Guide Dogs Blog

Adelaide banker appointed new Guide Dogs SA/NT Chairman

December 14th, 2017

Well-known Adelaide banker John Oliver has been appointed as Chairman of Guide Dogs SA/NT.

Mr Oliver, the Chief Executive Officer of Homestart Finance, has served on the Board of Guide Dogs SA/NT since 2014. With extensive experience in retail banking at Bendigo, Adelaide and Commonwealth Banks, he has brought to the Board broad commercial experience including retail distribution, product development, project management and business process management.

He takes over from Mr Joe Thorp who has handed the “lead” to Mr Oliver after five years as Chairman. During that time Mr Thorp oversaw a reorganisation of Guide Dogs SA/NT to ensure preparedness for the National Disability Insurance Scheme.

His other achievements include the recent appointment of Guide Dogs SA/NT’s new Chief Executive Officer Aaron Chia and overseeing the development of the Beau’s Pet Hotel social enterprise, owned and operated by Guide Dogs SA/NT in the Adelaide Airport precinct.

“With those major initiatives achieved, I felt it was time to hand over to a new Chair who can guide the organisation through its next phase,” Mr Thorp said.

A strong believer in Board renewal, Mr Thorp has ensured the Board is well placed for transition.

“I have thoroughly enjoyed my time as Chair of Guide Dogs SA/NT and am extremely proud of the profound impact it makes on the lives of thousands of clients and volunteers.”

Mr Thorp, who was appointed the Chief Executive of TechInSA earlier this year, will also step down from the Boards of Guide Dogs SA/NT and Royal Guide Dogs Australia.

Mr Oliver said he was honoured and privileged to be appointed Chairman of Guide Dogs SA/NT.

“I am looking forward to continuing to work with the Board  as we all strive to continue the great work undertaken by Guide Dogs within the community,’ he said.

“It is an exciting time following the recent appointment of Aaron Chia as our CEO and the opening of Beau’s Pet Hotel at the airport. But it is also a very challenging time for the organisation and the Not for Profit sector generally, as we all transition to the National Disability Insurance Scheme and the level of uncertainty that comes with significant transformational change.

“Joe’s strong and effective leadership over the past five years has created a resilient and robust platform for the future that the Board can continue to build upon.

“His contribution has been greatly appreciated by everyone associated with Guide Dogs.”

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