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How to make an opportunity (when you can’t find one!)

by Yvette Maurice

David Lydeamore lives in a remote but beautiful town and is studying the FNS40217 Certificate IV in Accounting and Bookkeeping. Despite an early personal tragedy, Davey always strives to achieve in whatever he does. Here is his inspiring story.

David Lydeamore (Davey to his mates) is from Naracoorte, South Australia, a small town of less than five thousand residents. It’s a typical “gold rush” town that is flush with natural beauty and scenery, as well as genuine people that truly care about each other. But it is isolated. It’s over 100 kilometres from Mount Gambier and nearly 400 from Adelaide.

Overcoming adversity to be the “best version” of himself

Davey moved to the small town 12 years ago, when he was only 21. Sadly, it was tragic circumstances that brought him there. Davey lost his beloved twin brother when they were just 18 in a car accident, leading him to seek a fresh start somewhere beautiful and inspiring.


A beautiful scene from Naracoorte

“I didn’t deal with it very well,” Davey explains, “and Naracoorte was a place our family had been coming all our lives, mainly for school holidays.”

“The town is awesome, with such a community spirit.  Everyone gets involved and helps each other.  I chose this place and I haven’t looked back.  These days, I can’t even handle going back to the city for more than two weeks.”

A strong work ethic started at a young age

Davey’s the type of man who aims to achieve in everything he does. Living and working in a small town, he has done a plethora of jobs in many fields, all to make ends meet and make a name for himself.

He’s run a 30-room motel, worked in a supermarket and a Chinese restaurant. At the moment, he works in an engineering company and helps a friend with his lawn mowing business in another small town over an hour away.

“I don’t like to be at the lowest rung of any job,” this ambitious worker mentions, “so no matter what job I get, within six months I’m a boss.”

“And I always strive to do my best and give that little bit extra.”

“Even when I was working in a supermarket, I knew everything,” he says.  “I knew the run-down of all the departments and if there were people that needed time off, I could go and get extra work.”

It was this intuitive, inquisitive mind that led Davey to seek out his next potential business opportunity.

A surprise career path that came about due to a skills gap

“When I went and got my tax done, my accountant realised that I love numbers. He suggested that this was a strength of mine that I could perhaps use in a career. He suggested I go and do a bookkeeping course – because there’re not enough bookkeepers around here.”


The main road of Naracoorte

A bookkeeper is responsible for processing the paperwork for a company’s business transactions. In small towns, they can perform an essential service to small business owners who may appreciate personal service. Davey saw a potential business opportunity, so decided to get qualified to perform this vital task.

Remote location? How can you get access to learning?

Accounting and finance courses are common enough but often the problem adult students have is a lack of access. In Davey’s case, his small town location meant that he was a long way from the nearest physical campus location.

“We have a TAFE here,” he explains, “but there’s no university.” Students have to travel long distances to attend uni, and according to Davey, “At my local TAFE there are only limited subjects available.”

Davey thought that he might be able to study a bookkeeping course online and after doing his research, he discovered Open Colleges.


Naracoorte Caves National Park is South Australia’s only World Heritage site.

“The reason I chose to study online was because I work two full-time jobs and do a lot of community work – so it had to be something I could do at home at night. And this course was a perfect opportunity.”

“I had to look around at a couple of the other online courses but they just didn’t appeal to me.  Open Colleges just jumped out at me.  The things that I’d read online about it and the people that I spoke to reassured me. The Enrolment Consultants were so easy to talk to and explained everything that I wanted to know.”

This student was already set up to study

“I have a complete home office setup, so I thought well, I might as well utilise it!  I’m a geek!” he laughs.

Davey now has a pretty interesting and comprehensive range of goals. The course he’s chosen to do will allow him to work as a bookkeeper anywhere within Australia and will give him nationally accredited certification at the end.

“I’m studying the first section right now and I’ve just also signed up for the MYOB electives that we can do.”

“Within six months to a year I should have my bookkeeping business up and running,” he says.

“To start with, I’ll just plan to work in town – and then I’ll start branching out into the nearer towns closer to me, then further out.”

The student says he’ll be gathering clients in nearby Francis and Hynam, which are “down the road about ten to 15 minutes” in county-speak.

“There are a couple of people out there that run their own businesses and they’re asking for bookkeepers,” Davey explains. “I’ve actually already got a couple of people who are egging me on to hurry up and get qualified because they want to utilise me.  So I’m happy about that!”

Davey’s parents inspired him to achieve great things

“I thank my mum and dad for my attitude to work. We were always taught to do the work that’s in front of us, the work that you’ve been asked or told to do.  Get it done and then find out what else you can do,” Davey says.


The Naracoorte National Park is home to over 100 known fossil deposits, preserving the bones of megafauna that became extinct roughly 60,000 years ago.

“No matter what you put your mind to, I know I can achieve it,” Davey says. “After losing my twin, I do think to the future but I don’t think too far ahead anymore.”

Davey’s advice to other people who want to find “the best version” of themselves:

  1. Help: Don’t be scared to ask for help and to utilise any resources that are offered to you in your study or career journey.
  2. Initiative: Don’t just rely on the study notes that you are given or the job/task you have to do – take initiative.
  3. Forums: Check out online forums (at Open Colleges, they’re in OpenSpace) – “I’ve been on the forums,” Davey says, “and often I just read the comments – that actually helps me without even having to type in a question!”
  4. Take control: “If you wanna be in control of your own life, get in and do the work now.”

So what’s next for Davey?

“At the moment, it’s just trying to find the time to keep working on my course,” he says. “I’m also tutoring a couple of Year 12 students, helping them doing their research projects.  So I’m actually waiting, I can’t wait for school to finish this year.”

What can you do to reach your goals?

It doesn’t matter what you’re into – Open Colleges has a flexible, online course for everyone.

Do you want to start your own small business? The BSB40320 Certificate IV in Entrepreneurship and New Business can prepare you in all aspects of starting up.

Take a leaf out of Davey’s book and keep striving for the highest – in whatever you do.

Photos by Julie Rybarczyk and Marina del Castell – many thanks!

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