Hon Stephen Patterson MP, Minister for Trade and Investment
Stephen Patterson was elected to the South Australian Parliament as the Member for Morphett in 2018.
He was appointed as the Minister for Trade and Investment in the Marshall Government in 2020.
Darren Thomas, CEO, Thomas Foods International
Stephen graduated from The University of Adelaide in 1993 with a Bachelor of Science (Physics) and Bachelor of Electrical & Electronic Engineering with 1st Class Honours.
Before politics, Stephen was an electrical engineer and co-founded a software engineering company. He worked with businesses in some of South Australia’s key growth sectors, including defence, space, and hi-tech. Stephen has also held a professional sporting career, having represented teams in both the SANFL and AFL, an experience which shaped his attitude to team work and collaboration.
Stephen is passionate about his local community and served as a Councillor for the City of Holdfast Bay from 2010 to 2014, and then as Mayor until 2017.
Stephen enjoys being involved in a range of local sporting clubs and community groups, including Glenelg Surf Life Saving Club. He lives in Glenelg South with his wife Tammy and four children, who actively volunteer in the community.
Darren Thomas is the Chief Executive Officer of Thomas Foods International (TFI).
Under the stewardship of Darren and his father and company founder Chris Thomas, TFI has grown from a small family company into Australia’s largest 100% family-owned meat processing company with a proven track record for trading premium lamb, beef and mutton products. TFI supplies more than 85 countries with operations in Australia, USA, Canada, China, Europe and Japan. TFI also expanded into seafood in recent years with their subsidiary company Thomas Cappo Seafoods.
In Australia, TFI operates meat-processing plants located at Lobethal and Tamworth and has commenced work on an exciting new project - the construction of a technically advanced, multi-species, meat processing facility in Murray Bridge. TFI also services the needs of the domestic market, through their wholesale and distribution business TFI Australia.
The TFI group of companies generates an annual turnover in excess of $2 billion and employs more than 3000 people globally.
Darren holds a Bachelor of Accounting and a Master’s degree in Business Administration, is a former inaugural chair and board member of Brand South Australia, a former member of the Economic Development Board, a board member for a number of charitable organisations and is a member of the South Australian chapter of the internationally renowned Young Presidents Organisation (YPO).
Donald McGurk, CEO, CODAN Limited
Donald is a motivator of people with extensive knowledge and experience in the areas of change management and strategy formulation.
Sally-Ann Watts, General Manager, Australian Trade and Investment Commission (Austrade)
He holds a Masters of Business Administration from The University of Adelaide and completed the Advanced Management Program at Harvard University in 2010.
Donald joined Codan in December 2000, and had executive responsibility for group-wide manufacturing until his transition into the role of CEO. From 2005 to 2007, he also held executive responsibility for sales of the company’s communications products and from 2007 to 2010 and executive responsibility for the business performance of HF radio products.
He was appointed to the Board as Director in May 2010, and became Managing Director in November 2010.
In 2019, Codan achieved a number of significant accomplishments including being listed in the ASX 300, reaching a $1 billon market cap and celebrating their 60th anniversary.
In March 2021, Codan was included in the ASX 200 listing.
Sally-Ann Watts is General Manager, Exporter Services within the Australian Trade and Investment Commission. Until recently, and for the past year, Sally-Ann was (Acting) Deputy CEO, responsible for Austrade’s international network of over 500 staff in 47 countries, as well as the front line export and investment service delivery teams in Australia.
Sally-Ann has worked on and off with Austrade during her career, with several appointments into the private sector, between stints with Austrade, in Australia and overseas. Sally-Ann has extensive overseas experience, having worked in senior roles in Tokyo, Toronto, Los Angeles and until recently Jakarta, where she was both Senior Trade Commissioner, Indonesia as well as General Manager, ASEAN region.
Sally-Ann has a Bachelor of Arts (Asian Studies), a Graduate Diploma of International Law, and an MBA. She speaks Japanese and Indonesian.