ARTS ADVOCATE: Pushing for change within Gympie Council
IT ALL started with a passion for arts and drama from a young age, for venue and events manager at Gympie Regional Council, Luke Harriman.
Having spent most of his formal years in Gympie, Mr Harriman spent many years touring and travelling the world, working in various roles before taking up a position with council several years ago.
A jovial character, he said his experience has given him an insight into the industry and how arts and culture could thrive within the Gympie region.
"I grew up in Gympie from the age of 2 until I was about 13 years old,” Mr Harriman said.
"I went to Monkland State School before moving to Brisbane with my family for high school where my parents went back to university.
"My father studied theology and my mother studied a PHD in ethics, there was four kids in the family, for six years there was six students in the house.”
Mr Harriman studied Arts and drama at university and then travelled.
Gympie has always played a vital role in Mr Harriman's life.
"My parents always kept the house in Gympie, it has always been my home, it has always been the place we've come back to, to restore ourselves and to connect back to the property my parents built their house on,” he said.
Mr Harriman worked his way through the industry, completing odd jobs here and there.
"I started working in ticketing and that led me to Edinburgh where I worked at the Edinburgh Fringe festival,” he said.
"I did ticketing for two festivals and in the off-season, I did production management which is where you organise the event from a technical point of view.”
Once those years passed, Mr Harriman moved back to Brisbane and worked as a producer.
He has a wife from Finland and several children who he adores greatly. They all live here in Gympie.
Mr Harriman said his role at council is quite broad, reiterating he loves the challenge.
"It can be a challenging role, you are pulled into different directions on a daily basis,” he said.
"I came to the role because I wanted the role, I loved my former job, but this is an opportunity to give something back to the town and to the region that I've always loved.
"There's so much potential here in the region for arts and culture that we have only just scratched the surface.
"I suppose it's just a collection of experiences that sort of gets you to a point where you understand enough to make a difference and know what can be done.”
Away from work, Mr Harriman enjoys relaxing with his family.
"I like to keep things pretty quiet because you spend so much time speaking to people all week that when you have time for yourself, it's nice to spend it in the garden,” he said.
"I have two young children and a wife and I like to spend time with them as much as I can.”