Former navy seafarer on mission for Business Port Pirie

COMMERCE: Deb Allen, new business manager with Business Port Pirie, wants to make the traders' group a "centre of exellence for small business".
COMMERCE: Deb Allen, new business manager with Business Port Pirie, wants to make the traders' group a "centre of exellence for small business".

Deb Allen is no stranger to expanses of ocean and stretches of desert.

She spent about 11 years in the Royal Australian Navy learning to be versatile.

Then those skills were put to the test as the chief executive officer of the Northern Territory's smallest council area of about 400 ratepayers.

Today, she is the new business manager with Business Port Pirie, our traders' group which is relaunching itself. "The navy taught me to adapt to change and provided an ability to work in many environments with lots of different people," she said.

"They taught me to improvise, adapt and overcome."

Adding to her experience, she worked in small business - a vital attribute for someone who aims to boost the traders' group's membership dramatically.

She was born in Wyndham, the top-most town in Western Australia, and worked at her parents' Mobil bulk fuel depot, supplying stations and a diamond mine.

With her then husband, she ran Port Broughton Marine in the late 1990s.

From 2001 to 2012, she worked in avionics and logistics with the navy on such ships at HMAS Tobruk, Melville and Leeuwin, the latter two being hydrographic survey vessels.

Looking into the desert sun, she also worked for the Outback Community Authority as community administrator at Andamooka and town manager at Iron Knob.

Her priorities include promoting a blog or website where the traders' group can have a conversation with business.

"If someone wants to know where they can get some advice or a grant, we can steer them in the right direction," she said. "I want to make Business Port Pirie a centre of excellence for small business. One of the first things I want to do is create the blog. Coming up to the end of the financial year, it could list what small business should consider for the end-of-year taxation return.

"Other subjects could be insurance, pest control and travel because it is important to take time off to refresh."

Ms Allen can be contacted on 0459 990 338 or businessmanager@businessportpirie.com.au

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