HOTA Home of the Arts

HOTA Home of the Arts


What is or who is HOTA and why have they adopted The Fish Philosophy? Located in tropical parklands with the Surfers Paradise skyline as the backdrop, HOTA Home of the Arts is a contemporary cultural precinct where art meets life. And just in case you don’t know how to pronounce HOTA think of the weather on the sunny Gold Coast then add an A. HOT-A. 

If they say home is where the heart is…HOTA says home is where the Art is.

HOTA is where the community comes together to experience local events, watch movies, attend comedy, music and live performances year round in their theatres, and on award-winning Outdoor Stage.

In May 2020 HOTA opened it’s Gallery which has a jam-packed program of exhibitions, immersive events, workshops and more.  Additionally two busy cinemas show blockbusters, arthouse films and documentaries seven days a week.


So Why would this amazing organisation need FISH? As you can imagine, their team has a lot going on everyday of the week. When we first started to talk with HOTA they were still only preparing for the launch of their new Gallery. This was going to be a mammoth job and it was all hands on deck. 

One of their largest challenges was preparing to ramp up staff for the opening of a state of the art $65 million dollar Gallery that would become the icon of the Gold Coast and a tourist destination for art lovers from all across Australia and beyond.

To say the least it was a big project ahead of the Executive Leadership Team. They hired their first Visitors Services Manager who luckily was already a FISH Philosophy fan and came to them with a plan on how she was going to create Customer Service Charter based on this World Famous Philosophy. This is how we came into the picture. When we meet with her she explained further details of her massive challenge with recruiting over 200 staff and volunteers and creating a Visitor Service Training program that would ensure the team were on the same page and delivering service that was in line with the impressive exhibitions, services and views available with this new Gallery. 

In addition to meeting strict deadlines for construction, new procedural development, team training and Art installations this team had to accomplish all of this during the middle of a global pandemic.

As a City asset they were of course working with limited resources and budgets were scrutinised by ELT and The Board. So when the new Visitor Services Manager understood her large task at hand she knew she needed an off the shelf award winning and globally recognised training program that could be ramped up and introduced quickly and effectively to her team. She knew this would free her time up to focus on everything else and she could have confidence that this program would help her achieve her KPIs and also give her new team the best chance for success at creating exceptional 5 Star Visitor Experiences. 

FISH Culture Plan

We worked together to create HOTA’s Tailored Culture Plan and Training program based on sharing FISH! Philosophy to create a common language and commitment to a shared Way of Being. We understand that each client’s journey is unique however there is a framework we follow when supporting our clients’ success.

Introduce It:

  1. First all Leaders attended FISH for Leaders full day session onsite. Where we introduced the Philosophy and explored in groups how they could start to practise the four principles of FISH; Be There, Choose Your Attitude, Make Their Day and Play to lead their team by their example. 
  2. Next the Supervisors and Key Team members attended one of three scheduled half day FISH Experiences onsite. Where we again introduced FISH in a fun and engaging workshop where people came together for a journey of personal discovery and team building. Each participant left with their own personal action plan and also contributed to creating the Group’s Action Plan of how to bring this positive Way of Being through various departments of HOTA. 
  3. HOTA has a large workforce of community volunteers. This is called their Ambassador program. All of these volunteers were introduced to FISH briefly in their induction and also given access to complete a short interactive FISH for HOTA course online. 
  4. All New Hires across HOTA were also inducted with a brief intro to FISH but then invited to complete the FISH for HOTA online course.

Celebrate It:

  1. Department Leaders & Team Supervisors followed up and reinforced FISH by recognising Fishy Moments Daily. These are reported through Teams and recorded in Daily Briefings Reports. 
  2. HOTA Team members continue to catch each other being FISHY and recognise each other with customised HOTA FISH Thank You Cards.

Refresh It:

  1. 6 Months after the initial launch of FISH, Leaders attended a half day Re-engagement FISH session, after all a lot had happened since this program was initially introduced. During this session we focused on How to Live HOTA Values with FISH! This is an essential part of the journey since they need to make FISH! their own and we were able to really dive into how the four practices of FISH supported their existing values of; Integrity, Generosity, Citizenship, Curiosity and ART!
  2. Culture Coach met one on one with Department Heads of Culinary Arts (Food & Bev), Cinema, Box Office, Operations, Visitor Services and more. These meetings were discovery meetings to uncover how to best support these leaders with becoming their own Culture Champion within their area of responsibility.

Measure It:

  1. Leaders completed Pre-FISH surveys in advance of attending their initial FISH Leadership program. 
  2. All team members that complete the FISH online course will be participating in organisational assessments as part of the course. This allows for annual Culture Benchmarking with a clear understanding of which areas the business is excelling at and where there is an opportunity for improvement. 
  3. Mystery shopping – benchmark for existing service across the Precinct will help to underpin actions required in the coming months, ensuring continuous improvement and 5-star service.


  • Successfully opened new colourful, smart and sophisticated vertical HOTA Gallery with stunning views of the Surfers skyline
  • Recruited, Hired and Trained over 200 new HOTA Team members
  • Created a new line of HOTA merchandise and opened new Retail Store in the Gallery
  • Launched two new Dining Venues – Palette (fine cuisine in a casual scene) & Exhibition Bar (stunning skyline views to Surfers Paradise)
  • Welcomed new Partner Queensland Ballet to HOTA
  • Managed to retain all staff during two Queensland COVID Lockdowns
  • HOTA was awarded one of the Top 100 Best Places to Visit in the World by Time Magazine. 

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