Senior Leadership Team
The senior leadership team (SLT) is led by the chief executive officer. The 10-strong team is responsible for leading the strategic direction of the business and ensuring key objectives are delivered. The team meets on a weekly basis to discuss progress and review performance.
Michael as brings a wealth of experience and strategic leadership from the retail and wholesale industries to Outback Stores.
He has over 30 years’ experience in diverse and challenging leadership roles. Including 25 years with Coles Supermarkets where his journey started as a Store Manager and culminated as General Manager of SA and the NT.
Michael also spent 5 years as state manager for Coca Cola Amatil in the NT, during this time he maintained a strong focus on delivering strong financial results whilst making a proactive contribution to social outcomes in remote communities. Michael was the driving force behind a collaborative strategy with Outback Stores to improve health and nutrition outcomes by promoting water and sugar free drink consumption. The strategy and agreement remain in place to this day.
Jayveer, joined the team at Outback Stores in 2009. Over the following 5 years he worked in various roles across the finance department whilst developing a detailed knowledge of the retail business in remote Indigenous communities.
In 2014 Jayveer was promoted in the position of Chief Financial Officer, paving the way for other young aspiring leaders to follow in his foot-steps through strong support of internal career progression.
Jayveer conveys outstanding insight and understanding of a complex business to key stakeholders and holds overall responsibility for financial management activities within Outback Stores and its managed stores.
Chief Operating Officer
Evan has over 15 years’ experience working in for Coles Supermarkets in various retail operations roles across multiple states. During this time Evan developed a plethora of management skills across areas including people leadership and development, multi-site management and retail operations that he now brings to Outback Stores.
Evan is passionate about people leadership and development; exceeding our key stakeholder’s expectations and improving outcomes for our first Australians through strong long-term relationships.
Group Merchandise and IT Manager
Richard has over 30 years’ experience in the retail industry working across multiple sectors including supermarkets, liquor and in the independent wholesale sector.
During this time Richard has developed wide ranging skills and knowledge working in roles including store management, merchandise, new store development and most recently in multi-site operations roles across SA/NT.
Richard brings a passion for working in regional and remote Australia along with strong analytical and problem solving skills to support Outback Stores continued growth and success.
Training & Engagement Manager
Adam has over 10 years’ experience working in mainstream regional retail operations roles including in Central Australia, the Top End, Kimberley and Pilbara regions. He has experience working with both Indigenous and mainstream organisations on sustainable business development and culturally appropriate two-way learning strategies.
Adam is focussed on building strong relationships with communities and sharing great news stories and achievements from our first Australians through contemporary communication channels.
Jason is a born and bred Darwin local who brings with him over 28 years’ retail experience in the supermarket, food service and distribution industries, across the Northern Territory. He has an intricate understanding of the way of life in remote communities and brings strong negotiation, analytics and long-term business relationships to Outback Stores.
Jason is passionate about making positive difference through strong leadership, a collaborative approach and sustainable ways of working.
Operations Manager North
Operations Manager South
Nelson has over 15 years’ experience working in mainstream retail management roles along with 5 years’ experience living and working with Aboriginal Communities in the Top End. He joined Outback Stores in 2014 as an Area Manager based in Alice Springs and has since progressed into the role of Operations Manager in Central Australia. Nelson is focused on providing the best services and retail standards for our clients in remote community stores.
Finance Manager - Stores
Megan was born in Melbourne and after completing her Bachelor of Business at the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology RMIT, she relocated to the Northern Territory in 1997. Megan has over 25 years of experience working in finance across a range of business sectors prior to joining the Outback Stores team in 2017.
Since joining Outback Stores Megan has utilised her broad knowledge and extensive experience to focus on process improvements, increasing efficiency, providing quality in finance reporting and seeking out opportunities to develop and mentor her finance team members.
A strong believer in doing work that makes a difference to the community, Megan continues to look at ways to improve and support the strategic and operational activities of Outback Stores.
Troy joined Outback Stores in 2008 and has over 12 years’ experience working in various finance roles across the organisation. In 2019, Troy commenced in his current role as Commercial Manager, whilst still supporting the finance team.
Troy has acquired a broad range of skills in leadership, retail operations in regional and remote communities and business development. He is passionate about building strong community-led governance and career progression for the next generation of leaders.
Business Development Manager
Business Development Manager
Andrew Johanson has an extensive background in retailing, real estate and hotel management with a speciality in fruit and vegetable wholesaling and farming. He joined Outback Stores in 2007 and is a ten-year employee with extensive experience in some of our remote Central Australian communities as a store manager.
He was promoted to area manager and then promoted to Business Development Manager 2010 because of his extensive cultural and business negotiation skills.
Andrew continues to provide excellent service to the Company through the maintenance and strengthening of an extensive network with Indigenous owners, Government stakeholders and Traditional Owners.
Health and Nutrition Manager
Hup joined Outback Stores in 2019, bringing with him over 10 years of experience in the Information Technology field, Hup has previously worked for NEC, ISS Security and Toyota. He is an accredited Business Analyst and holds a Master’s of IT Management and a Bachelor of Information Technology.
Hup brings extensive skills and knowledge to Outback Stores including customer service, problem solving, IT service desk management, IT strategies and development that will support future growth and development of the business.
WHS and Food Safety Co-ordinator
Karla was born and raised in Darwin, and has 20+ years’ administrative experience across the retail industry and transport sector. Karla first joined Outback Stores in 2008, starting her role as a Receptionist and quickly moving to Operations Support Coordinator. In 2010, Karla left Outback Stores to further her career and joined Coca-Cola Amatil (CCA) as a Sales Support Coordinator. During her time at CCA, Karla managed all Work Health and Safety requirements for the Northern Territory Office.
In 2018, Karla returned to Outback Stores taking on the role of WHS and Food Safety Coordinator, all whilst successfully completing a Diploma in Work Health and Safety to support this position.
Karla is passionate about keeping the business safe and well educated on important matters relating to Work Health and Safety. Karla’s focus is to continue building on the health and safety culture within the business to ensure improved outcomes are achieved.
Executive Assistant to the CEO
Ellen is a born and bred Darwin local and brings with her an accumulative 15+ years’ experience in retail services, events and hospitality management. Prior to her role at Outback Stores, Ellen operated and ran a large commercial catering company alongside her immediate family. Ellen brings with her a wealth of knowledge and expertise in organisational and administrative capabilities to ensure that the business is on a moving path forward. Ellen is focused on maintaining a high standard of corporate governance and service provision to the business, to ensure better health, education and safety outcomes for all First Australians.
Nicola brings a wide range of experience in strategic communications, with a recent focus on social media marketing and community management. Her roles have spanned the different markets of Australia and Mexico, working across fields such as the arts, IT, retail and cosmetics.
After working as a publicist in Sydney for six years, Nicola relocated to live in Alice Springs for five years in order to promote the efforts of CAAMA Music, Australia’s oldest Aboriginal record label. After returning to city life for a while, she is now enjoying the wide desert horizons again, and appreciates the opportunity to be living on Arrernte country. Nicola enjoys promoting the accomplishments of her fellow outback Australians, while bringing enthusiasm and passion to all tasks.
Board of Directors
Outback Stores’ Board is comprised of non-executive directors that control and monitor the framework of the business and acts to ensure it is run in line with corporate governance requirements of a Commonwealth company and Outback Stores’ goals.
The Board members bring strong experience and expertise in retail, logistics, supply chain, finance, health and understanding of Indigenous culture. They meet on a quarterly basis to discuss progress and strategy. Each director is appointed by the Minister for Indigenous Australians.
Dr Susan Gordon AM
Dr Gordon is a Ngoonooru Wadjari woman from the Yamatji people. A retired magistrate who served for 20 years on the bench of the Children’s Court of Western Australia, Dr Gordon has had a long and distinguished career, with extensive senior leadership experience.
She has worked in the area of Indigenous employment, was a member of the first board of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Commission, chaired the National Indigenous Council, and led the Gordon Inquiry and the Northern Territory Emergency Response Taskforce.
She has a Bachelor of Laws Degree from the University of Western Australia (UWA), an Honorary Degree of Doctor of Letters from UWA, Order of Australia – Australia Medal, Centenary Medal, Defence Service Medal, and was named Senior Woman Lawyer of the Year 2014 by the Women’s Lawyers of WA Inc.
Graham has strong background in remote retail, enterprise development, consultancy, training and tourism. Mr Cook has worked with both mainstream and Indigenous enterprises.
Bess was born in Yuendumu, lives in Alice Springs, her first language is Warlpiri. She also knows Luritja, Western Arrernte and Anmatyerre.
Bess attained a Bachelor of Applied Science in Aboriginal Community Management and Development from Curtin University and has worked in education and training, public administration, the media, community development, interpreting, translating and language teaching and has experience in small business management.
In 2008 the Northern Territory Labor Government appointed Bess as Chairperson of its Indigenous Affairs Advisory Council (IAAC). She resigned from her post in 2011 to stand for the Country Liberal Party in the Central Australian seat of Stuart.
She was elected as a Country Liberal Party member of the Northern Territory Legislative Assembly from 2012 to 2016, and was appointed Minister for Housing, Community Services, Parks and Wildlife, Local Government, Statehood and Women’s Policy in the Northern Territory government.
In 2012 Bess was nominated for the US International Women of Courage Award.
Bess is currently a partner with Jajirdi Consultants working in cross cultural awareness training, community liaison and Warlpiri language services.
Sophie is the partner in charge of the commercial disputes resolution team in the Darwin office of a national law firm, she is an experienced and pragmatic litigator specialising in the areas of construction, employment, and aboriginal land disputes.
Amongst many of Sophie’s career highs, she has been the lead solicitor in a number of disputes, including the construction of a tailings dam and a complex dispute over mining on Aboriginal Land. Sophie has acted both for and against the Northern Territory government in a number of matters, mainly in relation to building and construction disputes and also acted for local government in relation to employment related matters. Sophie has advised the major Northern Territory port and airport operators and the major Territory utilities provider in relation to commercial disputes.
Stephen has extensive experience in retailing, having worked for Woolworths for 37 years. Stephen was part of the Woolworths Senior Management Team, and has experience in both buying and operations at senior executive level.
Stephen has held many senior executive positions, including those of Business Development Manager for International Business, General Manager of Long-Life Groceries, General Manager of Fresh Foods and Operations Manager of NSW Supermarkets. Prior to these roles, Stephen worked in the QLD Division in various operational roles.
Experience in buying and merchandising responsibilities in both Fresh Foods, Packaged Groceries and General Merchandise as well as a strong operational background provides Stephen with a unique mix of retailing skills.
Stephen has supervised supermarkets in many country locations, and understands the role that local stores play within the community and the importance of developing local talent. Stephen has also travelled extensively across Australia liaising with farmers and families facing the challenges of living in remote locations.
Stephen retired from Woolworths in 2012 and is currently consulting in the retail industry.
Professor Sandra Eades is a Noongar woman from Mount Barker, Western Australia. She completed her medical degree in 1990 and after working as a general practitioner began her career in health research at the Telethon Institute for Child Health Research where her focus was on the epidemiology of Indigenous child health in Australia. Professor Eades is currently Indigenous Maternal and Child Health and Associate Head, Preventative Health Research, at the Baker IDI Heart & Diabetes Institute.
She was named NSW Woman of the Year 2006 in recognition of her research contributions to Aboriginal communities. She also received a ‘Deadly Award’ (National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Awards) for Outstanding Achievement in Health.
Over the past decade she has made substantial contributions to the area of Aboriginal health and has provided leadership at a national level in Aboriginal research. Both Indigenous and non-Indigenous colleagues acknowledge Professor Eades as a leader and role model in Indigenous health research.
Dan is a multi-award winning multi-platform journalist. He is a broadcaster and hosts a daily breakfast radio program on ABC Radio Canberra, and anchors ABC Canberra’s 7pm news. He has reported across the country and around the world for close to 20 years.
Dan grew up in the remote Northern Territory town of Tennant Creek, where he was mentored by elders from around the region, while coming to understand his own Indigenous heritage from his mothers’s side of the family in coastal and inland parts of Victoria.
He was driven to news and reporting from an early age, and began a trainee-ship at the Tennant and District Times as a teenager still at school. Dan has worked as a newspaper reporter, video journalist, foreign correspondent, political reporter, and social commentator.
The keen runner and reader of biographies was a foundation member of the NT Parliament’s bipartisan advisory committee in to Statehood and has been a keen advocate for democratic equality and equity. He has sat on numerous boards, committees and charities, using his considerable experience in structural reform, governance, and media and communications. He is an in-demand MC, event facilitator, and expert communicator who has worked across the nation.
Dan is driven by giving voice to the voiceless, holding to account those in positions of power, and telling really great stories. Dan was thrilled to be appointed to the board of Outback Stores, and said they play a crucial role in getting fresh and quality food to Australians living in some of the most remote and harshest parts of our nation. “I look forward to working with the excellent board, and great team to continue the stellar work already happening.”
Mr Evans has over 30 years’ experience in banking and finance in Australia and the Asia-Pacific and is also a consultant and facilitator for the Australian Institute of Company Directors.
Mr Evans contributes in various governance roles in the public and private sectors. He is also a recipient of the Centenary Medal for his services to the health industry through the National Heart Foundation.
Lesley Nelson is a proud Noongar woman from the Balladong and Whadjuk clans, she holds over 25 years’ experience in various executive leadership roles within the Aboriginal health sector.
Lesley’s bias for innovation and action is strengthened with post graduate qualifications in Business and Epidemiology. This unique skill set has seen her champion the expansion of accessible primary health services for Aboriginal communities living in the state’s vast South West region of Western Australia.
Her drive to influence, collaborate and engage across the sector, has directly contributed to greater health outcomes for Aboriginal people living in the region.
Lesley brings a wealth of strategic governance experience to several Board director positions, including the National Aboriginal Community Control Health Organisation, Business SouthWest, Bunbury Chamber of Commerce and Industry and Breakaway Aboriginal Corporation. She also chairs the Aboriginal Health Council WA CEO’s Network and the South West Aboriginal Health Planning Forum.
Stories from Outback Stores
Remote retailer Outback Stores continues to improve Indigenous training and employment with Alma Ngalmi recently becoming its first qualified Indigenous retail trainer. Alma turned the challenge of not...