Ambassadors

Every South Australian can help support growth by choosing South Australia in their purchasing decisions. This includes supporting producers, growers, manufacturers, service providers and businesses throughout the supply chain.

Just remember, whenever you choose South Australian you are helping that company employ people. The people they employ are your neighbours, your friends, your family and even you.

Below you’ll find a few of the many talented people working in key industries right here in our state. Continue reading to learn about the inspiring stories behind some of the I Choose SA ambassadors, why they have chosen SA as a base, and how our great state enables them to succeed.

"South Australia's collaborative & supportive culture has helped my business succeed"

Gemma Vendetta, Founder, Gemma Vendetta Cosmetics.

"SA produce is so fresh, clean & nutritious, why would you choose anything else?"

Callum Hann & Themis Chryssidis, Co-Founders, Sprout.

"We are lucky to have so much to choose from here in South Australia, amazing festivals, fantastic food & wine, and regions that are right on our doorstep, how can you resist?"

Kris Lloyd, Manager & Head Cheesemaker, Woodside Cheese Wrights.

"As a fourth generation family business we know SA and continue to create iconic products"

Phil Sims, Chief Executive Officer & Owner, Robern Menz.

I Choose SA for Shipbuilding & Defence

I Choose SA for Shipbuilding & Defence

ASC’s Jessica Caston on the people power behind SA’s shipbuilding future

As Test and Activation Operation Manager for ASC Shipbuilding, Jessica Caston is part of one of the most complex ship builds in Australia’s history, the Air Warfare Destroyer Project.

“I was born in the Adelaide Hills and throughout my entire life I’ve remained in SA and I’ve been presented with some fantastic opportunities,” she says.

“I started here (the defence industry) and immediately fell in love with the enthusiasm, the scope of the projects, the complexity and the challenges that came with it.”

Read more.

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BAE’s Sharon Wilson on embracing the digital revolution in defence

Major defence and security company BAE Systems Australia’s Sharon Wilson is proud to play her part in South Australia’s high-tech jobs revolution.

Originally from the UK, Sharon and her husband chose SA to live and work in 30 years ago and was catapulted into the world of defence and shipbuilding almost from the get go.

She’s been with BAE Systems, one of the country’s largest defence contractors, since 1990 and is now the company’s head of industrial strategy.

Read more.

"I use real, seasonal ingredients; there is no better place than SA for produce"

Bree May, Cook & Ketchup Craftswoman, Food According to Bree.

"Our products use fresh milk sourced from dairy farms across SA"

Mick Sanders, Founder & Managing Director, Moo Premium Foods.

"South Australians are so passionate about supporting local, it has helped us grow our business here"

Peggy Veloudos, Co-Founder, T-Bar Tea Salon.

"SA is filled with beautiful destinations to explore, so let's be tourists in our own state"

Andrew 'Cosi' Costello, South Aussie with Cosi.

I Choose SA for Craft Industries

I Choose SA for Craft Industries

Conquering the world of couture

Adelaide fashion designer Paul Vasileff was just 11 when he stitched his first gown – a light purple, bias-cut satin frock inspired by a picture in a magazine.

Fast forward 16 years and the couture king, who heads Adelaide high end dress label Paolo Sebastian, has reached a level of success most fashionistas would only dream of achieving.

“I’ve had the whole state behind me since day one. The success of Paolo Sebastian isn’t just mine.” he says.

“We’re only successful because of South Australia.”

Read more.

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Carters create wine and gin with a difference

Adelaide Hills couple Brendan and Laura Carter have pursued a life of passion for quenching thirsts and satisfying even the most cultured of gin drinkers and wine sippers.

Aside from creating some of the most adventurous drops to hit South Australia’s craft beverage scene, the pair is helping maintain the spirits of grape growers across the region.

The Carters run Australia’s only remaining grape-grower’s co-operative label, Harvest, allowing local growers to improve returns on their crops during poor harvests.

Read more.

"Starting with a stall in the Adelaide Central Market in 1934, we now support SA across 11 stores"

Brett Charlesworth, CEO, Charlesworth Nuts.

"SA is home to some of the most incredible, premium quality produce in the world"

Jessie Spiby, My Grandma Ben.

"Supporting local business is very important; this helps our economy, employment and eco-system thrive"

Phil Scardigno, Founder, Gripset Industries.

"SA is a great place to start a business due to the affordability, liveability and community support here"

Sophie Kresevic, Owner, The Flower Nook.

I Choose SA for Entrepreneurship

I Choose SA for Entrepreneurship

From backyard brainwave to global success

From a clothesline in a McLaren Flat backyard – to the world. It’s been dazzling rise for the humble Hegs peg, and inventor Scott Boocock.

It all started with the Hegs CEO and founder hanging his wife’s strappy black dress on the Hills Hoist, trying to fasten it securely without creasing the garment.

“How much easier would it be if there were pegs with hooks?” Scott thought – and so sparked a simple, yet innovative idea that would turn into an award-wining globally distributed business.

“South Australia is a great place for entrepreneurs. For me it’s number one in Australia, there’s no doubt about it.”

Read more.

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Hope for IVF parents – and it’s all because of a SA entrepreneur

South Australian stem cell biologist-turned-entrepreneur Dr Michelle Perugini is set to not only change lives, but help create them.

From Adelaide Life Whisperer co-founder Dr Perugini has helped to develop cutting-edge technology that will improve IVF couples’ chances at having children.

Life Whisperer is an artificial intelligence (AI)-driven, cloud-based image analysis platform that improves accuracy of healthy embryo selection in IVF treatments.

Read more.

"We've been in SA for over 160 years, thanks to the great opportunities and people in this state"

Chris Illman, Group Marketing Manager, Bickford's Group.

"The community in South Australia is one of collaboration, making it a great place to start a business"

Daniels Langeberg, Owner, EcoCaddy

"When I choose SA, I provide jobs and a future for our kids"

Sharon Sutton, General Manager, Kytons Bakery.

"Choosing local business helps our communities continue to thrive"

Sarah Leo, General Manager, Openbook Howden

I Choose SA for Seafood Industries

I Choose SA for Seafood Industries

Inside the life of SA’s veteran abalone diver

It’s cold, there’s no other boat in sight, and you’re battling swells 18m below the ocean.

For 63-year-old veteran wild catch abalone diver, Rex Bichard, this has been an ordinary day at work for 40 years.

The Port Lincoln local, who is the South Australian abalone industry’s oldest diver, spends seven hours a day prising the underwater delicacies from rocks in the seas off the state’s West Coast.

Read more.

Fishing for freshness in Australia’s seafood capital

Port Lincoln’s Lana Harvey knows a fresh fish when she sees one.

It’s all in the eyes, she says.

“You can tell by the look of their eyes, that’s a pretty easy tell-tale sign,” says the Fresh Fish Place’s wholesale logistics manager.

But quality is a given where Lana works – Port Lincoln, the country’s seafood capital and home to the largest fishing fleet in the Southern Hemisphere.

Read More.

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"With incredible produce coming from our oceans, rivers and farms, you really should be choosing South Australia"

Adam Liaw, South Australian cook, writer & television presenter.

"Look for the State Brand when you shop and choose our local businesses"

Con Sciacca, Chief Executive Officer, Foodland

"SA has excellent workers with great skill sets, it allows us to manufacture and produce premium products"

Jimmy Baltidis, General Manager, Hallett Concrete

"We've grown a national company from a base in SA, thanks to local support"

Sasha Baranikov & Che Metcalfe, Co-Owners & Co-Founders, Uniti Wireless

I Choose SA for Renewable Energy

I Choose SA for Renewable Energy

From kitchen table start up to multimillion-dollar success

From librarian to managing a multimillion-dollar solar business: it may not be your typical career path, but Suntrix Managing Director Jenny Paradiso isn’t afraid to follow her passion into uncharted territory.

It’s a passion that has not only directed her career, but helped boost a fledgling industry in the state.

“Renewable energy is the future; South Australia in particular has been very progressive.”

Read more.

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Sky is the limit for renewables outfit ZEN Energy

Local solar designer Josh Buckton knows too well that South Australia is on the cusp of a renewables revolution.

As one of clean energy company ZEN Energy’s solar designers, the young electrician-by-trade has made a career out of Earth’s truest renewable resource – the sun.

“We have plenty of opportunities here … the renewable energy sector has gone pretty crazy and SA is becoming one of the world leaders in sustainable energy solutions,” he says.

Read more.

"Whether it's from the paddock to the plate, or freshly picked, SA produce is always reliable and incredible"

David White, Head Chef, The Mile End Hotel.

"South Australia's climate, sea and soil allow us to grow some of the best produce in the world; we're incredibly lucky"

Justin & Jane Harmann, Co-Owners and Co-Managers, Kangaroo Island Stall 17, Adelaide Central Markets

"I Choose SA for its opportunities and its lifestyle"

Jim McDowell, Chancellor, University of South Australia.

"Investing in local creatives ensures the future of our arts industry and brings vibrancy to our state"

Peta Mount, Coordinator, Well Made // Lex Stobie, Furniture Designer // Tsering Hannaford, Painter.

I Choose SA for Future Industries & Advanced Manufacturing

I Choose SA for Future Industries & Advanced Manufacturing

Meet the Adelaide surgeon who is revolutionising burns care in SA

Sixteen years ago Professor Dr John Greenwood AM was headhunted from the UK to help save lives at the Royal Adelaide Hospital’s (RAH) Adult Burns Centre.

Since then the Englishman and now proud South Australian has developed a suite of skin substitute products that will completely transform burns care in South Australia.

With the help of these innovative procedures and the opening of the world-class new RAH, Prof. Greenwood says SA has built “the best burns unit in the world”.

Read more.

Flavia helping SA blast into new space age

Flavia Tata Nardini moved to Adelaide for love – and is now helping launch the state into a revolutionary new space age.

The Italian aerospace engineer was working in the Netherlands managing an $18 million project propelling tiny satellites to Mars, when she fell in love with an Adelaide engineer on assignment.

“South Australia is playing a massive role. Companies are re-locating. Everything is going to happen here.”

Read more.

"SA is home to talented and innovative people, making this the perfect place to grow our business"

Adrian Fahey, CEO, SAGE Automation.

"South Australia has a great sense of community, making it the perfect place for our business"

Andrew Mattner, Director, Altitude Advisory.

"We've been helping South Australians into homes and businesses for 169 years"

Nick Reade, Chief Executive Officer, BankSA

"We love dealing with our local producers, and our customers enjoy the fact that their food is local"

Paul Baker, Chef, Botanic Gardens Restaurant.

I Choose SA for Infrastructure
Brand South Australia. iChooseSA stylised photograph of Jamie McClurg, Chief Executive Officer of Commercial & General

I Choose SA for Infrastructure

Leading property developer Jamie McClurg on shaping Adelaide’s skyline

It’s a Monday afternoon and 46-year-old property developer Jamie McClurg is sitting in Commercial & General’s seventh floor boardroom, towering over some of Adelaide’s most prominent landmarks.

Admiring bird’s eye views of Adelaide Oval, Parliament House and Government House, the I Choose SA ambassador says people around the world look at our city with nothing but envy.

“South Australia is a place that will come of age in the next decade,” Jamie says.

Read more.

BrandSA ambassador Alex Lock – Senior Landscape Architect from Taylor Cullity Lethlean at Torren River foot bridge. Pic James Knowler / JK+Crew

TCL adding the art to infrastructure

You might not know their name, but chances are you’ve heard of, seen or even walked along their work.

Taylor Cullity Lethlean (TCL) is a leading Australian landscape architecture firm based in Adelaide and is behind some of the city’s most redefining public settings.

“Adelaide has a lot of local talent in design, planning and in the engineering disciplines that our city is benefiting from.”

Read more.

"We attract the best researchers and students from around the world, who contribute to the development of our state"

Pascale Quester, Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic), University of Adelaide.

"Farquhar employ over 160 South Australians; they build and manufacture right here in the state to help create more jobs"

Darren Farquhar, Owner, Farquhar Kitchens

"Support from fellow South Australians has helped our business grow"

Sharni Rosser, Co-Owner, Oh Deer Sugar

"South Australia recognises great quality products and services; it's a great place to base your business"

Sam Tucker, Managing Director, Tucker's Natural.

I Choose SA for Agribusiness
BrandSA ambassador at Hedonist Wines, McLaren Vale. Pic James Knowler / JKTP

I Choose SA for Agribusiness

Young, driven and ready for a career in agribusiness

At 22 years of age, Elizabeth Ward spends most of her working week among grape vines and under almond trees in one of South Australia’s picturesque food and wine regions, McLaren Vale.

Elizabeth has few doubts about her future and securing full-time work in SA’s agribusiness industry, with her university course’s webpage stating “there are five jobs for every one graduate”.

“One of the key selling points for students looking at studying ag science is the opportunity for graduates,” she says.

Read more.

Tintinara pig farmer Andrew Johnson and family. Pic James Knowler / JKTP

Eat more pork and help save our bacon

‘Get some pork on your fork’ is the famous line second-generation pig farmer Andrew Johnson needs South Aussie shoppers to hear now more than ever.

The owner of Mt Boothby Pastoral Company is standing in the middle of the stall-free, straw-based growing shelter, his livelihood snuffling at his boots.

At the centre of his 18,000-acre mixed farm enterprise in the small Murray Mallee service town of Tintinara, 40km from Keith, is a 1000 sow, farrow to finish operation, one of the state’s larger piggeries.

Read more.

"Supporting local business has a roll on effect that benefits all South Australians"

Nick Amato, Clare Arias & David Healey, Olympic Industries

"Our fresh produce is world class, making it easy to choose SA"

Rebecca Morse, Presenter, Ten Eyewitness News

"There is nothing better than seeing SA products and businesses thrive"

Cale Porter, Presenter, Nova 919.

"I love choosing SA, we have it all; the culture, events, bars and laneways"

Kelly Noble, Owner & Editor, Glam Adelaide

I Choose SA for Tourism, Food & Wine

I Choose SA for Tourism, Food & Wine

Wildest dreams a reality for zoos chief Elaine Bensted

Wild African-style adventures, birds of prey flying overhead and tourists sleeping to the chilling laugh of hyenas – South Australia is set to have it all.

Two of the state’s best tourist attractions, Adelaide and Monarto zoos, are set for big changes on the back of rising visitor numbers which hit more than half a million in 2016/17.

At the helm of the plan is Zoos SA CEO Elaine Bensted who officially opened Monarto’s latest heart-stopper, Lions 360, in November 2017.

Read more.

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Theo’s theory on the success of SA’s spuds and onions

High-tech innovations and a two-fold business growth in 18 months.

It’s been a big past few years for Australia’s leading potato and onion packer, The Mitolo Group, and according to Theo Sasopoulos, it’s still all systems go in the world of spuds and onions.

“The SA food industry is a key growth area for our economy, especially in the Northern Adelaide Plains (Virginia and surrounds) and traditional food bowl areas like the Riverland and Mallee,” he says.

Read more.

"From your local brewers, winemakers and distillers, to the bar owners, everyone works together to provide a world-class experience"

Rashaad Chénia, Owner, BRKLYN, Matt Blesing, Bartender, The William Bligh & Mike West, Owner, Mississippi Moon.

"SA offers the perfect combination of lifestyle, community and culture for start-ups to thrive"

Naomi Murrell, Designer, Naomi Murrell.

"Choosing SA brands means they will be around for younger generations to enjoy"

Michael Keelan & Leith Forrest Presenters, FIVEaa.

"Choosing SA produce helps to support local farmers and industry, plus it creates jobs"

Saskia Beer, Director, Saskia Beer Farm Produce.

I Choose SA for Advanced Manufacturing
Mark Fusco of Norseld . Pic James Knowler / JKTP

I Choose SA for Advanced Manufacturing

Mark Fusco: advanced manufacturing critical to the economy

Cutting edge technology is helping to generate new advanced manufacturing potential for South Australia to grow the economy, according to business improvement specialist Mark Fusco.

“I’m really quite excited for the future in the sense that some of these changes in technology help the smaller companies compete, we don’t have to send things to Asia to be made if we use the technology available in a smart way,” says Mark, Brand South Australia’s newest I Choose SA ambassador.

He says advanced manufacturing in SA is helping level the global playing field so local companies can better compete, grow and create more jobs in the state.

Read more.

Axiom is moulding a new manufacturing future

In his 12 years working with Axiom Precision Manufacturing, Shannon Wride has seen a transformation in the way the business operates.

“We’ve strived to take on that high end work, and as a company we’ve always tried to do the jobs other people say they can’t do,” says the company’s operations supervisor and Brand South Australia’s latest I Choose SA ambassador.

Read more.

"Our world-class products are manufactured right here by South Australian people"

Nicholas Bucco, Sales Representative, BEST Bricks & Pavers.

"South Australia will always be home for me"

Emma Hack, Artist & Owner, EmmaHack Gallery.

"My work is often inspired by the beautiful SA landscape"

Joel Van Moore, Artist, Vans the Omega

"I love the quality of produce we have here in SA and the lifestyle is fantastic"

Karena Armstrong, Chef and Owner, Salopian Inn.

"Buying SA brands helps us keep jobs in our state"

Kevin Webb, Managing Director, Spring Gully Foods.

I Choose SA for Small to Medium Enterprise

I Choose SA for Small to Medium Enterprise

Adelaide’s tea queen sets the bar

Black or green, a dash of milk, a squeeze of lemon or a dollop of honey, and what about that crooked pinky finger?

Ask Adelaide’s tea queen and I Choose SA ambassador Peggy Veloudos about the do’s and don’ts of drinking the world’s second most widely consumed beverage and she’ll say “each to their own”.

“SA is a great place to start a business and after 20 years, we’re still passionate about what we do,” she adds.

Read more.

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No small success for MiniJumbuk

Naracoorte wool-product business MiniJumbuk’s managing director Darren Turner can’t seem to ever shake off his love for the Limestone Coast.

Darren is one of the faces that has helped lead the proudly South Australian company to becoming the country’s biggest manufacturer of woollen products, and one of Naracoorte’s biggest private employers.

With a workforce of about 70 people across both its Naracoorte factory and a facility in Adelaide, MiniJumbuk is one of SA’s strongest examples of a long-standing and successful SME.

Read more.

"As an SA owned and operated business we know the local market and our customers"

Genevieve Toop, Chief Operating Officer, Toop&Toop.

"SA has a growing number of local farmers who offer a range of good quality, ethically raised produce"

Simon Bryant, Chef.

"SA is a great place to live and run a business, I wouldn't choose anywhere else"

Lucy Cornes, Founder, She Shopped.

"I Choose to keep my business in SA, where innovation thrives"

Frank Seeley, Founder, Seeley International

I Choose SA for Health and the NDIS

I Choose SA for Health and the NDIS

I have the best job in the world, says Cara CEO Liz Cohen

Liz Cohen realised her passion for supporting people with disabilities when teaching a young blind student in Australia’s Top End in the 1970s.

Something about that experience changed her perspective on the world and she steered her career towards the disability sector, and later set up her life in South Australia.

“SA is in a really good position to take advantage of the NDIS,” she says.

Read more.

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Young speech pathologist finds a voice for those who need it most

AnglicareSA speech pathologist Megan Longbottom, 25, is helping young South Aussies with disabilities find their voice.

Based in the social service provider’s Autism Services Stream in Adelaide’s northern suburbs, Megan helps youth with disabilities to communicate either with words, communication devices, or sign language.

“I can see the prospects in SA (and) the employment sector, and Adelaide as a place to live is growing, changing and really meeting the needs of a young working population,” Megan says.

Read more.

"I use as many local ingredients in my products as possible"

Courtney Alderson, Owner, Yard Skincare.

"We choose our local growers for fresh, top quality produce"

Frank Capobianco, Manager, Tony & Mark's.

"When you choose my local business, you're supporting my passion and helping me do what I love"

Ella Walker, Owner, Etikette Candles.

"SA is a connected state, creating opportunity for business, now and in the future"

Colin Stirling, Vice-Chancellor, Flinders University.

I Choose SA for Energy & Mining
Lachlan Wallace – General Manager at Hillgrove Resources for Brand South Australia. Pic James Knowler / JKTP

I Choose SA for Energy & Mining

Hillgrove Resources GM on SA’s world-class mining operations

As Hillgrove Resources explores ground-breaking opportunities for its Adelaide Hills copper mine in the energy business, its well-travelled general manager Lachlan Wallace is relishing being part of a world-class operation.

He’s a firm supporter of plans for a pumped hydro energy storage project at the Kanmantoo mine along with exploring some of the state’s untapped copper potential in the South East.

“Having worked overseas and seeing how mining is done elsewhere, it made me realise Australia is the best at mining effectively, we are the world leaders in mining practice and by a long stretch,” Lachlan says.

Read more.

Katie Hulmes General Manager of Transformation and Readiness Oz Minerals. Pic James Knowler / JKTP

OZ Minerals’ Katie Hulmes: SA mining sector creating benefits for all

South Australian geologist and engineer Katie Hulmes admits that earlier in her mining career, she’d look around and realise the room was full of men.

But that scenario is increasingly changing, says the 35-year-old General Manager Transformation and Readiness at one of South Australia’s largest mining companies, OZ Minerals.

She says it’s both men and women who have helped shape her successful career in mining, an industry that employs 10,000 South Australians.

Read more.

"We've been looking after the health of South Australians since 1937"

Byron Gregory, Chief Executive Officer, Health Partners Health Insurance.

"When you choose South Australia you're keeping the jobs in our state"

Jade Robran, Presenter, FIVEaa.

"We always choose SA first when sourcing ingredients for our products"

Simon Haigh, Chief Financial Officer, Haigh's.

"SA is home to many talented designers & boutique labels, it's important we support their hard work"

Katelyn Ellery, Owner & Founder, Labels Style Market.

I Choose SA for Creative Industries & Technology

I Choose SA for Creative Industries & Technology

Meet the SA producer leading our TV and filmmaking initiatives

Film and TV producer Kirsty Stark has never felt the need to leave South Australia in order to pursue a successful career in filmmaking.

The 34-year-old, who heads Matchbox Pictures’ SA office, cut her teeth on the sets of SA-based feature films, learning from world-class directors and cinematographers taking advantage of the state’s picturesque scenery.

“Being in SA is what gave me the opportunity to build my career because I got the chance to work on feature films, learn from people, and get experience on set,” Kirsty says.

Read more.

No place like home for hugely successful Pocket Casts pair

Adelaide app developers Philip Simpson and Russell Ivanovic’s climb to the top of the tech game is the stuff of entrepreneurial dreams.

In 2008 the two work mates built their first app, Pocket Weather, as a side gig to their full-time day jobs.

A decade later and their Adelaide-based company Shifty Jelly and its hugely popular podcast app Pocket Casts has been snapped up by four of the biggest radio and podcast creators in the United States.

Read more.

"We have some of the best artists and creators in the world, right here in SA"

Geordie Brookman, Artistic Director, State Theatre Company South Australia.

"When you invest in a local fund, you invest in the future of SA"

Richard Nunn, Chief Executive Officer, Statewide Super.

"With beaches, markets, wineries & sport - it's easy to have an amazing weekend choosing SA"

Shane Lowe, Presenter, Nova.

"SA is a great place to do business, we have access to top quality resources and talent"

Tony Wojciechowski, Managing Director, National Pharmacies.

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