People of the Harbour – meet Verity Nelson!

Growing up in the northern suburbs of Perth, Verity was a frequent visitor to Hillarys Boat Harbour. In her role as Sales & Marketing Manager at AQWA, she’s now come full circle (though we hope she has far fewer run-ins with Harbour security than she did in her childhood – details below!).

Last year, Verity also took on the role of Founding Chairperson of the Hillarys Boat Harbour Traders Association. A group brought together by the tough retail climate that was made further challenging by COVID, the HBHTA aims to bring Hillarys into a bright new future by providing new and engaging marketing avenues for the businesses in the Harbour.

We caught up with Verity to hear about what she loves about Hillarys and her hopes for its future.

What’s your favourite childhood memory of Hillarys?

Summertime jumping off the jetty with friends. Yep, it wasn’t allowed but we got to know the security really well!

What do you love about your job?

At AQWA, it’s being able to turn up every day and have the ocean for a view from my office and the people I get to work with. Knowing that we bring so much enjoyment to adults and children as they explore the underwater world.

With the Hillarys Boat Harbour Traders Association, it’s working with so many passionate Harbour business owners and the collaboration. Business owners are a gutsy bunch of people who I have learnt so much from about what it takes to never give up.

What’s your favourite thing to do at Hillarys?

Do I have to choose just one? Frankii and Sax Sea – for helping a fashion tragic like myself. For a guaranteed awesome meal every time, I head to 3Sheets (love the Thai Grilled Salad and Ravioli). Also can’t go past a catch up with the girls at The Breakwater for a sneaky Sunday arvo beverage.

What’s been one of the highlights of your time working at Hillarys?

COVID, whilst it has been devastating for all businesses in the Harbour, has provided a platform for us all to come together like never before. It has opened us all up to try new things and venture into previously uncharted waters. There are so many amazing people, personalities and characters that make up the Harbour and without their dedication and hard work the Harbour wouldn’t exist! At the risk of sounding clichéd, I feel privileged to be a part of the journey and its evolution.

What’s your vision for Hillarys in the future?

Hillarys has such a nostalgic vibe for so many locals already and I’d love to ensure it features in the memories of generations to come. Not going to lie, there’s a lot of work to be done to rejuvenate, innovate and recover from the impact of COVID – but it’s not impossible. I see a thriving community of business owners and collaboration between all stakeholders that we, as a community, can be proud of. We’re aiming for lots of unique events and activations year-round to draw the crowds and make Hillarys an entertainment, retail and dining hub of the north.