Appointments wrap

19/12/2018 - 12:33


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Former Synergy executive Stephanie Unwin is set to lead regional energy retailer Horizon Power next year, while Screenwest, SNC-Lavalin, Worksafe WA and Destination Perth have also announced significant appointments.

Appointments wrap
Stephanie Unwin will begin her new role in March.

Former Synergy executive Stephanie Unwin is set to lead regional energy retailer Horizon Power next year, while Screenwest, SNC-Lavalin, Worksafe WA and Destination Perth have also announced significant appointments.

Ms Unwin will commence as chief executive of Horizon on March 18, nine months after Frank Tudor resigned from the role to head up eastern states energy player Jemena.

Mike Houlahan will continue as acting CEO until Ms Unwin takes the reins.

Ms Unwin has held senior executive roles with Synergy and generator Verve Energy between 2008 and 2017, including general manager of the energy retailer.

She also served as chief executive of biotech company Phylogica in 2017 and early this year, before taking up her current role as CBH Group general manager transformation and technology.

Horizon Power chairperson Stephen Edwell said the board was delighted with Ms Unwin’s appointment to the business.

“Stephanie has deep experience right across the electricity supply chain,” he said.

“Her experience in retail business strategy, business transformation, digitalisation, project management, and renewable energy project development are particularly relevant to Horizon Power as a vertically integrated electricity provider.

“I look forward to working closely with Stephanie as Horizon Power continues to focus on providing safe and reliable electricity for homes, business and the communities throughout regional and remote Western Australia.

“I would especially like to thank Mike Houlahan for his leadership and substantial contributions to the business over the past five months in the role of acting CEO,” he said.


Screenwest has appointed Peter (Willie) Rowe as its chief executive for a three-year term.

Mr Rowe has been interim chief executive for the past three months since the departure of Seph McKenna in September.

Mr McKenna unexpectedly resigned as chief executive, only nine months into his five-year term.

Mr Rowe served as managing director of communications consultancy Third House for nearly a decade, before being appointed as former premier Colin Barnett’s chief of staff from 2015 until 2017.

Most recently he worked as a consultant adviser for gtmedia.

Screenwest chair Janelle Marr welcomed the appointment.

“After a very comprehensive recruitment process, the Screenwest board is pleased to secure Mr Rowe,” she said.

“He has extensive knowledge, management and leadership experience gained from his senior roles with government and within the corporate, not-for-profit and arts sectors.

“The board is confident Mr Rowe’s appointment will further strengthen the great Screenwest team and help us continue to bring world-class Western Australian stories and identity to screen, for the benefit of the community.”

Mr Rowe said he was excited by the challenges that lay ahead and will focus on strengthening existing key relationships and engaging with new corporate and commercial partners.

He will formally begin his new role on January 14.


Meanwhile, former federal defence department assistant director Darren Kavanagh has been appointed as the state’s WorkSafe commissioner.

His other roles at the department included risk and compliance manager for South Australia, Northern Territory and Western Australia; and work health and safety manager. 

Prior to that he spent six years at the then Construction, Forestry, Mining and Energy Union as occupational safety and health manager.

He is also a nominated member of the Building and Construction Industry Training Fund board and a member of the Worksafe Commission.

Industrial Relations Minister Bill Johnston said Mr Kavanagh was suitably experience for the role.

“He takes over from Ian Munns, who has been acting in the role since January,” he said.

“I’d like to thank Mr Munns for his strong contribution and consistent efforts during his time acting in the position of commissioner.”

Mr Kavanagh’s extensive experience in the sector, along with his management of multimillion dollar projects make him eminently suitable for this role.”

Destination Perth

Marketing outfit Destination Perth has elected Michael Meade as its new chair, replacing John Longley after 14 years in the role.

Mr Meade is a tourism and hospitality executive and consultant with extensive strategic management and marketing experience spanning more than forty years.

He has worked across Asia-Pacific in senior marketing and management roles with major hotel companies and tourism organisations, including a stint as acting chief executive of Tourism Fiji.    

Mr Meade has been a principal of consultancy 2M Hospitality Marketing and Management since 2011.

Crown Perth Hotels sales director Scott Alderson and ATEC WA branch manager Deb Carr have also been appointed to the Destination Perth board.

Mr Longley welcomed the new board members.

“We are delighted with the interest to contribute to our board, which provide the strategic direction for Destination Perth,” he said.

“I would like to personally welcome Michael to the board and know I am passing the baton to a highly qualified chair.

“It is a new chapter for Destination Perth; we began the financial year with a new CEO Tracey Cinavas-Prosser, following Noeleen Pearson’s retirement after fourteen years.

“I have enjoyed my time as chair of PRTO immensely.”


Engineering group SNC-Lavalin has appointed Perth-based Graham Punler as its general manager for the mining and metallurgy sector in Asia Pacific.

Mr Punler has been with the company since March and has previously worked globally for Shell and Worley Parsons.

Senior vice-president mining & metallurgy North America and Australia Fritz Venter praised Mr Punler’s credentials.  

“Graham’s vast knowledge in project delivery will be instrumental in driving the growth of our expanded offering for our clients across the full life-cycle of projects from studies to delivery and sustaining capital works,” he said.

“His leadership, management of multidisciplinary teams, and proven experience in delivering global multibillion-dollar EPC projects make him a great asset to our team in Asia Pacific.”


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