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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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Nigel Smart

Smart move for Crows legend

Adelaide Crows hall of famer and executive Nigel Smart has been appointed CEO of Crime Stoppers SA.

Smart has spent the best part of 30 years with the Crows, playing 278 games from 1991 to 2004 and then joining the Club’s board of directors in 2005.

An Adelaide University Masters in Business Administration graduate, Smart was elevated to Deputy Chairman in 2009 and later switched into an executive role as Chief Operating Officer where he oversaw the Crows' ventures into Esports and the women’s competition.

Smart was inducted into the Crows Hall of Fame in June, one of just 10 people from the football club bestowed with the honour.

His appointment at Crime Stoppers SA comes alongside his current part-time role as President of the Southern Districts Cricket Club, which he took on one month after leaving the Crows in March this year.

Smart said he was proud to now be leading an organisation which “directly contributes to a safer South Australia”.

“I plan to expand the operational reach of Crime Stoppers in SA, better engage with the corporate and public sector, increase engagement with our state’s regional and multicultural communities, and generate financial resources to fund key programs that will achieve even greater community outcomes,” Smart said in a statement.

Crime Stoppers SA Chair Sharon Hanlon said Smart was a standout applicant in an international field of candidates and touted his skills in the not-for-profit and charity sector.

“Nigel’s local and national networks will be invaluable when it comes to forging new partnerships as we look to strengthen our financial position and sharpen our strategic focus and direction,” Hanlon said.

“His appointment brings us into line with our interstate counterparts and represents a key milestone for Crime Stoppers SA.”

Crime Stoppers SA is a not for profit that collects anonymous tips about unsolved crimes and suspicious activity and passes them on to SA Police. Established in 1996, it operates under its parent organisation Crime Stoppers Australia and says it has helped solve 35,000 crimes in South Australia.

David Schwab

Experienced exec for young asset managers

Pirie Street fund managers Capital Prudential have hired David Schwab to be the firm’s first Advisory Chief Executive.

The asset management company, founded only two years ago and specialising in property development and investment, said Schwab was the ideal leader for the firm’s newly launched advisory division.

Schwab joins after more than eight years at the Scott Group, including three as CEO.

He is also a former Head of Business and Banking Strategy at Bendigo and Adelaide Bank.

Capital Prudential Managing Director Sam Moore, who is also a former Bendigo and Adelaide Bank executive, said Schwab was a highly respected figure in the industry.

“David's measured and considered style, together with his integrity of character, makes him the ideal leader of our newly launched Advisory division,” Moore said.

Capital Prudential’s fund is only opened to sophisticated and wholesale investors. The firm says they have nine properties under development worth an estimated $14.2 million and have secured land for an additional 72 properties worth an estimated $56.3 million.

Yvonne Rantzen
Kevin Leek

Movements at Matthews

North Adelaide architecture and design firm Matthews Architects has appointed Yvonne Rantzen to lead the company’s interior design team.

Rantzen joins the South Australian firm this month as Senior Interior Designer after hopping around the country with various leadership roles at design companies in Sydney and Brisbane.

Her most recent position was Head of Interiors at national firm Contour Interiors, which followed similar senior roles with Hames Sharley in Adelaide and Conrad Gargett in Brisbane.

The UniSA graduate is also a former Director and Co-President of the Design Institute of Australia’s Queensland branch.

Rantzen’s new Adelaide employers say she will lead the delivery of a number of major South Australian projects, most notably a new mixed development on Anzac Highway.

Meanwhile, Matthews also announced the appointment of Kevin Leek as Senior Architect.

Leek is a former Principal in the Adelaide office of national architecture firm DesignInc, where he worked from 2016 to 2020. Prior to that, he spent 10 years with Cheesman Architects on the Parade as well as various design studios in South Africa and the UK.

 Leek has been tasked with overseeing a range of key projects for the firm, including a car dealership redevelopment for CMI Toyota and a new food science facility at the University of Adelaide’s Waite Campus.

Senior Architect and Managing Director Gerald Matthews said the senior appointments came at a key time for the company.

“Matthews Architects currently has a number of exciting projects underway and a strong pipeline of projects coming up, so we’re thrilled to further strengthen our architecture and design teams in response to this,” he said.

“Yvonne and Kevin both bring a wealth of experience, knowledge and leadership – they will be a great asset to our firm, ensuring Matthews remains at the forefront of architecture in South Australia.”

Corporate Position: the latest executive employment opportunities

UnitingSA is looking for a Chief Financial Officer to help lead the community-based organisation with over 1,000 staff and a turnover circa $100m. Reporting to the Chief Executive, this role is responsible for a range of corporate functions, systems and people. Applications are encouraged from CA/CPA qualified professionals with proven experience in a comparable multi-dimensional role. Extensive financial management experience and a demonstrated capability to lead through ongoing reform, growth and increasing competition are key to success in this role. A track record of delivering significant ICT transformation leading to business improvements will also be highly regarded. An attractive senior executive remuneration package will be offered to secure a high calibre appointment.

Capital Prudential Pty Ltd is a specialist asset management, funds management and advisory firm with a core focus on property development and investment. It acts as trustee for the Capital Prudential Diversified Development Fund, which is a property asset-backed fund that acts as a developer of mid-scale commercial and residential properties across Australia. In response to continued growth, the Trustee Board now seeks to appoint an Independent Chairperson to the Fund as it moves to obtain an independent investment rating for the Fund’s securities. Applications are sought from appropriately qualified senior executive and non-executive directors with exposure to, and experience in, wholesale private investment markets, funds management and property development.

ReturnToWorkSA is a statutory authority responsible for insuring and regulating the South Australian Return to Work scheme. The organisation provides insurance that protects South Australian businesses and their workers in the event of a work injury. Reporting to the Chief Executive Officer and working closely with the Executive Leadership Team and the Board, the Executive Leader Regulation will play a pivotal role in regulating South Australia’s work injury insurance scheme. Applications are encouraged from executives who can demonstrate a successful track record of leadership within a medium to large regulated entity. A sound understanding of workers compensation insurance is desirable and previous experience driving complex regulatory outcomes is essential.

As part of the successful Marand group of companies, Levett Engineering is a world-leading precision component manufacturer with an Australian and international client base that includes the defence, aerospace, medical, electronics and commercial engineering sectors. Reporting to the Marand CEO, the General Manager will set the strategic direction for growth of revenue and capability of the business and drive the delivery of an exceptional end-to-end customer experience. Applicants need senior leadership experience preferably from a manufacturing background or an aligned industry such as engineering, defence or aerospace and must have proven capability managing across multiple functions and demonstrated results in operational excellence.

Eldercare is one of the largest and most experienced not-for-profit aged care operators in South Australia. Eldercare’s 1,500 staff and 350 volunteers support around 1,000 residents over 11 sites across the state. Reporting to the Operational Services Executive and as a key member of the Senior Operational Services Leadership Team, the primary responsibility of General Manager Residential Care is the delivery of high quality residential aged care services to residents and their families. Applications are encouraged from Registered Nurses who have led successful large scale operational change and innovation within a multi-site and geographically dispersed environment. Experience leading a multi-disciplinary team in a highly regulated and complex environment is also important.

Dr Jo Anne Dumalaon-Canaria
Dr Jane Lee

String of hires for Adelaide researchers

The Global Centre for Modern Ageing has brought on three researchers to its Adelaide team.

The research and product development not-for-profit, which supports organisations develop and commercialise products and services in the “Ageing Well” industry, last week announced the hiring of Dr Jo Anne Dumalaon-Canaria and Dr Jane Lee as User Experience Researchers, as well as Professor Angelina Russo as their new Program Manager.

Dr Dumalaon-Canaria is a university lecturer and tutor with a background in public health, psychology and human resources.

She completed her PhD at Flinders University with a thesis on the psychological wellbeing of breast cancer survivors, and she has held various roles with Torrens University, King Abdulaziz University in Saudi Arabia as well as Flinders in Adelaide as a public health tutor.

The Filipino-Australian says her new role at the GCMA entails gathering information on the preferences of older people to inform stakeholder decisions. The GCMA touts her skills in delivering commercial insights through combining empirical research and user experience.

She shares a similar study background with Dr Lee, who also joins the GCMA as a User Experience Researcher.

Dr Lee has held tutoring roles with the University of Sydney and Australian Catholic University, the latter where she completed her PhD on user engagement in online learning courses.

A specialist in public health communication, psychology and e-learning, she has more than five years in researching experience and has been published in six different academic journals.

Meanwhile, Professor Russo has been tasked with leading the GCMA’s research team.

A senior academic with a background in architecture, digital communication and project management, Professor Russo says she has more than 100 published academics works over a 20-year career in higher education.

Among her most recent roles are Associate Dean of Research at the Australian Institute of Business in Adelaide, and Associate Professor at both RMIT and Swinburne University. The GCMA says she is an “expert in creating strategy for co-design, cultural engagement and education programming”.

GCMA CEO Julianne Parkinson said the Tonsley-based organisation was “delighted” to appoint three new members to their team in a bid to strengthen their research capabilities.

Dr Jon Gorvett

DPC taps former CEO for deputy role

The Department of Premier and Cabinet has appointed former Acting Chief Executive Dr Jon Gorvett as Deputy CEO.

Dr Gorvett has been with the DPC since 2017 as Executive Director of Intergovernmental and Diplomatic Relations.

He took the helm of the powerful department in December last year following former CEO Jim McDowell’s decision to return to the private sector as Group CEO of multinational tech company Nova Systems.

Dr Gorvett, who has more than 10 years’ experience as a policy adviser with the UK Government, held the Acting CEO role at DPC until February this year when former BankSA boss Nick Reade was tapped for the role.

Reade last week said Dr Gorvett won the Deputy CEO position among a strong field of internal and external applicants.

“With his extensive public sector experience both here and overseas, strong relationships across state and federal governments, and keen understanding of South Australian issues, Jon brings an impressive set of skills to the role,” Reade said.

“I look forward to working with him as we seek to deliver the best results possible for the people of South Australia.”

Prior to joining DPC, Dr Gorvett was Director of Climate Change at the South Australian Department of Environment and Water, after holding a similar role as Head of Branch at the UK’s Department of Energy and Climate Change.

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