Ancient Explorer – what a find!

Dr Lisa Dunbar Solas is an ancient explorer of the Central Andes and a leading expert on Inka ceremony and the sacred landscape.

She contacted our NEIS team at Gosford to discuss the opportunity of running art and craft business selling Andean (think Inca & Aztecs) handmade crafts and delivery of workshops on art and archaeology.

The NEIS program has been delivered by APM Employment Services since February 2020. It was previously delivered by Konekt Employment.

From 1 July 2022, Self-Employment Assistance replaced the NEIS program.

Dr Lisa had designed her own range of character products to sell on Redbubble (meet Ana, Walcho and OTIS) but was struggling to gain traction.

By working with her mentor, her workshops were developed to target school children, particularly school holiday programs.

Through introductions in her mentoring session she was able to connect with a booking agent for OSHC Centres and is now delivering her workshops to the YMCA and other after-hours school care and holiday program facilitators.

By connecting her with social media experts, she was able to grow her Instagram following from 81 to over 4,500 in a matter of a couple of months.

She is now experiencing an increase in network opportunities, an increase in hits on her website and has visitors on her site from all over the world.

She is receiving excellent feedback on her workshops and is now compiling course material and products targeted towards educators, which will be available on her e-commerce store and has started her own YouTube channel to facilitate short videos.

As an archaeologist who would normally focus on the past, Dr Lisa is extremely forward thinking.

Her next step? To adapt all of her material to target senior school students.

Dr Lisa is currently trying to work with Council and local groups to be able to offer a mock archaeological dig on the Central Coast, and – wait for it – she is also supplying her own branded excavation kit!

Lisa has established a business by sheer hard work and thinking outside of the square.

For more information on Dr Lisa’s business Ancient Explorer, visit