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.

Nov 07, 2022, updated Nov 08, 2022
Michael Healy (left), Bernice Witkowski (top centre), Simon Boag (bottom centre), Adam Gardnir (top right) and Victoria Whitington (bottom right) have all been appointed to new positions. Image: Tom Aldahn/InDaily. Adam Gardnir photo by Greg Balcombe/supplied.

Michael Healy (left), Bernice Witkowski (top centre), Simon Boag (bottom centre), Adam Gardnir (top right) and Victoria Whitington (bottom right) have all been appointed to new positions. Image: Tom Aldahn/InDaily. Adam Gardnir photo by Greg Balcombe/supplied.

Michael Healy

Douglas Parr

Getting the bank back together

Former BankSA Head of Brand Marketing Michael Healy has been appointed Chief Marketing Officer at RAA.

A New Zealand native, Healy will join the South Australian automotive body on January 16 after finishing up as CMO with New Zealand power company Meridian Energy, where he has been for the last four years.

Prior to that, he worked at BankSA – alongside current RAA CEO Nick Reade – as Head of Brand Marketing. He also held a senior media and marketing role with Westpac.

Reade said Healy brings “incredible commercial and community experience across energy, financial services and sustainability” to RAA.

“In his time at Meridian, Michael has overseen significant growth in the business, the development and launch of their Zero charging network, spearheaded a self-funding community decarbonisation program and grown his team to be one of the most awarded in New Zealand,” Reade said in a statement.

Healy is set to replace Douglas Parr, who has resigned as RAA’s General Manager of Digital Marketing and Business Development.

Parr has been with RAA for 14 years, joining in 2008 as Senior Manager, Market and Product Development. He has also held senior marketing roles with Coca-Cola and Scottish & Newcastle.

Simon Boag

New leadership at sportsmed

South Australian healthcare provider sportsmed has appointed Simon Boag as its new CEO.

Boag joins after six years as CEO of Benson Radiology. Prior to that, he was CEO of cardiac health provider SA Heart, General Manager of Ashford Hospital and State Manager of Healthscope Pathology.

“We are delighted to welcome Simon to the sportsmed team,” sportsmed Hospital Chair Dr Nick Wallwork said.

“With his extensive experience leading hospitals and practitioner-owned and operated healthcare businesses, his knowledge and expertise are a clear match for our organisation.”

Boag’s appointment as sportsmed CEO sees him replace Alan Morrison, who now heads up Burnside Hospital.

Bernice Witkowski

Adelaide law firm’s new GM

DMAW Lawyers People and Culture Manager Bernice Witkowski has been promoted to Executive General Manager.

The position is a newly created one within the Flinders Street law firm. According to DMAW Lawyers, she is the first non-lawyer to lead the firm since it was founded in 2002.

Principal Leo Walsh said Witkowski had made an “exceptional contribution” to DMAW since joining the firm in 2018.

“Her personal commitment to creating an environment for our employees to thrive has seen her form strong relationships right across the firm and also gain valuable insight into our operations and client services,” he said in a statement.

“In her new role as Executive General Manager, Bernice will oversee day-to-day management of the firm with responsibility for financial performance, strategy, human resources, premises, procurement, marketing, IT and compliance.”

Witkowski joined DMAW after nine years as Human Resources Manager at Oracle partner OLR.

She has also held roles with HR consultants TMP Worldwide and christie & betro.

Corporate Position: the latest executive employment opportunities

National employment and training services provider Maxima is looking to appoint a new Chief Executive Officer. Maxima has revenue of around $100m, employs 550 staff and offers an array of programs and services. The current incumbent, David Cockram, will relinquish the position in 2023 creating an exciting opportunity to build on his legacy. The responsibilities of this significant Adelaide-based position include: formulating and implementing the business strategy and positioning the business for sustainable growth; leading, mentoring, developing and motivating the dedicated staff to maintain a positive culture and the highest standards of business excellence and customer focus; overseeing the delivery of ongoing operating and financial efficiencies and performance improvements; and maintaining and enhancing productive relationships with a diverse range of key public and private stakeholders. This position will suit an appropriately qualified and highly accomplished executive who can demonstrate a successful track record of leadership in a comparable business. Amongst the higher-level skills sought are innovative thinking, diplomacy, credibility, authenticity, proactivity, vision, strong influencing and advocacy capabilities, empathy, commercial and political acumen, and genuine leadership qualities. A highly attractive executive remuneration package will be negotiated to secure a consummate professional capable of leading this important and successful SA organisation.

Victoria Whitington

New faces on key council

The state government has appointed University of South Australia Adjunct Associate Professor Victoria Whitington as Presiding Member of the Child Development Council.

Recently retired, Whitington was formerly Dean of Program, UniSA Education Futures – a position which rounded out a more than 30-year career with the university.

The bulk of Whitington’s research across her career has been focused on early years education. She earned a PhD in Elementary Education and Teaching from Flinders University in 2000.

Her two-year term appointment on the Child Development Council – a government oversight body tasked with monitoring the outcomes of SA’s children across health, safety, wellbeing, education and citizenship – sees her replace Graham Jaeschke as Acting Presiding Member.

Jaeschke remains on the council as Deputy Presiding Member.

Education Minister Blair Boyer said Whitington would bring “critical expertise in improving children’s wellbeing, the importance of play-based learning in the early years and supporting our teachers to create the best learning environments for children”.

The state government also last week announced the appointment of education consultant Dawn Davis to the Child Development Council.

Adam Gardnir

Adam Gibbons

Moving Feast

University of Adelaide Special Events Manager Adam Gardnir has been appointed Chair of Feast Festival.

Gardnir’s new leadership position with the Adelaide queer arts and culture festival comes after numerous high-level roles across the national and international arts scene.

Prior to joining Adelaide University in June, he was a Producer at the Dubai World Expo, the Queensland Performing Arts Centre, Brisbane Powerhouse, Visit Victoria and Blake Entertainment.

He also used to work at the Melbourne Recital Centre as a Production Designer and with the Australian Ballet as a Set and Costume Designer.

Feast Festival CEO Helen Sheldon said: “[Gardnir] has a fresh set of eyes and a different perspective with his wealth of experience from interstate queer arts festivals and he has already shown a great level of energy.”

“I am looking forward to his valuable input.”

Gardnir replaces Channel Nine Publicity, Marketing and Programming Director Adam Gibbons in the role. Gibbons had been Chair since July 2020.

Feast Festival 2022, which features more than 100 acts, began on Saturday and runs until November 27.

Michael Macolino

Agtech exec’s next move

Entrepreneur Michael Macolino has been appointed Managing Director (APAC) of US agriculture technology investor SVG Ventures Thrive.

Macolino, an InDaily 40 under 40 alumni, has been with BDO Adelaide for the last four years, most recently as Associate Director, AgriFood Tech.

Since graduating from the University of Adelaide in 2009, he has founded a string of businesses including a gym, a real estate portal for private landlords and an accounting and technology firm.

He is also currently Expert in Residence at the University of Adelaide’s AgTech Incubator.

SVG Ventures THRIVE is a venture capital firm headquartered in Silicon Valley, which recently launched a $50 million venture fund for food production technology in Victoria.

“I’ll be leading the expansion of SVG Ventures | THRIVE into the APAC region, thanks to the support of the Victorian Government,” Macolino said on Twitter.

“This opportunity is the next step in my personal journey to support innovation that is capable of redesigning the food system to be more sustainable and resilient.”

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