AICD Around Australia

Saturday, 01 November 2008


    Chas Kelly stays in the fast lane

    Chas Kelly, the winner of AICD’s 2008 Tasmanian Gold Medal Award, has always had a passion for the fast lane.

    Kelly started his own transport business after buying an old truck and trailer in Devonport in 1979. Pushing the idea of “one phone call and we will fix it” to his customers, his business soon grew and so did his number of staff and trucks.

    In 1985, he took advantage of an opportunity to start a hire business for semi trailers in Melbourne and today this business Transport Equipment Hire is the largest of its kind in Melbourne. Since then, investments in other companies like TasFreight and FreshFreight Tasmania added to his interests in transport. Last year, he assembled a group of friends and associates and bought the Patrick Tasmania and Patrick Shipping businesses, which are now called SeaRoad Logistics and SeaRoad Shipping.

    In 2001, he expanded into Harvest Moon, one of Tasmania’s largest vegetable businesses. These businesses, along with Chas Kelly Transport, employ over 900 people.

    Kelly has also been a big motor sport fan. When speedway “stock car racing” started at Latrobe, he was there with the latest model car on his first day, a 1958 Zephyr. Speedway grew to be a major sport in Tasmania over the years and consumed most of Kelly’s spare time. Today, his son Owen is well known throughout Australia as a V8 Supercar driver and is now forging a successful career racing in the US. Kelly’s other son, Kristian, started to race speedway this year.

    Kelly is also a director of The National Automobile Museum of Tasmania and Latrobe Speedway and when possible, likes to attend motor racing events especially if one of his sons is competing. Any spare time in the summer months will find him and his wife Robyn enjoying their Jet Skis or riding motorcycles along Tasmania’s roads.

    Albrecht picks up Queensland gong

    Thiess Chairman, Martin Albrecht AC FAICD, was recently named AICD’s Queensland Gold Medal Award recipient for 2008 at a gala dinner in Brisbane.

    Presenting the award, AICD’s Queensland president, Martin Kriewaldt, noted that as managing director of Thiess for more than 15 years, Albrecht successfully steered the business, taking it from a low point in its proud history to the thriving company it is today.

    “It is Albrecht’s whole-hearted commitment to corporate social responsibility that truly sets him apart and under his stewardship Thiess has set new benchmarks in safety and training and has developed world-class measures for environment and community care,” said Kriewaldt.

    “Albrecht is a man whose word truly is his bond. As an executive, he has forged a reputation for integrity in an industry once as famous for its disputes as for its output. He has brought this and his qualities of clarity of thinking and shareholder focus to boards both public, private, large and small, commercial, not-for-profit and fundraising.

    “It is this quality of directorship that we recognise each year with the Gold Medal Award and that AICD seeks to promote to the broader director community on an ongoing basis. Albrecht will certainly leave an impressive legacy when he retires later this year from his position as chairman of Thiess and also as a director of Leighton Holdings.”

    Albrecht is the recipient of the 25th Queensland Gold Medal Award which is presented annually to an individual who embodies excellence in directorship and corporate governance. Previous winners include John Allpass, Barry Thornton, Rod Cormie and Euan Murdoch.

    Rory Argyle receives 2008 WA Gold Medal Award

    Rory Argyle has received AICD’s 2008 WA Gold Medal Award, which is presented annually to an outstanding director who embodies directorial values of excellence and integrity and encourages the highest ethical standards.

    “AICD stands for the principles of good directorship, and one of our goals is to promote the understanding of, and respect for, the role of directors,” noted Steven Cole FAICD, AICD’s WA president, when presenting the award to Argyle at the AICD Winter Dinner, the WA’s premier event for the director community, held in Perth in August.

    Cole noted that one of the most enjoyable tasks the WA Division Council had each year was selecting a person from the WA director community to be the recipient of the Gold Medal.

    He added that Argyle fulfilled the council’s criteria of making a contribution to economic progress, corporate governance, the community and not-for-profit organisations. Argyle, he said, had shown his outstanding commitment to the community through his chairmanship of the Leeuwin Ocean Adventure Foundation, the Murdoch University Law School Building Appeal and St Georges College, and his role as a director of Scitech. His contribution to corporate governance was demonstrated through his presidency of AICD’s WA division from 1991 to 1993 and his position on the WA council since 1990.

    Argyle has also been president of the WA Law Society and chairman of the WA Division of the Taxation Institute of Australia. And, he was a director of Woodside Petroleum and chairman of Aurora Gold and the Board of Advice (WA) of Challenge Bank from 1996 to 1999. From 1989 to 1996, he was the senior partner and board chairman of Parker and Parker.

    Argyle joins a long list of eminent WA directors who have each been former recipients of AICD’s WA Gold Medal Award. They include Patricia Kailis, Gordon Martin, Trevor Eastwood, David Young, Kerry Stokes, Michael Chaney, Ian MacKenzie, Harry Perkins, Warwick Kent, Ron Cohen, Denis Cullity, Michael Kailis, Harold Clough and Janet Holmes à Court.

    The Argus view of the world

    BHP Billiton chair Don Argus AO FAICD revealed his views on the world economy, climate change and BHP’s projects during a fireside chat with MC Rob Kelvin at AICD’s SA Annual Dinner in Adelaide in October.

    He predicted that Asia was going to be the world’s chief motivating economic force over the next 40 years and said the boom in China would continue no matter what happens in the US. India was also shaping up as another economic growth driver, but its development was at least 10 years behind China, he said.

    He also highlighted how Australia’s infrastructure was holding the country’s export performance back, especially the log jams at certain ports, and discussed the mining industry’s desperate and growing shortage of qualified science and engineering graduates to run its assets all around the country.

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