Corporate Ladder: your weekly guide to executive appointments in South Australia

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.

Mar 06, 2023, updated Mar 09, 2023
Robert Smeets (top left), Bronwyn Hurrell (bottom left), Leanne McGrath (top centre), Brendan Rinaldi (centre), Stephen Bourne (bottom centre) and Kellie Howard (right) have all been appointed to new positions.

Robert Smeets (top left), Bronwyn Hurrell (bottom left), Leanne McGrath (top centre), Brendan Rinaldi (centre), Stephen Bourne (bottom centre) and Kellie Howard (right) have all been appointed to new positions.

Nikki Govan

Business SA farewells Chair

Nikki Govan has stepped down from her role as Chair of Business SA’s Board after a nine-and-a-half-year term.

Govan joined the Board in 2013 and was elected Deputy Chair in 2015 before being appointed Chair in 2018.

She remains the Chair of City of Adelaide’s Economic Development Agency and was previously the Chair of the Work Health & Safety and Workers’ Compensation Committee at the Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

Govan will remain as Independent Director on the Board of AACI, Business SA’s national counterpart.

Her successor is expected to be announced on March 8 at the Business SA International Women’s Day event.

Stephen Bourne

Ashley Kent

Legal Services Commission appoints new head of Family Law Division

South Australian legal assistance organisation Legal Services Commission has appointed Stephen Bourne as Manager of Family Law.

With 25 years’ experience in legal practice, Bourne was most recently employed as Solicitor Director and CEO of Medcalf Grant Lawyers in New South Wales.

His other previous experience includes Solicitor Director at Kirkeby & Co., Senior Lawyer at the New South Wales Department of Communities and Justice, and Senior Lawyer at Turnbull Hill Lawyers.

The appointment follows the retirement of current Manager of Family Law Ashley Kent after 27 years at the company.

Kent will perform an official handover to Bourne on March 17.

Brendan Rinaldi

ANZ farewells Banking Executive

Brendan Rinaldi has resigned from his role as Head of Health, Corporate and Institutional Banking at ANZ.

Rinaldi has worked at ANZ for over a decade, starting as Head of Agribusiness before taking on roles as State Director, State General Manager, Chair and General Manager.

Prior to working at ANZ, Rinaldi has been employed as Senior Consultant of PwC and Associate Director of advisory and investment firm, KordaMentha.

He is currently Governor of the American Chamber of Commerce in Australia (AmCham).

Rinaldi is yet to announce his new role.

Dr Leanne McGrath

Robert Smeets

Appointing fun guys

The Epicurean Food Group (EFG) has appointed three people to roles at its recently launched exotic mushroom facility at the Lionsgate Business Park.

EFG Co-Founder Leanne McGrath has been appointed Chief Scientific Officer.

She has over 30 years of experience in biotechnology, having previously worked as Research Officer for the CSIRO, Bioreagents Scientist at GroPep and an Account Manager of Genomics in Agriculture and Health at the Australian Genome Research Facility.

Robert Smeets has been appointed General Manager of Engineering at EFG.

Smeets has previous experience in the mushroom industry as Project Engineer for Christiaens Group BV, Service Engineer at Adelaide Mushrooms and Project Engineer at MUSREN Pty Ltd.

With over two decades in sales and marketing roles, Dale Aitken has been appointed EFG’s National Sales and Marketing Manager.

He has previously been employed by Hasbro as Senior Marketing and Events Manager and as Regional Business Director for Hasbro’s role-playing game company Wizards of the Coast.

Corporate Position: the latest executive employment opportunities

Renewal SA is looking to appoint a Director of People & Culture to lead and manage a team specialising in industrial relations, learning and development, health and safety, organisational development and recruitment. Reporting to the General Manager, the Director will work closely with the Executive Team and Business Managers across the agency to drive and influence a positive culture of customer service delivery and to create ownership of human resource directions.

Significant not-for-profit organisation Helping Hand is looking to appoint new Board Directors to work closely with the CEO to ensure the vision for the organisation is realised within a structure of governance and leadership through strategic planning, financial management and client safety and quality. These remunerated appointments will bring strategic expertise in property and housing development; complex workforce strategy and planning; finance and legal; aged care and clinical service delivery in the home and community; or technology transformation.

South Australian Police (SAPOL) is looking to appoint to the newly created role Director of Information Security. The role will be integral to advancing SAPOL’s current Digital Strategy and IS&T Transformation Program and will drive and deliver major program initiatives aimed at uplifting existing and enabling new capabilities in information and cyber security. Reporting to the Executive Director IS&T, and as a member of the IS&T executive, the role is responsible for planning, implementing, monitoring and evolving the organisation’s internal cyber security and technology risk strategy and architecture.

Not-for-profit Nature Play SA is looking to appoint a Chief Executive Officer to lead the organisation after founding CEO Sarah Sutter steps down. The CEO will be required to connect at the highest levels of government and business, while also working as part of a small team. Key responsibilities include working with the Board to translate strategy into business plans and deliverables; managing relationships with stakeholders; overseeing all day-to-day operations; and identifying and developing new growth opportunities.

Kellie Howard

Back in Adelaide for business

Adelaide Oval has appointed Kellie Howard as its new Director of Sales.

Howard has previously been employed as Business Development Manager at Adelaide Convention Centre, International Convention Centre Sydney, ID Events Australia, Howards and Sons Pyrotechnics, Australian Turf Club and Stamford Hotels and Resorts.

She has recently returned to Adelaide after two decades working in Sydney and began her role at Adelaide Oval in November of 2022.

Bronwyn Hurrell

Moving on

Bronwyn Hurrell has resigned from her role as Senior Manager of Corporate Communications at the University of South Australia.

She has accepted a role as Head of Communications and Public Affairs at The Hospital Research Foundation Group, reporting to CEO Paul Flynn and starting on 17 March.

Hurrell has worked at the University of South Australia for four and a half years, first leading communications and marketing for UniSA STEM at Mawson Lakes and then leading the media and communications team at City West.

A former newspaper journalist, she worked for former premier Jay Weatherill for more than 10 years as his ministerial media adviser, chief media adviser and deputy chief of staff.

Sam Aukland

New designs

Sam Aukland has been appointed Senior Design Architect at Nelson Architects.

He has previously been employed as Design and Projects Manager at Catholic Education South Australia.

Aukland has been Director of architectural design firm Studio Orca since 2006.

Sam Dighton

Energy exec’s leadership move

Former ElectraNet executive Sam Dighton has been appointed CEO of the Committee for Adelaide.

Dighton was most recently Group Executive Commercial, General Counsel and Company Secretary at ElectraNet, the Adelaide-based company responsible for the South Australian portion of the $2.4 billion energy interconnector with New South Wales.

Prior to that, he was with Renewal SA as Director, Riverbank and Strategic Projects – a role he took up after 10 years in London with law firm Winckworth Sherwood LLP.

He is also a former Business Development Manager with the Agent General for South Australia in London.

Dighton replaces former Committee for Adelaide CEO Bruce Djite, who left the organisation in December after being appointed Executive Director of the South Australian Property Council.

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