Latest News

Back to Latest News back


New General Manager appointed at The Events Centre Caloundra

New General Manager appointed at The Events Centre Caloundra
June 26, 2020

Former Sydney Entertainment Centre Chief Executive, Steve Romer has been appointed General Manager of The Events Centre Caloundra, taking on the role from the retiring Gary Mears.

Romer, most recently Chief Operating Officer for Bluesfest, was also Chief Executive of the Venue Management Association (Asia Pacific) between 2014 and 2017.

He will be replacing Mears, who has led many upgrades and development initiatives at the Sunshine Coast’s biggest and most popular events venue since 2013.

After a long career in marketing, tourism, performing arts and festival and event management, including more than 30 years in senior management positions, Mears will retire in July.

Mears led many facility upgrades and business development initiatives at The Events Centre, culminating in the recently completed $8.1 million renovation.

During his time as general manager, the facility has hosted thousands of performances, conferences, dinners and meetings, as the venue became one of Australia’s busiest and most respected regional performing arts venues.

Before joining The Events Centre, Mears was manager of the Ipswich Civic Centre for 12 years, having previously been Marketing Manager for the Ipswich City Council, Chief Executive of the Toowoomba Events and Tourism Corporation, and the Toowoomba Carnival of Flowers.

He has managed his own business, Stagesound Promotions, and remains a performing artist, most recently as a member of the duo Bohemian Rogue.

Mears work as a venue manager has been recognised with designations such as Certified Venue Executive and Accredited Venue Manager. He is an active member of the Venue Management Association (VMA), Performing Arts Connections Australia, Stage Queensland and the Caloundra Red Shield Appeal Committee.

Last year he was named VMA Venue Professional of the Year.

He is a past president of the Northern Australian Region Performing Arts Centres Association and of the Queensland Festivals Association.

Commenting on his retirement, Mears stated “I have an extraordinary passion for the events industry.

“I am most proud and privileged to have played a lead role in the planning, funding applications and major renovation of the centre from concept to the official opening in February.

“There is great community pride in this facility, and we have supported the community through fundraising, community arts development, and engagement with the venue to support people to put on special events rather than just being a venue for hire.

“Everyone who visits The Events Centre comes to gain something and they leave richer for the experience. I have loved being a part of that.”

The venue is currently closed because of Coronavirus restrictions.

Gary Mears was profiled in Australasian Leisure Management issue 134.

Images: The Events Centre Caloundra (top) and Gary Mears with his VMA Venue Professional of the Year award in 2019 (below).

About the author

Nigel Benton

Co-owner / Publisher, Australasian Leisure Management

Nigel Benton is the co-owner and publisher of Australasian Leisure Management, Australia and New Zealand’s only magazine for professionals in all areas of the leisure industry. Having established the magazine in 1997, shortly after his relocation to Australia, he has managed its readership rising to over 11,500 and its acceptance as the industry journal for professionals in aquatics, attractions, entertainment, events, fitness, parks, recreation, sport, tourism and venues.

As of 2020, he has launched the new Asian Leisure Business website.

Among a range of published works and features, his comments on a Blog (blogspot) from 2007 to 2011, when this website went live in its current form, may be interesting to reflect back on.

Click here to connect with him via LinkedIn.

Read more from this author

Related Articles

25th June 2020 - Arts and entertainment funding package welcomed by Live performance industry

23rd June 2020 - MEAA advocate for multi-level support of arts and entertainment sector

18th June 2020 - Social distancing rules make it financially unviable for Sydney theatres to reopen

4th May 2020 - Theatre impresario Sir Cameron Mackintosh says West End and Broadway shows will be ‘last to go back’

29th April 2020 - JobKeeper improvements needed to sustain Queensland Arts Sector

19th March 2020 - PAC Australia highlight Coronavirus threat to ongoing viability of performing arts centres

9th March 2020 - Sunshine Coast secures hosting rights for next Qantas Australian Tourism Awards

14th February 2020 - Sunshine Coast marks completion of redevelopment of The Events Centre Caloundra

27th August 2019 - PAC Australia’s Annual Conference and Performing Arts Exchange opens on the Sunshine Coast

29th May 2019 - Professional achievements acknowledged at 2019 Venue Industry Awards

30th October 2017 - Steve Romer to join Bluesfest as Chief Operating Officer

25th May 2017 - Exterior makeover in play at The Events Centre, Caloundra

10th August 2015 - Long-term capital works funding approved for The Events Centre Caloundra

1st June 2012 - SEC’s Steve Romer named VMA ‘Professional of the Year’

Asking a small favour
We hope that you value the news that we publish so while you're here can we ask for your support?

The news we publish at is independent, credible (we hope) and free for you to access, with no pay walls and no annoying pop-up ads.

However, as an independent publisher, can we ask for you to support us by subscribing to the printed Australasian Leisure Management magazine - if you don't already do so.

Published bi-monthly since 1997, the printed Australasian Leisure Management differs from this website in that it publishes longer, in-depth and analytical features covering aquatics, attractions, entertainment, events, fitness, parks, recreation, sport, tourism and venues management.

Subscriptions cost just $90 a year.

Click here to subscribe.


supplier directory

The Complete Guide to Leisure Industry Products & Services.

See the directory see all

Summit Fitness

Summit Fitness Equipment is now part of NovoFit - see

read more

Fitness / Recreation / Technology / Wellness



Track. Engage. Retain GreeneDesk is a suite of cloud based software solutions helping health clubs, leisure centres and swim schools to effectively track progression, improve customer engagement and…

read more

Aquatics / Billing / Education / Fitness / Technology


BioLab Australia Pty Ltd

BioGuard is Australia and New Zealand’s most trusted supplier of premium, innovative and affordable commercial water treatment systems and chemicals. BioGuard offers a comprehensive range of…

read more

Aquatics / Technology / Waterparks


APT Asia Pacific Pty Ltd

APT (Advanced Polymer Technology) is the leading global manufacturer of polyurethane-based materials, acrylic coatings and synthetic turf products for sporting and recreational applications. From…

read more

Environment / Sport / Surfaces / Technology



Founded in 1961, Myrtha Pools® quickly became Italy’s première swimming pool company, and has since grown into one of the world's leading swimming pool construction…

read more

Aquatics / Design / Play / Waterparks / Wellness


Hydrocare Pool Services

Hydrocare Pool Services Pty Ltd offer 30 years of experience in aquatic industry features, products and water treatment. Hydrocare Pools has undertaken water treatment for aquatic centres and…

read more

Aquatics / Attractions / Play / Recreation / Technology


get listed with our suppliers directory

Get your business noticed in our targeted directory. Viewed by 10,000 industry professionals per week!

list your business