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 15, 2024, updated Apr 15, 2024

New Chief Scientist for SA

Professor Craig Simmons has been appointed Chief Scientist for South Australia.

Craig Simmons

The former South Australian Scientist of the Year is a leading groundwater scientist and is currently Pro Vice-Chancellor at the University of Newcastle’s College of Engineering, Science and Environment.

He has previously served as an Executive Director at the Australian Research Council, Foundation Director at the Australian Research Council’s National Centre for Groundwater Research and Training, the Matthew Flinders Distinguished Professor and inaugural Schultz Chair in the Environment at Flinders University.

As Chief Scientist of South Australia, Simmons will advise the government on matters relating to science and developing the research ecosystem in the state.

Police union boss retires

The South Australian Police Union has announced the retirement of its President, Mark Carroll.

Mark Carroll

Carroll joined the police union in 1991 as a delegate and has been President and CEO since 2008.

Carroll graduated from the Fort Largs Police Academy in 1986 and has served as a frontline officer in Adelaide and in the Yalata Aboriginal Community on the state’s West Coast.

Carroll also served as the President of the Police Federation of Australia from 2014-2021.

Former university Vice-Chancellor to advise government on uni merger

The state government has appointed Professor Emeritus Ian O’Connor AC as its Higher Education Independent Advisor.

In this role, O’Connor will advise the government on the creation of Adelaide University through the merger of the University of Adelaide and the University of South Australia.

Ian O’Connor

O’Connor has been Vice-Chancellor and President at Griffith University, President of the Academic Board at the University of Queensland, Chair of the Higher Education Standards Panel and Deputy Chair of Trade and Investment Queensland.

Adelaide University is expected to be launched in 2026.

ACH Group announces new CEO

South Australian not-for-profit aged care services provider ACH Group has appointed Linda Feldt as Chief Executive Officer.

Linda Feldt

Feldt joined the organisation in 2015 and has been interim CEO for the past five months. She was previously the Chief Operating Officer.

Before joining ACH Group, Feldt was Financial Controller at Bedford Phoenix Incorporated and Senior Manager, Shared Services at Glencore Grain BV/Viterra Ltd. She has also held numerous positions at Viterra, among other roles.

ACH Group is based in Mile End and offers aged care services including retirement and residential options, in-home care, respite choices and short-term transition services.

A leadership change at G’Day Group

Adrian Whiting

Regional accommodation provider G’Day Group has welcomed Adrian Whiting as Non-Executive Director and John Domino as Chief Development Officer.

Whiting has more than 40 years of experience in accounting and commercial roles.

Before joining G’Day Group, Whiting spent nine years as a Manager at Ernst & Young, 14 and a half years as a Partner at PKF Chartered Accountants & Business Advisers, over 13 years at Toga Group as Chief Financial Officer (CFO) and almost 3 years as Director and Chairman at the Audit and Risk Committee at TFE Hotels Group.

John Domino

Domino worked as Chief Operating Officer – Construction at Peregrine Corporation for over four years before joining G’Day Group.

Before this, he was General Manager of Construction at the SA Motorsport Park, Director of Project Services and General Manager of Asset Management at the Department of Planning, Transport and Infrastructure, Manager of Project Management at Kellogg Brown & Root Pty and Senior Project Manager at Visionstream.

G’Day Group, which is in the top 10 of InDaily‘s South Australian Business Index, has over 300 properties across Australia and is valued at $1.5 billion.

General Manager for Aston Hills Golf Club located at picturesque Mt Barker and widely regarded as the Adelaide Hills’ best-kept golfing secret.

Board Members for independent, not-for-profit entity, Ronald McDonald House Charities SA. Contribute expertise in Health, Marketing/Comms, Fundraising, Government Relations and Finance or Legal disciplines to make a difference to the lives of children and families.

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Head of Campus for the new Mambourin Campus and a Head of Learning (P-12) for the Tarneit Campus of highly successful educational institution Good News Lutheran College, located approximately 30km southwest of the Melbourne CBD.

A new Defence SA Advisory Board Member

Air Vice-Marshal (retd) Cath Roberts AO CSC has been appointed to the Defence SA Advisory Board.

Cath Roberts

Roberts has more than 40 years of experience in the Royal Australian Air Force as an Aerospace Engineer and was been awarded a Conspicuous Service Cross in 2004 for her contribution to aviation safety.

She was made an Officer of the Order of Australia in 2022 for her service as Head of the Aerospace Systems Division and Head of Air Force Capability.

Roberts officially started at the Defence SA Advisory Board in March 2024 for an initial two-year term.

A shake-up at the AEDA

Greg Ratsch

The Adelaide Economic Development Agency (AEDA) has announced the appointment of Greg Ratsch as General Manager and James Black to the Board as the Advisory Committee Representative.

Ratsch was previously the Acting Managing Director/General Manager and Executive Manager of Business Growth & Investment Attraction of the AEDA

James Black

Black is currently CEO of Perks Accountants & Wealth Advisers, which has 230 employees and recently relocated to Flinders Street.

According to the AEDA website, it is “a subsidiary of [the] City of Adelaide created to drive economic growth in Adelaide, attract investment & boost tourism.

SkyCity COO resigns

SkyCity’s Chief Operating Officer of Australia, David Christian, has stepped down.

executive appointments South Australia

Avril Baynes

Avril Baynes will serve in his place as Interim Chief Operating Officer of Australia until a permanent replacement is found.

Baynes has been General Manager of Hospitality at SkyCity Adelaide since November 2023 and before this was General Manager of Mindil Beach Casino Resort in Darwin.

Experienced producer steps down from South Australian Film Corporation

Beth Neate has stepped down from her role as Head of Production and Development at the South Australian Film Corporation (SAFC) and will leave the body this month.

executive appointments South Australia

Beth Neate

Neate has been at SAFC for the past six and a half years and was previously a Production and Development Executive.

Before this, Neate worked at the ABC as a Producer, a Production Manager at SBS, a Production Manager/Development Producer at tallstoreez productionz and an Executive Assistant at Pacific Magazines.

She has also held various roles with the United Nations including as a UN Communications & Advocacy Officer in Cambodia.

The SAFC is a government organisation that has produced numerous well-known movies including Picnic at Hanging Rock (1975), Storm Boy (1976) and Breaker Morant (1980).

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