While many businesses are struggling to find qualified workers, one local business has recently managed to secure two trained employees from out of town who are ready to settle down and call Moree home.
Bella Sante Skin and Body Centre owner Helena Ross had lost staff after the COVID-19 shutdown earlier this year and, as a result, she was left trying to juggle being the only beauty therapist while managing her business with three young children at home.
As business picked up after lockdown, Helena found she was having to turn down clients and was booked out three weeks in advance.
"Help was definitely needed," she said.
However, finding trained staff who fit in with the team proved more challenging than she anticipated.
"It was very hard to begin with," she said.
"I went through a couple of trained people from town but it didn't work out, so I decided to try to find people outside of Moree.
"I went through Seek and had Taylah apply. She didn't have a lot of experience but she had the qualifications and personality.
"And then Claire came along just as I was going to take down my ad. Her qualifications were too good to pass up on. She was exactly what I was looking for - someone with management skills, who was trained in paramedical and looking at setting up roots here."
Taylah Wright started with Bella Sante in August, after she and her partner Gav, who are originally from Victoria, basically threw a dart on a map and decided to move to Moree.
The pair had been travelling for the past two years, spending time in the Northern Territory and outback NSW.
"We finished in the Territory last year and our plan was to do Queensland," Taylah said.
"And then COVID happened.
"My partner and I picked four places on a map and one of mine was Moree - because it was central and closer to get back to our families.
"And there was a job for him and a job for me, so it was meant to be."
Taylah, a qualified beauty therapist, had been working as a governess during their time at Barkly in the Northern Territory and White Cliffs, north of Broken Hill. But she decided now was a good time to settle down and put her diploma of beauty therapy to use.
So she applied for the job with Bella Sante and when she was successful, her and Gav decided to give Moree a shot. The day they arrived, Gav managed to secure a job with GrainCorp.
Taylah said she couldn't be happier with their decision to move to Moree.
"I really like it," she said.
"Everyone's super friendly, although the one question I get from everyone is 'why Moree?'
"But we're hoping to stay. We're ready to ground our feet."
She's also loving her job with Bella Sante and said it's great to be able to meet so many new people.
"Every day is different," she said.
"The industry changes so much, there's so much I didn't do when I did my study, so it's a big learning curve."
Claire Walsh then joined the team three weeks ago.
She is originally from Ireland but has been in Australia for 12 years and had been looking to move to Moree to be with her fiance Michael, who works on a property in the district, for the past year.
Claire had been teaching laser and skin science at an academy on the Gold Coast for the past 10 years.
Last year she decided to start looking for work in Moree to move here permanently, but struggled to find anything. Until she saw Helena's ad.
"I'm excited Helena had the opportunity - I took it and pounced on it," Claire said.
"I got locked down in the bubble for two months and then this came up and I thought, 'right, it's time to go'."
Having been a teacher of laser and skin science, Claire is particularly passionate about the serious side of beauty therapy.
"I love the pampering side but I love seeing the results with the serious facials, skin needling, laser," she said.
"That's the way the industry is heading.
"I'm hoping to bring that skill here."
Claire said she's loving working at Bella Sante, and learning to work with different products.
And, best of all, she says she's here to stay.
Helena said having someone with Claire's knowledge and experience is a great asset, not only to her business, but for the people of Moree who no longer have to leave town to access the very latest treatments.
"For a small country town, it's very hard to access that extra knowledge," she said.
"The Gold Coast is the leading place in the industry to learn and I've got someone who's been in the thick of it and training people. This will open doors for new devices and possibilities for Moree."
Helena said not only does it mean the world to her to find two skilled employees to help bring in more clients, but it's a great boost to Moree to see two young professionals move to town.
"They have been Godsends," she said.
"When new people move to town, it helps bring more opportunities to the town. Not only do they come to town, but their family comes to visit, which helps to boost the economy."