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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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Mark Jones

CFS boss on the way out

The Country Fire Service is on the hunt for a new Chief Officer following the resignation of Mark Jones.

Jones took up the top job in August 2019 and oversaw the state’s response to the Black Summer bushfires of 2019/20.

The UK firefighter is now expected to take up the role of Chief Fire Officer of the Northamptonshire Fire and Rescue Service in England, following the conclusion of his CFS contract in September.

“While I have really enjoyed the challenges of the work and great people I have met in South Australia, the distance from our family in the United Kingdom has been a heavier burden than we expected,” Jones said in a statement.

“I have been truly lucky to have had the unique experience of working with the great staff and volunteers of the CFS that are the lifeblood of the organisation.”

The State Government says a search for Jones’ replacement has begun in conjunction with the Commissioner for Public Employment.

Alan Young AM
Eric Beecher

Young back in the Solstice seat

The board of Solstice Media has announced the reappointment of Alan Young AM as its Chair, replacing Eric Beecher who stepped down this month.

Young, who thanked Beecher for his outstanding service on the Solstice Media board, said that Solstice has seen considerable growth over the past 10 years.

Young chaired Solstice Media at the time of the transformation of its media and publishing business from printed newspaper to a fully digital business model. He presided over the extension of the group’s national reach to launch the New Daily news website.

He said the Solstice Media group of companies and its mastheads had an excellent track record over the past years and was well placed to take advantage of opportunities for growth that have already been identified in the media and publishing landscape.

Claire Scapinello

ECH taps Sydney exec for top job

Private aged care provider ECH has chosen Sydney-based executive Claire Scapinello to fill its vacant CEO position.

Scapinello moves back to her hometown of Adelaide after more than two decades in New South Wales working for a number of high-profile retail brands, including Apparel Group, Pacific Brands, Luxottica Retail Australia, Suzanne Grae and Bras N Things.

More recently, she has been National Brand, Customer and Marketing Manager with ASX-listed property fund GPT Group, and Head of Brand and Customer Strategy with property developers TOGA Group.

Her transition to social services came in 2019 when she was appointed as an executive at aged care organisation RSL Lifecare. She was promoted to Chief Digital Officer in August 2021.

At ECH, she is the permanent replacement for Dr David Panter, who left the organisation in January to take on the CEO role at Minda Incorporated.

Brian Rungie

Former TAFE director becomes top PEER

South Australian registered training organisation PEER has appointed former TAFE SA executive Brian Rungie as Chief Executive Officer.

Rungie steps up to CEO after a year and a half with PEER as General Manager of Training.

A former hospitality manager at the Strathmore and Stamford hotels, Rungie has spent the bulk of his career with TAFE SA – most recently as Executive Director of Education from 2016 to 2018.

He has also recently held the roles of Project Manager with Fusco Constructions and National Manager of Strategic Partnerships with Weld Australia.

“I am excited about the opportunity to continue working with the PEER team to support industry and learners,” Rungie said.

PEER, which is also a group training organisation, is chaired by former state Labor MP Paul Caica. The not-for-profit says it has trained more than 55,000 people over its more than 30 years in operation.

Corporate Position: the latest executive employment opportunities

Palliative Care SA is looking for an Executive Officer. Reporting to the Board, and maintaining a close working relationship with the Chair, the primary responsibilities include providing strategic leadership and advice to the Board and the team, including development and execution of the strategic plan. Applications are encouraged from candidates with corporate and organisational governance requirements, including working with a Board. Experience managing a financially sustainable organisation is important. An understanding of the palliative and healthcare environment in which the PCSA operates and a tertiary qualification in a relevant discipline are desirable.

Lutheran Education SA, NT & WA (LESNW) represents 42 co-educational schools and early years centres across South Australia, Western Australia and the Northern Territory. It provides professional learning opportunities, advice and support for its members encompassing spiritual, educational, governance, industrial, financial and policy support. After 10 years of outstanding leadership, the current Executive Director, John Proeve, will retire in late 2022 providing a great succession opportunity based in Adelaide. Applications are encouraged from appropriately qualified and experienced Lutheran professionals demonstrating education, organisational and human services leadership experience.

The newly created role of Business Intelligence Lead will shape the future of business intelligence within Police Health Limited. Leading the organisation on a data driven pathway and driving continuous improvement, applications are sought from experienced professionals with proven capability in analytical methodologies and statistical trends. Experience steering analytical functions, use of analytical tools and data management together with a broad understanding of customer, business and digital systems is required. Experience in a heavily regulated industry will be advantageous and tertiary qualifications in a relevant discipline essential.

After more than eight years of outstanding leadership, the current Principal of St Peter’s Girls, Julia Shea, is taking up a new headship interstate. Her successful replacement will be an appropriately qualified and experienced leader with demonstrated educational credibility and the warmth, authenticity, empathy, energy, commercial acumen and vision to guide the school through its next exciting phase. A genuine commitment to girls’ education and affinity with the Anglican ethos of the school is vital, as will is the willingness to embrace and uphold a community with unique spirit.

The South Australian Health and Medical Research Institute (SAHMRI) has a position for a Financial Planning and Reporting Analyst to prepare high quality and timely management reports to internal stakeholders to support a range of projects and research themes. The successful candidate will be CA/CPA qualified, with demonstrated experience assisting with the preparation of financial reports and the ability to transform complex financial information into suitable formats for a variety of audiences. Strong analytical skills, service orientation, attention to detail, excellent interpersonal skills, the ability to meet deadlines while managing competing priorities and team collaboration skills are critical.

Annesley Junior School is seeking a committed and passionate Principal to guide it through its next strategic phase. Reporting directly to and working closely with the AJS Board, the successful appointee will provide academic and operational leadership in overseeing the financial, technological, physical and human resources of the school. Applications are encouraged from both emerging and proven education leaders with a genuine passion and aptitude for early and primary years learning. Credibility and experience with IB and exposure to the PYP Program is a definite advantage.

Sarah Killey

Philanthropy appointment at InReview

Sarah Killey has joined Solstice Media, publisher of InDaily, as Philanthropy Director for InReview – the not-for-profit arts and culture journalism project.  

For the past six years, Sarah has been Philanthropy Manager at the Adelaide Festival.

Her new role will see her building donations and support for InReview, which was founded by Solstice Media at the beginning of 2021 to help fill a growing void in local arts reviewing.

Peter Arambatzis
Jill Noble

Executive switch at Nova

Experienced public and private sector executive Peter Arambatzis has been appointed Chief Financial Officer at Nova Systems.

The appointment marks the end of an era at the Mile End engineering multinational, with Sydney-based Arambatzis set to replace Jill Noble, who is retiring after 10 years with Nova Systems as Group CFO.

Nova Systems CEO Jim McDowell said Noble has been “committed and passionate about Nova’s vision” throughout her 10-years with the company.

“I would like to thank Jill for all she has contributed to building Nova Systems to where we are today and setting us up for future success,” he said.

Arambatzis’ resume includes senior roles with AstraZeneca, General Electric and the Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation, where he spent eight years in several executive roles including Group CFO.

He was most recently CFO of legal technology company Law In Order. His new role gives him a place on Nova Systems’ executive committee and oversight of the company’s financial, commercial, legal and business services and security and technology sectors.

Alison Gallo

New CFO at Cara

South Australian disability services provider CARA has appointed Can:Do Group executive Alison Gallo as Chief Financial Officer.

Gallo, who commences with Cara today, has been with Can:Do Group for the best part of four years. She was promoted to the role of Executive General Manager Group Corporate Services in June 2020.

Her appointment at Cara represents her second CFO role, after holding the position with Autism SA for five years. She is also a former Senior Manager with professional services giant PwC.

Cara CEO Liz Cohen touted Gallo’s appointment as “an important next step in Cara’s growth and future success”.

“Alison’s extensive background in the disability sector and her deep understanding of the NDIS, along with her values-driven approach, makes her the perfect fit for this very important role at Cara,” Cohen said.

Gallo replaces Karen Limb, who has moved on from Cara after being appointed CFO in July last year.

Dena Vassallo

Walford takes on top communications exec

Dena Vassallo, Founder and CEO of SOCIETY Marketing Communications, has been appointed to the Council of Governors at Walford Anglican School for Girls.

It’s Vassallo’s third ongoing board appointment alongside her roles at Green Adelaide and She Creates.

The communications entrepreneur founded Society in 2017 after years with major US public relations firms Hunter and Edelman as well as eight years as an executive with PPR Australia.

The appointment comes as Walford continues its search for a new Principal following the resignation of Rebecca Clarke last month.

Clarke has led the prestigious private school since October 2012. She has taken up a role with Methodist Ladies’ College in Perth commencing in 2023.

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