People of the Hills
Ukaria Cultural Centre in the Adelaide Hills, which hosts a variety of musical performances.
A rising star in the Liberal centre-left faction, the Kavel MP, top, has impeccable credentials for political success. A Cambridge law student and Charles Hawker scholarship recipient, he left Sydney law firm Allens to return to Mount Barker and work for von Doussas before being elected in 2018. As a local member, Dan Cregan is highly regarded by the community. He has deep community links from his time as one of the Hills best-known young lawyers and has served on a wide range of community and business boards, including The Hans Heysen Foundation.
Achievements since his election include securing an MFS retained fire service for Mount Barker
JANCLAIRE WISDOM You only have to meet Dr JanClaire Wisdom once to know she means business. She set a record in 2018 when she achieved the highest number of votes for the Adelaide Hills mayoral candidacy. A woman of immense confidence, which she attributes to a diverse career in journalism, business and the army reserve, Wisdom again demonstrated leadership during the recent bushfire crisis. She took her recovery strategy to Canberra and worked hard for media coverage to promote fundraising and economic recovery.
BRIAN AND LYNN SCHIRRIPA
The COVID-19 pandemic may have put a hold on the state’s tourism sector but Brian and Lynn Schirripa are ready to continue their winning streak as soon as restrictions are lifted. The couple owns the Big4 Hahndorf Resort – Australia’s best Caravan and Holiday Park in the 2019 Qantas Australian Tourism Awards for the third time. The couple has a focus on employing local people.
HELEN EDWARDS Most know Helen Edwards, above, as the co-founder of the Lane Vineyard in Hahndorf. But the mother of two is about to embark on a new journey. In her long-standing capacity as chairwoman of Adelaide Hills
Tourism and member of the Regional Visitors Strategy Steering Committee, Edwards was appointed to the SA Tourism Commission board. She will work on helping promote the region after COVID-19 and the bushfires.
JOSH TEAGUE Another of the Liberal class of 2018, Josh Teague was a barrister before becoming the Heysen MP. He remains an associate at Bar Chambers, home of legal luminaries such as David Edwardson, QC, and Lindy Powell, QC. A Hills local who lives in Bridgewater with his family, Teague has been engaged in community life for many years He is also an Honorary Consul of Sweden and has volunteered in governance for Nature Foundation SA.
JOHN ASHCROFT John Ashcroft is a leading Adelaide Hills businessman and the principal of prominent architecture firm Beyond Ink. He was involved with the design and construction of many significant Adelaide Hills and city projects, including the Murray Bridge racecourse. Ashcroft is one of few people in South Australia to hold an unlimited builders registration. He is a sitting board member of Regional Development Australia, Adelaide Hills, Fleurieu & Kangaroo Island.
ANDREW AITKEN Andrew Aitken has been chief executive officer of Adelaide Hills Council since October 2012. He has more than 20 years of management experience in the local government and private sectors, including at Tea Tree Gully Council and SGIC. As a former president and board member of LG Professionals SA, Aitken was able to extend his passion for people development to the whole sector. He is known for developing an equitable and diverse working culture that prides itself on its physical and mental wellbeing. He is also chairman of the Adelaide Hills, Fleurieu & Kangaroo
Island Zone Emergency Management Committee and a member of the LGA CEO advisory group.
CHRISTOPHER PYNE The former defence minister retains extraordinary political and business connections, yet has not had time to forge a deep local network. Christopher Pyne now writes columns for The Advertiser. His career highlights include being credited with creating and implementing the National Innovation and Science Agenda during his time as Industry, Innovation and Science Minister.
The former Blackwood High student left Adelaide as a young man and headed to the US. In the coming decades, he built a billiondollar technology business in the US and India before returning to Adelaide to raise his family. Spencer, pictured, is chairman of the South Australian Health and Medical Research Institute and the Central Adelaide Local Health Network. He also owns the prestigious Hentley Farm winery in the Barossa Valley.
ARABELLA BRANSON Adelaide-based lawyer Arabella Branson managed to make history last year when she was appointed the first chairwoman of Oakbank Racing Club. She has since overhauled the traditional Easter weekend race. Early indicators were that her new-look, threeday picnic carnival was going to have the desired effect before COVID-19 put a pause on the project. Under her leadership, the club is also in the process of obtaining its first permanent liquor licence.
The chief executive of Adelaide-based mining company Terramin Australia argues its proposed gold mining project at Bird in Hand will bring a much-needed economic boost to the Woodside region. But Richard Taylor, above, has plenty of opposition with an organised and highprofile group of opponents in Bird in Hand, Artwine and Petaluma wineries. The company became a poster child for PR disasters when its lawyers, Botten Levinson, were outed in State Parliament running a strategy to “p.ss off” owners of the Bird in Hand winery. Taylor’s blog on Linkedin tells all.
The director and owner of Mount Barker-based real estate company Sexton/Glover/Watts, James Sexton has long been active in the Hills’ community. His company sponsors various sporting clubs and community gatherings and Sexton is chairman of Business Mount Barker and the Hans Heysen Foundation Board. That board has grand plans to renovate and upgrade the Cedars property just outside Hahndorf. The project has attracted millions in government funding.
He has an impressive CV and Order of Australia. The Clare-born Croser started his career as a winemaker with Thomas Hardy and Sons in 1969, studied a masters program at the University of California, set up the Wine Science program at Charles Sturt University and established Piccadilly Valley’s Petaluma in the late 1970s and Oregon’s Argyle winery in 1986. He served as chairman of many Australian wine shows and twice as president of the Winemakers’ Federation. Croser is passionate about the Hills – and its vines – and lives at the Tiers Vineyard in the Piccadilly Valley, where he is winemaker for Tapanappa Wines. Tapanappa is managed by Croser’s daughter Lucy and her husband Xavier Bizot.
A former Mayo MP, Jamie Briggs is now Adelaide’s managing partner of leading professional services/accounting firms, PwC. He was infamously ousted from Mayo in the wake of a boozy incident at a Hong Kong bar involving a female public servant. Joining PwC has capped an extraordinary professional comeback. A long-term Hills resident and former adviser to former prime minister John Howard, he remains well connected.
Most locals have probably enjoyed one of the Green family’s Lenswood-grown apples. The family is a stalwart of the local fruit industry with Susie Green at the helm as the chief executive officer of the Apple and Pear Growers Association. She oversees the future growth and development of the industry, including leading a groundbreaking research project into the recovery of fruit trees after the bushfires. The State Government recently allocated a $70,000 grant towards the two-year project.
Paul Rees is the director of the National Motor Museum in Birdwood as well as the South Australian Maritime Museum in Port Adelaide. He is focused on the strategic direction of the museums and manages museum staff, volunteers, collections and public programs. He oversees the collection of about 350 historic vehicles at Birdwood, including a little green Hartnett Pacific soft-top saloon, which had been sitting idle in one of the workshops for more than 20 years, now being restored.