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Mark Pownall

Mark Pownall has around three decades of media experience. Prior to becoming Director of Strategy and Innovation he was CEO of Business News for nearly three years. For most of his time at Business News he ran the content operations of the business and was integral to the implementation of all the company’s digital products – the twice daily email newsletters, weekly podcasts, deals database and BNiQ data warehouse and search engine. Mark's career has predominantly been in business media in Perth, with a foray to the financial centre of London. 

St Georges crusade

A LEADING figure in Australia’s biotechnology industry has returned to Perth to head a new research house, complete with plans to tap into St Georges Terrace to fund the sector’s development in WA.

Brokers’ victims profiled

VICTIM profiling has become the latest weapon for investment industry regulators in a bid to prevent another finance brokers-style scandal.

Top head hunter sets up shop

TOP WA head hunter Richard Hazlewood has quit national recruitment giant Morgan & Banks to establish his own Perth consultancy.

Oglivie moves on – leaves ASIC Gething

JAMIE Ogilvie has quit as the WA head the Australian Securities and Investments Commission, deciding not to seek the renewal of his contract as he looks for a role outside the corporate regulator.

Victoria Park heading for new heights

VICTORIA Park Council is increasingly featuring in the news regarding developments which were once rarely considered outside the CBD.

Oil fuels concerns

REGIONAL concerns about missing out on its slice of the pie are a perennial issue in politics.

Liquor group revamps management

NATIONAL retailer Australian Liquor Group has revamped its management team after a difficult first quarter following its float and the amalgamation of around 40 stores earlier this year.

Seven turns to local talent

CHANNEL Seven Perth plans a significant rise in local production next year, focusing largely on lifestyle programs as the station moves to see off a challenge from rivals.

Swan back into pubs

THE Swan Brewery has embarked on an $8 million spending spree to renew its flagging status as the major WA beverage producer with a new strategy of investment in high profile licensed premises.

Bumper lobster season unlikely

WA’S lobster season opened yesterday, with fishermen preparing for a tougher season after the recent record haul in what is considered Australia’s most valuable fishery.

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Mark Pownall's Picks

Recent reading

For the Aussie history buffs. Like a lot of things if you think polarised society, royals behaving badly or domestic terrorism are new things ... think again. Steve Harris is an accomplished journalist and media entrepreneur, so this a little different although his home town of Melbourne features prominently.

The Contiki story. It is a racy read with plenty of business tips from a backpacker who took his business global ... and pretty much lost the lot. The business journey is outlined in extraordinary detail. A must read for anyone who has travelled on the cheap to Europe.

Great management text if you are looking for someone to make sense of all the models and theories that sometimes attain cult status. Co-author is Perth-based Paul Culmsee.

Simon Sebag Montefiore's Jerusalem, a great historic introduction to many of the Middle East's current issues. In fact, when you see what goes on there today, a lot of it is explained by this book

Another fascinating read was Peter Rees' book Bearing Witness about Australia's great WW1 war correspondent Charles Bean. I note there's a competing biography by Ross Coulthart which I haven't read yet.

Also worth reading was one I dragged out of my father's library. William L Shirer was a foreign correspondent based in Berlin in 1930s and, due to America's late entry into WW2, was there during the early part of that conflict. His book The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich is half way between and academic work and the modern histories we are used to which are more entertaining. His book is awesome in its documentation and given a human element by the number of eye witness accounts he provides.

I really enjoyed The Bully Pulpit by Doris Kearns Goodwin which was not only about the US presidency at the start of the 20th century, but the unique role investigative journalism played in reform. It reviews the incredible reporting backed by gutsy publishers who serialised stories on concerning issues with both economic and social implications. These journalists also had unprecedented access to the presidency, especially the progressive Franklin Roosevelt. As the circulation-boosting power of this style of journalism rose, however, some went too far, making up stories and spitefully attacking political leaders - leading to the expression muckrakers. The tabloids of today have historical precedent!

Sir Bob's visit

Some of the VIPs who really did have lunch with Sir Bob.

Recent reading

Just got through this great book by Bob de la Motte, well known in Perth finance circles. Its about his life, growing up in South Africa and competing in the 90km Comrades Marathon.

Another book worth mentioning is Njinga by a good friend of mine Kate Leeming - she's also just released a film on her trans-African cycling trip and is preparing to turn it into a TV documenary series. Her next project is Antarctica.

Find it here: www.kateleeming.com

Executive remuneration

Worth checking out our CEO/executive/director remuneration list here. There are thousands of WA names on it ... 59 pages of salaries if you are up for it.

Bitcoin

Meanwhile, I am awaiting a copy of this (not a Christmas hint - review copy coming I am told) which I expect will help decipher much about the mysterious world of bitcoin. This has been co-authored by a friend of mine and former colleague Michael Casey who has been writing regular columns on bitcoin for the past year or more. I have passed on a few tidbits to him about activity in Australia, but I have no idea if that was useful.

My all-time favourite business and political books are here on my Facebook page.

Most-read

Visionary medico wins 40under40

This year’s First Amongst Equals winner is a passionate medical specialist but he’s also a visionary entrepreneur who has a lot in common with successful business leaders.

Vale Geoff Rasmussen

Western Australian corporate leader Geoff Rasmussen passed away on Friday night after a long battle with cancer.

Builton fails, administrator appointed

One of state’s biggest residential construction firms, Builton Group, has succumbed to the financial stresses engulfing the sector, appointing an external administrator earlier today after reports of the company’s financial troubles emerged last week.

Builton failure a costly housing hit

The collapse of yet another Western Australian residential builder appears set to further upset the delicate state of the sector, with financiers, insurers, 350 trade creditors and as many as 130 home owners facing losses.

most commented

Swan back into pubs

THE Swan Brewery has embarked on an $8 million spending spree to renew its flagging status as the major WA beverage producer with a new strategy of investment in high profile licensed premises.

Bumper lobster season unlikely

WA’S lobster season opened yesterday, with fishermen preparing for a tougher season after the recent record haul in what is considered Australia’s most valuable fishery.

Oglivie moves on – leaves ASIC Gething

JAMIE Ogilvie has quit as the WA head the Australian Securities and Investments Commission, deciding not to seek the renewal of his contract as he looks for a role outside the corporate regulator.

Victoria Park heading for new heights

VICTORIA Park Council is increasingly featuring in the news regarding developments which were once rarely considered outside the CBD.