“Our business just had its seventh birthday!”
“Dan is born and raised in Townsville, and I came to Australia to study at JCU. We’ve both been zookeepers our whole life, and we decided that we wanted to start a wildlife organisation.”
“We’re both animal people, but I really needed to learn how to run a business. From the very beginning, when I found the Townsville Business Development Centre, we attended workshops and sought mentoring. They helped us a lot, not just with information but with networking around town.”
“Our goal is to create wildlife heroes; we want to spread our conservation message as far as we can and make sure that people are doing whatever little things they can to help save wildlife.”
“To achieve that we have to keep doing what we’re doing and grow our business. I’ve recently been to their #imagineTSV events. They push you to dream bigger, see what the possibilities are and let go of your fear.”
And advice for new businesses starting up?
“I would encourage people to find help. When we were starting out, I would talk to professionals and we didn’t seem to fit in any traditional boxes. I can remember meetings with lawyers and accountants where I just didn’t know what to do. There were accountants trying to figure out whether our animals were assets or not. Our mentors at TBDC have seen the fact that we didn’t fit in a “box” as a strength, and they’ve helped us find the answers we need.”
“My advice – even if you’re a little bit different, go for it!”
Jackie and Dan are both champions of their cause.
Everyone has different motivations for going in to business. For some it’s the freedom and flexibility, for others it’s to create financial opportunities. Then you come across people who are so completely committed to their passion that their business is actually their life. It’s the dream and they both live it with HANDS ON WILDLIFE
Their love for their animals is evident. Our most memorable event at the TBDC involved a live on air segment when we put radio host Blake in a snake pit with a death adders and taipans. Jackie and Dan were more than happy to be involved because they recognised the opportunity to teach a broader audience how to understand, respond and react to deadly snakes. For them, education is key.
Jackie has consistently sought help along the way to ensure that they are creating a sustainable business for their long term vision. It’s always rewarding to see clients make progress when they’ve shared with you their dreams and aspirations.