Case Study: Re-imagining a historic landmark as a place for learning at Mt Carmel Centre

The heritage-listed Mt Carmel Centre has served as an institution for educational, religious and social practices in the Wynnum community since 1915.  The decorative two-storey building on a prominent hill rise overlooking the bay is an architectural marvel and local treasure.  Once the home of the Sisters of Mercy, Carmel has a long history serving as a cornerstone of parish and school function in the local area.  From the 1990s, the building was used mostly as a holiday home for the Sisters, and as her modern function faded in relevance, Carmel lived on only in the memories of the people who had been part of her history.  In 2015, Brisbane Catholic Education (BCE) purchased the property, and began a gradual transition to bring the original purpose of Mt Carmel Centre back to life in a multi-million-dollar refurbishment. 

Dot Dash Events (DDE) were engaged to manage the relaunch, marketing, venue sales and event coordination of the captivating Mt Carmel Centre during and after its extensive renovation (MCC).  Working closely with BCE to reinvigorate the centre while ensuring the integrity of the project scope required a balanced and considered approach.  Key challenges for this project included maintaining the heritage aspects and original features of the property, developing a tailored marketing strategy from scratch, and liaising with key community members not just to revive Carmel, but also stimulate business in the local area.  However, the most challenging factor of this project was the branding of MCC as a corporate learning and development venue.  While its aesthetic design and ideal location would be well suited to the wedding market, it was critical to the project’s scope that the original purpose of the centre was revived in a new way. 

As part of the centre’s relaunch, we created a business plan from the bottom up. This included strategy development, office and venue planning, creating fee schedules, room layouts and capacity charts, tenancy agreements and venue hire conditions, enquiry and confirmation forms, venue information and marketing collateral, design of new logo, branding and outdoor signage, website creation, fire safety and building security plans, logistical planning, supplier selection and relationship management, updating compliance reports, visitor management, site tours, and working with key stakeholders within BCE to ensure the building is consistently well maintained and that internal and external events receive the same standards of service. 

As well as a strong digital campaign incorporating content, social media and paid ad strategies, a local direct marketing and business development approach included targeting local and regional corporations to attract new corporate business to the venue. Through targeted sales tactics, DDE secured tenants for all upstairs offices, and has grown the external events arm of MCC beyond client expectations. Through face to face meetings with key community investors and stakeholders, DDE has played an integral role in planning a greater scope for MCC that serves the wider Wynnum community, in efforts to stimulate the local economy and local businesses.  

As Carmel celebrates her 104th birthday, her future has never looked brighter. The centre was recently used as a filming location for upcoming feature film Swimming for Gold starring Peyton List, casting a spotlight on the bayside area and boosting local business over the shooting duration. This is only the beginning of many exciting projects to come at Mt Carmel Centre, and Dot Dash is thrilled to play a critical role in their execution! 

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