Meet the leaders in this year’s 40 Under 40

Leading change in society unites these young social entrepreneurs in Adelaide.

Jul 11, 2023, updated Jul 12, 2023
Stephanie-Jo Malan, Teegan Cocchiaro, William Darley, Tiahni Adamson. Photo: Samuel Graves.

Stephanie-Jo Malan, Teegan Cocchiaro, William Darley, Tiahni Adamson. Photo: Samuel Graves.

Stephanie-Jo Malan

The Village Co: CEO and Founder

Malan, 37, co-founded the registered charity that cares for and supports new mothers in South Australia who are experiencing a range of hardships. In 2018 it supported 100 women and by the end of 2022 it supported 800 women. “A heard and supported mother, raises healthier and happier children, who will grow to be valued and critical members of our communities, South Australia and our nation as a whole,” she said.

One rule you live your life by? Be kind and curious.

Teegan Cocchiaro

Lo & Co Interiors: Co-Founder / Director

Cocchiaro co-founded one of Australia’s leading architectural hardware brands, which has showrooms in Adelaide, Sydney and Auckland, over 20 Australian and international resellers, and a trade network that exceeds 15,000 customers. The 38-year-old employs more than 20 staff, with 17 of them based at the company’s Norwood headquarters. “I remain firmly committed to being a South Australian run business, with the belief that South Australia offers all the freedoms and strong platform to bring business ideas to fruition,” she said.

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William Darley

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Ngurra Civil and Construction: Executive Director

With more than 22 years in civil engineering, the 39-year-old’s goal is to establish his company of 39 employees as a professional hub for Indigenous employees, which will ensure continuous improvement and advancement of Indigenous health, education, life expectancy and employment opportunities.

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Tiahni Adamson

CH4 Global: Lead Community Engagement Officer

The 28-year-old plays a fundamental role in the startup climate tech company working to reduce methane output in agriculture through the use of sustainable seaweed aquaculture systems. Adamson is focused on environmental activism, healing and protecting Country, and nurturing First Nations people. “My vision is to be a part of bettering our ecological crisis and fight for First Nations rights, where Indigenous people gain full re-independence of our livelihoods, and where the Earth can heal and rest,” she said.

Favourite pastime/activity that isn’t related to your work? Anything involving being in saltwater.

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