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.

Apr 17, 2023, updated Apr 17, 2023

Sandy Verschoor

Former Lord Mayor gets artsy

Former Lord Mayor of Adelaide Sandy Verschoor has been appointed Chair of the Art Gallery of South Australia.

Verschoor’s experience in the arts started in 2001 as Associate Director of Arts Projects Australia before she took on the role of Chief Executive Officer of Adelaide Fringe.

She has been employed as General Manager and Producer of Windmill Theatre and Chief Executive Officer of Adelaide Festival in addition to her role as Chair of the SA Writers Centre Board.

The appointment comes as Verschoor takes on the role as Chair of the South Australian Heritage Council after Keith Conlon stepped down.

The appointment commences in April of 2023 for a three-year term.

Inca Lee

Brian Smedley

Making waves in the wine industry

The South Australian Wine Industry Association (SAWIA) has appointed Inca Lee as Chief Executive Officer.

Lee is currently Chief Executive Officer of Vinehealth Australia where she has been employed for more than eight years.

Her previous experience includes Communications Manager of Pernod Ricard Winemakers and roles across Orlando Wines.

Lee is also an Australian Representative on the expert working group Xyella in Viticulture for the International Organisation of Vine and Wine.

Commencing on 27 June 2023, Lee takes the position from long-time Chief Executive Officer Brian Smedley.

After 15 years in the role and 27 years with the association, Smedley will conduct a handover prior to his retirement in July 2023.

Arman Abrahimzadeh

Alex Hammett

Creating a new committee

Unley Council has appointed six members to its newly created Business & Economic Development Advisory Committee.

Members are Arman AbrahimzadehKym Della-TorreAlex HammettJoshua McNallyNicole Sheehan and Garry Goddard.

Arman Abrahimzadeh is an Area Councillor for the City of Adelaide and co-founder of the charity, Zahra Foundation Australia.

Kym Della-Torre is Director of Advisory and Professional Development at the South Australian Department of Treasury and Finance.

Alex Hammett is Chief Executive Officer of social media management company, Lemon and Lime Digital and a National Coordinator for Australian Organics Recycling Association Limited.

Joshua McNally is Director of Marketing and Communications for The Council of Ambulance Authorities and was formerly Executive Director of Marketing and Membership for Business SA.

Nicole Sheehan is a Member Councillor for the City of Unley and Proprietor of Nicole Sheehan Hair.

Garry Goddard is Director of Public Policy and Commercial Consulting Pty Ltd and Commissioner for the Essential Services Commission of South Australia (ESCOSA).

James Sellers

Ben Dawson

Scouting new opportunities

Scouts SA has appointed James Sellers as its new Chief Executive Officer.

Sellers takes on the role from his previous position with the organisation as Head of Commercials.

He is presently Deputy Chair of the Adelaide Hills Tourism Association.

Prior to his employment with Scouts SA, Sellers was the General Manager of Cleland Wildlife Park for the Department of Environment, Water and Natural Resources.

Sellers is replaced by Ben Dawson who joins the organisation from the RSPCA where he was employed as Commercial Operations Manager.

He was previously working in store management for pet wellness company, Greencross Limited.

Dawson is currently a Consumer Representative for the Northern Adelaide Health Network.

Corporate Position: the latest executive employment opportunities

Not-for-profit organisation Nature Foundation is looking to fill three roles. The Senior Conservation Land Manager will report to the CEO and provide senior leadership in the management of employees and contractors and the development of operational programs and projects to ensure effective conservation and land management on Nature Foundation reserves. There is also a position available as a Conservation Land Manager who will report to the Senior Conservation Land Manager to assist in ensuring effective conservation and land management. Both roles will be based at either Hiltaba or Witchelina nature reserves. Nature Foundation is further looking to appoint a Volunteer and Visitor Engagement Coordinator. Reporting to the Deputy CEO, this role is responsible for coordinating the volunteer engagement program’s management across all seven reserves and for supporting nature-based tourism activities. The position is offered on a full-time or part-time basis with flexible working hours/days and working from home opportunities negotiable to secure the right candidate.

St John’s Grammar School is looking to appoint a Business Director who will work closely with the senior management team and Board of Governors to lead the overall financial strategy as the effective CFO for the school. An attractive executive remuneration package will be negotiated to secure a high-calibre appointee keen to add value to the school. 

Ninti One, an organisation that manages projects to boost the livelihoods of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in addition to equipping organisations with insight, expertise and on-the-ground skills and partnerships, is looking to hire three new employees. Two Project Support Officers are required to provide key project and administrative support to the Justice Reinvestment (JR) Partner Team. The positions will support project coordination, travel and event management, the administration of project funds, and the development and maintenance of the project. The role is preferably Adelaide-based; however, remote working arrangements will be considered to secure the right candidate. Ninti One is also looking to appoint a Community Engagement and Capacity Building Coordinator to the JR Partner Team. The position will oversee the delivery of practical readiness support to up to 15 First Nations communities interested in exploring a justice reinvestment approach. This includes onboarding and supporting a team of Community Engagement Specialists across Australia to deliver fieldwork, workshops and project development. The Community Engagement and Capacity Building Coordinator will be based in Adelaide, Alice Springs or Sydney, with consideration for remote work to secure the right candidate. All three roles are offered on a fixed-term contract until 20 March 2024 with the potential to extend alongside opportunities to travel to First Nations communities around Australia. 


Kevin Reid

Bill Coomans

Rolling into a new position

Current Board Member Kevin Reid has been appointed Board President and Chair of Meals on Wheels SA (MoWSA).

He joined the not-for-profit’s Board in 2017 as Honorary Treasurer and was Vice President of Finances before taking on his new role.

Reid is currently Non-Executive Director of Beston Global Food Company and aged care provider, ACH Group.

He is also Director of not-for-profit organisations Can:Do 4 Kids and Can:Do Hearing.

The appointment takes place after the retirement of former President and Chair Bill Coomans.

Coomans worked with MoWSA for 15 years, seven of those as President and Chair.

He also served as Branch Volunteer and Chair of the MoWSA Happy Valley Branch.

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Ben LaHood

Top 100

Adelaide-based Ben LaHood has been recognised as one of the top 100 ophthalmologists worldwide in The Ophthalmologist magazine’s 2023 Power List.

At 39 years old, LaHood is the youngest Australian ophthalmologist listed, the only South Australian and one of only two Australians for 2023.

LaHood currently practices ophthalmology at Adelaide Eye & Laser Centre and The Queen Elizabeth Hospital.

He is a Member of the Society of Cataract and Refractive Surgeons for Australasia (AUSCRS), Europe (ESCRS) and America (ASCRS).

LaHood is also a Fellow of the Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Ophthalmologists (FRANZCO) and the World of Refractive Surgery and Visual Sciences (WCRSVS).

He was also recently appointed as a Member of the Global Editorial Board of Cataract and Refractive Surgery Today (GRST).

Philip Riquier

Making a point of selling

Philip Riquier has been appointed Chair of the Board of point-of-sale provider, MyVenue.

He currently holds Board positions with Capital Prudential, Credit Union SA and Lutheran Home Groups and was previously on the Board of The Risk Management Association.

Riquier was formerly employed as the Group Executive and Chief General Manager of Bendigo and Adelaide Bank for more than two decades.

Jeff Owens

Managing hospitality at the Adelaide Festival Centre

Jeff Owens has been appointed as Manager of Hospitality at the Adelaide Festival Centre.

Owens was most recently employed as State Business Coach for Star Group and has former experience as Senior Hotel Manager of Spirits Hotel and Venue Manager at ALH Group.

His previous hospitality experience includes having co-owned The Office Bar + Bistro, Soda Room Nightclub and the Colonel Light Hotel.

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