Isa is the land of opportunity for young grads

OUR FUTURE: Verona Thomsen, Barbara Parker and Tamara Stacey say career opportunities are abundant in the north west.
OUR FUTURE: Verona Thomsen, Barbara Parker and Tamara Stacey say career opportunities are abundant in the north west.

Like many regional towns, Mount Isa has its fair share of problems.

But when it comes to economic prosperity – Mount Isa is the land of opportunity. 

Isa’s relaxed outback lifestyle, abundance of outdoor activities and community spirit, makes it an enticing place to live. 

It is really the career opportunities that are drawing in crowds of young professionals from big cities like Brisbane, Sydney and Melbourne.

Verona Thomsen moved to Mount Isa from Brisbane and is studying nursing through James Cook University at the Centre for Rural and Remote Health. 

“It is so much better here, it is smaller so you get more one on one time,” she said. 

Tamara Stacey is also a JCU student and said nursing here had a distinct rural and regional focus that you do not find in the city.

Some of the students studying nursing through James Cook University at the Centre for Rural and Remote Health in Mount Isa.

Some of the students studying nursing through James Cook University at the Centre for Rural and Remote Health in Mount Isa.

“I have just started a job as an assistant in nursing at the hospital. It is certainly easier to get that experience here than in a big city,” Ms Stacey said. 

JCU nursing student Barbara Parker said you would have to “jump though ten hoops of fire to get that job in Brisbane”.

“It is easier to get a job out here. I made the choice to go to uni late in life but out here it is achievable. There are so many opportunities,” Ms Parker said 

Mount Isa is a regional base for health, education and a loads of other government ­services. Hoards of young professionals flock to town each year to launch their careers. 

Many see short stints in the north west as a way to fast-track their ambitions – a stepping stone to new career heights.

Government services as well as the steady mining industry are the driving force behind the local economy, according to Australian Bureau of Statistics data. 

Seventy per cent of the town has full time employment.

A pretty impressive statistic when compared to the national average of 57 per cent. 

More people have full time jobs in Mount Isa and they are earning more than $300 extra per week compared with the average Australian. 

The average Australian takes home $662 per week. 

The average Mount Isa resident pockets $997 each week. 

Cheaper rent is another incentive that is luring workers to the north west. 

The average rent in Mount Isa is $260. 

Almost $100 less than the Queensland average of $330 and national average of $335.