Local business stories

Darlene Chin

Darlene Chin and two sales assistantsDarlene Chin is a third generation Darwin girl, who returned to Darwin after living and working in Perth then Melbourne for eight years.

In 1993, Darlene opened her first store, Attitude for Men, in what was then a family property - Stone Houses in Cavenagh Street.  Her mission was to give Darwin men a local source for higher-end menswear, and capture the market who had little alternative but to shop interstate if they wanted designer labels.

In 2002, Darlene and her husband, Darryl Thomas, founded their wholesale wine and food distribution business, Thomas Chin Pty Ltd. Their wholesale operation supplies Territory restaurants, cafes and liquor stores with premium products, sourced from around the country and around the globe, and is the only local wine wholesaler to store in a temperature-controlled environment, thus ensuring their wines are delivered in the best possible condition.

In 2003, Darlene opened her second clothing store, Attitude X. In 2006, Attitude for Men moved to the corner of Cavenagh and Knuckey Streets, building upon past success. In 2016 Darlene and Darryl purchased 35 Knuckey Street and have since redeveloped it to create a world class destination for all things menswear, and 2017 sees the opening of a new women’s wear store, The Dress Code.

Committed to the success of Darwin City as a thriving commercial destination for locals and visitors, Darlene has served on the Board of Darwin City Promotions, and now with the Darwin City Retailers Association.

Magdaline Coleman

Magdaline ColemanMagdaline grew up in a Darwin Business construction family and then married into a printing business family.

A background in marketing and technology it was these skill that saw Magdaline become an integral part of the diversification of the traditional printing business known as Coleman's Printing. Magdaline believes in using technology as an enabler to grow your business and survive in a tough market. 

Magdaline credits the support of a family environment and a shared passion with husband Tony for their business sustainability. Magdaline is passionate about living, working and contributing to the local community.

You will either recognise Magdaline as professional business woman or the passionate soccer and football mum cheering loudly on the sidelines.

Luke Myall

Luke MyallAt 28 years of age Luke thought it would be a good idea to buy a small construction materials testing business in regional Northern Territory during the global financial crisis. The business provides a quality control service to the civil construction industry. A year later Luke opened a further office and by 2011 the business was operating in three locations, Darwin, Katherine and Alice Springs. The company started as a one man show in Katherine and now has over 40 team members. 

A product of the Northern Territory education system Luke has lived in the Top End for 32 years and is the managing director of HiQA Geotechnical, the 2017 Telstra Northern Territory Business of the Year. 

Luke and HiQA are passionate about delivering the ‘Yes’ experience to clients, suppliers and HiQA team members. Luke has tackled the challenges of operating business in remote Northern Territory head on and has focussed on building a great company culture underpinned by a comprehensive training program that strategically supports the overall company goals.

Justin Gill

Justin GillEntrepreneur - Investor - Developer - Mentor - Husband - Father of three.

Owner of Abode New Homes with his wife Karinda, they set out to change the way builders are negatively viewed by society.

A qualified carpenter and joiner, he relocated to the Northern Territory 20 years ago in 1996 with $1,000 in the bank, an old car and even older caravan, and has since built a successful multi award winning construction company and an enviable investment property portfolio.

Many lessons have been learnt in this time after almost going broke in 2000, while suffering major depression caused through inexperience, poor business practices and financial stress. Fast forward to now and Justin is a board member on various industry associations, a director of seven companies, and running a $50 million empire.

Justin won the MBA Young Builder of the Year in both 2010 and 2011. Also 2011 saw Abode New Homes win the Telstra NT Business of the Year and most recently this year they won the National 2017 HIA Australian Professional Builder of the Year. Over 50 industry awards have been won along the journey including the HIA NT Professional Builder of the Year eight consecutive years in a row. Currently Abode New Homes is the featured business for the Telstra business services 'Be That Business' national marketing campaign across Australia which has been advertised on TV, print media, podcasts, social media and all Telstra business events nationally.

He has expanded into Katherine and the next step in the Abode New Homes growth is soon to happen with the launch of the Abode New Homes National Franchise Network across Australia and New Zealand. The philosophy to mentor, train and grow the franchisees by passing forward their life work, values and business knowledge success.

Karinda Gill

Karinda GillBorn into a financially challenged family, Karinda Gill set about educating herself from a young age with the goal of achieving financial freedom. Now with a $50 million empire to her name, it seems her younger self did a stellar job. As director of four companies, shareholder of two others and the business manager for one more, Karinda is a serial entrepreneur.

She relocated to the Northern Territory in 1996 with $1,000 in the bank an old car and even older caravan and have since built a successful multi award winning construction company (including NT Telstra Business of the Year and HIA Australian Professional Builder of the Year) and an enviable property portfolio.

Her primary business, Abode New Homes, is a residential construction company focused on helping first home buyers succeed within the property market. By supporting clients in every aspect of creating their dream home, from obtaining finance through to selecting the finishes, Karinda believes everyone should be able to live in a beautiful home that doesn’t cost a fortune.

Currently Abode New Homes is the featured business for the Telstra business services 'Be That Business' national marketing campaign across Australia which has been advertised on TV, print media, podcasts, social media and all Telstra business events nationally. Karinda manages all functions of the Construction Company Program, Product and Service Delivery - Oversees design, marketing, promotion, delivery and quality of products and services. Financial, tax, risk and facilities management along with human resource management, and community and public relations.

Abode recently expanded into Katherine and the next step is soon to happen with the launch of the Abode New Homes National Franchise Network across Australia and New Zealand. The philosophy to mentor, train and grow and support the franchisees by passing forward their life work, values and business knowledge success. 'Improving the industry, setting benchmarks, and sustaining our community well into the future is an important part of our company culture.'

'We use technology across every part of our business, from workflow management and accounting software to the more recent introduction of website portals for clients. We are able to monitor our business from anywhere there is an internet connection and can effectively measure our results to improve on efficiency and profitability.'