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Corporate Ladder: your weekly guide to executive appointments


South Australia’s premier executive appointments column tracking the movements of those driving the state’s public and private sectors. Plus the latest executive recruitment opportunities.

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Martin Radcliffe
Helen Edwards

UK expat appointed Hills Tourism chair

The Adelaide Hills Tourism Board has appointed marketing specialist, business owner and UK expat Martin Radcliffe to be its new Chairperson.

Radcliffe is the founder of copywriting, marketing and communications firm A Way With Words Business Services, and is a former Director of Sales and Marketing with the Adelaide Convention Bureau.

Prior to founding his business consultancy firm, Radcliffe was the General Manager of the five-star Mayfair Hotel on the corner of Hindley and King William Street.

Deputy Adelaide Hills Tourism Board Chair James Sellers said Radcliffe was appointed due to his “impressive” background in the tourism and marketing space.

“He has a clear passion for South Australia and the Hills,” Sellers said.

“His understanding of the current state of play of tourism supply and demand as well as his strong commercial acumen will ensure that our region continues to grow and remains at the cutting edge of regional tourism.”

Radcliffe’s first role in Adelaide after emigrating from the UK was with the Playford Hotel as Director of Sales and Marketing. In the UK, he held various management roles with David Lloyd Leisure and Hilton Worldwide.

He replaces Helen Edwards who announced she was stepping down as Hills Tourism Board Chairperson in May after 10 years in the role.

Edwards was appointed Director of the South Australian Tourism Commission in March.

Radcliffe said he was “thrilled” to be joining the tourism board and said the Hills region is “blessed with a wonderful depth of experience and product”.

“Without doubt Helen Edwards, the board, and team at Adelaide Hills Tourism have done a magnificent job to date in terms of strategically advancing the destination, and I have no doubt that together we can achieve many more successes for the region,” he said.

Annabel West
Lauren Rowan

Movements at Thomson Geer

Corporate law firm Thomson Geer has made two promotions in its Adelaide office with Annabel West and Lauren Rowan both elevated from Special Counsel to Partner.

West has been with Thomson Geer since 2018 after spending nearly 10 years with Asia-Pacific law firm MinterEllison as a Special Counsel.

Her principal focus is on mergers, acquisitions, private equity and capital raising as part of her work in corporations and securities law, and she was recently recognised as one of the Best Lawyers in Australia (2021-2022).

West is also an Advisory Board Member at The Salvation Army and the wife of Opposition Leader Peter Malinauskas.

Meanwhile, Rowan was also promoted to Partner at Thomson Geer after starting with the company as a Senior Associate nearly 14 years ago in 2007.

Acting on behalf of banking, financial institutions and government, Rowan specialises in dispute resolution and litigation.

Some of her recent experiences include acting on behalf of the Department of Infrastructure and Transport in compulsory acquisition proceedings and representing one of the big four banks in front of the South Australian Supreme Court in an unsecured recovery dispute.

West and Rowan’s promotions were among 29 Thomson Geer made across their five Australian offices.

Chief Executive Partner Adrian Tembel said: “Those promoted to senior positions possess and embody the skills and qualities we pride ourselves on as a quality firm, focused on achieving the best outcomes for our clients.”

The firm also announced the appointment of Adelaide-based Westpac Bank executive John Ramage to lead Thomson Geer’s institutional high-volume practice.

Ramage will join the law firm in August after finishing up as Westpac’s Head of Customer Assist – a position he has held since September 2010.

Thomson Geer says Ramage will be responsible for banking, property and insurance matters with some of the firm’s highest profile clients in his new role.

"We are very pleased to have John Ramage joining us, whose institutional client insights and skills will help us ensure that our practice areas working in high volume matters are best positioned to deal with change in the sector", Tembel said.

Natalie Gatis

Funds manager promotes new leader

Lawyer Natalie Gatis has taken over as the new CEO of funds manager Angas Securities after nearly five years with the firm.

The Adelaide-based investment company, which manages around $150 million in retail funds, promoted Gatis from her role as General Counsel and Company Secretary at the start of the new financial year.

Gati is a practising lawyer who used to work with law firm Thomson Greer in dispute resolution where she worked for major lending institutions to recover secured assets.

The investment firm also touts Gatis’s skills in commercial litigation, corporate governance, mortgage securities management and investor relations.

Angas Securities Executive Chairman Andrew Luckhurst-Smith said Gatis came with the “great advantage of being well integrated in the company’s culture”.

“Her in-depth knowledge of Angas’ retail mortgage trust funds, investor base and understanding of company dynamics means that she’s ideally suited to take us forward as we look to maintain momentum off the back of high levels confidence in from commercial borrowers and property developers,” Luckhurst-Smith said.

Gatis replaced former CEO Brian Doherty who led the company over the last three years.

“Coming from the stockbroking industry, Brian has always demonstrated strong investor-relations skills and has been a calm and confident leader for our investors and staff,” Luckhurst-Smith said in thanking Doherty for his contribution to the company.

“We see a lot of these traits echoed in Natalie, so we feel confident that it will be a very smooth transition.”

Corporate Position: the latest executive employment opportunities

A rare opportunity to assist Australia’s heavy industry sector to not only survive but thrive over the coming decades has arisen with the newly established Heavy Industry Low-Carbon Transition (‘HILT’) CRC looking for a Chief Executive Officer. The consortium of industry, research and government has been funded by Australian Governments, industry and research partners to develop technologies and methods to overcome barriers to the low-carbon transition. Reporting directly to the Board, this Adelaide based role will establish, lead and manage a dedicated and close-knit, but geographically dispersed, team. Applications are encouraged from appropriately qualified senior executives with demonstrated credibility in the heavy and/or energy industries and preferably with experience in the commercialisation of energy technologies. Technical experience in low-carbon transition will be expected.

Blackfriars Priory School has, under the current Principal Simon Cobiac and the School Board transformed the School’s landscape and facilities, inspired a warm and connected community, and demonstrably advanced its commitment to excellence in teaching and learning. Regrettably, Simon Cobiac will retire at the end of 2021. On behalf of the Dominican Friars, the School Board now enthusiastically invites candidates who are driven by a passion to serve to apply for the role of Principal. This opportunity will be right for an extraordinary leader who is principled in their Catholic faith, willing to embrace the Dominican tradition, is exceptional and experienced in executive leadership qualities, passionate about the education and wellbeing of boys, capable of furthering the enviable reputation of the School, and who will inspire and foster a community that is engaged in local and global partnerships.

West Beach Parks is looking for a General Manager Corporate Services. Reporting to the Chief Executive Officer and working closely with the Board and established Executive Team, this important position will lead, manage, develop and motivate the Corporate Services staff and oversee a diverse range of corporate functions. This position will suit an appropriately qualified and accomplished executive who can demonstrate a successful track record of leadership in a comparably diverse corporate services role. CA/CPA status is essential whilst experience in modern people and culture practices will be a definite advantage. A competitive executive remuneration package will be offered to secure a consummate and dynamic professional.

Kerry Bosnich
Fiona Gordon

The perks of being at Perks

South Australian accounting and wealth advisory firm Perks have elevated three senior employees to the company’s leadership team.

Kerry Bosnich and Fiona Gordan have both been promoted from Associate Director to Director, while Sam Hicks has been elevated from Senior Manager in the firm’s chartered accounting team to be an Associate Director.

Bosnich has been with Perks since 2015 when she joined as a Self-Managed Superannuation Fund (SMSF) Specialist. The firm says she has since played a key role in leading the team’s 11 SMSF accountants to provide superannuation advice and portfolio management to a wide range of clients.

Perks Managing Director Mark Roderick said Bosnich’s leadership of the superannuation team has been “integral to the growth of our expertise in this complex area and her elevation to Director reflects her skills and leadership qualities”.

Gordon is an auditor with more than two decades of accounting experience. She has been with Perks since 2012 and is qualified to audit organisations with a turnover of up to $200 million.

Roderick said Gordon, who has been a Chartered Accountant for nearly 20 years, has played “an important role in building our auditing expertise”.

“[She] recently became a Registered Company Auditor, which is an incredibly difficult qualification to achieve and is appropriate recognition of her outstanding professionalism and expertise,” the managing director said.

Meanwhile, Hicks has been elevated to Associate Director after six years with Perks as a Senior Manager in the firm’s Integrated Business Services division.

Prior to joining the Greenhill Road-based firm in 2015, Hicks worked as a Financial Controller for engineering firms Sage Automation and Ottoway Engineering.

Coert Du Plessis

Swift promotion for mine tech exec

Mining tech company MaxMine have promoted Chief Operating Officer Coert Du Plessis to be their new CEO.

Perth-based Du Plessis joined MaxMine in 2020 after more than three years with BHP where he was the multinational’s Global Data Strategy Lead among other senior roles.

His career in accounting has included jobs with major brands including Sony, Deutsche Bank and 16 years as a Senior Partner with Deloitte in their Big Data Analytics branch in Western Australia.

MaxMine said Du Plessis’s decision to come on board last year followed his visit to the start-up company’s Adelaide head office in December 2019.

The then-BHP executive noted he was impressed by MaxMine’s leadership team, adaptive business mindset, “industry leading” data and “ability to overcome digital inertia”.

“It was inspirational to see the speed at which the MaxMine team could develop these incredible technologies and develop the unique delivery approaches whilst maintaining an incredible focus on customer value,” Du Plessis said. 

Founded in 2015, MaxMine has offices in Adelaide, Brisbane, Sydney and Perth as well as overseas postings in Pretoria and Cape Town in South Africa.

The company supplies technology services for open pit mining operations to improve performance, safety and cost for clients.

Du Plessis replaces outgoing MaxMine CEO Tom Cawley who has moved to the position of Executive Chair where he is tasked with setting up the company’s board.

Vito Basile
Bruce Djite

Reds choose Djite successor

Adelaide United has hired long time Football Australia Manager Vito Basile as its new Director of Football, replacing Bruce Djite who has started in his new role as Committee for Adelaide CEO.

The Reds appointed Basile after a month-long search for a new Director of Football following Djite’s announcement in June that he was leaving the club after two years at the helm.

Describing himself as a “proud South Australian”, Basile has spent the past 12 years with Football Australia – most recently in the role of Women’s National Performance Manager where he managed the Matildas’ 2015 and 2019 World Cup campaigns.

He will now head Adelaide United’s entire football operation from A-League, W-League and youth teams.

United CEO Nathan Kosmina touted Basile’s “extensive football pedigree”.

“We’re bringing in a respected and knowledgeable football person who has been to a combined four FIFA World Cups, a Confederations Cup, as well as an Olympic Games,” Kosmina said in a statement.

"His understanding of high-performance football environments is immense and his appointment will take our programs to the next level, as we build on the successes of the past 12 months.”

The men’s team is coming off a semi-final appearance last season while the women’s side finished 5th, missing out on a maiden finals appearance on goal difference alone.

Basile said he has “closely supported both the men’s and women’s teams since their establishment all those years ago”.

“I want to thank the Club for the faith and trust they’ve shown me already,” he said.

“I’m looking forward to working with all stakeholders to further enhance and to build on the previous strong foundations that have been laid at Adelaide United.”

Lin Hatfield Dodds

Australia’s oldest charity hires newest CEO

The Benevolent Society has hired former Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet Secretary Lin Hatfield Dodds as its new CEO.

The 208-year-old charity, which provides support for children, families, people with disability and older Australians, made the appointment following an “extensive and competitive” selection process following the departure of CEO Jo Toohey in March.

Dodds is currently the Associate Dean at the Australia and New Zealand School of Government and was National Director of Uniting Care Australia from 2002 to 2016.

The Canberra-based executive was also Deputy Secretary of Social Policy in the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet from 2016 to 2019.

Benevolent Society Chair Tim Beresford, whose organisation has nearly 60 offices across Australia including four in SA, said it was “clear” to the board that Dodds has the right attributes to lead the charity into the future.

“She is a strong systems leader and is highly-skilled in policy and regulation, which will be vital to our new integrated delivery approach across our child, youth and family, disability and ageing services,” Beresford said.

Dodds will start her new role next Monday, July 19.

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