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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 mining and food. Who’s who on the Corporate Ladder? Read on.

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Wirra Wirra appoints new Chair

Peter de Cure has been named Chair of McLaren Vale winery Wirra Wirra Vineyards, after becoming a company director in February.

He replaces ioMerino owner David Michell, who has stepped into a director role with the winery.

De Cure’s appointment to head the board comes six months after being made Chair of the Royal Flying Doctor Service's central operations.

It adds to the growing number of boards he helps lead, which, according to LinkedIn, include: Australians American Fulbright Commission, SA Fire and Emergency Services Commission, Tax Practitioners Board and Variety the Children's Charity SA.

A former KPMG partner, de Cure has a background in governance, finance, accounting, taxation, mergers and acquisitions. 

Meanwhile, Michell also remains Wool Industries Australia Chair and Michell Wool Chair.

Cream of the crop

Frank Baldi

Beston Global Food Company has announced Frank Baldi as General Manager Operations and Supply Chain.

Baldi comes to the South Australian dairy producer after 30 years in senior leadership and strategic roles for Tatura Milk Industries, Bega Cheese, SunRice, Visy and Freedom Foods.

CEO Jonathan Hicks said Baldi’s appointment would help lead the business’s growth.

“In line with the execution of our clear strategic plan and the continued focus and growth on the expansion of the dairy business, including the recent investments into the expansion of the Lactoferrin Plant, Frank’s detailed operational experience and high-performance leadership will continue to unlock value and drive performance and efficiencies across the group,” Hicks said.

Media director for Crime Stoppers SA

Sean O'Brien

Channel 9 Adelaide Managing Director Sean O’Brien has been named the latest Crime Stoppers SA Ambassador.

He joins four other industry leaders who were announced as the inaugural Crime Stoppers SA Ambassadors in May.

O’Brien has been Channel 9 Adelaide Managing Director since 2013, having previously worked for the media outlet as Sales Director from 2001 to 2009. Between roles at Nine, he was the General Manager at FIVEaa and Nova 919.

O'Brien has more than 30 years sales and business leadership experience across the media as well as with Telethon SA, Down Syndrome SA and White Ribbon Australia.

His appointment follows the renewal of Channel 9 Adelaide as a media partner with CrimeStoppers in 2018 for a three-year term.

Rising in the mineral field

Iron ore and graphite producer Lincoln Minerals, which is focused on exploration and project development on the Eyre Peninsula, has appointed Grace Tsui as Managing Director.

She succeeds Johnson Zhang, who will stay on in a non-executive role with the company.

It follows Tsui’s move to the company as CEO in August.

Tsui has more than 16 years' senior experience in the banking and wealth management industry, including as CEO of Noah Holdings and as Director of Premium Asian Business and Multicultural Customer Acquisition for Westpac Bank.

These roles followed positions with HSBC, Citibank and ANZ in Australia and New Zealand.

Public Relation shifts

Ben Smeaton

Communikate et al Account Manager Ben Smeaton has been named SA President of the Public Relations Institute of Australia after more than a year as a State Councillor with the public relations and communications industry body.

He takes over the role from Victoria Evans, who will continue on the State Council. Vice President Sonia Diestel-Feddersen has been reappointed to her position with the institute.

Smeaton has seven years’ experience as a public relations consultant, including for South Australian firms Corporate Conversation, Deventer Public Relations and Communications and New Order Digital.

Government appointments

Ann Vanstone
Ian Nightingale

Retired Supreme Court Justice, Ann Vanstone QC has begun her new role as South Australia's second Independent Commissioner Against Corruption. 

She last week replaced outgoing commissioner Bruce Lander, who spoke with InDaily about ending his term with ICAC.

Vanstone has also been appointed as the Judicial Conduct Commissioner. 

Meanwhile, Ian Nightingale was reappointed as Industry Advocate until December 2023.

He has been in the role sine 2013, following top positions including as PIRSA CE, SA Department of Planning and Local Government CE and Executive Director Aquaculture.

On the hunt

The State Government is taking expressions of interest for members of 10 governing boards across metropolitan and regional South Australia.

According to Seek, the health system positions are aimed towards people with knowledge in health management, clinical governance, commercial and financial management, Aboriginal health and law.

Submissions close Monday, October 5.

While CEOs are being sought for REISA, Grains Australia, AICSA and Gibson Wines.

The Real Estate Institute of South Australia Limited (REISA) is seeking a CEO to grow the peak body, with applications closing Friday, September 11.

Not-for-profit Grains Australia is after an inaugural CEO and taking applications until Monday, September 21.

The Australian Institute of Conveyancers South Australia (AICSA) is looking to fill the top role, which will drive development and change as required. Applications close Friday, September 18.

Barossa Valley wine brand Gibson Wines is taking expressions of interest for a new CEO.

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

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