Bush tucker and big dreams: Ben’s story
After dipping his toes into university with a certificate in baking and fine arts diploma, creative Ben Tyler decided to “bite the bullet” and switch to business. After all, he had started his own side hustle and has big dreams about where it could go.
A natural entrepreneur, Ben had long been brainstorming business ideas. A mentor at the time suggested he narrow them down to just one: bush tucker.
Originally studying to be a baker, Ben noticed the gaps in his business knowledge with his own venture, Kakadu Kitchen.
“I thought I should bite the bullet and change to business to help me get ahead,” he says.
Born in Darwin and raised on his mother’s Murumburr country in Kakadu, Ben wanted a way to live, work and study from his family community, Murdudjurl (also known as Patonga Homestead).
Not only was CDU his local university, but the Bachelor of Business is also offered online so he didn’t always have to leave home.
I looked into online business courses and realised that was the perfect course to do to help me grow my business.
Study and hustle
“I have a bad habit of taking on too much stuff at once,” says Ben.
He plans to grow his business while he studies, so he’s taking advantage of CDU’s flexible study modes and is considering switching to part-time study.
As for the units themselves, Ben’s already putting his new skills and knowledge to good use.
Though he’s majoring in both International Management and Logistics and Innovation and Entrepreneurship, Ben was surprised by how helpful he found Business Law.
“It’s something you’re dealing with every day, from communications and contracts to business structures and trademarking.”
The three-day pitch exercise in his Entrepreneurship unit has been another study highlight with real-world outcomes.
“I loved the whole process of learning how to pitch, working on business models, figuring out solutions to problems—they’re all really helpful skills to have in business,” he says.
“It’s actually helped me find my own customers, find sales and find people to network with.”
My CDU experience is definitely helping me prepare to make an impact as an emerging First Nations entrepreneur.
So while he might be a business student and business owner by day, Ben considers himself to be an artist at heart.
“I use innovative products as my canvas for First Nation storytelling,” he says.
Some people paint, some sing—my business is my art form.
Ben’s on a mission with his Indigenous owned bush food company.
“I’ve got big, crazy dreams,” he says. “I would love to take bush tucker into space – I’ve got space dreams, I’ve got AI and robotic dreams, all starting small with one product at a time.”
His advice for budding entrepreneurs?
"Don’t wait until you finish your degree to start a business. Start a side hustle and try it—it’s the best way to learn," he says.
“You’re getting your education from uni but being out there in the field really rounds off the whole educational experience.”
“And ask for help,” Ben adds. “Always!”