To all those people running, managing and leading in business I would like to wish you the very best for 2020. Looking back, 2019 was the year I boldly stepped into a partnership, invested heavily in our digital capabilities and gave my personal and business outlook a tune up.
I feel that in the past 12 months I have definitely grown as a director. My confidence to take on more challenges and bigger projects, and continue to drive new initiatives will become evident in the new year with the relaunch of Territory Taste magazine and our expanding events capabilities on the back of the extremely successful Laksa Festival.
This event really drove foot traffic into restaurants beyond the event itself and has continued to do so post-event as well. It connected the community and highlighted that everyone has a laksa story. I’m proud of what we delivered and the fact we generated media all over the globe – and positioned Darwin as the Laksa Capital of the World in only eight weeks of intense marketing. Who would have thought a bowl of soup that we eat for breakfast, lunch and dinner could be the very thing that puts us on the map? But then Campaign Edge Sprout (CES) are experts in the art of persuasion, so if we can market laksa back to Asia, we can market anything.
Towards the end of the year I felt a change in the air. Suddenly, the mood in the Northern Territory business community has perked up. That’s partly due to the announcement that the $400 million ship lift is going ahead. That’s big news for the NT – it not only means jobs during construction but a new, strong stream of wealth and the development of Darwin as an international maritime hub.
Other major projects are underway – civil works have already been carried out on the $200 million Landbridge Westin Hotel and tens of millions of dollars are being spent on onshore oil and gas exploration in the Beetaloo Basin which we can’t see but it’s definitely happening out there. The announcement of the CDU city campus and progress in the planning for Jabiru are all positive steps for long-term stability and the future of the Territory.
Yes, 2020 is an election year, but it’s no wonder business people are saying that the economy will turn upwards, possibly as early as the start of the dry season. And the real estate industry is expecting improvement in the number of sales and prices. Maybe now is the time to dust off those investment plans or think about generational housing as an option.
In this issue you will read about HerdThat, a community engagement initiative to amplify the voice of our cattle industry. It is by far the largest sector in our primary industries, worth more than $1.2 billion a year.
Over 10,000 Territorians directly and indirectly rely on the wheels to keep turning. I encourage you all to get behind it – and go to herdthat.com.au and purchase quality merchandise to help spread the word and show your support.
CES picked up an amazing private sector contract with Darwin Motor Group, who have 14 badges under the one group. The DMG account has secured jobs and contributed to growing our team over the past 12 months and they are a seriously large employer themselves.
I’ve always been a huge advocate of supporting local and Kevin and Catherine Swanson are the perfect examples of that. We are proud to have secured two large private sector accounts in only two years and to provide strategic, creative, production and media placement services to the clients every single day. As we go to print, I’m also busy working on a third.
In 2020, I encourage you to invest in your professional and personal development as if it was part of your business. I can’t stress enough the importance of living your best one life. There is a story in this issue from Trevor Farmer, who runs a course that guides you to living above courage and aiming for peace, joy and happiness. It’s a course that shows you how to get yourself out of the way. I was so inspired by it that I have booked him and Juliane to come to take my entire team through it too. To share a common purpose and invest in the mental and physical health has become just as important to my business as professional training.
The businesses profiled here in the pages of TQ show the resilient and innovative nature of our quiet achievers. Territory SMEs have got big shoulders, and nobody is more seriously determined than Morto, our deserved cover. He is an inspiration to me and many others. Morto is the nicest bloke. He’s the real deal and someone who will say “shame job” for me telling you all that. You have no idea how much I am bursting with pride to tell the story of the ratbag from Glen Helen.
In the same edition, we bring you a cracker pioneer story about Fran Kilgariff. When it comes to Territory characters there is none more dedicated and honest than these two. They both had grounded upbringings in Central Australia. It’s as if they have been carved out of pure NT DNA.
This issue is written with drive and determination for a huge year looking forward and I wish you all every success in 2020. This coming year I am celebrating 25 years in the Territory and over 18 years in business. As we press print on our 26th Issue of TQ, I’m looking forward to the next 18 years as well. Bring it on! TQ