The monthly Mingle returned in a big way with the August event absolute brimming with friendly faces and informative speakers. Co-hosted with Australia’s South West at Ramada Resort, almost 100 members and guests gathered together for a wonderful night of learning and networking.
Over 30 members joined the Critical Industry Update presented by Simon Brown from RSM Australia. The update started with a detailed breakdown of recent changes to Jobkeeper including employee & turnover eligibility & payment rates. Simon also delved into compulsory superannuation, the Superannuation Guarantee Amnesty and provide direction for how to efficiently manage superannuation contributions going forward. The last topic covered was a discussion of COVID Cashflow Post September, with action points to create good habits around budgeting and forecasting. He noted how important these habits are in building capability to adapt and pivot to any future challenges presented by the COVID crisis, but also in enabling businesses to survive and grow.
RSM has offices in Busselton and Margaret River and an exclusive offer for MRBTA Members of a complimentary 1-hour consulting session. If you have any questions on any of the above and would like assistance in financial planning for your business, contact RSM on (08) 9752 1406 or via email. This seminar was the first in a series on offer to MRBTA members providing timely information to help you in your business so stay tuned for more!
The Bayview Room at Ramada Resort, with sunset views over Geographe Bay and a crackling fireplace, set the scene for the Mingle to begin. Members & guests were welcomed with Cowaramup Pilsener from Cowaramup Brewing, Single Vineyard Chardonnay & Cabernet from Evans & Tate and grazing platters from Supper Road.
Mollie Hill, Executive Director of Strategy, Brand and Marketing Services at Tourism Western Australia provided an overview of the Our Story project – an internal tool that will provide the foundation for future Tourism WA advertising campaigns, events, destination development, partnerships and policy. Our Story is a framework that has developed through extensive industry engagement and target visitor research with the aim of uniting different regions and partners and amplifying individual efforts. Mollie emphasised that the framework belongs to everyone and that partners are encouraged to “take it and make it their own” in ways that are suitable to their business.
Watch the presentation below. If you have any questions, you are welcome to email Mollie.
Jenny Lee, Tourism Services Manager at MRBTA, followed on from Mollie with an update on MRBTA’s own brand evolution project. The project aligns strongly with TWA’s Our Story framework, enabling us to best showcase the varied offering of town localities across the region. Through interactive workshops held in March, Frank Bethel at Forward Scout is developing brand platforms that will allow MRBTA and it’s members to capture the unique story and competitive positioning for the Margaret River Region. This will include a story and individual logos for each of the towns. The evolved brand will be launched later this year.
Jasmin Rouw, Membership Manager at MRBTA, provided an overview of work the Membership team have undertaken throughout COVID with a reminder to members to check their margaretriver.com listings are up to date. There was also a brief on the status of Leavers 2020 as it involves MRBTA Members. You can find out more HERE or if you have any questions, please contact Peta Fussell.
Louise Cashmore is the Curator of Origins Market set to open in Busselton in Spring 2021. Origins Market is set to become the ultimate one-stop destination for foodies, families and eco-conscious with over 100 carefully curated makers and creators offering their produce and products. Long communal tables, a children’s nature play space, as well as a variety of eateries, wineries and an onsite local tavern and wine bar will ensure there is something for almost everyone. Origins Market is committed to working with local organisations, business and individuals. If you would like to know more or are interested in being involved, you can contact Louise via email.
Brian Blanchard, Acting Resort Manager at Ramada Resort Dunsborough and host of the evening introduced himself to guests having taken over the role from Damian Keenan at the start of the year. He shared an honest yet amusing recounting of his experiences coming into the role and almost immediately being faced with the COVID crisis and the challenges it brought particularly in regards to staffing.
Brian announced the winner of the lucky door prize, kindly donated by Gran Via Tours & Transfers. Michael Chitty from Western Growers Fresh will enjoy a tour with Andee from Gran Via in the supreme comfort of a brand new luxury vehicle. Congratulations Michael! And a big thank you to Andee for donating the prize.
Paul Dargue, General Manager at Evans & Tate spoke about the delectable single-vineyard Chardonnay and Cabernet that they had provided for the evening. He also informed the gathering of the Wine & Cheese Pairing experience now on offer at their cellar door. The experience pairs a selection of beautiful Evans & Tate wines with incredible cheeses from Yallingup Cheese Company with knowledgeable staff teaching you the art of wine and cheese pairing. A delightful and valuable experience for all!
Jeremy Good, co-Founder and Head Brewer at Cowaramup Brewing Company provided a relatable, authentic and motivating account of their experiences over the past few months, particularly in the face of COVID. Having been in operation for 14 years, hearing that this year had been their most difficult yet was a poignant moment. The tone quickly switched to inspiring, with Jeremy discussing Cowaramup Brewing’s pivot to canning their beer, a move which significantly helped to keep the business afloat amidst COVID restrictions. They are now planning for the ‘new normal’ and have received funding for their own canning facility though will be working towards building funds to match the grant. They are working to promote their Behind the Scenes Brewery Tours – a great experience including beer and food pairing. A must-do for locals or one to recommend to your clients! They are keen to work with other members in developing joint itineraries or products so if you would like to collaborate, get in touch with Jeremy or Claire Parker.
Tim Campbell was on hand to snap some great photos of the presenters and guests throughout the evening which we hope you’ll enjoy. Tim works closely with MRBTA and its members and has huge experience in shooting the features and faces that make our region special. Be sure to get in touch with him if you are need of photography for your business. Examples of his work can all be found online at Tim Campbell Photography.
Both MRBTA and Australia’s South West are committed to helping you over the next year, particularly as many businesses face significant challenges getting back on your feet. If you have any questions or require any assistance, you can contact our Membership Teams at anytime.
Thank you to all that attended and a huge thank you to the event’s sponsors:
Ramada Resort Dunsborough, Cowaramup Brewing Company and Evans & Tate.
We hope to see you at the next Mingle on September 24 at Bettenay’s Margaret River.