Mareeba Heritage Centre Inc 2021 Board Members

The Mareeba Heritage Centre Inc (MHC) welcomes newly elected Board Members. As Australians will be holidaying close to home in 2021, the stage is set for a new year of opportunity for the Mareeba Heritage Museum and Visitor Information Centre and we are pleased to advise that guiding the recovery are the same faces on the Board as 2020. We would like to introduce and welcome our 2021 Board members.

The Mareeba Heritage Centre Inc 2021 Board Members

President: Tito Srhoj
Vice President: Maria Nastasi
Treasurer: Louise Mahoney
Members: Mary Graham, Neil Sandall-Vear, Cr Mario Mlikota, Mary Thompson, Nipper Brown
Secretary: Janet Greenwood, appointed by the Board

We extend our sincere thanks to our outgoing members during the year for their time and efforts with the ongoing management of Mareeba Heritage Centre Inc. The Centre is very grateful to everyone involved in helping to preserve this wonderful tourist facility.

2019-2020 Annual Report

Mareeba Heritage Centre General Manager Janet Greenwood and outgoing Acting-Chair Tito Srhoj delivered the 2019-2020 Annual Report at the Annual General Meeting held on 26 November 2020. Given the impacts of COVID, the Centre’s financial results for 2019/20 were commendable. Our immediate action to adopt a business continuity operating budget for March to June 2020 has us well placed to absorb the immediate COVID downturn. The reality is when COVID impacted us we were already coming off a very low period which is the dead period as far as tourism is concerned, and due to undetermined restrictions we moved into a low period again. We are looking at an extended period of limited revenue. Positively we were actually on track for an improved profit result in 2019/20 pre-COVID and the Mareeba Shire Council remains the primary source of funding. As such, the financial situation is considered to be reasonable and it’s the strength of our underlying fundamentals that will help us get through the recovery period. Fully audited financial reports are available on request to members, and online at the Australian Charities and Not-for-profit Commission.

We are proud to share these highlights with you. To learn more about our ambitious goals, our commitment to the community and much more, we encourage you to review the 2019-2020 Snapshot. We welcome questions, feedback and discussion. Let’s share in this journey together.

2019-2020 Annual Report | Highlights

  • As a Visitor Information Centre, the Centre is focussed on delivering a positive experience for our visitors and community. It’s always gratifying to receive external recognition that validates our efforts. We were delighted this year to be awarded the TripAdvisor Certificate of Excellence five years in a row and inducted into the ‘Hall of Fame’. This is fantastic acknowledgement of how genuine we are about looking after the interests of our visitors and community.
  • Another milestone achievement for us this year was celebrating 25-years of serving our Mareeba community in culture, heritage and tourism since 1995. Naturally, the celebrations had to be COVID friendly! To mark the quarter of century dedication the old Fire Station’s electric air-raid siren, now installed at the Centre, was signalled at 8am and as pictured above, a Board of Memories with “25 Reasons Why We Love Our Museum” was recently installed, acknowledging volunteer, staff and community involvement.
  • Our volunteers and staff adapted amazingly well to the changing circumstances during the year, with about 70% returning to volunteer. A key reason for that is their absolute commitment to serving our community and their selflessness in continuing to be here throughout these tough times.
  • We received funding from the Small Business COVID-19 Adaption Grant Program to develop and design a new website to promote our Museum and Visitor Information Centre. This website was designed to provide visual impact and appeal, creating a modern website that appeals to our local, interstate and international visitors.
  • This year the Board commissioned Earthstory Productions to masterplan the future ‘visitor experience’ of the Mareeba Heritage Museum. Earthstory creates world-class visitor experiences – check out their website. Together with Earthstory we will embark on an exciting round of revitalisation to further strengthen our reputation as a must-do destination for local, domestic and international visitors to the region. This is an ambitious plan that will allow for greater revenue opportunities resulting in long term sustainability and succession planning for the Mareeba Heritage Museum. Earthstory will complete the proposal early next year. The projects outlined in the masterplan will be funded through a multi-pronged strategy, incorporating the capital reserves of the Museum and revenue generated by business activities, partnerships, applications to the State government and general fundraising. Given that the core business of the Museum is telling the Shire’s stories, the implementation of the masterplan will be prioritised in accordance with these activities, with expenditure of capital reserves focused on a Paid Entry Layout and a temporary space that will recognise the contribution from the estate of Lawrence Tracona. The implementation of the masterplan is scheduled to be achieved by 2030, through a staged delivery process. This will result in a notable expansion of visitor experiences and amenity upgrades, in alignment with expected growth in visitor numbers.

Finally, in what is the most challenging period the tourism industry, and the world have ever seen, we are now facing the post COVID-19 environment. We’re an industry that relies on funding and we also rely on the fact that people come together. Those things are really difficult to mitigate because we don’t know what’s happening from day to day and every day we have to respond to what’s given to us. COVID has shown just how delicate our industry and business is.

The critical next step is about not dropping the ball! For us as a tourist organisation whilst it is important to continue on the path that was started 25 years ago we must also focus on new opportunities. We will seek to find a better financial model to support the Centre, and hopefully provide future sustainability. We can’t say that we have the answers, but we are trying as an organisation to focus on the opportunities and to be flexible which enables us to move on them quickly. It is important to know that what we do today may change tomorrow … which is OK because it will always be a change for the better.

Thank you for supporting us in 2020, our future looks very different in 2021 and we very much look forward to continuing this journey.

For further comment, please call Janet Greenwood, General Manager, Mareeba Heritage Centre and Visitor Information Centre, on 4092 2906.

© Mareeba Heritage Museum and Visitor Information Centre 2021

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