Fair dinkum, the bush goes viral

People create their own jobs in the bush for towns to survive


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Cameron McFadyen created his own job when he started clothing company Fare and Dinkum from Jerilderie.

Cameron McFadyen created his own job when he started clothing company Fare and Dinkum from Jerilderie.

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When it comes to rural employment, more people are creating their own jobs to keep communities strong – and the internet is a driving factor.

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It's the tiny Riverina town that became famous for its connection with bushranger Ned Kelly. But now Jerilderie is also home to another Aussie name.

Cameron McFadyen started Fare and Dinkum clothing brand in 2017 because he was passionate about agriculture and he wanted to stay in the town he has called home all his life.

"I wanted something people could resonate with," Mr McFadyen said.

"The name originates from the iconic saying fair dinkum and you can't get any more Australian than that."

The 27-year-old is among a growing number of people who are creating their own jobs to help keep local communities strong.

Improved internet connections, new technology and software programs are helping retailers build more functional interactive websites, which is helping increase business. Mr McFadyen tells his story of the clothing brand through social media using people in the industry. Meanwhile in one of the most remote corners of the state a farmer is running an interior design business, there is a shoe company in Brewarrina and leather-made goods from Dubbo.

"There are good opportunities to harness in the bush especially thanks to better technology than ever before," Mr McFadyen said.

"I have access to the rest of Australia and the world from one little town.

"It's bringing awareness to what's going on in the bush and closing the divide between the city and regional areas."

While Mr McFadyen still works for his family business SST Development Group that provides precision ag solutions, the part-time clothing company that is 100 per cent Australian made is gradually turning into a full-time job.

"Lots of young people leave country towns but is showing you can do anything," he said.

There are good opportunities to harness in the bush especially thanks to better technology than ever before. I have access to the rest of Australia and the world from one little town. - Cameron McFadyen

It's not just retailers heading online to be competitive in today's market so are farmers like Scott O'Brien and his wife Anna who run Bella Lana Merino Stud near Wellington.

"You can't get the word out there any more efficiently than websites, there is no other way," Mr O'Brien said.

Two years ago they updated their website through State Government's Business Connect program, which has been integral platform in selling rams and has helped make it easier to update information and be compatible with smart phones. This has allowed them to attract customers from other states.

"If you google our brand name, the search comes straight up and it's linked to facebook, which gives us a wider audience," he said.

Yasmin Cox from Deniliquin modelling the Fare and Dinkum clothing brand. Photos supplied by Fare and Dinkum.

Yasmin Cox from Deniliquin modelling the Fare and Dinkum clothing brand. Photos supplied by Fare and Dinkum.

Research company IBISWorld reports revenues for online shopping in Australia reached $23.5 billion in 2018-19 with annual average growth from 2014 to 2019 of 14.1 per cent. There are now 57,409 online shopping businesses in Australia and NSW has the most businesses with 34.6 per cent, followed by Victoria with 24.4 per cent. The Sensis 2018 Yellow Digital Report showed the number of Australian businesses taking orders online is less pronounced in metropolitan areas (49 per cent) than in regional areas (54 per cent).

A NSW Business Chamber spokesman there no was doubt there had been a rise in online businesses in regional areas born mainly out of a need to compete locally, nationally and internationally.

"Those people who have lived in the big cities and have changed their lifestyle are often very savvy when it comes to online businesses, and it really doesn't matter where you are located to get an online business up and running," the spokesman said.

"This will only increase in coming years as children grow up in an age where online is the default way to conduct their transaction and they transfer that knowledge and capability into their working life."

Deputy Premier John Barilaro said connectivity was at the heart of everything we do in business these days.

"The simple fact is that if it is not online, it doesn't exist," Mr Barilaro said.

Mr Barilaro said people in regional NSW were early adopters of technology and were currently only limited by the speed of their internet connection.

"That is why the NSW Government is investing a record amount of funding to improve voice and data connectivity in our regions," he said.

"We are on an ambitious mission to make regional NSW mobile blackspot free and connected to the internet. Business owners in regional NSW are ingenious. We want to give them the platform to go global."

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