Karen Sheldon

Award winning entrepreneur, chef and restauranteur. 

Karen Sheldon started her Northern Territory journey as a bush cook at the remote Barrow Creek Hotel over 45 years ago. This is where she became interested in Aboriginal culture and Territory flavours whilst being mentored by local Indigenous women, as she developed the skills of her craft in that unlikely setting for more than five years.

Since then, she has owned and operated an iconic territory restaurant, the Dolly Pot Inn, and the award-winning Karen Sheldon Catering Company. In 2006 long term staff, Sarah Hickey and Amanda Swift, bought into the business which saw the growth of the Karen Sheldon Group that now also operates Indigenous Employment Services, a Registered Training Organisation and the Territory’s first VTEC (Vocational Training and Employment Centre). In 2016 the not for profit Saltbush Social Enterprises division was formed.

Karen Sheldon is a renowned and highly respected entrepreneur around the Territory and has devoted much of her life to helping others. Among her many accolades, she has been appointed a Member of the Order of Australia, and the winner of the 2016 NT Telstra Business Woman of the Year Award in the Entrepreneur Category.

All Karen Sheldon Group enterprises focus on the shared vision of prosperity parity for all Territorians. The focus is on providing Indigenous employment and training opportunities that assist jobseekers transition from welfare dependence towards sustainable employment, careers and small business opportunities.

Speaker Topics:

  • Indigenous employment and training
  • Indigenous advancements
  • Motivation / inspiration
  • Business / Leadership
  • Change management
  • Workforce development / growth
  • Small business development
  • The secrets of bush tucker and food science
  • Commercialising Australian native food
  • Hospitality Training
  • Culture and cooking
  • Cooking demonstrations
  • Immersive experiences / hands-on demonstrations (price on application)

What Karen’s clients say:

“What a fantastic and hugely inspirational bunch of people! The work and the passion Karen and her team have for helping people is truly amazing!!”

– Nathan Roberts

“Hard work and absolute devotion to the business and the community for more than 30 years!!!”

– Julie and John Pudney

“Loved Karen Sheldon’s hands on workshop. So inspiring, Karen Sheldon Training is an amazing team.”

– Anon.