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 19, 2022, updated Dec 19, 2022
Professor Linzi Wilson-Wilde OAM (top left), Marjolijn Woods (bottom left) Vanessa Balnaves (top centre), Tim Stead 
(centre), Professor David Waugh (bottom centre) and Tim Swaine have all been appointed to new positions.

Professor Linzi Wilson-Wilde OAM (top left), Marjolijn Woods (bottom left) Vanessa Balnaves (top centre), Tim Stead (centre), Professor David Waugh (bottom centre) and Tim Swaine have all been appointed to new positions.

Professor David Waugh

UniSA gets top QUT researcher

The University of South Australia has appointed Professor David Waugh as its inaugural Pro Vice-Chancellor, Health and Medical Engagement.

Waugh will join UniSA on January 9 after more than four years with the Queensland University of Technology as Head of School, Biomedical Sciences and Professor of Molecular Oncology and Therapeutics.

Prior to that, he was with Queen’s University Belfast as Director of the Centre for Cancer Research and Cell Biology.

“Prof Waugh brings the strategic and collaborative skills to help us further accelerate successes in the South Australian health and medical research ecosystem,” said Professor Marnie Hughes-Warrington, UniSA Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Research and Enterprise.

“We look forward to working with Prof Waugh and our community and industry partners to drive health innovation, improve patient care and expand the knowledge-based economy in SA and beyond.”

Waugh’s new role will also include research work within UniSA’s health and medical alliance – the Centre for Cancer Biology.

Tim Swaine

Vanessa Balnaves

Law movements

ElectraNet Senior Legal Counsel Tim Swaine has joined Finlaysons Lawyers.

Swaine has been with ElectraNet – the company responsible for the SA portion of the $2.4 billion energy interconnector with NSW – since January 2020, joining as a Legal Counsel before being promoted to Senior Legal Counsel within his first year.

His career in the South Australian legal industry has included stints with Kelly & Co Lawyers, MinterEllison, as well as time with Pernod Ricard Winemakers as an in-house Legal Manager and nearly five years running his own boutique law firm, Swaine Legal.

Swaine has been appointed Senior Counsel within Finlaysons’ commercial division, which the firm says will allow him to focus on legal issues in the energy and major projects space.

He starts with Finlaysons today.

Meanwhile, Lynch Meyer Lawyers has added Vanessa Balnaves to its Partnership.

Balnaves had been with Johnston Withers Lawyers as a Senior Lawyer for the last six years but is now heading up Lynch Meyer’s wills and estates planning practice.

She has also been tasked with heading up a new family law offering within the firm.

Balnaves led her own boutique law firm, Balnaves Lawyers, before joining Johnston Withers in 2016.

Elsewhere in the Adelaide legal world, Cowell Clarke has promoted eight Senior Counsels to Associate Directors.

The commercial law firm last week announced the elevations of Cassie Burfoot, Peter Healey, Emma Peters, Matthew Hawke, Amanda Brady, Kieren Chester, Peter Leech and Andrew Bullock.

Professor Linzi Wilson-Wilde OAM

Top public servant tapped for Queensland rebuild job

The Director of Forensic Science SA, Professor Linzi Wilson-Wilde OAM, has been given the task of rebuilding Queensland’s failed state-run DNA testing lab.

The accomplished public servant – who was awarded the Order of Australia for her DNA analysis work in the wake of the 2002 Bali Bombings – was last week appointed CEO of the newly established Forensic Science Queensland.

Wilson-Wilde has led Forensic Science SA since February 2021. She has done forensics work for Victoria Police, NSW Police and the Australian Federal Police, while more recently she was Director of the National Institute of Forensic Science.

The South Australian Government says it will begin recruitment for a new Director at the end of January. Wilson-Wilde is due to step aside on January 12.

“Professor Wilson-Wilde has done a remarkable job of taking the reins at Forensic Science SA during a period of tremendous change, leading the organisation through a significant influx of work and changing working conditions as a result of COVID-19,” Attorney-General Kyam Maher said in a statement.

The Queensland Government has created Forensic Science Queensland to replace the state’s former forensics lab, which was found by a four-month public inquiry to not have been properly testing DNA samples for years due to “grave maladministration involving dishonesty”.

Maher said Wilson-Wilde had been “actively recruited to shape the direction of forensic science services in [Queensland]” and he “can only wish her well in what will no doubt be a challenging new role”.

Corporate Position: the latest executive employment opportunities

Contract mining and civil construction firm Lucas Total Contract Solutions is on the hunt for a new Chief Financial Officer. The privately-owned company, which employs over 650 staff nationally and has an annual turnover exceeding $250m, is seeking applications from CA/CPA qualified or equivalent status candidates, ideally with extensive commercial experience overseeing the finance and/or corporate services functions for a significant organisation. The responsibilities of this CFO role include: proactively contributing to the operational and strategic direction of the organisation through the development and implementation of short and long term financial plans; overseeing, directing, controlling, administering and reporting on the financial activities of the business; and leading, managing, mentoring, motivating and developing the Group Accountants. Also important are highly developed skills in risk management, negotiation, financial analysis, people management and effective communication. This is a significant Adelaide based CFO opportunity that will suit a versatile, trustworthy and commercially astute individual who can add value to this forward focused organisation.

Scouts SA is looking for a new Head of Commercial. Reporting directly to the CEO, this role is responsible for developing, leading, and implementing Scouts SA’s commercial strategy, goals and objectives which are aimed towards sustainably accelerating growth through promoting and expanding Scouts SA’s existing operations. Key responsibilities include: ensuring that Scouts SA maximises efficiencies in facility and operational management to meet organisational objectives and profitability targets; leading business planning and commercial analysis and providing support to aid in decision-making for the Scout Recycling Centres, activity centres, retail shops and property portfolio; identifying new and innovative opportunities that will generate revenues and contribute to sustainable growth for Scouts SA; and continuing to drive strategic initiatives for the organisation and further position the Scouts SA brand. Applications are encouraged from appropriately qualified and proven professionals with high levels of commercial and political acumen complemented by superior communication, negotiation, stakeholder management and leadership skills.

St John Ambulance Australia SA has two vacancies on its Board. The self-funded charity is looking to appoint a new Chair as Karen Limb is set to relinquish the position next year, while there is also an opportunity for another Board Member to join the organisation. Amongst the range of skills and capabilities sought are clinical expertise, technology/ICT, governance & compliance, legal experience, property development, asset management, grant submission and CEO experience. Expressions of interest are invited from appropriately qualified and proven senior executives and non-executive directors with experience in a similarly diverse, community-facing, values-based organisation. AICD qualifications will be highly regarded. A genuine affinity with the vision and values of St John Ambulance will be important as will commercial acumen, strongly developed leadership, communication, influencing and stakeholder management capacities.

Marjolijn Woods

Codan makes new HR appointment

South Australian technology company Codan has appointed Marjolijn Woods as its inaugural Chief Human Resources Officer. 

Woods makes the step across from Codan’s communications arm, Domo Tactical Communications, where she has been Global Human Resources Director since 2018.

Prior to that, she was at Cobham Aviation Services for more than 10 years, working her way up from Operations Controller to Flight Crew Manager and then Senior HR Adviser.

Woods will start in her new role with Codan on January 3. The company has more than 735 employees across Australia, Brazil, Canada, Denmark, Ireland, Mexico, Singapore, the UAE, UK and US.

Tim Stead

Liz Schoen

WISA uncorks new leadership

The Wine Industry Suppliers Association has elected Tim Stead as its new Chair.

Stead, currently CEO of cork manufacturer Amorim Australasia, replaces Jason Amos of Lallemand Australia, who has stepped down after four years on the WISA Management Committee.

Stead has been with Amorim Australasia since 2009, joining as National Sales & Marketing Manager before being promoted to the top job in 2016.

WISA’s annual general meeting last week also saw the election of wine industry consultant Liz Schoen as Deputy Chair.

Schoen is a former Angaston-based Regional Sales Manager (Europe & Pacific) for wine importer and exporter Negociants International. She moved into running her own consultancy in May 2021.

WISA also elected Hydra Consulting Managing Director Ron van Buuren and Seguin Moreau Sales and Marketing Manager Adrian Fiocchini to the Management Committee last week.

Andrew Short

Veteran lawyer hangs up the boots

MinterEllison’s Andrew Short has retired after more than 40 years in the Adelaide legal world.

The long-time industrial relations and media lawyer announced his retirement on LinkedIn last week.

Short has been with MinterEllison in Adelaide since 1988, joining after five years with Baker McEwin and a year with Mollison Litchfield.

Among his career highlights listed on his MinterEllison bio are acting for SA Health to investigate employee issues in the wake of the Oakden report, and acting for the Department for Child Protection to implement recommendations from the Nyland Royal Commission.

He has also been intimately involved in defamation, advising both media organisations and politicians on the issue

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