Advisory Board

South Australian Leaders has a nationally recognised Advisory Board, consisting of leading executive and non-executive directors to assist in developing the ongoing strategic direction of the network and aide in the growth and development of Members. This Advisory Board includes

Andrew Downs (Chair)
Andrew Downs began his working life as an apprentice electrician. In 1994 he started his own company, SAGE Automation from the family backyard shed. Today, in the role of Managing Director he has overseen the growth of SAGE to become Australia’s largest independent industrial control system integrator with offices nationally and in India, employing more than 250 staff and revenue of $65 Million. Andrew is passionate about leadership and strategy and has recently completed the Owner President Management course at Harvard Business School. Andrew loves his role as an ambassador for SAGE and is on a number of privately owned technology company boards. He is a member of the national executive of the Australian Industry Group and was named Ernst and Young Entrepreneur of the Year (Central Region – Technology) in 2004 .

Richard Hockney

Richard is a proven senior business leader. During his 27-year career in the banking & finance industry, he held senior leadership positions in Adelaide, Melbourne, Sydney and the UK. Offering extensive business experience, knowledge and networks, Richard has also held a number of key South Australian board positions since 2007. Richard has an impressive educational and professional track record, including Harvard Business School, the Australian Graduate School of Management and the University of South Australia. He is currently a member of the Australian Institute of Company Directors and the World Presidents Organisation, and is a Senior Fellow of the Financial Securities Institute of Australia (Finsia)

Wayne Phillips
Wayne "Flipper" Phillips enjoyed a highly successful cricket career over a 13 year period for both South Australia and Australia, where he played 27 test matches. He spent 10 years coaching at the AIS Cricket Academy before taking over the South Australian Redbacks head coaching role. He is a popular South Australian media identity who is always in high demand for speaking engagements with his quick wit and polished MC capabilities. He is currently the Adelaide Oval's Master of Ceremonies for Port Power and Adelaide Crows home AFL matches.

Christine Molitor

Christine Molitor is the Managing Director of Be Sustained Pty Ltd. She advises and facilitates board and executive discussions regarding strategy, strategy execution, planning and leadership.

Christine’s previous experience was as the CEO of Scope Global Pty Ltd, a global company delivering international development/international education programs, technical training assistance and mobility programs around the world. 

Christine’s Board experience includes; 14 years total service including past Chair of CanDo4Kids; one of South Australia’s oldest not for profit organisations that provides services to hearing and sight impaired children and their families. In 2018 she served on the Board of Sight for All, a charitable organisation focusing on eye health care projects and ophthalmology training in communities and partner countries. Since 2016 she has been on Corporate Traveller SA’s Customer Advisory Board.

Andrew O'Connor

Andrew is a Chartered Professional Engineer (Mechanical) and fellow of Engineers Australia, as well as the winner of the 1999 Directors excellence award for his MBA at Adelaide University. He began his professional career as a Construction Project Manager in Texas and Honduras building military bases for the US Army Corp of Engineers. (entonces él habla español).

Mentored by Malcolm Kinnaird AC, Andrew started his own business in 1999, OConnors an industry leading South Australian, privately owned, mechanical services provider, building on his family tradition in Engineering and Construction. Andrew has also co-founded successful businesses in the Water technology and Fabrication area.

A specialist in his field, he brings a successful track record in innovation, cooperation and value added services and remains committed to delivering the best possible out comes to his staff, his clients and all other project stakeholders. With over 30 years’ experience, Andrew is passionate about the construction industry having been the National President of AMCA Australia and is the current chair of the Specialist Contractors Association.

Mary Patetsos

Mary Patetsos is a professional Board Director, serving on both national and South Australian Boards with a rare blend of academic qualifications and expertise. Her membership includes

  • Chair Aged Care Housing Group
  • Chair Federation Communities Council of Australia (FECCA), Chair of PCAN
  • Council Member - University of South Australia, member Audit, Finance and Risk Committee
  • Board Member Northern Area Local Health Network Board, 
  • Chair Clinical Governance Committee NALHN SA Health
  • Chair Multicultural Health Collaboration - FECCA
  • Board Member Glenelg Community Hospital 

Nicholas Begakis AO DUniv(Flinders)

Nick has an engineering degree and 25 years experience in various manufacturing industries. He is Chairman and half owner (since 1990) of a well known food company based in the northern suburbs of Adelaide, that manufactures, imports and exports. 

His 35 year corporate governance career encompasses a variety of industries and sectors of the economy.

Nick’s involvements range from industry advocacy as a Director of Business SA, Canberra based Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry where he chaired the Trade and International Affairs Committee and the Australian Chamber Alliance.

Nick has been Chair of the Australian Centre for Plant Functional Genomics, the Council for International Trade and Commerce (SA), a Member of the Premier’s Food Council, Chair of Atmospheric Radar Systems Pty Ltd, Chair of the SA Enterprise Workshop and a Director of the Industry Development Board (Horticulture). 

He has also served as Deputy Chair of the Australia Day Council (SA), the AICD (SA), the Environment Protection Authority (SA), as Chair of the Adelaide Central Market Authority, as Chair of Cashflow Manager and as Chair of Statewide Super (SA).

Nick has been involved with the Disability Information Resource Centre and as Chair of the Women’s and Children’s Hospital Foundation.

He has served on the Flinders University Council (three terms) where he chaired various industry partnership committees and served as Chair of the New Venture Institute. Nick was named (in 2013) in the list of the 50 Most Influential South Australians.

He is currently Chair of Renew Adelaide and a Director of Carina Biotech.

In 2012, Nick was awarded Doctor of Flinders University (Honoris Causa) and in 2013, appointed an Officer of the Order of Australia. 

Expression of Interest

South Australian selects leading growth companies to become Members.

International Leaders