YOUNG professionals moving out of capital cities are planting their roots in Tamworth in the hope their careers blossom in a smaller pool of competition.
Karina Sultana, 23, was sceptical about leaving Western Sydney in March after spending most of her life in the city.
That was until she heard of a job being advertised in an area she wanted to work in - family and criminal law.
"I came here purely for experience, so it wasn't because I couldn't get a job in Sydney, or that I didn't like Sydney," she said.
"It's just up here, you're exposed to so much more, and you're given so much more autonomy and responsibility that it just benefits you career-wise in the long run."
Although she was scared about moving away from her family, she now sees herself staying for more than two years.
"I also feel content, because I feel like I'm on the right path," she said.
Young tree changers are driving the move out of capital cities to regional areas, according to data compiled in a partnership with the Regional Australia Institute, based on relocations among 10 million Commonwealth Bank customers.
The 12 months to March 2022 saw a boost to the overall migration trend from capital cities to regional areas and young people accounted for the largest amount of movers to the highest growth areas.
The number of people moving to to the country rose by 16.6 per cent to reach a five-year high.
That's almost double the pre-pandemic levels.
Michael Buckley, 32, left Adelaide in 2016 to snap up a middle management position at a jockey club in Newcastle.
Jobs in racing administration can be hard to win, so he didn't hesitate when presented with the opportunity to become general manager at Tamworth Jockey Club in May 2021.
He wants to develop his skills enough to become desirable, to be employed at a high level in a metropolitan area.
"I think the inevitable truth is that I will end up in a major capital of Australia going forward," he said.
"There's probably 10 clubs throughout regional Australia that have an opportunity like the one I've been presented here.
"If I was to recommend someone the opportunity to move to Tamworth, I certainly wouldn't steer them away from it."
The data showed migration to Tamworth was up by a third in the year to March 2022, compared to the previous 12 months.
The Gold Coast in Queensland was the most popular destination for young people seeking a change overall.
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