When Jane Cay returned to her hometown of Cooma to marry a local farmer, she used her knowledge of online business, acquired from her UNSW commerce degree, to launch an online fashion business. Despite coinciding with the global financial crisis in 2008, Birdsnest experienced double-digit growth. It now attracts more than 12,000 visitors a day, is one of the most visited apparel sites in Australia and provides rewarding careers for more than 120 locals. When she was at university, internet commerce was still in its infancy. Inspired by what she had learnt in her degree, she had the skills and confidence to launch birdsnest.com.au – an online retail store that has created 120 new jobs in regional Australia.
If we want more university graduates like Jane Cay to boost our regional economies, we need to show support for universities, so that we can keep Australia clever.