Coordinating hundreds of swimming carnivals is “all in a days’ work” for VenuesWest’s longest serving staff member Kerry Gates who will be farewelled after 28 years of service in October this year.

Kerry’s role in Aquatic Bookings at HBF Stadium has seen her responsible for booking over 15 000 swim meets and carnivals for around 950,000 local, national and international visitors. Throughout the past 28 years Kerry has played a role in the 1991 and 1998 FINA World Aquatics Championships, several Aquatic Super Series’, National Short Course Championships and the 2006 Commonwealth Water Polo Championships.

Prior to working in Aquatics, Kerry was a friendly face on the main reception desk, greeting customers and providing information.

VenuesWest CEO David Etherton says, ‘Kerry’s venue knowledge and expertise will be missed, I know many of our customers will miss seeing her familiar face on pool deck and we all wish her the very best for her retirement”.

Reflecting on her time at VenuesWest Kerry says the best part has been every day; coming in to work with the Aquatics team and chatting with her valued clients.

She recounts her most memorable experience as the time she jumped in at the last minute to help when an event manager had fallen ill, resulting in Kerry organising and running the 2004 Fisher and Paykel Australian Age Swimming Championships.

In her time Kerry has seen visitor numbers increase from around 2,000 per annum to around 780, 000; the number of pools increased from two to five and she has seen three venue name changes; originally Perth SuperDrome the venue changed name to Challenge Stadium before becoming HBF Stadium in 2014.  

Over the last 28 years the venue has undergone many changes and refurbishments including significant upgrades to toilets and change rooms, a major café upgrade, a fitness centre revamp and an exterior facelift incorporating a complete remodelling of the venue entrance and ground landscaping.