Executive Partner profiles

Alison Kimber

Founder and Principal: ak advisory

Areas of specialisation:

  • Strategy
  • Finance
  • SME owner/developer
  • Governance
  • Risk management
  • Policy development 
  • Housing regulation

Alison Kimber is an independent board member and an experienced executive. Alison has a strong business acumen with a background in international banking and capital markets, and over 25 years’ experience in finance, government and the not-for-profit sector at senior and executive levels. A qualified actuary, Alison has led major reform projects and successful cultural change across diverse organisations.

After a background in insurance, Alison joined the State Bank of South Australia where she led their international borrowing program and established the corporate treasury function for the bank’s New York branch. Later, Alison lectured in statistics and the mathematics of finance for the University of Adelaide.

Alison then held a variety of senior and executive roles in the Department of Treasury and Finance, the Office for Government Enterprises, Cabinet Office, Aboriginal Affairs and Reconciliation, Housing SA and Renewal SA.

Through her business, ak advisory, Alison assists organisations to deliver quality outcomes by providing expert advice on strategy and planning, finance, governance and risk management.

Anne is currently the Principal of Anne Skipper and Associates, an organisation consulting in corporate governance, strategic planning and group dynamics for boards and advisory committees. She has more than 25 years experience as a board director and chair of government, not for profit and private sector boards in the areas of health, planning and development, tourism, education, disability and social services, and financial services.

Anne's achievements in assisting needy communities was spawn by the values learnt in her rural upbringing. Her more recent benevolent activities have focussed on underprivileged communities at home and abroad, and with a particular focus on the development of women and girls.

Anne's diverse business and community contacts and interest in the development of the individual, will be of great benefit to our Executive Partners Program.

Bill Chin

Principal, Innovation Digital Economy Advisory Services (Ideas)

Area of specialisation:

  • Strategic partnerships
  • Global business development
  • International marketing

Bill is a passionate business development and strategy management professional having successfully served senior roles leading global business development managing sales, and marketing across major continents in Asia, Greater China, Europe, India, Middle East, and USA.

He has built a career based on innovation-led digital technologies spanning over 28 years. Through his career experience, he has established a successful value-adding track record from consulting to client services; from entrepreneur to enterprise development; from national brand building to international sales, marketing, and business development; from research and analysis to global rollout of socio-economic strategic initiatives.

From his tertiary engineering training and years of industry experience in international marketing and business development, Bill has since channelled his efforts in sharing his experience within the academics: tertiary research and teaching at University level; whilst continue his passion in helping to bring value in building the entrepreneurial community.

Just passionate about sharing and supporting the growth of potential innovation commercialisation, to continue to build successful ventures.

Bill Spurr

Chairman: Education Australia

Area of specialisation:

  • Tourism and hospitality
  • Sport and cultural event management
  • Government relations

Bill's extensive experience in the tourism and hospitality industries dates back to the early '80s when he was the Executive Director of the Australian Hotels Association. He then spent several years as the Head of School, Tourism and Hospitality, Adelaide College of TAFE.

In his role as Executive Director of the Adelaide Tourism and Convention Authority (1991-1995), he was responsible for a dramatic rise in the promotion of Adelaide as a convention venue and tourist destination.

In 1995, he became the General Manager of the newly formed Australian Major Events group with the agenda of attracting significant sporting and cultural events to South Australia, and promoting their benefits within the State.

Bill held the position as Chief Executive of the South Australian Tourism Commission from 1999 until July 2007 and chaired the "World Police and Fire Games" held in Adelaide in March 2006-one of the largest events to be ever held in the City of Adelaide. He currently chairs several educational organisations, and is on the board of the State's preeminent travel and entertainment bodies.

Chief Operating Officer: Samvardhana Motherson Global (FZE)
Global Strategic Procurement: Samvardhana Motherson Group

Area of specialisation:

  • Logistics and supply chain
  • Team management
  • Process improvement
  • Automotive manufacturing

Brett Dienhoff is currently the Executive Vice President of Global Sourcing for SMR Automotive Systems, part of the Samvardhana Motherson Group, a Global tier 1 supplier to the Automotive industry.

Brett’s role is responsible for leadership of the Global Purchasing Organisation and management of teams located throughout the globe including South East Asia, China, Europe and throughout North and South America. The team manages an extensive global supplier network ranging from raw commodities through to high technology companies, covering all elements the supply chain.

Brett is also heavily involved in business improvement activities including the establishment and execution, and improvement of Global Processes and Procedures, including automation. Brett is also a member of the Companies Global Executive Team which defines the company strategies, business planning, and execution of projects to achieve the overall business objectives.

Beginning his career in Adelaide, Brett relocated to the USA in 2004, where he remained for 10 years. During this time he gained experience with dealing throughout almost all Automotive Manufacturing regions across Europe, China, Korea, India, Brazil, Mexico and Thailand.

Brian Hayes

Barrister: Murray Chambers
National Chairman: Australia India Business Council

Adjunct Professor: UniSA

Area of specialisation:

  • Law and legal policy
  • Human rights
  • Workplace protocol establishment
  • Advisory committees

Brian is an eminent legal policy, environmental and human rights lawyer. His particular knowledge in these specialist fields has made him a much sought after consultant to Australian and international governments in the drafting of legislation and establishment of working protocols. He was appointed Queens Counsel in 1986. He has carried out a number of World Bank and AusAid funded projects and consulted to organisations in Russia, India, Malaysia, Indonesia and Vietnam.

Brian is currently the National Chairman of the Australia India Business Council, and the Premier's Special Envoy to India, and has lead numerous business delegations to India. He has also served on various advisory committees at UniSA, and is an Adjunct Associate Professor at the university.

Aside from these professional achievements, Brian is a founding member Law Society's Human Rights Committee, and a co-founder and Secretary of Carry for Kids Inc, a not for profit organisation assisting orphanages in the Asia Pacific region. Brian's legal, humanitarian and international credentials are of enormous benefit to our Executive Partner Program.

Bruce Trebilock

Deputy Chair: Uniting Communities

Area of specialisation:

  • Finance and accounting
  • Mergers and acquisitions
  • Organisational sustainability
  • Ethical business practices
  • Corporate governance

Bruce had a career in diverse senior finance roles across a wide range of industries, including Food manufacturing and Agribusiness, Banking and finance, Defense contracting and consulting.

He has been an executive director and non-executive director of corporates and not-for- profits for over 30 years. Since retiring from full time work, Bruce has served on the Board of CPA Australia and several large organisations in the Aged Care and community support areas. He continues to be actively involved in these areas.

Bruce has been a mentor with BusinessSA for over 10 years and enjoys assisting entrepreneurs find the way to channel their passion.

 Chris Schultz

Chris Schutze

Management Consultant: Chris Schutze Consulting Services

Area of specialisation:

  • General Management, leadership and staff development
  • Strategy development
  • Technology developer
  • Manufacturing
  • Sales operations
  • Advice on international markets
  • Construction
  • Training

Chris is currently providing consulting services to start up companies entering international markets as well as training services to the building industry.

Chris has over 30 years experience as a technical, operations and general manager. Originally starting life as a Manufacturing Engineer for General Motors and Philips he then spent fifteen years establishing and running manufacturing and sales operations throughout Southern and Eastern Asia.

For the last 12 years Chris has been working back in Adelaide in both manufacturing and construction, most recently as General Manager for Scott Salisbury Homes. For four of those years he was a council member of the Master Builders Association of South Australia, and more recently Chair of the Housing Committee.

Former State Manager (CRA): Commonwealth Bank Australia

Area of specialisation:

  • International finance and banking
  • Business development strategy

David's professional life was predominantly in the banking sector, encompassing stints in start-up roles for C.B.A. in Los Angeles and Chicago, and culminating in State wide managerial responsibility. David also held CEO positions with such diverse entities as The Memorial Hospital and Aunger Automotive, and was also a Director with the Australian Taxation Office, responsible in part for the implementation of the GST introduction.

David currently contributes a good deal of his time to various charities in both Australia and abroad, and to workshop exercises assisting disadvantaged and displaced individuals requiring hands-on guidance and mentoring.

David's diverse and senior business and banking knowledge, coupled with his current experiences in problem solving and mentoring individuals will be of great benefit to our students seeking career guidance.

Private Consultant: Council of Town of Walkerville

Areas of specialisation:

  • Public policy and government
  • Human resource management
  • Regional economic development
  • Advisory boards
  • Local government

David has over 40 years of senior management and professional consulting experience. He has been both a State Manager or CEO of organisations covering high level management consulting, regional economic development and industry policy. David's early days with BP and Western Mining Corporation led to a decade of senior consultancy roles, then a decade as the Executive Director of the high profile Retail Traders' Association of South Australia. This latter position entailed extensive media, public and governmental liaison.

David subsequently became the Executive Director of Committee for Economic Development of Australia (SA Chapter), which again has a very conspicuous multi-faceted and non-partisan role in promoting economic development through a combination of public and private forums, research and publications.

David also serves in various community roles including as Chairman of Orana, a major disability services provider, and Chairman of the Salvation Army Advisory Board. He also serves as an Equal Opportunity Tribunal Panel Member hearing orders and making orders in relation to the Equal Opportunity Act.

Chair for Association of Asia Pacific Performing Arts: Adelaide Festival Theatre

Area of Specialisation:

  • Tourism & Hospitality
  • International Arts Management

Douglas Gautier has served on a number of arts, media and tourism boards in Hong Kong and the Asian region.

Since arriving at the Adelaide Festival Centre he has initiated a major ‘program-led’ approach to double audiences over seven years. This has included two new annual events – The Adelaide International Guitar Festival and OzAsia Festival– a showcasing of cultural links between Australia and the Asian region.

He currently serves as Chair for the Association of Asia Pacific Performing Arts Centres, and is Executive Council Member for Live Performance Australia and Flinders University, Director of the Asia-Pacific Centre for Arts and Cultural Leadership and Adviser to the Hong Kong Arts Festival.

Ian Cody

Mentor and Investor in South Australia's Start-Up Community
Former Senior Scientific Advisor: ExxonMobile Research and Engineering

Area of Specialisation:

  • Team leadership
  • Innovation and entrepreneurship
  • Technology development and deployment

Ian’s career was primarily in North America with ExxonMobil Research and Engineering. Over 33 years he led teams that invented, developed and deployed new catalytic petroleum process technologies, created new products and improved energy efficiency. Ian has over 70 US patents, most in support of technology that was subsequently commercialised.

Ian was appointed Senior Scientific Advisor at ExxonMobil in 2002 and elected Fellow of The Chemical Institute of Canada in 1995.

Since retiring in 2009, Ian has been engaged with entrepreneurial programs in Adelaide, including MEGA, The Australian eChallenge and Thinclab as mentor, judging panellist and investor.

Chairman: Tarac Australia

Area of Specialisation:

  • SME owner/developer
  • Resources sector
  • Advisory Boards

Fraser is currently the Chairman of Tarac Australia (a South Australian grape marc processor) and a non executive director of Envestra and several other companies in the resources sector. Fraser's business experience spans the resources, electricity, biotechnology, oil and gas and wine industries, but the bulk of his experience was with CSR Limited (including a stint as Chairman and CEO of Delhi Petroleum), and as the CEO of SAGASCO oil and gas company.

Fraser's busy business life has been augmented by various community activities including seven years as President of the SPARC Disability Foundation, Dep Chair of the Flinders Medical Research Foundation etc, and as a member of SA's Economic Development Board's Energy Advisory Group.

Fraser's particular knowledge, experience and network within the burgeoning energy and resources sector will prove exceptionally beneficial to our Executive Partners' students as they seek career guidance and employment prospects.

Bill Chin

PhD, Cert IV in TAA, BBus (Hons, MIS),  AssDip (Bus Mgt),  Senior Technical Officer (Telecommunications)

Area of specialisation:

  • Strategic partnerships
  • Global business development
  • International marketing
  • Consulting and education

Gary’s expertise is predominantly in new venture start-up, development, and growth. He has started, grown, managed and exited several businesses in various industries. Gary is also passionate about enabling and assisting people to be entrepreneurial, he believes this is important no matter whether they are intending to start a business or just want a fulfilling and rewarding life.  After extensive experience in business (small and corporate), leadership of not-for-profit organisations, consulting, and education, Gary left full time work as an academic in The University of Adelaide to concentrate on travel, mentoring, and living a fun life; one of the perks of successful entrepreneurial behaviour!

Chief Executive Officer: Foodbank SA 

Areas of specialisation:

  • Sales growth
  • Key Account Management
  • Strategic planning
  • Staff development
  • Coaching and mentoring
  • Continuous improvement strategy, development and implementation
  • Performance management

Greg is the Chief Executive Officer of Foodbank SA and brings extensive experience gained over 30 years in a number of industry sectors. After completing a Master of Science degree at Purdue University in the USA, specialising in food science, he advanced his career in senior management roles with iconic food companies such as Inghams, Berri, Tip Top, Goodman Fielder and Maggie Beer Products, in NSW, Victoria and SA. His experience and knowledge was further enhanced by moving into more diverse industries such as Mitsubishi Motors, and more recently in Brisbane as Executive Vice President for global mineral testing company Bureau Vertias.

With the downturn in the mining sector, Greg return to Adelaide with a desire to contribute to the SA community which has been his home for 22 years. Foodbank presented the ideal vehicle to use his experience, knowledge and contacts to help people in need, and he is enjoying every aspect of the new challenge, and especially the interaction with the corps of volunteers who help Foodbank every day.

Heather Croall

CEO & Director: Adelaide Fringe

Area of specialisation:

  • Setting strategy
  • Captial acquisition
  • Festival programming
  • Pitching
  • Assessing creative projects for investment
  • Matchmaking creatives on new projects
  • Mentoring

Heather Croall is an experienced CEO & Director known as a visionary in the creative sector who delivers innovative festival programs, new audiences and organisational growth. 

She has specific expertise in partner engagement, capital acquisition and digital transformation. With an international career in Film, TV and the Arts, Heather has a strong track record in implementing organisational change and capacity building. She has grown audience bases in all festivals she has led and has transitioned a number of festivals and creative sector organisations into the digital age. 

Under her leadership, every festival Heather has run has seen an increase in turn over, been met with high critical acclaim, delivered growth in ticket sales and expanded audience demographic. Heather has a reputation for generating new income streams and delivering excellent management of stakeholder relations. 

Heather has produced documentaries for SBS, ABC, BBC and Channel 4 and more. She has been the Director & CEO at the Adelaide Fringe since 2015. Heather graduated from the Governor's Leadership Foundation (GLF) in 2017. She sits on the Inspiring SA steering committee and is the Chair of the Governor's Aboriginal Employment Arts and Cluster Industry Cluster.. In 2014, Heather was awarded an Honorary Degree of Doctorate by Sheffield Hallam University in the UK. In 2013, The Alliance of Women Film Journalists named Heather Ambassador of Women’s Film for her work in creating opportunities for women documentary makers. In 2005, Heather was awarded a Fellowship in Interactive Media by Screen Australia. Heather graduated with a BA at Uni SA in 1991.

Heather has experience as a: 
CEO/Festival & Conference Director/Marketplace Designer
Interactive Arts Curator & Producer
Documentary Producer & Director
Arts Investment Fund Assessor 

Jeff Clayton

Corporate Advisor: Aptech/IBM

Area of Specialisation:

  • Management and training
  • Strategy and corporate governance
  • Technology commercialisation
  • Advisory role in health, education and business

Jeff is a very experienced corporate, strategic advisor to organisations, in both public sector and private sector organisations. He typically provides assistance in large-scale strategic organisation change and corporate governance. He provides executive coaching and mentoring. He has considerable experience in technology commercialisation. He has worked extensively within Defence and overseas aid agencies.

He has over 30 years experience as a professional management consultant, having worked in senior and executive management positions in a wide range of large and small consultancies. The experience has been both in Australia and overseas.

Jeff commenced his professional management consulting career with WS Atkins & Partners (UK) and then WD Scott Australia. In 1983 he was co-founder and Executive Chairman of management consultancy Aptech Australia. In 1996 Aptech was acquired by IBM and Jeff became the Executive responsible for Public Sector, Healthcare and Education consulting throughout Asia Pacific. He left IBM in 2001 and has acted as non-executive director and board chairman for a range of companies in retail, finance, ITC and professional services.

His qualifications are in engineering and management. He has completed postgraduate studies in organisation change, consulting, mentoring and strategic planning.

As a result of his substantial breadth and depth of consulting experience in different consultancies, Jeff is very effective in addressing complex organisational issues where traditional solutions may not have been successful. This can be very important when dealing with board, executive and senior management level issues. He is very experienced and effective working on politically sensitive issues. 

Jeff McCulloch

Former RAAF Officer and Aviation Executive

Area of specialisation:

  • Strategic planning
  • Concept and policy development
  • Business development and sales
  • Leadership
  • Aerospace technology and capability

Jeff McCulloch has extensive experience in a wide range of pursuits, both from his time as a senior officer in the Royal Australian Air Force and as an Executive in the Aviation and Defence industries. As well as operational, staff and intelligence appointments, his Air Force career included postings to Canada, the UK and Indonesia. Jeff also had three flying command appointments on P3 Orion aircraft.

Jeff transferred to the RAAF Reserve in 1998 and provided consultancy services to the Department of Defence and the Defence and Aerospace industry in aerospace systems, strategic planning and operational and organisational concepts. He joined Cobham Aviation Services in 2007 and, as the Senior Vice President Sales and Business Development, had business development, sales and strategy development responsibilities across all Australian and British business units. During this time, he was also seconded to the UK to oversee the integration into Cobham of a recently acquired helicopter company.

Jeff retired from his full-time position in 2015, and continues to work with the aviation industry on a contract consultancy basis.

 

Kevin Craddock

Former Partner and Retired Chartered Accountant

Areas of specialisation:

  • Small to Medium Business Advising
  • Accounting, Auditing, Tax
  • Leadership and Staff Development

Professional Memberships:

  • CA Australia & New Zealand
  • CPA Australia
  • The Taxation Institute of Australia

Kevin is a former partner of a chartered accounting firm and provided accounting, taxation, audit, and general business services to small to medium business. Currently he is semi-retired but he continues to provide a small amount of consulting services to former a former client. He previously conducted for many years the Ethics course for CPA members wanting to obtain a practicing certificate.

Kevin has trained and mentored former staff members of his firm for many years and has been a mentor in the UNISA Business Career Mentor Program for the last six years. He has mentored graduates enrolled in the CPA and CA professional programs.

With a passion in mentoring and in- depth knowledge and experience in Accounting, Kevin is perfectly placed to assist students transition into the Accounting profession.

Senior Vice President Australia: Uranium One, Inc.

Areas of specialisation:

  • Technology developer
  • Strategic planning
  • Operations management
  • Organisational behaviour

Kuzma is a chemical engineer with a master’s degree in business leadership and 30 years experience in mining operations, general management and executive leadership. Kuzma began his working career with Rand Mines Ltd, before joining Anglovaal Mining Ltd in 1995. While working in a number of African countries, he held various positions including Mine Manager, Consulting Metallurgist and Manager of Strategy. In Australia, he worked for Sons of Gwalia and Aditya Birla before joining Uranium One in 2007 and until most recently was Senior Vice President with overall responsibility for all Australian operations, projects and exploration. 

Having worked in various countries Kuzma has experienced working in culturally diverse operating environments for multinational corporations and joint ventures. His work interests include strategic alignment in organisations, operations optimisation, corporate governance and promoting sustainable community development. 

Professional interests:

  • Chartered Chemical Engineer ( MIChemE) - British Institute of Chemical Engineers
  • Graduate Member (GAICD) - Australian Institute of Company Directors
  • Registered Professional Engineer (Pr. Eng.) - Engineering Council of South Africa 

Lange Powell

Executive Board Member: Various Community Services groups

Area of specialisation:

  • Public policy and government
  • Governance
  • Career planning
  • Work life issues

Lange worked at a senior level in a plethora of South Australian State government departments, including Correctional Services, Aboriginal Affairs, Public Employment, Human Services, Housing Trust, Community Welfare, and he also served as SA Commissioner for the Ageing. These positions were invariably at a senior Director level, presiding over strategic policy and management.

Lange also has various board memberships, including SACOSS, and past vice chairman of the Australian Press Council. Lange's broad life experiences stem in part from the fact that his work and study took him to such diverse places as Ceduna and Milingimbi ( in the N.T.) to Oxford, England where he completed Honours in French and Russian.

Lange's mentees will enjoy learning from his breadth of experience, and particular insight into the public sector.

Madge McGuire

Former Chief Executive: Victim Support Services, SA

Area of specialisation:

  • Strategic planning
  • Soft skills

Madge has strong executive management experience in three quite different and very complex not- for-profit organisations. She is well-versed in seeing the big picture and in generating innovative ideas and solutions to help deal with particularly intricate and seemingly intractable problems. Her varied career has included: managing major strategic reform processes; working with corporate systems to identify and resolve difficult structural and people management issues; actively building sustainable relationships and partnerships with government leaders and their departments, the corporate sector, small business, higher education providers and multiple community groups.

From 2001-2015, Madge was the CEO of Catherine House Inc. in Adelaide. During her tenure the organisation received various awards and accolades for its successful range of innovative program and services. The organisation was also recognised for its use of business frameworks, disciplines and accountabilities to help drive its success.

Madge is worked in Phnom Penh, Cambodia with a major NGO assisting the leadership team to develop, and conduct, a culturally appropriate strategic planning process. She is also an experienced personal and workplace counsellor and executive coach, and brings a positive approach to helping people find personal enjoyment and fulfilment at work and in life.

In 2013, she was named as one of the 50 Most Influential People in SA (one of 9 women); in 2014 she was the EY Central Region Entrepreneur of the Year, she also received the David Clarke Scholarship for ‘Outstanding Leadership in Social Change’ to attend the Harvard University Business School Executive Education Program that year too.

Mal Hyde

Former Commissioner of SA Police

Area of specialisation:

  • Organisational performance
  • Decision making and problem solving
  • Leadership and governance
  • Optimising individual and team performance
  • Cultivating individual's personal and professional development
  • Ethics

Mal is a former Commissioner of police in South Australia, having been appointed in 1997 and retired from the position in 2012.  Prior to this he was a member of Victoria Police for 30 years and held a position as Deputy Commissioner prior to his appointment in South Australia.

Since 2012 Mal has been and is, a member of a number of boards and not-for-profit organisations, such as Chair of the ANZAC Day Commemoration Council and Chair of St John Ambulance SA.  Currently he is a member of boards for the Bedford Group, Leaders Institute SA and the UniSA Business School.

Mal has also been active in conducting reviews into various aspects of organisational performance for Governments within Australia, including child abuse in the churches (Victoria), bushfires (Tasmania), safety on public transport (Victoria) and employment processes in child residential care (South Australia).

Mal is particularly interested in designing organisations to optimise performance, leadership, decision making and individual personal development.  Other personal interests include family, travel and keeping fit.

Mal has a Law Degree and Masters in Business Administration, both from the University of Melbourne.  He is also a FAICD and FIPAA. 

Michael Dilettoso

Director: Meridien Investment Pty Ltd

Area of specialisation:

  • Governance
  • Finance and investment
  • Strategy
  • Start-ups and entrepreneurship
  • Hospitality management

Michael’s background has primarily been in the Tourism and Hospitality industry, working in private enterprise as a hotelier for over 20 years. During this time, he worked closely with the South Australian Tourism Commission assisting to promote South Australia internationally. In later years focusing on industry development through his chairmanship of the South Australian Tourism Accreditation Board, and directorship of the national body, Tourism Accreditation Australia Limited.

In 2006 he changed career direction to private investment, working predominantly in equities, property development and business investment.

With ongoing directorships in private companies and the not-for-profit sector he is outgoing chairman of SA Angels Incorporated and is an active Angel Investor assisting developing companies to find expansion and commercialisation funding.

Director: Rossiter Boots Pty Ltd

Area of specialisation:

  • Strategic planning
  • Public policy and government
  • Advisory boards

Michael has a number of years of experience in a range of company director, management and specialist roles in the private, not –for-profit and public sectors with a background in human resources and policy development. He has held a range of community positions including elected member of the Adelaide City Council and membership of management bodies of a variety of educational institutions, visual arts bodies and community groups.

He holds a range of management, educational and visual art qualifications including a MBA and Masters in Education.

Currently he is a Director, Rossiter Boots Pty Ltd and senior employee in the Department of Premier and Cabinet.

Michelle Bentley

General Manager: Hender Careers

Areas of specialisation:

  • Management and training
  • Human resources management

Michelle’s passion for facilitating the growth and development of individuals has been a core focus throughout her life. She is accomplished in working with clients and individuals across all tiers of business structure and all industries.

Her career has centred on leading and developing people, working initially within the South Australian Independent Girls’ Schools sector (24 years) in roles including Acting and Deputy Principal, and Head of Middle and Senior Schools. This work led her to the development of others within the corporate, not for profit and public sectors through organisational consultancy and diverse training and development programs.

With expertise in business and project management, executive and career coaching, training, development and facilitation, Michelle is perfectly placed to assist high calibre graduate students transition seamlessly into an appropriate profession and industry.

Michelle's community work, media and consultancy experience, and breadth of public and private business networks is an asset to the Executive Partner Program.

Founder and Managing Director: Explore Potential

Area of specialisation:

  • Managing and training
  • Developing positive organisational culture
  • Customer and stakeholder engagement
  • Government relations

Driven by making a positive difference though connecting strategy to individual team members led Nicole to establish Explore Potential in 2014.

Nicole's experience in senior management, executive and director roles in multinationals, nationals, and state based organisation as well as former CEO of scosa (the Spastic Centre of South Australia) one of SA's largest not for profits results in her bringing a unique and valuable perspective to her mentor relationships.

Nicole's work and contributions to the social and business communities have been highly awarded by the Telstra Business Women's Awards in two categories, CPA Top 40 leaders and the Marketing Institute of Australia.

Nicole has been an Executive Partner since 2010 and brings a particularly optimistic and aspirational quality to our Executive Partners Program, especially to the like-minded high achieving students with whom she mentors.

Peter Robinson photo

Peter has a wide ranging, international/multi-cultural business background, having lived and worked in 6 different countries and travelled on business to 27.

Areas of specialisation:

  • Sustainability/environmental issues
  • Governance
  • Mentoring small (micro) businesses
  • Pricing strategy
  • International marketing

In his career in the corporate world of machinery manufacturing (plastics processing, printing and materials handling), Peter held roles in marketing, sales and channel management. His geographic focus was primarily Asia, but also Southern/Eastern Africa/Middle East. During this time, he worked from bases in UK, Germany, Switzerland and Hong Kong. In Germany, he learnt a lot about why German companies operate so efficiently.

Peter emigrated to NZ in 2001 and set up his own company supplying language translation services to NZ, Australian and Asian exporting companies. This ISO9001 registered company was two times in the NZ wide Deloite Fast 50 listing.  The business was eventually sold in 2011 which provided a great insight into the factors which add value to a company.

Since 2011, he has been leading a more relaxed life and was on the Board of several NFP organisations, experimented with a small online retail business and undertook mentoring of small (micro) businesses.

After a year of travelling the world, he relocated to Adelaide with his wife Michaela in December 2017.

He is currently providing mentoring to the owner/manager of a local construction

Richard Thomson

Currently retired with several special interest projects

Area of specialisation:

  • Engineering
  • Business strategy
  • Technology development
  • Business management

Richard’s international chemical engineering career spanned 30 years where he worked in raw sugar manufacture, petrochemicals, oil & gas.  He established his own advisory business and completed several successful start-ups including ROV design, manufacture and operations as well as production monitoring systems. Richard was invited by the Australian Government to assist in oil technology transfer to China by UN agencies to assist Kuwait post the Iraqi war and Poland post the fall of Soviet Russia. Subsequently he purchased a solar hot water manufacturing and marketing business and developed expertise in renewable energy industries, an area in which he continues to be active.

  • Previously Board member in several large corporates
  • Previously Chair and Board member in government business enterprises
  • Previously Chair of the Advisory Board of the Barbara Hardy Institute, UniSA

Stephen Faulkner

Non-Executive Director: Career Partners Plus

Areas of specialisation:

  • Finance
  • Strategic planning
  • Transformational change
  • Financial sustainability
  • Customer service
  • Management
  • Marketing 
  • Communications

Stephen is a highly experienced executive at both state and national levels having successfully led multi-disciplinary teams to deliver serviced focused, cost effective and efficient services to support the organisation and its customers. He has boosted and sustained organisational performance with a service-driven and continuous improvement focus, achieving strategic business objectives through the delivery of commercial, people and customer satisfaction imperatives.

Working closely with CEOs, Stephen's accountabilities have included all aspects of strategy, legal, risk and governance, finance, information technology, customer services, marking and communication, cultural change and human resources. Stephen has also reported to boards and has been responsible for multiple board committees, providing improved reporting capabilities and information flow.

His ability in improving financial sustainability through strategic improvement of business functions and marketing methodologies resulting in a sustained net increase in customer base and customer activity is his strength.

An MBA graduate and member of the Australian Institute of Company Directors, Stephen has strong people, leadership and coaching skills coupled with a passion for delivery of superior customer and stakeholder value.

Steven Todd

General Manager in the wine industry

Areas of specialisation:

  • SME owner/developer
  • Strategy development (small and family business)
  • Leadership and staff development
  • Production and project management 

Steven’s background is primarily as an engineer and production manager in the food industry both in the UK and Australia. Initially managing small shift based teams, he later moved to the management of a large commercial bakery with over 500 staff. Recently his interests have evolved to the more strategic elements of developing and running a business, particularly the smaller business environment as it gives a broader range of experiences and more opportunity to apply the knowledge he has gained throughout his career.

Steven has a wealth of experience in a range of industries such as the food production, IT and wine. His titles have included General Manager, Company Secretary, and Director. He is a member of the Institute of Engineering and Technology (UK), a graduate member of the Australian Institute of Company Directors and a Fellow of the Institute of Management and Leaders. He has also achieved Chartered Engineer and Chartered Manager status.

Stuart Synder

Co Founder and CFO - Your Amigo

Area of specialisation:

  • Technology developer
  • Export business and marketing
  • Strategy and governance

Stuart was co-founder, Director, and CFO of YourAmigo Ltd which was South Australia's exporter of the year in 2008. YourAmigo was incorporated in 1999 and successfully commercialised novel search technology acquired from the Flinders University.

YourAmigo’s is a technology leader in the search marketing space with installations on web sites in over 30 different countries including many of the world’s top 100 e-commerce companies. Headquarters are currently in Adelaide although virtually all sales are now export.

Stuart grew up in Silicon Valley, starting his career as a CPA with KPMG in San Jose, California and migrated to Adelaide in 1993. He is now an investor in three South Australian's start-ups; Happy Inspector, Portalalink Solutions and Frontier microscopy and currently a limited partner in Blackbird Ventures.  Stuart spends time mentoring entrepreneurs and volunteering.

Suzi O'Connor

Pacific Credit Manager; Pernod Ricard Winemakers P/L

Area of specialisation:

  • Credit risk management
  • Cash forecasting
  • Policy development
  • Personal property security
  • Customer relationship management
  • Business process improvement
  • Staff performance management and training

Suzi O’Connor is a qualified credit professional with over 30 years’ experience in a variety of industries including Transport, Information Technology, Publishing, Building and Construction and more recently in the Liquor industry.  The companies Suzi has worked for range from large private businesses to publicly listed companies across Sydney, Melbourne and Adelaide with significant debtor portfolios. Currently the Pacific Credit Manager for Pernod Ricard Winemakers, Suzi and her team manage a turnover of $1b in a fast paced FMCG environment across Australia and New Zealand.

Ongoing education has advanced Suzi’s career with a Master's Degree in Marketing and Graduate Certificate of Business Administration, both attained through Swinburne University of Technology, broadening her business knowledge.

A long-standing member of the Australian Institute of Credit Management (AICM), Suzi was involved in the Melbourne Division Council for a time and more recently was invited to join the South Australian Division Council, responsible for the professional development portfolio. Suzi has facilitated workshops in the areas of credit risk management and cash collection techniques and is frequently asked to participate on industry panels.

Tania Sargent

Director of Corporate Services: Westminster School

Area of specialisation:

  • Chartered accountant
  • Finance and general management
  • Corporate strategy and development
  • Advisory boards to non executive board director
  • Facilities
  • Property management
  • Building masterplanning

After starting her working life as a Chartered Accountant in public practice, for the next 25 + years Tania has held a number of senior finance and general management roles in Disability Services, Education, Health, Retail and Financial Services. Tania is currently working as a Director and Management Consultant; her services include corporate strategy development, business restructures and implementation of new systems, risk management and governance reviews, and general commercial and financial management support. She has recently facilitated a number of workshops on behalf of the Governance Institute on Governance Essentials, Assessing Board Performance, Financial Management in Not For Profits and Risk Management and Compliance within Not For Profits.

Tania has a Bachelor of Arts (Accounting), is a Chartered Accountant and holds a Masters in Business Administration, an Australian Institute of Company Director’s Diploma and a Diploma in Applied Corporate Governance. Tania is a non-executive director of Uniting Communities, a member of the Finance, Risk Management and Audit sub-committee and Governance sub-committee for Uniting Communities, and is an independent member of the Audit and Risk sub-committee of the Rural Business Support Services. Tania is also a member of State Council for the Governance Institute and sits on the national Not For Profit committee for the Governance Institute.

Company Director and Legal Consultant: Paprusy Australia Ltd

Area of Specialisation:

  • SME owner/developer
  • Company director and consultant
  • Legal and business advisor
  • Advisory role in private and public bodies

Ted is a Company Director and Legal Consultant with an extensive background as a legal and business advisor.

He was a Partner of Norman Waterhouse Lawyers in Adelaide from 1973 until 2007 where he provided strategic commercial advice to industry, commerce and government enterprises. As a Partner, Ted led a dynamic team engaged in local, national and international business. Organisational development, corporate governance and succession planning were the focus of his attention in those years.

In his professional career Ted has advised many companies undertaking business in Australia and overseas markets, as well as foreign companies operating in Australia. Ted has considerable experience advising private and public entities in their dealings with state and local governments. He has a thorough understanding of the legal, commercial and political requirements of doing business with government at all levels.

Over the past decade Ted has been appointed to a number of private and public corporation boards to which he brings general commercial legal skills and a diversity of experience from my legal and business background.

Adjunct Professor: UniSA
Council Member: Australian and New Zealand Regional Science Association International Inc.

Area of specialisation:

  • Strategy
  • Business
  • Economics
  • Civil Engineering
  • International Business
  • Adjunct research fellow - UniSA

Tony has over 30 years experience as an economics and strategy consultant for clients in industry, regions, and governments across Australia and overseas. His qualifications in civil engineering, business, and economics (PhD Alberta) have provided for a breadth of expertise in such fields as strategic planning, cost benefit analyses on large scale infrastructure projects, and policy development in urban planning, to name just a few areas.

Furthermore, Tony assignments in the Philippines (coal conversion), Papua New Guinea (urban water supply and coastal shipping), New Zealand (on fuel rationing and electricity pricing under commercialisation), the Sudan (bus system planning) and Kenya (coal conversion), have given an earthy knowledge of business practices in diverse cultures and locations.

Tony has been able to continue his academic pursuits, and publication of numerous papers, through his current position as an Adjunct Research Fellow at the School of Management – and this role further equips Tony to poignantly connect University staff, students and fellow executive partners in management discussions and projects.

Trudy Minett

Trudy Minett
Chief Executive Partner, Motor Accident Commission

Area of specialisation:

  • Governance
  • Risk Management
  • Strategic Planning
  • Work Injury Insurance

Trudy Minett worked in commercial construction until 1988 where she undertook industrial market research to broaden market penetration across Australia. Trudy then travelled to the United Kingdom to undertake a Master of Business Administration in London. Whilst in the UK, Trudy worked with a number of organisations in industrial market research, analytics and corporate planning.

Trudy returned to Adelaide and worked in work injury insurance across a variety of functions including governance, risk management, scheme compliance, strategic and business planning, performance reporting, communications, stakeholder engagement, claims management and provider management.

Trudy also has considerable expertise in leading corporate wide transformational projects and initiatives, engaging stakeholders and staff in change programs as well as communicating at Board and stakeholder levels.

Trudy currently is the Chief Executive Officer at the Motor Accident Commission, focused on influencing road safety behaviour to save lives and reduce road trauma.
Trudy has a Bachelor of Business (Marketing), a Graduate Diploma in Systems Analysis, an Australian Institute of Company Director’s Diploma and a Master of Business Administration.

 

Wojtek Swietek

Non Executive Director
Judge and Mentor, Australian E-Challenge

Area of specialisation:

  • Health and aged care
  • Disability and housing
  • Governance and policy
  • Not for profit and charitable sector
  • Health safety, environment and quality
  • Risk management and regulatory compliance
  • NFP merges and acquisitions
  • Translating strategies in operational and business plans

Wojtek is an experienced Chairman, Company Director, CEO, Consultant, General Manager and Director of Nursing. He has held numerous consulting and executive roles in the service industry including over 20 years’ experience in disability, health and aged care which is demonstrated in his personal commitment in quality service delivery.

Wojtek's professional affiliations include; the Australian Institute of Company Directors, Australasian College of Health Service Management and the Adelaide University MBA Alumni Association. He also enjoys donating his time to charitable organizations and over the last 7 years, being a judge and mentor in the Commercialisation and Innovation Centre's "Entrepreneurs' Challenge."

Raising four children, he enjoys travelling and adventure activities such as four-wheel driving, scuba diving as well as snow and water sports.