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From Alice Springs to the Sunshine Coast – Indigenous man’s journey to real estate

After being born and raised in the central Australian desert, Dwaine Bathern has come a long way to be working for Ray White Commercial Northern Corridor Group on the Sunshine Coast.

A 24-year-old Indigenous man, Mr Bathern was born in Alice Springs where he lived with his family until he was eight years old.

His family, part of the Arrernte people, then moved to Charters Towers in northern Queensland while his father worked in the mining industry.

During his time attending Columba Catholic College in Charters Towers, Mr Bathern strove for excellence becoming both school captain and sports captain.

While his grandparents worked on cattle stations, his father works in the mining industry, and his older sister works with an Aboriginal Women’s Council in Alice Springs, Mr Bathern chose to move to the Sunshine Coast to study Business Management at the University of the Sunshine Coast.

During his studies, Mr Bathern also undertook a minor in property which sparked his interest in real estate.

“Most of my mates from school moved to Brisbane but I was more drawn to the Sunshine Coast rather than Brisbane as it was an easier transition from a regional town,” Mr Bathern said.

“When I started my first semester of uni with a minor in property it caught my eye and I started thinking about what a stable career would be, and I thought the most important thing people need is a roof over their head.”

Mr Bathern said he saw a job advertised with Ray White Commercial Northern Corridor Group’s Mooloolaba office and applied for the job.

While he didn’t get the job on his first try he kept checking in with the office to see if they had any positions open, and in the meantime worked in door-to-door sales.

Mr Bathern started working with Ray White Northern Corridor Group in December 2018 as a sales and leasing associate.

Three years on, he loves the job and still has a lot to learn.

“I like the connectivity and customer service aspects and talking to the landlords and learning their stories and how they built their portfolios,” Mr Bathern said.

“I also love speaking with tenants with first time businesses and helping them find the perfect location to set up their dreams.

“In the future I’d like to start my own first investment whether it be residential or commercial.

“I’d like to be working in the real estate game and start building my own property portfolio.”

While his parents and sister have all moved back to Alice Springs, Mr Bathern said they were very supportive of his career.

“Most of my family are in the mines or work for the government or the council, and some of my family live or work out on the land, so being a bit more of a ‘city slicker’ they’re really proud of me and everything I’ve achieved through school and in real estate,” he said.

“It was a big investment from my parents and they’re very supportive — I wouldn’t have been able to do it without them.”

Mr Bathern said he hoped to encourage other Indigenous young people to consider a career in real estate.

“Give it a crack,” he said.

“It’s a great career and you learn so much.”

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