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ISSUE 123, 2017


Print Post Approved PP100022562

The New Cockburn ARC A Union for Swim Instructors


Duty of Care Safety at the Royal Adelaide Show


Greg Pullen’s Career Achievements The Venue Management School


A New View on Retention Growth Trends


Selling Fitness Risk Management Solutions Councils Impact Regional Tourism



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Issue 123, 2017








COVER: The newly opened Cockburn ARC. See page 16.

regulars 6 From the Publisher 10 Two Months in Leisure 56 People 59 Products www.ausleisure.com.au for all the latest industry news, products and events

16 22 28 32 36 40 44 48 52 54 58

4 Australasian Leisure Management Issue 123, 2017

More People, More Active, More Often The Cockburn ARC, a new facility benchmark

PCYC’s New Era in NSW PCYC’s new approach to operations

A New View on Fitness Industry Retention The Gemba Group’s insights on fitness retention

Part of the Union The formation of the Swim Instructors Association

The Shape of Things to Come Trends fitness managers need to know

Are We Putting Square Pegs in Round Holes? Risk management solutions

Safety in Focus SafeWork SA’s role at the Royal Adelaide Show

Moving Ahead The Venue Management School

A Commitment to Entertainment Greg Pullen, Venue Professional of the Year

Tourism Matters Local government’s investment in regional tourism

A Duty of Care Why Dreamworld failed in its duty of care















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MAPEI has been manufacturing and supplying adhesives, waterproofing membranes, acrylic resins, concrete repair mortars, sealants and over 1500 products for building sporting arenas and playing surfaces for over 80 years. MAPEI has also played an integral role in the successful building of Olympic and Commonwealth Games facilities since 1972 and is currently involved in the venues for the 2018 Commonwealth Games being held on the Gold Coast next year. MAPEI possesses all the technology, research laboratories, colour mapping facilities, technical and on-site assistance, together with a great range of products to ensure that your next project is in safe hands. We can assist with products for surface preparation and installation of surface coverings for most types of sports flooring including tennis courts, multi-purpose courts, running tracks, swimming pools, soccer or football fields and even includes drainage solutions for playing fields. Contact Neil McIntosh from Mapei on 0455 849 807 or email sales@mapei.com.au for further information. Please also visit our website at www.mapei.com.au to access our full range or products and prestigious Project References. MAPEI AUSTRALIA 180 Viking Drive, Wacol Qld 4076 Phone: 07 3276 5000 Fax: 07 3276 5076 Email: sales@mapei.com.au Web: www.mapei.com.au

From the Publisher Making leisure environments more secure Published by Australian Leisure Media Pty Ltd, 102 Taiyul Road, North Narrabeen, NSW 2101 (PO Box 478, Collaroy, NSW 2097) AUSTRALIA ABN 32 092 549 721

Tel: 02 9970 8322 Fax: 02 9970 8355 E-mail: leisure@ausleisure.com.au www.ausleisure.com.au Twitter: @AusLeisure Facebook: www.facebook.com/AusLeisure Editor Karen Sweaney Publisher Nigel Benton Design Australian Leisure Media Pty Ltd Administration Bill Gillies

Advertising Inquiries Nigel Benton Tel: 02 9970 8322 Email: nigel@ausleisure.com.au James Croll Tel: 0488 090 904 Email: jcroll@ausleisure.com.au Printed in Australia by Webstar, part of the Blue Star Group Unit 1/83 Derby Street, Silverwater NSW 2128 Tel: 02 9748 0020 E: enquiries@bluestargroup.com.au The annual subscription cost is AUS $90 (inclusive of GST) in Australia, New Zealand and throughout the Rest of the World. Members of AALARA, ALFA, ASSA, EVANZ, Exercise Association of New Zealand, Sports and Play Industry Association and the VMA receive the magazine as a membership benefit. The views contained in Australasian Leisure Management are not necessarily those of Australian Leisure Media Pty Ltd or the Editor. While every care is taken with advice given, Australian Leisure Media Pty Ltd and the Editor can take no responsibility for effects arising therefrom. Views expressed by contributors may be personal and are not necessarily the views of their employers or professional associations.

© Australasian Leisure Management, 2017. ISSN 1446-1374

Official Publication

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Australasian Leisure Management is an Australian product, Australian owned and printed in Australia.

Callous terror attacks around the world, at locations including venues, events and tourist locations, are creating a changed landscape for both industry operators and consumers. Coupled with regular criminality, we are now in a time where all responsible for public environments must consider ongoing risks and the constant review of security procedures. While it might be suggested that in the current global climate future attacks are inevitable, industry operators are becoming more prepared and innovative in taking appropriate measures to reduce risk and their vulnerability to attack. In extending thoughts and condolences to all affected by attacks such as that at the Ariana Grande concert at the Manchester Arena in May, and earlier attacks at the Bataclan Theatre and Stade de France in the Paris attacks of November 2015, it is also reassuring that industry professionals, and those who back them up with security and safety products and services, are increasingly vigilant and resourceful in protecting the public.

Inflated ticket resale prices impact consumers’ discretionary entertainment spending

Inflated and sometimes unnecessary ticket resale prices are impacting on Australian consumers’ discretionary entertainment spending, depriving other events and sectors of vital patronage and income. That was a view expressed during an animated debate on ticketing issues and reselling at the 2017 Asia-Pacific Venue Industry Congress in Sydney in May. With political, industry and consumer concern over resale sites appropriating ticketing inventory and the online presence of unofficial ticket sellers often confusing ticket buyers, it was Harley Evans, Managing Director and owner of moshtix and The Ticket Group, who highlighted “we are seeing that when people pay more for entertainment tickets than they should, that is impacting their other spending and reducing them going to other events, eating out or enjoying other entertainment.” Hardly a week goes by without media reports of disgruntled ticket buyers missing out on tickets or purchasing non-existent tickets, leading industry and consumer groups to call for change, and for legislation to keep up with technology that enables ‘bots’ to purchase inventory. Another grievance is how internet search engines such as Google consistently place reseller sites above official agencies during online searches, driving consumers towards often inflated and sometimes fraudulent ticket sales. It is remarkable how quickly technology has transformed ticket sales over recent years, growing from established (sometimes) illegal ticket scalping of a relatively small number of event tickets to the widescale ticket resale operations of today. Just a few years ago, as entertainment and sport explored dynamic pricing models as used by airline and hotel industries, ticket reselling seemed to be just a matter of market forces. However, the intervention of sophisticated technology means individual consumers are often losing out. Of course, dynamic pricing still has huge potential across a range of leisure sectors, to the advantage of operators and consumers, something we hope to explore in coming issues of this magazine.

Nigel Benton, Publisher

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Two Months in Leisure Some of the industry headlines over recent months. Daily industry news can be read at www.ausleisure.com.au

Department of Conservation to charge overseas visitors more to use New Zealand’s tracks

The Department of Conservation (DoC) is set to start charging tourists more than the locals for walking New Zealand’s tramping tracks. First suggested by DoC Director General earlier this year, the system will see overseas visitors pay higher charges to access national parks. DoC has also been planning a blanket increase for hut prices along its popular Great Walks tracks, some by up to 30%.

Goodlife links with brand influencers to boost awareness

Leading fitness club brand Goodlife Health Clubs is bolstering its already strong social media presence with the addition of a number of Australia’s leading digital influencers. Following on from the appointment of online fitness phenomenon Emily Skye as an ambassador in 2016, Goodlife Health Clubs has extended its digital footprint by appointing nine high profile social media personalities to promote the brand. Major social media players such as former Australian pole vaulter and qualified exercise physiologist Amanda Bisk, Neighbours actor and fitness enthusiast Matt Wilson, swimwear designer Jamie Allen and socialite Taylor Fielding are just some of the names who will be spruiking the group.

New Skills Active qualification gives trainees a grounding

Skills Active’s new flagship qualification is designed to give learners a launchpad into a range of sport and recreation careers. The New Zealand Certificate in Sport, Exercise and Leisure Operations (SELO) is a nationally-recognised Level 3 qualification that can be used in any sport and recreation workplace. It replaces Skills Active’s previous entry-level qualification, Sport and Recreation Core Skills Level 2.

Boy George records iconic anthem for YMCA campaign

A new media campaign reintroducing the YMCA to the Australian public is seeing 80s pop icon Boy George covering the classic disco anthem ‘YMCA’. The Why Not? Campaign aims to communicate the YMCA’s united belief in inspiring young people and addressing issues that concern them. Introducing the initiative, YMCA NSW Chief Executive Leisa Hart explains “as a major employer of young people in hundreds of communities and through our many programs that already provide platforms for young people’s voices to be heard, we want to be known for our belief in them. “We feel the best way to do this is by using the media to shine a spotlight on the issues that matter most to them.”

Trails blueprint paves way to revitalise regional towns

Development and increasing use of a co-ordinated network of trails is set to boost job creation and economic development in regional Western Australia. A newly released plan for trails development in the State highlights opportunities to create trail towns and trail networks, generating new tourism opportunities for regional economies as well as the metropolitan area. 10 Australasian Leisure Management Issue 123, 2017

Ride owners fined over Royal Adelaide Show death unlikely to pay up

The owners of a Royal Adelaide Show ride on which an eight-year-old child died have been fined $157,500, but it is unlikely they will ever pay. Eight-year-old Adelene Leong was killed when she was thrown from the Airmaxx 360 ride at the Adelaide Showgrounds in September 2014. The Queensland-based company that owned the ride, C, J And Sons Amusements, and one of its Directors, Jenny-Lee Sullivan, pleaded guilty to breaching workplace safety laws by failing to maintain the ride in a safe condition. Industrial Court Magistrate Michael Ardlie said the company already had debts of more than $1 million and had been “financially ruined” since the tragedy, while Sullivan had a minimal income. The company was notionally fined $94,500, and Sullivan $63,000, plus a maximum compensation sum of $20,000, but will now pay just $840. Safety arrangements at the Royal Adelaide Show are covered on page 44.

Music Victoria releases 10 Point Plan for live music

The secrets behind the revival of Melbourne as a live music city have been revealed with the release of a 10 point plan by Music Victoria. Produced by Music Victoria, the peak body for contemporary music, the 10 Point Plan is based on initiatives developed with partners and stakeholders including the Victorian Government, Fair Go 4 Live Music, Save Live Australia’s Music (S.L.A.M) and venue and studio owners, promoters and academics. The 10 point plan was developed after fielding enquires from all over the world about how the music scene works in Melbourne and what sets the city apart. It was in part motivated by multiple requests for strategic advice from around the globe including cities such as London, Bangkok and Amsterdam, which is interested in adopting the Agent of Change principle.


Sydney’s fast-growing indoor climbing scene has seen the opening of a new bouldering gym, 9 Degrees Parramatta, an expansion of the popular Alexandria-based facility of the same name. AFL Victoria has announced the establishment of a new female development program, in partnership with VicHealth and the Richmond Football Club, that will pave the way for Indigenous women to engage in all forms of Australian Football. The repair and restoration of the Christchurch Town Hall is on track to be completed by the middle of next year. The Art Gallery of NSW’s ambitious Sydney Modern expansion (left) is being given the go ahead by the NSW Government with a $244 million funding package. The Clare and Gilbert Valleys Council has announced that its Valleys Lifestyle Centre is to be managed by YMCA South Australia. Extensive exterior improvements at the Sunshine Coast’s premier performing arts and conference centre, The Events Centre in Caloundra have been completed (right). The Cairns Convention Centre is to benefit from a $176 million expansion announced in the 2016/17 Queensland budget. The City of Stirling’s new Scarborough Beach Pool will be the 13th Perth swimming pool to use geothermal heating. In a move to address concerns about doping infiltrating rugby union at a junior level, Drugfree Sport New Zealand has announced that it will roll out drug testing of leading high school rugby teams. Royal Life Saving Northern Territory has opened its new headquarters in Darwin, using the event to highlight that the Territory’s drowning rates are more than three times the nation average. Mars Stadium Ballarat, the Victorian city’s new sporting complex, has been completed and hosted the Round 22 AFL Premiership fixture between the Western Bulldogs and Port Adelaide. St Kilda’s Palais Theatre has reopened to the public after a $26 million refurbishement. Plans for a $50 million regeneration of Victorian wildlife attraction Gumbuya Park into a ‘world-class’ destination - with a waterpark, bush resort and improved facilities - have been revealed. A new report has calculated the total asset value of Queensland’s Great Barrier Reef to be $56 billion, assessing the World Heritage site’s economic, social and brand value together in one study for the first time.

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YMCA Victoria has extended its partnership with the Baw Baw Shire Council to manage the recently redeveloped Warragul Leisure Centre, together with six other recreation facilities in the West Gippsland shire. The National Gallery of Victoria’s Van Gogh and the Seasons has welcomed more than 420,000 visitors, making it the most popular ticketed exhibition in the gallery’s 156 year history. Having been granted a licence to franchise across China, international fitness group Anytime Fitness is aiming to open up to 500 gyms in the country by 2020.

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Australasian Leisure Management Issue 123, 2017 11

Dubai’s Wild Wadi waterpark to be relocated to new man-made island

Fitness Australia brings industry stakeholders together on key issues

Iconic Dubai waterpark Wild Wadi, one of the United Arab Emirate’s signature leisure attactions, is to be relocated to a new man-made island next to the landmark Burj Al Arab hotel. Relocation of the waterpark will see the waterpark’s current site redeveloped as part of the DHS6.3 billion (US$1.7 billion) Marsa Al Arab project from Dubai Holding that will see creation of two new islands either side of the Burj Al Arab hotel.

With a range of significant issues set to impact the industry, Fitness Australia recently brought a diverse array of key stakeholders together at an extraordinary meeting. In a show of industry unity, a combination of both Fitness Australia registered and non-registered fitness businesses and powerbrokers, representing a range of modalities, exchanged views in an attempt to take stock of the direction of the industry and pressing issues including: •The National Training Package review •The Fair Work Ombudsman’s interest in ‘sham contracting’ •Changes to the 457 Visa arrangement •Fringe benefits tax exemption campaign •Fair Work Commission ruling on ‘all up casual rates’, and •The potential of increased tariffs resulting from the amalgamation of music licensing bodies APRA and PPCA tariff collecting functions

New music licencing body proposes ‘simplified’ scheme for exercise providers

Australia’s new combined music licensing body is planning to introduce a “simplified ... one-stop shop” for exercise providers’ music licence needs when it begins operating in the second half of 2018. One Music Australia, which will form when APRA AMCOS and PPCA merge next year, has released a statement advising that the coming together will “remove the requirement to obtain separate licences from APRA AMCOS and PPCA”. Its statement advises “OneMusic Australia aims to simplify music licensing, reduce administrative burden and counter market confusion around the difference between APRA AMCOS and PPCA.”

Squash SA introduces world first 24/7 glass court to Adelaide

Global tourism supports twice as many jobs as the financial sector

Squash SA has announced the introduction of the only permanent, public access, glass show court for squash and racquetball in the world, now available for use 24 hours a day in the city’s Tonsley Innovation Precinct. Backed by an automated online booking system and 24 hour key code entry, Squash SA’s innovation is designed to showcase the sports of squash and racquetball and provide a ‘professional’ experience for players of all levels.

A newly released report from the World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) shows that global tourism sector directly sustains twice as many jobs as the financial sector, and five times as many jobs as the chemicals manufacturing sector. Comparing tourism to eight other industries which are considered to have similar breadth and global presence, across 27 countries and six regions, the WTTC Benchmarking Report 2017 shows that tourism supported 108 million jobs directly, and 292 million in total (taking the direct, indirect, and induced impact into account) last year.

City of Joondalup and Telstra build Australia’s smartest park

The City of Joondalup and Telstra have announced an Internet of Things (IoT) partnership to trial the latest Smart City applications and make Joondalup one of Australia’s most innovative and liveable cities. Through the strategic relationship, the City and Telstra will trial Smart City solutions, including IoT enabled environmental sensors, smart bins and parking at Tom Simpson Park, a popular beach side location that is 30 minutes drive from Perth and attracts thousands of visitors each month.

www.ausleisure.com.au for all the latest industry news



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‘Fun & Fitness’ Obstacles for Land

LIGHT YEARS AHEAD Shanghai Disneyland welcomes more than 11 million guests in first year

Marking its first year of full operations, Shanghai Disney Resort has announced that more than 11 million guests have visited the attraction since its opening. Commenting on the success, Walt Disney Company Chairman and Chief Executive Bob Iger stated “Shanghai Disney Resort’s first anniversary is cause for great celebration for everyone involved in bringing this spectacular dream to life. “We’re grateful to the people of China for making this unique destination a tremendous success -- more than 11 million guests have already visited, and we look forward to welcoming many more in the years to come.”

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Wellington region mayors advance plans for new 12,000-seat arena

Wellington’s mayors are backing the development of a new 8,000 to 12,000 seat indoor arena, with a recent meeting of the Wellington Regional Strategy Committee agreeing plans to make an indoor stadium a reality. With the city’s outdoor Westpac Stadium having a capacity of just over 30,000 people and the TSB Arena offering indoor seating for about 5,500, Wellington’s leaders feel that the city is missing out on major concert acts by not having a large indoor arena.

Third Holey Moley golf attraction opens in inner Sydney

Out-of-home entertainment innovator Funlab has opened its third Holey Moley Golf Club in the former Sandringham Hotel premises in the inner Sydney suburb of Newtown. Following on from Funlab’s successful Strike Bowling concept and the opening of other Holey Moley venues in Brisbane and Melbourne, the themed mini-golf courses sees players tee off from The Simpsons lounge room or Willy Wonka’s chocolate factory and play through a heritage inspired course. Funlab has also acquired the AttracTivity Entertainment business, located in the Sydney Corporate Park in the suburb of Alexandria, from National Bowling & Recreation Centres Pty Ltd (NBRC).

Dubbo Regional Theatre Convention Centre welcomes 500,000 patrons

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Half a million visitors have gone through the doors of the Dubbo Regional Theatre and Convention Centre (DRTCC) since its opening in 2010. The tally of 507,453 people includes patrons who have attended live theatre performances, business and community events. Australasian Leisure Management Issue 123, 2017 13

Hockey Centre opening sees all GC2018 competition venues ready

The completion of the $16.5 million Gold Coast Hockey Centre in Labrador means that all of the competition venues are now ready for the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games (GC2018). The refurbishment and expansion of the existing Gold Coast Hockey Centre now sees it offer two synthetic, international standard pitches and permanent seating for 500 along with new meeting rooms, kitchen and bar facilities, a function room, change rooms and amenities. The Queensland Government has also advised that it is investing a further $2 million in training for 1000 extra security guards for the Games.

ARI launches facility managers mentoring program

In a move to enhance the career progression of managers of aquatic and recreation facilities, the Aquatic and Recreation Institute (ARI) is introducing an industry mentoring program. Launched at the ARI’s 2017 annual conference, the ARI Mentor Program aims to recognise key issues in the aquatic and recreation sector including its growing workforce, emerging professionals’ desire for career advancement and a recognition that individuals who have been mentored are recognised as reporting better career outcomes than those who have not been mentored. The ARI Mentor Program will support emerging industry leaders through a six month program wherein ARI Member Teams complete a project-based challenge over six months under the guidance of an experienced industry mentor.

Designs revealed for Abu Dhabi’s Yas Arena

Intended to accommodate a wide variety of sport and entertainment events, designs for the new Yas Arena, Abu Dhabi’s first multi-purpose indoor venue, have been revealed. The proposed arena is designed to host a variety of events, including community gatherings, concerts, performances, sporting events, and meetings and conventions. The design, by leading international sport and entertainment design firm HOK, will be able to expand from a 500-seat theatre into an 18,000-capacity venue.

New funding aids Taronga Western Plains Zoo

New funding from the NSW Government will help Taronga Western Plains Zoo complete its planned Pridelands African Lion savannah project. The allocation of $7.5 million towards the Dubbo-based attraction’s ongoing visitor experience capital works program is part of a wider $50 million, 10-year partnership between the Zoo and the NSW Government. The 3.5 hectare savannah will combine expansive views of the lion pride with close-up encounter areas, as well as key breeding facilities. As part of the project, behind-the-scenes night yards and a second up-close exhibit will be constructed to allow keepers to display how they work closely with and care for the lions.

2017 sees Falls Creek mark 70 years of operations

Victorian ski resort Falls Creek is celebrating the 70th anniversary of its operations during the current ski season. From humble beginnings with the first ski lodge Skyline, evolving to what is now a vibrant Europeanstyle ski village that attracts thousands of snow enthusiasts of all abilities each winter season, Falls Creek is now a thriving all-season resort. 14 Australasian Leisure Management Issue 123, 2017

F45, Australia’s fastest growing fitness studio network

The ongoing success of F45 studios has seen the group acknowledged as Australia’s fastest growing fitness network and the nation’s fastest growing franchise. With close to 500 studios in Australia and 750 around the world, the business is based on providing an ever-changing, high-intensity 45-minute workout focused on motivation, innovation and results. For participants, motivation comes from trainers who cruise the floor during classes offering encouragement and corrections to form, a system compared to being “like having a personal trainer, but one you can actually afford”.

Performing arts sector impacted by increasing competition from sport

Australia’s performing arts sector is facing increasing competition from sporting stadiums and arenas according to recently released research from IBISWorld. The market research firm’s recently released Performing Arts Venues in Australia report suggests that a growing number of live sporting events are constraining audience and revenue growth in the performing arts and that arts industry leaders are anticipating ongoing affects from intensifying external competition. Identifying the sector’s expansion as being due to an increasing focus on expanding its service offerings, it shows that fluctuations in Government funding and increased external competition have limited industry revenue growth. An IBISWorld statement introducing the report explains “although the growing popularity of contemporary music concerts has boosted demand for venues, industry operators have faced increasing competition from largescale sporting stadiums and arenas for big-name artists, along with pubs and nightclubs that cater for smaller gigs and up-and-coming musicians. “Furthermore, demand from more traditional performing arts, such as ballet and classical music, has declined over the past five years.”

www.ausleisure.com.au for all the latest industry news

World Masters Games 2017 exceeds all targets

World Masters Games 2017 Limited (WMG2017) has announced an event surplus, subject to final audit, of approximately $800,000. In a final announcement prior to the wind-up of the Local Organising Committee, WMG2017 Chairman Sir John Wells stated “it is a very satisfactory result and conclusion to the World Masters Games in April, which exceeded all economic and social goals and expectations.”

Moore Park Golf lights up participant engagement

Having recently unveiled $1.3 million in redevelopments at its driving range, Moore Park Golf is enhancing the customer experience and redefining the way customers enjoy playing and practicing golf in an entertainment environment. Challenging negative media coverage about an apparent decline in golf participation, the public opening event for the new features saw well over 1000 people attend on a cold June night, keen to be among the first to have a hit on the new driving range. The lead up and post event coverage of the opening was a great success with public interest at record levels.

AUSTSWIM flags importance of education in aquatic exercise program delivery

With the rise in popularity of aquatic exercise programs, swim teaching and water safety education body AUSTSWIM is highlighting that classes must be performed by trained, licensed/registered aqua instructors. Noting the rise in facilities that offer water exercise programs providing a low/no impact alternative for sport, health and fitness conscious individuals, AUSTSWIM explains “fitness specialists have developed water exercise programs that give the generally ‘fit person’ a workout that can raise heart rates to cardiovascular workout levels. “While new fad aquatic-based programs may be ‘cool’, the delivery of classes must be performed by trained, licensed/ registered Aqua Instructors. Don’t be fooled; the best personal trainer or group exercise leader may not be the most informed aqua instructor.”


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Victorian Government releases golf course planning strategy

The Victorian Government is advancing a strategy for the golf industry that sets out to promote the growth and sustainability of golf for recreation and tourism purposes while addressing future land use impacts. The Planning for Golf in Victoria discussion paper, part of the Plan Melbourne 2017-2050 Implementation Plan, assesses the values of golf courses, identifies their benefits and outlines a planning framework for golf course land development proposals. To take the strategy forward, a task force has been established to develop a framework that addresses some key issues facing Victorian golf courses, including: declining club memberships, rising operating costs and the contested nature of golf course land developments.

Fremantle and West Coast Eagles agree Perth Stadium deal

AFL teams the Fremantle Dockers and the West Coast Eagles have agreed to play their home matches at the new Perth Stadium for up to 50 years. The deals are understood to include a clause that would allocate the home team 50,000 seats, with the remaining 10,000 being split between visiting sides and the general public. Perth Stadium Chief Executive Mike McKenna said the deal had been in the offing for some time and an official agreement is not far off.

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Australasian Leisure Management Issue 123, 2017 15

Cockburn ARC’s 50 metre outdoor pool with its three waterslides in the background.

More People, More Active, More Often The recently opened Cockburn ARC is setting a new benchmark for aquatic, fitness, recreation and sport centres in Australia


n May 2017, the Cockburn ARC (aquatic and recreation centre) opened in Perth, presenting a range of industry firsts. The largest centre in Western Australia, and one of the largest in the country, the Cockburn ARC houses an elite sports club training and administration facility, and equally welcomes all community members, as a centre for health and fitness needs. In addition, it has been the first to implement several new aquatic technologies as well as setting a new benchmark in environmentally sustainable design and management practices. Background The need for a high quality aquatic and recreation centre to service the growing community was first identified by the City of Cockburn in 2009. With a rapidly growing population and existing leisure facilities reaching the end of their lifespan, the City decided to create a unique facility for the community in Cockburn Central West. During the planning for the centre, more than 50 reference group meetings were held with extensive community engagement. This included ongoing discussions with the users of the existing facility, South Lake Leisure Centre, as well as engagement with City of Cockburn ratepayers and industry bodies. The project was funded through partnerships with Local, State and Federal Government, Fremantle Football Club and Curtin University, with the purpose of delivering an integrated environmentally sustainable community facility for people of all abilities. 16 Australasian Leisure Management Issue 123, 2017

Multiplex Constructions Pty Ltd was awarded the construction tender, with Commercial Aquatics Australia as the construction contractor of the swimming pools. The first sod was turned at the nine hectare site in July 2015, and the centre was officially opened on 19th May 2017 – followed by a ‘Discover’ weekend

Cockburn ARC’s indoor sports halls (above) and Fremantle FC’s training oval (below).

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Cockburn ARC’s many offerings include aquatic play and fitness.

for the community, held over 21st and 22nd May. Initial interest in the centre from the community has been extremely positive with membership numbers, casual attendances and Swim ARCademy enrolments exceeding feasibility study projections. Overall, more than a million people are expected to visit each year delivering an annual economic impact of $12 million. On the ground, the Cockburn ARC employs 27 full time staff and over 300 casual staff, across its four areas - Fit, Swim, Sport and Play. Features The centre spans over 23,000 metre², with aquatics and stadium on either side of the ‘internal street’, a massive open area framed by large skylight panels that represent the wetlands region where the Cockburn ARC is located. Upstairs is the centre’s health club and members lounge overlooking the Dockers’s training ground. The aquatic facility includes eight pools: a 50 metre outdoor FINA standard pool, which can be set up to be either eight or 10 lanes, and includes ramp access; a 25 metre indoor FINA standard pool; which can be set up as eight or nine lanes and also includes ramp access; a water play area with a ‘Watch Cockburn ARC’s waterslides were developed by Swimplex Aquatics and Polin Waterparks.

18 Australasian Leisure Management Issue 123, 2017

Around Water’ branded dunking bucket; a dedicated Learn to Swim pool; a warm water pool with ramp access and disability hoist; a spa; and hot and cold recovery pools. Also within the aquatic area is a sauna and steam room, family change rooms and a birthday party room. Visitors arriving at the Cockburn ARC can’t help but notice the three distinctive slides that embrace the exterior of the centre. Each offers a different, yet exciting experience and have been adopted with enthusiasm by the patrons of the centre. Coming off an 18 metre tower, the waterslides were developed for Cockburn ARC by Swimplex Aquatics and Polin Waterparks. The thrilling 69.54 metre blue looping Rocket slide begins with a mind-blowing drop in a glass-enclosed rocket launcher. The lifeguard initiates the launch sequence and the rider is plunged through a laid over loop and down a 17.83 metre runout at the end of the slide. To date, this is the only looping rocket style slide in Western Australia. The yellow Pipeline slide runs for 125.16 metre with a 20.82 metre runout. The slide includes Polin’s exclusive natural light effects multi-coloured strobe-like lighting effects to the inside of the tunnel. The highest, longest and most popular ride is the Tumbler slide, which caters for up to two people on inflatable rafts. The slide includes a large bowl, Polin’s ‘Space Boat” multiple loops and a cavern called the ‘Space Shuttle”. These slides are run by a system of six high performance pumps moving around 1100 cubic metres (tons) of water per hour and have been made using the highest isophthalic resins and designed and manufactured to the strictest standards in the world; EN1069-1. Beyond its aquatic features, the centre also features: a sixcourt multi-purpose stadium; a 950 metre² gym floor; three group studios for fitness, mind and body and indoor cycle; an allied health centre partnered with Lifecare; a centrally located café, opening onto both wet and dry areas; community function spaces and meeting rooms; a crèche with indoor and outdoor






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spaces; an indoor play centre with an additional party room; dedicated AFL and community ovals; Fremantle Football Club’s administration and elite-athlete training facilities and Curtin University’s lecture theatre, multi media centre and training and assessment facilities. Partners Fremantle Football Club Cockburn ARC is the administration and training home for the Fremantle Football Club. The training facility includes a lecture theatre, for use by the club and the community, players change rooms, medical areas, a players gym, staff offices and meeting rooms and a training oval which can be configured to the major match venues around the country. The club also has an arrangement for use of Cockburn ARC’s stadium as well as dedicated access to the hot and cold recovery pools. Curtin University Curtin University will utilise Cockburn ARC to offer a number of services to their students and the community. Students will deliver community based programs with a view to increasing the overall participation of the community in health activities. Multimedia students also have access to a studio on site. Western Australian Institute of Sport (WAIS) Along with Rockingham Aqua Jetty, Cockburn ARC is the home of the Southern High Performance Training Centre for the West Australian Institute of Sport. Design Mike McGrath, Sport and Leisure Leader at architects dwp, sees that the Cockburn ARC has created an environment where people want to spend their time and its “attractivity” will deliver a range of social benefits. He explains, “when we make a sports venue (that) kids want to spend more time in, it not only makes them healthier in the short term, it sets them up for a healthy adult life and avoids a future cost burden to society. “This insight is becoming more apparent globally, where governments need to find solutions to a rapidly increasing child obesity epidemic.” Designed by dwp and with Perth-based architects Sandover Pinder, McGrath sees that there are clear design challenges in co-locating facilities, adding “we needed to design spaces that offer elite athletes exclusive access sometimes, but accommodate the public at other times.” Sustainability and Technology World-class sustainable features of the centre include passive solar design, LED lighting, a high efficiency pool water filtration to significantly reduce total water consumption and a Building Management System with digital air conditioning and ventilation control. The City invested $3 million in geothermal energy infrastructure to heat the Cockburn ARC ’s eight pools ranging from 27 degrees

in the outdoor pool to 34 degrees in the warm water pool. The centre is also home to a massive 1MW Solargain rooftop solar installation – one of Western Australia’s largest. It will generate 1550MWh per year, providing about a third of the facility’s annual load, saving about $300,000 annually and a carbon dioxide offset of 1170 tonnes a year. The chlorine system uses the Chlorinsitu III system, which generates an ultra-pure and low-chloride sodium hypochlorite solution on site. As a result of the new system, there is no storage, transport or handling of hazardous chemicals. Electrolysis takes place in two electrode chambers that are separated by a membrane. This creates a spatial separation between the chlorine and sodium hydroxide. The chlorine and sodium hydroxide are combined after electrolysis for further use is temporarily stored as a sodium hypochlorite solution. The water within the system is treated by a water softening system to increase the life span of the electrolysis cells. Swim ARCademy Cockburn ARC has developed a customised Learn to Swim program to maximise the use of the Cockburn ARC ’s pools and facilities. The Swim ARCademy program caters for babies and parents, school aged children as well as adult learners. Swim ARCademy is a perpetual program running all year round, with an exception to Christmas and Easter. Members of the program and a spectator are able to use the pools throughout the week, outside of lessons. Branding Building up to, and including, the opening of the facility, its marketing team had, in just eight months to build brand awareness (while overcoming a perception that it was fully owned by the Dockers) and establish Cockburn ARC in a competitive facility marketplace. Rather than position the centre under the umbrella of the City of Cockburn or try to leverage Fremantle Football Club, the centre went out strongly on its own, emphasising that the facility was completely different to anything else that Perth had ever seen, the team developed a strong and consistent brand based on delivering ‘Outstanding Service that People Talk About’. Cockburn ARC’s branding achievements has been recognised with the presentation of the Local Government Award as part of the annual Leisure Industry Communication and Marketing Awards. Based on a presentation by Cockburn ARC General Manager Brett McEwin, with additional input from Australasian Leisure Management Editor Karen Sweaney. Visit the Cockburn ARC website www.cockburnarc.com.au Cockburn ARC funding breakdown City of Cockburn: $72.85 million Fremantle Football Club: $12.75 million Western Australian Government: $12.4 million Federal Government: $10 million Curtin University: $1 million

20 Australasian Leisure Management Issue 123, 2017




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PCYC’s new era in NSW

The new PCYC Northern Beaches.

Coinciding with its 80 years of operations, Police Citizens Youth Clubs in NSW are introducing a radical new approach to their operations. Nigel Benton explains


hile for some there is a perception that Police Citizens Youth Clubs (PCYC) in NSW exist solely for young people who have ‘gone off the rails’, the organisation has always had a wider role in the community. Now, in the year when it marks 80 years of operations, PCYC NSW is in the process of unveiling a range of new facilities with a more commercial approach to meeting the evolving needs of young people and the wider community while still remaining true to its mission. In recent months, this new approach has seen the opening of new facilities at Dee Why on Sydney’s Northern Beaches, in central Parramatta and at Hornsby on Sydney’s North Shore. In addition, new clubs are also under development in Wagga Wagga while major improvements are underway in Penrith, Campbelltown, Umina and Maitland with a range of more minor improvements planned for a number of other facilities across NSW. Behind the new facilities, is a new approach to how PCYCs are managed.

22 Australasian Leisure Management Issue 123, 2017

In relation to ‘youth at risk’, of the over 101,000 PCYC members across NSW, only 1,500 or so are case-managed by the NSW Police, either in groups or on a one-on-one basis. Mindful of this, more than a decade ago, NSW Police realised there were aspects of running the PCYCs as a nonprofit organisation that were best left to ‘civilians’, leading to the appointment of a community-based board and an external management team. Today, PCYC NSW is headed by Chief Executive Dominic Teakle, a commercially-minded senior management team and a growing number of professional sports, leisure and facility managers backed by a high powered commercial and youth justice focused Board. NSW Police Youth Commander Superintendent David Scrimgeour explains that Teakle “looks after PCYC ‘the company’ and employs the managers of each club (while) the Police now focus solely on working with young offenders and youth at risk. It is a great partnership which delivers the best outcomes for youth.” In turn, Teakle and his team have embarked on a new approach to the PCYC’s 64 facilities. In part, this was driven by PCYC’s ageing infrastructure and rising property values in metropolitan Sydney. With in-demand sites, in 2014 and 2015, PCYC secured more than $50 million in sales for its then Hornsby, Parramatta and Burwood locations - using that money to invest in new clubs. As Lester Stump, PCYC General Manager - Properties explains “this was essential as the average age of our facilities was in excess of 40 years and we were aware that we needed to be able to fund contemporary clubs that would be attractive for youth and the community.” At Dee Why, the result of a partnership with the Northern Beaches Council has been a new $25 million facility that includes two multi-use indoor sports courts, a youth drop-in centre and study area, three multipurpose community rooms,


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PCYC youth counselling space and a café on top of three levels of parking for 348 cars. Explaining how the new facility will engage, PCYC NSW Chief Executive Dominic Teakle stated “with this new presence on the Northern Beaches, PCYC is able to offer an expansion of its commitment to offer programs and services to empower young people, get them active in life, develop their skills, character and leadership and reduce and prevent crime by and against young people.” Two Youth Command Police Case Managers are based at the club to work with young people who have been referred by local authorities, schools and the Police local area command. Community sports and activities at the club include basketball, netball, futsal, high intensity interval training, group fitness sessions, yoga, Boxfit, Zumba and a wide range of programs aimed specifically at children, including futsal, netball and basketball development, boxing, jump squad and mini movers. The striking design of the PCYC has created a new landmark for the Dee Why area, with vaulting over the top of the building creating a curved aluminium roof using the same technology as used in the construction of the Dubai airport terminals. While the former Warringah Council and its successor the Northern Beaches Council funded almost all of PCYC Northern Beaches’ construction and fit-out, PCYC will staff the club, maintain it and manage it, at no cost to the Council. Teakle sees that this model is likely to be increasingly attractive to local government, advising that “we may be able to offer councils a management model that better positions them to maximise their social objectives while minimising their costs.” In Parramatta, having vacated its former premises in Hassall Street - which it had occupied since 1962, the PCYC’s new multi-storey facility on George Street offers a 230 metre² gym with over 120 pieces of new equipment, an all new fully equipped two-ring boxing ring and combat sport area, a conditioning floor while also offering a range of fitness and related classes for all ages and skill levels. The move is actually an interim step while PCYC finalises its

desire to be located within the new Western Sydney Stadium precinct. Commenting on the new facility, PCYC NSW Chief Executive Dominic Teakle explained “the new club building has activities across six levels, extra classes and spaces for young people and the public and full disabled access, including a lift. “Moving from an aging building to more modern and expanded facilities only five minutes away is a great solution while work towards the (Western Sydney) Stadium-based PCYC continues. “We will be able to engage more staff and volunteers, as well as offer expanded places for university and TAFE students for work placement and training.” Situated next to the Waitara Oval, the new $14 million PCYC Hornsby/Ku-ring-gai facility features a full gymnastics set-up (including a parkour and tumbling area) two premium indoor sports courts, multipurpose rooms, a fully catered cafe and a 90-space car park. Replacing its former site, which it had occupied since 1968, the facility also has a fully-functional commercial gym offering almost 60 hours of group fitness classes a week and is equipped with the latest cardio, strength, pin-loaded and free weights, with gym packages available for all ages and fitness levels, starting with juniors from the age of 14. In entering its new era and the new approach to management as seen at the Dee Why facility, PCYC has joined with a number of key industry supplier partners to ease construction and fit out. Among these, NovoFit, formed earlier this year by the merger of respected fitness suppliers Summit Fitness Equipment and The Fitness Generation, is providing a one-stop shop for fitness, wellness and functional training equipment. This has seen NovoFit provide industry leading brands including Star Trac Cardio, Wattbike, Octane Fitness Ellipticals, Concept 2 Rowers, Nautilus Strength, Schwinn Bikes, Torque Tanks and TRX Functional Training to both the Parramatta and Hornsby facilities. Explaining this link, NovoFit Sales Director Adam Lewitt states “our partnership with PCYC has really been driven by two things: our team’s experience and ability to provide valuable insight into planning and development of the gym and its zones, enabling PCYC to compete commercially and attract and retain a broader range of members; and the ability to provide all equipment to their facilities, from commercial strength and cardio with the latest technology offering, through to wellness products, functional training and high performance equipment, as well as point of difference products that keep members coming back.” Commenting on PCYC’s new approach, Teakle, who joined PCYC NSW late last year having been entertainment and ticketing giant TEG’s long-serving Chief Operating Officer, advises “taking account of our traditions we have a facility model that aims to meet community needs.” “Reflecting the needs of the local communities, some sites

TRX Functional Training at the new PCYC Hornsby/Ku-ring-gai.

Torque Tank at the new PCYC Hornsby/Ku-ring-gai.

The striking exterior design of the PCYC Northern Beaches.

24 Australasian Leisure Management Issue 123, 2017






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Multi-purpose sports courts at the new PCYC Hornsby/Ku-ring-gai.

may focus on specific sports and activities while others may be more sophisticated multi-sport operations meeting wider needs. “For example, in Wagga Wagga our new facility is being built to not only cater for community sporting needs but also has the capability to host state and national-level competitions for sports including basketball, netball and futsal.” Explaining the sale of clubs, which did attract some community opposition, he adds “we are under increased pressure to be more sustainable so have taken advantage of commercial property sales to maximise revenue and then reinvest in our operations and other assets.” “However, we are committed to keeping our current ratio of owned assets and managed facilities but realise we must be more astute in business and management, as well as being more sophisticated in our acquisitions.” Overall, Teakle is keen to emphasise that “our increasing business acumen is not at the expense of tradition or our mission.” Echoing the sentiments of the founder of the PCYC movement, Commissioner William McKay, he wants the PCYC to be a conduit in reducing youth crime, showing young people who may be at risk that “PCYC will empower them to make positive life choices.” He concludes “by generating income and meeting community needs we increase our ability to sustain that.” Nigel Benton publishes Australasian Leisure Management.

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A new view on

Piloxing, courtesy of FIBO.

fitness industry retention Craig Roberts and Luke Davis of international strategists The Gemba Group apply their sport and entertainment insight skills to the fitness industry, pointing a way towards reducing member churn


he fitness industry has experienced waves of innovation and change over recent years – flexible payment options, female-only gyms, 24/7 access self-serve clubs, and franchised brands such as Crossfit and F45 Training. However, it seems that none of this has solved its constant challenge retaining members. As The Fitness Industry Retention Report, released earlier this year by Life Fitness Australia and Fitness Australia, showed, 48% of gym members in Australia give up their membership within the first year, with that churn highest among younger gym members – those aged between 16 to 34 years. With a big proportion of its customer base churning in the first year, and the Report showing that just 63% of all members are retained each year overall in Australia, simply maintaining membership revenue – let alone growing – is a constant battle. Attracting and Retaining Young Gym-Goers To explore the issue further, we looked at some of the behaviours and preferences of young gym-goers in Australia, and the barriers to gym membership cited by those that are not members. 28 Australasian Leisure Management Issue 123, 2017

Research by The Gemba Group reveals that cost is rated by all age groups as the number one barrier to gym membership. A requirement to commit as a member is the second-most cited barrier to gym participation – hence the emergence of lowercommitment pay-as-you-go models. (Inevitably these models may work against retention, but membership models that ‘lock consumers in’ create a disincentive to sign up in the first place.) Significantly though, younger people rate ‘not having anyone to participate with’ is a much more powerful barrier to gym membership than among older people, rating it as the third most












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Furthermore, and unsurprisingly, gym goers in the 16 to 34 age bracket are avid users of digital entertainment platforms. Does this suggest an untapped opportunity to combine elements of entertainment and digital engagement with gym membership to attract and retain young people? (Think bundled movies or music streaming services included with gym membership, as one simple example.)

A youth-oriented dance program at Fitness First.

important factor after cost and commitment. Clearly, creating a social experience within and around the gym membership could be an important aspect of attracting and retaining this younger segment. This has certainly worked in endurance events, the creation of ‘tribes’ being a key factor in the success of the Tough Mudder movement. For those younger people that are gym-goers, participation in other activities is heavily geared towards fitness activities – swimming, group exercise, hiking, running and yoga, with much lower overlap into organised sports. For most, gym workouts appear to be about general fitness and health, rather than complementing specific training programs aligned to participation in sports such as basketball, football, AFL, rugby or cricket.

This suggests two potential opportunities: can gym membership expand to incorporate more of the general fitness and leisure activities that young gym goers participate in – both within (e.g. swimming, yoga, dance) or outside the gym environment (running, cycling or hiking groups)? And can gyms and fitness clubs position themselves better as complements to team-based sport training programs, either in the off-season or pre-season, or as part of in-season cross-training or injury recovery? Entertain Me! Perhaps the most disruptive insight from our consumer research is that this younger segment has higher passion for entertainment experiences than for fitness or sporting pursuits. Although almost 60% of young Australian gym-goers say they are passionate about gym workouts, its movies and music that are the most widely-held passions among Australian 16 to 34 year olds.

30 Australasian Leisure Management Issue 123, 2017

The retention problem is not new. Football and golf clubs have been wrestling with it, and have leveraged emotional connection, exclusivity, loyalty and social status to reduce churn. For the fitness industry, in an era of hyper-competition for consumers’ attention, time and cash, some creative innovation may be required. Virgin Active Health Clubs, for example, have brought a youthful brand, a sense of exclusive ‘club’ membership, a variety of activities and services, plus entertainment elements to the market. But can gyms re-imagine their offer for a new generation that enjoys fitness but hungers for even more social, entertaining and fun experiences? Flexible, low-commitment offers that deliver a strong social experience at the gym, touching on multiple fitness genres and building in links to broader entertainment passions of younger gym-goers may point to the way forward in reducing member churn. Some questions for Fitness Industry executives on retaining young gym-goers: •How can we create even more flexible, lower commitment products that alleviate barriers for the 16 to 34 segment? •How can we create products that deliver a strong social experience at the gym, to attract and retain this segment? •How can we incorporate multiple fitness genres within our facility, to increase engagement and keep young people coming back? •Can we partner with the entertainment industry to deliver additional benefits as part of membership packages? •How can we deliver an engaging digital experience to supplement physical participation in the gym? •How can we create a more ‘sticky’ proposition by delivering intangible benefits offered by other member-based organisations (such as AFL clubs or golf clubs)? With the latter, Richmond Football Club’s recent establishment of its Aligned Leisure subsidiary to manage fitness and recreation facilities in the Cardinia Shire, one of its supporter heartlands, shows how this can be done. Craig Roberts is Head of Strategy Asia Pacific and Luke Davis is Divisional Manager – Strategy at The Gemba Group. Gemba offers world-class insights, strategy and marketing communications to the global sport and entertainment industry. The Fitness Industry Retention Report, compiled by fitness retention academic Dr Paul Bedford, is available from lfeducation.org/industryreport Image courtesy of YMCA Auckland.

Part of the Union

YMCA Victoria is a major provider of swimming lessons.

In the light of a series of wage underpayments, the Australian Workers Union has formed a new division, the Swim Instructors Association. Nigel Benton reports


ith the past couple of years having seen revelations of wage underpayment across Australia, most notably including convenience store giant 7-Eleven, it has also emerged that a number of aquatic sector operators have made errors in paying their staff. While other motives may be attributed to major corporations that have underpaid staff, it would appear that aquatic industry employers have made genuine mistakes in underpaying wages. Nonetheless, underpayments have impacted working swimming teachers and instructors and, in a traditionally nonunionised sector, led to the involvement of trade unions. The matter first arose in June last year, when the YMCA Victoria advised that having conducted a review of payments made to its aquatics staff, it had “identified an error in our remuneration of some staff, specifically some swimming teachers and lifeguards.” The YMCA Staff Agreement 2015 was negotiated with the Australian Services Union, and approved by the Fair Work Commission. YMCA Victoria explained that it took “full responsibility” for the underpayments and committed to back-paying all current and past staff affected, advising in a statement that “we would never intentionally underpay our staff, and we are working through a process to ensure all affected staff are reclassified and back-paid as soon as possible.” Advising that they had been consulting with the Australian Services Union on the matter, YMCA Victoria asked past 32 Australasian Leisure Management Issue 123, 2017

swimming teachers and lifeguards employed from 2011 to get in touch “as they may be owed back-pay for past shifts”. While YMCA Victoria committed that all staff would receive their back-pay by 30th June 2017, this has yet not occurred with a number of issues still being resolved at the time of this article being written. At the end of 2016, it also emerged that the Paul Sadler Swimland franchise, which operates 15 swim schools, had been underpaying hundreds of instructors over six years. A Fairfax Media investigation revealed that the group underpaid staff hundreds of thousands of dollars by breaching conditions and entitlements in the company’s enterprise bargaining agreement (EBA). While the EBA had been unanimously agreed by a vote of staff, passed the Fair Work Commission (FWC)’s ‘better off overall’ test and was approved by the FWC in 2013, staff say the original EBA - which includes no penalty rates for weekend work and has staff classified as seasonal part-time instead of casual - has left some workers worse off. The underpayments, which date back to 2010, are the result of some employees not having their rates increased as their age went up and the incorrect application of grades for more experienced teachers. The majority of the underpayments, which date back to 2010, resulted from incorrect application of transitional rates when state fitness industry awards were merged into a federal award. With the rates applied at the time were those advised by the Victorian Chamber of Commerce and Industry it has since been established that there was significant industry confusion at the time with the application of transitional rates. Many also did not receive pay for long-service leave despite working at the company for more than seven years. As well as underpaying staff, the enterprise agreement

In 2014, Paul Sadler Swimland marked having provided 10,000,000 swimming lessons.

required them to renew their contracts every 10 to 12 weeks and included a flexibility agreement which reduced the minimum shift rate to 1½ hours from three hours under the award. Paul Sadler Swimland Chief Executive Wayne Pollock told Fairfax Media in December 2016 that the company had apologised to staff and rectified the error, with all staff who responded to communications having now been paid. He confirmed that all sites had been audited and underpayment issues had been found, stating that the underpayments were the “combined result of poor manual processes and human error”. As a result of the underpayments, a group of staff at Paul Sadler Swimland Essendon combined to raise their concerns after discovering they had been underpaid by the company. Backed by the Australian Workers Union, which formed a new division, the Swim Instructors Association (SIA), an application was filed to the Fair Work Commission to determine whether the individual flexibility arrangements employees of Paul Sadler Swimland were asked to sign had been compliant with the Fair Work Act. Kirsten Micallef, who has worked for the company for 20 years, said she had decided to join the SIA “to make it better not only for us, but for future teachers”. Micallef was one of 100 current and former workers at the Essendon site who together have been paid more than $250,000 in back pay. A statement on the SIA website explained “these underpayments, and the determination of a few swim instructors has resulted in large amounts being backpaid to staff – with some employees receiving more than $10,000. “This, combined with attempts by the company to try to implement a new enterprise agreement, which would continue to deny staff basic entitlements such as weekend penalty rates,

has led over 100 employees to form a new association, the SIA, which is supported by the Australian Workers’ Union, to ensure that staff are treated fairly into the future and that employees get a good deal on the new workplace agreement (known as an EBA).” In Swimland’s defence, Pollock commented “our company ... prides itself on overpaying people.” Swimland reportedly became aware of the error after staff requested a formal inquiry into the back pay in late 2015. Pollock advised “after an investigation at Essendon, we conducted an audit of our manual payroll systems at all our Australian centres and confirmed that details had not always been updated, resulting in a number of employees between 2010 and 2013 being unintentionally underpaid.” With the SIA already having attracted around 100 members in Victoria, Liam O’Brien, Assistant Secretary of Victorian branch of the Australian Workers Union (who is overseeing its development) sees that “there is a need for a national footprint” for the body “as there are similar issues of underpayments being faced by swimming teachers and instructors in NSW and Queensland.” O’Brien is concerned that in return for higher hourly pay rates, employers have been looking to deny workers certain terms and conditions. Here he cites still unresolved issues with YMCA, based on concerns about the absence of weekend penalty rates, acknowledging the YMCA’s “positive step”. He is also positive about the new workplace agreement with Paul Sadler Swimland, certified by the Fair Work Ombudsman in early August, describing the company as being “very responsive to resolving issues”. Explaining the need for the SIA, O’Brien advises “swimming teaching and instructing is generally made up of a young workforce with limited understanding of their rights at work, which makes them vulnerable to these sorts of practices. “Previously they have been largely unrepresented in negotiations to improve pay and conditions and through representation they can achieve positive outcome in reducing the use of youth wage rates, agreeing penalty rates and improving career paths.” Expressing concern about an “uncomfortable pattern of poor employment practices through independent workplace agreements”, O’Brien called on swim teachers, instructors and lifeguards “to come together to ensure the larger collective can be represented properly”. Nigel Benton is Publisher of Australasian Leisure Management.

Australasian Leisure Management Issue 123, 2017 33















Image courtesy of YMCA Australia.

The shape of things to come Steve Grant looks at what Fitness Club Managers need to know on growth and trends within the industry to ensure success


ith its significant growth over recent years, the fitness industry has attracted a range of research looking into its increasing business success and financial performance. Looking at this research, one report from the 2015 Suncorp Bank Cost of Being Fit, revealed that Australians spend $8.5 billion each year on gym memberships, sports equipment and the latest fitness trends. The second report by IBIS World report on Gyms and Fitness Centres in Australia for 2015, showed the combined revenues of Australian fitness related businesses as being $1.31 billion, with over 3,300 businesses registered nationwide. It is also comforting to know the IBIS report also forecasted a continued estimated growth rate of 3.3% per year to 2020, a little lower than the 5% experienced in the previous five years. We all know the fitness industry’s competitive climate doesn’t lend itself to simply increasing membership prices to boost revenue. As savvy members soon switch to the cheaper local competitor which defeats the original goal of increasing revenue. Commenting on this climate of competitive growth, PaySmart’s National Sales and Marketing Manager, Colin Walker, who has worked in the fitness sector for more than 30 years, cites a consistent question asked by club manages, “How can we increase our revenue?” To this, Walker’s response is, “Increase your average member’s spend.” 36 Australasian Leisure Management Issue 123, 2017

According to the 2015 IBIS World report, spending on gyms and fitness centres has positively correlated with an increase in health awareness across the population. This increasing in health consciousness means consumers are more concerned about their health and will potentially use more of our services. This presents an opportunity for revenue growth as consumers look to gyms and fitness clubs to direct their energies. Interestingly, the report also believes there will be a decrease in the average weekly hours worked but an increase in real household discretionary incomes. So, consumers are not only more health conscious but, with more free time, they have more Functional training at Fitness First.

money to spend on their health. Personal training is now accessible to a vast majority of the population and meeting that demand are hundreds of newly qualified personal trainers who graduate every year from the many registered training providers across the country. Andrew Simmons, Managing Director of Vision Personal Training, notes that across his personal training franchise, there has been a significant increase in the average age of their customers, which was also reflected in the IBIS World report. Simmons explains “customers in older age groups are expected to further drive demand for industry services as their health and gym awareness increases. Plus, we’re finding that the 55 and over age group has greater capacity to pay for full-service gym memberships and are more willing to spend money on fitness activities than any previous generation.” Simmons adds that the more engaged clients are with their gym, the more likely they are to stay on and expand their efforts into different programs and services, commenting, “when clients are working one-on-one with personal trainers, and they’re feeling supported and seeing results, attrition rates can drop dramatically and revenue rates rise. It’s a win for customers, trainers and the gym.” The latest trends As for what’s trending in fitness right now, the 2017 Fitness Show in Sydney showed a range of innovations. Building on its ongoing growth in recent years, wearable technology (fitness trackers, smart watches, heart - rate monitors and GPS - enabled gadgets) continue to lead the way, with the sector worth almost $6 billion last year. Body Weight Training and High Intensity Interval Training continues its march with the seasoned exercisers who’s basic, minimalist, ‘no-gym-needed approach’ to fitness has followed the wave of free training resources for short and sharp programs now readily available on YouTube. Another notable change is the shift to more personalised and higher value service such as engaging experienced Personal Trainers. People are willing to pay for someone experienced to guide them through the fitness and nutrition minefield to get real results. There is also a swing towards Wellness Coaching. This integrates all areas of behavioural change, health promotion, disease prevention and rehabilitation programs and provides support, guidance and motivation to clients, either in a one-onone setting, a small group, or remotely online.

Functional Fitness is continuing to pushing forward within the industry. Amy Dixon, National Creative Manager for Group Fitness at Equinox and IDEA Fitness Instructor of Year, says the next step beyond functional fitness is, ‘loaded movement training’, which includes moving the body in three dimensions and incorporates more of the handheld props like ViPR, sand bells, kettle bells and dumbbells. Fitness Programs for Older Adults 55 and over, are also high on the radar with a higher proportion of the population now in this category. This is certainly one to look out for with retirees and older adults having more discretionary funds to spend on their health than their younger generations. Alarmingly, with increased global obesity levels, weight loss programs actually dropped three spots in 2016, as more lowservice, low cost 24/7 gyms flood the market. This creates a great opportunity for businesses with higher qualifications in nutrition to deliver a premium priced, ‘resultsbased weight loss program’ and to distinguish their brand from their competitors. Yoga looks set to continue to dominate exercise classes around the country. It’s about to get funkier, with boutique studios and hybrid yoga variations on the horizon. With so many yoga styles and methods, from Power Yoga, Bikram, Ashtanga, Vinyasa, Kripalu, Anurara, Kundalini, Sivananda and more, I can’t imagine anyone getting bored or hitting a plateau any time soon. Other notable mentions were Smart Phone Exercise Apps, Flexibility/Foam-Rolling and quickly forming its own market is the hugely popular streamed exercise classes like Peleton doing spin in NYC and yoga gurus offering live yoga course and classes online. Pack up your war paint Take off the army greens and turn the volume down on your loud exercise instructor, because the days of high-intensity military-style training we call Bootcamps are thankfully behind us. The trend that has given fitness instructors a bad name dropped out of the top 20 fitness trends this year. It’s not surprising, says celebrity personal trainer and fitness expert for the Australian Institute of Fitness (AIF), Cameron Byrnes, who explains that boot camps are “too aggressive, and it’s too hard. For fitness levels it is fantastic, but it is not so for fat burning. “It’s intimidating for an average person.” Byrnes, who is responsible for TV presenter Larry Emdur’s impressive transformation from ‘dad body’ to ‘fit dad’, says he and Emdur were recently in Toronto, Canada for a healthy lifestyle program. He explains “in Toronto, there was a 50% decline in the boot camps we did”, adding that he expects a similar decline in Australia and particularly in NSW, given City of Sydney Lord Mayor Clover Moore’s ongoing crackdown on outdoor fitness The BOGA FITMAT from HF Industries.

38 Australasian Leisure Management Issue 123, 2017

groups’ use of equipment and crack-of-dawn start times. Dylan Rivier, a Sydney-based personal trainer and owner of Built by Dylan, says the basis of Bootcamps still exists, but has evolved. He advises “I think people have got over being yelled at”, noting that there has been a name change from the now stigmatised ‘boot camp’ to outdoor group personal training, concluding “it’s not about pushing yourself to the point of exhaustion or vomiting. And there is hardly that whole ‘go hard or go home’ mentality now.” Changing Trends The new wave of trainers, programs and facilities are less about looking fit and doing 10 different courses on lifting weights, and more about learning business skills, marketing and creating followers online. We are seeing a big split in the industry between the low cost models and the other end of the scale who are increasing touch points and member connection. Cross fit has long been known for its strong culture, and Vision Personal Training for its participation at fitness events. Byrnes sees that for higher priced models “it’s now 100% about community- based support systems, like F45, online or Facebook groups.” Being aware of the trends is an important part of staying in front of the curve, but it is only one part of creating a successful fitness environment. It is vital for Fitness Business leaders and managers to continue to develop their own skills to adapt to their shifting market or be left behind. Steve Grant is the Director of the Gym Hub Business Mentoring. This article is based upon a recently released report on fitness business success released by PaySmart and Gym Hub.

Strength training at Fitness First.

Gym Hub is presenting its Titans of the Fitness Industry Live Events on Thursday 12th October at Melbourne’s Mantra CBD Hotel and on Thursday 26th October at Sydney’s Moore Park Golf Club. Australasian Leisure Management readers can access $49 discounted tickets at gymhub.com.au/free-report/titans-of-fitness2017/



www.wowwipes.com.au 1300WOWWIPES Australasian Leisure Management Issue 123, 2017 39

Are we putting square pegs in round holes?

The Byron Bay Bluesfest.

If your risk management is keeping you awake at night, Lyndall Milenkovic offers some solutions


hen providing risk management support to events and venues it is essential to keep in mind the nature of the organisation. While a venue may have a particular risk appetite the event culture may have a different style. Regardless, mitigations have to comply with all statutory and legislative requirements and importantly fit in with the culture of the event. We are fortunate to work across many sectors of risk and emergency management whether it’s festivals, concerts, sporting events or ceremonies. The role of a consultant should be to mitigate risk without taking away the elements that make each event special supporting the culture of the event. It is critical to start planning with the basics of ‘the culture’. Organisational culture is a structure of shared values that have a strong influence on the people involved. It dictates how they perform their roles, how they act at work and even sets an acceptable dress code. One element of organisational culture is their safety culture. A company that has an effective safety culture is one that places a high level of importance on safety beliefs, values and attitudes—and these are shared The Byron Bay Bluesfest.

40 Australasian Leisure Management Issue 123, 2017

by the people within the company or workplace. It can be characterised as ‘this is the way WE do things’. A positive safety culture will of course result in improved workplace health and safety and overall organisational performance. All venues and events should work towards this, however, sometimes due to other forces (tight budgets, timeframes, poor performance or leadership) the safety culture can suffer. This demonstrates the safety culture is not really embedded in the overall organisation’s culture. All levels of an organisation can try harder (starting with senior leadership), provide training (in formal and informal sessions) and reinforcing safety messages (designate a safety officer to encourage everyone). When entering a venue undergoing a build or load-in for an event the way to spot examples of best practice safety culture is if you observe a hazard board warning of the key hazards of the day; someone to welcome you to site and to check on the status of your induction; a sea of personal, protective equipment (PPE); and a logistics delivery schedule. A site would have implemented outward indicators and smooth operations by first instilling an effective and thorough risk management process and this ripples through their day to day activities. As a consultant or an internal risk professional, if the culture and the risk appetite of an organisation is understood it is much easier to provide appropriate risk management support. Start with the risk consequence descriptors. It is a good ‘ready reckoner’ to establish if everyone is on the same page. Whilst some organisations use a standard risk consequence descriptor in their risk assessments it is best practise to tailor the descriptors to the risk appetite of the venue, event or any other type of company. Financial implications in a standard consequence table may

offer consequence such as: • Catastrophic above $5 million • Major $5 million • Moderate $500,000 • Minor $100,000 • Negligible $10,000 (and to some organisations - such as a community event - $10,000 would not be a negligible figure. Of course, risk consequence descriptors should not be solely focused on monetary value. Other categories should be considered such as business interruption, environmental, human, public image/reputation and event operations. It is still surprising that after 25 years in the industry how different organisations’ risk appetite can be. It is up to a consultant or an internal risk professional to identify the risks associated with the site, set the risk consequence descriptors with the team, for them to manage the risks associated with all the standard elements and then additional creative or unique components of each event. Once these are established and everyone has the same understanding the goal is to allow wherever possible the creative and fun requests of the event organisers with the safest possible outcome. When working with Bluesfest it was very important to respect the event’s culture. Showcasing music from around the world annually on the Easter long weekend on 120 hectares at Tyagarah Tea Tree Farm, just north of Byron Bay, NSW, Bluesfest presents over 200 performances with up to seven stages over five 12 hour days. From a modest crowd of 6,000 when it began in 1990, Bluesfest now attracts an audience of over 100,000, providing camping for up to 6,000 people, five licensed bars, over 100 food and market stalls, undercover food courts, beer gardens and children’s entertainment. Regarded as the foremost destination festival in Australia and renowned for being a safe, fun, family-friendly event, our focus has been to reinforce this. This year, we faced having to adapt our risk management plan to account for recent international and local vehicle related incidents, with organisers needing to protect patrons from potential vehicle attacks. Here, an early suggestion was to have heavy vehicles on standby ready to drive across the pedestrian bridges in-case an unidentified vehicle came through the gates. For the NSW Police 42 Australasian Leisure Management Issue 123, 2017

and the event organisers this seemed like a workable solution but to us it appeared a heavy cumbersome approach transferring the risk to the person tasked with operating the vehicle. Unfortunately, it is a complex issue with some heavyhanded recommendations being utilised throughout the events environment. The recommended tactics are not always suitable for the culture of the event or the purpose they are to serve. The idea of using ‘Jersey barriers’ is often mentioned to protect the public. A modular concrete structure employed to separate lanes of traffic, a Jersey barrier/wall is designed to minimise vehicle damage of incidental contact while still preventing the crossover case of a head-on collision. To be effective it relies on interconnection and the provision of exclusion areas. It is not commonly acknowledged that even the force generated by a motorcycle and rider can render an improperly designed Jersey barrier ineffective – let alone a car or truck. The Riskworks Network’s, Stephen Thomson was on the ground with the Bluesfest team during all phases of the event working with NSW Police and event organisers to develop a solution that worked for all stakeholders. The agreement occurred after a collaborative site inspection with all relevant stakeholders where potential areas of concern were identified and a range of mitigations were applied. Each risk and emergency procedure managed the major contributors to the possibility of a hostile vehicle; removed or minimised the possible targets; restricted access to other areas; and minimised the possible speed of approach. A combination of implementing design conscious ‘soft’ elements alongside heavier components worked together to protect and deter would be attackers. In addition NSW Police and security resources were deployed at key hazard points. They provided a greater deterrence and response capability and restricted patrons to areas of greater safety through crowd management. A balance was struck between proportionate security measures, the needs of the event and functionality of the public space. It is possible to integrate bespoke measures into most environments and cultures. Bluesfest is in an enviable position as it owns the property where the event is held. Every year the organisers have looked to improve their site and facilities. As a result of improvements

made over the years, Bluesfest’s land drained quickly and efficiently when far northern NSW flooded by storms from Cyclone Debbie. Bluesfest along with other venue landowner/ managers are fortunate as they were in the position to make changes to help mitigate the possibility of vehicle borne incidents. By re-landscaping, building undulating roadways, plantings trees, garden features or sculptures an organisation can reduce the effect of potential attacks. There are plenty of resources available to aid any organisation to explore other solutions. Venues who don’t own their property could use items that are both practical and creative like brightly coloured double decker buses or appropriately engineered design pieces such as planter boxes or art installations. With the site of Bluesfest it was the culture, their environment and stakeholders that contributed to the safe successful event. Over many years Riskworks has also operated in situations where the client has not always communicated their ideas, arrangements or creative changes. Sometimes these changes were developed on the run or there was a communication breakdown between departments or stakeholders. Some of Riskworks real-life examples have included a lastminute request to provide approvals for helicopter joy flights for attendees at a one day music festival. Later finding out the helicopter company had offered to be part of the amazing laser show final act coming up from behind the stage above the crowd. The joy flights were approved but the show element was not communicated before the event. Another was a weekend music festival. The consultant had thoroughly inspected the site with the clients, read all the provided information and discussed the elements of the festival. The clients were very satisfied with their risk assessment and emergency plan, the use of the Procedures OnLine (POL) app for inductions and the ease with which approvals were gained. Not requiring a safety officer during the event build or show time, it was a surprise to receive reports from security of tree like structures built from bamboo with nets for the patrons to climb on for better vantage spots of the stages and festival in general. Unfortunately, it didn’t appear in any documentation and created headaches for security who were used to asking patrons not to climb on structures. This particular activity was not communicated or assessed and went ahead with no approvals. It was a charming idea, fraught with dangers but could it have been achievable in a safe and secure manner? Another memorable occasion was a boutique festival who decided last minute it would allow the ticket holders to swim in the creek that ran through the camp grounds. They hired lifeguards but as we had not been informed it was still not included in their original risk assessment. This would have exposed the promoter if anything had gone wrong. Event ’creative’ teams come up with ideas that sometimes are not communicated between the different departments and stakeholders. Planning creative for unique events needs a solid and trustworthy partnership between risk and emergency consultants and the event team. The sooner ideas are communicated the easier it is for mitigations to be identified to make them possible. ‘Oktoberfest in the Gardens’ a national touring event had great successes in other states in 2015 but the promoters suffered from not understanding the liaison required by NSW Police. As their licensing process became more challenging they brought in a team of specialists to support their event including a specialist liquor licensing consultant. The team of consultants was one of the key mitigations and the event went ahead. Risk management done well does not mean being the ‘Fun Police’. It is incredibly important to keep things ‘real’. Partnerships and working in unison are what makes these

The Byron Bay Bluesfest.

things possible. Heavy handed measures are not the way to solve issues unless it’s a heavy handed event. A partnership was struck between Oktoberfest and liquor consultants to adhere to previous requirements just like if an opposing football team had a confrontation in a previous game they would require more physical security measures and thorough searches of supporters as they enter the venue. A hard-core punk festival with windmilling and circle pits would require very different mitigations to Ballet Under the Stars. The culture is different, the risk appetite is different and the mitigations need to be realistic and appropriate. In risk adverse times, resorting to heavy handed safety and security tactics may appear to be the easiest and best option. However, it is important to stop, take a breath and think clearly about the appropriate actions for your risk management. Lyndall Milenkovic is Director of The Riskworks Network Pty Ltd. She can be contacted on 02 9911 6644, www.riskworks.com.au


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Australasian Leisure Management Issue 123, 2017 43

Safety in Focus Dini Soulio explains SafeWork SA’s role at the Royal Adelaide Show


s South Australia’s workplace health and safety regulator, SafeWork SA has a crucial role to play behind the scenes in ensuring that those people who head to the Royal Adelaide Show each year have a fun – and importantly – safe experience. Understandably, the public focus at events like this has increasingly been drawn to amusement ride safety – a significant component of our work at the Royal Adelaide Show. But our role encompasses far more than just this one important aspect - we consider a wide array of workplace health and safety issues both in the lead up to the Show and while the event is underway. This can include everything from making sure feed for animals is stored correctly and safely to checking that sideshow staff aren’t inadvertently putting their lives at risk when they get those hard to reach prizes down for lucky winners. Obviously, amusement rides remain a priority - with our team of inspectors and engineers beginning checks of both equipment and relevant paperwork the week before the show begins. These comprehensive safety checks are designed to ensure that: •All relevant staff have had the right training and are prepared for any eventuality •Show ride owners and operators have the necessary emergency procedures in place (for example, ensuring operators know how to disembark patrons in the event of a power failure) 44 Australasian Leisure Management Issue 123, 2017

•All relevant risk assessments have been done in the lead up to the start of the Show •All relevant non-destructive testing has been completed, in line with our legislative requirements and •All relevant manufacturing specs are available, and that operators are familiar with the necessary installation and repairs for those rides. While the rides are a key focus, they’re not the only place that SafeWork SA directs its resources. Both prior to and during the Show, we have a strong presence keeping an eye out for potential hazards right across the Royal

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The Royal Adelaide Show’s Sideshow Alley.

Adelaide Showgrounds. Our staff also work to ensure the safety of people who are working all around the showground site, food vendors, some exhibitors or people hosting stalls and displays, as well as those working in Sideshow Alley or on the agricultural side of the fence. We also check the safety and structure of marquees, ensuring dangerous goods (such as LPG) are correctly stored and that there are appropriate barriers and fencing in place for any areas where vehicles may be coming into or out of the Showgrounds. Often, it’s the hidden risks - or those issues people may not consider that can pose a threat to either Show staff or patrons. For example, the storage of prizes for amusements in Sideshow Alley would seem fairly innocuous. However, when a showgoer wins one of the high-value prizes, there can be a safe way for the amusement operator to get the prize down and a dangerous way. Similarly, people who have animals on show need to bear in mind the risks that can be associated with the storage of feed at the showgrounds - especially when the food is being stored above the animals. There needs to be easy, safe access to any feed that ensures both the animal’s owners and patrons are well-protected from any hazards. Another important factor that may go unnoticed at animal enclosures and exhibits is the slip hazards, and ensuring there are appropriate measures in place to ensure people don’t accidentally fall after an area has been hosed down. These risks – which can often fly under the radar by patrons and operators alike - is why we work with all operators to ensure they understand the risks involved and the steps that can be taken to keep people safe on-site. Importantly, while the Show is underway, SafeWork SA maintains its presence so that vendors, amusement or ride operators and members of the public are able to approach our staff to ask questions or report potential hazards. Our staff are clearly identifiable, with a team of inspectors permanently based on Sideshow Alley, while others will be roaming the grounds – doing spot checks and answering any questions that show staff or patrons may have. Interestingly, we often receive complaints or reports via email - once a concerned parent has arrived home after a big day at the Show and decides that an incident is worth a complaint to authorities. It may be an unhappy or unpleasant experience on a ride, or a report of a trip hazard. Whatever the feedback is, it is valuable information for my team, and something we treat 46 Australasian Leisure Management Issue 123, 2017

seriously – and in some cases confidentially if need be. Major events - such as the annual Royal Adelaide Show – are designed to be fun, enjoyable family-friendly outings. Many people work behind the scenes to ensure that everyone has a great day out, and it is important to recognise that safety is the critical element. Making sure South Australian families can have a safe and hassle-free day at the Show is just one of the many and varied aspects of SafeWork SA duties. When we are not on showduty, a lot of our work involves helping people better understand their work health and safety responsibilities. Our inspectors ensure work health and safety and public safety standards are met and appropriate action is taken when breaches of laws are detected. The Show is both a work place and a public space which means it is one of the busiest times of the year for our team. It’s also two weeks of the year where we get to meet people from all parts of the State, helping to share the important message of workplace safety and what we can all do to improve workplace safety for everyone - whether it is in the dairy farms in the south-east, the orchards in the Adelaide Hills or the vineyards of the Barossa Valley, they are all workplaces and places were South Australians ply their trades every day - and have every right to do so safely. Just like the Royal Show, our State is a great big mix of action, excitement, creativity and innovation - which is exactly why we need to be safe every step of the way. Dini Soulio is acting Executive Director for SafeWork SA. Eight-year-old Adelene Leong died after being thrown from a ride at the Royal Adelaide Show in September 2014. Image courtesy of SA Police.

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Moving Ahead

Students at the 2016 Venue Management School.

The Venue Management School (VMS) presents one of the best education and training opportunities in the venue industry


t’s transformative. How many professional education opportunities can you say that about? The Venue Management School (VMS) has steadily grown over the last 20 years and impacted the careers of many high profile leaders in the venue industry including the NRL’s Todd Greenberg and Andrew Travis of Melbourne & Olympic Park just to name a few. To those who have just discovered the School, they are thrilled to find such a high value experience and network. To those who have already attended, they continue to enjoy close contact with their fellow peers in the industry and learn from each other. The VMS has become the industry leader in the Asia Pacific region supporting our best and brightest. The VMS enrols students in what has to be the most expansive, best value professional development opportunity the industry has to offer. Long held as the pinnacle of professional development in the venue industry, the VMS is a widely respected program. Bringing the industry together in a learning environment each year has its challenges but the outcomes and continual peer review offer outstanding opportunities to our industry. When you bring together 100 of the industry’s leading lights, you get a real melting pot of experience and personalities. And there are some BIG personalities. In a week of learning, networking and stretching the old grey matter, it delivers outcomes. Real outcomes! Established over 20 years ago, over 900 students have 48 Australasian Leisure Management Issue 123, 2017

participated in the VMS. At just three years old, the newest professional development offering from the VMA is the Graduate Institute (GI) which has seen some of our best future leaders complete the program. Drawing on industry leaders and subject matter experts, the school provides so much more than great exposure to content. Jess Rokobaro, is the Consumer Operations Manager at the Newcastle Jets. Having worked in venues and hirer organisations, Rokobaro believes the value gained from VMS and GI is applicable on both sides of the fence. Plus, both afford the opportunity to establish great relationships. She explains “students and lecturers end up becoming great Venue Management School lectures



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advantage the school has afforded him is the opportunity to benchmark his ability and thoughts with the best venue talent in the country. The network Kenna established by attending the school has provided the chance to talk about and visit various venues. He advises “this has opened my eyes to new ideas to (approach) similar problems that we face as an industry.”

Venue Management School students in discussion.

industry colleagues that you can call on for advice, perspective and much more.” The VMS and GI offer week-long programs that allocate time to the broad scope of the venue and event industry. Formal classroom sessions and ‘Q and A’ sessions are interspersed with a variety of structured activities designed to enhance learning, create opportunities for connections to be made, and to share ideas, as Bernie Serone, Senior Manager, Venue Operations at Sydney Showground will attest. Serone advises “networking goes without saying. For me, it was about learning from people that I have a great deal of respect for. I learned about myself and how I could grow within an industry I am so passionate about.” The School is about more than just the classroom content Dave Humphreys from the Perth Arena found the Graduate Institute to offer something very special, commenting “everyone had always talked about VMS as being a brilliant education experience but what I didn’t expect was the level of networking and camaraderie that I would pick up. The instructors are very candid, it’s a trusted environment and you learn as much about your own business as you do about their business. You get a fantastic snapshot and then you dive in nice and deep.” Networking is a big part of the school experience. Over breakfast, lunch and dinner students meet and mingle. They meet with venue professionals from across town, around the state, country and the world. They share stories and establish connections that serve them for a lifetime. In the words of Ben Goodwin from Melbourne & Olympic Parks, “you just get to engage with each other in such a different way. I’ve built friendships that I know I’m going to have for the rest of my life.” Mark Kenna, the Lead Venue Planner for the 2018 Gold Coast Commonwealth Games Corporation, feels that the

Local and Global Exposure Contributions from international instructors are highly valued by students and the school attracts an exceptional calibre. Hailing from Tacoma, Washington in the USA, Kim Bedier (the city’s Public Assembly Facilities Director) relishes the annual opportunity to contribute to the Aussie school. Bedier has lectured at the American campus for 16 years and believes our local version attracts the cream of the crop of venue management professionals, explaining “(it’s where you’ll find) decades of experience in all facets of our profession all together for one unique educational experience,” Kim says. Richard Andersen, Chief Executive of the popular SeaFair festival organisation from Washington, Seattle, USA also relishes the opportunity to impart to up and coming professionals, advising “I love being part of making a difference… the mistakes I’ve made, the success I’ve had, if I’m able to share some of that with others and help them along the way as people have helped me, I’m the one that’s joyful about that and I’m blessed to teach here.” Sharing stories and experiences in the innovation and industry best practice spaces are key themes across the week. Gloria Fong, Communications Manager, Hong Kong Convention Centre felt that the access to students from all over our region was a major benefit in her attending the school. In her classes students came from Australia, New Zealand, Hong Kong, Macau, Singapore, Taiwan, China and Thailand with a variety of operational backgrounds. She recalls “we were able to share experiences and suggestions from different perspectives and that really inspired me.” The continuing peer review of subjects undertaken by the VMS Committee has resulted in the upgrade and introduction of new subjects. One of these is Digital and Data Insights, delivered for the first time last year by Phil King, Director of Live Entertainment, International Convention Centre Sydney. He states “as a former graduate of the VMS and the GI Program, I was extremely excited about having the opportunity to return as a lecturer and give back some of the knowledge I have taken away from the school.” Working at the cutting edge of the consumer interface, in a role where he has his finger firmly on the pulse of consumer engagement, Phil was thrilled about having the chance to

unparalleled SpOrT and leISure InduSTry experTISe and knOwledge SCale + reaCH + CapaCITy + TraCk reCOrd Otium Planning Group, under the direction of industry leaders, Mike King, Kate Maddock, David Mason and Martin Lambert, is a contemporary sport and leisure consultancy service built around the four key areas - planning, managing, funding and consulting. We offer national expertise with local understanding and have offices in Melbourne, Sydney, Brisbane, Cairns, Darwin, Perth and New Zealand. Head Office: Level 6, 60 Albert Rd South Melbourne Vic 3205 +61 (0)3 9698 7300 info@otiumplanning.com.au www.otiumplanning.com.au 50 Australasian Leisure Management Issue 123, 2017

instruct on the Digital and Data Insights. King adds “(it is) a most relevant topic in the modern world of venue management. I don’t know a single person who is not immersed in the digital universe. Even people who are strongly anti-technology are probably voicing that view on a Web site somewhere. Third-world villagers without electricity have cell phones and we as an industry have to embrace and adapt to the new information superhighway or risk getting left behind.” Additionally, graduates of the School and the GI are eligible to achieve recognised qualifications. Students have access to 10569NAT Diploma of Venue Management* and 10570 Advanced Diploma of Leadership and Venue Management*. The achievement of these qualifications is fully supported by the Education Team at the VMA and students are guided every step of the way by a qualified educator. It’s certainly clear that the students take a lot away from the school, but why should employers invest in this opportunity for their people and their business? Investing in Venue Professionals Andrew Travis, Head of Infrastructure at Melbourne & Olympic Park explains “(the) VMS is the number one learning experience in this country for any member of the venue industry. It is a unique program that has been designed by the industry, for the industry, delivered by senior industry experts who are passionate about their industry and about developing the industry leaders of the future.” Supporting Travis is Todd Greenberg, Chief Executive for the National Rugby League who says the school promotes better engagement and industry best practice as well as good qualified learning across a diverse cross section of industry segments. Travis sums up the benefits of the School offering this perspective, concluding “the VMS is just the start of your

Leading industry professionals present at the Venue Management School.

professional development investment. The networks established during the program will continue to return benefits for many years to come.” The venue industry is people focused and event driven. By investing in training from recognised experts, solid foundations can not only be laid, but reinforced to ensure a strong future. Students exposed to the VMS and GI are truly empowered and equipped for the future. The 2017 VMS and GI runs from 12th to 16th November at the Salt Resort Kingscliff on the Tweed Coast, NSW. To be involved in the 2017 program visit vma.org.au or contact Suzie Crawford education@vma.org.au or +61 7 5501 6000. *This qualification (accredited course) is offered in partnership with Amina Academy Pty Ltd, a registered training organisation (provider number 31532).










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Greg Pullen acknowledges his receipt of the 2017 Venue Professional of Year Award.

A Commitment to Entertainment Greg Pullen’s receipt of the 2017 Venue Professional of Year Award, recognises his 30 years of experience in the industry


reg Pullen has been integral to the success of high-profile concerts, exhibitions and functions in Sydney for over 30 years – from the Mercedes Fashion Week and the NRL’s Dally Ms, to Elton John, Prince and Pink Floyd concerts. Playbill Venues’ Business Development Manager, Pullen was named the Venue Professional of the Year by the Venue Management Association (VMA) in recognition of his historic and ongoing career achievements. In his current role, responsible for Sydney’s landmark Hordern Pavilion and Royal Hall of Industries. Pullen attributes his success to strong relationships and a commitment to client service, innovation and flexibility. He explains “building and maintaining strong relationships with diverse stakeholders is vital in our industry from hirers and contractors to exhibition organisers, event companies, promoters and more. “With many different types of hirers and events, it’s so important to understand their unique needs and have a variety of skill sets available to meet them. “Events don’t always go exactly as planned, so the ability to think on your

feet, remain flexible and find innovative solutions is also critical.” Pullen graduated from the first ever VMA Public Venue Management School (PVMS) in 1995 and was a member of the inaugural VMA GI graduating class in 2014. He has been a VMA member since the Association’s beginnings in the late 1980s and has attended all but one conference since 1989. Pullen has been integral to the success of thousands of concerts, exhibitions and functions since he started out as Assistant to the General Manager of the Sydney Entertainment Centre in 1987. His career has included roles such as SEC liaison with Sydney Organising Committee for the Olympic Games for seven years prior to the Sydney 2000 Olympics; overseas lecturer at the USA’s Public Venue Management School at Oglebay West Virginia; and delivering the Sydney’s Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras After Party for 18 years. Pullen lists the Bicentennial Royal Command Performance for Princess Diana in 1998; the first-ever Sumo Wrestling event held outside of Japan; and eight sell out Pink Floyd shows among some of his most memorable events at the SEC.

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In 1999, Pullen joined Playbill Venue Management as the Business Development Manager for the Hordern Pavilion, Royal Hall of Industries (RHI) and Byron Kennedy Hall. From 1972 to 1983, before the SEC opened, the Hordern was the only major concert venue in Sydney. Pullen said that today, the Hordern and the RHI are still hugely popular with hirers, offering great flexibility and variety. He advises “as well as all the concerts that are held in the Hordern, we also host a variety of dance parties, exhibitions, conferences, functions, product launches, TV commercials and the Mardi Gras After Party.” During his time with Playbill Venues, Pullen has played a key role in the delivery of countless events such as the FIFA World Congress, the Great Gatsby Premier after party and the only Brownlow Medal Ceremony held outside of Victoria, among many others. Playbill Venues General Manager Bob Mangan believes a professional approach, consistency and integrity are the cornerstones of Pullen’s success and longevity in the venue management industry. Mangan advises “he is selfless, dignified, trustworthy and thoroughly committed to delivering excellence to promoters and hirers, and to nurturing the venues he works for.” Respected and admired for his knowledge, wisdom, ethics and calmness, Pullen is insightful and passionate about venue management and is happy to share his experience with aspiring venue managers, colleagues and others. Pullen highlights “throughout my

The Rubens pack Hordern Pavilion in 2016.

career, I have had the pleasure of working with some of the most experienced and passionate people in our industry. “What’s very evident about the people I work with is that they are good at what they do, they have a real passion for the industry and truly enjoy being here. “Which is not surprising considering that Australian venues are right up there alongside the top venues in the world. While our market is different in size and scale - our venues may not be the largest or most technologically-advanced compared to those in Europe and the US - our venue management processes and practices are truly world class. And that’s

something to be proud of.” Despite a hectic work schedule, Pullen still has time for family and community – and a passion for cricket. He was a coach and manager for the St George junior club and representative teams for six years, and also played for the St George and Georges River cricket clubs. Playbill Venues is a specialist venue management partner, dedicated to the care and management of historic venues. Australian owned and operated, it is part of the Playbill Group. Operating at the heart of Australia’s entertainment industry, the Playbill Group has delighted audiences, theatre-

goers and sports fans for nearly 60 years. Playbill provides an end-to-end service across venue management and the entire merchandising product cycle. Established in Sydney in 1958 by Directors Brian and Jocelyn Nebenzahl, Playbill has become an integral part of the Australian entertainment industry and today also operates in New Zealand, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Singapore, Korea, Malaysia, United Kingdom and South Africa as well as in the USA and Canada (where it trades as Platypus Productions LLC). With thanks to Clare Masters of Masters Communications. The VMA’s 2017 awards also recognised Jamie Hurst, Managing Director of Novox Australia Pty Ltd, as Allied Professional of the Year while Brittany Monaghan, Exhibitor Services Coordinator, Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre, was named Young Achiever of the Year.

TicketServ was started as a business with one aim, to deliver great ticketing and marketing and venue management solutions for the venue, attraction, museum, agency and associated markets. With great solutions, accompanied by a flexible business approach, we have been able to deliver and build on these attributes with long standing market experience across the Asia Pacific. Now with clients across Australia, Malaysia, Hong Kong and New Guinea and growing all the time, TicketServ is well placed to deliver on the “your tickets, our service” theme, all with true white label, real time solutions. Delivering two prime products, SRO (Standing Room Only) and iPlanner, the product offerings are backed up by local and global experience and resources. Although the two products can operate completely independently, where needed, ticketing (SRO) and venue management (iPlanner) work together, passing data between the two systems and managing the complete event life cycle, meeting the needs across venue/resource management, ticketing, membership, marketing and more.

+61 (0)2 9212 3001 info@ticketserv.com ww.ticketserv.com Australasian Leisure Management Issue 123, 2017 53

Council backed regional tourism highlights, clockwise from top left: the Murray Art Museum, Albury; Toowoomba’s Japanese Garden; Traeger Park, Alice Springs and Cairns’ Sugarworld.

Tourism Matters

A new report shows the extent of local government’s investment in the development of the regional tourism industry. Karen Sweaney explains


ocal government plays a significant role in tourism across metropolitan, regional and remote areas of Australia. Councils are critical in determining the level and quality of visitor services and infrastructure, the events that take place and the public money that is invested in destinations. They also support local experiences which attract visitors, such as museums, art galleries, events and festivals while investing in infrastructure such as visitor centres, stadia, parks and gardens, ports and airports. Council also take responsibility for roads, removal of sewerage and waste, signage and the overall creation of safe environments for visitors to enjoy. Councils in Australia resource tourism to varying degrees, commensurate with the importance of the industry at the regional level, with councils in regional and rural areas under pressure to increase expenditure in tourism to compensate for declining employment levels in traditional industries, such as manufacturing, mining and agriculture. The extent of this investment is recognised in recently published research from the Australian Regional Tourism Network (ARTN). The research, Local Government Spend on Tourism, shows that local government’s annual investment into tourism initiatives and programs exceeded $373 million in 2015/16, with $250 million of this invested by regional and remote local governments. Councils themselves realise the important role they play, as indicated in the research with nine in 10 agreeing tourism offered future economic development opportunities. Commenting on the research prior to his recent stepping down from the Chairmanship of the ARTN, David Sheldon

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stated “for many years now, we have heard how much is invested into the ‘marketing’ (demand) by the state and federal governments without the realisation to the importance of the local government’s contribution to the Australian tourism industry. “Local governments play a critical role in delivering on both the ‘supply and demand side’ for the community, in business and leisure. “At a national level, the financial contribution by local governments to tourism had never been commissioned. We limited the number of questions to deliver a weighty result for a first up collection. You can take a horse to water but you can’t make them drink, so to get this result is fantastic.” What makes this research different and interesting is that, according to Sheldon “firstly it has never been compiled before and secondly the critical key performance indicator for the researchers was that all of the 561 Australian local councils be contacted, the only exception being the Australian Capital Territory. “This resulted in giving every local council across our nation the opportunity to participate (with the) response exceeding expectations with a significant 256 local councils responding. This was a clear indication of the high level of interest local government held for the research outcomes. The evidence based results are pleasing and should open much debate on where local governments sit in the visitor economy space. “The results of this research will be used to demonstrate the importance of local government when policies are formulated and enabling infrastructure discussed.”

Tourism Spending by Location Among the report’s finding was that in remote council areas 60 cents of every dollar went on operating visitor information centres while, in metropolitan areas, similar amounts were spent on operating visitor centres, destination marketing and events and festivals – with a sizeable $61 million spent on contributing to events and festivals. Metropolitan based councils were found to allocate the highest proportion compared to other areas of their total tourism spend on destination management plans, tourism product development and research. Tourism Employment Eight in 10 councils in Australia directly employ staff in tourism roles, with an estimated total of 1,672 full-time equivalent positions, and NSW and Queensland accounting for almost 50% of that employment total. Employment numbers were also high in Western Australia, which the report advised was reflective of the large number of councils that exist in that state. Of the total employed, three out of every four employees were employed by regional and remote councils. Tourism’s fit in Local Government Structures Tourism either sits within an economic development division or as a stand-alone tourism division, with 47% of councils indicated they operated a visitor information centre, with the lowest incidence reported by metropolitan Councils at 27%. In terms of organisation structure, 51% of councils indicated tourism fit within an economic development division or department, a structure most common among metropolitan Councils. One in 10 councils indicated that there was no identifiable area in council responsible for tourism, a figure that increased to three in 10 for councils in remote areas. Apart from direct spending on promotion, marketing and development of tourism, a large number of councils operate museums, art galleries and other attractions such as interpretative centres, lighthouses, and natural features to provide an experience for visitors to their area. Commenting on the project, Australian Local Government Association (ALGA) President Troy Pickard stated “this research is a huge step in the right direction and will give all levels of government and the tourism industry a better understanding of the important contribution made by councils in tourism and the larger visitor economy. “(It) will assist councils and government in ensuring Australia’s tourism sector continues to meet the needs of the domestic as well as the growing international market.” Austrade General Manager Tourism Division Daniel Boyer said the project was an important step in understanding the significant contribution local government makes to regional tourism, commenting “it’s vital that the proceeds of Australia’s current tourism boom are shared widely - local governments have a key role to play in developing the tourism infrastructure that attracts domestic and international tourists to their regions.” Sheldon also recognises the partners in this important project, concluding “I believe the ARTN struck a chord with Austrade, The Australian Local Government Association, Destination NSW, Tourism and Events Queensland and the South Australian Tourism Commission, regarding the importance of evidenced based research to benchmark the investment local governments make to our industry. “Tourism helps define the economic and social fabric of a region through creating experiences that locals utilise and are proud to showcase to visitors.” Karen Sweaney is Editor of Australasian Leisure Management.

The award-winning Marysville Visitor Information Centre.

To compile the report, DBM Consultants contacted the nation’s 561 Councils and received an excellent response rate of over 46%. The ARTN has called for: • A Ministerial sub-committee that reports on investment, skills and training, regional dispersal (transportation; air, roads, rail, ports etc), enabling infrastructure and connectivity hardwired and satellite NBN. • The rollout and implementation of a regional investment program to enable regional Australia to compete in the 2030 environment. • Development of a skills and training policy to grow regional and remote employment opportunities. • Development of a National Agri-tourism platform to generate employment in regions. Key Findings • In 2015/16 Local Government in Australia spent an estimated $373 million on the operation of visitor information centres, events, festivals, promotion, marketing and development of tourism. • Two thirds ($250 million) of local government spending on tourism was undertaken by Councils located in regional and remote areas. • 35 cents of every dollar spent went on operating visitor information centres. • Eight in 10 Councils directly employ staff in tourism roles. This equated to estimated total of 1,672 full-time equivalents. • Employment costs for individuals employed by councils in tourism roles was estimated at $179 million in 2015/16. This equated to 48% of local government spending on the operation of visitor information centres, promotion, marketing and development of tourism. • Nine in 10 councils agreed that tourism offers future economic development opportunities for their local area. The Shire of Ashburton’s Tom Price Visitor Centre.

Australasian Leisure Management Issue 123, 2017 55

PEOPLE - IN BRIEF Catrin Allsop, a regional tourism leader with extensive experience in tourism, management and marketing, has been appointed Chief Executive of Western Australia’s South West Regional Tourism Organisation. Senior medical practitioner Dr Carolyn Broderick has been appointed Chief Medical Officer for Tennis Australia. Veteran arts leader Rob Brookman has put his retirement plans on hold to become the new Executive Director of the Adelaide Festival. Alisa Camplin-Warner has taken on the role of Deputy Chair of the Australian Sports Commission. Jemina Dunn has moved from her position as Queensland State Director of the Australian Industry Group to become Chief Executive of Brisbane’s South Bank Corporation. Matt Favier has left his role as Australian Institute of Sport (AIS) Director to become the new Chief Executive at Hockey Australia. Savva Giannikos has been appointed to head up the new Splash Aqua Park and Leisure Centre development in Melbourne’s northern suburbs. Dr Peter Hertan, acknowledged as being behind the majority of Victoria’s recent major investments in sports infrastructure and major events, has joined Bastion Strategic and Global Outcomes (S&GO) as a Special Counsel. Football NSW has appointed Stuart Hodge as its new Chief Executive. Mazen Kassis has been appointed as TEG’s Managing Director of Data, Digital and Technology. The NSW Government’s events and tourism promotion agency Destination NSW has appointed Stephen Mahoney as General Manager – Regional and Helen Parker to the position of Manager, Regional Conferencing. David Mason, General Manager Communication and Media at Football Federation Australia since 2013, is the new Chief Executive of the Manly Warringah Football Association (MWFA) and Manly United Football Club. The Australian Regional Tourism Network (ARTN) has elected a new Chair, Simon McArthur, replacing David Sheldon, who decided to step down from the role of Chair and from the Board in order to manage the growing demands of his tourism business. Leading payment solution company Debitsuccess has appointed Rob Mecham to the role of Business Development Manager in NSW and Nick Taylor as Business Development Manager for New Zealand. Facility management company Belgravia Leisure has appointed Kris Miller, the former Centre Manager at the Watermarc centre in Banyule, as its new Victoria/Tasmania State Manager, where he will manage a growing portfolio of 35 aquatic and recreation centres, sports stadiums and golf courses. Aligned Leisure has appointed Liam O’Brien to the role of Nillumbik Leisure Manager. Auckland’s economic growth agency ATEED (Auckland Tourism, Events and Economic Development) has announced the appointment of Nick Hill as its new Chief Executive, replacing the outgoing Brett O’Riley. Drug Free Sport New Zealand (DFSNZ) has announced the appointment of Nick Paterson as its new Chief Executive of DFSNZ Chief Executive, Experienced emergency services professional Steven Pearce has taken on the role of Chief Executive at Surf Life Saving NSW. Kevin Thompson, the former Director of the University of Canberra Research Institute for Sport and Exercise Science, has taken on the role of Chief Executive of the NSW Institute of Sport (NSWIS), replacing acting Chief Executive Clare Prideaux. 56 Australasian Leisure Management Issue 123, 2017

Board changes at the New Zealand Football Foundation have seen Jodi Tong step up to the role of Chair and Carolyn Steele named as Deputy Chair. Melbourne and Olympic Parks has appointed former Gold Coast Suns Chief Executive Andrew Travis as Director of Infrastructure, responsible for overseeing the comprehensive redevelopment of Melbourne Park. Experienced executive Brendon Ward has taken up the role of Chief Executive at the Australian Swimming Coaches and Teachers Association (ASCTA).

Dax Eddy takes on AALARA Presidency

Dax Eddy, Executive Director of the Jamberoo Action Park and long time member of the Board of the Australian Amusement, Leisure and Recreation Association (AALARA), has taken on the Presidency of the Association. Replacing Tim Newman-Morris, Eddy took on the role during the 2017 AALARA Conference and Trade Show. He becomes President at a time when AALARA’s membership is growing and as its Conference and Trade Show restates its place as the attractions industry’s key event. Dax Eddy is the son of Jim Eddy, who served as AALARA’s President during its early years in the late 1990s.

Deborah Thomas departs Ardent Leisure

Ardent Leisure has cut ties with its former Chief Executive, Deborah Thomas. The sudden departure, announced in a statement to the Australian Stock Exchange in mid June, sees Thomas not take on a newly created role as Chief Customer Officer. Thomas will walk away with a termination benefit of $731,291 while forfeiting entitlements under Ardent’s deferred short-term incentive plan. As of 1st July, Thomas’s only formal role with the company will be as a consultant which will see her paid a daily rate of $3,000.

Greg Hurst returns to Chief Executive role at the Fitness Network

Greg Hurst, a founder of the Fitness Leader Network, which evolved into the Australian Fitness Network, has returned to the organisation to again take on the role of Chief Executive. Hurst, an Australian fitness industry icon, and who has been Chief Executive of the Australian Institute of Fitness since 2005, replaces Ryan Hogan, who continues to work for the organisation in a consultancy role. Hurst has performed a range of key industry roles during his almost 40 year career having been a former Network Chief Executive as well as having been Chief Executive of Les Mills International and Zest Health Clubs. He is also a Past President of Fitness Australia and the Federation Internationale des Sport Aerobics et Fitness, and Past Chair of the Australian Fitness Accreditation Council. Earlier this year, Network marked 30 years of operations.

Steve Harper takes on VMA leadership role

Steve Harper, Director of Arenas for Melbourne and Olympics Parks, has taken on the Presidency of the Venue Management Association (Asia and Pacific). Harper has served on the VMA Board since 2012, during which time he chaired three of the Association’s Annual Congress’ and chaired the Membership Committee. On his appointment, Harper commented “It’s a pleasure for me to take on this role; I feel both honoured and privileged that the VMA has given me their support.” Prior to his appointment at Melbourne and Olympic Parks in 2015, he acted as Chief Operating Officer for VenuesWest in Perth. During his five years there, he oversaw the operational and commercial management of the seven geographically spread self-managed venues including nib Stadium, HBF Stadium and HBF Arena which hosted events ranging from large scale music festivals to international sporting championships.

Former Victorian Premiers take on venue management roles

Former Victorian Premier John Brumby has been appointed Chairperson of the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Trust (MCET), replacing outgoing Chair Robert Annells after more than 20 years of service. In May, former Victorian Premier, Steve Bracks was named as the new Chair of the MCG Trust, replacing Bob Herbert, who retired from the role after 13 years on the Trust and three years as its Chair. Bracks’ role as Chair of the Kardinia Park Stadium Trust was taken on by Board member Michael Malouf.

Singapore Sports Hub Chief Executive resigns following criticisms over management style

After press reports of staff members complaining about his management style, Manu Sawhney, Chief Executive of the Singapore Sports Hub, has resigned from his position. Sawhney, who had been in the role for just 19 months, having replaced inaugural Sports Hub Chief Executive Philippe CollinDelavaud, has been criticised for a reportedly “aggressive” management style as well as for failing to secure sufficient high profile events for the landmark precinct. In a press statement, SportsHub Pte Ltd (SHPL), the consortium that runs the S$1.33 billion Singapore Sports Hub, advised that Sawhney resigned as he felt it was time “for a new CEO to take the Singapore Sports Hub to its next level”. His departure comes after a 26-page anonymous complaint was sent to SHPL containing details of his business decisions and treatment of SHPL staff.

Ballarat fitness club owner wins IHRSA Institute Scholarship

Melinda Tempest, owner of the Ballarat Body & Soul Health & Fitness Studio in Victoria, was the recent recipient of one of two International Health, Racquet & Sportsclub Association scholarships to attend the 2017 IHRSA Institute – becoming the first Australian to be honoured in this way.


National Association for the Visual Arts announces leadership change

After 22 years, National Association for the Visual Arts (NAVA) Executive Director Tamara Winikoff has left the peak national body for the Australian visual arts sector. Well known across Australia as an arts advocate, cultural commentator and senior arts manager, Winikoff has been involved in arts management for 35 years and has spoken, written and published extensively about cultural and design issues. In 2004 she was awarded the Australia Council’s Visual Arts/Craft Emeritus Medal for outstanding achievement and contribution to the visual arts and craft in Australia, and in 2014 she was awarded an Order of Australia.

Order of Australia award for Paul Dainty

Veteran promoter Paul Dainty, President and Chief Executive of TEG Dainty, was awarded the Order of Australia honour in the Queen’s Birthday list. Dainty was appointed as a Member in the General Division of the Order of Australia (AM) for “significant service to the entertainment industry as a producer and promoter of national concert tours, theatre and events”.

New Venues NSW board announced to oversee major venues

Former ANZ Stadium Board Chair Christine McLoughlin is to head a new Venues NSW Board and Executive Team responsible for the delivery of new sporting and major event infrastructure and attracting economy-boosting events to NSW. The new Venues NSW Board consolidates the Stadium Australia Group and the Venues NSW boards and reflects extensive corporate, sports and major events experience. The Board comprises: • Chair - Christine McLoughlin, who brings extensive experience from a career with top ASX listed companies including Suncorp, Spark Infrastructure, NIB and Whitehaven Coal. She was formerly Chairman of the ANZ Stadium Board. •John Quayle, former NRL and Olympic administrator and previous Venues NSW Chairman. •Phil Kearns, former Wallaby. •Lesley Grant, Chief Executive, Qantas Loyalty. •Sally Loane, Financial Services Council Chief Executive and NSW Waratahs Board Member. •Noel Cornish, Illawarra-based former Blue Scope Steel Chief Executive and Snowy Hydro Chairman. •Glenn Turner, Chair of the former Hunter Region Sporting Venues Authority and former Chairman of the Hunter Medical Research Institute. •Danny Bhandari, Chief Executive of Tibra Capital, inaugural Chairman of the Sydney Thunder Advisory Board. •Ian Hammond, former Partner PwC, Non-Executive Director of Perpetual, Citi, and a former Director of ANZ Stadium. Australasian Leisure Management Issue 123, 2017 57

Dreamworld’s Thunder River Rapids Ride in operation prior to last October. Images used for illustrative purposes only.

A Duty of Care Leading tourism industry lawyer Anthony J Cordato explains why Dreamworld failed in its duty of care to keep guests on its Thunder River Rapids ride safe during last October’s tragic incident that claimed the lives of four people


hat can the Dreamworld tragedy teach us about the legal duty of care for the safety of visitors in a theme park? Allow me to share this synopsis with you – where is the legal duty of care for the safety of visitors to be found? It is found in two places: The guarantee of due care and skill which is in the Australian Consumer Law. The guarantee is inserted by law into every contract for the supply of services. It covers services provided by everyone in the tourism industry, from theme parks to hotels and resorts to tour operators to airlines and transport providers. The duty of care to avoid negligence

which is in the Civil Liability Law. The duty is to take precautions against a risk of harm which is foreseeable and is significant. The precautions are those that a reasonable person would take to keep the public safe. Why did Dreamworld fail in its legal duty of care for safety? No definitive reasons have yet emerged these will be explored by the Queensland Coroner at a Coroner’s inquest which is expected to take place early next year. So the possible reasons I set out below are pure speculation, and are by no means comprehensive. Reason 1: The riders were not adequately restrained against being thrown from the raft. All four riders who

58 Australasian Leisure Management Issue 123, 2017

were killed were thrown from the raft. The restraints in the raft were a lap sash seatbelt and a bar to hold. There should have been a double shoulder harness, as in roller coaster rides. Reason 2: The conveyor belt which was lifting the raft had been unsafely modified. The conveyor belt lifted the rafts at the end of the ride to the start of the ride loop. The accident occurred because the raft in front had got stuck at the top, and when the fatal raft hit it, it flipped. Two riders fell through the slats and drowned (the other two were crushed on the slats). They fell through because every second slat had been removed - the reason was that when a wooden slat broke, it was not replaced. Instead, the remaining slats were evenly redistributed. Reason 3: Where was the person with the ‘stop ride’ button? The normal practice is that attendants are stationed in line of sight positions along rides in theme parks. They have the ability to stop a ride if they see something wrong. It is not known if an attendant was watching the conveyor belt on this ride. If they were, why did they not stop the ride? Reason 4: There was no separator to prevent rafts from colliding with each other on the conveyor belt. It is normal for rafts / cars to be kept separate with a separator. In summary, the reasons are either due to defects in the equipment or in the supervision. What is Dreamworld’s liability for compensation claims? Dreamworld, the same as every theme park/recreational activity operator, enters into a contract with every visitor who enters. The conditions of contract are found in the entry pass, and the visitor is legally bound by them. The conditions include disclaimers of liability. The disclaimers of liability for injury and death are found under the ‘Responsibility’ heading. The Dreamworld ‘Responsibility’ disclaimer states: The Company will not be liable to any person in respect of loss of life or personal injury. It is perfectly legal for theme park operators to exclude civil liability for negligence by using a disclaimer.

But there are limits. If the loss of life or injury is caused by recklessness, then the Civil Liability Law and the Australian Consumer Law will override the disclaimer and the theme park / recreational activity operator will be held liable. What is recklessness? It is the situation where the operator is aware or should have been aware there was a significant risk of personal injury in the way the activity was being operated, but failed to take adequate precautions. There is every possibility that Dreamworld will be found to have operated the Thunder River Rapids ride recklessly, and so be liable despite the disclaimer in their entry pass. The many consequences of the Dreamworld tragedy Personal : Four adults died, two children were thrown clear. The families of the deceased adults were traumatised, as were the children who were thrown clear. Criminal: The coroner may recommend criminal negligence charges be laid against the attendants supervising the ride, the operations manager, and possibly the ride maintenance staff. Civil: Compensation payments to next of kin for trauma following a death are limited, but compensation for loss of future earnings can be relatively large. The civil law suits will use much of the evidence uncovered in the coroner’s inquest. Workplace Health and Safety: Staff may claim compensation for trauma. Financial: The Dreamworld theme park was closed for 45 days, resulting in a financial loss for its owner Ardent Leisure, including a 44.5% drop in earnings to 30th June 2017. Reputational: Gold Coast theme park attendances as a whole declined 8.4% in the summer of 2016/2017. Dreamworld attendances suffered a greater decline. Dreamworld estimates recovery is likely to take two years. To conclude, theme park rides occur in a repetitive, controlled environment. There should be zero deaths. Anthony J. Cordato is a leading Australian Property and Tourism Lawyer. At Cordato Partners, he acts on advisory and transactional legal work, including town planning and also does court work. He can be contacted on E: ajc@tourismlegal.com.au This article is based on a recent presentation, ‘What can the Dreamworld tragedy teach us about the legal duty of care for the safety of visitors in a theme park?’, to students at the UTS Business School - at the invitation of Dr David Beirman, Senior Lecturer - Tourism Management Discipline Group.


New Cairns Aquarium selects CENTAMAN as POS and ticketing provider

In preparation for its upcoming opening in September, the new Cairns Aquarium has selected CENTAMAN to provide ticketing and point of sale (POS) solutions to manage the aquarium’s operations, including Point of Sale technology for admissions, retail, food and beverage, annual passes, reservations and bookings. Set to become Cairns’ largest attraction, the aquarium will feature more than 3 million litres of salt, fresh and brackish water in 71 live displays to showcase the incredible plants, animals, and habitats found only in Australia’s wet tropics, a region which borders two World Heritage-listed environments, the Daintree Rainforest and the Great Barrier Reef. Cairns Aquarium founder and Chief Executive Daniel Leipnik advised of his reasons for selecting Aquarium staff undergoing the leading supplier of software for tourism and Cairns Centaman training visitor attractions, commenting “CENTAMAN’s experience, customer service and technologies are second to none. “We looked at other vendors, however, CENTAMAN’s international experience in the zoos and aquarium space and their ability to provide a world-class product backed by superior ongoing support made it an easy decision for us. “With an expectation of over 722,000 visitors a year, implementing easy to use ticketing software and hardware and accessing fast and reliable entry ticket printing whether it’s at home for visitors or tour operators prior to coming to the Aquarium or upon arrival, will be essential to making the visitor experience flow smoothly.” Centaman’s Vice President Attractions Mike Korbel is excited at the partnership, adding “welcoming the Cairns Aquarium to our growing client base is very exciting for CENTAMAN. “Cairns Aquarium management went through a rigorous selection process before ultimately selecting us. This provides us with further validation that the solutions we provide continue to be at the forefront of the attractions market.” For more information, contact CENTAMAN in Australia on 07 3834 3278 or in the USA on 312 257 3697, E: info@centaman.com, www.centaman.com.

MSL Solutions attains Australian Stock Exchange listing

Golf and venue software supplier MPower and MSL Solutions (MSL) has successfully launched on the Australian Stock Exchange (ASX) under the ticker code ‘MPW’. The Queensland-based group successfully raised $16 million last year to acquire British hospitality software provider Verteda and golf tournament software firm Golf Box in preparation of the ASX listing. MSL provides cloud-based and on-site software solutions to membership-based organisations through an open platform environment, allowing it to integrate with a number of other services. MSL has a head office in Brisbane with offices in Sydney, Melbourne, UK and Denmark and employs around 130 staff. Contact 1800 443 654, E: accounts@micropower.com.au, www.mpowermsl.com Australasian Leisure Management Issue 123, 2017 59


Sydney Olympic Park Aquatic Centre gets upgraded audio solution

Leading audio-visual specialists The P.A. People have completed an audio upgrade at the Sydney Olympic Park Aquatic Centre (SOPAC). Having first assisted the venue in advance of the Sydney 2000 Olympic and Paralympic Games, The P.A. People have completed a number of upgrades to various SOPAC systems over the last 17 years. The latest audio upgrade included replacement of the grandstand rear fill speakers, which are now upgraded to the new BOSE LT series. The amplifiers were also replaced across the whole of the site with Crown DCi series multi-channel amplifiers. This resulted in better sound, more rack space and a streamlined system. Contact 02 8755 8700, sales@papeople.com.au, www.papeople.com.au

Port Macquarie fitness club upgrades 24/7 security

The Your Life Fitness club in Port Macquarie has looked to upgrade its security and the security of its members with the purchase of an HPJ Anti Tailgating door from PathMinder. The largest 24/7 gym in the area, offering a full range of classes, Your Life Fitness is supervised by staff between 6am and 8pm and then switches in to unsupervised 24/7-hour mode through the night. The gym was mindful that tailgating (where someone follows an authorised person in to the gym once a first person has opened the door) had become an issue. While, at its most innocent tailgating is just another member unable to get their card out, in other situations it’s a mate who isn’t a member of the gym who is using the facilities for free rather than signing up for an annual fee. In more worrying situations it may be someone unknown to the first person who waits for the door to close and just before it latches sneaks in. In this situation, the intentions of the tailgater are unclear, with a risk of theft and damage to people and property. The HPJ Anti Tailgating door from PathMinder that Your Life Fitness is installing is designed to stop this. The HPJ will ‘cap’ the existing door way to stop any tailgating or unauthorised entry attempts through the entry point. The HPJ anti tailgating door creates a 2-door interlocking system with the existing door. The intelligent controller in the HPJ makes sure only one door is open at a time thereby restricting access. A highly sophisticated ultra-sonic tailgate detection system scans the door to ensure only one person gains access. If there is more than one person, the second door doesn’t open and access is thereby prevented. Contact 1300 750 740, www.pathminder.com.au

Jonas Leisure introduces new customer service portal

MCG introduces WaitTime app to reduce F&B and bathroom queues

The closing weeks of the AFL 2017 season have seen the Melbourne Cricket Ground introduce innovative technology to speed up fans’ food and beverage (F&B) purchases and bathroom visits. First introduced in North America, WaitTime’s artificial intelligence helps fans select a bathroom or F&B location with the shortest line, accomplishing this by mounting sensors and cameras outside the doors of bathrooms, backed by advanced queue tracking algorithms. This information is displayed across screens and on the MCG’s app, allowing patrons to see the wait times at an outlet and nearby stations before they join a queue. Commenting on the innovation, MCG Chief Executive Stuart Fox stated “queue times are a major challenge for large venues such as the MCG - when you have thousands of people trying to place an order at peak times you are always going to have some level of delay. “This system will not only help to inform MCG patrons about the expected wait time, but also show and direct them to other nearby outlets that they may not have previously considered, and which may result in a quicker service experience.” For more information go to thewaittimes.com 60 Australasian Leisure Management Issue 123, 2017

Leading industry software and management systems provider Jonas Leisure has introduced a new customer service portal for users of Gladstone Health & Leisure, Centaman and Envibe software. The portal enables customers to sign in to make service requests or check progress on enquiries they have made previously. Email updates keep customers in the loop when a case is opened, when comments are made by a service representative, or when more customer input is needed. Jonas Leisure General Manager Mike Henton said the portal would give customers a better understanding of the work being done to resolve their enquiries and any issues they report. Henton explained “this portal will mean better service for our customers across Australasia and improved efficiency for our support staff, resulting in a better all-round customer service experience for everyone involved.” Henton emphasised that Jonas Leisure’s existing support services will continue, with the launch of the portal being part of a wider project to enhance customer service. He added that other exciting improvements to support the popular leisure management software brands are planned for release over the coming months. Contact 02 9906 7522, E: info@jonasleisure.com.au, www.jonasleisure.com.au


Life Fitness adds Heat Map technology to LFconnect Platform

Leading commercial fitness equipment manufacturer Life Fitness has launched Heat Map, an expansion of its LFconnect digital platform that helps fitness facility managers visualise traffic to and usage of their cardio equipment. Introducing the innovation, Amad Amin, Director of Digital Experience at Life Fitness explained “the Heat Map is an important step in data visualisation. “Connectivity and stats are essentials to a connected fitness solution, but visually seeing usage and determining traffic patterns is the next step in this evolution. Heat Maps allow club owners to understand what locations exercisers gravitate to within their gym. This can help provide insight such as optimum product placement, and even special staff members to help exercisers with their workouts.” Using Heat Map technology, facility managers with connected Life Fitness equipment can orient machines on a digital grid, which uses colours to correspond with real-time levels of equipment use. Heat Map technology helps managers alternate machines based on usage and alter floor layouts and traffic paths to increase traffic to promoted areas. By visually representing how equipment is used, this technology helps managers create more customer-centric fitness centers. By signing up and logging into an LFconnect account, managers can set up, name and place their Life Fitness connected equipment on a grid that resembles their specific gym layout. The grid can accurately mirror any fitness room, with the ability to represent elements such as a front desk or aisles. Contact 03 9535 4600, E: enquiry@lifefitness.com.au, www.lifefitness.com.au

Proludic launches new nature inspired play equipment

Inspired by nature, the new wildlife-themed Kanopé play equipment from Proludic has been designed to engage children of all ages in fun, active play. Using curved lines and organic shapes, the new range offers opportunities for children to climb, scale ropes and navigate pathways between forest-like structures. Safe, robust and durable, the modular range has designed Kanopé to further inspire and challenge children with a fun, outdoor playspace. Attractive design elements include green arched posts that simulate wild-grass leaves blowing in the breeze and fun leaf and bird shaped cut-outs. Contact 02 9485 8700, www.proludic.com.au

Kompan outdoor fitness system wins at Good Design Awards

Leading play and outdoor fitness equipment supplier KOMPAN has been awarded Australia’s highest design honour for their Cross Systems outdoor fitness range at the 2017 Good Design Australia Awards. The Cross Systems product range took out a Best in Category award in the Sports and Lifestyle product design category, chosen from 414 award submissions. Good Design Australia’s independent judging panel, which consists of more than 35 Australian and international design experts, stated KOMPAN’s entry was “design excellence at its very best.” Contact 07 3865 2800, E: sales@kompan.com.au, www.kompan.com.au

AirActive moves forward as Australia’s largest retailer of fitness products

Going through a period of significant growth, AirActive, the smartphone app and digital marketplace that enables a consumption model for lifestyle activities, is offering 14,000 activities in 300 facilities across Australia each week. AirActive founder and Chief Executive Emmanuel Goutallier recently explained how AirActive is part of a “second wave of digitisation” in the health and fitness industry, one that started with ClassPass but was now becoming even more flexible. Describing the growth and benefits of the ‘two-sided marketplace’ dedicated to the active lifestyle industry, and how AirActive was moving away from the concept of memberships, Goutallier stated “we’re moving away from this concept of a membership in 2017. What we have now is dynamic pricing, finding the right price for the right activity to maximise participation.” In recent months AirActive has partnered with Bupa and is working with a range of industry providers including Fitness First, Goodlife Heath Clubs, Fernwood Fitness and the YMCA Australia. Late last year AirActive signed a partnership with the Melbourne Business School to develop a yield management algorithm, available later this year, that will dynamically modulate pricing based on a real-time assessment of the unsold stock of physical activities. Contact E: support@airactiveapp.com, www.airactiveapp.com Editor’s note: Two-sided markets, also called two-sided networks, are economic platforms having two distinct user groups that provide each other with network benefits. The organisation that creates value primarily by enabling direct interactions between two distinct types of affiliated customers is called a multi-sided platform (MSP). Australasian Leisure Management Issue 123, 2017 61


New SFSpin aquatic fitness program launched at Speedo Fitness Club Bondi Beach

With aquatic fitness programs growing in popularity, international swimwear brand Speedo has launched its new SFSpin (Speedo Fit Spin) program at the Speedo Fitness Club Bondi Beach. Partnering with aquatic fitness equipment supplier AquaBuzz, the SFSpin program is an underwater spin program, with the Club running five 45 minute classes each week. The program offers a full body workout with zero impact with the hydrostatic pressure of the water pushing equally on all body surfaces and helping the heart circulate blood, making the respiratory system work harder, therefore leading to stronger respiratory muscles. A statement from Speedo Fitness Club Bondi Beach advises “aquatic spin is taking the world by storm, with programs in Singapore, USA and Europe - more and more people are seeing results and feeling the benefits. “With Bondi Beach being the heart of fitness culture in Sydney we are excited to be bringing this program to our iconic suburb. SFSpin is incredibly enjoyable and beneficial for adults of all ages, all fitness abilities and all fitness backgrounds.” Contact 02 9042 3300, www.speedofitness.club

India’s largest online ticketing company enters Australasian market

Kyazoonga, the ticketing company that ‘democratised ticketing in India’, has entered the Australian and New Zealand event and venue ticketing market. Established in 2007, in 2014 Kyazoonga.com rebranded itself from being a sports ticketing brand to a sports and entertainment online ticketing company - with the motto ‘tickets made simple for everyone, everywhere’. Ticketing major events in India, including Indian Champions League cricket, the ICC Cricket World Cup 2011 and all forms of international cricket (one day internationals, Tests and T20) as well for the West Indies Cricket Board (WICB) and the Caribbean Premier League, the company also made the final shortlist (of two companies) tendering for the ticketing contract for the 2016 Rio Olympics. Commenting on the company’s arrival in Australia, Kyazoonga Business Development Executive Claire Connolly stated “we are keen to show the Australian market that there are other global options around in the ticketing market. “Our technology is advanced and we are hoping to bring our expertise to the local ticketing market. “As a younger company and being more agile, Kyazoonga’s is more nimble and able to rapidly react to customers’ needs. “Around the globe we ticket major sport and entertainment events and we are looking to target any location that is looking to sell a ticket.” Contact 0417 273 136, E: claire.connolly@kyazoonga.com, www.kyazoonga.com.

Grassports Australia acquires the William Loud company

Leading synthetic surfaces supplier and installer Grassports Australia has purchased the business of the William Loud company. Grassports Australia Managing Director Bernard Evans describes the acquisition as “an exciting development for Grassports Australia, our customers and the customers of William Loud, as we continue to expand our team.” Grassports Australia provide synthetic grass and hardcourt surfaces for sports fields, tennis courts, multipurpose learning and play spaces, all customised to client needs. Grassports Australia are certified to lay surfaces that are compliant with international sporting bodies including FIH, ITF, IRB, World Bowls and FIFA. Contact 03 9792 0622, E: bevans@grassports.com.au, www.grassports.com.au 62 Australasian Leisure Management Issue 123, 2017

Send your product news to leisure@ausleisure.com.au


Waterplay’s Activity Towers named a top product

Waterplay Solutions has revealed that its Activity Towers product line was named a ‘Most Valuable Product’ (MVP) by Aquatics International Magazine. Part of Waterplay’s new generation of product solutions released in 2016, Activity Towers are an innovative system of elevated play structures that create an exciting aquatic adventure for the whole family. Featuring an adaptable footprint, Activity Towers take water play to new heights in any space - from a zero-depth splash pad to an aquatic pool. Its modular system of activity pods, slide flumes and full range of spray features create an immersive attraction packed with interactive functionality. Spacious play decks, ADA compliant entries and dynamic spray effects both on and around the tower prioritise inclusive play experiences to ensure every user gets to have fun at their own level. With Waterplay’s innovative mounting system, playCONNECT™, features can easily be added, changed or removed to suit the needs of any project timeline, space requirement or budget, while also allowing for easy installation and maintenance. Celebrating 30 years of play, Canadian-based Waterplay has an extensive and longstanding presence in the aquatic play market in Australia and New Zealand working through leading distributors. Waterplay can be contacted on 1800 180 955 in Australia or + 1 250 712 3393 internationally, E: info@waterplay.com.au, www.waterplay.com

Technogym launches new indoor rowing solution in Australia

World leading fitness equipment supplier Technogym has launched its SKILLROW indoor rowing solution - designed to improve anaerobic power, aerobic capacity and neuromuscular abilities - in Australia. Previewed at the 2017 Fitness Show in Sydney, SKILLROW has been designed to provide an unparalleled feeling that stimulates the act of rowing on water. Its AQUAFEEL technology follows the natural curve of the stroke in the water with gradual resistance making the movement fluid and avoiding strain on the lower back. Combining strength, cardio and endurance, the development of the SKILLROW relies on TNT (Technogym Neuromuscular Training) a new methodology that helps create high intensity workouts aimed at improving sports performance. This technology has been developed by Technogym’s Scientific Department in collaboration with professional athletes and research institutes. Technogym has also launched the SKILLROW App that enables users to enjoy a motivating digital experience and the ability to have a virtual coach available. The app includes a variety of training programs and tools to offer users guidance as part of the TNT system. The technology will also enable users to monitor and track their results and to receive real time feedback on the training metrics to improve their performance. Contact Technogym on 1800 615 440, E: info.au@technogym.com, www.technogym.com

Wowing audiences with unique viewing experiences Smart Digital Australia has introduced new technology that eases the creation of portable indoor and outdoor cinema experiences to entertain patrons. Capable of screening, movies, live sporting events and even console games, Smart Digital’s package features a portable projection screen, bright projector and high quality sound system that can be set up quickly and moved around for maximum flexibility. Ready to entertain audiences from 30 to 3000 people, Smart Digital’s Marketing Manager Olga Kustova explains “whether it is a small indoor event at your kids’ karate club, or a big drive-in on a giant field, there is a package just for the purpose. “Everybody wants to get more from their day or night out, and your business can bring your patrons a unique experience they will never forget.” Usage can be in a range of settings including: holiday

parks and resorts; sports facilities; pubs and clubs; school holiday programs and botanical gardens. Contact 03 9729 6300, www.smartdigital.com.au

www.ausleisure.com.au for all the latest industry news Australasian Leisure Management Issue 123, 2017 63


ROLLER expands in global attractions and amusement parks

The growth of Melbourne-based technology company ROLLER is continuing with expansion in international markets and a recently agreed strategic partnership with Fairfax Media. Backed by offices in Melbourne, London and Los Angeles; ROLLER’s cloud-based software platform is redefining the way people attend and spend at attractions and amusement parks around the world, processing tens of millions of dollars of bookings per month in 15 countries. Commenting on the company’s growth since its foundation six years ago, ROLLER Chief Executive Luke Finn explains “ROLLER is the all-in-one software platform offering new-age digital solutions to ticketing, POS, CRM, and waivers, right through to hardware, gift cards and web development for the entertainment and leisure venues. “We have invested heavily in building flexible and scalable technology, which allows us to serve several industry verticals including; theme parks, trampoline parks, museums, zoos, festivals, ski fields, water parks on a global scale.” ROLLER’s recently announced strategic partnership with Fairfax Media sees the company act as the exclusive booking technology for the Fairfax Events portfolio - including Good Food Month, Open Air Cinemas, Kidtopia and The AFR Business Summit - attracting millions of attendees every year. Now, the cloud-based online booking platform is in operation at some of the world’s best known attractions and amusement parks, including Coney Island Luna Park in New York, USA; Twin Lakes and Jump Arena trampoline parks in the UK and Australian attractions Scenic World, Aussie World, Adventure Park. Having found a market gap, ROLLER honed their enterprise platform offering on smaller Melbourne based venues. Today, the business has grown into a team of 40 with a wide international presence. One example of ROLLER’s innovation has been in supplying the ticketing system for Jump Arena trampoline parks in the UK since last year, backed by the company’s new London offices, from which it will support clients across the UK and Europe. Contact 1300 365 901, E: info@rollerdigital.com, www.roller.software

Send your product news to leisure@ausleisure.com.au 64 Australasian Leisure Management Issue 123, 2017

Laura Geitz to promote California Sports Surfaces netball courts

Former Australian netball captain, Commonwealth Games Gold Medallist and World Champion Laura Geitz, has joined forces with leading surfacing supplier California Sports Surfaces (CSS) to promote their quality court surfaces to the broader Australian netball community. CSS is a global leader in acrylic sports surface systems for indoor and outdoor netball, tennis, basketball and portable courts, supplying the most popular netball and tennis brands in the world, Plexipave and Rebound Ace in their product range. Partnering with CSS, Geitz explained “as athletes we talk so much about injury prevention and in my eyes it needs to start from a very young age. “My aim is to make sure the many thousands of netball participants in Australia have the opportunity to enjoy the game on the most comfortable of surfaces, and CSS has fantastic long-lasting options available.” Mindful of changing surface trends, CSS Managing Director Steven Lock stated “as a global supplier we are privy to seeing emerging trends in surface choice. “In New Zealand for example, netball continues to prioritise investing in our cushioned courts. Our courts are chosen for their quality and longevity, but most importantly they are chosen to benefit clubs and their participants.” CSS partners with experienced applicators and court builders in Australia and worldwide and is fully trained and accredited for the supply and installation of their products. Confirming his business’s commitment to sport in Australia, Lock concluded “force reducing cushioned courts help reduce injuries and contribute to club sustainability by prolonging an individual’s participation in the game.” Contact 1800 786 617, E: info-aus@cssurfaces.com, www.californiasportssurfaces.com

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Leading software providers announce seamless integration

Leading aquatic, fitness and wellness software providers GreeneDesk and Jonas Leisure have announced an integration partnership. Jonas Leisure’s software has been an industry leader for a long period with leading management solutions including Centaman, Gladstone and Envibe widely used throughout Australia, along with complementary products, The Retention People, Nutrition Complete and MyMemberSales. GreeneDesk has emerged as a fresh and innovative specialist software provider with software hits such as SwimDesk and FitDesk. SwimDesk provides swim schools with capabilities to manage student assessment’s, progression and all important communication with parents. SwimDesk has become extremely popular with Australian swim school’s since its launch in June 2014. The SwimDesk solution is now integrated with a selection of Jonas Leisure’s applications allowing for integrated engagement and retention within a swim school This will provide Jonas Leisure’s customers with the opportunity to enhance their software capabilities whilst enjoying the benefit of an integrated solution. The integration will also provide GreeneDesk clients with the opportunity to benefit from Jonas’s Leisure’s solutions. For more information go to www.greenedesk.com and www.jonasleisure.com.au

World’s biggest rock climbing wall manufacturer gains a hold in Australia

With increasing global interest in rock climbing, and the sport to be added to the Olympic program at Tokyo 2020, Walltopia has become the world’s leading manufacturer and assembler of prefabricated climbing walls for gyms, malls and adventure parks, with more than 1,300 completed projects in over 50 countries. The Bulgarian - based company was founded in the rubble of communism’s fall in the 1990s by two friends, Ivaylo Penchev and Metin Musov. Commenting on the company’s success, Penchev claims to have revolutionised a fragmented business that catered to a niche sport for diehard enthusiasts but which now holds a much broader appeal, as specialist climbing gyms and ‘fun walls’ for beginners across the world. Last year he told London’s Financial Times “we’re seeing explosive growth in climbing gyms and most of the momentum ... climbing has become a mainstream sport in the last five years.” Walltopia products are now available in Australia, via the local representative, Rob Parer of Indoor Climbing Productions. Contact 0406 924 385, E: australia@walltopia.com

YMCA Auckland launches virtual fitness classes

YMCA Auckland has introduced virtual on-demand fitness classes in five of its 12 fitness facilities, with Fitness on Demand its preferred technology provider. Fitness Manager Shaun Tempest says YMCA Auckland is embracing the technology in order to offer greater flexibility for its gym users.

Tempest explains “gone are the days of regular nineto-five jobs. People nowadays are often working irregular hours which means we need to adapt and respond by offering classes that suit our customers’ schedules and needs.” Commenting on the use of Fitness on Demand technology, Tempest adds “the introduction of the innovative technology will help broaden the YMCA’s delivery of premium fitness programmes, and meet the growing desire of gym users for greater flexibility in the structure and scheduling of their fitness classes.” The Fitness on Demand platform involves the installation of large screens in group fitness spaces, and a touch pad that members can use to select from a broad range of classes. Virtual classes include everything from yoga to HIIT, as well as classes that may not have been available previously in centres. Contact 07 3123 5948 (+61 7 3123 5948 from New Zealand), E: sales@fitnessondemand247.com, www.fitnessondemand247.com.au

www.ausleisure.com.au for all the latest industry news Australasian Leisure Management Issue 123, 2017 65

Advertisers Index

Swimplex Aquatics flags portfolio of recent project successes

Leading aquatics industry supplier Swimplex Aquatics has informed its stakeholders of the wide range of aquatic industry projects that it is currently working on, for attractions, councils and holiday parks.


Page No.



Aflex Inflatables


AirActive 26 Banksia




Debit Success


Elite Pool Covers




FFA Paysmart 11 Fitness on Demand


HF Industries 37 Hydrocare/Wibit


JASSTECH 13 Jonas Leisure

34 & 35

Kadok Digital


Les Mills 29 MAPEI 5 Mattioli 21 Metra Australia


Mr Scoreboards


Otium Planning Group


Splash Aqua Park and Leisure Centre, Craigieburn, Victoria Located in one of Australia’s fastest growing communities, the facility will provide a wide range of services to Melbourne’s north when it opens its doors in October 2017. The $35.5 million facility is located at Craigieburn ANZAC Park on the corner of Aitken Boulevard and Central Park Avenue. 42nd Battalion Memorial Pool, Rockhampton, Queensland Three new waterslides are being added at North Rockhampton’s 42nd Battalion Memorial Pool running from a 10 metre high tower. Oak Park Sports and Aquatic Precinct, Victoria The waterpark is another stage of the ongoing development of Oak Park Sports and Aquatic Precinct (OPSAP) in Melbourne. OPSAP features two waterslides - the aquatube and a blackhole slide. BIG4 North Star Holiday Park, Tweed Coast, NSW The multi award-winning BIG4 North Star Holiday Resort at Hastings Point is an idyllic, family-friendly destination located on the beautiful Tweed Coast. Its existing water slides are to be replaced with new state-of-the-art Polin water slides. BIG4 Rivershore Resort, Maroochydore The holiday park will soon be enhanced with the addition of an extra wide 2.2 metre flume, the first of its kind in Australia. BIG4 Nambucca Holiday Park, NSW Bordering the Nambucca State Forest, BIG4 Nambucca recently added a dual slide combo just in time for peak season. Aquatopia, Fairfield, NSW Aquatopia features thrilling 10 metre high giant slides, the Adventure Aqua Tower (with 79 unique and amazing elements) and the interactive babies’ pool.

Emerald Olympic Swimming Pool Complex, Queensland An exciting new attraction in western Queensland, the project features three water NovoFit 25 slides including a tunnel freefall, aquatube and open compact slide.

PathMinder 43 Rae-Line




SICO South Pacific


SLE Worldwide


Stadium & Arena Congress




Swimplex Aquatics/Polin


Technogym 19 TicketPad 45 TicketServ 53 Tim Batt Water Solutions


Trisley’s Hydraulic Services


Walltopia 27 WOWWIPES 39

Outback Splash, Bullsbrook, Western Australia Designed especially for toddlers and set in a shaded 35 metre splash pool, Octopus Bay features kid-friendly water activities including a three-slide giant octopus and miniature tipping bucket. Children 10 years and under, along with parents will have access to the splash-pool. Several of these projects are collaborations between Swimplex and Polin Waterparks. With Polin and Swimplex having worked together for more than a decade, Polin’s innovative L-RTM technology produce durable and low maintenance rides of an enormous variety. Stating “build it and they will come”, the Coffs Harbour-based company are pointing out that waterpark and related aquatic features can be a significant boost to attractions; council aquatic centres and reserves; and holiday parks. Swimplex explain that “today’s multi generational families are demanding more from their holiday and leisure experiences . “In this increasingly competitive market, your guests are demanding more and more for their holiday dollars. “There is no doubt that water is a key driver of sales and revenues. Research has shown that children and teens have a great deal of influence when it comes to selecting family holiday destinations. If your facility lacks the creative water amenities to attract this important demographic, your property may be falling short of the expectations of one of today’s key resort/ holiday park clientele.” Contact Swimplex Aquatics on 1300 796 759, E: sales@swimplex.com.au, www.swimplex.com.au

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Australasian Leisure Management Issue 123 2017  

Australasian Leisure Management is the only magazine for business owners and decision makers in the Australasian leisure industry. Published...

Australasian Leisure Management Issue 123 2017  

Australasian Leisure Management is the only magazine for business owners and decision makers in the Australasian leisure industry. Published...