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 employment advice from Hender Consulting.

May 20, 2024, updated May 20, 2024

Comms veteran steps down from SA Power Networks

Paul Roberts will step down after 16 years at SA Power Networks, the state’s principal electricity distributor.

Paul Roberts

Roberts is currently Head of Corporate Affairs at SA Power Networks and before this, he was Manager of Corporate Affairs and Stakeholder Relations Manager.

Roberts started his career as a journalist at 5DN radio in 1976 and also worked at Channel Nine and the ABC, was a media adviser to former Premier Lynn Arnold and a Communications Manager at WorkCoverSA.

Roberts said on LinkedIn that his time at SA Power Networks will finish at the end of May.

“I’m proud of my contribution to the change in perceptions of the business and the safety campaigns I’ve fostered, and I’m eager to share my energy and experience elsewhere,” he said.

Boutique law firm sets up in Adelaide

James Devonish

A new Adelaide-based law firm, Devonish, Harris and Henderson, has been established  following the departure of three senior practitioners from the national law firm Oakbridge Lawyers.

James Devonish has taken up the position of Managing Director, while Brianna Harris and Cameron Henderson are both directors.

Briana Harris

Devonish joined Oakbridge Lawyers soon after its creation in 2018, where he was Managing Director and Solicitor Director.

Before this, he was a partner at Lynch Meyer Lawyers and also spent over 10 years as Manager of the Claims Department at National Credit Insurance.

Harris started her career at Westpac as a collections consultant. She joined Oakbridge Lawyers in 2018 as an associate and prior to leaving was promoted to a senior associate.

Cameron Henderson

Henderson started his legal career as a solicitor at Lynch Meyer Lawyers in 2017 and joined Oakbridge Lawyers in 2020 following a stint as a ministerial advisor to the South Australian Government. 

Devonish Harris & Henderson is based on Carrington Street and specialises in commercial disputes, insolvency litigation and commercial recoveries across Australia.

Chief Conductor’s high note

The Adelaide Symphony Orchestra has appointed Mark Wigglesworth as its Chief Conductor, to commence an initial three-year term in January 2025.

Mark Wigglesworth

Wigglesworth is a globally recognised conductor and he was recently appointed as Chief Conductor of the UK’s Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra.

Highlights of his career include performances with the Berlin Philharmonic, London Symphony, New York Philharmonic and Royal Concertgebouw orchestras.

According to the ASO, Wigglesworth is “known for his masterly interpretations and highly detailed performances”.

The ASO was established in 1936 and presents more than 125 concerts annually.

How to demonstrate your leadership capabilities without bravado

Andrew Reed, Hender Consulting General Manager:

In recent years I have started using this acronym on my interview notes: CITOS, which is code for “comfort in their own skin”.

At Hender, we believe this is a critical trait of effective contemporary leaders. Professionals with CITOS know who they are and how they lead and are at peace with it. They show wisdom of the journey, high levels of self-awareness and emotional intelligence and many admirable qualities such as authenticity, humility, vulnerability and equanimity.

They have stopped putting too much time and energy into what people think of them and instead focus their energy on the work they do. They use examples of achievements rather than adjectives to articulate their success. They keep their egos in check and avoid self-compliments. They admit and embrace their own limitations and mistakes.

With CITOS also comes a certain calm confidence (without arrogance) that encourages people to follow, listen and work with them. Professionals with CITOS tend to avoid “look at me” behaviours and instead wait for people to notice what they have done. When interviewing, watch for CITOS and be rightfully concerned if you feel someone isn’t really projecting self-awareness and authenticity.

Finally, whilst CITOS can arrive for people of all ages, it naturally is more often present in older professionals and as a consequence, becomes a powerful argument to consider late career candidates.

Adelaide expansion plans for global public affairs firm

Public affairs firm H/Advisors APA has appointed Jane Lavender-Baker as Director of their Adelaide office.

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Jane Lavender-Baker. Photo: JKTP

Lavender-Baker has spent the past 12 years at the Australian Rail Track Corporation and was most recently Group Executive, Culture & Reputation.

She has also worked at RailCorp, Landcom and the Australian Red Cross.

Lavender-Baker’s appointment is part of H/Advisors’ expansion plans for Adelaide after it acquired the Australian Public Affairs (APA) lobbying group in September 2023.

On the move

Jane Jeffreys has been appointed as the chair of Smart South Australia, which said it is one of Australia’s leading salary packaging and novated leasing businesses.

Jane Jeffreys

In her new role, Jeffreys will promote and educate South Australians about the benefits of salary packaging and novated leasing, as well as connect government, businesses and workers to Smart South Australia’s services.

According to the Australian Taxation Office, salary packaging or salary sacrificing is when an employee is paid less income in return for pre-tax benefits, while novated leasing is a pre-tax car lease.

Jeffreys is the company director and a consultant at Jane Jeffreys Consulting. She is also the chair of Brand South Australia, director of Funds SA, non-executive director of Iocane and the chair of West Beach Parks.

Smartgroup said that it had approximately half a million customers in 2030 and leases over 90,000 vehicles, while its client base employs more than 1.5 million Australians.

New Clean Seas CFO

Clean Seas Seafood Limited has announced the appointment of David Di Blasio as Chief Financial Officer following the resignation of David Brown.

David Di Blasio

Before joining Clean Seas Seafood, Di Blasio held senior finance positions at Yumbah Aquaculture, Cooper Energy and Santos.

Di Blasio is a Chartered Accountant and previously worked in audit and assurance at PwC.

According to Clean Seas Seafood, it is the largest producer of Yellowtail Kingfish outside of Japan.

Leadership change at CCF SA

Annabel Shinkfield

The Civil Contractors Federation South Australia has appointed Annabel Shinkfield as General Manager of Industry Engagement Operations and Megan Matthews as General Manager of Industry Development and Training.

Before joining the CCF SA, Shinkfield was Head of Operations at Scouts SA. She is also currently Chair of OARS Community Transitions.

Megan Matthews

Matthews is currently Deputy Chair of Pulteney Grammar School and before joining the CCF SA, she was a senior manager at Westpac Group.

According to the CCF SA’s website, it “is the peak industry and business association representing, promoting, protecting, connecting and training civil contractors.”


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