Peo­ple of the Hills

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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.


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 “ 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.

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