Happy birthday CQG: 15 years on
PATRICE Brown could just be Central Queensland's very own version of Wonder Woman as she celebrates her 15-year milestone in business this year.
The boss at environmental consultancy firm CQG said the road hasn't been easy, but it has been rewarding to service the Gladstone region.
The mother-of-three is the force behind some of Queensland's biggest and controversial environmental projects including projects for the Great Barrier Reef and Great Keppel Island.
In 15 years Ms Brown says she's learnt a lot, had the good days and the bad days but it's rolling up her sleeves that's kept her business running.
"I've had a lot of highlights, but I think the most rewarding thing for us is engaging on a local level, especially with the traditional owners of the land," she said.
"It's rewarding knowing you're not throwing money at something but genuinely engaging people and seeing results. That's one of the things with businesses in CQ, they cut through the crap and get outcomes. That's what has kept me here.
"My family and I could have chosen to go to Brisbane and it would've been a lot easier. But the satisfaction of making a big impact in the region is far too good to turn down."
With an impressive portfolio and a number of awards including the 2016 Telstra Business Women's Entrepreneur Award, the environmental practitioner said her love for the environment started before she could spell the word.
"I was born on the land, my parents owned a cattle property north of Rockhampton so I've always had a natural sense to care for the environment," she said.
"The main aim of our business is to leave things in a better way than when we found it.
"It's been instilled in me since I was a kid."
Ms Brown says one of her biggest achievements since starting her business was the Great Barrier Reef project.
"One of the big ones for CQG was being the only consultancy in Australia to meet and present with UNESCO and ICUN about the management of the Great Barrier Reef in 2012,” she said.
Inspired by the region to start up her business, the successful managing director says she's glad she acted on her light bulb moment but, at the end of the day, her favourite thing is head bush and sink into nature.
"I think life is about appreciating the simple things. Being able to see the stars at night and the birds in the morning is a good reminder that we are just a tiny player in this whole unbelievable universe."