SCOTT, Jill

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Inducted into the Shell Rimula Wall of Fame at ReUnion 2012.

Jill Scott was born in New Zealand in 1939. In 1969 she arrived in Alice Springs to nurse at the old hospital.  She later formed a company with Di Byrnes called Western Road Lodges to develop accommodation for tourists.  Jill was co-owner of four lodges: Glen Helen, the Red Sands, the Inland at Ayers Rock and the Pines Homestead.

Jill obtained her heavy rigid and omni-bus licences and secured several contracts including: meeting the Ghan and  TAA flights, the Dunmarra mail run and the transferring of people from place to place.  She held the first Mr Whippy franchise in the Alice and was contracted by SAATAS to take tours to Ayers Rock.

The company had many trucks including 5-7 ton Bedfords, Internationals, Toyota Coasters, Izuzus, Pantecs and pickups.  All were favourites as long as they were bringing the supplies in on time.

The company saw the government rescind tourist leases on two occasions, in 1973 and in 1984 when Ayers Rock was returned to the indigenous landowners.  Glen Helen was sold in 1979 but repurchased in 1985 only to have disaster strike in 1986 when Glen Helen Lodge burned down.  Jill and Di rebuilt only to face another calamity in 1988.  This time it was floods that did the damage.  In 1989 a pilot’s strike caused a setback to all tourism in Australia and Jill and Di had to reassess their position. They sold Glen Helen Lodge to Njurratjuta and Sitzler Bros. in 1992.

Jill managed all aspects of the lodges, drove trucks delivering supplies and conducted tours all with only a two-way radio as a means of communication but she states that it was probably the most exciting time in her life.
She did return to Queensland and New Zealand only to be dawn back to the Alice where she drove a bus for children with physical and intellectual disabilities.  Jill was also involved in palliative care and the Red Cross.  Now semi-retired she works part-time for Community Support Services Inc as a nurse.  Her 23 year contribution to the development of Northern Territory tourism has been recognised with awards such as the NT Enterprise and the Brolga, Specialist Accommodation.

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