Here’s to SA’s young leaders, trailblazers and innovators

There’s only one official 40 Under 40 program in South Australia – here’s how the real deal works to find and celebrate our young achievers.

Now in its seventh year, the InDaily and CityMag 40 Under 40 Awards program offers an introduction to the leaders, trailblazers and innovators who call South Australia home.

These are the people South Australians should be following with pride.

Their individual contributions impact our quality of life, our health, our economy, our environment and how we as a state move forward into the future.

In selecting the annual 40, a panel of eight judges representing the business, research and community sectors assesses and compares each nominee’s career and business achievements, the challenges they faced and overcame, their community contribution and ambitions for the future.

The judging panel also includes InDaily senior journalist David Simmons and chief of staff Jim Plouffe, who together have been reporting on business for more than four decades.

The process is both rigorous and rewarding, as new leaders and trailblazers come into the spotlight, nominated by industry peers or themselves.

Those 40 alumni inducted each year represent the state’s diverse industries – from health and biomedical, to technology and defence, to the arts and food & beverages, to renewable energy and consumer products, to name just a few.

Among them, the best of the best are acknowledged with an individual award.

Past winners include Sweat cofounder Tobi Pearce (Inspiring Disruptor, 2020) who together with cofound Kayla Itsines sold their fitness empire for a reported $400 million in 2021; al.ive body’s Alisa Fraser (First Among Equals, 2023); Gluttony’s Elena Kirschbaum (Inspiring Female Leader, 2023); Qi Wu of the world-leading Australian Institute of Machine Learning at The University of Adelaide (Discovery, 2021); George Georgiadis of Never Never Distilling (Creative Thinker, 2021); and The Oodie mogul David Fogarty (Entrepreneurial, 2022).

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Those joining them in each year’s alumni cohort are equally diverse and high achievers.

Many alumni have made a name for themselves not just locally, but also overseas. While others – until joining the ranks of the 40 Under 40 – have chosen to fly under the radar as they innovate and lead our state and world into a better future.

They include Julia Ritorto and Kathryn Forth, the creative directors behind the fashion label Acler seen on Beyonce and other celebrities; Nathan Freeman of Bungala Aboriginal Corporation, supporting Indigenous people to find employment opportunities in the Port Augusta region; Emmy-Award-winning TV producer and founder of Epic Films Kirsty Stark; and former Adelaide United director of football, now SA executive director of the Property Council of Australia Bruce Djite.

These are but a small sample of the 240 alumni who have been honoured since the program began in 2018.

On June 27, another group of 40 change makers and future shapers will join them.

To see these people recognised is to see the future of the state as it unfolds and to know that it is in good hands.

The 40 Under 40 Awards program is helping to bring attention to a new generation of entrepreneurs and business leaders in the state. The winners will be announced at a gala event at Adelaide Oval on Thursday, June 27. Purchase tickets here.

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