Not your average 20-year-olds

Not your average 20-year-olds

It’s hard for millennials to buy their own home these days, let alone two homes before the age of thirty. But that is exactly what Danya and Tyler have done, thanks to the opportunities to save their earnings when they became remote store managers. Not only that, but they have seen corners of the country that most will never know, made life-long friends and learnt about different cultures, customs and languages.

Danya and Tyler met in 2014 while working at a grocery store in Normanville, South Australia. Danya had worked there since she was fifteen years old, and Tyler was working while at the same time studying a degree. They were both around 23 years old and looking for new horizons when Tyler’s father returned from working as a store manager with Outback Stores.

“My dad said we should have a go. Get out and see the country! And we thought, why not?” recounts Tyler.

One week after their job interview they were packing up their Toyota Troop Carrier with their swag and camping equipment, and driving from South Australia all the way up to Darwin. After their induction they were sent to live and work in the community of Beswick, a community of 500 people near Katherine, the traditional lands of the Bagala people in Central Arnhem Land. They enjoyed meeting the community and hearing the different languages of Rembarranga and Kriol spoken around them. On weekends their new friends would take them swimming at Beswick Falls or to explore different fishing spots nearby.

Shkarra and Matt

Top: Their Toyota Troop Carrier, nicknamed ‘Titanic’
Bottom: Danya overlooking a lookout at Beswick (with Tyrell the dog)

There’s no way we could have bought a house so quickly if we’d stayed in our previous jobs.

– Danya

​After twelve months in Beswick they set off for the smaller community of Tjuntjuntjara in Western Australia, population 120. Located twelve hours from the closest town, Ceduna, it is one of the most remote locations serviced by Outback Stores. Tyler had done lots of camping before and so they really appreciated the opportunity to live surrounded by nature and would go camping most weekends. It was while living here that they bought their first property, a house on two hectares on the Fleurieu Peninsula, where they intend to retire one day.

“There’s no way we could have bought a house so quickly if we’d stayed in our previous jobs,” explains Danya.

Not only are the couple earning more now, but they found it easy to save their earnings because there is no rent to pay when working as a store manager with Outback Stores. Another perk of the job is the seven weeks’ annual leave, which they have used to visit Fiji, Thailand, Singapore and Bali.

After spending two years in Tjuntjuntjara they left with many unforgettable memories, as well as gifts of traditional spears, woomeras and paintings, which they treasure.

Next they spent a year in the community of Papunya, home of the Luritja people, where they enjoyed exploring the MacDonnell Ranges on weekends. But it was the community of Nyirripi in Warlpiri country that they think has the best camping spots of all.

Ashley and Karen in Car Photo

Top: Camping at Tjuntjuntjara
Bottom: Danya and Tyler with Selwyn from Papunya Store

We’re so lucky to get to experience these remote, beautiful places.

– Tyler

“We’re so lucky to get to experience these remote, beautiful places” says Tyler.

“And don’t forget the dogs!” reminds Danya, who particularly loved the camp dogs.

The couple agree that it was helpful having a partner to share the experience of working in a remote community. It would also be helpful to have an open mind and be adventurous, Danya suggests.

“You need to be fairly resourceful and willing to have a go at fixing things, as well as go with the flow when things don’t work out as planned,” adds Tyler.

After four years of working as a remote store manager, Danya last year took a job in the Darwin Support Office as Operations Support Coordinator, while Tyler worked as a relief manager based in Darwin. During that time Tyler visited many different communities, such as Ti Tree, Jigalong, Bardi, Maningrida, Nitjipurru, Yungngora, Gulin Gulin & Dungalan.

It takes an adventurous spirit to spend your twenties far from the familiar path of mates and nights at the pub, but they think it has been a pretty good trade off.

“We’ve seen the country and had so much life experience. We’ve seen so many beautiful places and we still have friends that we keep in touch with from every community,” says Tyler.

After all the travelling of last year, they are appreciating the chance to be settled in one place now that Tyler is working in the Darwin office as Merchandise Support Officer.

Danya and Tyler have just bought a home in Darwin and are looking forward to finally hanging up the paintings they’ve collected in different communities.


Outback Stores is currently hiring remote community store managers. Click here to learn more.

Camping in a swag
Ashley and Karen in Car Photo
Ashley and Karen in Car Photo

Top: Camping in a swag
Middle: Tyler with staff at Bardi Ardyaloon Store (One Arm Point)
Bottom: Sunset in Tjuntjuntjara

NAIDOC Week 2022: Get Up, Stand Up, Show Up!

NAIDOC Week 2022: Get Up, Stand Up, Show Up!

This year’s NAIDOC theme is Get Up, Stand Up and Show Up, which is something our training team know all about. Each day Alma Ngalmi and Dotty Repu get up and stand by their commitment to show that others from remote communities can have the same opportunities as they had to further their careers through certified training, and they lead by their own example.

Alma (pictured left) grew up in Numbulwar Community, in South-East Arnhem Land. Her first job was at the Barunga Community Store, and soon worked her way up to the role of store supervisor, and from there moved to the Darwin support office as receptionist. She enrolled in Certificate IV in Retail Management as well as Training and Assessor, while juggling full-time work and raising a young family. She completed both qualifications and achieved her goal of becoming the first Aboriginal Retail Trainer at Outback Stores. “This was one of my proudest moments in life,” she says.

Now Alma is leading the way for others to follow in her footsteps, and is mentoring Dotty Repu (pictured right) from Maningrida Community.

Alma says “It’s really important for local Aboriginal people to have career pathways and opportunities. It is my job to empower and challenge others to get the best out of themselves. My experience working in remote communities helps breaks down cultural communication barriers. When I train and talk in the local language it makes a big difference and changes the whole experience. VET (Vocational Education and Training) helped me grow my skills, develop confidence and opened up career pathways that I thought weren’t possible.”

Dotty is from Maningrida community in West Arnhem Land and she started her career by completing a Certificate III in Business and a traineeship with Westpac. She first joined Outback Stores in 2020 as Operations Administration Assistant, before working her way up to her new position of Training Officer. Last week Dotty was selected as one of three finalists for the 2022 NT Training Awards – Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander of the Year.

“I’m really enjoying helping Outback Stores in making a difference with all the communities we work with. I have lived in community and know what it’s like to live out bush. My goal is to move up into a leadership role at Outback Stores, and continue to help support our communities and homelands,” says Dotty.

Well done to our training team for getting up each day, standing up for what they believe in, and showing others that the best form of leadership is through their own example!

To read more about NAIDOC Week click here.