Our September Member Mingle was held at the gorgeous Happs Wines in collaboration with Goanna Bush Gallery Café. The co-hosts gave members and stakeholders an evening to remember by exploring different spaces with delicious food and wine pairings.

During the evening Stacey Lewis, Sales and Marketing Manager at Happs Wines, gave an insight into the history of the Estate from the planting of the first vines to the foundation of the homestead, hand-built by Erl and Ros Happ. She spoke about their continued vision to provide a centre for creativity and innovation which can be seen through the many community events held at Happs. Stacey also updated attendees on their new outdoor self-service tasting area with 46 wines on offer and the introduction of a Wine Club and personalised guided tours of the estate.

Japneet Keith from Commonage Pottery talked about their inspirational space at the Cellar Door which aligns with the Happs ethos of supporting local artists and community and aims to create and inspire by hosting workshops and offering the space for special occasions. 12 local artists are represented in the space creating in a range of different mediums, including Gary Hamilton who was demonstrating his ceramics process live on the night.

Duncan Timmons, owner and head chef of Goanna Gallery Bush Cafe, spoke of their longtime collaborative relationship with Happs which continues to contribute to the creation of many special events.  Infamous for their amazing Goanna breakfasts, Duncan also highlighted their creative lunch dishes and the ability to cater for special events both onsite or on location.

Steve Harrison, MRBTA Joint CEO, provided an update on the reiteration of the South West Wander voucher campaign which has seen the reallocation of funds to incentivise the intrastate market and support tour, attraction and experience businesses.  He spoke of MRBTA working together with the Margaret River Wine Association to assist with the promotion and marketing of the inaugural Fine Vines Festival . Steve also emphasised the importance of completing the Casual Youth Workers – Hospitality Industry Survey which will help with the campaign that is investigating solutions to current critical labour shortages. Steve concluded with the news of MRBTA expanding their conservation work with the acquisition of the Eagles Heritage Raptor Wildlife Centre, stating how very fortunate and honored MRBTA is to support this centre.

Stuart Hicks, MRBTA Chair-elect, began his presentation with effusive thanks to the evening’s host and important guests and warmly welcomed new members attending their first Mingle. Stuart described himself as a fellow traveller, resident, consumer and observer who is curious about the economy and the future of tourism in the region. Stuart provided a summary of the results of the recent Membership Survey outlining that members are very focused on MRBTA’s inclusiveness, advocacy, assistance and overall professionalism. He is eager to get to know MRBTA members better and is very much looking forward to working together.

Thank you to all that attended and a huge thank you to the event’s host:

Happs Wines and Goanna Bush Gallery & Café 

We hope to see you at our MRBTA Member Forum & AGM at Aravina Estate, on Thursday, 14th October.
Please register HERE.