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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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Helen Leake AM

SA film exec joins Screen Australia

Former South Australian Film Corporation CEO Helen Leake AM has been appointed to the board of Screen Australia.

Since 1994, Leake has been the Producer and Owner of Adelaide-based Duo Art Productions and has feature credits for films such as Wolf Creek 2, Swerve and Heaven’s Burning – the latter starring Russell Crowe.

She is also the founder of Lot Fourteen-based studio Dancing Road Productions, which she set up alongside British/Australian creative producer Gena Ashwell in 2014.

Her career in film has included industry roles as CEO of the South Australian Film Corporation, Chair of the Australian International Documentary Conference and Commissioner of the Australian Film Commission

The Flinders University graduate joins the board of Screen Australia – the peak Federal Government agency tasked with supporting Australian film – a year after becoming a member of the Order of Australia at the 2020 Australia Day honours.

Julia Waddington-Powell

Ambos exec takes SAFECOM top job

SA Ambulance Service executive Julia Waddington-Powell has been appointed CEO of the South Australian Fire and Emergency Commission (SAFECOM).

SAFECOM coordinates resource distribution across the CFS, MFS and SES and is tasked with implementing the recommendations of reports which evaluate the quality of emergency management in South Australia.

Waddington-Powell will move into the top job at SAFECOM on August 2 after finishing up her role as SAAS Executive Director of Operations (Country, Rescue Retrieval & Aviation Services).

Waddington-Powell replaces interim SAFECOM executive Mary-Anne Healy who has been in the temporary role since May.

The opening at CEO followed the resignation of former SAFECOM leader Dominic Lane AFSM, who resigned in April to take on an executive role as leader of the Operational Management and Partnerships Division at Resilience NSW.

Lane had been SAFECOM CEO since June 2019.

Waddington-Powell said she was looking forward to joining SAFECOM as it enters the final phase of construction for its earthquake-resistant $80 million headquarters in Keswick.

“I am excited to be joining the organisation at this time particularly given the number of key projects currently underway which will greatly add to the operational response capability of the sector.”

Dr Jeff Holman
Tom Melville

Holman takes the helm at Madderns

South Australia’s largest patent attorney and trademark law firm Madderns has made a change in leadership with Dr Jeff Holman taking over as Managing Partner from Tom Melville.

Holman has been with Madderns since 2009 and is a specialist in chemistry, biotech and pharmaceutical patents among other areas. He started his career as a patent attorney in 1997 after acquiring a PhD in Organic Chemistry from the University of Adelaide.

He worked his way up to Deputy Managing Partner with Madderns after spending eight years with fellow Adelaide patent attorneys Phillips Ormonde Fitzpatrick.

Holman's elevation to Managing Partner at the Gouger Street-based law firm follows Melville’s decision to step down from the role to spend more time on client-focused work. The firm says Melville – who has been in the top job since 2014 – will continue to lead engineering practice at Madderns and play an active role on the company’s board.

Melville said his successor would be a “strong leader” who has a “solid reputation within the profession".

“Jeff has been involved in the firm’s management for a number of years and has been a huge asset, especially during the recent turbulent times,” Melville said.

“I am very confident that his transition from deputy managing partner to managing partner will be smooth and beneficial to the firm.”

Corporate Position: the latest executive employment opportunities

Founded in 1957, LHI Retirement Services is a leading not-for-profit organisation providing a full range of retirement living and aged care services located at Glynde and Hope Valley. Employing over 400 staff supporting more than 1,000 clients, LHI is highly respected for service excellence with Christian values as a cornerstone of its care philosophy. The current CEO, Graham Reed, will retire late 2021 following his successful service to LHI and the organisation now seeks an exceptional Chief Executive Officer. Reporting to the Board and leading the Executive Management Team, this important role suits an appropriately qualified senior executive with demonstrated capability to lead an organisation through ongoing reform, growth and increasing competition. Aged care sector experience is an advantage but candidates with leadership experience from highly comparable sectors will be considered.

Dr Jones & Partners is South Australia’s leading medical imaging practice. More than 50 Doctors and over 650 staff operate across 28 clinics including major private and public hospitals such as St Andrew’s, Calvary Adelaide, Burnside and Noarlunga. Following 13 years of successful tenure, the current CEO will retire in the coming months, presenting this outstanding opportunity for an accomplished Chief Executive Officer to join a doctor majority owned, Adelaide-based radiology practice. Reporting to the Board and working closely with the established senior management team, the CEO will be a strategic thinker who is committed to develop and continue to grow the success of Dr Jones & Partners in line with the vision and values central to all of its operations. Applications are encouraged from highly experienced executives who can demonstrate proven leadership in a comparable business. Health or human services experience and an understanding of the dynamics of a privately owned professional services environment will naturally be an advantage.

Applications are invited from interested persons for two remunerated Directorships on the Racing SA Board. One application is for persons experienced in the operations of and/or management of online and retail wagering service providers. The other is for appropriately experienced and qualified persons in any one or more of the following disciplines or areas: strategic planning and business development; government and public sector relations; corporate law; information technology. All applicants must have a minimum ten years’ experience in their field of expertise. Racing SA Directors are appointed by the Racing SA Ltd Directors Selection Panel for a three year term. Successful candidates will ideally possess a sound knowledge of contemporary governance frameworks, and have an understanding of and an interest in contributing to the State’s thoroughbred racing industry at Board level.

The Rural Doctors Workforce Agency (RDWA) delivers a comprehensive range of workforce support and services to medical, allied health and nursing professionals to enhance the health and wellbeing of rural communities in South Australia. Continued growth and transformation now sees the opportunity for four high calibre professionals to join this flourishing organisation:

  1. The Workforce Planning Manager reports to the General Manager to bring workforce or service design experience to support RDWA’s expansion of local and rural-wide primary health care workforce planning.
  2. The Workforce Information Coordinator will report to the Workforce Planning Manager and will collect and maintain high quality workforce data to inform business decisions. The ability to engage with key stakeholders will be essential.
  3. The Future Workforce Programs Coordinator reports to the Manager Future Workforce and is responsible for contributing to the development and implementation of workforce initiatives to attract health/medical students and early career professionals to rural health careers.
  4. The Recruitment Consultant reports to the Director GP Recruitment to help identify strategies to attract GPs to rural communities in SA and to help facilitate the identification and selection processes.
Matt Bode
Vivienne Pitman

Partner promotions at Wayville accounting firm

Adelaide accounting firm Tilbrook Rasheed has promoted two employees to Partner: Matt Bode and Vivienne Pitman.

The Chartered Accounting firm said both employees had been with the company for nearly 20 years and joined straight after completing their studies in Year 12.

Bode provides a range of taxation and advisory services to business clients, with the firm touting his expertise in hospitality, medical industries, manufacturing and construction.

Meanwhile, Pitman provides services to retail, hospitality and viticulture clients, giving advice on matters ranging from business structuring to taxation matters.

Bode and Pitman are now part of a team of 12 Partners at Tilbrook Rasheed, which describes itself as a “mid-tier Charted Accounting Firm” specialising in the wine, viticulture and hospitality industries.

The Wayville-based firm, founded in 1994, now has 60 professional staff supporting the company’s team of Partners.

Alison Page

New Page for SA art gallery

The Art Gallery of South Australia has appointed author, TV personality and award-winning designer Alison Page to the gallery’s board.

Page is the Co-Founder of creative studio Zakpage Pty Ltd and is a Councillor of the Australian National Maritime Museum in Sydney. Her 22 years in the arts, museum and exhibition space has seen her take on roles as Director at the Indigenous Land Corporation, panellist on ABC show The New Inventors, and Board Member of the National Australia Day Council.

A Walbanga and Wadi Wadi woman, she recently finished co-authoring a book with Australian architect Paul Memmott titled Design: Building on Country, which details her experience in Aboriginal architectural practice. In 2015, she was inducted into the Design Institute of Australia Hall of Fame.

Art Gallery Chair Jason Karas said Page’s expertise in architecture, design and film production would be a great asset for the board.

“Alison’s appointment is an important step in the implementation of the Board’s strategy of ensuring that AGSA is at the forefront of innovation, diversity and inclusion, for the benefit of all members of our community,” Karas said.

Page’s three-year term with the nearly 150-year-old North Terrace gallery began last Thursday, July 22.

She joins Karas, Jacqui McGill AO, Joshua Fanning, Susan Armitage and Jane Yuile on the gallery’s board.

Libby Tedstone

Optometry exec returns to her roots

Livestock SA has appointed former optometry executive Libby Tedstone as its Sheep and Beef Industry Blueprint Manager.

Tedstone has been a farmworker across the UK, Canada, Australia and New Zealand. She started her career in management in 1990 with the Thresher Wines Group in Liverpool.

She then moved to South Australia in 1997 to become an Executive Officer with the Wine Industry National Education & Training Advisory Council, before becoming CEO of Optometry South Australia – a position she held for more than 13 years.

Tedstone said her decision to join Livestock SA – the self-described peak industry body for South Australian red meat and wool producers – followed careful consideration and stemmed from a desire to “return to my roots”.

“I am studying part-time for a degree in Animal Science at the University of Adelaide and have actively pursued this career change into the animal production sector,” Tedstone said.

“I am thrilled to be joining Livestock SA and look forward to working closely with all members of the sheep and beef value chains.”

As Blueprint Manager, she will be responsible for executing the industry body’s long-term plans to improve supply chain communication, efficiency and livestock health and wellbeing in the sheep and beef sectors by 2030.

Livestock SA CEO Andrew Curtis said Tedstone’s ability to adapt across sectors made her the standout candidate for the role.

“Libby brings a wealth of experience and expertise relevant and immediately applicable to this important position,” he said.

“I’m very confident the Blueprint Working Group and wider membership will not be waiting long to see her impact.”

Jonathan Drake

New CFO for Adelaide AI company

Artificial Intelligence software provider Complexica has hired Jonathan Drake as its new Chief Financial Officer as the company eyes an ASX listing.

Drake has spent the last 14 years with Canadian software firm Constellation Software, most recently as CFO and General Counsel with their Australian oil and gas software subsidiary Petrosys. He describes himself as a specialist in mergers, acquisitions and integrations, strategy, corporate finance and contract management.

Complexica, headquartered in West Lakes with offices in Melbourne and Moldova, offers AI software to companies to help them optimise supply chain and sales decisions. Among their clients are Arnott’s, Dulux, Pfizer, Drakes Supermarkets and Lion.

The Adelaide tech firm was founded in 2014 and has around 70 staff across its three offices.

Complexica Managing Director Matt Michalewicz said Drake’s hiring would help them accelerate their growth ahead of a planned ASX listing in 2022.

Drake said he was delighted to be joining Complexica at an exciting time in their journey.

“I am truly excited by the prospect of supporting Complexica on its path to becoming one of the most iconic, lasting, Australian public companies in the technology space,” Drake said.

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