Spotlight on the Kantilla sisters

Stella, Katherine, and Julie Kantilla work at the Nguiu Club on Bathurst Island, 80 kilometres north of Darwin, on the Tiwi Islands.

Outback Stores began working alongside the community to manage the club in 2015. Stella joined soon afterwards. Nguiu Club is next to the community football oval, in a community of about 1,500 people who speak both Tiwi and English.

Stella is the eldest sister and her enthusiasm persuaded two of her sisters and two brothers to join her.

“We live together and that’s why I wanted them to work alongside me because we’re very close. We crack jokes and make each other laugh,” says Stella.

Since starting work at the club, the sisters have steadily worked their way through the accredited training certificates offered by Outback Stores.

In July 2023, the Kantilla sisters proudly received their Certificate IV in Retail Management. Friends and family celebrated the occasion with traditional singing and dancing.

Shkarra and Matt

Top: The Kantilla sisters
Bottom: The sisters receiving their Certificate IV with Dotty Repu and Matt Pawelski from Outback Stores

We felt proud to receive our certificates in front of our father and the rest of our family.

– Stella Kantilla

“It was enjoyable for me and my sisters to do the training, because we want to become managers in the future, or join the board of directors,” says Stella.

Stella likes to keep busy. Her favourite tasks at the club are working on the tills, checking identification, and serving at the bar.

The sisters work on the days when the club is open, from 4-8 pm on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturdays.

This is Stella and Julie’s first job but their sister Katherine also works as a school bus driver.

For Stella’s 30th birthday the sisters pooled their savings and bought a four-wheel drive, which they use to take their family fishing and hunting. They especially enjoy looking for mud mussels, periwinkles and crab.

Katherine is the family’s best chef. Her specialty is steak, or cooking the bream and snapper that her family catch in the waters around Bathurst Island.

This story was first published in the Outback Stores Annual Report 2022-23

Ashley and Karen in Car Photo

The sisters receiving their Certificate III in 2021