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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 law and the arts. On the hunt for your next challenge? The latest executive employment opportunities also join Corporate Ladder.

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Labor MP merges law firm

Andrea Michaels

NDA Law Managing Director Andrea Michaels is stepping away from her role with the firm. She'll be replaced by litigation specialist Joshua Davies.

The Labor MP for Enfield said the move would coincide with a merger with Davies’s firm, Joshua Davies Legal, and allow her to focus on her political career.

“While I am reluctant to move away from my role at NDA Law, playing a more prominent role in politics has been my objective,” Michaels said.

“I want to use my commercial knowledge and experience in the wider business environment to help strengthen our state and to contribute to better decision-making in a way that can reflect all voices in our community.”

She said she would remain NDA Law owner and continue to work in an advisory role on the firm’s board. It was a succession plan she said she’d been working on since entering parliament in 2019.

Before founding her commercial firm in 2015, Michaels was a Partner with Finlaysons.

She has also sat a number of boards including as State Procurement Director, Fearless Theatre Director and Secretary, Radio Adelaide Vice-President and the SA Veterinary Surgeons Board Director.

Meanwhile, for the past five years Davies has run his own firm.

He previously worked as a National Legal Advisory Principal for two years, after a handful of roles at Adelaide-based firms.

Pyne joins AmCham board

Christopher Pyne. Photo: AAP/Mick Tsikas

The American Chamber of Commerce in Australia has announced former Federal Minister for Defence Christopher Pyne as one of six new board Governors.

As the South Australian Chair, Pyne will offer advice to the board and managers on matters and issues facing the State.

Since retiring from politics, he has run a pair of consultancies, Pyne and Partners and GC Advisory, and been a regular columnist with The Advertiser.

Pyne joins Verizon Business Group Regional Vice-President Robert Le Busque, Tesla Australia Chair Robyn Denholm, Incitec Pivot Limited CEO Jeanne Johns, K&L Gates Managing Partner Nick Nichola and Hancock Prospecting Group Executive Chair Gina Rinehart on the board.

Corporate Position: the latest executive employment opportunities


Launched last year, SmartSat CRC is a consortium of universities and other research organisations partnering with industry to achieve Australian sovereignty in satellite systems. Located near the Australian Space Agency at Lot Fourteen, SmartSat is looking for a Chief Research Officer to drive its research programs and missions as well as its education and training programs. Reporting to CEO Prof Andy Koronios, the CRO will also work closely with two Research Program Managers that are also being currently recruited.

The SA Housing Authority also has two executive positions to fill, including an Executive Director, Customers & Services (SAES2) to lead a large division of staff through significant change. The position reports to the Chief Executive and is a transformational role responsible for delivering a customer-focused state-wide housing service that meets customer needs. The Authority’s other opening is for a Director, Capital Programs (SAES1) to lead a team of highly qualified internal and external project managers to deliver the Authority’s annual capital works program.

Professional services firm Ninti One is looking for a Program Manager to oversee the National Best Practice Unit Tackling Indigenous Smoking (NBPU TIS). A background in project management, community development or policy development is preferred as well as experience working with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. Based in Adelaide, but with extensive national travel required, candidates, of course, must be non-smokers.

New Dieri Aboriginal Corporation Chair as AACC looks for director

Kirsty Dadleh

The Dieri Aboriginal Corporation has named Kirsty Dadleh as Chairperson, replacing Melissa Lander.

Dadleh is the Operations Manager at Common Ground in Port Augusta.

She previously served in various roles in the South Australian Government across child services, education and housing.

The Dieri Aboriginal Corporation is the registered native title body representing the Dieri People, the traditional owners of the Dieri Land.

Meanwhile, applications for the Project and Program Director with the Aboriginal Art and Cultures Centre at Lot Fourteen close on October 1.

The role will lead the construction and planning of the Centre, which is due to open in 2023.

Under the Equal Opportunity Act, it is only open to Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander applicants.

Arts board movements

Andrew Cohen
Hossein Valamanesh

Visual artist Hossein Valamanesh and business leader Katie Sarah have been appointed to the board for South Australia’s peak body for visual artists, craftspeople and designers, Guildhouse. While Andrew Cohen has been named Deputy Chair.

The new members replace Jess Dare, John Hood and Deanne Loan.

Cohen is Director of Cohen Property Group and the Hutt Street Centre. He also holds advisory roles bolstered by his keen passion and interest in the arts.

Internationally acclaimed visual artist Valamanesh emigrated from Iran to Australia in

Valamanesh works with a range of media including installation, sculpture, painting and video. He uses ordinary objects and natural materials to create visual poetry that reflects on his life in Australia and birthplace, Iran.

He has had numerous Australian and international solo exhibitions and has completed a number of major public art commissions with artist Angela Valamanesh.

Katie Sarah

Sarah, a business leader and endurance athlete, is the owner and manager of Sarah Mountain Journeys.

Guildhouse said as of January 2018, Sarah was also the only woman in the world, and one of about nine people, to have completed ascensions of both the 'seven summits' and 'seven volcanic summits'.

She is also involved in South Australian's not-for-profit sector as Director of Guide Dogs SA/NT, Chair of Holiday Explorers and Patron of Nature Play SA.

Top disability job

Michelle Holian

South Australian-based residential care provider Lighthouse Disability has appointed Michelle Holian as its new CEO, commencing October 5. It follows the retirement of current CEO Marjorie Ellis.

Lighthouse Disability homes more than 90 people in 28 houses in Adelaide’s north and north-eastern suburbs.

Holian was most recently Executive Manager of Corporate Services for SA disability service and employment provider Bedford Group.

She previously worked as an Executive for Victorian NFP Yooralla for six years.

Retiring CEO Marjorie Ellis joined the organisation in 2013.

Ellis spent the last 20 years in senior leadership roles across government and not for profit organisations.

Government appointments

The State Government has appointed former veteran Labor staffer and lawyer Lois Boswell as the new CE for the Department of Human Services.

In her role with the Labor government, Boswell worked as Deputy Chief Executive to the Premier and in the Department of Planning and Local Government.

Since 2016, she has been the Department of Human Services Deputy Chief Executive and served as Acting Chief Executive since March.

Premier Steven Marshall said through her time with the department Boswell had "demonstrated her steadfast commitment to her Department, the community services sector and South Australians, more recently, through her work navigating the coronavirus pandemic and earlier this year, leading bushfire recovery following the devastating fires in the Adelaide Hills and on Kangaroo Island".

Boswell is also a University of South Australia adjunct Professor.

Meanwhile, Mt Barker Mayor Ann Ferguson has been named on the SA Public Health Council.

Ferguson previously sat on a number of boards, including for the Regional Development Australia Kangaroo Island Adelaide Hills Fleurieu and the Police Credit Union.

Also in the public service, after two years, former Olympic Dam boss Jacqui McGill will step down as the TAFE SA Chair at the end of October. She will be replaced by Jo Denley.

Denley has been on the board for the past eight years. She served as Acting Chair in 2018, following a board overhaul.

According to her LinkedIn, Denley has been Director of Denley Management Consultancy since 2018.

The State Government also announced up to 2000 jobs could be created across five years with the establishment of the "Accenture Adelaide Hub".

Global consulting firm Accenture said it would strengthen the State's position as a global leader in high-tech through the development of National Security Operations and Cyber Depence capabilities and new Advanced Technology Centres of Excellence.

Premier Steven Marshall said the firm’s investment in SA could inject $1 billion into the local economy.

Accenture's recruitment kicks off today.

New SA Wine Industry board

The South Australian Wine Industry Association has appointed Kingston Estate Wines CFO Darcy Bates as part of its 2020-21 board.

Prior to his role with the South Australian-based winery, Bates has worked in a number of financial positions including as GM Hotels Financial Director and with beer and wine company Lion Co.

The remainder of the board's seven appointed representitives and six elected members have stayed the same, with Nick Waterman of Yalumba Family Winemakers continuing as President and Kristy Balnaves of Balnaves Coonawarra and Coonawarra Grape and Wine Inc continuing as Vice President.


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

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