Hats off to our store managers!

Hats off to our store managers!

A special shout-out to the store managers of Outback Stores in times of COVID-19!

Navigating the latest COVID regulations requires agility at the best of times, let alone when you’re living in remote communities amongst a highly vulnerable population, and tasked with supplying the only source of food for hundreds of kilometres.

They’ve maintained their essential service to communities through ever-changing legislations, quarantine confinements, mask mandates and rapid-testing – all while enduring extra-long periods away from family and friends.

“Chasing down vaccine certificates from our staff has been especially tough”, said Shkarra Baskott, co-manager of Santa Teresa store. “But thankfully they all understood the need for it, and there was a delegated person in community to help everyone access their certificates. This really helped the whole community.”

Recently the team at Santa Teresa were tested to the limits when both store managers, Shkarra and Matt, needed to undergo isolation while awaiting test results. And worst of all, on delivery day! It was a chance for local team members Troy Turner and Michelle Young to save the day, with Troy navigating the forklift and Michelle coordinating the unloading. The local team successfully handled the operation of the store for two days while Matt and Shkarra were in isolation awaiting their negative test results.

“Our store managers and their teams are the lifeblood of Outback Stores and have done an amazing job navigating another year of changing COVID-19 conditions,” says Michael Borg, CEO of Outback Stores.

Well done to all our remote store managers and staff for their resilience in these challenging times! 

Spotlight on Sasha Shaw, Trainee Accounting Officer

Spotlight on Sasha Shaw, Trainee Accounting Officer

Sasha Shaw is from the remote community of Yarralin, located 700 kilometres south of Katherine, along the banks of the Wickham River. She grew up speaking the Ngarinyman language of that region, as well as the widely used Kriol, spoken across many communities in the Top End.

After finishing Year 12 in Darwin at Marrara Christian College, she studied full-time for her Certificate II in Business and then worked at National Australia Bank.

Sasha first worked at Outback Stores when she was 14 years old, and after having her first child returned to work at the store in Yarralin, running the takeaway while also studying a Certificate III in Retail Services.

Sasha credits her maternal grandmother, Joy, as a big influence in the life of her and her three sisters. Joy was as a police officer for many years, wrote the Ngarinyman-English dictionary and now works as a schoolteacher in Yarralin.

Katherine & Sugar Cane Image

Sasha Shaw in the Darwin Support Office

“She taught us the importance of working and being professional on the job.”


“She taught us the importance of working and being professional on the job”, says Sasha, who adds that a strict upbringing shaped her for who she is today.

“I’m really grateful to her. We weren’t rich but we had everything because we were together, and we had a lot of love. She taught us everything from cooking, gardening, and cleaning the house, to Christian teachings, as well as learning to keep our Aboriginal culture and language strong.”

When Sasha was 22 years old her mother died suddenly, but the four sisters were able to manage their grief thanks to the strong mind-set that their grandmother had taught them.

“Your mind is very powerful, especially when used to uplift others. My sisters and I enjoy giving our best selves to others and making others happy. Our mind-set also helps us focus on the future, rather than dwelling on the past.”

All four sisters are pursuing their different passions: writing, physiotherapy, fashion and in Sasha’s case, business.

Ashley and Karen in Car Photo

Top: The Ngarinyman to English Dictionary
Bottom: Joy holding a copy of the dictionary she wrote

“Our mind-set also helps us focus on the future, rather than dwelling on the past.”

– Sasha Shaw

After spending 10 years back in her home of Yarralin, Sasha returned to Darwin with her two daughters to further her education.

Sasha is currently studying a Certificate III in Accounts Administration, while also working part-time in the Darwin Support Office of Outback Stores. After starting as an intern, Sasha was soon invited to the team as a Trainee Accounting Officer.

“Since joining the Outback Stores family Sasha has shown great enthusiasm and this, with her outgoing personality, has seen her become a valued member of our team,” says Megan Baker, Finance Manager.

Having first worked in her community store, Sasha is now enjoying learning about the accounting side of the Outback Stores business.

“I’ve tried many different jobs and activities, but now that I’ve found accounting, I’m really passionate. I’m loving it,” she says.

Ashley and Karen in Car Photo
Ashley and Karen in Car Photo

Top: The sisters together. Anna, Sasha, Mikayla and Tamika (left to right)
Bottom: Yarralin community, NT