Tikesa Docherty-Cole is a born-and-bred Territorian.

“Friends and family play a large part in why I love the Territory.”

Family is a big deal for 26-year-old Tikesa. She has two brothers and a sister. Her partner comes from a family of five and then there’s the parents, aunties, uncles, cousins and grandchildren.

“Yep, when we all get together it’s hectic but I love being part of a large family. Friends and family play a large part in why I love the Territory.”

Tikesa, who is Chief Protocol Officer for the Department of the Chief Minister, has only left her hometown once, when she headed for the bright lights of Melbourne on a two-year university basketball scholarship.

“It was fun at first and I did like it,” Tikesa said. “There were plenty of new places to explore, but I definitely got homesick after a while and needed to come home. I also didn’t like the winter at all.”

When Tikesa is not attending large family gatherings or playing sport, she spends her weekends boating, fishing or camping with her partner Anthony and their two children.

“We go to this place called Talc Head, just off the Cox Peninsula. You can only get there by boat and it’s the perfect place to relax, do a spot of fishing, let the kids run on the beach and go on the quad bikes. Closer to home we love the Nightcliff Foreshore, where we spend hours with the kids on the beach.”

For Tikesa, who lives in Karama, the Territory – and especially Darwin – is the best place in the world to raise a family.

“It’s very easy going,” she said. “I love the energy up here. Everyone is so friendly. People smile and say hello. You don’t get that down south. I’d rather be up here than anywhere else.”