ENTERPRISE cloud computing group Nutanix has appointed Lee Thompson as managing director of Nutanix for Australia and New Zealand. 

Based in Sydney, Mr Thompson will be responsible for driving customer acquisition and continued expansion of the company’s regional presence, with a focus on commercial and enterprise customers.  

Mr Thompson’s comprehensive experience and cloud credentials should be a significant boost for Nutanix. He brings more than 20 years of leadership experience in Asia, Europe, North America and Australia to the role and joins after a short tenure at EziHub Australia as interim chief operations officer.  

Prior to that he led Oracle/NetSuite as group vice president for the Japan Asia-Pacific region and was senior vice president of corporate sales at Salesforce Asia-Pacific – roles that together provided over a decade of frontline cloud exposure and experience. Mr Thompson has also held senior managerial positions at Borland, Artisoft and Pilot Software. 

“We are witnessing a fundamental shift in the way corporate Australia and New Zealand does, and will do, business in the future.” Mr Thompson said. “Recent events have shown the importance of technology, and the critical role that cloud and hyper-converged infrastructure will play in helping secure our economy in the future. 

“As the region looks to develop a new technology infrastructure for a post-COVID-19 world, Nutanix will be in a prime position to help support and navigate that transformation.” 

Mr Thompson will report directly to Nutanix vice president for South Asia Pacific, Neville Vincent.

“Lee’s breadth of experience, international exposure and intimate understanding of the challenges facing modern businesses will help accelerate our A/NZ business to the next level,” Mr Vincent said.

“We have an outstanding, energised and highly motivated team already in place eager for the guidance and direction Lee can provide. Under his stewardship, we are confident we will be better placed to help A/NZ businesses adapt to the new post-pandemic reality.”

Mr Thompson’s appointment comes as Nutanix ramps up investment in the region. The company has increased its presence across both countries, expanded its sales and support teams and accelerated its customer acquisitions with more than 30 government agencies and some of the region’s largest and most prominent enterprises, including 20 of the ASX top 100.



A RESOURCES sector veteran of more than 20 years, who paved the way for job-sharing in senior roles, has won this year’s Queensland Resources Council/Women in Mining and Resources Queensland Resources Awards for Women.

Joanne Best, general manager of enterprise excellence and employee experience at Hastings Deering, was presented with her award before a record crowd of more than 900 people at the Royal National Convention Centre in Brisbane. on Thursday.

The breakfast, part of International Women's Day celebrations, was viewed by more than 1400 people remotely via a webcast in Dysart, Middlemount, Moranbah, Rockhampton, Blackwater, Mount Isa and Brisbane head offices.

Ms Best took home a $32,000 professional development scholarship awarded by the Australian Institute of Management (AIM).

A mother of three boys, Joanne Best worked part-time for 17 years while leading major projects and teams on operational sites and in corporate offices.

With a previous employer, Ms Best was the first person to negotiate a job-share arrangement in a senior role, which led the way for others to better manage career and family commitments.

While at Hastings Deering, Ms Best has developed a program to drive flexibility, diversity and inclusion in the workplace called Together as One, on which she has also delivered a TED Talk.

“I have naturally started to shift from how do I not just do this for myself, but how do I do it for others in an individual way, through mentoring, through one-on-one relationships with my team and with my peers, and now through formal programs with Hastings Deering through our Together as One flexibility and inclusion approach,” Ms Best said.

“It’s simple, men and women want flexibility. Organisations that attract talent that way will keep talent that way and that’s the simple equation.”

Hastings Deering also won the Excellence in Diversity Programs and Performance award for its Together as One initiative.

Winners of the four other individual categories also took home a $5,000 scholarship from AIM, with a $3,000 scholarship to the leading female Queensland Minerals and Energy Academy (QMEA) student. 

“These awards play a pivotal role in our sector’s efforts to bring better gender balance to our workforce,” QRC chief executive Ian Macfarlane said.

“More than double the number of women are now working in our resources sector in Queensland compared with 2006 when we began our Women in Resources Action Plan.

“According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, almost 11,000 women now take part in every area of our business, from operators to trades people, geologists, engineers and senior and executive management," he said.

“It’s a testament to the hard work of QRC members who have incorporated gender diversity into their mainstream business plans. They recognise that with diversity comes improved safety, innovation and productivity.

“The competition for skilled people is also driving the imperative to attract and retain more women in our expanding sector so that it can continue to supply the world with the minerals and energy vital to our modern way of life.

“Our members have had a particular focus on increasing the proportion of women in so-called ‘non-traditional’ roles such as trades, engineering and executive management, so I congratulate Joanne on her work in this area," Mr Macfarlane said.

“In addition, our companies have supported QRC’s education arm — the QMEA — in its work to ensure more female and Indigenous students are equipped and encouraged to step into trade and professional roles in our sector.

"Congratulations to all the winners, finalists and thank-you to our sponsors, BHP, South32, AIM, Mitsubishi Development, Thiess, EY, Anglo American, and Peabody Energy.’’


EXCEPTIONAL WOMAN IN QUEENSLAND RESOURCES:  Katie Whittle, Shell runner-up. Jo Best, Hastings Deering winner.

EXCELLENCE IN DIVERSITY PROGRAMS AND PERFORMANCE:  Anglo American runner-up. Hastings Deering winner.

EXCEPTIONAL TRADE/TECHNICIAN/OPERATOR:  Belinda Maihi, Rio Tinto highly commended. Demi Keating, BHP runner-up. Conal Hearps, Peabody winner.

EXCEPTIONAL WOMAN IN EXPLORATION IN QUEENSLAND RESOURCES: Niki Spurway, Rio Tinto runner-up. Caoilin Chestnutt, Siecap winner.

EXCEPTIONAL YOUNG WOMAN IN QUEENSLAND RESOURCES: Claire Chauvier, Glencore MIM highly commended. Tammy Eiser, BHP runner-up. Kathryn Young, BHP winner.

GENDER DIVERSITY CHAMPION IN QUEENSLAND RESOURCES; Shane Johnson, South32 finalist. Donna Lynn, BHP finalist. Jedda Malone, South32 finalist Jayson Smeeton, BHP winner.

EXCEPTIONAL FEMALE QMEA STUDENT: Siena Linforth, Chanel College highly commended. Bailey Stoodley, Somerville House highly commended. Kassandra Palmer, Kirwan State High School runner-up. Liva Wood, Wavell State High School winner.



THE Advanced Manufacturing Growth Centre (AMGC) recently appointed  Richard Palmer to its board of directors.

AMGC chairman Paul Cooper said Mr Palmer brought “a depth of expertise that is the perfect complement to the current team’s experience in the fields of engineering, manufacturing, and technology innovation”. 

“We are delighted to strengthen AMGC’s board with the diversity and financial expertise that Richard brings to support and develop Australia’s advanced manufacturing sector," Mr Cooper said.

“Richard joins myself, Michelle Shi-Verdaasdonk, Dr Jens Goennemann, and company secretary Sarah Boase on the board.

“As we continue to work to deliver our strategic goals, Richard will provide valuable perspectives to the board and for our members. We look forward to working with him,” Mr Cooper said.

Mr Cooper said Mr Palmer has had more than 25 years experience in a variety of board roles and has worked with venture capital funds in New Zealand, Australia and Europe. He has extensive investment management experience in the private equity sector and is the chairman of business mentoring organisation, The Executive Connection.

Mr Palmer is a law graduate from Victoria University, New Zealand, and has received a masters degree in business administration with distinction from Bristol University, UK.  

AMGC chairman Paul Cooper has had 25 years’ manufacturing industry experience as owner and executive chair of Rinstrum, an industrial electronics manufacturing company. Rinstrum is based in Brisbane and actively exports to global markets with subsidiaries in the US, Germany, India and Sri Lanka.

Other board members include Michelle Shi-Verdaasdonk, the global manufacturing and procurement director at Dyson, and is recognised for her extensive industry experience. Ms Shi-Verdaasdonk has been a member of the AMGC Board since 2018 and previously held management positions at organisations including Philips Lighting, PepsiCo, Ford Motor Company and Electrolux. She has a bachelor of aerospace engineering, a bachelor of aviation science and a masters of engineering from the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology.

Jens Goennemann, the AMGC CEO, has been managing director of AMGC since 2016. He brings extensive experience overseeing large manufacturing operations in Australia and Europe. Dr Goennemann  served as managing director of Airbus Group Australia Pacific and Airbus Helicopters. Before his eight-year appointment to Australia, Dr Goennemann  spent six years in Germany with the former European Aeronautic Defence and Space Company (EADS), today known as Airbus Group. 

He was head of the CEO’s office in Germany, and before that in charge of Soldier and Parafoil Systems within the Defence Division. Previously, Dr Goennemann  spent two years in Athens where he established and managed the Eurofighter Office of DaimlerChrysler Aerospace, one of the three founding partner companies of EADS. He began his career with Daimler-Benz AG in January 1996.

Sarah Boase is AMGC’s company secretary. Ms Boase joined AMGC in 2016 and oversees all board activities and company administration.

Ms Boase previously worked for Airbus Group Australia Pacific and held a board position at Safeskies Australia. She is a graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.




FRESH OFF the back of selling his remaining share in Recon Solutions, Steve Scanlan has announced he will join Sydney’s Technology People as director of growth. His first task is to launch the business in Melbourne.

Investing some of the $8 million he made from the sale of Recon, the business he founded in his backyard six years ago, Mr Scanlan has acquired a stake in Technology People. The deal will see his current business, Arc Executive, merge into Technology People and IT Consulting arm, Novon. 

Following his September wedding, Mr Scanlon will officially join the Technology People team on October 1, and make the move to Melbourne.

“After admiring Technology People from afar for many years, I’m extremely excited to announce that I’ll be joining their team,” Mr Scanlan said. 

“I’ve spent considerable time with them over the past six months and can genuinely say this is the best delivery/recruitment team I’ve ever encountered. As the director of growth, I’m particularly excited at the passion, energy and drive within the organisation.”  

It seems timing is everything, with Recon and Technology People first discussing a merger five years ago.

Technology People co-founder, Dominic Dufaur, was Mr Scanlan’s boss at Randstad many years ago.

Mr Scanlan maintains his ‘community over profit’ mantra and has picked up some of the sponsorships Recon let go of following the sale, including Tim Tszyu who currently holds the Australian super-welterweight title and remains undefeated after 14 fights.

Mr Scanlan also famously backed former school teacher turned boxer Jeff Horn for four years before he took centre stage against Manny Pacquiao at Suncorp Stadium in 2017.

“I’ve been very fortunate in business and strongly believe that if you can afford to give back to the communities in which you operate, you should,” Mr Scanlan said.  

“I value relationships over transactions, so I’ll be on the lookout for more opportunities to support upcoming talent and community initiatives.”



TRIBUTES to the life's work of former Deputy Prime Minister and National Party leader Tim Fischer, 73, have been flowing in from all quarters of Australian society. Mr Fischer passed away in Albury on August 22 from complications brought on by his long-running battle with acute leaukaemia.

Mr Fischer was one of Australia's great 'do-ers' in politics, championing major infrastructure projects to benefit rural Australia and he was a prime mover in promoting and achieving Inland Rail. The Vietnam veteran has been highly acclaimed for his work with former Prime Minister John Howard in bringing through Australia's world-acclaimed gun buyback scheme in the wake of the Port Arthur massacre.

Mr Howard acknowledged how hard this feat was for Mr Fischer across rural Australia and on national radio yesterday called him "heroic".  

Prime Minister Scott Morrison said, "Tim Fischer was a big Australian in every sense of the word. Big in stature, big in his belief, big in his passion, big in his vision for what Australians could achieve and big in his view of Australia’s place in the world. As a result, Tim Fischer will forever cast a big shadow on our nation."

Australian Small Business and Family Enterprise Ombudsman, Kate Carnell said Mr Fischer was "a great Australian and a champion of small business".

"The former Deputy Prime Minister was passionate about rural and regional Australia and rarely gave a speech without telling a story about a local business that was doing amazing things," Ms Carnell said. "Who could forget his support for Australian brands like Mick’s Whips?

"He had a tremendous political career and should be remembered for his significant contribution to Australian public life. Tim Fischer walked his own path with honesty and humility and that is what Australians loved about him."

Tim Fischer served as Deputy Prime Minister from March 1996 to July 1999 and led the federal parliamentary National Party for more than nine years. A former NSW state MP, he was elected to the southern central NSW federal seat of Farrer in 1984 and re-elected five times before retiring in 2001.

"Mr Fischer, who served as Trade Minister in the Howard Government, was esteemed by his Coalition colleagues, respected by his opponents and loved by Australians everywhere as he travelled the country in his trademark Akubra hat," Prime Minister  Morrison said

"He was an all in conviction politician. This integrity and resolve were underlined when he stood firm with Prime Minister Howard on tough new gun laws following the Port Arthur massacre in 1996. They are Tim Fischer’s gun laws too.

"Gun laws were not popular in regional Australia in 1996 and Tim Fischer took to the highways and byways to persuade and convince regional Australians about the need for change. I believe this was his finest moment. Australia will always be in his debt," he said.

"Before entering parliament, Tim Fischer served as an Australian Army Officer in Vietnam. As a parliamentarian, he always demonstrated a deep loyalty and affection to service personnel and veterans.

"Later in life, he was chairman of Tourism Australia where I had the privilege to serve with him," Mr Morison said. "Tim also served as national chair of the Royal Flying Doctor Service. From 2009-12, he served as Australia’s first resident Ambassador to the Holy See. Tim Fischer also wrote several books, including a number of books about trains – one of his great passions.

"My government will be offering Tim's family a state funeral to celebrate his life and extraordinary contribution to Australia."


THE AusMumpreneur Awards and Conference – 'celebrating 10 years of incredible mums in business' –  takes place on Friday, September 6, in Melbourne and the awards are being backed by St George Banking Group.

Peace Mitchell and Katy Garner, founders of The AusMumpreneur Awards and Conference as well as The Women’s Business School, said the official naming rights sponsor for the 10th annual AusMumpreneur Awards is St George.

Hundreds of women from all over the nation, including rural, regional and remote Australia, will meet in Melbourne for the AusMumpreneur Conference which takes place prior to the red-carpet awards dinner. There are more than 30 categories and finalists are all mothers who founded their own businesses. 

Finalists who are in the AusMumpreneur of The Year category will pitch to judges for the coveted role of AusMumpreneur of The Year.

Ms Mitchell and Ms Garner started the awards a decade ago. Looking back over the past 10 years, the duo have assisted thousands of Australian women business founders and owners.

Peace Mitchell and Katy Garner educate these Mumpreneurs through The Women’s Business School and offer recognition and credibility through the AusMumpreneur Conference and Awards which is held annually in September.

“Our community inspires, elevates and supports thousands of women to create their own businesses that work around their family life. We are thrilled that the St.George Banking Group has extended their support to our community,” Ms Mitchell said.

Ms Garner said, “Women from all over Australia are arriving in Melbourne today and tomorrow for The AusMumpreneur Conference and Awards. Every year we are amazed at the calibre of women and the stories behind their brands. We are ecstatic that St George recognises Mumpreneurs in Australia and look forward to welcoming them on board as the official partner for the 10th annual AusMumpreneur Awards in Melbourne.”

The conference commenced on the evening of September 4 and runs through until Friday, culminating in the 10th annual AusMumpreneur Awards gala dinner on Friday night.



FORMER Queenland Resources Council (QRC) chief executive Michael Roche -- who could count initiatives in boosting Indigenous community involvement in the resources sector and outreach for new career paths for young people and women in the industry among his successes -- passed away in Brisbane on July 30.

Mr Roche had been unexpectedly diagnosed with an illness just three weeks earlier. Since leaving the CEO role with the QRC in 2016, Mr Roche has continued to serve on charitable boards and foundations and he has been acting in an advisory role on the resources industry for legal firm McCullough Robertson in Queensland.

His busy career included board roles with disability services group Multicap, industry superannuation fund Mine Super and the WorkCover Risk and Audit Committee. 

Mr Roche's successor at QRC, former Federal Minister Ian Macfarlane said, "On behalf of the Queensland resources industry and the more than 316,000 men and women who work in it, I pay tribute to the late Michael Roche for his tireless commitment and passion for the resources sector.

"Michael served as the chief executive of the Queensland Resources Council for 11 years before stepping down in 2016.

"Michael was a fearless leader and vocal advocate for the sector who championed new ideas that changed the industry forever," Mr Macfarlane said.

"He led the organisation through one of the most severe downturns in recent history with determination and professionalism. Michael was a founding member of the Queensland Exploration Council and an honourary life member of the QRC. Michael also played a significant role in shaping the state of Queensland through his very senior roles in government.

"On behalf of the QRC, I extend our sincere condolences to Michael’s wife, Jenny, their children and their extended family."



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