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 top tips for a winning resume.

Nov 21, 2022, updated Nov 23, 2022
Matthew Nicholls (left), Chris Overton (bottom centre), Bronwyn Dodd (top centre), Kate Irving (bottom right), Anthony Riemann (top right) and Andrea Heading (centre right) have all be appointed to new positions.

Matthew Nicholls (left), Chris Overton (bottom centre), Bronwyn Dodd (top centre), Kate Irving (bottom right), Anthony Riemann (top right) and Andrea Heading (centre right) have all be appointed to new positions.

Andrea Heading

REISA finds new leader

The Real Estate Institute of South Australia has appointed Maxima’s Andrea Heading as its new CEO.

With a career spanning more than 30 years, Heading has held senior roles with global fitness tech company Sweat, tourism firm Discovery Parks Group, the South Australian Tourism Commission, Adelaide advertising agency KWP! and former global marketing firm Young & Rubicam.

Heading will join REISA on January 9, 2023, after a year and a half with employment services group Maxima as General Manager of Marketing Strategy.

REISA touted Heading’s credentials as an “agile, energetic and creative strategic thinker and leader with an eminent reputation”.

“We believe that Andrea’s effervescent personality, strategic, marketing and stakeholder management experience combined with an intimate knowledge of South Australia are the right ingredients to steward REISA through its next phase of growth and member value creation,” the Institute posted on LinkedIn.

Heading’s appointment at REISA sees her tapped as the permanent replacement for inaugural CEO Barry Money, who resigned in April.

REISA Chair Cain Cooke has been interim CEO in Money’s absence.

Anthony Riemann

From defence to travel

Anthony Riemann, Head of Strategy at Babcock Australia and New Zealand, has been appointed CEO of Adelaide travel agency Complex Travel Group.

Riemann has been with Babcock for the last year where, according to his LinkedIn, he has been leading the company’s enterprise and mergers & acquisitions strategy.

His work there has come alongside board roles with Hills Baptist Church, youth disability charity KYD-X and the Hills Christian Community School.

Prior to joining Babcock in November 2021, Riemann was General Manager of online marketplace Shop Local SA, CEO of female entrepreneur community The Doers Way, and Co-Founder and CEO of Two Lions Consulting.

His CV also boasts more than 15 years in senior automotive industry across Melbourne, Seoul and Adelaide with Holden and General Motors.

The Complex Travel Group consists of four brands – RoundAbout Travel, QFlyer, Flatbeds and Y Premium – which offer a range of high-end travel agency services, including management for “high tier” Qantas frequent flyers and ticketing for business class airfares.

Founded in 2008 by Mark and Amy Trim, the company is currently based on Gawler Place. Riemann is the group’s first CEO.

Mark Trim said it was the right time to bring additional leadership into the firm

“International travel is returning to pre-COVID levels, so Anthony’s wealth of knowledge and skills in leadership, strategy, technology and operations will assist with Complex Travel Group’s commercial and strategic direction over the coming years,” Trim said in a statement. 

Matthew Nicholls

Michele Smith

New Cara President

South Australian disability services provider Cara has elected Matthew Nicholls as its new President.

Currently Head of Tax at BAE Systems Australia, Nicholls replaces Nick Smith in the top job at Cara.

Smith, an Executive Director at the South Australian Department for Energy and Mining, was elected Cara President a year ago and has been on the board since 2015. He announced his intention to retire in October.

Nicholls has been a board member since 2018, during which time he has been Chair of Cara’s Finance and Audit Committee.

His more than 30-year career in tax accounting has included stints as a National Director with the Australian Taxation Office, Executive Director with Ernst & Young and the last four years with BAE Systems.

Nicholls was elected Cara President at the organisation’s annual general meeting last Monday, which also saw Michele Smith and Peter Auhl appointed to the Cara board.

Smith, a former SA Health executive, sits on a number of South Australian boards, including as Chair of the Eyre and Far North Local Health Network and as an inaugural Member of the SA Voluntary Assisting Dying Review Board.

Auhl, meanwhile, is a former Chief Information Officer with the City of Adelaide, Department of Planning, Transport and Infrastructure, Department of Further Education, City of Charles Sturt and Department of Treasury and Finance.

He is currently CEO of IT consulting firm The Digital Divide.

Chris Overton

Agriculture gig for top accountant

South Australian natural capital firm RegenCo has appointed Christopher Overton as Executive Director.

A Chartered Tax Adviser, Overton is currently Managing Partner of business accounting firm Bartley Partners – a role he has held since 2011 and will retain alongside his new position.

RegenCo, based in Rundle Mall, helps graziers to develop “natural capital regeneration” and carbon farming projects.

Overton has been brought on to provide “strategic and financial direction”, a spokesperson said.

“I am excited to have the opportunity to be a part of the RegenCo story supporting Australian agriculture in the transition to net zero carbon emissions,” Overton said in a statement.

Prior to joining Bartley Partners, Overton founded South Australian bookkeeping company Integral Bookkeeping Solutions in 2006.

He is also a former Chief Financial Officer of national software company GTSgroup.

Facts not Spin – the Purpose of a CV or Board Bio

I look at CVs and Board Bios for a living.

In the last few years I have become increasing bemused by how often the front page does not have any jobs on it.

The purpose of a CV or Board bio is to summarise your qualifications, experience and professional proposition. This is easy to achieve on one page and I encourage all executives and NEDs to try to do so.

For some reason, CVs have started listing all these buzz words rather than simply sticking to the facts about a professional that can be proven or demonstrated. If one more person tells me they are a strategic innovative global visionary thought leader, I am going to scream.

Everyone also claims they are a team player and great communicator. I’m keen to see the facts that might evidence this. So, my advice is to keep to the facts and remove the spin.

Your CV front page should have the following six ingredients.

  1. Personal details in a low font across the top – name, phone number, email and limited personal information you wish to share
  2. Qualifications
  3. A table with all your executive experience (i.e.. every job) – one line each – date, entity and position in reverse chronological order
  4. A table with any non-executive or board/committee experience – one line each – date, entity and position in reverse chronological order
  5. Less than 20 (perhaps two rows of 10) punchy/succinct dot points with your professional proposition – this can be discipline, industry or behavioural
  6. A list of referees who can confirm the above facts

Nothing else matters if this one page is not compelling.

Subsequent pages (try to keep this to 2 or 3 only) can have more detail about your experience in each position.

The front page (with 3 and 4 above switched) then also doubles as your board bio.

You can then capture your motivation and tell the rest of your story in a tailored cover letter.

Andrew Reed

General Manager Hender Consulting

Matthew Salier

Paula Oliver

Fresh cyber leadership

Former Flinders University Lecturer Matthew Salier has been appointed CEO of the Australian Cyber Collaboration Centre.

The state government-backed organisation, based at Lot Fourteen and established in 2020, appointed Salier to replace interim CEO Paula Oliver – now Manager, Cyber Security with the Department of Innovation and Skills.

Salier has for the last three years been Director of RMIT Activator, an entrepreneurship training hub within RMIT University.

Prior to that, he was with Flinders University from 2013 to 2019 as Executive Director of its New Venture Institute and a Lecturer in Commercialisation and Innovation Management.

Salier said he was moving on from the higher education sector after “nine and a half awesome years”.

“I relished my time building businesses within Flinders University and RMIT University and working with so many great people,” he posted on LinkedIn.

Salier commenced as the Cyber Collaboration Centre CEO on November 7.

The organisation’s self-described purpose is to develop Australia’s future cyber workforce, support product testing and training, and “build cyber security awareness and capability with a focus on Boards, C-suite executives, SMEs and government”.

Bronwyn Dodd

Jim Birch AM

Movements on the Cancer Council board

Cancer Council SA has added former SA Housing Authority executive Bronwyn Dodd to its board.

Dodd, a Ngarrindjeri woman, is currently National General Manager of Indigenous Banking at Westpac and has held numerous senior business roles across the public and private sector.

She re-joined Westpac in September this year after nearly two years as Executive Director, Customers and Services at the SA Housing Authority.

Prior to that, she was Westpac’s State General Manager, SME SA/NT. She has also held senior managerial roles with NAB, Royal Perth Hospital and the South Australian Ambulance Service.

“Bronwyn’s background and experience will bring a new perspective which will help us achieve our purpose of reducing the rate and impact of cancer in all communities across our state,” Cancer Council SA Chair Karlene Maywald said in a statement.

Dodd replaces veteran Director Jim Birch AM on the Cancer Council board.

Birch has been a board member since 2013.

Jayne Boase

Kate Irving

Dancing around the board

The Australian Dance Theatre has appointed five new board members.

The Norwood-based dance company announced last week the appointments of:

  • Jayne Boase (Restless Dance Theatre Chair),
  • Kate Irving (Adelaide University Strategic Investments and Corporate Relations Director),
  • Kristen Eckhardt (Adelaide Festival Centre Marketing and Customer Experience Director),
  • Chris Mercer (Arup Arts and Culture Business Leader),
  • Dean Cross (visual artist and former dancer).

The five new Directors will commence on the ADT board on December 1.

They replace former ADT Chair David Stobbe, outgoing board members Deborah Kingsbury and Peter Seltsikas, and Jeff Meiners, who resigned as a Director in May.

ADT Artistic Director Daniel Riley, also appointed to the role this year, said: “To close out my first year as Artistic Director by welcoming five new members to the Board is incredibly exciting.”

“This refresh will see us begin 2023 strongly with a wide range of experience around the Board table.”

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