Nominations for the awards, which celebrate the passion, vision and achievements of the state’s young businesspeople opened this week and will close on April 2.
Jim Plouffe, panel judge and editor for Solstice Media publication The Lead South Australia, said the awards not only gave the state’s young leaders a platform to showcase their successes over the past 12 months but was also a counter to the long held feeling that the best and brightest had left the state.
“For years now we’ve been lambasted with government messaging about the ‘brain drain’ from SA, but as the only locally-owned media company we knew there was so much young talent in the state that just wasn’t being recognised,” Plouffe said.
“It’s actually a bit insulting to our 120 alumni that so much is concentrated on old views of South Australia’s problems, that’s why we established the 40 Under 40.
“These people aren’t the leaders of the future, they are leading right now and we want to help them be heard.”
Now in its fourth year, the awards bring together South Australia’s top business people under the age of 40 – as of July 1 – with previous winners, forming an influential group of alumni, convened by judge and event sponsor Carmen Garcia.
Former nominees have represented a slew of industries, including medicine, technology, finance and more.
The top 40 leaders are selected from a pool of completed nominations by a panel of nine judges from across a broad range of sectors to come up with a shortlist of finalists that is narrowed down to InDaily’s 40 Under 40.
Led by SA Venture Capital Fund portfolio manager David Rohrsheim, this year’s assessment panel includes new judges: Peregrine Corporation head of marketing Andrea Ingham and Piper Alderman projects partner Kathryn Walker.
A group of individual winners, who exemplify the selection criteria, are also recognised with awards sponsored by Piper Alderman, William Buck, Community Corporate, ANZ, City of Adelaide, Australian Institute of Company Directors, OTR, KWP!
Adelaide BioMed City is also supporting a new award in 2021 to highlight the work of researchers who’ve made an impact called the Discovery Award.
The final 40 will be published in a special edition of InDaily’s sister publication, CityMag, in June.
CityMag editor Johnny von Einem said it was a natural fit for the city-focused print and digital publication to showcase the winners, with the magazine itself founded to acknowledge and celebrate the achievements of the emerging generation of leaders in Adelaide and South Australia.
“There’s an exciting energy in Adelaide at the moment. With 2020 behind us, we’re seeing in our reporting that young South Australian people in business have a clear desire to build the city, the state and our communities back to being even stronger than they were before,” he said.
“The 40 Under 40 will play a role in this by highlighting the high-achievers among us and providing them with a platform and alumni network in which they can create new visions of South Australia’s future.”
The achievements, diversity and innovation of this year’s 40 winners will be showcased at a gala presentation at the Adelaide Convention Centre on June 10.
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