If there is an event in Bunbury, chances are Jo O’Dea will be there.
But she won’t be waving down the caterer for another canape or trying to get the best vantage point for the show, she is the one running around, making sure everything is running smoothly – and that’s the way she likes it.
"I love putting people together, I love the creative culture that we have generated in Bunbury and I feel privileged to live here," Jo said. Jo is the go-to event organiser in Bunbury.
Don’t get us wrong, there is an exciting bunch of up and coming event entrepreneurs in the City, but it is highly likely they’ve taken inspiration from Jo or they’ve reached out to her at some point for guidance. Jo has successfully combined her love for Bunbury and her passion for events.
"You can drive into Bunbury and you can’t miss the fact that there’s a creative essence here," she said.
Jo moved to Bunbury three decades ago, owning a commercial fishing boat with her husband before she was quickly lured in by the City’s waterways, spending many hours at the harbour.
She witnessed its transformation firsthand, saying the beach, bay and inlet now formed part of Bunbury, creating an enviable lifestyle within the City, rather than on its fringes.
The renowned event organiser of 15 years is behind gigs such as Bunbury Fringe, Cinefest Oz, South West Multicultural Festival and ReDiscover Bunbury – all of which have flourished into truly iconic events.
Jo describes Bunbury as a "City that feels like a village".
A balance of access to essential services such as schools and medical facilities, combined with an embracing spirit and creative culture makes it possible for Jo to have the lifestyle she loves and the success she undoubtably deserves.
"Bunbury is always evolving, it’s embracing," Jo said.
"Our aesthetically beautiful City combined with our geographic position contribute to a great lifestyle – I live on the beach in a City, how many people can do that?"