He’s Optus Stadium’s Operations Manager, Out of Africa, with a passion for the environment and surfing and is a self-confessed Nerdzilla. And he’s not content with Optus Stadium’s already outstanding environmental credentials – he has bigger plans. Meet Dorian Hughes, or Dors, as he is commonly known by all.
How did you come to be working at Optus Stadium?
I started with VenuesWest back in 2000 and stayed with them for 16 years in various roles, across multiple venues and with various departments including catering, governance, contracts, operations, events and projects. I was the Stadiums Transition Manager and spent many hours with Sue Max who quickly convinced me how wonderful it would be to work for VenuesLive and Optus Stadium. I caught the bug and when the opportunity arose I nervously jumped. Sue was right and Optus Stadium life continues to be a spectacular adventure. There is something special about working in venues and events that bring people happiness. I actually have a Bachelor of Science degree in Environmental Management and my first job coming out of university – which I loved – was using invertebrates as indicator species to determine the impacts of control burning on old growth forests. Yep, I’m a Nerdzilla.
Any bad jobs along the way?
The worst job I ever had was the midnight shift cleaning movie cinemas. It makes me appreciate that cleaners are amazing people!
I know you’re incredibly passionate about the environment, what are your goals for Optus Stadium?
To reduce the amount of unrecoverable waste generated by the Stadium and Stadium park to less than 5%.
Eliminate the use of hard plastics with the exception of bottled beverages and replace with a financially viable alternative.
Have a percentage of the Stadiums power generated at the venue (Solar).
Outside of work, what keeps you going?
I love surfing and surf photography. Surfing anywhere in our South West is awesome but I love Super Tubes (off Smiths Beach, in WA’s South-west). I am married to the gorgeous and insanely patient Mim (from Mukinbudin – I had to look it up). We have two beautiful gremlins Lucy (6) and Edison (4). Making pizza in the back yard with my kids is heaven. If I could have my time again I would try my hand at Viticulture and Oenology. Early mornings, Science and Wine – Trifecta!
Where did you grow up?
I grew up in Zimbabwe until the age of 10 when we moved to sunny (it never rains here) Perth. I’m the second youngest of five kids.
Favourite holiday spots / best holiday?
I lived in New York for a while and so that holds a sweet spot along with Zimbabwe. Spain and Italy with Mrs Hughes was absolutely my favourite holiday while surfing with mates in Southern Sumatra was my second favourite.
What has been your favourite event at Optus Stadium?
Wallabies vs All Blacks – Bledisloe Cup.
Any Bucket List event that you would like to see at Optus Stadium?
Metallica (the one that got away). But my personal bucket list event would be The Dave Matthews Band at the Red Rocks Amphitheatre (in Colorado).
Is there something that nobody at work knows about you?
My resting heart rate is 40 BPM (genetic not fitness)