“I’m proud of what we make in Tasmania. I’m so very proud to know what we make is used across the world. I find it amazing where things we make end up, to be part of this supply chain.”
Ethan was born on the North West Coast, in family with a history in the region. Like most kids around him, he spent a lot of time on the beach.
“I lived outside, and I want to give this opportunity to my kids. Living here on the coast I can do that. I can’t imagine living anywhere else.”
Not long ago, Tasmania’s North West Coast was one of Australia’s industrial heartlands. Then, something changed. Companies relocated and closed their operations. This had a profound effect on the region, its economy, and its culture.
“At school I didn’t know what I would do,” I tried a couple of things. One of my teachers suggested I give a trade a go – welding. This helped me notice the opportunities on the coast. This encouraged me to stay.”
Another West Coast entrepreneur, Diane Edgerton, CEO of Direct Edge, often says she doesn’t need welders. She needs artisan welders. This is what called to Ethan, an invitation to do precise and meaningful work in a place he loves.
“As a young bloke I saw an opportunity here. I took it, I ran with it. Some of my mates stayed and some did not.”
The spirit of creating and making special things is at the heart of why Ethan chose to stay on the North West Coast. But there’s another spirit, of cooperation and togetherness. This is a place where a teacher can encourage you to become an artisan welder, where your friends are for life.
“My mates mean a lot to me,” says Ethan. “Mateship is important in my community. We look out for each other. It’s supportive. It always has been.”
Tasmania is not for everyone. But for ambitious and enterprising people who love nature it’s often exactly what they are looking for.
“There are new people who’ve moved here, lots with young families and they are welcomed, many are my friends.”
“I’m proud of what we make in Tasmania. “I’m so very proud to know what we make is used across the world. I find it amazing where things we make end up, to be part of this supply chain. One day I may want to start something of my own – maybe. I feel like there is community support for doing something. There is opportunity here.”
Story courtesy of Brand Tasmania.