres from the city centre. I exercise there along with hundreds of other people of all shapes and sizes each morning. It’s also a great place to relax with a book or grab a coffee under a shady gum tree on the weekend. I then take the train into work from a small townhouse, which takes me about 10 minutes to get to Perth city. It is quite a sprawling city and I am lucky to live so close to the centre - for many people the commute can take 40 minutes or more.
Here in Western Australia, we have enjoyed steady economic progress and Perth has benefited from some large infrastructure projects and lots of new businesses. My working days are Monday to Friday, with the office humming with activity during working hours.
In some ways, with its close, friendly community and relaxed atmosphere, Perth resembles a large country town - although this does mean that it’s an enormous hassle if you want to go to the shops after 5.30pm or to a restaurant after 9pm at night. Having said that, there is an increasing diversity of restaurants and small bars across the city, which is a great way to spend the evening.
Perth is also a weekend trip away from some amazing parts of Western Australia, including the spectacular coastline and world-class wineries of Margaret River or the rural, relaxed lifestyle of York. A little closer to home is the vibrant bustling Fremantle harbour. This might mean you have to go looking for how to spend your evening or weekend sometimes, but local markets, cafes, bars and a diverse mix of people make this a rewarding search.
Lucinda Plowman is a lawyer in the workplace relations, employment and safety team at DLA Phillips Fox in Perth.