White Cliffs’ iconic Stubby House has new owners, with Jodie James and her partner Eddie having purchased the property in June.
Ms James, an opal miner in White Cliffs for eight years, has called the area home for the past two years. Originally from the Central Coast of New South Wales, she was holidaying enroute to Uluru when she said, “I fell in love with the place with opal mining,” subsequently deciding to become a permanent resident of the tight-knit community.
Before moving to White Cliffs, Ms James was employed as a Venue Concierge. Her multifaceted role included tasks like security reception, lifeguarding, bartending, and as she puts it, “anything else you can do in a club, I did.”
After selling their former residence, Ms James and Eddie initially rented their sister-in-law’s property. They tried twice to settle into a dugout, but both attempts were unsuccessful.
Nevertheless, Ms James’ proactive work ethic found her roles at the local pub, as relief manager at the Underground Motel, cooking Sunday roasts at the local club, and undertaking cleaning and gardening work for National Disability Insurance Scheme participants.
“In the end, I thought to myself that instead of doing all these things, I’d just open the shop,” said Ms James. Plans are underway for Stubby House to feature a coffee shop soon, with accommodation options in the pipeline.
The Stubby House itself has a rich history. Built 60 years ago by a local named Joe, the structure took 12 months and 66,000 half-stubbies to complete. According to Ms James, Joe sourced the stubbies from the local tip and pub, adding that “he never drank a drop of alcohol.”
Looking ahead, Ms James intends to use her collection of coconut rum bottles to contribute to the building’s character. Immediate plans feature the addition of a new amenities block and a butcher area. Longer-term, Ms James envisions opening shops around the property in the coming decade.
Stubby House is now open for visitors. For further enquiries, Ms James can be reached at 0448 701 538.