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Cashing in. Back on country.

Traditional owner Cheryl Thompson returned to her country and invested in several businesses. She is making the most of the untapped opportunity as well as the environment and culture to build a solid portfolio and a genuine connected life.

Cheryl Thompson grew up on country FarOut but left the bush to become a teacher.

Since she decided to move back home a decade ago this daughter of small business owners, has grown and diversified her business portfolio to an impressive level.

“I’ve been able to create so many different businesses since returning to Barcaldine. 

It is mind-blowing, and I even surprised myself, and they’re continually growing. 

I think it’s mainly because of the open space and the fresh air, and not sitting in traffic all day, it gives you the time and ability to dream and be creative, and make things come true.” she said.

In the last ten years, she has opened a cafe, launched her own line of coffee, established a tourism business, set up a privately-owned student hostel, develop indigenous products and has the contract for ground handling for Qantas Link and Regional Express Airlines in Barcaldine and Longreach.

“You can create whatever you want the opportunity is sitting here dormant ready to ignite,” she said. 

She is still finding opportunities and turning them into viable businesses. 

“We’re looking at cleaning contracts for Longreach Airport, coffee vans for Longreach Airport, so we’re breaking into other parts of the Central West,” she said. 

Her other ventures are expanding also.

“At Trackers Tours, we set up a Desert Dreaming Centre where we can do Aboriginal dancing and shows, and then our next project, and hopefully it’s the last, who knows, is the Fringe Camp, which is just outside of town where we are setting up some off the grid camping, and some cabins for the high-end tourists it’s so fantastic,” she said.

She is living proof of the opportunities to invest or establish businesses and grow them.

“There are plenty of opportunities and plenty of work for anyone.  If you are wanting to be progressive, then come out here, and meet some other progressive people, because it is unlimited as to how progressive you can be,” she explained.

Her decision to return to build her business portfolio in the west has been the best decision for her – but it not just about the bottom line.

“To continue my dreaming on country is the most precious thing to be back in the central west – I could never go back, I could never go back.”

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