Corporate Ladder: your weekly guide to executive appointments

South Australia’s premier executive appointments column tracking the movements of those driving the state’s public and private sectors. Plus the latest executive recruitment opportunities.

May 02, 2022, updated May 03, 2022
Martin Radcliffe has been appointed General Manager of the Adelaide Convention Centre. Photo: LinkedIn

Martin Radcliffe has been appointed General Manager of the Adelaide Convention Centre. Photo: LinkedIn

Mark Warren

Motorsport exec races back to old job

Bend Motorsport Park General Manager Mark Warren has been lured back to his old role as Chief Executive of the revitalised South Australian Motorsport Board.

Warren, who was CEO of the former SAMB from 2010 to 2016, has been tasked with delivering the Malinauskas Government’s promise of returning the Adelaide 500 to the city’s streets on December 1 this year.

He will also oversee the state’s other motorsport events, such as the 2023 Bridgestone World Solar Challenge in the South Australian outback.

It’s the latest high-profile appointment for the SAMB, which in March welcomed outgoing Adelaide Oval CEO Andrew Daniels as Chair.

Daniels said the SAMB’s new boss has “a rare combination of marketing and engineering expertise that has made him one of Australia’s most respected motorsport administrators”.

Warren made the move to motorsport in 2010 after three years as State General Manager at Optus.

He left the SAMB in 2016 after being appointed inaugural General Manager of the Bend Motorsport Park, which at that stage was just undergoing construction.

“I’ve been drawn back to the role because of my passion for the Adelaide 500 and a vision to make it into something even bigger than it has been in its past,” Warren said on re-joining the SAMB.

“I think the experience I bring and the major event know-how we have in South Australia will ensure we will stage an outstanding season finale over the four days in December.”

Yarmila Alfonzetti

Kim Roberts

State Opera boss on the move

Yarmila Alfonzetti, Executive Director of State Opera South Australia, is stepping down in July to take on a new role as Chief Executive of the Queensland Symphony Orchestra.

The move will mark the end of four years of State Opera leadership for Alfonzetti, who heralded a new era for the arts organisation following the resignation of Timothy Sexton as State Opera CEO in May 2017.

“Working alongside Artistic Director Stuart Maunder, Yarmila has revitalised and re-imagined State Opera into the thriving major performing arts company it is today,” State Opera Chairman John Irving said.

“She has done an outstanding job, been a positive contributor to the company and on behalf of the Board we wish her every success in her new venture – she will be missed.”

Alfonzetti moved to South Australia in 2018 following two years as CEO of the Sydney Youth Orchestra. A musicology major with a master’s degree in project management, she is a former Head of Classical Music at the Sydney Opera House and Head of External Relations with the Sydney Conservatorium of Music.

She described the Queensland Symphony Orchestra as the “jewel in the crown of a thriving state cultural landscape”. Her term there is set to begin in July 2022 following her scheduled departure from the State Opera on May 27.

Elsewhere in the arts, the Arts Industry Council of South Australia has appointed Kim Roberts as General Manager.

She has held the equivalent role at Music SA since July 2020.

Roberts has a long history in events management having been a senior organiser for high-profile music events including the Big Day Out, Groovin the Moo and the Umbrella Festival.

She moved to Music SA in 2018 following six years as a lecturer and instructor at TAFE SA.

Andrew White

Renew Rundle Mall

Renew Adelaide CEO and Maras Group Leasing Executive Andrew White will soon be leaving both roles to become Executive Manager of Rundle Mall.

White, who was promoted to Renew Adelaide CEO in March 2021 and has been with the not-for-profit since 2018, told Renew Adelaide’s partners last week he was “excited at the opportunity to continue contributing to the City of Adelaide and helping it achieve its most exciting and vibrant best”.

“As an organisation that formed all the way back in 2010, I know Renew Adelaide will continue to be a mainstay of Adelaide’s entrepreneurial and start up communities and is dedicated to making Adelaide a more exciting and vibrant place to visit and try new ideas,” White wrote in an email last Wednesday.

His new senior Rundle Mall position is within the Adelaide Economic Development Agency, the Adelaide City Council subsidiary which has been a key supporter of the Renew Adelaide concept.

White is scheduled to leave Renew Adelaide on May 19. He first joined the organisation in January 2018 as Head of Property and has since 2020 split time there with his ongoing commitments as Leasing Executive at Maras Group.

“In the meantime, it will be business as usual for the Renew Adelaide team and there will be further updates from our chair Nick (Begakis) in due course,” White said.

Jane Johnston

Karyn Kent

CEO change at Study Adelaide

The State Government’s international education marketing body StudyAdelaide has appointed Jane Johnston as its new Chief Executive Officer.

Johnston joined StudyAdelaide in 2018 as Strategy and Engagement Manager and worked her way up to Interim Chief Executive in January this year.

Prior to moving into the public sector, she was a senior marketing figure at the University of Adelaide where she worked for more than eight years in prospective student recruitment. Her marketing CV also includes stints with Rivergum Homes and manufacturers Oktal Sydac.

Johnston’s permanent appointment as SudyAdelaide CEO follows the departure of long-time Chief Executive Karyn Kent, who held the role from 2014 to 2021. She has since gone on to establish her own business in Singapore.

StudyAdelaide is primarily funded by the Department of Trade and Investment along with South Australia’s big three universities and is tasked with promoting the state’s higher education sector to international students abroad.

Tony Michaels

Divine Providence for Hood Sweeney veteran

Tony Michaels, a senior figure at Hood Sweeney for more than 18 years, is heading up a boutique investment advisory firm’s new office in Adelaide.

Michaels has been appointed Director and Principal at Providence Wealth Advisory Group, which last week announced the opening of its first Adelaide office on Ebenezer Place to complement its offering in Sydney and Melbourne.

The self-styled “boutique-style advisory” firm has around $1 billion in funds under advice and says it aims to provide investment advice to high-net-worth family businesses, wholesale investors and not-for-profits.

Michaels started his career in Adelaide with National Mutual AMP in 1989 before joining Hood Sweeney in 2004.

He has since risen the ranks to lead Hood Sweeney’s finance team as Senior Director and Head of Financial Planning and has been “heavily involved” in managing mergers and acquisitions along with the development of the firm’s people and culture division.

Martin Radcliffe

Convention Centre finds new GM

The Adelaide Convention Centre has appointed Martin Radcliffe as its new General Manager.

Radcliffe is the founder of copywriting, marketing and communications firm A Way With Words Business Services, which he started after nearly five years as General Manager of the prestigious Mayfair Hotel on King William Street.

He is also a former Director of Sales and Marketing at the Adelaide Convention Bureau and is currently serving as Chair of the Adelaide Hills Tourism Board.

Adelaide Venue Management CEO Anthony Kirchner said Radcliffe had “overcome a highly credentialed field of international candidates to win the Adelaide Convention Centre General Manager role”.

“With his impressive background in business events sales at the Adelaide Convention Bureau and senior hospitality experience at some of Adelaide’s leading hotels, he’s the perfect fit for this important leadership position,” Kirchner said in a statement.

The Adelaide Convention Centre has been on the hunt for a new General Manager since the departure of Simon Burgess earlier this year.

Burgess, who had held the role for four years, was appointed General Manager at the National Wine Centre of Australia.

Corporate Position: the latest executive employment opportunities

After 23 years of dedicated service, Boandik CEO Gillian McGinty is retiring from the age-care provider. Based in Mount Gambier the new Chief Executive Officer will lead the organisation through ongoing reform and growth. Aged care sector experience is a distinct advantage but candidates with leadership experience from comparably regulated and complex people focussed sectors will also be considered.

The Adelaide Symphony Orchestra (ASO) is looking for a Corporate Services Manager to lead the finance and corporate services portfolio. The multi-dimensional role will suit experienced executives with strong financial management and accounting capabilities, combined with commercial and technological acumen. Experience in the not-for-profit/charitable sector will be highly regarded.

The Australian Gas Infrastructure Group (AGIG) is looking for a Head of Corporate Affairs to engage with external audiences and stakeholders to improve the environment in which AGIG operates, particularly with respect to its transition to a low carbon future. Applications are encouraged from appropriately qualified corporate affairs or journalism professionals with experience working on energy policy with government, regulators or in a comparably regulated business.

North Eastern Community Hospital Inc (NECH), a not-for-profit community owned age care organisation, is looking for a Chief Executive Officer with demonstrated capability to lead an organisation through ongoing reform and growth. Health sector or aged care experience is a distinct advantage but candidates with leadership experience from comparably regulated and complex people focussed sectors will also be considered.

Leading a team of around 100 staff across the finance function, the Chief Financial Officer at the University of South Australia is a key influencer and internal trusted advisor to ensure key business decisions are grounded in sound financial analysis. Applications are encouraged from CA/CPA or equivalent status candidates with demonstrated ability to lead and manage professional and skilled staff within a large business unit.

Reporting to the Executive Director, Events South Australia, the General Manager, Commercial Sales leads the Commercial Sales Team to generate income and activity through sponsorship, partnerships and hospitality. Applications are invited from experienced commercial sales or business development professionals with demonstrated success in securing or managing corporate sponsorships or partnerships for growth.

Cavpower, a leading Caterpillar dealer, is looking for a Manager Commercial/Legal to oversee the company’s risk management, contract management and insurance and internal audit programs. The ability to analyse and synthesize complex information will be essential, as will strong interpersonal skills and high level communication and negotiation capabilities.

Leading South Australian law firm Mellor Olsson is looking for a Senior Accountant. Reporting to the Finance Manager and providing support to the wider finance team, they will prepare and process month end reporting as well as lead other finance functions. Applications are encouraged from both emerging and seasoned accounting professionals able to maintain high levels of accuracy and efficiency in a fast-paced work environment.

Steven Walker

New Solutions for Kookaburra

Homebuilding industry figure Steven Walker has sold his stake in Kookaburra Homes and taken on a new role as General Manager at residential building firm Built Solutions.

Walker joins the Kent Town commercial property group after seven years as Co-owner of Kookaburra Homes. His time with the Murray Bridge-based company also saw him co-found the soon-to-be-opened interior design studio Design HQ.

He told InDaily he decided to sell his stake “after feeling like I had achieved everything possible in the residential home building market”.

“[I want] to apply the skills I have learnt over the past 15 years in this sector to the commercial/development sector,” Walker said.

“Built solutions is a well-respected growing company and I’m excited to assist them in transitioning to the next stage of their growth phase.

“I am also extremely passionate about helping community and in particular teenagers so this move will also allow me to dedicate more time to causes that are close to my heart.”

Brian Roche

Public sector promotions

Infrastructure and Transport Department bureaucrat Brian Roche has been appointed Acting Executive Director of Transport Project Delivery.

Roche steps into the senior public service role after Jon Whelan vacated the position following his promotion to Chief Executive of the Department last month. The move came amid the new Labor Government’s public sector overhaul which saw six department chiefs moved or terminated.

The Department first appointed Roche seven years ago as Director of Construction Contracting.

He has since been promoted to General Manager of Procurement and Contracting and most recently held the role of Director of Project Procurement and Contracts for Transport Project Delivery.

His 20-year career in both the public and private sectors has been primarily focused on defence and construction industries with him specialising in commercial and contractual matters.

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Celeste Villani

Rebecca Puddy

Another Tiser journo on the move

Celeste Villani, Urban Affairs Reporter at The Advertiser, is moving back into marketing with a new role at the Adelaide Economic Development Agency.

Villani has been with News Corp in Adelaide since 2014 working under the Messenger brand along with The Advertiser. She also undertook a corporate secondment to New South Wales in 2016.

Her career in media and public relations has included stints with Channel 10, sportsmed and the Adelaide Thunderbirds along with Netball SA.

AEDA, an Adelaide City Council subsidiary, has appointed Villani as Marketing and Content Coordinator. The agency is tasked with creating investment in the CBD and promoting Rundle Mall.

Villani’s exit comes just weeks after The Advertiser’s Local Government and Urban Development Editor Renato Castello made the move into public relations.

Castello took on a senior role with Michels Warren PR.

Elsewhere in media, senior ABC Adelaide producer Rebecca Puddy has announced she is leaving after four years with the national broadcaster.

Puddy, a former journalist with The Australian, was a Senior Media Adviser at the Department of Premier and Cabinet during the Weatherald Labor Government until its demise at the March 2018 state election.

Natalie Morris

Julie Goods

Movements in HR

Senior public sector human resources manager Natalie Morris has been appointed Executive Manager of People and Culture at Helping Hand Aged Care.

Morris, who is State Council Vice President of the Australia Human Resources Institute in SA, has been with the Department of Innovation and Skills for the last three years, most recently holding the position of Director of People and Strategy.

Prior to that, she held senior workplace relations roles with the Commissioner for Public Sector Employment and the former Department of State Development.

Morris replaces Julie Goods, who retired in March after nearly 20 years with Helping Hand.

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