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.

Dec 12, 2022, updated Dec 12, 2022
Daniel Kisgyano (left), Ben Owen (top centre), Bev Barber (centre), Elizabeth Olsson (bottom centre), Lauren Hillman (top right) and Dr Susan Stone (bottom right) have all been appointed to new positions.

Daniel Kisgyano (left), Ben Owen (top centre), Bev Barber (centre), Elizabeth Olsson (bottom centre), Lauren Hillman (top right) and Dr Susan Stone (bottom right) have all been appointed to new positions.

Ben Owen

Reade snags another banker

Senior Westpac and BankSA Manager Ben Owen will join his old colleague Nick Reade at the RAA next year.

Owen has been appointed Chief Strategy Officer and General Manager Home & Energy, a newly-created role at the RAA responsible for the automobile association’s emerging clean energy offering.

A long-time banking executive, Owen is currently State General Manager, Consumer and Business, BankSA and Westpac SA & NT.

He is also Chair of the SA Branch of the Financial Services Institute of Australasia and the Westpac Community Board SA & NT.

Reade, who worked with Owen during his seven years as BankSA CEO, said he would be taking “a lead role in RAA’s next growth business”.

“Ben is an accomplished leader, who has extensive experience in strategy and planning and has brought a customer-centric approach to some of Australia’s largest banks and branch networks,” Reade said in a statement.

“Ben has a successful track record in developing and executing strategy to ensure organisations achieve their purpose, and RAA is thrilled to welcome him to its executive team.”

Last month, Reade welcomed back another former senior BankSA manager in Michael Healy, appointed as RAA’s new Chief Marketing Officer.

Miriam Silva AM

Lauren Hillman

Movements on the Film Corp board

The board of the South Australian Film Corporation has a new look after the resignation of Chair Julie Cooper.

Cooper, a Corporate Ladder regular and one of South Australia’s most prominent company directors, resigned earlier this month and has been replaced by long-time SAFC Board Member Miriam Silva AM.

Based in Melbourne, Silva has been on the boards of several high-profile South Australian organisations, including the University of South Australia, TAFE SA and Wilderness School.

Her appointment as Interim SAFC Chair will run until June 7, 2023, or until a new Chair is appointed.

The SAFC also last week appointed Channel 44 General Manager Lauren Hillman, KSJ Consulting Service Principal Consultant Shouwn Oosting, and film industry veteran Angela Heesom to the board.

Hillman has been with Channel 44 since 2015 and has held senior production roles with the ABC and Nine Entertainment.

Oosting, a Waanyi Garrwa descendent, offers Aboriginal engagement consultancy services to a wide range of clients – including the South Australian Government – and is already a member of SAFC’s First Nations Screen Advisory and Reconciliation Action Plan committees.

Heesom is the founder of South Australian casting agency Heesom Casting. According to the state government, she has around 100 casting credits on well-known films and TV series, including Mortal Kombat, Storm Boy (2019) and Wolf Creek.

Hillman, Oosting and Heesom replace Cooper and film industry veteran Rebecca Summerton on the SAFC board.

Summerton, whose term on the board expired, is the Owner of film and television production company Closer Productions. She is part of a new group of directors attempting to save cinema organisation Mercury CX from insolvency.

Elizabeth Olsson

Peter Goldsworthy

Changes at State Opera

State Opera South Australia has appointed Master Elizabeth Olsson as its new Chair.

Olsson, a legal practitioner with more than 30 years’ experience, is a former Senior Associate at Mellor Olsson. She was appointed District Court Master in 2019.

A State Opera board member since 2014, she takes over leadership from the retiring John Irving, who had led the board for six years.

Meanwhile, State Opera also last week appointed writer Peter Goldsworthy and travel manager Philippa Williams to the board.

The duo replace Irving and fellow retiring board member Peter Mitchell.

The State Opera is still looking to appoint a new Artistic Director in 2023, following their appointment of Mark Taylor from Opera Queensland as Executive Director.

Bev Barber

Dr Susan Stone

Skills added to Workskil board

National employment services group Workskil Australia has appointed former Liberal Party State Director Bev Barber and prominent economist Dr Susan Stone to its board.

The duo will replace Toula Tsamandanis and Jenni Ma on the Work

Barber, who now runs her own consulting firm, led the SA Branch of the Liberal Party from 2010 to 2012.

She has since held senior roles with PwC and Deloitte where she consulted for South Australian Government clients. She has also been a long-serving board member of children’s charity HeartKids Australia.

Stone, meanwhile, has recently moved from Paris to Adelaide to take on the public facing role of Credit Union SA Chair of Economics at the University of South Australia.

A former OECD Economist, Stone’s CV also includes stints as an economist/analyst for the Australian Productivity Commission and the US Environmental Protection Agency.

Workskil Australia CEO Nicole Dwyer touted Stone and Barber as “exceptional leaders in their respective fields and combined add an ideal mix of economic thought leadership and business acumen”.

Corporate Position: the latest executive employment opportunities

St Andrew’s School is looking to appoint a new Deputy Principal. The leading co-educational early years and primary school, based on the Adelaide CBD fringe, has more than 500 students from ELC to Year 6 and recently attained the State’s highest NAPLAN results. The school’s new award-winning $6.2m Tarrkarri building empowers a new generation of students in learner-centred, state-of-the-art environments, including the new STEM facility (‘The Collaboratory’). Reporting to the newly appointed Principal Luke Ritchie, the Deputy Principal will work closely with the dedicated staff and School community. Applications are welcome from appropriately qualified and experienced professionals with demonstrated success in high level collaboration to execute contemporary teaching, learning, wellbeing and capacity building initiative. Authenticity, credibility, integrity, humility, warmth, energy and a genuine passion for the development of young people will be critical attributes in the appointee. Alignment with the core values of belonging, celebrating success, integrity and creativity will be crucial, as well as a preparedness to support the Anglican ethos of the School and the demonstrated capacity to enhance both culture and strategy.

Unity College in Murray Bridge is on the hunt for a new Head of People, Culture & Community. This opportunity is for a passionate and committed senior human resources generalist to lead the People and Culture function and also provide oversight to the community facing team. The position also oversees a small development team which manages events, marketing and community engagement. This important and diverse role will report directly to the Principal and lead both strategic and operational HR initiatives including: providing specialist services as a trusted member of the executive team to managers and both academic and non-academic employees; facilitating end to end talent management services incorporating recruitment, induction, performance management and career development; and promoting a positive culture and administering a safe, harmonious and healthy work environment for staff and students. Applications are encouraged from qualified professionals with demonstrated experience in a comparable HR leadership role.

Barossa Village is a community owned not-for-profit providing a full range of retirement living and aged care services within the Barossa and surrounding regions. It has around 400 employees, contractors and volunteers, and revenue around $25m. An opportunity has opened for a new Home Care Manager to take responsibility of Barossa Village’s Community Home Care Services. Reporting to the General Manager, Integrated Services, the Home Care Manager is responsible for overseeing all operational aspects of the community aged care package programs; providing high quality, contemporary service delivery promoting positive ageing and complying with legislative and regulatory requirements; and promoting meaningful engagement and a sense of community, ensuring consumers are actively involved in decision making around their services. Applications are invited from suitably qualified candidates experienced in a community care environment with an emphasis on the provision of aged care or comparable human services. Qualities considered essential for success of the appointee include initiative, judgement, empathy, commitment to continuous improvement principles and consummate interpersonal and communication skills.

Liz McKinnon

SA’s first Cross Border Commissioner

The Malinauskas Government has appointed Liz McKinnon as the state’s first Cross Border Commissioner.

McKinnon, who will start in the role on April 3, is currently Executive General Manager of the Green Triangle Forest Industries Hub – a network of forestry companies across South Australia and Victoria.

She has also since August this year been in a contract role with the Department of Primary Industries and Regions as Head of Project Delivery, Forest Industries Election Commitments.

According to her LinkedIn, she is a board member with Mount Gambier school music festival Generations in Jazz and Chair of Casterton Memorial Hospital in regional Victoria.

McKinnon’s three-year appointment as Cross Border Commissioner was gazetted last week. Her office has been allocated $500,000 over four years to establish itself.

Premier Peter Malinauskas said he was “looking forward to working with Liz in helping to improve the lives of our cross-border communities”.

Daniel Kisgyano

Promotion for Adelaide consultant

National engineering consultancy Lucid Consulting Australia has appointed long-time employee Daniel Kisgyano as Director in their Adelaide office.

Kisgyano joined Lucid in 2008 as a Graduate Mechanical Engineer and is credited with “leading numerous initiatives from concept to commercialisation”, including its health and defence divisions.

His new position has a national focus on operations and reports directly to the firm’s Sydney-based CEO Jarrad Clift.

Kisgyano will step up to the Director role in January.

Ben Pursche

Rising the ServiceFM ranks

Facility management services company ServiceFM has promoted Ben Pursche to Chief Operating Officer.

Pursche has been with the South Australian firm for the last 16 years, most recently as General Manager, Hard Services.

He has previously held roles with ServiceFM’s electricity safety subsidiary eSafe, including National Operations Manager.

“We highly value the way Ben genuinely cares about his clients,” ServiceFM Managing Director James Pollock said in a statement.

“His leadership style is anchored in team outcomes and accolades for the greater team, not just the individual.”

ServiceFM says Pursche’s promotion to the newly-created COO role follows a national restructure to bring service delivery and operational delivery together.

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