Jill Bottrall

If you stuck a pin in a map of Australia at about the halfway point between Alice Springs and Melbourne, you’re probably going to hit somewhere near Lyndhurst. It’s literally a pinpoint – population: 10. When everyone’s home.

Lyndhurst is essentially a T-junction with a roadhouse, a pub, a scattering of houses and some tourist information booths. It marks the end of the bitumen on the Outback Highway. Beyond Lyndhurst, it’s dirt roads, dust and desert in all directions. If you turn right, you’re at the start of the Strzelecki track.

So yeah – it’s remote.

It’s also a vital stop for truckies, grey nomads, tourists, local station owners and four wheel drive enthusiasts, because the next stop on from Lyndhurst along the Strzelecki is 473km away.

Having a place to stock up on adequate supply of fuel, food and general supplies is therefore very important. Lifesaving, even.

A few years ago, former hairdresser, mother and resident of nearby Leigh Creek, Tammy Roach*, bought the Roadhouse. It’s a big responsibility for a young adult to run on her own.

Tammy adds a touch of glamour to this barren bushscape. And she’s a great cook, highly regarded in these parts by the couple of hundred people that pass through the town on any given day on their way to or from all points of the compass.

If a truckie knows they’re about to reach the roadhouse by 6am, they will call ahead with their order, so Tammy will be open and waiting with their favorite breakfast ready prepared. It’s a top service.

Tammy’s hamburgers have received enthusiastic acclaim on Trip Adviser and you only have to see one to figure out why her customers love them. They resemble a monster truck.

So why am I telling you about Tammy?

About a year ago, she was wondering if running the roadhouse is such a far off place wasn’t actually going to send her just a bit crazy.

It’s a business that, while quiet sometimes, can get hectic quickly and she needs a constant supply of fresh food and produce for the hungry travellers. And in this modern world of ordering supplies, everything is done online.

Tammy’s problem was that she didn’t have an “online” to speak of.

Tammy says she had a bit of a mobile signal sometimes, on a good day. It made uploading just 24 items in her online shopping cart a real chore that could take hours and hours – and that’s a lot of monitoring while you’re also cooking, serving and managing the business. So you’d understand why that would send anyone up the wall.

Added to that, if her order failed to send properly and she missed the cut off date, she would have to wait a week to 14 days to get the next order in.

“I was always stressing about getting an order in on time,” said Tammy.

On the day she was told that access to the nbn™ Sky Muster™ satellite service had arrived, she “did the happy dance”.

“I was super-excited, I couldn’t wait to order a service and use it.”

“I had big, big hopes and it’s done well, it’s good, definitely worth the wait,” she said.

“Before my the Sky Muster™ satellite service, I was unable to use cloud accounting – it was just too slow to load. Now I don’t have to worry.*

“The whole world has opened up to me and I love it. It has changed our way of life.

“Being able to keep in touch with family, friends, social media, email – has made things a lot easier out here.”

Tammy’s home is 30 minutes’ drive south of the Roadhouse, in the former mining town of Leigh Creek – and the town’s 100 or so residents also have access to services over the Sky Mustersatellite service.

“My kids have just discovered Netflix – we’ve never been able to stream movies before, so now we can keep up with all of that.”*

Until now, communication has been the biggest challenge of living in remote Australia.

“I love it out here – I wouldn’t want to live anywhere else, but just knowing we can now be in contact with the outside world is great. We need to know we’re not on our own out here. It feels even better now,” she smiled.

* nbn is very happy to have helped connect Tammy so successfully. Of course, end user experiences may vary. Your experience including the speeds actually achieved over the nbn™ network depends on the technology over which services are delivered to your premises and some factors outside our control like your equipment quality, software, broadband plans, signal reception and how your service provider designs its network. Satellite customers may experience latency. nbn made a nominal payment to Tammy for her time during this interview and filming.

Jill Bottrall

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