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Operational planning in full swing following key staff recruitment

A full contingent of staff for the launch phase of Margaret River HEART are now on board following the last week’s commencement of the new General Manager Nicky Hansen and Volunteer Coordinator Rebecca Young.

Ms Hansen, who was announced for the role late last year, has hit the ground running with inductions, training, and stakeholder meetings, with her attention quickly turning to addressing scheduling and programming.

“At the moment the priority is to ensure the influx of enquiries we are receiving are categorised and triaged for calendar placement,” she said.

“Once we get an overall view of the requests received we will be able to identify the different usage types, the spaces required for those bookings, the dates and the required associated resources, equipment and staffing support they each require.

“That will then put us in a position of being able to gradually respond to bookings and provide better surety to both the events and activity organisers, and the community.”

Ms Hansen said she is aware the community is keen to see the building brought up to full operation capacity as soon as possible.

“I love that locals are so eager and excited to see arts and culture thrive in the region,” she said.

“There such a great sense of ownership over the building which is exactly what will ultimately ensure the success of the venue.

“The challenge in the early stages is having to slowly gear operations to ensure we are able to provide a safe and enjoyable experience for people using the centre.

“It’s also really important to me to make sure there is equitable and sustainable use between business and community events.
“We can’t lose our grassroots focus – it’s what creates the soul of an entertainment centre.”

Now the full contingent of launch staff are on board, Ms Hansen said there is already rapid progress being made across all aspects of centre operations.

“The team members we’ve got are all passionate local community members, who want to see HEART become a success for everyone,” Ms Hansen said.

“Most of the team members are on either short term contracts or are casual, secondment or volunteer positions.

“This structure will allow for a flexible and responsive workforce as requirements change and develop, and centre operations gear up.”

Ms Hansen said more announcements about centre programs and activities will be made to the community in the near future.

Follow the Margaret River HEART facebook page to stay up-to-date on centre news, programs and events.


A summary of current operational activities at the centre is:


HEART staff are working closely with Margaret River Busselton Tourism Association on a pro-active destination marketing plan for Margaret River HEART. These events are intended to bring in returns for the centre to subsidise community usage of the centre.

Community grants

The first rounds of community grants funding applications have been assessed. Staff are writing to successful recipients and a public announcement will be made next week.


The team are also developing more centre wayfinding and instructional signage to assist with a more seamless user experience with the centre.

Venue systems

The HEART team is currently setting up our ticketing systems. They are also building a venue management system, that will ultimately be used for all events in the Shire. This ensures effective management of logistics in the case of multiple events being held in any one location – eg. ensuring enough parking is available for a skatepark event, football event and conference vent to be held concurrently.


A register has been established for people interested in volunteering. Ten volunteers were inducted in time to assist with the recent events with The Waifs concernts  and more will be selected and inducted for upcoming events on an as-needs basis. Volunteer Coordinator Rebecca Young has started the development volunteer engagement strategy. Anyone wishing to add their details to the register can email [email protected]

Kiosk and catering

Support staff are determining the kiosk set up and are working to achieve purchasing systems and stock levels. The team is working on a list of preferred catering suppliers.

Technical team

The technical team was on board in time for the recent concerts by The Waifs. The team is now preparing for Margaret River Theatre Group’s pantomime production which starts this week. This includes rehearsals for sound and light and technical systems. The team is also in the throes of writing new operating procedures and manuals for all the new tech gear that was fitted into the building. Some systems still need testing and adjustments, and this week the piano tuning was completed by a contractor.


Marketing staff are currently developing a suite of corporate stationary, venue marketing materials and content for a new centre website. Additional marketing channels are currently being set up to enable content dispersal to different audiences. Several suites of venue marketing materials are being developed for different user groups including for community groups, and business conferencing organisers.

Upcoming events

There are a number of exhibitions scheduled to take the centre through until late in the year. We are in contract negotiations for several more events and concerts but are unable to announce specifics until we have approval from the promoters.
An open day is being planned for the near future to encourage more community members to come in and experience the Margaret River HEART.