Pat Vines has been a Remote Store Manager in the Northern Peninsula Community of Umagico for 2 years. Previously Pat had worked for our parent Corporation ALPA (Arnhem Land Progress Aboriginal Corporation) in the Northern Territory in remote communities including Pirlangimpi, Nauiyu, Robinson River, Kalkaringi and Groote Eylandt before making the move to Far North Queensland.

Pat said he was looking for a sea change from the Restaurant Industry where he worked for 36 years.

“I’ve been here in Umagico for just over 2 years and I really love the role because not only do I enjoy the staff but getting out there and meeting friendly people, getting to know the community and seeing all the beautiful sights in Cape York.”

Pat says he really loves his job but there is always challenges when operating businesses in remote communities.

“Every day is a challenge and different.  Remote retailing can have staffing issues, stock issues because of getting food in during wet seasons, barges coming in late, but you have to learn to roll with it as it comes and don’t let it get to you.”

“For anyone wanting to take on a role like this you have to have a willingness to learn the local culture and embrace it and create a good team environment.”

Pat says since joining Island & Cape he has never looked back on his career and has not intention of leaving anytime soon.

“Experiencing different cultures and learning how different Indigenous cultures are. The beliefs are very different and I’m lucky to be

welcomed into this big happy family here in Umagico. It’s a good laugh." 

He also says one of the most satisfying parts of his role is helping local team members complete their retail certificates.

“Making a social impact in also giving training is a big one. I mentor the staff every day and that’s satisfying."

Despite the remoteness of Umagico Pat says he is spoilt with plenty of fishing opportunities and is grateful to be immersed in the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander culture.

"Everyone in the community knows me and I’ve made lifelong friends, it’s been lifechanging. I had 36 years in the restaurant industry, and I started to hate it. This job has made me never look back."