Winning in SA: Our 40 Under 40 celebrated

The state’s young leaders and change-makers were celebrated at InDaily’s annual 40 Under 40 awards last night, with Catherine Harper of Barossa Veterinary Service receiving the prestigious First Among Equals Award.

This year’s First Among Equals Award winner Dr Catherine Harper purchased Barossa Veterinary Service (BVS) in 2016, intent to maximise animal health and well-being by inspiring change in how owners think and care for their animals.

Concurrent to this was the desire to make a difference to the vet industry – which faces significant workforce pressures including high rates of burnout and mental health issues – and create a meaningful, inspiring workplace for employees.

Under her leadership and focus on caring for clients, team and community, BVS has added a third location, increased turnover five-fold and grown from 11 to 35 employees, while also supporting the community with an emergency after hours service, sponsorship and volunteering.

Harper was one of a series of individual winners across 11 categories (scroll down for the full list).

450 guests joined the celebrations in the William Magarey Room to recognise this year’s 40 Under 40.

Among those attending were Governor Frances Adamson, who awarded the First Among Equals, Lord Mayor Jane Lomax-Smith and Treasurer Stephen Mullighan.

The Treasurer said it was encouraging to see “yet another wave of incredibly passionate, enthusiastic and successful South Australians leading the way in so many different areas of endeavor”.

“Many of you are doing jobs and undertaking successful careers in areas that really couldn’t have even been imagined maybe only 15 years ago, not just in areas that we’ve gotten used to these days, such as online commerce or app development or gaming, but increasingly these more sophisticated, targeted areas of entrepreneurialism, whether it’s in sectors like space technologies, cyber, quantum technologies, in the opportunities that our growing defense economy is providing our state into the future,” he said.

Mullighan said entrepreneurs have always made a massive contribution to the state and he was committed to continuing to support people with new ideas.

“We have a thriving [entrepreneurial] ecosystem which is the envy of other parts of the country,” he said.

“I want to pay credit, in particular, to the previous government here in South Australia, with the vision that they had to repurpose a significant part of our capital city to support entrepreneurialism at Lot Fourteen.

“Rest assured that our government now is committed to continuing that vision by continuing to invest in supporting young South Australians, bringing their endeavors to success, creating an ecosystem of people who can support one another as they go through the journey of trying to develop and commercialize their expertise across different fields of endeavor.”

Mullighan thanked Solstice Media for making the entrepreneurial decision to start 40 Under 40 seven year ago and for being an “alternative voice to shake things up”.

“I want to thank Solstice Media for your leadership in making sure that the South Australian business community has got another voice, a bigger voice, and a voice that also speaks to young South Australians,” he said.

Treasurer Stephen Mullighan addressed the crowd

Former AFL player, entrepreneur and tech founder Brad Moran, who is also yet to turn 40, captured the attention of the 450 people attending the gala at Adelaide Oval with his exploration of the founder’s motivation.

“Not only does your ‘why’ have to be strong enough to brace you through the anticipated cost of success,” Moran said.

“It has to be strong enough to take you through the unexpected storms that nearly always hit when you least expect them.”

He described the start-up journey as being similar to entering the ring with boxer Mike Tyson without knowing the number of rounds to be fought or the prize, with the price of winning changing daily.

“Leaders not only get out of bed knowing the goal posts have moved, but they drag others along [to keep pushing forward] with them,” he said.

Pick up a special edition of CityMag to read about all the winners – it hits the streets today.

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This year saw more than 260 people nominated for 40 Under 40.

Chair of judges, South Australian director and investor Joel Abraham said when assessing the applicants, the judges looked at more than past achievements.

“We looked at capability, experience and achievable plans for the future,” he said.

“Our ultimate measure was whether we believed the applicant in 20 years’ time would make a significant impact to the growth and development of South Australia.”

The full list of the InDaily and CityMag 40 Under 40 can be found here.

The 2024 40 Under 40

The individual award winners are:

Lauren De Cesare, director of Adelady and Hello SA: CityMag Inspiring Female Leader Award recognises an outstanding female who leads, inspires and pushes the boundaries of the business community.

Shane Hryhorec, founder and director of Push Mobility: Adelaide Business School Game Changer Award recognises a person who has re-written the rules of business to challenge, inspire and spark significant change.

Kiara Suzann Johnson, founder of KSJ Consulting: Community Corporate Social Impact Award recognises an individual who is challenging conventional thinking by driving social innovation in a for-profit, social enterprise, NFP or through philanthropy.

Giles Kirby, founder of Firefly Biotech: William Buck Entrepreneurial Award recognises an outstanding lateral business thinker and risk taker exhibiting entrepreneurial flair.

Chris Mattner, CEO and managing director of CME Group: InDaily Inspiring Future Leaders Award recognises the vision, thought, leadership and achievement of a leader in the private or public sector. 

Bonnie McBride, self-employed film producer: kwpx Creative Thinker Award Recognises the person who best demonstrates thinking creatively in relation to any aspect of their business or endeavours, and showing the use of innovation to progress.

Zachary Munn, professor and director of HESRI, School of Public Health, University of Adelaide: CMAX Discovery Award Recognises an innovative leader in a life sciences enterprise whose business activities have high impact potential for future health outcomes.

Thomas Northcott, director, co-owner and winemaker of Howard Vineyards: Business Insight Sustainable Business Leaders Award recognises a person who has created visionary technologies that can sustainably enhance human experience and capabilities.

Matt Reimann, director and co-owner of Reimann Manufacturing: South Australian Business Chamber Rural & Regional Award recognises an individual who demonstrates influence and leadership in contributing to the prosperity of a rural or regional business and community.

Luke Smith, founder and COO of Secure State: Piper Alderman Emerging Industries Award recognises an individual contributing to or a company operating in one of the Emerging Industries that will contribute to the prosperous future of our state.

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