REVEALED: South Australia’s top 40 leaders under 40

South Australia’s finest young businesspeople have been honoured at InDaily’s 40 Under 40 awards, showcasing the energy, innovation and diverse accomplishments of the state’s future industry leaders.

Jun 07, 2019, updated Sep 11, 2020
Last year's 40 Under 40 winners have joined the alumni networking group to help promote entrepreneurship in SA.

Last year's 40 Under 40 winners have joined the alumni networking group to help promote entrepreneurship in SA.

South Australia’s Chief Entrepreneur Jim Whalley led the assessment panel that analysed the applications of more than 170 nominees for the awards program, which recognises the dedication and professional achievements of the state’s best businesspeople under the age of 40.

The nominees represent an array of industries including sports administration, hospitality, aeronautics, communications, energy, legal services, healthcare, entertainment, banking, tourism and security – and dozens of others.

Nominees were judged on entrepreneurship, leadership and risk-taking – as well as for their success and for their contributions to the community.

From more than 300 peer referrals and 178 formal nominations, the panel came up with a shortlist of finalists, which were then narrowed down to InDaily’s 40 Under 40.

The 40 winners were honoured at an event at the National Wine Centre last night (scroll down to see the full list).

Premier Steven Marshall told last night’s audience that entrepreneurialism was thriving in South Australia.

“I feel so buoyed to be in a room tonight with so many capable business leaders in our state,” he said.

“There is just so much talent in South Australia and that’s great news, because we need to get this state moving.

“We want to grow the size of our economy, we want to grow jobs, we want to grow the number of people who are staying here in our state … and one of the most critical ways that we’re going to do this is backing entrepreneurship in every aspect of our society.”

Premier Steven Marshall addressing last night’s event. Photo: Russell Millard

Jim Whalley said he was proud to be involved with the awards program.

“This program is really important for South Australia,” he said.

“It’s important because those 40 under 40 are the future leaders of this state and current leaders as well.

“The inspiration they provide not only to their own generation but future generations is critical to driving south Australia forward.”

The winner of the “First Among Equals” award at last year’s inaugural event, medical innovator Dr Sebastian Rees, said the award “marked a significant moment in my career”.

“Professionally and personally, the last 12 months have been some of the most significant of my life,” he told last night’s audience.

“Following the awards last year, GenWise was majority acquired by a leading national healthcare provider, with my co-founder Troy and I staying at the helm to see out our mission of improving the standard of care for all older Australians.

“As a result of this acquisition, we have now started scaling our business, and I’m very proud to be building our growing team from our offices here in South Australia.”

He added that “building a business is not easy and is filled with many ups and downs, and it’s moments like tonight that make it all worthwhile”.

Last year’s 40 Under 40 State Contribution Award winner, Carmen Garcia, said the award had given her “permission to shine” and to “go out and conquer”.

“I was really fortunate and honoured to be in the 40 Under 40 in 2018, let alone win the award for state contribution,” she said.

Carmen Garcia: 40 Under 40 gave her “permission to shine”.

“It is about taking risks, giving people permission to shine and just giving things a red hot go.”

Garcia’s business, Community Corporate, provides refugees, migrants and other vulnerable people with their first job opportunity.

“We feel that our creative solution is going to unleash human potential and we are really challenging some conventional thinking, which is really exciting,” she said.

Each of this year’s 40 winners will be profiled on InDaily over the next month. As part of their awards prize, each will receive an invitation to a series of workshops providing key insights into business growth, business development and governance, and commercial legal issues.

Six individual winners, who exemplified the selection criteria, were also recognised.

The 40 Under 40 Awards 2019 was produced in partnership with Renewal SA, OTR, ANZ, William Buck, KWP!, Piper Alderman and the City of Adelaide.

InDaily‘s 40 Under 40

Aaron Superina | Outside Ideas, director

Arman Abrahimzadeh | Zahra Foundation Australia, Co-Founder

Adut Zita Deng Ngor | Women’s Legal Service (SA), Chief Executive

Ben Wilson | CIRQA, Director

Agnes Gajic | The Sparkke Change Beverage Company, Head Brewer

Cameron Donaldson | Praxis Aeronautics, Founder and Director, Innovation and Manufacturing

Anton Andreacchio | Convergen / Jumpgate VR / Artisan Post Group / Double Bishop / GMTI, Founder / Managing Director

Darryl Cotter | OTR, General Manager

David Pearson | The Don Dunstan Foundation, Executive Director / CEO

Hinney Lo | PixelForce, Managing Director

Deanna Lush | AgCommunicators, Managing Director

Imelda Alexopoulos | PwC Australia, Partner

Deborah Davidson | dsquared Consulting Pty Ltd, Director / owner

Jo Schneider | DVE Solutions, CEO

Emma Knights | Emma Knights Productions, Owner

Jonathan Hall | Life Whisperer and Presagen, Co-founder and Inventor

Jordan Brooke-Barnett | AUSVEG SA, Founding CEO and Company Secretary

Mark Lim | Magnetic Alliance Pty. Ltd, Managing Director and Co-Founder

Jordy Kitschke | MEQ Probe, CEO

Michael Brinkley| Utonic Beverages, Co-Founder / Managing Director

Joyce Ceravolo | Ashton Valley Fresh, BuSIness Development Manager

Michael Pagsanjan | MPS Law, Managing Director and Principal

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Louise Nobes | KIK innovation & KIK enterprises, Founder AND CEO

Miriam Holme | Fab Tax Accountants, Director / Chief Accounting Angel

Nicholas Murphy | MLEI Consulting Engineers, Managing Director

Robyn Koldej | The Online Director, CEO

Nima Sherpa | BHP, Superintendent Production

Sacha La Forgia | Adelaide Hills Distillery, Director

Peter Flynn | Physio Fit Adelaide, Director

Sam Hassan | Link4, CTO and Co-Founder

Rebecca Wessels | Ochre Dawn, Owner and Managing Director

Sharni Honor | The Porch Sessions, Governor / Director

Simon Palumbo | Silentium Defence, Chief Technology Officer / Director / Co-founder

Timothy Angel | Cortex Interactive, Managing Director

Steven Kidd | Pinnacle Commercial Interiors, Managing Director

Tom Steer | UniSA Online, Executive Director

Tamara Stewart-Jones | Multicultural Youth South Australia, CEO

Vanessa Bamford | Vision Beyond Business, Director

Themis Chryssidis | Sprout, Managing Director

Wesley Heddles | Prohibition Liquor Co Pty Ltd and Bakers Delight Holdings Ltd, Director and Regional Manager SA/NT

More than 360 people attended last night’s awards at the National Wine Centre.

FIRST AMONG EQUALS AWARD – presented by the Australian Institute of Company Directors

Selected by the judging panel as the finalist who embodies the 40 Under 40 as the First Among Equals. The recipient will receive Strategy and Risk for Directors, a one day course valued at $1450.

Awarded to Aaron Superina of Outside Ideas.


Recognises the ability to work with others to produce something innovative and of lasting value in either the private or public sector. The recipient of this award will receive a Professional Business Connections package that includes a unique opportunity to link in with some of SA’s most innovative business leaders from Tonsley Innovation District and Lot Fourteen.

Awarded to Anton Andreacchio of Convergen / Jumpgate VR / Artisan Post Group / Double Bishop / GMTI.


This award recognises the vision, thought leadership and achievement of a leader in the private or public sector.

Awarded to Cameron Donaldson of Praxis Aeronautics.

ENTREPRENEURIAL AWARD – presented by William Buck

This award recognises an outstanding lateral business thinker and risk taker exhibiting entrepreneurial flair. The recipient will receive a Business Diagnostic Review – William Buck will guide you through a detailed diagnostic discussion structured around a range of key fundamentals including financial management, funding, people, regulatory requirements and personal wealth strategies. This prize is valued at $2000.

Awarded to Jonathan Hall of Life Whisperer.

REGIONAL AND RURAL AWARD – presented by Piper Alderman

This award recognises an individual who demonstrates influence and leadership in contributing to the prosperity of a rural or regional business and community. The recipient will receive $3000 worth of consulting within the area of the firm that best meets the winner’ needs.

Awarded to Joyce Ceravolo of Ashton Valley Fresh.


This 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. The recipient will receive $5000 worth of consulting with the area of the agency that best meets the winner’s needs.

Awarded to Timothy Angel of Cortex Interactive.

The assessment panel

The assessment panel comprised Jim Whalley – SA Chief Entrepreneur; Renee Draper – Peregrine Corporation head of people; David O’Loughlin – a director of KWP! and deputy chair of Business SA; Bianca Jennings – partner at Piper Alderman; Brendan Rinaldi – state general manager SA/NT with ANZ Business Banking; Matthew Illman – business advisory director at William Buck; Penny Yap – editor of SA Life magazine; Jim Plouffe – publishing editor of NewsLeads, which produces The Lead South Australia; Carmen Garcia – founder of Community Corporate and winner of the 2018 40 Under 40 State Contribution Award; and Sebastian Rees of GenWise Health, winner of the 2018 40 Under 40 First Among Equals Award.

Topics: 40 Under 40
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