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The Barnett Family and their Yellow Pages Canberra Experience

Yellow Pages Canberra project a success due to the help of Jane Barnett and her family


Passion and commitment are two words that don’t even begin to describe Jane Barnett’s family experience in carrying out the 2016 Yellow Pages Canberra project.  Jane and her boys Alistair, 20 and Ewan, 17 years of age, have participated in delivering the Yellow Pages books for the past seven years.

The history of their ‘phone booking’ adventures dates back to when the boys were younger and part of their scouts’ association.  They were tasked and set targets for fundraising for special events including camps such as Jamboree.

Mum Jane said the experience of working on the the Yellow Pages Canberra project set her boys up for the future, providing them with a strong foundation on how to work towards a goal and achieve it.


“It was a great experience for the boys that helped to create that sense of ownership towards achieving something – in this case, a financial goal. It taught them the fundamentals of how to earn money and more importantly appreciate the value of money.  It’s a valuable tool to have in life.”


The boys were fortunate to have the opportunity to work under their mum’s supervision in their student uni or holiday breaks – it was a good short term role.

Another area of passion for the Barnett family is the sport of orienteering.  As a matter of fact, the Barnett family excel in this sport and you’ll soon see why!

Jane best describes the sport of orienteering as one where you are provided with a map, compass, navigate a course to find a series of checkpoints and try and complete this in the best possible time.

So you may be asking yourself right now how is this even relevant to the delivery of the Yellow Pages books?

Jane’s unique take on the relevance of ‘phone-booking’ as she calls it, with the sport of orienteering, is that it provides a great mind and body workout that is pertinent to the sport of orienteering.


“You’re running, thinking and navigating at the same time, and this is the best way to train the mind,” highlighted Jane.

“You run between houses, down and up streets, ensuring all the houses & businesses receive a telephone book in the safest and fastest possible route.  Of course, there are obstacles along the way that you have to navigate your way around and pay attention to and that’s the beauty of it, and the best way to learn”.


When asked about the highlight of her overall experience in the 2016 Yellow Pages Canberra project, Jane provided her own personal perspective and why she loved it so much!

“The best part was being able to choose the suburbs I wanted to explore and for me it was about selecting those with the best gardens believe it or not,” commented Jane with a gleaming smile.

“The flexible working hours was also a big plus – I couldn’t always devote a whole week to the initiative, but it was doable as the delivery of the books and the base were close to home.  For me it was also the diversity it provided in exercising.”


Jane successfully integrated ‘phone-booking’ into her fitness regime.  In fact, when asked about the one word that would sum up the experience, Jane acknowledged that the best word for this was ‘EXPLORING’.


“Phone-booking gave me the licence to explore new territories that I would normally never venture into or knew even existed and simply put a window into a new world,” she claimed so fondly.

“You get to visit new offices, beautiful suburbs, new restaurants, and we even had the chance to visit Parliament House to deliver the books, where it was evident how strict security measures they have in place.”


Jane provided some great nuggets of advice for those thinking of venturing into ‘phone-booking’ this year:

  • – Be tolerant, watchful and mindful of dogs (remember you are visiting and delivering books into other people’s territory so you just need to be careful)
  • – Trip Hazards – Be aware of your own personal safety so you remain safe at all times.
  • – Don’t deliver in the night time – it’s best to complete deliveries during the day and finish up before the night falls.

It’s certain that this story has provided insights into different dimensions to phone-booking – as Jane thoughtfully attested:


“Genuine ‘phone-bookers’ love it and find something of interest every time they deliver the phone books.”


So if you can get past the ‘quirkiness’ of this good-feel story, it really does paint a picture about phone-booking that is more than meets the eye!

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