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AALARA National Conference showcases industry growth

AALARA National Conference showcases industry growth
June 3, 2014

The Australian Amusement, Leisure and Recreation Association (AALARA) 2014 National Conference has demonstrated how the attractions industry is growing in size and in levels of professionalism.

Held on 14th and 15th May, the Conference welcomed more than 220 business owners and industry representatives to the Twin Waters Resort on the Sunshine Coast for two days of education, networking and fun.

Recently appointed AALARA General Manager Troy Cush states “we were inspired and entertained by a fantastic speakers across the two days beginning with an opening address from Mario Mamon, Chair International Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions and owner Enchanted Kingdom Philippines who gave us a update on the State Of Play in the international amusement and attractions industry.

“This set the scene for the rest of the conference with speakers addressing an enthusiastic crowd and learning from industry professionals about how the industry can build from within.

“Highlights included Terri Irwin discussing how Australia Zoo embraces an ethos that makes each visitor experience special, Mark Shaw, Chief Executive of Adventure World, discussing his journey installing a new coaster and theming his park for success.”

Industry Forums, giving businesses a voice on issues facing them
Industry forums formed a key part of the conference, with business owners and representatives from the Trampoline Centres/Parks, Waterparks and Aquatic Centres, Go Karting, Outdoor Attractions/ Maze, Laser Tag Industry sectors discussing the future of their industries and working together to compile industry standards and advocacy frameworks for AALARA to carry towards state and federal government departments.

AGM and Board Changes
This year’s AGM focused on a few small changes to the AALARA constitution along with one change to the AALARA board.

AALARA Past President Tony Lines stepped down from the Board following 16 years’ service to the Association, being replaced by Meagan Reid, Dreamworld’s General Manager of People.

Reflecting on his years of service, Lines recalls “it has been a pleasure to work with AALARA over the last 16 years and I am proud to have been a part of such a vibrant and proactive industry body.”

In replacing Tony Lines, Meagan Reid brings valuable experience in both industrial relations and human resources and will be a great resource for AALARA and its members moving forward.

Sunshine Coast attractions shine
Another highlight of the AALARA National Conference were site visits to the Sunshine Coast’s attractions.

The evening of Wednesday 14th May saw delegates visit Aussie World. The staff, rides and hospitality shown by David Thompson and his team at Aussie World showed why the park is growing quickly in popularity and continuing to succeed. Conference attendees on the night remarked at the professionalism and quality of customer service shown by staff and at the quality of the park in general.

Thursday 15th May saw delegates have the opportunity to visit the Big Kart Track, Australia Zoo and Underwater World Sea Life. Each attraction impressed and showed that the Sunshine Coast is more than just sun and beaches and has attractions to rival any other area in Australia.

AALARA President Phil Durkin (pictured) was enthusiastic about the success of this year's conference and confident that it had met the association's objectives.

Durkin explained "the annual AALARA Conference provides a unique opportunity for our many industry members to meet, discuss, debate, update their knowledge and network in a convivial yet concentrated forum. This year's conference was particularly successful as we gathered industry members from individual industry sectors for focused breakout forums to address issues facing these industry sectors.

"It's also vitally important to the future of our industry for all members from all sectors of the leisure and entertainment industries to continue to band together as one voice to lobby and proactively address the challenges facing our industry each and every day. The conference attracts both state and national regulators who also conduct their national forum on the last day of the conference.

“Our conference is the one time that we all can get together and ensure we're driving our respective businesses in the direction we would like to steer them, whilst being supported by the various authorities that govern them".

The event would not be possible without the support of AALARA’s sponsors. Thanks goes to the Queensland Government, TPA Shows, Royal Adelaide Show, Coca Cola, HIB Insurance, Scenic World, Trinity Skate Parks, the Sydney Royal Easter Show, Centaman, Laser Force, GoGo Fish, IAAPA, Australia Zoo, Aussie World, Big Kart Track, Underwater World Sea Life and Australasian Leisure Management.

Plans are already underway for next year's conference and trade show, which will take place from 5th to 7th May 2015 on the Gold Coast, Queensland.

If you have a product or service that you would like to display to the industry please email Troy Cush, AALARA General Manager at email:

Related Articles

23rd May 2014 - AALARA welcomes new General Manager

7th May 2014 - Unique line-up of attractions industry leaders set to address 2014 AALARA conference

1st May 2014 - AALARA acknowledges 2014 Conference sponsors

11th March 2014 - AALARA announces 2014 conference details: tours, industry breakout forums and event sponsors

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