Behind every business are the faces of those who strive to provide a consistent and productive service.
We’re putting names to those faces as we sit down with our joint managers (and life partners) of the Subud Centre, Harman and Mirabelle Viviana Scott.
We discussed their roles, the paths that brought them together and led them here in Perth, and also their aspirations for the centre and in their own personal lives.
Go on and tell us a little bit about yourself then guys
Mirabelle Viviana: Well I’m from Germany and I grew up as a child in a Subud family. I travelled the world a lot throughout my teenager years. Very often I visited Subud houses and met many Subud members on my journeys. Career wise, I trained as a kindergarten teacher in Germany with a Montessori Diploma, and with some friends I ran my own kindergarten, developing the concept on the basis of Rebecca and Mauricio Wild’s experiences of a safe, nurturing environment that motivates the children and brings out their best in them.
After moving to Britain, working as support worker, a referral marketing agent and, soon after becoming a mother, I grew slowly into the role as booking manager for the Perth Subud Centre.
Harman: I spent the first 18 years of my life in Glasgow. After that, my training and practice as an architect took me to Edinburgh, London, Bournemouth, Hull, Leeds, Cork, Bristol, and then from 1983-2007 in Manchester.
I discovered the practice of Subud in 1992, and in coming to Perth with Mirabelle Viviana in 2007, I have found time in looking after the Perth Subud building that includes fabric-maintenance and enhancement of the premises.
The centre has now slowly become a part of me. Like a second home.
How did you steer from your previous careers to end up working in events then?
Harman: In 2003 Subud Britain acquired the Perth Centre, and me being from Glasgow and with Mirabelle Viviana wanting to move to Scotland from Manchester, we felt to live near Perth tied in also with our wish to move away from bigger city regions and to stay close to a Subud Centre in a way.
The Centre required donations and contributions from members to upkeep maintenance costs of the building. Fairly quickly the Subud group realised it needed an enterprise to meet these targets. It was a good idea anyway! but, we also really needed the additional income to keep the building alive. So another Subud couple started the letting of rooms and catering to the public for business.
When they moved away in 2011, Mirabelle Viviana and I took over the enterprise. This complemented my part-time architectural work.
Mirabelle Viviana: Harman did most of the leg work at first and I did the invoicing. But over the years I’ve slowly taken on more responsibility.
Harman: Which was great as my architectural work is my main focus of work.
Have you enjoyed your time here so far?
Harman: Absolutely. The change of location is great. I always lived in big cities and the quieter environment of the village where we now live is very enjoyable.
With the Subud Centre, I get to meet a lot of new people as opposed to working around the clock at a desk for architectural work, and I become very interested in the stories and developments that are made when our customers visit the centre.
Wonderful things are done and discussed after guest visits, and I’m fascinated with the personal engagement side of things.
Mirabelle Viviana: The feeling of community between the centreprise and Subud as a supporting organisation is fantastic. All the contributions by various Subud members on all aspects of the appearance and structure of the premises, as well with Harman fronting the maintenance of the business, all has been so crucial to the success we’ve experienced.
The centre is also so very beautiful.
What about how you spend your free time. Do you have any hobbies or side projects you are working on?
Mirabelle Viviana: I spend my personal time mainly as a mother! I love hillwalking (when I can), and we own this lovely camper van and travel up North when we can. It’s so beautiful up there!
Since lockdown i was encouraged to take up the piano again… and I did! Which has been so enjoyable. I exercise a lot as well- helping keep me and my family sane haha.
I’ve been keeping in touch with friends back in Germany. Mainly to encourage one another, and work on our self-improvement.
Harman: Yep… BT have extended their new fibre-optic broadband into Germany, so she’s been making a lot more calls to her friends than usual lately haha.
So your phone bills have sky-rocketed then! Same question to you Harman, what about yourself?
Harman: I have a personal project I’d love to free up some time for and get ahead with.
I’ve been on and off since 2011 with it actually, called ‘The Visioning Space’ and it’s an architectural project providing healing spaces through a developed garden, and sacred building for the public to enjoy free of charge. It’s still in the early stages, but I do have very high hopes for that.
I like watching Television though, i have to admit. Me and my eldest son have recently gotten into the habit of watching programmes and trying to spot discrepancies in its production.
I’ve also recently joined an organisation called Toastmasters, who help in improving on public speaking and learning to convey messages clearly. I’m not advanced by any means, but it’s definitely helped progress my skills in this area a lot.
What aspirations do you have for yourself for the duration of your time at the centre?
Mirabelle Viviana: Well, what I love about the Centre is that we can offer neutrality.
Neutrality without being… cold? You can make this space completely yours for the time you’re here and feel at home. We want to support the extnesion of this by keeping at bay the ‘business-like’ image, whilst also keeping it personal and professional simultaneously. Both of us share this perspective, and we feel passionately about establishing this with the centre over the long-term.
Harman: We only wish to appease the wishes and needs of our visitors. The fluidity for change to set up personal touches supports this, and extends to multiple parts of our service offering. For example, if we manage to maintain as high quality as possible with the food we offer, and through this continue to support local vendors and restaurants, then we’re happily contributing and reinforcing that sense of community we believe in so much.