Meet Our Team
- Paul Freebody – Chief Operations Manager
- Kim Freebody – Financial Officer
- Andrew Sharry – Principal Consultant
- Mark Mercer – Project Manager
- Alan Griffith Architects – Architect & Design Team
- Adam Perrier – Project Leader
CHIEF OPERATIONS MANAGER
Accomplished business leader and family man
I am a professional with over thirty years of practical experience within the local government, corporate and private sectors. I was a councillor for Cairns City Council (Division 4) for eight years which invoked in me a passion to improve the well-being of members of my community. I have successfully run my own businesses for over twenty years, at times being responsible for over three hundred staff which has led me to have excellent communication and inter-personal skills and the ability to communicate with people from all walks of life. The experience gained throughout my career has enabled me to feel confident that I have the knowledge required for a role such as this one. I have drive, initiative and a high energy approach to any venture that I undertake.
Key Skills Sets and Attributes
- Strong leadership qualities whilst also being a team player
- The ability to make sound business decisions, quickly and effectively
- Politically aware, understanding dynamics between diverse range of groups
- Analytical and strategic thinker
- High standard of personal integrity and ethics
- Ability to work autonomously and independently within any situation
- Positive can-do attitude; willing and versatile
- Excellent interpersonal and communication skills including conflict resolution
- The ability to implement effective planning, organisation and time management processes
- Proactive approach to problem solving and the ability to take initiative
- Business minded, reliable and approachable
- Process – improver
- Strong connection with my community
Felhope —Director 1991 —Current
Felhope Pty Ltd is a private company directed by myself and my wife Kim. This company was responsible for five Toyworld stores and is still responsible for Adventure Waters Waterpark Development and The Car Wash Café.
- CEO of five large regional Toyworld stores around Queensland/NT (Cairns, Darwin/Mackay/Hervey Bay and Townsville)
- Converted the original Toyworld stores into Super Toyworlds as their profitability grew.
- Three of these stores became in the top three in Australia in turnover and profit
- Employed over 300 staff
- Responsible for reaching and exceeding budget goals
- Reporting to banks and accountants
Carwash Café – small family business
- Designed and developed the site
- Responsible for the overall concept
- Employing staff
- Wages, budgets and reporting to relevant financial bodies
- He has been successfully operating for five years
- Manage all aspects of running this business
CEO of Adventure Waters Water Park
- In 2008 I began the process of securing the development approvals for the $45 million Adventure Waters Waterpark.
- Liaising and negotiating with Council, Environmental groups and other interested groups to ensure satisfactory outcomes for all parties
- Liaising with designers, contractors, suppliers and building companies
- High level of research and due diligence to ensure viability of venture
Cairns City Council —Division 4 2000 —2008
I was a councillor for eight years.
- Worked with the people of my Division and helped with any issues or requests from my constituents
- Position on the Works Committee, Planning Committee and the full Council
- Had an all-encompassing approach to overseeing all projects in the city
- My background in both the private and public sector enabled me to negotiate and problem- solve any issues between council and developers.
- Fostered my ambition to be in a position whereby I could help people
- Enhanced my conflict resolution skills
- Skilled at communicating with people from a diverse range of social and economic backgrounds
Croner Tyco Toys 1983 —1991
- Ensuring budgets were met or exceeded
- Customer Service both internal and external
- Sales and marketing
- Ensuring KPI’s were met or exceeded
- Staff management
- Drive retailers (customers) sales
As Financial Controller of the Freebody Group, Kim is driven by her love of shaping and developing amazing and challenging projects from the ground up.
Kim graduated from the exclusive Girl’s Private High School, Loreto Catholic College, in Queensland’s Capital, Brisbane. In 1984 Kim started her working life in the world of banking, she worked her way up the ranks after 6 short years to Personal Loans Officer along with her other duties as Head Teller. Her time in the banking arena primarily moulded Kim into where she is today.
Kim’s strong track record in financial management served Kim well, when in 1990, she married Paul (Freebody Group, Chief Executive Officer) and raised her family of three boys while controlling the finances of their very successful family group of Companies, including five Toyworld Stores. Three of these five stores reached top five status in Australia under her stewardship. The Freebodys’ five stores turned over around $30 million annually with their 300 staff.
Kim’s role within the Toyworld stores varied enormously, ranging from buying product both locally within Australia and importing directly from overseas, managing staff and budgeting for the Baby Toyworld departments and buying product for the Girls and Craft departments. The heart and soul of Toyworld, Kim also managed the relationships and reported to the banks.
In 2002, three of the Toyworld stores were sold to the American Giant Toys R Us. Kim continued to manage the finances of the remaining two stores until they were both sold in 2005. Kim’s accounting abilities are backed up by an extensive knowledge of the MYOB accounts system. Kim’s capabilities are not limited to developing and undertaking spreadsheet analysis, payroll, profit and loss reports, balance sheets, analysing cash flows and reporting to Directors and Banks.
In 2006, after two solid years of travelling and research, the next venture for the Freebody Group was when the first Car Wash Café outside a Capital City became a reality in Cairns. The Car Wash Café is a five star, fully serviced car washing and detailing facility. It boasts a café area in which motorists wait for their vehicles to be cleaned. Kim once again manages the finances and supervised staff during the setup and the first year of operations until it sold in 2007.
Since the late 2000’s Kim has been contracted to the Queensland Health Cairns Offices working in areas such as the Accounts Payable department and currently being contracted to the District office as the Executive Support Officer to the Division Three Divisional Director.
Kim’s honesty and integrity, attention to detail and nurturing nature as the Financial Controller for Adventures Water Waterpark, has invigorated her passion once again. She is successfully and competently managing the seed funds through these early stages of development, ready for project management of construction and operation due to be completed in late 2017.
PRINCIPAL CONSULTANT — LEISURE & BUSINESS IMPROVEMENT SPECIALIST
Andrew has been in the commercial Leisure, Attractions and Tourism industry for almost 20 years, operating at CEO & General Manager levels for a range of attractions across the country.
Having established Next Level Solution in 2012, Andrew has spent the past 4 years directly supporting his clients to grow their businesses & deliver on their desired outcomes.
Prior to 2012, Andrew spent 12 years in a variety of roles with Ardent Leisure — one of Australia’s most successful owners of leisure assets and an ASX200 listed company (AAD).
From a start-up and development perspective, almost all of his roles with Ardent included a substantial development component, with 4 keys roles at SkyPoint, AMF Bowling, Dreamworld WhiteWater World and Splash Leisure also including substantial start-ups.
Notable development and start-up projects include;
- SkyPoint Climb Gold Coast (2012) — Australia’s highest external building climb and winner of the 2012 Vero Risk Management Award for Safety & Winner Best New Attraction in the 2012 Tourism Queensland Awards;
- AMF Bowling North Strathfield Sydney (2008) — Australia’s largest integrated bowling and leisure centre;
- WhiteWater World (2006) — At the time, Australia’s newest theme park in 15 years and game changer for the Dreamworld business
- Splash Leisure (1997, 98 & 99) — Redevelopment of Amazons Waterpark Brisbane plus the Centenary and Chermside Aquatic Centres; and
- Since 1999 direct involvement in a broad range of projects, including CEO for 5 ½ years and more recently at Board Level for Adventure World Perth —due to launch the world’s largest ProSlide Tornado late September 2015.
Over the past 15 years, Andrew has also had substantial experience in navigating the often complex arena of international ride supply contract negotiation & has become a specialist in the negotiation of the commercial terms of these crucial agreements.
All of Andrew’s roles have required full P&L responsibility in environments where maximising stakeholder return on investment is crucial. As a result, he has developed a highly keen and practical understanding of how to design & deliver commercially focussed outcomes.
Next Level Solution
Next Level Solution is a specialist consultancy that engineers practical, commercial solutions for its leisure based clientele in the form of;
- Full Scope Business Improvement Reviews (including execution);
- Rides & Attractions Selection;
- Ride Supply Contract Negotiation;
- Commercial Negotiations in general;
- Feasibility Studies;
- Project Master Planning; &
- Independent Director & Board Advisory Services.
Uniquely offering 20 years of experience in leisure operations ranging from small aquatic facilities to the largest publicly listed theme parks & leisure assets in the country, NLS has the unique ability to extract the best from the biggest corporate operations to the smallest family run businesses to engineer realistic solutions that can be applied to the everyday.
Qualifications and Training
Bachelor of Engineering Sheffield (Civil Engineering)(1987)Master of Business Administration, OUBS (2003) Member Engineers Australia, Member Institution of Structural Engineers, Registered Professional Engineer of Queensland
Mark is a highly experienced Chartered Engineer and Project Manager. He has 25+ years of extensive experience representing Clients’ interests and delivering major projects on their behalf, both in Australia and the UK.
Mark has a demonstrated effectiveness at managing complex multi-million dollar projects, understanding and identifying the needs of a Client and/or project objectives and providing customised solutions. He has excellent commercial, people, analytical and problem-solving skills, which provide the best opportunity to deliver a successful project.
In recent years, prior to starting Mark Mercer Management, Mark has led the successful delivery of projects for the Macquarie and Foster’s Groups. Mark moved to Australia from the UK in 2003 where he was a Project Manager with Sinclair Knight Merz and industrial design specialists, Gelder and Kitchen.
Mark’s well rounded experience has produced a commercially focused project manager/engineer with a keen eye for buildability and fulfillment of brief at minimum costs. His methods allow him to gain a thorough understanding of each internal and external stakeholder in the construction process which allows him to build trusting and respectful relationships, ultimately leading to achievement of project outcomes.
Relevant Project Experience
Development Manager – Macquarie Asset Services Limited
Mark was responsible for a series of projects including:
- WhiteWater World, Dreamworld – Development Manager for the successful delivery of a $60m world class water park for Macquarie Leisure Trust in an extremely tight timeframe. Completed within time and budget constraints, and constructed while maintaining the successful operation of Dreamworld. WhiteWater World is now a major Australian tourist attraction.
One challenging aspect of the project was controlling the activities of designers and suppliers who were located both locally and internationally. The opening and operation of this new water theme park was highly successful and one extension has already been constructed and a Development Approval has been received for a significant further expansion. Despite the many design and delivery complications, this park opened successfully 3 weeks prior to the busy Christmas (2006) period, as was required.
- WhiteWater World Extension – Mark was responsible for the Development, Project and Construction Management of this $5million extension to WhiteWater World. Again, the success of this project depended upon the successful management of overseas suppliers and local designers. The program deadline was based on school holidays and this was successfully achieved.
- WhiteWater World Stage 2 – Management of the design and costing of a $20m expansion of this major tourism facility using overseas expertise and local knowledge. Mark successfully led the achievement of DA approval.
- Dreamworld Hotel – Management of the design, costing and town planning of this proposed $50m facility. Design work included the successful integration with existing attractions in both Dreamworld and WhiteWater World.
- AMF Bowling – Highest and best use analyses of existing bowling sites for Macquarie Leisure Trust.
Mark Mercer Management — Company Director
As a company director, Mark has provided engineering and project management services to the following Clients:
- Queensland Rail Rail Management Centre – Mark Mercer was the Superintendent for this prestigious strategic project that serves South-East Queensland.
- Adventure Waters Water Park, Cairns, Queensland – Mark Mercer was part of a high-level Steering Team that produced feasibility studies and the design of this proposed new water park for Cairns. Issues that have been dealt with include: Ride supply, water usage, car parking, future expansion possibilities, cost estimation, capacity estimation, design management. This is a significant new water park for the Cairns region.
- Ardent Leisure (previously Macquarie Leisure) – Development Management advice in relation to the Coomera Town Centre Structure Plan & its effect on Dreamworld.
Original Master Plan & Development Team
The 2010 master plan for the development has been prepared by Alan Griffith Architects (AGA). AGA is recognized as the leading theme park architectural design group in Australia.
Since 1989 this firm has been continuously associated with the Warner Village Theme Park Group as their Australian architects for the development of their three Gold Coast theme parks, Movie World, Sea World and Wet n Wild Water World. The firm also formed a strong working relationship with Warner Bros Recreation Enterprises on these projects including providing the architectural services for Warner Bros Movie World in Germany. Additionally, Alan Griffith Architects has provided master planning and architectural services for a wide range of theme parks, waterparks and themed attractions both within Australia and internationally, including the Hualien Ocean Park project in Taiwan.
The principal, Alan Griffith FRAIA, is supported by a strong team of highly creative architectural and technical staff who have a unique depth of experience in the design of theme parks, marine parks and specifically, themed water park attractions. Working together with the Warner Village team and, in particular, the management and staff of Wet n Wild Australia, Alan Griffith Architects have provided design & theming concepts that have created Australia’s leading water park attraction, providing guests with a truly international standard water park experience.
Although there will be continuing modifications and upgrading to establish the final master plan the following Concept Master Plan and Aerial View plans provide the primary details of the general look, layout and design of Adventure Waters Waterpark.
The following list of the project development team provides an overview of the specialist groups that have been engaged and the key contacts in each area.
B. Design, B. Arch (UQ), Architect
Adam is the Regional Manager for the Wide Bay and Burnett area,with almost 20 years experience, nationally and internationally in a wide variety of projects. He has extensive knowledge of risk management & critical path project delivery on existing facilities using BIM & IPD processes. Adam’s experience is based on developing a close working partnership with all project participants to fully understand each project’s specific requirements and individual measures of success. This working collaboration is implemented from inception through to completion on each project and the basis for his project management success on a complicated brown field projects view of the specialist groups that have been engaged and the key contacts in each area.
As an overview of our companies previous and current Tourism work undertaken we note some of our relevant projects as:
- Kings Beach Redevelopment, Caloundra
- Sunshine Plaza Riverwalk
- Australia Zoo Crocoseum
- Splash Bay Waterpark
- University of the Sunshine Coast Aquatic Centre
Our network of clients, stakeholders, consultants is extensively connected throughout the Wide Bay Burnett region, from Maryborough through to Gladstone and west to Biloela. Our Hervey Bay office, with full time staff of 4, is managed by our Wide Bay Burnett Regional Manager, Adam Perrier. Each staff member has an active involvement in the local community, not only via the projects that we deliver, but also though the Fraser Coast Young Professionals Group, UDIA, Regional Development Authority (RDA), Chamber of Commerce and initiatives of the Fraser Coast and Bundaberg Regional Councils.
2011 CORE Architecture Architect / Project Leader
2004 — 2010 Bloc Design Director
2001 — 2004 Pacific Project Group Architectural Development & Project Manager
1997 — 2001 Spence Harris Hogan Associate, London Associate, Head of Commercial Division
1997 Cottee-Parker Architectural Technician, CAD Manager
1996 —1997 Biscoe Wilson Architects Architectural Technician
1991 —1994 Thomson Adsett Architects Architectural Technician
- Splash Bay
- Xavier Kindergarten
- Pier Precinct, Hervey Bay
- Xavier Stage 8 GLA’s
- Xavier Multi-Purpose Hall
- Hervey Bay RSL
- St Mary’s Multi-Purpose Hall
- Ergon Energy Masterplan
- Airport Service Centre, Hervey Bay
- Star of the Sea Multi-Purpose Hall
- Xavier Stage 7 Language Centre
- Oceania Oncology, Hervey Bay & Northlakes
- Hervey Bay RSL Extension & Refurbishment
- Hervey Bay Surgical Centre —(partial refurbishment)
The main development consultants for the project are
- Aurecon; Traffic and flood reports. Kent Barnes is the lead traffic consultant with Paul Pommer as overseeing consultant for this firm.
- Steve Peet; Head consultant for infrastructure set up, plan/feasibility study and assist in the set up of the Park structure and management.
- Mark Mercer Project Manager
- Alan Griffith Architects
- Brazier Motti
- Golder Associates Pty Ltd. Soil testing.
- Rider Levett Bucknall Qld Pty Ltd. Cost Controllers
- Red Carrot Media and Y Films
Our team are industry leaders, highly experienced and qualified in delivering these types of projects.
They have a full understanding of what we need to deliver in this project. The vision and end result I am seeking includes completing the project on time and on budget.
The park will be developed in the theme of a tropical oasis, utilising landscaping that reflects Far North Queensland where the rain forest meets the reef.