Newspaper article The Chronicle (Toowoomba, Australia)

Empire Team Makes Magic Happen

Newspaper article The Chronicle (Toowoomba, Australia)

Empire Team Makes Magic Happen

Article excerpt

I HOPE readers who saw "Mary Poppins" agree that it was a great show.

As Empire Theatres chairman, I want to tell you about some of the people who work there, out of the limelight but are absolutely vital to its success.

They are a highly skilled professional team doing all the stuff a successful business has to rely on whether it's theatre, retail, manufacturing or whatever.

They sometimes have to work daft hours.

Their salaries are typical of the theatre industry and probably less than they, and Joe Hockey, would like them to be.

They have to be "people-people". It's the way they do their jobs that makes our patrons feel good about the theatre and what goes on in it.

They are led by the general manager Kerry Saul, who knows the industry inside out but I don't want to talk about him on this occasion.

He's an excellent GM and he would be unable to do his job if it were not for the quality of his heads of department. I know he knows that!

Those same staff also couldn't do their jobs if it wasn't for the rest of the people who work with them, take orders from them and do a lot of the heavy lifting.

I'm thinking of our other full-time, part-time and casual staff; technicians, back-stage workers, marketing team, box office and bar staff, PAs and management support staff and those who get the bills paid and the contracts written.

They always use first names, and occasional swear words, when talking to each other.

So, who are they? There's not room to name everybody but I'll mention a few, no particular order.

I think of them as part of a theatre family with all the highs and less-highs of any family.

There's Helen (Oldham), the administration manager, Margaret (Turnbull), the events manager, Tim (Panitz), the technical manager, Geoff (Thompson), the marketing manager, and Jeanette (Wedmaier), the projects manager. …

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