Meet Mostyn, a young manager shooting for the stars at Gravity Discovery Centre

Tourism WA Hospitality and tourism jobs
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“Sharing my culture as part of my job has really grown over the last couple of years and being able to do that is very special, people are becoming more and more receptive to it.”

From sharing his Aboriginal culture and brilliant starry night skies to upgrading facilities and being fact-checked by flat earthers, at 22 years of age Mostyn Nannup has plenty on his plate as general manager at the Gravity Discovery Centre & Observatory (GDC) near Gingin.

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It’s a role he’s embraced with open arms after first joining the not-for-profit science centre under the guidance of his grandfather, who leads the Aboriginal Astronomy sessions at GDC.

“My grandfather’s role is once a month doing the storytelling, and eventually my role was supposed to be doing some of that as well, but I just enjoyed running the business and trying to make it better for everyone, so I chose that path instead.”

Mostyn’s one of many young Western Australians who’ve chosen a dream career in our state’s tourism and hospitality industry – learn more about his story below, and head to our Dream Careers Hub to explore opportunities for your own rewarding career, one filled with adventure, meaning and endless possibilities.

Table of contents:

How’d you get into this career?

Mostyn began his time at GDC with the intent to help his grandfather with the storytelling sessions (the centre has a strong connection to the Noongar people), however he quickly discovered a passion for business management, and this desire has been nurtured ever since.

“So I didn’t study at all, everything I’ve learned has been on the job,” Mostyn tells us one afternoon at the centre, where he takes us on a guided bushwalk followed by an astronomy tour as night falls.

“My grandfather told me they were looking for an Indigenous trainee, so I came out of school and went straight into a management traineeship here. Each day I learn how to manage the business, and through working in tourism I’ve opened a lot of doors for myself.”

CAREER STEPPING STONES
1.

Graduated from high school in Perth

2.

Joined tourism on advice from grandfather

3.

Opportunity to combine culture and career

4.

Gained on-the-job skills

5.

Promoted to general manager after four years

What’s a typical day look like for you?

As the general manager of a busy tourism centre, Mostyn is responsible for the daily operations which includes managing a team of staff, general administration, balancing the financials and so much more.

“So normally I’ll make sure everybody’s rosters and timetables are done, and I do the till and make sure all the money’s balanced out and generally just make sure everything is on time and running smoothly.”

Mostyn is also working on a number of exciting development projects within the centre, to diversify the current tourism offering: “Here, one of my big goals was definitely driving more improvements… We’re currently doing a gallery upgrade and fundraising for that. We’re also in the process of getting accommodation built out here.”

When he’s not crunching the numbers or working on future plans for the centre, Mostyn will join some of the tours with groups to share some of his culture and knowledge of the area: “Every now and then I will jump in and out as a guide just to make sure it’s running smoothly…

“When I take the kids out for a bushwalk in the banksia woodlands around the Centre, I’ll teach them about the foods, all the bush medicines and where to get water.”

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Who are some of the people you get to work with?

Much of Mostyn’s time is spent absorbing information from the many diverse staff and volunteers who are at the centre.

“I work with a pretty cool range of people; a lot of them are at uni studying astrophysics, mathematics, black holes and nebulas, a lot of astronomy and science-based degrees. So learning new things every day, that’s definitely something special for me. It’s really good to learn from each other, so I can pass that information on to guests during our tours.”

Along with the unique perspectives of his work colleagues, Mostyn meets some interesting characters on the customer-front too: “We get a lot of tour guests that try and change our perspectives, a lot of challenges about Flat Earth,” he laughs, “Did we actually go to the moon? That sort of thing.”

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Best parts of the job?

Working in such a beautiful part of Western Australia means Mostyn gets to enjoy the unique natural environment of Gingin – from the ground level to high up above. “The best part is what we’re surrounded by, with all the bushlands and there’s nothing around us… Of course, climbing up the tower every day is also special.”

Mostyn loves seeing the increased interest in his own culture in real time and the opportunity to share it with visitors, taking tours with school and senior groups, with numbers ranging between “10 and 200 people a day.”

“When we’re out there, we get a lot of questions from the kids, and I like being able to teach them that what they’re walking past is a lot more than what they can just see.”

“Because one tree has, you know, a hundred and one things to talk about. Take the Christmas tree, we call it Moodjar.. You boil the roots to the exact time, then you drink that and it clears out your system. Once you drink it like a tea, if you boil it for longer and cook it right, the roots will end up tasting like a salted caramel lolly.”

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Another big plus of working in tourism for Mostyn is the opportunity to travel and find deeper connections with other communities. Not only do you progress every day by learning skills on the job, a career in tourism offers endless opportunities for personal and professional development.

“The Northern Territory was one of my career highlights – we went out to a community for a week or two. These places are very, very remote, and often they have no water, reception or anything like that…. We taught science and astronomy to a community with a population of 22 people and three kids enrolled at a school.

“It was an eight hour drive from Alice Springs on a dirt road and it was great just being out there helping the community and trying to get them interested in what’s going on under their dark skies. That was the first remote community we’ve visited and they definitely want us back. So yeah, the Northern Territory was a big tick for me.”

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How have you developed in your role, professionally and personally?

Working at the GDC has afforded Mostyn the chance to grow his skill set on the job, while drawing on his other life experiences to offer the centre plenty in return.

“I’ve been in an emerging management role, but I come from a footy background. Being a captain of a footy team for so long and vice captain in my senior levels, I wanted to bring that teamwork here to build a great group of staff. It was definitely something I wanted to tick off,” he tells us, not without a hint of pride.

Mostyn also had the opportunity to flourish under his mentor, GDC CEO Jan Devlin: “She’s been a big part of my success here,” he beams. “Jan’s mentored me from day one, which was four years ago. She’s taught me her business mind and passed down everything else that comes with the job, including how to run a non-for-profit business and set my goals..”

“She’s put a lot of work into me and I’ve really been inspired by her, so hopefully I can reflect that and do the same for someone else.”

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Would you recommend a career in tourism?

“Absolutely,” he smiles, “Like I said, I don’t have any qualifications , but there’s just so much I’ve learnt on the job that I’ve been able to take outside of work… The people you meet really drive you to keep progressing. There’s just so much you can build on.”

Keen to start your adventure? Head to westernaustralia.jobs/dreamcareer to explore job opportunities, career inspiration, benefits, pathways, perks, possibilities and much more.