Capes Foundation director Steve Harrison retires from Margaret River-Busselton Tourism Association

Warren HatelyAugusta Margaret River Times
Capes Foundation director Steve Harrison has retired.
Camera IconCapes Foundation director Steve Harrison has retired. Credit: Christian Bishop

Inaugural Capes Foundation director Steve Harrison has resigned from his post, triggering a recruitment drive by the Margaret River-Busselton Tourism Association.

Workers were told of his decision on May 17, 13 years since the former Shire of Augusta-Margaret River president first joined the tourism body as a cave guide.

Mr Harrison’s professional experience — which included a tenure as Margaret River Chamber of Commerce president — quickly catapulted him up the association’s ranks, serving for a period as a co-chief executive before the Capes Foundation was formed with him at the helm in 2022.

It has eight natural assets and attractions under its control, including the Eagles Heritage raptor centre bought during Mr Harrison’s reign.

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The foundation marked the MRBTA’s clear intent to move into a conservation-minded role, while gearing the region to receive higher-value visitors who would avoid the mass marketing approach taken by other destinations.

MRBTA chief executive Sharna Kearney said Mr Harrison was a crucial factor in the association’s success.

“He has been instrumental in the success of MRBTA and its Capes Foundation, driving the acquisition of Forest Adventures and Eagles Heritage, overseeing our business operations, and delivering significant upgrades across our sites, most recently the Ancient Lands Experience at Ngilgi Cave,” she said.

“Steve is an exceptional leader and has guided our organisation through some of its most difficult moments, including the COVID-19 pandemic.

“While he will be deeply missed from our leadership team, we are delighted that Steve will continue to stay involved in our organisation, assisting to onboard the new Capes Foundation director and continuing to work on a range of projects.”

Mr Harrison was simple in his farewell, with the Douglas Adams fan saying, “So long and thanks for all the fish”.

Ms Kearney said there would be an “extensive” recruitment process to replace Mr Harrison.

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