Feb 9

Highfields Cultural Centre

Category: web

So today I got an email from an old friend about the Highfields Cultural Centre to fix up their website and after this weekend I have been looking for stuff to experiment with in relation to SEO. Jim Stewart has in part restored my faith in SEO people in a simple and I was wondering, how hard would it be to rank number one for “Highfields Cultural Centre” with just a simple a blog post, so here it is.

The Highfields Cultural Centre and Me

The first experience I had with the cultural centre was through a high school team building exercise. The Highfields Cultural Centre was probably chosen for the simple fact it was cheap and not attached to the school directly. In the past we did stuff at the St. Mary’s Hall but that never really got you away from the school. So we ended up trooping off in buses to the Highfields Cultural Centre multiple times to “get away from it all” making use of the full area with the auditorium. We had special speakers come in and teach us all sorts of useful stuff that I thought never got through to the people who should be listening most. But such is life.

Disco Inferno

Disco Inferno was St. Mary’s musical in my final year which was predictably held at the Highfields Cultural Centre. The Centre staff at times could be decidedly crabby but were usually right when they were doing it. As the Cultural Centre had most of the features that we required it worked well and the staff typically didn’t have an issue with the Stage Manager “Steve Loxley” who I note now works at the Centre. He must have made a decent impression on Rod after all.


I finished high school and continued my studies at USQ whilst still working at Council. In 2008, Toowoomba merged with seven other local government authorities to form Toowoomba Regional Council. One of the authorities that was amalgamated together was Crows Nest Shire Council which contained the township of “Highfields” and thus the “Highfields Cultural Centre”. At this point in time I ran into a fine chap called “Brent Moore” who informed me of the crazy stuff the Centre had running out of it from time to time and the esoteric promises made by Councillors relating to IT around the Highfields Cultural Centre. Suffice to say, I’m amazed that the place wasn’t mobbed by angry people more often – perhaps that is why the staff weren’t the happiest.

And whilst lately I haven’t travelled out there I’m reliably informed that the Highfields Cultural Centre has been transformed with demountable buildings housing extra staff that have been dumped in there. The mezzanine level is now someone’s office which I must admit is quite crazy. To be blunt: the place has been transformed.

Leaving Council

So last week I left Council, but as I was leaving Mr. Loxley emails me from my personal website asking if I want to do some work on the Highfields Cultural Centre website. He’s emailed me through some information on it with the name of the centre all in lower case (seems to be the present style) and some links to what are decidedly ugly websites (including one with a flash splash page and iframes that seem to serve no purpose, really that bad). Their existing site looks a bit timid but beyond not being regularly updated (probably because its just a HTML page) it seems to be alright. It gets a page rank of three which whilst not spectacular (it should be doing much better than that) means it at least has been looked at by Google. The new design lacks content dramatically so I think they’ll some issues.

Why write about the Highfields Cultural Centre

Well I was thinking about the history and what the place has meant for me. Its interesting to be potentially given the task to redesign the site and I must admit I think it’ll be an interesting challenge. They’ve got a good start on the site style wise but they’re going to need to a lot of work to get it up to scratch for what they need. I was also interested in seeing how hard it would be to get a blog post ranked by Google on their list. I’m not sure how I’ll go but I’m hoping to use it as an example of how easy it is to write some good content and get Google to index it. Hopefully I both get the job and get this blog post to rank to demonstrate my point, I’ll be disappointed otherwise.

Happy coding!

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