International role from the comfort of home

MILLIONS of people relying on coverage of the North Korean nuclear crisis will have no idea of the role that Northern Tasmania is playing.

Dean Yates is Reuters' lead writer on its Asia Top News Team, responsible for overseeing their biggest breaking news in Asia each day - and he's doing it from a spare room in his Evandale home.

He is joined in Tasmania by Scottish-born colleague Clyde Russell, of Legana, a senior columnist on commodities and energy.

``I just love Launceston, I love the beauty, the nature - I think it's a really attractive city with a lot of facilities. You can have the kind of lifestyle down here that you just can't afford in other parts of Australia,'' Mr Russell said.

Both worked in Singapore at Reuters' Asia headquarters before independently deciding to seek a new lifestyle for their high-powered jobs - in Tasmania.

The pair work for Reuters, the largest independent news agency in the world, with a daily audience of more than one billion people. It was the first to break the news of the Titanic hitting an iceberg, and Saddam Hussein's capture.

Mr Yates, monitoring developments from North Korea, finished a call from Seoul to talk about his job.

``Sanctions have just been announced at the United Nations,'' Mr Yates said.

It's a long way from Evandale's leafy High Street.

``If you have a good broadband connection you can just about live anywhere in the world now in certain jobs,'' Mr Yates said. ``Luckily our company was very happy for us to make the move here.''

Both Mr Russell and Mr Yates said that the Tasmanian lifestyle and quality of education for their children was a key part of their decision making.

``We'd been on the road for around 20 years, and got to the stage for us where our kids and their education really needed to be prioritised,'' Mr Yates said.

His Tasmanian-born wife Mary convinced him of the merits of Tasmanian living.

``I think it's the most beautiful place in the world,'' Mr Yates said.

The Yates enrolled their children at Launceston Church Grammar School, while Mr Russell's wife Joy teaches at Scotch Oakburn College alongside her kids.

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