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.

Oct 24, 2022, updated Oct 24, 2022
Tanya Hosch (left), Darren Flew (top middle), Dr Arvind Mohais (middle), Marcus Blackburn (bottom middle), Chris Wood (top right) and Jan Ferguson OAM (bottom right) have all be appointed to new positions.

Tanya Hosch (left), Darren Flew (top middle), Dr Arvind Mohais (middle), Marcus Blackburn (bottom middle), Chris Wood (top right) and Jan Ferguson OAM (bottom right) have all be appointed to new positions.

Liz Walsh

New editor for SALIFE magazine

Respected Adelaide journalist Liz Walsh has been appointed Editor of South Australian magazine SALIFE.

Walsh has been a journalist for more than two decades, most recently as a sports reporter for News Corp, covering Australian Rules and cricket. She reports from the sidelines for the ABC during the AFL and AFLW seasons and is co-host of the national broadcaster’s Summer Grandstand program in Adelaide.

Walsh’s editorial leadership roles includes a stint as the Sunday Mail’s Features Editor. She also has history with SALIFE, previously serving as the title’s Deputy Editor.

SALIFE, published by Solstice Media which also publishes InDaily, will celebrate its 20th year of publication in 2023. The monthly glossy magazine covers South Australian people, homes, food and wine, fashion and more. SALIFE’s suite of titles also includes the quarterly Gardens & Outdoor Living magazine, and annuals Food+Wine+Travel and Premium Property.

“I’m so excited to return to the magazine, particularly as we celebrate our 20th year in 2023,” Walsh said. “I’m looking forward to continuing to inspire and entertain our readers with great local content about the best of South Australia.”

Walsh begins at SALIFE this week.

Chris Wood

Wood to lead Invest SA reboot

Former Australian diplomat Chris Wood has been appointed Executive Director of Invest SA.

Wood, who speaks fluent Japanese, re-joined the public sector in May this year as CEO of Regional Development Australia – Adelaide Metro, after nearly 10 years leading his own trade and investment consultancy, Edge International Consulting.

His consultancy work was primarily focused on facilitating Asian investment into Australia and helping overseas businesses analyse the Australian market.

Prior to that, Wood worked for the Australian Trade Commission for 13 years in various senior roles including Diplomat and Trade and Investment Commissioner to Japan.

“Having lived and worked overseas I understand what investors are looking for and how much South Australia has to offer,” Wood said in a statement.

“SA presents an attractive proposition in a very stable environment and I will work closely with colleagues across departments and jurisdictions to make great things happen.”

Wood was appointed to lead Invest SA after a global search, according to the state government.

The agency, axed in 2018, was re-established by the Malinauskas Government this year with $4.2m in funding. It is now a standalone division with the Department of Trade and Investment.

Tanya Hosch

Paul Hamra

New faces on Fringe board

The Adelaide Fringe has appointed former South Australian of the Year Tanya Hosch and Solstice Media Managing Director Paul Hamra to its board.

Hosch is the AFL’s Executive General Manager of Inclusion and Social Policy, a wide-ranging and high-profile role covering Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander issues, racism, sexism and gender equality.

Her appointment in 2016 saw her become the AFL’s first Indigenous and second female executive.

She also sits on the Foundation for Alcohol Research and Education Board, Australian National University Council, BHP Forum of Corporate Responsibility and the Australian Film Television and Radio School Council.

Her leadership work prompted recognition as the 2021 SA Australian of the Year.

The Fringe also last week announced the appointment of Paul Hamra to the board.

Hamra is the Managing Director of Solstice Media (publisher of InDaily), which he founded in 2004 after a career in business and public relations.

He is also a former Deputy Chair of the Australian Film Commission (now Screen Australia), Chair of the Fleurieu Art Prize and Trustee of the Flinders Medical Centre Foundation.

Adelaide Fringe Chair Kate Costello said: “We are thrilled to have Tanya Hosch and Paul Hamra join the board of Adelaide Fringe.”

“It’s extraordinary to have such experience and skill from both appointees available as a resource to the broader team and the organisation as a whole.”

Marcus Blackburn

NZ gig for St Peter’s leader

St Peter’s College Adelaide Deputy Headmaster and Head of Senior School Marcus Blackburn has been appointed Head of School at St Peter’s Cambridge, New Zealand.

Educated in the United Kingdom, Blackburn joined St Peter’s Adelaide for the start of the 2020 school year after a series of senior teaching roles in England.

This included Boarding Housemaster at Bradfield College in Berkshire and Assistant Head (Co-curricular) at Hereford Cathedral School.

He is also a former Head of PE and Director of Rugby at The Scots College in Sydney, a role he held from 2009 to 2015.

Blackburn is due to start with St Peter’s Cambridge, located around 130km southeast of Auckland, in January 2023.

St Peter’s Cambridge Chair John Macaskill-Smith credited Blackburn’s leadership at St Peter’s Adelaide for “[driving] new strategies in the leadership of pastoral care service and outdoor education”.

“Through his various roles at leading independent schools around the world, Marcus has developed extensive leadership experience in all areas of school life, leading strategically on academic achievement, pastoral care and co-curricular provision,” Macaskill-Smith wrote in the school newsletter last week.

Reece Turner

Lightning strikes twice

SA Country Basketball Executive Officer Reece Turner has been re-appointed General Manager of the Adelaide Lightning.

Turner, who held the same role with the Lightning from 2018 to 2019, re-joins the WNBL side following the departure of Tim Brenton from the role.

Brenton will next week take the reins of Basketball SA as CEO.

Turner’s reappointment as Adelaide Lightning General Manager follows more than a year as Executive Officer of SA Country Basketball.

He first moved into basketball management in 2015 when he was appointed Director of Basketball Operations at the Darwin Basketball Association, before joining the Adelaide Lightning in 2016 as Community Engagement Manager.

He also rose the ranks at the Adelaide 36ers, where he worked for three and half years and was eventually appointed General Manager of Operations in May 2019.

His appointment with the Adelaide Lightening comes ahead of the team’s relocation next year from the Adelaide Arena in Findon to the redeveloped State Basketball Centre in Wayville.

The team is also under new ownership, with Melbourne-based developer Ross Pelligra purchasing the club in May after years of uncertainty over the Lightning’s future.

“This is an important season for Adelaide Lightning,” said Steve Wren, Pelligra Group Sports and Entertainment Managing Director.

“We are entering a new and exciting era with new ownership, a new head coach and a new home stadium.

“Reece is the perfect person to guide us through this milestone season.”

Corporate Position: the latest executive employment opportunities

Siblings Australia is a not-for-profit that has supported siblings of people with disability since its establishment by current CEO and Founder Kate Strohm in 1999. The organisation is now in a transition phase and seeking a progressive, entrepreneurial and transformational leader to be its new Chief Executive Officer (GM). Working with a small team and a supportive Board, the successful candidate will be commercially aware with a strong eye for entrepreneurial opportunities and offer authenticity, warmth, empathy and good humour to the Siblings mission. Key result areas for the role include strategic and business planning for sustainability, development of high-quality resources and services for both families and professionals, human resource and stakeholder management, corporate governance, financial and risk management and strong advocacy at both government and community levels.

The SACE Board is looking to hire a new Team Leader, Exam Management. Reporting directly to the Head of Business Operations, this role has responsibility for transforming operational processes and practice within the exam team and delivering on innovation and quality assurance in the development and publication of exams. Strong systems knowledge to support online environments and business process improvement to increase efficiency of the production of exams will be highly regarded. Demonstrated effective leadership capability in leading teams through change with a focus on innovation and collaboration will be considered much more favourably than previous experience in exam management.

Residential developer Villawood Properties is on the hunt for an Assistant Development Manager in its South Australian office. Reporting to the Senior Development Manager, the successful candidate will assist in the development and management of Villawood’s property assets to achieve the company’s strategic and commercial objectives including project planning, sales, design and infrastructure build. Applications are encouraged from candidates with a tertiary qualification in construction, property development, civil engineering, project management, finance or a related discipline. Experience managing projects (or as part of a team managing projects) involving significant civil or built form design or construction would be a definite advantage as would previous experience planning, organising and coordinating development, design, construction and marketing of land developments.

Kylie Fergusen

Scott Dutschke

Leadership change at social services group

Social services association Community Centres SA has appointed Scott Dutschke as Acting CEO, following Kylie Fergusen’s decision to resign from the role.

Fergusen has led the community centres peak body since August 2018, joining after three years as Manager of Community Development with the City of Mitcham.

A former official in the SA Planning Department, her career has featured numerous senior social planning roles, including with Jensen PLUS and Sinclair Knight Merz.

She also currently sits on the board of the Animal Welfare League of South Australia, the Australian Neighbourhood Centres and Houses Association, and the South Australian Council of Social Service Policy Committee.

Community Centres SA Chair Kim Ritter said Fergusen has “consistently and passionately advocated strongly for the sector” during her four years as CEO.

“In this role Kylie has been a strong, capable and committed CEO whose strategic vision, passion for the sector and collaborative leadership style has set CCSA up for a very exciting future,” she said in an email to staff.

Fergusen is due to leave CCSA on November 11.

Her temporary replacement, Dutschke, has been with CCSA since 2017 – joining first as Office Coordinator before eventually being promoted to Chief Operations Officer in May this year.

He has also held senior roles with Business SA and the Leaders Institute of South Australia.

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Darren Flew

Switching milk for apples

Former Beston Global Food Company Acting CEO Darren Flew has been appointed General Manager of Lenswood Apples.

Flew was Beston’s Chief Financial Officer from March 2018 to April 2022, including more than six months as Acting CEO before Fabrizio Jorge took the helm of the SA diary company in April.

Prior to Beston, Flew had a long career with Santos in numerous senior finance roles, including CFO – Eastern Australia Business Unit, Group Controller and Finance Manager.

He started his career in finance at EY, where he worked from 1983 to 1996 – eventually reaching the rank of Principal, Audit.

Jan Ferguson OAM

Fresh look for outback authority

The Outback Communities Authority has appointed Jan Ferguson OAM as its Presiding Member.

Ferguson, a long-time public servant, adds the role to a long list of board appointments, which includes Chair of the Nature Foundation, Member of the SA Heritage Council and Director at the Centre for Invasive Species Solutions.

She has led the OCA – a statutory body representing around 4500 people in the outback not represented by local councils – for the last three months as interim Chair.

Her permanent appointment will see her hold the role until June 2025.

The OCA has also announced the appointments of Ngatina Sylvanius and Leila Day to the board.

Sylvanius is from Beltana and has since 2012 been the President of the Beltana Progress Association, while Day is an opal gouger, artist and tour guide from Andamooka who is Chair of the SA Arid Lands Kingoonya Landscape Group.

Dr Arvind Mohais

AI firm finds manager for wine rollout

SA artificial intelligence software provider Complexica has appointed Dr Arvind Mohais as Program Manager.

The West Lakes-based company said Mohais would initially be responsible for the company’s rollout of its “Decision Cloud” software for its multinational client Pernod Ricard Winemakers.

Mohais obtained a PhD in swarm intelligence from the University of the West Indies in 2007 and has gone on to have an extensive career in the South Australian IT industry.

Touted as an expert in advanced optimisations methods and predictive modelling, he joins Complexica after nearly five years as Project Manager with Adelaide data science firm Semantic Sciences.

He has also worked in senior roles for software firms Ailytic, Schneider Electric Software and SolveIT Software in Adelaide.

Complexica CEO Matt Michalewicz said: “Having worked with Arvind for a number of years in my previous company, I am delighted that our journey can continue together at Complexica as we grow and expand in the coming years.”

“I can think of no better person to lead the highly-strategic program of work for Pernod Ricard Winemakers, and look forward to supporting him in this very important leadership role.”

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