Kylie Bartle

KYLIE Bartle achieved her dream of showing people the incredible billion-year-old Kimberley wilderness in a relaxed atmosphere when her boat, The Kimberley Escape, was launched in March 2000. After an exhaustive search for financial support, Ms Bartle found three investors to help fund her dream. What she lacked in business experience she made up for with determination, persistence and a passion for the industry. After 18 months she negotiated to buy out her investors and go it alone. Faced with the Ansett Airlines collapse in 2001 and mounting holiday cancellations due to lost flights, Ms Bartle’s relatively new business had to ride out the storm. Terms such as ‘risk management’ and ‘conflict resolution’ soon became part of her business vocabulary, as she used her negotiation skills to reschedule most bookings using another airline, keeping her business afloat. The business’s staff of four has grown to 12 and will soon increase to 17 with the upcoming launch of a second luxurious vessel, the MV Great Escape. Before the lure of the north, Ms Bartle completed a degree in fine art from Curtin University. She remains conscious of the fragile environment in which she works and is actively involved in charting a new course for environmental management and policy through her long association with CALM. Her charity and community interests include sponsoring the Variety Club bash, the Kyle Andrews foundation, wheelchairs for kids and a crew-training program in conjunction with TAFE.

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