Meet our 2018 SA Australian of the Year recipients

Accomplished craniofacial surgeon Professor David David AC has taken out the state’s top honour.

The medical veteran who founded the world-renowned Australian Craniofacial Unit based at the Royal Adelaide Hospital and Women’s and Children’s Hospital was named the 2018 South Australian Australian of the Year at a ceremony at Adelaide Oval last night (October 30).

The 76-year-old has dedicated the past 45 years to working with patients with facial deformities and disfigurements.

2018 SA Australian of the Year Professor David David AC.

2018 SA Australian of the Year Professor David David AC.

Over time he has helped more than 17,000 people from all over Australia, South East Asia and beyond, with many of his patients first coming into his care within hours of being born.

Prof. David works alongside a team of top medical professionals – one of just two multidisciplinary craniofacial teams in the world.

He was awarded the honour alongside three other recipients of the esteemed SA Australian of the Year Awards.

The 2018 SA recipients will join 32 others from across the country at the national awards on January 25, 2018, in Canberra, where the four Australian of the Year awards will be announced.

2018 SA Senior Australian of the Year Barbara Spriggs.

2018 SA Senior Australian of the Year Barbara Spriggs.

2018 SA Senior Australian of the Year – Barbara Spriggs

Barbara lifted the lid on the abuse of residents at Adelaide’s Oakden Aged Care home and continues to be a passionate campaigner for treatment of aged care patients.

She blew the whistle on a story of systematic abuse and neglect after uncovering her own husband Bob’s experience at the facility.

Bob has since passed away, but Barbara’s push for justice has led to an Independent Commission Against Corruption inquiry.

Her persistence at a time when she was experiencing personal grief honours her beloved husband with a legacy of better care and respect for seniors across Australia.

2018 SA Young Australian of the Year Kyran Dixon.

2018 SA Young Australian of the Year Kyran Dixon.

2018 SA Young Australian of the Year – Kyran Dixon
Kyran, 24, is a role model for Indigenous youth in his community.

The talented Australian Rules footballer stalled his sporting ambitions after being diagnosed with a bone tumour in his hip at the age of 11.

But he worked his way back, joining the Port Adelaide Football Club before illness struck again.

This time it was acute myeloid leukaemia in 2014, causing him to endure rounds of chemotherapy.

The proud member of the Kaurna and Narungga clans still maintained his university studies, graduating in 2016.

He now promotes cancer awareness and research and is a founding member of the Aboriginal Youth Cancer Advisory Group.

SA Local Hero Andrew 'Cosi' Costello.

2018 SA Local Hero Andrew ‘Cosi’ Costello.

2018 SA Local Hero – Andrew ‘Cosi’ Costello
The much-loved face of TV show South Aussie With Cosi and I Choose SA ambassador is renowned for sharing wonderful places to visit across SA.

The radio host and media personality has hosted the Channel 9 show for the last seven years, in aim of expanding the state’s tourism industry and inspiring locals to appreciate what’s on their doorstep.

‘Cosi’ is also recognised as a community champion, through his willingness to help people who are doing it tough.


Technology pioneer Simon Hackett on why he chose SA

It’s hard to believe how different South Australia’s tech scene would be if entrepreneur Simon Hackett had accepted a job offer in the US in the early 1990s.

It was just before the ‘dot-com boom’ when the tech pioneer turned down a job opportunity with a “great company” and instead launched his own business – Internode – from Adelaide in 1991.

Internode grew to become a nationally significant broadband provider and by 2011 it had 450 staff, 200,000 customers and an annual turnover of more than $180m.

Simon says choosing to stay in Adelaide was a “conscious choice”.

“Sometimes it feels that success comes despite being in Adelaide rather than because of it,” he says.

“But in Internode’s case, we built a 450-person plus organisation filled with smart people and a high retention rate, which I think would be difficult to achieve in the eastern capitals, where there is much fiercer competition for talent.

“I’m incredibly proud to be South Australian.”

Simon, is a fan of Tesla and says SA's adoption of renewable energy makes it a world leader.

Simon is a fan of Tesla. He is passionate about the world of renewable energy, but is most known for founding the company Internode in 1991.

Before the birth of Internode, Simon was involved in establishing the first signs of the internet in Australia.

After graduating from the University of Adelaide in 1986, he was part of a national university team that created the Australian Academic and Research Network (AARNet) – the first emergence of the internet in the country.

From then onwards, the internet became bigger and more integral to people’s lives than most people could have expected.

By the year 2000, broadband internet started to come about, so Simon pushed for Internode to become a nationally significant broadband provider.

“We achieved this during the next 12 years, pioneering many important communication technologies in Australia and winning an incredibly loyal and satisfied customer base,” he says.

In 2012 Internode was sold to internet service provider iiNet of which Simon was director for 18 months before joining the board of the National Broadband Network (NBN).

In 2015 iiNet was sold to TPG.

SA entrepreneur Simon Hackett at Base 64 in Adelaide.

SA entrepreneur Simon Hackett at his current workplace Base64 in Kent Town.

Simon says his time with Internode was a great learning experience as the internet in Australia was growing at “incredible speed”.

But like all entrepreneurial pursuits, it wasn’t without its challenges.

“We had some challenging times in an industry that was dominated by a huge company which was both a supplier and a competitor – Telstra,” he says.

“But we managed to survive them all.”

Aside from his internet pursuits, Simon launched a company Base64 in 2012 from a historic mansion in Kent Town.

The 19th Century property provides workspaces and encourages collaboration among a range of technology businesses and start-ups.

Base64 is also home to Australian battery manufacturer Redflow’s battery laboratory.

Simon Hackett with a Tesla Model S vehicle and the Redflow zinc-bromide batteries.

Simon with a Tesla Model S vehicle and the Redflow zinc-bromine battery system.

Simon invested in the Brisbane-based company in 2014, becoming its executive officer before recently stepping down and becoming a non-executive board member.

“Redflow is an Australian company that has developed the world’s smallest zinc-bromine flow battery, a unique design that is free of some of the limitations of traditional chemistries such as lead-acid and lithium,” he says.

“Redflow has a team in Adelaide who have launched the ZCell residential battery and developed software to make all Redflow batteries easier to use.

“That’s the sort of smarts you can get in a place like Adelaide.”

In a nod to his interests in renewable energy, Simon is a fan of electric carmaker Tesla and its Model S vehicles.

He says SA’s uptake of wind and solar systems, along with the world’s biggest battery being built near Jamestown, makes the state a world leader.

Tonsley’s turn at being an entrepreneurial playground

It was 2008 when Mitsubishi Motors announced it would draw the curtains on its Tonsley factory, but fast forward nine years and the bustling industrial suburb is now an entrepreneur’s playground.

The 61ha precinct has progressed into Australia’s first innovation district.

Tonsley is now a workplace for 1200 people including researchers, innovators, and business founders ­– more than when Mitsubishi finished production in 2008.

It’s is home to innovators as diverse as spirited SA inventor Scott Boocock of Hegs pegs to global engineering and advanced technology firm Siemens.

It leads a transition from traditional mass manufacturing characterised by billowing smokestacks, to a new age of smarter and cleaner advanced manufacturing.

Driven by the State Government and its agency Renewal SA, Tonsley underwent a physical redevelopment, targeted business attraction and support to encourage a culture of collaboration and entrepreneurship.

“The bold vision was to use urban redevelopment as a vehicle to drive economic transformation,” says Tonsley precinct director Philipp Dautel.

“It was for a creative innovation district that brings together research and education institutions, established businesses and start-ups, business incubators and accelerators, the government and wider community.”

Tonsley’s modern and inspiring layout impressed the Australian Urban Design Awards judges as recently as October 2017, when it took top gong for a large scale development.


Tonsley precinct director Philipp Dautel.

The precinct is also connected to GigCity, an Australian-first network connecting entrepreneurs, start-ups and big businesses to speeds up to 100 times the national average.

Philipp says businesses that settle at Tonsley are selected based on their ability to enhance other enterprises around them.

He says Tonsley is a “61ha playground to test and try entrepreneurs’ new ideas in real life applications”.

“For example, driverless pods developed by one of our resident companies, RDM, will be used to deliver parcels within the district to help trial this technology,” Philipp says.

The district’s centrepiece is the open-air MAB, a space re-adapted from Mitsubishi’s Main Assembly Building, and has internal forests, shops, cafés, offices, workshops and laboratories.

The Main Assembly Building is the focal point of Tonsley and where many entrepreneurs and start-ups work their magic.

The Tonsley site has transformed from the former factory of Mitsubishi Australia, and before that Chrysler, into a thriving new-age hub for entrepreneurs, start-ups, education institutions and industry leaders.

Philipp says Tonsley continues to attract strong commercial interest, with an increased number of tenancies in the MAB.

Tonsley has four areas of industry focus: health and medical, clean technology and renewable energy, software and simulation, and mining and energy services.

Some of Tonsley’s biggest players include technology giant Siemens, MAB anchor tenant SAGE Automation, and leading device manufacturer Micro-X.

International optics firm ZEISS is currently building in the MAB a premises which will employ 120 people.

Philipp says opportunities for budding entrepreneurs to network with large companies happens by simply fetching coffee from Tonsley’s cafés.

Micro X ___ _____ make their way through the urban forest within the MAB.

Matt Waltho, left, and Jed Gunn from the Renewal SA Tonsley team make their way through the urban forest within the MAB.

“The cafés and retail spaces are centred at spots where people need to get out of their offices so they have these meetings that happen by chance and that’s where the real magic happens,” he says.

“Google offices around the world are known for the way they have reimagined traditional workplaces.

“We’re taking that concept one step further by completely rethinking urban redevelopments and integrating work, life and play to create a district that is productive, convenient and enjoyable.”

Like many parts of Adelaide’s identity – including its small bar scene and North Terrace’s growing biomedical precinct – Tonsley has flourished in recent years.

Philipp, who was born in Germany and moved to SA six years ago, says it was time for Adelaide to “suddenly have something different”.

“I often compare SA to a start-up business because we’re small and humble,” he says.

“If you want to get stuff done as an entrepreneur, SA is definitely the right place to do it.”


Sleepy Mid North town is back on the map

It suffered a population drain of more than 50% in just five years, but according to the latest Census data the small Mid North town of Brinkworth is back on track.

In 2006 the quintessential country town was home to 401 people, but by 2011 the population had plummeted to just 188.

But 2016 Australian Census data shows that the number of townspeople has crept up to 285.

Community spirit is at the heart of Brinkworth.

Community spirit is at the heart of Brinkworth.

Brinkworth Progress Association chairperson Norma Hardy attributes the lift to a generational change and two local businesses which have expanded.

“We started to fall off the map for a while,” she says.

“But it’s starting to go back to what it used to be because of the work that has been done around town and the businesses that are employing people.”

While Brinkworth is traditionally known as a service centre for grain growers and prime lamb producers, a local transport company and recycling centre have “become big things for us”.

Norma says family business Mills Freightlines and the Clare Valley Recycling Depot are popular sources of employment.

Mills Freightlines is an important source of employment.

Mills Freightlines is an important source of employment.

The progress association can also take the credit for the town’s aesthetic boost as the group of community members have delivered a range of beautification projects recently.

The Travellers’ Overnight Stay area at Stockyard Reserve off East Terrace is complete with powered sites, toilets, showers, an undercover barbecue area, playground, seating and gardens.

A playground, walking trail and gardens have also been installed while engraved pavers are currently being laid at the reserve in time for Brinkworth’s 125th anniversary in November.

The pavers are engraved with the names of past and present local individuals and families.

Locals Leo Krieg and Norma Hardy lay the honourary pavers.

Locals Leo Krieg and Norma Hardy lay the honourary pavers.

The association also developed the Pepper Tree walking trail which is wheelchair and cycling friendly, and winds its way along the disused railway line.

The group – which has about 10 members – is working with the Brinkworth History Group on a revised version of the town’s history book.

“It can be a little bit of a blink and miss it town unless you look around there’s really a lot to offer,” Norma says.

“It’s quite a little community but an active one.”

The Brinkworth Memorial Hall Committee has also contributed to the town’s uplift by revitalising the main street hall in the past 18 months.

At one stage the committee was struggling to get volunteers and was running at a deficit, but has since engaged with the town’s youth to open a community room and gymnasium in the hall.

Movie nights, art exhibitions and community dances raised funds and in April 2017 the gym was officially opened.

The Brinkworth Memorial Hall has been revived to attract youth and its new gym allows locals to stay active.

The Brinkworth Memorial Hall has been revived to attract youth and its new gym allows locals to stay active.

Named after one of the town’s earliest landholders, Brinkworth lies 31km from Clare and about 140km from Adelaide.

Its main street is lined with typical small country town essentials – a post office, corner café, grain silos and the local police office in a stone cottage.

Norma was the woman behind the counter at the Brinkworth general store for about 10 years.

“I love where I live and being in the shop I got to know most of the people and watched them grow up into adults who are now almost ready to have children of their own,” she says.

“It’s a comfortable community and if anything goes wrong we stick together.”

The Brinkworth Progress Association is currently planning for the second ever Brinkworth Country Fair in 2018.

An aerial view of Brinkworth in 1938. Source: State Library of SA.

An aerial view of Brinkworth in 1938. Source: State Library of SA.

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Tired? Hungry? Don’t worry, a SA graduate entrepreneur has you covered

Forget the frustration of lugging groceries home from the supermarket only to discover you’ve forgotten the key ingredients you set out for in the first place.

Budding South Australian entrepreneur Nicole Henderson is set to launch a platform that will make shopping for recipe ingredients simpler with the touch of a button.

Playt (pronounced plate) converts online recipes into a digital shopping list.

Woolworths collects the ingredients, before the Playt user either picks up the ready-to-go groceries from the store or has them delivered to their door.

Playt allows users to convert recipes into a digital shopping list and have the ingredients delivered to their door.

Playt allows users to convert recipes into a digital shopping list and have the ingredients delivered to their door.

It’s set to launch exclusively in SA in November before expanding into Melbourne and Sydney.

Aside from attracting the attention of the supermarket giant, Playt received $50,000 in backing through the University of South Australia’s Venture Catalyst program.

Nicole, who graduated from the UniSA’s innovation and entrepreneurship degree earlier this year, says the funding allowed her to speed up the development cycle.

She says it also gave her validation that Playt was a viable business idea.

“Validation is a massive thing for any entrepreneur … there’s a very supportive community in SA.”

While Playt will initially only convert online recipes into shopping orders, Nicole says she aims to soon develop the technology so it can process recipes from printed cook books.

It also allows users to order other groceries and household items unrelated to their selected recipe – such as toilet paper!

A $50,000 grant makes all the difference to emerging start-ups who need an extra push to lift their idea off the ground.

A $50,000 grant makes all the difference to emerging start-ups who need an extra push to lift their idea off the ground.

The idea for Playt came when Nicole was living in Sydney and working as a bank manager.

One day she became frustrated when carrying groceries home from the supermarket and realising she had forgotten to buy some items.

“That was my ‘ah ha!’ moment,” she says.

“There was nothing out there that allowed me to take a picture of a book, push a button and have the ingredients arrive at my door.

“I became obsessed with the idea.”

Nicole moved to Adelaide two years ago and was drawn to UniSA’s innovation and entrepreneurship degree, which she graduated from in July 2017.

“Before studying I had never heard of the word ‘start-up’,” she says.

“I used the degree as a platform for my research and marketing.”

Nicole partnered with the Moonshine Laboratory and together with Christian Ullmark and Jason Neave the trio co-founded Playt.

It’s located at the WOTSO WorkSpace in Adelaide’s CBD.

The Playt co-founding team.

The Playt co-founding team.

Moonshine supports emerging start-ups that need expertise in technical aspects of their business and helped connect Playt with Woolworths.

Nicole says the team plans to have well-known chefs share their recipes on the platform.

She says life as a budding entrepreneur can be a hard slog, but SA’s affordable lifestyle it an attractive place to start a business.

Fellow Venture Catalyst funding recipients are Sally Skewes ($50,000) for Secure Nest and James Walsh ($35,000 + $15,000 worth of incubation space) for Studio Buddy.

‘Most important exhibition’ headed for Art Gallery of SA

The Art Gallery of South Australia has secured an exclusive exhibition of impressionist masterpieces in a coup set to draw art lovers to the state.

More than 65 works by Monet, Cézanne, Renoir and Pissarro, among others, will be on show at the gallery from March 29 – July 29, 2018.

The paintings are from the renowned collection of the Musée d’Orsay in Paris and chart the revolution of Impressionism, a 19th Century art movement known for its vibrant techniques and colour.

Auguste Renoir, Claude Monet, 1875, oil on canvas, 84 x 60.5 cm, Musée d'Orsay, Paris, France, ©photo Musée d'Orsay / rmn

Auguste Renoir, Claude Monet, 1875, oil on canvas, 84 x 60.5 cm, Musée d’Orsay, Paris, France, ©photo Musée d’Orsay / rmn

Director Nick Mitzevich says the exhibition, titled Colours of Impressionism: Masterpieces from the Musée d’Orsay, is the most important to ever be held at the Art Gallery of SA.

“With so few Impressionist works held in Australian collections, the exhibition presents a rare opportunity for Australians to see the movement’s radical evolution of colour,” he says.

“I would like to thank the Musée d’Orsay for sharing this remarkable collection with Australia.”

For the first time ever, the Art Gallery of SA will hold the exhibition in its Elder Wing which will recall the “light filled interior of the former metro station that now houses the Musée d’Orsay”.

One of the exhibition’s highlights will be Monet’s celebrated snowscape piece La Pie (The Magpie) painted by the revolutionary artist in the late 1860s.

Claude Monet, The Magpie, 1868 – 1869, oil on canvas, 89 x 130 cm, Musée d'Orsay, Paris, France, ©photo Musée d'Orsay / rmn

Claude Monet, The Magpie, 1868 – 1869, oil on canvas, 89 x 130 cm, Musée d’Orsay, Paris, France, ©photo Musée d’Orsay / rmn

In 1869 the artwork, featuring a “novel palette of pale and lustrous colours”, was rejected by the Paris Salon, an esteemed annual exhibition.

Works by Cézanne, Monet and Pissarro reflect rich green and blue hues of the French countryside, while fellow leading painter Édouard Manet’s works feature darker tones.

The rosy pigments of Renoir and Morisot’s female figures will also trace the development of Impressionism.

SA Premier and Arts Minister Jay Weatherill says the exhibition is bound to be popular among art loving Australians who would “welcome the chance to see such an extensive display of Impressionist works in their own backyard”.

Berthe Morisot, The Cradle, 1872, oil on canvas, 56 x 46.5 cm, Musée d'Orsay, Paris, France ©photo Musée d'Orsay / rmn

Berthe Morisot, The Cradle, 1872, oil on canvas, 56 x 46.5 cm, Musée d’Orsay, Paris, France ©photo Musée d’Orsay / rmn

“This exhibition is a real coup for our gallery, and the Musée d’Orsay have been extremely generous in the selection of works of art they are sending to the Southern Hemisphere, with a number of them coming here for the very first time,” he says.

The Colours of Impressionism exhibition was curated by Marine Kisel and Paul Perrin of the Musée d’Orsay for the Art Gallery of South Australia, in partnership with Art Exhibitions Australia.

For tickets click here.

Header image: Claude Monet, The Water Lilies Pond, pink harmony, 1900, oil on canvas, 90 x 100 cm, Musée d’Orsay, Paris, France, ©photo Musée d’Orsay / rmn

Ethical SA label tackling fast fashion and empowering refugees

For the Adelaide women behind fledgling ethical fashion label From Found, being referred to as social entrepreneurs is a slightly foreign concept.

As little as a year ago, sisters Lauren Bonnet, Annie Graetz, their family friend Hannah Materne were everyday South Australians with a passion for responsible fashion.

Now the trio, along with pioneering board member Mardiya Jawad, is busy stitching together the final threads in time for the launch of their first clothing range in November.

“It’s funny to think of ourselves as entrepreneurs, but we are,” says co-founder Hannah Materne.

“We’re all creative young women who are driven, motivated and passionate.

“Our value systems are at the core of what we do.”

From Found co-founders Mardiya Jawad, left, Lauren Bonnet, Hannah Materne and Annie Graetz. Photo:

From Found co-founders Lauren Bonnet, left, Mardiya Jawad, Annie Graetz and Hannah Materne.

The From Found range features eclectic and colourful women’s clothing manufactured in Adelaide.

The organisation pays wages to its workers with a refugee background, helping them to gain employment, build confidence and improve their English.

The women sew the clothing from leftover and recycled materials donated from the fashion industry.

As an example of social entrepreneurialism, From Found aims to solve a community problem rather than being driven solely by profit.

When leading international social entrepreneur Suzi Sosa visited Adelaide earlier this year for Entrepreneur’s Week, the Texan said SA had the opportunity to be national leaders in social entrepreneurialism.

The From Found story began in 2016.

Through Lauren’s work in community development, as well as having friends from refugee backgrounds, she saw the challenges refugee women faced in entering the workforce.

She saw an opportunity to combine the women’s strengths in sewing and creativity and create something that would allow them to build transferable skills and experience.

Lauren reached out to Mardiya who is from refugee background and understands the difficulties women face when trying to secure work.

With Annie’s experience in business and marketing and Hannah’s experience in the fashion industry, the women sparked the idea for a socially and environmentally responsible fashion enterprise.

A crowdfunding campaign secured more than $40,000 as well as donations of fabric and equipment.

From Found pieces are made from leftover and recycled fabric donated by the fashion industry.

From Found pieces are made from leftover and recycled fabric donated by the fashion industry.

From Found has since partnered with the Australian Refugee Association and currently employs three women from Afghanistan, Eritrea and Syria.

Based at a Renew Adelaide space in Hindmarsh Square, the ethical clothing label also takes a stand against the rise of ‘fast fashion’.

Fast fashion refers to clothing that is produced in poor working conditions and sold cheaply.

Due to its synthetic properties, cheap clothing is having a rising impact on the environment, with 6000kg of clothing and textile waste dumped in Australian landfill every ten minutes.

“Unethical fashion has a distinct impact on people all over the planet,” says Hannah.

“We want to buy a T-shirt for $5 but how do you even produce it for $5 without negative consequences?”

From Found clothing is made from cut-offs and recycled fabrics which are carefully selected before being sewn into one-off pieces.

“Our pieces are for the person who loves fashion, someone who’s not a trend follower, but a trendsetter,” says Annie.

From Found will soon open its online retail space via the website and will celebrate an official brand launch on November 5. For tickets book here.

From Found will also be at the Bowerbird Design Market at Adelaide Showground on November 24–26.

Cairn Hill mine expansion to create 1300 jobs in Far North

The state’s Far North is set to face a jobs boom following an $800m investment into the expansion of an iron ore mine near Coober Pedy.

Up to 1300 jobs will be created at the privately-owned Cairn Hill mine in the state’s Far North, after iron ore producer CU River secured investment from Jiujiang Mining Australia.

CU River, which is one of SA’s two operating iron ore producers, acquired the mothballed Cairn Hill mine, 55km from Coober Pedy, in 2014.

It invested $20m into the mine, kicking off production in June 2016 before hitting its one million tonne production target in just over a year.

CU River managing director Yong Gang Shan says the Cairn Hill mine’s ultimate production target is 15 million tonnes of magnetite per year.

It is expected to reach this target by 2021, and as part of the funding agreement with Jiujiang Mining Australia – a local subsidiary of a Chinese steel producer – all of the mined ore will be exported to China.

Mr Shan says the expansion is due to the world’s “ever-increasing” demand for steel.

He says many of the 1300 jobs created will be in the regions.

“In addition, we will be using SA suppliers for goods and services wherever possible, so there is a flow-in effect in terms of secondary job creation and stabilisation,” Mr Shan says.

“The industry standard is that as a general rule, every job in the mining sector creates three support jobs elsewhere.”

He says CU River has offices in Adelaide and Coober Pedy and is recruiting for key positions.

“It is company policy to employ our own people for exploration and mining work, rather than outsource to subcontractors,” Mr Shan says.

CU River’s alliance with Jiujiang will provide financing for the expansion of the magnetite mine as well as planned infrastructure projects.

“Jiujiang will provide the financing for the expansion of the Cairn Hill mine, new infrastructure to enable increased output, an exploratory drilling program with an initial approved scope of 13,000 metres, and development of the next two projects in our pipeline, Snaefell and Tomahawk, which are both in the vicinity of Cairn Hill,” Mr Shan says.

“Part of the funding will also be needed for associated infrastructure work including road and rail upgrades and extensions.”

Mr Shan says the company has received approval for expansion of Cairn Hill’s pits 3 and 4, which are central for the immediate increase in iron ore production.

A 13,000 metre exploratory drilling program is currently underway to define the resource in pits 1, 2, 3 and 4.

Production at Cairn Hill is currently paused to allow for construction of a wet processing plant, with mining set to resume once this is completed.

The expansion of Cairn Hill follows BHP’s $600 investment in Olympic Dam and Oz Minerals’ Carrapateena project.

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International ‘ageing well’ experts to descend upon Adelaide

Experts in the business of ageing well will converge on Adelaide next month to talk about one of life’s inevitable processes – getting old.

With South Australia’s ageing population set to rise by more than 70% by 2050, Adelaide will lead the national dialogue on ageing by hosting the inaugural Ageing Well Revolution Conference on November 22-23.

The conference will challenge delegates to re-think the concept of ageing, the importance of cognitive health and opportunities for Australian businesses to capitalise on the ageing Asia-Pacific demographic.

It’s estimated that by 2050 the world’s population of people aged 60 will grow from 547 million to more than 1.3 billion.

Total pension payments in China are expected to reach $595 billion by 2020.

International ageing experts will attend the conference to share their insights into how businesses can turn the opportunity into economic prosperity.

Economic Development Board chair Raymond Spencer says the expert panel is a testament to SA’s commitment to ageing well and its acknowledgement of the opportunities to be found in the sector.

He says the conference will be valuable to entrepreneurs, providers, investors, not-for-profit organisations, small business and industry leaders.

“We’re bringing together some of the world’s greatest thought leaders in the ageing sphere to inspire delegates to shift their mindset and truly realise the importance of ageing well,” Raymond says.

“Delegates will learn from the best in the business about the role they can play in connecting consumers, products and communities for the greater good of the state, the nation and the demographic as a whole.”

The Ageing Well Revolution Logo CMYK

Headlined by founder and executive director of Neuroscape Dr Adam Gazzaley, the conference will also welcome the International Longevity Centre’s Dr Alexandre Kalache, University of Michigan’s Victor Strecher, and social commentator Bernard Salt.

The Impossible Institute’s Kieran Flanagan and Dan Gregory will encourage delegates to rethink the concept of ageing and what it means to head into life’s mature years, while IBM Watson Health’s Dr Terry Sweeney will discuss what’s new in cognitive health.

Austrade’s China adviser, Dr Chuyang Liu, will discuss access opportunities into Asia.

The Ageing Well Revolution Conference is run by the Economic Development Board.

To register visit

It’s in their blood for Australia’s hall of fame family

By Melissa Keogh

Sit down for Sunday lunch with the Willson family of Langhorne Creek and it won’t take long for the conversation to wind its way back to something about wine.

That’s because for the Willsons, mixing family with business is all in a day’s work.

Now the family’s 30-year business, Bremerton Wines, has been inducted into Family Business Australia’s
Hall of Fame in a nod to its contribution to the national wine industry and the Fleurieu community.

“It’s terrific and rewarding for lots of hard work,” says Bremerton Wines founder Craig Willson.

“You try not to mix family, business and pleasure too much, but inevitably if we’re having a Sunday lunch it always leads to discussion about the vines.”

The Willson sisters

The Willson sisters Rebecca, left, and Lucy run Bremerton Wines, which was inducted into Family Business Australia’s Hall of Fame recently.

Craig, wife Mignonne and two daughters Rebecca (winemaker) and Lucy (marketing manager) moved to Langhorne Creek from Whyalla in the 1980s.

They settled on the 40ha Bremerton Lodge – a former irrigated alfalfa farm.

Craig was working in the family’s country newspaper business but dabbling in winemaking with grapes from a neighbour.

He eventually bottled 57 dozen of Cabernet Sauvignon and over the following five years continued experimenting before deciding it was time for the family to plant their own grapes.


Craig, left, Rebecca, Mignonne and Lucy.

“Langhorne Creek was a very small grape-growing region with only about 1200 acres (of vineyards) which had been in the same family for many years,” Craig says.

“It grew very quickly to 16,000 acres.

“In my first eight years here I was travelling every day to Adelaide and Victor Harbor and then on weekends I was up at 6am to do the (vineyard) work that needed to be done.

“But it was a good time.”

Daughters Rebecca and Lucy took the reigns of Bremerton in recent years, meaning the business became the country’s first sister-run winery.

Rebecca is Bremerton’s longest serving employee and at the age of 25 released her first label, a 1997 Cabernet Sauvignon which went on to be rated Winestate Magazine’s third best Cabernet.

She has since taken a swag of accolades and recently was named a 2017 Gourmet Traveller Winemaker of the Year finalist.

Lucy is in charge of Bremerton’s marketing, sales, exports, cellar door and wine club.

Rebecca and Lucy Willson with Family Business Australia SA chairperson Debbie Reed, centre, with the Hall of Fame plaque.

Rebecca and Lucy Willson with Family Business Australia SA chairperson Debbie Reed, centre.

Despite hanging up his boots several years ago, Craig still has an input at Bremerton, which he says has thrived due to strict family business values.

“Things like having strategies and boards – there’s so many family businesses that would be far better off if they had one or two board members outside of the family,” he says.

“We also have a family constitution that sets out the guidelines for being part of the family and part of the business.”

It hasn’t always been easy for the Willson family over the years after battling floods and droughts which have wiped out vines.

“The droughts took an enormous toll on Langhorne Creek because we lost our source of water from Lake Alexandrina.

“We’ve also had four floods in the past two years.”

Despite the heartache caused by Mother Nature, Craig says he is proud to see his daughters at the top of the wine game.

“It’s rewarding to see how they have advanced in their own lives and careers,” he says.

“That’s what I find most beneficial.”

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