Our Chiefs

Chiefs for Gender Equity

The Chiefs for Gender Equity is a group of senior business leaders representing key industry sectors in South Australia brought together with the common aim of advancing gender equity.

Members 2019 - 2020

Dr Niki Vincent (Convenor)

Niki’s functions are to receive, investigate and conciliate complaints of discrimination, foster and encourage informed and unprejudiced attitudes amongst members of the public, with a view to eliminate discrimination; institute and promote or assist in research, data collection and dissemination of information relating to discrimination and to make recommendations to the Minister as to legislative or other reforms that she believes will further the objects of the Act.

Niki holds two University Medals (for her PhD and Honors in Psychology). She has also received an Australian Leadership Award. A mother of four adult children and grandmother to 9, Niki also is a weekend respite foster mum to a 16 year old girl from Liberia.

Chris Barnesby

Chris leads Olympic Dam’s surface processing team, responsible for the safe operation of the asset’s surface facilities producing copper, uranium, gold and silver for delivery to Australian and international customers. Chris has been with BHP for 23 years. She started as a graduate at the then BHP-owned Whyalla Steelworks, and has held roles across the organisation in project management, operational leadership and HSE in Australia, the US and Trinidad and Tobago.

Chris joined Olympic Dam in August 2017, returning to Australia from her role as a general manager in BHP’s petroleum business based in Houston. Prior to that, Chris deployed her diverse technical expertise and passionate approach to safety leadership in heading BHP’s global health, safety, environment and community function from the Company’s Melbourne head office. Chris has Bachelor degrees in nursing and mechanical engineering (Honours), a master’s degree in civil engineering, an MBA in international corporate strategy and a diploma in frontline management.

Victoria MacKirdy

Victoria is currently the Chief Executive Officer of the City of Victor Harbor.  She has over 20 years’ experience in Local Government having worked with a number of Council across the State, along with the Local Government Association of SA.  Victoria’s expertise and interests are in the areas of strategic planning, community engagement, economic development, governance, performance management, and organisational development.

Victoria has been a Board Member of Local Government Professionals SA for over 6 years and served as President in 2014, she is also National Director for Local Government Professionals Australia.  Victoria’s commitment to LG Professionals is a true reflection of her passions for the Sector and for developing, supporting and showcasing the skills, expertise and opportunities within Local Government.

Victoria is also a Director on Country Arts South Australia, Chair of the Governance and Finance Committee for Country Arts SA and a Board Director for Regional Development Australia (Adelaide Hills, Fleurieu & Kangaroo Island).

Jake Parkinson

Jake Parkinson is the Chief Executive Officer of the South Australian National Football League - the governing body for Australian Football in South Australia which delivers the promotion and development of Australian Football for the people of South Australia. SANFL delivers the best men’s and women’s state leagues in Australia in additional to indigenous and multicultural programs, junior and school football competitions, game development, umpiring and talent pathways right the way through the South Australian community.

SANFL is a 50% joint venture partner with SACA in the Adelaide Oval Stadium Management Authority and Jake is an alternate director for it’s board and member of it’s committees. Jake has broad management and leadership experience and joined the South Australian National Football League as CEO in October 2014.

Formerly Regional Director at Lion Beer, Spirits and Wine Jake spent 4 years leading the West End Brewery in South Australia having held various management positions across 13 years where he led the sales, marketing and commercial divisions. Jake has extensive experience managing businesses in the South Australian market and has a strong track record in driving growth in sales, revenue and profitability as well as building high performance teams.

Jake holds a Bachelor of Management in Marketing, building such brands as Hahn, West End, James Squire, Johnnie Walker and Rexona to name a few in South Australia. He is a graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors and sits on the SA Women in Sport Taskforce, White Ribbon SA Committee and South Australia Starlight Advisory Board.

Jane Pickering

Jane Pickering is the Chief Executive of Eldercare Inc. Eldercare is one of the largest and most experienced aged care and retirement living providers in South Australia. With 1,000 residential aged care beds and over 200 retirement living units across 22 sites spanning metropolitan Adelaide and the Yorke Peninsula, Eldercare has a solid reputation for providing high-quality services.

Jane started her career as a Registered Nurse/Midwife working in various roles in the public and private sectors and in rural and remote areas. She has held several Executive positions including the Executive Director of Nursing & Patient Services at Repatriation General Hospital, A/CEO of St Andrew’s Hospital, CEO of Domiciliary Care SA, CEO of St Hilarion Aged Care prior to being appointed to the CE of Eldercare in 2013. Jane has post graduate qualifications in Health Administration and Health Education, she is a Fellow of the Australian College of Health Management, a Graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors and a Justice of the Peace for South Australia. She has a solid reputation for leading cultural change within organisations and improving organisational performance through building high performing teams.

As a CE of an organisation where women make up 82% of its workforce, Jane is strongly committed to gender equity and supporting women to achieve their full potential.

Matthew Pitcher

Matthew Salisbury is the Regional Director for the Central region of WSP incorporating South Australia and Northern Territory. Matthew’s role sits across all of the Business Units within this region comprising of Property, Environment, Resource, Transport, Power and Water.

With a background in the Property sector, has over 25 years' experience in the building industry with specific expertise in the design and development of innovative and sustainable precincts.

Matthew also advises the Culture and Gender Diversity groups at WSP | Parsons Brinckerhoff and participates in realising our SA Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP) commitment to Indigenous Australia.

"I have two young daughters, and I want them to have opportunities in equal measure as afforded to me. We are simply missing the many benefits of a diverse and inclusive workforce. At WSP | Parsons Brinckerhoff we encourage and support both women and men, to create a balance between caring for family and individual career aspirations. I feel honoured to be able to contribute to the Chiefs for Gender Equity, and obligated to continually improve the current gender imbalances at all levels.”

Catherine Sayer

Catherine Sayer is Chief Executive Officer of Food South Australia Inc., the State’s peak industry body for food manufacturers and producers. Catherine is passionate and committed to developing South Australia’s food industry and continuing to raise the profile of the importance of the industry. She leads a team of over ten staff based in Adelaide as well as China and Japan.

Catherine graduated with a degree in Business Management, majoring in Marketing. Since that time she has worked with a number of large organisations across a number of sectors, both private and public, and ran a marketing consultancy prior to joining Food South Australia.

Catherine is currently Chair of the Tropical Tuna Management Advisory Committee (a Commonwealth Fishery) and a member of the Glenelg Football Club board. Previously she has been Chair of the South Australia Rock Lobster Advisory Council Inc., Chair of the Seafood Training Centre of Excellence Inc., Deputy Chair and board member of Rural Financial Counselling Service SA Inc., member of the Fisheries Council of South Australia, Food Innovation Australia Limited, Agribusiness Council, Forest Industry Development Board and Horticulture Industry Development Board. Catherine is a member and graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.

Grant Stevens SAPOL - Portrait horizontal

Grant Stevens APM has been Commissioner of South Australia Police since July 2015, with 37 years of policing experience that includes more than seven years as an Assistant Commissioner and three years as Deputy Commissioner. Grant is a member of a wide range of executive Boards and Committees at state and national government levels overseeing critical issues involved in law enforcement, security and counter-terrorism, emergency management, justice reform, road safety and community safety generally.

Enhancing organisational performance and resilience through innovation and cultural change is one of Grant’s key focus areas. Under Grant’s leadership, SAPOL has made significant improvements in equity and diversity, through introducing gender parity recruiting, cultural reform and other targeted programs.

A highly respected and visible community leader, Grant is an Ambassador and South Australia Committee Chairperson for White Ribbon Australia and a member of the St. Vincent de Paul South Australian Business Advisory Panel.

A keen amateur cyclist, Grant co-founded a police and public cycling event for cancer research, prevention and treatment that successfully promoted cycling road safety and raised over $1,000,000.

Married with five children, Grant is actively involved in community life and his family’s sporting activities as a parent and organiser.

Ian Stone, Group Managing Director, RAA

Ian Stone was appointed Managing Director of the Royal Automobile Association of South Australia Inc in August 2009 and formerly CEO from August 2007. Ian has extensive senior management experience and expertise in the motor, home and health insurance industry. He is a Director of RAA Insurance Ltd and various Australian automotive associated entities.

Roger Zammit - horizontal portrait

Roger Zammit is the Chief Executive of the Badge Group and has more than 25 years’ experience in the construction industry, having held a number of project and leadership roles in both the public and private sector. Roger, joined the BADGE Group in 2003, initially leading the Project Management Division and delivering a number of significant design and construct projects across Australia.

In 2007 Roger was appointed BADGE SA State Manager, delivering business growth through client service and the development of personnel and in late 2008 was appointed the position of Group General Manager, responsible for overseeing the operations of the company on a national basis.

From 2009, Roger as Chief Executive has been responsible for the management of the BADGE Group, ensuring the organisation is working with synergy to achieve its vision and organisational goals. Roger is a member of the Board of Management.

Karen Thomas

Karen has over 30 years’ experience in commercial legal practice specialising in dispute resolution and litigation in all Australian civil jurisdictions. Whilst her experience is diverse, for the last 20 years Karen has specialised in protracted commercial disputes, both in private and public sector, principally in infrastructure, engineering and construction.

Since 1995, Karen has been Managing Partner of Fisher Jeffries and held numerous board and public offices. Her strong management and communication skills complement her empirical style. Fisher Jeffries, primarily through Karen’s leadership is a leading corporate supporter of arts organisations in South Australia including Creative Partnerships (formerly ABaF), the Fringe, the Adelaide Festival, SALA, the Waterhouse Natural Art History Prize and Helpmann Academy for the Visual and Performing Arts Inc.

Karen is married with three adult children. She enjoys travel, gardening, literature, art and craft. Karen has enjoyed local competitive sports (lacrosse, hockey, softball, basketball and netball) over many decades in a variety of roles as player, coach and club official.

Hamilton Calder

Hamilton runs CEDA's South Australian and Northern Territory office. Hamilton previously held a senior role with the Royal Automobile Association of South Australia, the SA motorists' body and has a broad background in public policy issues and media relations within the SA Government and in the private sector.

Hamilton holds both an MBA and an economics degree from the University of Adelaide and has undertaken masters level study at the University of Wollongong.

He has a keen interest in the environment and social justice and has Co-Chaired Anti-Poverty Week on several occasions.

Kim Cheater

Kim is a Partner with PwC and he leads PwC’s Diversity and Inclusion strategy in Adelaide. In June 2019, Kim completed 3 years as the Adelaide Managing Partner and a member of PwC’s national leadership team. At PwC, Kim has led the Risk, Governance, Internal Audit, IT Consulting and Cyber Security businesses in Adelaide along with the firm’s Government Sector and Financial Services practice areas.

Throughout his career, Kim has been committed to indigenous reconciliation. He is co-chair of PwC’s Reconciliation Governance Committee and led PwC’s work to be recognised as an Elevate RAP. In 2016, Kim was made an Ambassador to the Aboriginal Employment Industry Cluster Program by the Governor of South Australia.

Tony D'Alessandro

With more than 30 years’ experience in the financial services industry, Tony has held a broad range of Senior Executive Management positions for CBA, St George Bank and Bank SA.This included serving as General Manager Commonwealth Private Bank and CEO of Symetry Limited (a wholly owned subsidiary of Commonwealth Bank) which provided investment and superannuation administration services to over 50,000 customers. Tony has a significant track record delivering profitable growth and major change initiatives across private banking, wealth management, financial planning insurance, superannuation and administration in Australia.

Tony is a Certified Financial Planner and holds an Advanced Diploma of Financial Planning. He has also undertaken executive development and advanced management programs through Adelaide University and CBA Leadership Development Programs.

Professor Caroline McMillen

Professor McMillen commenced in the role as Chief Scientist for South Australia in October 2018 after serving as Vice-Chancellor of the University of Newcastle for 7 years from 2011.

She is a Fellow of the Australian Academy of Health and Medical Sciences, a Fellow of the Royal Society of New South Wales and a Bragg Member of the Royal Institution, Australia. She holds a BA (Honours) and Doctor of Philosophy from the University of Oxford, and completed her medical training graduating with an MB, BChir from the University of Cambridge. She has served in academic leadership positions at Monash University, the University of Adelaide and at the University of South Australia where she held the role of Deputy Vice-Chancellor Research and Innovation prior to her move to Newcastle.

Professor McMillen has been invited to speak in international and national fora on the critical role of STEMM in driving innovation and on the role of universities as national and regional catalysts of economic and social transition. Throughout her career she has been committed to building collaborations between universities, government, industry and communities which deliver a positive impact on the economic, social and cultural health of Australia. She was honoured at the end of her term as Vice-Chancellor to be presented with the Key to the City of Newcastle by the Lord Mayor of Newcastle.

Neil McGoran

Dr McGoran is Director of Catholic Education South Australia with responsibility for 101 Catholic schools comprising 46,000 students and 6,000 staff across metropolitan and regional South Australia. As an educator, he is interested in the needs of young people in the 21st Century, in the context of an evolving, globally focused and digital world.

Dr McGoran was previously Chief Executive of the SACE Board of South Australia, from 2013 to 2017, where he was instrumental in leading a program of transformational change. Dr McGoran has over 25 years’ experience in education in roles including teacher, principal, senior administration and management.