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In 2000 I took 6 months off work to travel the East Coast of Australia. I lived in Airlie Beach for 3 of those months, then stopped in Townsville for a couple of weeks, and then Cairns for a few weeks and it rained and rained and rained – and I honestly didn’t think I’d ever come back. The plan was to get back to NSW to see my family in time for Christmas. As fate would have it, our campervan broke down with only the reverse gear left in the gearbox 1.5 hours out of Cairns. So, after being towed back North, we ended up living in a wrecking yard in Innisfail for 3 weeks while we waited for a new gearbox to arrive. That was a very interesting three weeks at Mundoo Wreckers. Put it this way, my dog, Homer, would not leave the van… except for a quick loo break. I learnt how to drive a forklift, painted tyres and even went for a ride on the tow truck flatbed with a bunch of kids for swims at Paronella Park. Finally, we were back on our way down the coast, but we certainly didn’t make it home for Christmas. 


I then moved to the Gold Coast for 2 years and never thought I’d return to the North. Then my boyfriend at the time convinced me to come to Cairns for 6 months for a job, I dug my heels in, but eventually thought ‘what’re six months?!’. And, as the story goes for many of us up in North Queensland, I am still here some 22 years later with no plans of leaving. 


The thing is, once North Queensland steals your heart, it has a special place in your soul forever. 


My life fell into place really well here. I made great friends, my entertainment business kicked off, and I got into university to study Education… then I got sidetracked from all of those things as I decided to start a parenting magazine (even though I didn’t have kids at the time)… Fast forward 16 years, and I am writing my final The Thing Is in print thinking about how blessed my life has been up here.


I’ve had so much support from some amazing business people who invested in this idea and helped me make it work. I’ve made some wonderful friends, met the love of my life, had beautiful children, and been mentored by some of the greatest, some who are sadly no longer with us today. I’ve lived such a wonderful life in one of the most incredible places in the world, and for that I am incredibly grateful. 


They say home is where the heart is. North Queensland has a huge heart and it has mine hook, line and sinker. As a community, we come together for sports, concerts and good times but more importantly during floods, cyclones and tough times. This final edition has had so much support and it’s blown my mind, and made my heart explode with gratitude. Thank you! 


So as I wrap up one last time, here’s a little poem. Thanks so much, North Queensland for your support – it’s been amazing. 









North Queensland’s land of sun and sea, 

Where the palm trees sway so free,

There’s a feeling of warmth and serenity,

That fills every heart and soul with glee.

The people, friendly and kind,

A blend of cultures that intertwine,

Living in harmony, they’re inclined,

To share their joy and peace of mind.

North Queensland, a place so rare,

With beauty that’s beyond compare,

A land that captivates and ensnares,

Leaving all who visit in awe and stares.

We live in North Queensland’s embrace,

To bask in its glory and grace,

Is to know true happiness and space,

And live life at a slower pace.











  • Bree James

    Bree James, epitomises ‘entrepreneur’. From starting her first official business at the age of eighteen, to running one of Australia’s most successful regional publishing companies, Bree has entrepreneurial DNA in every fibre of her being. The eternal solution finder, Bree’s innate ability to seize opportunity and fill market gaps has attributed to her huge success in the business world. But she’s more than just the driving force behind her own enterprises. Working with organisations around the country, Bree is also an acclaimed presenter, author, podcaster, travel writer, YouTuber, performer, and an inspirational mentor to small business owners everywhere. Her philosophy in life is to be brave, be bold and be brilliant.