Hillarys Boat Harbour Place Management

The Client
Department of Transport
Project Team
Suzie Zuber
Associate - Place
Marisa Santosa
Senior Graphic Designer
The Project

Since its development in the late 1980’s and home unique attractions including AQWA, waterfront dining and shopping, over 700 boat pens and an ocean swimmers cove, Hillarys Boat Harbour has ‘good bones’ to play an ongoing, vital role in Perth’s coastal destination set.  

However, in the face of growing retail challenges and strengthening competition, Hillarys has struggled in recent years to attract sufficient visitors to spend time and money. A lack of a compelling identity, precinct-wide positioning and collaborative mindset among private stakeholders has further compounded issues.  

Our Role

We have been engaged by the Department to deliver place management services with a focus on establishing:

  • alignment in direction among stakeholders,
  • a new place brand and marketing strategy, and
  • activation, campaigns and programming opportunities.

During COVID-19 we shifted focus to communicate directly with traders and delivered the Hillarys Midwinter Seaside Carnival to launch the Department’s new walking trails, attracting thousands of parents and their children, many of who were first-time visitors.

We have also provided specialist place advice to inform:

  • the Department’s 10-year Hillarys Boat Harbour Masterplan, and  
  • quick wins for landscaping and public realm upgrades.

With often competing needs and priorities, private stakeholders have taken an individualised approach to marketing, advocacy and activation. We played a central role in forming the Hillarys Boat Harbour Traders Association which acts as an independent organisation and provides a collective voice to the Department on key issues. An energised management committee has developed an action plan across marketing, strategic partnership development and activation, to which we are delivering specialist advice.  

We have worked in tandem with a leading branding company to develop a new identity for Hillarys with a supporting campaign message “There’s lots to love about Hillarys.” The brand will be deployed in early 2021 across a new website, social media channels, wayfinding signage and a 12-month marketing campaign that will promote the harbour’s point of difference to draw in new visitor markets.

What We Delivered
  • Place Manager specialist advice
  • Establishment of Hillarys Boat Harbour Traders Association
  • Establishment of new place identity – brand, logo, communications strategy and material  
  • Hillarys Midwinter Seaside Carnival event

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