Spotlight on Cynthia Smith

Spotlight on Cynthia Smith

Cynthia is the chairperson of the Mirnirri Store board of directors in Ali Curung, and at 27 years of age is also its youngest member. Originally from Balgo in Western Australia, she has worked at the Ali Curung store since arriving in the community in 2013.

At first, she was hesitant about taking on the role of chairperson, but now she enjoys the opportunity to lead the health and nutrition strategies of the store board. Cynthia represented the Mirnirri Store board of directors at the Food Summit held in Alice Springs in June 2021, organised by the Aboriginal Medical Services Alliance Northern Territory (AMSANT).

“I enjoyed hearing all the different ideas at the conference on how communities can eat healthier food,” said Cynthia, who was excited to meet Outback Stores director Bess Price at the AMSANT Food Summit.

Cynthia enjoys cooking and showed Mirnirri Store managers, Rob and Helen Delugar, how to prepare a kangaroo tail stew, which proved to be so popular it sold out the moment they were put on sale.

Cynthia hopes to see more young people employed in the communities because it is through working that they find out what talents they possess and grow in self-confidence. She thinks that the community store is an ideal learning environment
for young people, in part thanks to the qualities of the current store managers.

They are good to work with. They help when somebody is struggling. They are very patient and kind to everyone. And always happy,” said Cynthia about Mirnirri Store managers Rob and Helen Delugar.

Cynthia is looking forward to developing her formal training by learning more about governance so that she can bring new skills to her role as chairperson of the Mirnirri Store board.


Story first published in the Outback Stores 2021 Annual Report.

Introducing the Indigenous Advisory Group

Introducing the Indigenous Advisory Group

Last year Outback Stores established a new, independent advisory group to assist the company in achieving its purpose and strategic priorities.

The Indigenous Advisory Group’s members are influential and well-respected Indigenous leaders that provide expertise, cultural knowledge, and lived experience from remote communities.

George Lee Wilson lives in Balgo, Western Australia and is a qualified interpreter, as well as a board member of the Wirramanu Aboriginal Corporation. He has first-hand experience of working alongside Outback Stores in the management of a community store and brings his unique experience of navigating complex community relationships and interests.

“I am happy to be on this committee because I know how important it is to each community that their stores are managed well,” said George.

Prospective members are identified by the Outback Stores Executive Team and appointed by the Board for a term of two years.

The current members represent the wide geographic footprint that is serviced by Outback Stores:
• Mary O’Reeri (West Kimberley)
• Michael Liddle (East MacDonnell Ranges)
• Bobby Nunggumajbarr (Yugul Mangi)
• George Lee Wilson (Tanami)
• Peter Lindsay (Nyirranggulung)
• Rex Tjami (Anangu Pitjantjatjara Yankunytjatjara Lands)
• Dalton Macdonald (West MacDonnell Ranges)

“We welcome these first members of the Indigenous Advisory Group to the Outback Stores team and look forward to the valuable contribution of these community leaders”, said Outback Stores Chairperson Dr Susan Gordon.

The Indigenous Advisory Group is classified as a non-statutory, independent, skills-based group that provides advice to the Board through the Outback Stores Chairperson and the Chief Executive Officer.


Story first published in the Outback Stores 2021 Annual Report.

Spotlight on Liam George

Spotlight on Liam George

Congratulations to Liam George who has celebrated his tenth anniversary working at the Gulin Gulin Store, located 300km north-east of Katherine.

Liam was born and raised in Gulin Gulin but spent his high school years at Kormilda College in Darwin. He grew up speaking Kriol and Rembarnga with his family but learned English at school, which was one of his favourite subjects. After graduating high school he returned home and shortly afterwards got a job at the store.

Now, ten years later, Liam is the longest-serving member of the current store staff, and the one to whom new store managers often turn when they come to the community. At 29 years of age, Liam is the youngest member of the Gulin Gulin Store board of directors and is also its chairperson. He was proud to be nominated for the position and is happy to contribute to store decisions that benefit the health of the community.

Liam’s favourite task is working at the cash registers because it is a chance to connect with everyone as they pass through the store. He is a hard-working member of the team, who works five to six days a week.

He values his job at the store because of the independence that saving his money allows. This year he bought a car and is studying for his learner’s driver’s licence. Liam makes the most of the opportunity to get certified training through his job and is currently working on his Certificate III in Retail Services. In 2016 Liam was awarded “Young Citizen of the Year” by Roper Gulf Regional Council.

“Liam has a great work ethic and is proud of the shop. He will be a great leader for the community,” says store manager Mark Crilly.

Liam enjoys the friendly banter in the store and says of the current store managers Sharon and Mark Crilly, “They are fun to work with and respectful of the community members”.

When he is not working, Liam spends time fishing for barramundi, watching the Sydney Swans play footy and going for long walks with his dogs.


Story first published in the Outback Stores 2021 Annual Report.