Michael Collins on Eco-Tourism in Indigenous Communities, Made in China & the Importance of a Supportive Family

Eco-Tourism in Indigenous Communities, Made in China & the Importance of a Supportive Family

gap Michael Collins is the principal of CF Global, a procurement company specialising in products used across multiple service-based industries. With a strong background in eco-tourism, Michael shares insights into the emergence of glamping and the impact the sector has on Indigenous Australians. We chat about the quality and demand of products imported from China. We also discuss the importance of family and friends in maintaining a comfortable work-life balance.

Eco-Tourism in Indigenous Communities

After working in the accommodation industry for a number of years, Michael was approached to help set-up an eco-retreat in Western Australia.  The plan was to establish a retreat with 50 tents in Karijini National Park. The project was innovative and helped pioneer the ever popular glamping sector we know today.

It was a large project that included a dining facility and a campground with a couple of hundred, non-powered sites. The developers worked closely with the indigenous community, as once completed the retreat would be owned by a local indigenous corporation. The project created jobs, with tourism education and skills provided to ensure the sustainability of the retreat. Michael shares the rewarding nature of the experience, as well as the importance of building trust when working with indigenous communities.

Made in China

After finishing the retreat project, Michael spent time working for a hospitality group. One project he worked on was to source furniture, fixtures, fittings and other products used in refurbishments and upgrades for the company owned motels. To save time and money, the company purchased products directly from China. Michael faced numerous difficulties throughout the process and made a lot of new contacts. Overtime, Michael realised there was a gap in the market. He started his own business, CF Global, to address the demand.

Six years later, Michael’s business has an extensive client base, for whom he sources a wide range of products in large quantities. While products are sourced from all across the globe, Michael has experienced a rise in the amount of quality goods coming out of China. Michael shares his observation in the advancement of technology, in particular LED products. He sheds light on the reasons behind the cost-effective prices of goods made in China, stressing cheap prices are not a result of low labour costs, but other factors.

The Importance of a Supportive Family

Running a business from home can be exhausting, especially when trying to find a comfortable work-life balance. Michael and I chat about ways to stay motivated as well as ways to eliminate burn out. Michael shares his tips for taking a step back and escaping the everyday grind. He talks about the importance of family and friends in this process and shares how his wife, Darleen, his kids and friends, play a vital role in maintaining a consistent balance.

Additional topics Michael and I discuss:

  • Advocating for passions in life
  • Bringing up children to be good citizens
  • Avoiding stereotypes
  • Generational shifts
  • Jobs of the future
  • Indigenous Tourism
  • Motivation and mood improvement techniques
  • Learning from mistakes
  • Remaining humble in life

Link to Podcast Episode