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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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Peter de Cure

Cure for SAFECOM vacancy

Former KPMG Senior Partner Peter de Cure has been appointed Independent Chair of the South Australian Fire and Emergency Services Commission Board.

It’s the second key appointment in three months for SAFECOM, after former SA Ambulance Service executive Julia Waddington-Powell was appointed CEO of the Commission in July.

De Cure, who has been a Director at SAFECOM since 2019, is currently Chair of the Royal Flying Doctor Service Central Operations and Wirra Wirra Vineyards in McLaren Vale.

His career with KPMG in Adelaide spanned nearly 25 years, after which he has gone onto to several high-profile board and committee roles with the likes of UniSA, Fulbright Australia, Variety SA, Accord Property Holdings and the Tax Practitioners Board.

He commenced as Independent Chair of SAFECOM this week after Minister for Emergency Services Vincent Tarzia selected him for the role last month.

De Cure said he is “excited by the opportunity to support the critical work of South Australia’s Emergency Services Sector”.

“I look forward to the Board continuing to provide first-class opportunities, support and resources for the teams who do so much to look after our communities,” he said.

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.

Caroline Rhodes
Simon Maddocks

Movements in primary industries

Grain Producers SA Chief Executive Caroline Rhodes has resigned after being appointed the inaugural CEO of parent organisation Primary Producers SA.

It follows a restructure in governance at PPSA, which also this week announced the appointment of former Charles Darwin University Vice-Chancellor Simon Maddocks as Chair.

Rhodes’s resignation and subsequent appointment comes after leading South Australia’s grain growing peak body for more than three years.

She joined GPSA in April 2018 after a year-and-a-half stint as Chief of Staff to South Australian Liberal Senator David Fawcett.

Her career in primary industries has seen her take on roles with agricultural logistics company Viterra, Wheat Exports Australia, the Grains Council of Australia and the South Australian Farmers’ Federation.

Among her key achievements at GPSA, according to Chair Adrian McCabe, was repealing a 16-year moratorium on genetically modified crops in South Australia and developing the SA Grain Industry Blueprint, which outlines a 10-year plan for developing the sector.

GPSA has engaged an external firm to find Rhodes’s replacement.

PPSA announced Rhodes’s appointment shortly after GPSA announced her resignation.

Rhodes said she was “immensely proud” of her achievements at the grain-growing peak body but saw the newly-created CEO role as an “ideal opportunity to continue my service to agricultural representation”.

Meanwhile, Maddocks has been appointed as PPSA’s new permanent Chair following a decision by former SA Premier Rob Kerin’s to retire from the role in June.

Maddocks was President and Vice Chancellor of the Northern Territory’s Charles Darwin University from 2014 to the end of 2020.

Prior to that, he held a number of senior research roles with the University of Adelaide and the South Australian Research and Development Institute, including Chief Scientist, Division of Livestock & Farming Systems, Professor of Animal Science and Director of the University of Adelaide’s Roseworthy Campus.

“I know there are big shoes to fill taking over from former Chair Rob Kerin but I am thankful for the support shown by the PPSA Council in choosing me for this role,” Maddocks said.

“Together with Caroline, I look forward to working with the commodity associations and Government to ensure there is a strong and viable primary production sector in South Australia, which is valued by government and the community.

Mark Gobolos
Andrew Woods

Experienced engineer elevated to WGA board

National engineering and project management firm Wallbridge Gilbert Aztec has appointed long-time South Australian employee Mark Gobolos to their board.

Currently WGA’s Principal Structural Engineer and Group Technical Manager, Gobolos has been involved with the Adelaide headquartered company since 2003 and has led a number of its high-profile projects.

This has included the $2.2 billion Royal Adelaide Hospital, the University of South Australia’s Health Innovation Building and the ongoing $500m development of the Australian Bragg Centre for Proton Therapy and Research (SAHMRI 2).

Gobolos is also a Fellow of Engineers Australia, a member of the Australian Steel Institute and a former President and Vice President of the Concrete Institute of Australia.

WGA Joint Managing Director Peter McBean said Gobolos’s involvement with industry bodies would give the company’s board an “external perspective”.

“Plus, his complementing qualification in Computer Science will help us to better understand at board level the role emerging technologies such as AI have to play in contemporary engineering,” McBean said.

Gobolos’s appointment comes after long-time WGA Director Andrew Woods chose to step down after 20 years on the board.

The company said the move would allow Woods, who has been with WGA since 1986, to spend more time on project delivery.

Alex Trescowthick

New leader for Hills wine org

Membership organisation Adelaide Hills Wine Region has voted in new President Alex Trescowthick and appointed five new board members.

The not-for-profit body, which represents wineries, grape-growers and associate businesses, held their Annual General Meeting last week where they chose Trescowthick to succeed outgoing President Jared Stringer, who is stepping down from the board after five years.

Trescowthick is currently Winery Operations Manager and Chief Winemaker at Redheads in Nuriootpa. He has more than 15 years’ experience in winemaking and marketing across South Australia, interstate and overseas.

He will lead a committee of 12 industry leaders on the Hills Wine Region board, including newly appointed members Greg Clack of XO Wines, Caitlin Davies of Jericho Wines, Jo Watkins of Watkins Wine, Tom Northcott of Howard Vineyard, and Ella Shaw of Shaw & Smith.

Trescowthick, who has sat on the Hills Wine Region’s Executive Committee since 2014, said he is honoured to take on the role of President at a promising time for the region.

“The current board is made up of a team of smart, engaged people who collectively want to give back to the region, ensure our members have the support they need to thrive and that Adelaide Hills wines continue to grow in renown, locally and across the world,” he said.

Nick Smith
Lucy Davies

Cara elects new President and VP

Nick Smith has been elected President of the Board of South Australian disability service provider Cara, with fellow board member Lucy Davies stepping into his former role of Vice-President.

Smith has been a Director at Cara since 2015 and is currently the Executive Director of Growth and Low Carbon at the South Australian Department of Energy and Mining. He is also currently serving as Vice President of the International Association for Hydrogen Safety.

He succeeds former Cara President Phil Dorman, who spent 13 years on the organisation’s board with four of those as President.

“I’m delighted to be able to continue my contribution to Cara – an organisation with such a rich history and an excellent reputation in the disability space,” Smith said.

Davies joined the Cara Board in 2018 and has a background in law, government, management consulting and brand strategy.

Cara also last week announced the appointments of Matthew Nicholls as Chair of Finance and Audit and Pamela Lee as Chair of Governance and Risk.

Sara Bradshaw

Accounting firm swoops on marketing high-flyer

South Australian professional services and accounting firm Hood Sweeney has hired Sara Bradshaw as Senior Marketing Adviser.

Bradshaw’s move to Hood Sweeney follows more than four years with Finlaysons Lawyers as Marketing and Business Development Manager. This year she was nominated as a finalist at the Women in Law Awards for Marketing & Communications Professional of the Year.

Her prior roles include stints with the Cancer Council of SA, the Adelaide Festival and Festival Centre, and News Corp in Sydney.

Hood Sweeney Managing Director Marisa Riccio said Bradshaw would help the firm continue to expand its marketing, communications and branding services.

Corporate Position: the latest executive employment opportunities

Frisk launched in 2008 and was founded to help businesses solve their disparate data problems. The business uses flexible technology to lift organisations out of the data fog, empowering better decisions and new opportunities. With first tier Australian clients such as the ATO, Frisk is poised for significant growth. Reporting to the highly ambitious Board and working closely with the established executive team, the Chief Executive Officer will be a strategic thinker who is committed to grow the success of Frisk. Applications are encouraged from appropriately qualified and highly experienced executives with proven leadership in a comparable business. Technology rich industry experience and an understanding of the dynamics of a privately-owned growth entity is an advantage. A highly attractive remuneration package with short and long-term incentives is on offer.

Planning and Land Use Services (PLUS) is a division of the Attorney-General’s Department that manages planning and development, architecture, design and land in SA. The upcoming retirement of the successful incumbent, Michael Burdett, has created a unique opportunity for a Director, Land & Built Environment. This senior leadership role sets and delivers the PLUS strategies as well as the delivery of services at a national level representing the State at national forums. Historically, the incumbent is also the Surveyor-General but the Department is open to considering separating the Surveyor-General function to find a combination of executives to deliver the key outcomes. Experience unlocking and harnessing the value of spatial data will be highly valued. This is an opportunity for a public, private or hybrid professional to contribute to the strategic direction of the State.

The Motor Trade Association of SA/NT is looking for a Legal/Workplace Relations Manager to provide high level workplace relations, legal, industrial and human resources advice, support and representation for its members. The successful candidate will be an accomplished senior IR/legal practitioner with appropriate tertiary qualifications and experience operating both at a strategic and operational level.

Skylight Mental Health delivers a range of recovery-oriented community mental health services. Reporting to the General Manager Corporate Services, this Finance Manager will have oversight of the finance function and a close working relationship with the Board of Directors. Applications are encouraged from qualified finance professionals with demonstrated experience in a similar role. CA/CPA qualification will be well regarded but is not essential.

Ninti One (Ninti) is an Indigenous-owned, Supply Nation registered not-for-profit working to achieve social and economic development outcomes with and for Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander people. Ninti is looking for a Marketing and Growth Coordinator to work on tender opportunities, partnerships, evidence and impact and digital media.

Cavpower, a proud South Australian family business representing CAT, is recruiting two key roles: a Service Operations Centre Manager with overall responsibility for multiple specialised workshops, as well as a SHEQ Manager to lead and manage all aspects of safety.

Australian Gas Infrastructure Group (AGIG) needs a Communications Advisor to design and deliver internal communications activities and assist with external communications in line with AGIG’s strategic objectives.

The SACE Board has multiple roles for Education Consultants and Education Innovation Project Officers.  These exciting positions present an opportunity to be a key leader in managing transformational change, continuous improvement and innovation in education enabling students to thrive.

Justin Carter

Promotion for Swanbury veteran

Adelaide architecture firm Swanbury Penglase has promoted Associate Director Justin Carter to Director.

Carter joined the Gilbert Street firm in 2001 as a Graduate of Architecture and has since worked his way up from Architect to Associate, Associate Director and now Director in his 20th year with the company.

His portfolio of work spans across education, tourism, recreation, retail, hospitality, multi-residential and community housing developments.

“After taking a chance on me as a graduate straight out of university, Swanbury Penglase provided broad project experience and mentoring which allowed me to develop as an architect and leader,” Carter said.

He joins six existing directors in the leadership role, with Swanbury currently boasting a staff of 65 people, according to the company.

Kylie Munchenberg

JP Media appoint marketing expert

Kylie Munchenberg has been appointed Client Services Manager at Adelaide PR and digital agency JP Media.

Munchenberg previously worked as a Senior Marketing Executive for not-for-profit aged care provider ECH, where she was the editor and content creator of their Discover Magazine.

Her most recent position was Senior Account Manager at Adelaide social media and creative agency Digitale. She is also the co-founder of wedding stationery, gift and event hire company Kiki and Poppi, where she worked as Creative Director for a decade.

Munchenberg said she is looking forward to broadening her experience at JP Media and playing to her strengths.

“My strengths include refining processes and making things as seamless as possible plus increasing efficiencies and project management because I enjoy that side of it,” Munchenberg said.

JP Media Managing Director Patrick Anderson said Munchenberg’s marketing experience and talent for forming client relationships will be an asset to the business.

“We are excited to welcome Kylie to the JP team and look forward to seeing her flourish and make the role her own,” Anderson said.

Felicity Brown
Michelle Hocking

Tourism Council reshuffle

Felicity Brown, Chief Pilot and Owner of Chinta Air, has been appointed to the board of the Tourism Industry Council of South Australia, while former board member and Vice Chair Michelle Hocking is leaving.

Brown has led the Hawker-based charter-flight company since 2010 and was awarded the National Women in Travel award in 2018 for the category of aviation.

She was elected to the Tourism Industry Council board at the advocacy group’s AGM on Thursday, October 14.

The annual meeting also saw members re-elect Caroline Phillips, Mayor of Karoonda East Murray Council, to TICSA’s board, following the expiry of her two-year term earlier this year.

Meanwhile, Hocking, who is also General Manager of the Royal Adelaide Show, was thanked for her contributions during her four year-stint with TICSA.

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