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Corporate Ladder: your weekly guide to executive appointments


In this week’s executive appointments column, InDaily tracks the movements of those driving South Australia’s public and private sectors in industries including agriculture and real estate. Who’s who on the Corporate Ladder? Read on.

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Broad changes for GPSA

Adrian McCabe has been appointed Chair of Grain Producers SA (GPSA) replacing Wade Dabinett, who led the board for four years.

Dabinett remains a Primary Producers SA council member, Longtrail Farms financial controller, Duxton Broadacre Farms Independent Director and on Advisory Council Member for the national broadcaster.

Also leaving the board are Directors Peter Cousins and Tanja Morgan.

They are replaced by sixth-generation farmer James Heaslip, Bulla Burra partner John Gladigau, and famer and business consultant Nick Hillier, while David Malpas was re-elected.

McCabe’s move to the top position follows two years as deputy.

He is also former member of the Southern Durum Growers Association and Fat Farmers boards.


Clean Seas loses Head

David Head
Robert Gratton

David Head will retire as Clean Seas Seafood Managing Director and CEO as of October, with the company CFO and joint Secretary Robert Gratton acting as interim CEO.

The Group Financial Controller and joint Secretary David Brown will act as CFO at the listed company which farms Kingfish in Spencer Gulf.

A statement from the company said Head was seeking a portfolio of non-executive directorship positions.

Head has held the role for the past five years, following top positions across industries including textiles, liquor and recycling with Leigh Mardon, Callum Group of  Companies, PCC Group and Lion.

Bullying behind fishing board losses

The Minister’s Recreational Fishing Advisory Council has lost inaugural chairman Graham Keegan and council member Brian Wheadon, which the Minister says is the result of online bullying.

Minister for Primary Industries and Regional Development David Basham said the resignations brought the total members to resign from the MRFAC to six.

He said members had left after being subjected to “persistent bullying and intimidation” online.

“I am advised this has been both an ongoing concern and a factor in all resignations of MRFAC members,” he said.

“The South Australian Government condemns all forms of bullying and I am taking steps to rebuild and strengthen the MRFAC and to protect members from online attacks.

“Firstly, I will be appointing an independent chair to the MRFAC who will chair meetings, act as the spokesperson for the Council and manage interactions between the MRFAC and the Department of Primary Industries and Regions.

“Six new members will be appointed to join the remaining three elected members. The new members will be announced shortly and will serve until new MRFAC elections can be held late in 2021.”

Dave Schofield, Peter Teakle and Amanda Whitehorn are the three remaining members.

Guthrie dominates the boards

Vanessa Guthrie

South Australian construction materials manufacturer Adbri Limited has named Vanessa Guthrie as Deputy Chair in addition to her role as Lead Independent Director.

It follows Zlatko Todorcevski’s resignation in June.

According to LinkedIn, Guthrie sits on a number of other boards including as a non-executive director for Santos. She is Pro-Chancellor of Curtin University and WA Cricket Association Deputy Chair.

Between 2013 and 2018 she also chaired the Minerals Council of Australia.

Wine movements

Fiona LeSage

After more than a decade with Moet Hennessey, Fiona LeSage has relocated from Sydney to Adelaide to work with Adelaide Hills Wine Region as an Executive Officer.

She previously worked in marketing and advertising within the sports industry for companies including Premier Media Group.

LeSage takes over from Kerry Treuel who has joined her partner at new business Culture Shock.

New advisory firm

Matthew Doman

Public affairs professional Matthew Doman has established new South Australian-based consulting firm Mill Street Advisory.

Based in Adelaide, the government relations business is focused on energy and resources nationally and internationally.

Doman also serves as the International Gas Union Strategic Communications Outreach Taskforce vice chair.

He previously worked as the Australian Petroleum Production and Exploration Association external affairs director and held senior roles in the oil and gas industry after 13 years in media.

Real estate expansion

John Thompson

Ouwens Casserly Real Estate SA has expanded its senior leadership team with the appointment of John Thompson.

Thompson joins the agency as Chief Operating Officer. The new role has been created to offer strategic support and leadership across all divisions of the business.

He previously spent the last 15 years in the recruitment industry with recruitment and talent management business Hudson.

Thompson began his career with Hudson in Melbourne, recruiting for qualified accounting executives from Financial Accountant to CFO level and was offered a management position within 2 years.

Qantas exec flies into Adelaide

Former Qantas International Airways CEO Alison Webster has been appointed as an Adelaide Airport Board Director, replacing retiring director Alan Mulgrew.

Webster left her previous role in 2019 after 13 months, having worked for Qantas since 2004 in positions inluding manager of freight, catering and airports, head of cabin crew and executive manager for customer experience.

She also previously worked at British Airways.

Adelaide Airport Chair Rob Chapman said Webster's aviation expertise would be an asset to the board. 

“Ms Webster has more than 25 years’ senior executive experience across airlines, global freight and supply chain logistics, and multi-site catering operations,” Chapman said.

“Her experience will be invaluable as AAL works to re-establish South Australia’s connections with global and domestic markets following the devastating impacts of COVID- 19 on the aviation industry.”

Corporate Ladder is part of our weekly Business Insights edition, which is brought to you by BDO.

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