Episode 92 – Barry Robinson – President & MD of Wyndham Vacation Resorts

Barry Robinson – President and Managing Director of Wyndham Vacation Resorts – talks the holiday business, flexibility, having passion and finding balance.

Barry Robinson is the President and Managing Director of Wyndham Vacation Resorts (South East Asia and Pacific Rim). Headquartered on the Gold Coast, Wyndham Vacation Resorts Asia Pacific employs more than 2,000 staff members and is one of the Gold Coast’s largest corporate employers, with additional employees located at resorts and sales sites throughout the Asia Pacific region. While Barry runs a large, successful and very challenging business, he is a leader who values flexibility and work life balance. He met with Arete Executive’s Richard Triggs after his morning surf and had a yoga class scheduled for later in the day.

Barry has over 30 years hospitality experience and joined Wyndham as CEO in 2003. In 2009, Barry launched Wyndham Hotel Group in the South Pacific and has been the driving force behind many significant new property acquisitions, enhanced resort developments and has brought a renewed customer focus to the business. Under his leadership, both Wyndham Vacation Resorts Asia Pacific and Wyndham Hotel Group have expanded their portfolios in the Australian, New Zealand, South Pacific and South East Asian markets.

A born and bred New Zealander, Barry was born into family business. His parents owned furniture factories before eventually turning their hands to the hospitality industry, where Barry honed his skills from a young age before being sent to boarding school. Upon graduating from Kings College in Auckland, Barry relocated to Australia where he cut his teeth in bars and at hospitality school before his entrepreneurial spirit and an “epiphany” led him to borrow $10,000 from a friend to establish his own business when he was just 19.

You have to be passionate about what you do, you can luck it out for a short period of time but it’s going to catch up with you… you don’t sit at the top without extreme hard work and I continue to challenge myself,” Barry said.

“I’ve gotten better at it over the past 10 years – at reflecting and I think people don’t do that enough and analysing… I always ask could I have done it differently? I think that’s how you grow and as soon as you stop doing that you become stagnated.”

Barry is also a Board Director of FSHD Global, President of ATHOC (Australian Timeshare and Holiday Ownership Council) and a Fellow of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.

He lives on the Gold Coast with his family.


If you enjoyed this podcast please share it with your friends. We would also love you to subscribe to the Arete Podcast on I-tunes or Stitcher to stay abreast of our latest discussions with leading CEO’s and Non Executive Directors and post your comments. Follow Arete Executive on LinkedIn

Episode 87 – John O’Hara – Managing Director & CEO of Sunny Queen Eggs

John O’Hara, Managing Director and CEO of Sunny Queen Eggs, talks: the food business, playing to your strengths, analysing your weaknesses, walking the talk, and not putting all your eggs in one basket.

Arete Executive Managing Partner Richard Triggs first met John O’Hara when he spoke at an Australian Institute of Management function in 2009 and since then has watched Sunny Queen grow tremendously under John’s leadership. John has been the Managing Director and CEO of Sunny Queen Eggs since 2002. A privately owned company, Sunny Queen generates its revenue from the manufacturing, marketing and distribution of egg and egg products throughout Australia. When John assumed his role, Sunny Queen was an unlisted company that predominantly sold eggs in Queensland and turned over barely $50 million. 15 years later, the company has a major retail presence across the country, including contracts with a number of major retailers, and has grown to a $270 million business with 130 employees. John is also a Non-Executive Director of SunPork and Swickers.

Episode 85 – Tracey Vieira – CEO, Screen Queensland & Non Executive Director

Tracey Vieira, CEO of Screen Queensland, talks film and television, business acumen, building a personal brand, living with passion, sticking your hand up, and having self-belief.

Tracey Vieira is the CEO of Screen Queensland, a government organisation which works to grow the screen industry and contribute to the economic and cultural well being of Queensland. Screen Queensland’s role is to develop, fund and support the local screen industry, attract production to Queensland, and celebrate an active screen culture across the State. Tracey assumed the role of CEO in 2014 after spending ten years working for AusFilm in Los Angeles in the United States, where she attended the USC Marshall School of Business.

Jim McDonald – Experienced Chairman and Director

AAEAAQAAAAAAAAIKAAAAJDhjYmFhN2JjLWNlMTktNDAwMi04ZWQ0LTMyMTlhMDFmOWIwYQJim McDonald, Chairman of IntelliGas Group talks oil and gas, calculating risks, growing your role and proving your worth.

Richard has known Jim McDonald for a number of years having built a relationship with him throughout the process of building Arete Executive while Jim moved through a number of different board positions. Jim has played an integral role and been at the forefront of driving the oil and gas industry within Australia for many years, and when the pair sat down for Arete podcast the pair shared an insightful conversation about Jim’s life and career. Jim is currently the Director of IntelliGas Group Inc  in unlisted company which specialises in gas technology and has a number of significant patents for high pressure engine gas.

After a stint working within his family’s retail business as a young man, Jim ventured into the oil and gas industry, spending the majority of his early career with Esso Australia Limited, after joining the company in the 1970s. In 1994, Jim joined AGL first as Managing Director at the Eastern Australian Pipeline Operations and then as Foundations CEO and Managing Director of APA Australia. In 2005, Jim left his executive career to move into a portfolio career and has been an active Company Director and Chairman of organisations such as Hastings Funds Management Limited , Pearlstreet Limited; Director and Chairman of WDS Limited and Chairman of Energy Pipelines CRC. Jim is also a graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.

Jim was born in Traralgan in country Victoria in 1940 and was raised as one of four children after his older brother died in infancy. His father was the local barber and his mother ran a tobacconist and gift shop at the front of her husband’s store. The influence his parents and his early family life had on Jim is central to his conversation with Richard on the podcast; he describes growing up in post-war Australia and being schooled by the Josephite Nuns and later, by the Marist Brothers, as a wonderful time. In his final year of school Jim was planning to study medicine but decided to become a Catholic priest and entered Corpus Christ College Werribee where he completed two years of training. After deciding not to enter the priesthood, Jim returned to Traralgan to work in the family business before kickstarting his career with a small gas business in the Northern Territory.


Jim on LinkedIn

If you enjoyed this podcast please share it with your friends. We would also love you to subscribe to the Arete Podcast on I-tunes or Stitcher to stay abreast of our latest discussions with leading CEO’s and Non Executive Directors and post your comments. Follow Arete Executive on LinkedIn

Geoff Harley – Chairman – Queensland Urban Utilities

harleygeoff-12254Geoff Harley, Chair Queensland Urban Utilities and former Managing Partner of Clayton Utz, talks:  40 years of law, a portfolio career and his love of music.

Geoff Harley has practised law for over 40 years and is held in high esteem among Brisbane’s board community. He began working for Clayton Utz, one of Australia’s most prominent law firms, in 1975 and was Managing Partner twice during his time there. In 2006, Geoff exited his partnership to pursue a  portfolio career but remains a consultant to Clayton Utz. He has since worked in different roles for various organisations including as Chair of CS Energy Limited, as a Member of the Board at Brisbane Marketing and Queensland Rail and as Chair for Queensland Urban Utilities and BDO in  Australia.

Geoff is also a Fellow of the Australian Institute of Company Directors, a Member of the Australian Human Resources Institute and has previously been an Adjunct Professor of Law at The University of Queensland (UQ). Geoff is an accomplished pianist and studied at the Queensland Conservatorium of Music.

Born in Maryborough, Geoff is the youngest of three boys. He attended the local boys state high school and earned a scholarship to study law at university when he completed high school. In 1965, he graduated from a Bachelor of Laws at UQ. Geoff’s legal background is diverse, having at various times specialised in areas of law including Insurance Law, Commercial Litigation and Industrial and Employment Law.

Geoff lives in the Samford Valley with his wife and enjoys golf and gardening in his spare time.



Clayton Utz

CS Energy

Brisbane Marketing

Queensland Rail

Queensland Urban Utilities

BDO in Australia

Queensland Conservatorium of Music


Allan English – Executive Chairman – Silver Chef

headshotAllan English — Entrepreneur, Philanthropist & Executive Chairman of Silver Chef — Talks Trend Spotting, Making Meaning of the World & Business as a Force for Good

Allan English is the Founder and Executive Chairman of Silver Chef, Australia’s only dedicated hospitality equipment funding solution. Silver Chef Limited listed on the Australian Stock Exchange in 2005; operates in three countries — Australia, New Zealand and Canada, and employs more than 200 people. Founded by Allan in 1986, Silver Chef has assisted more than 25, 000 clients achieve their business goals. Allan is also dedicated to a range of philanthropic work. He’s a Non Executive Director of the School for Social Entrepreneurs and he is currently a Board Member of Philanthropy Australia. He is also involved in his own non-for-profit, Opportunity International, and he is the Director of the English Family Foundation.

The eldest of four children, Allan was born in Western Australia in the small wheat belt town of Muckinbudin. His parents were second generation farmers and he spent his formative years on the family’s sheep and wheat property. Allan attended the local primary school before setting of to Perth to board at Aquinas College. Upon graduation, Allan was unable to return to the family property; after experiencing three years of tough drought, his father could not maintain the farm and was forced to let it go. His parents relocated to the city, while a young Allan began working as a railway ganger in Pilbara.

Allan is highly curious, an avid learner who has an innate business acumen and an eye for spotting trends. His path to success is fascinating, it gives a small snapshot of Australia in the 1970s and early 80s and is very much a story of talent meeting opportunity. Allan’s sales career began with him selling glory boxes to young women and later, Space Invaders arcade games and ice cream machines. It wasn’t long before Allan became the top salesman in Western Australia and was promoted to the role of state manager. When the ice cream company decided to franchise, selling to state managers by funding them in, Allan swiftly transitioned from salesman to owning his own business in just three months, marking the end of his Space Invaders days and the beginning of his entrepreneurial ventures.

In 2012, Allan was awarded the Queensland Community Foundations Philanthropist of the Year and the Griffith University Medal for Management Innovation. Allan and his wife live in Brisbane and have been married for almost 40 years. They enjoy travelling and visiting their three grown children all of whom live overseas.



Allan on LinkedIn

Silver Chef

Aquinas College

School of Social Entrepreneurs


Robert van Barneveld – Managing Director and CEO – Sunpork Group

ridley-bod-barneveldProfessor Robert van Barneveld, Managing Director & CEO of Sunpork Group, Talks Being a Scientist, Animal Welfare & the Business of Pigs

Professor Robert van Barneveld is a pork industry expert and a registered animal nutritionist. He began his career in university faculties around Australia after receiving a Bachelor of Agricultural Science with First Class Honours and later a Phd from The University of Queensland, St Lucia. Robert has served on a number of industry and commercial boards within the industry and is now the Managing Director and CEO of Sunpork Group. One of Australia’s largest pork producers, Sunpork Group’s portfolio includes farms, abattoirs and food businesses.

Christopher Murray – CEO -Renu Energy

AAEAAQAAAAAAAAlVAAAAJGFkM2YwYmQ5LTVlMjEtNGMwMC04MmRjLWViMGFmYjM0NDIzMQChristopher Murray CEO & NED  Talks New Technologies, the Future of Renewable Energy & his Lifelong Passion for Tinkering

Christopher Murray is the former CEO and Managing Director of ReNu Energy Limited,  a clean energy products and services company, delivering independent power solutions through the development of build, own, operate and maintain (BOOM) renewable energy projects in Australia. It was a welcome opportunity to feature Chris as a guest on the podcast, as he was one of Arete Executive’s very first clients back in 2009. It’s been interesting to watch his career unfold in past years and to catch up with him as he moves into a new role. It is always fascinating to speak with individuals within the first few months of them becoming CEO, while they’re creating a vision for themselves and their team.

Chris was born and raised in the suburbs of Sydney, Australia, the elder brother of two sisters in a “typical, middle class family.” Chris describes his formative years as a “wonderful and blessed childhood, a great Australian upbringing,” and fondly recalls holidays in the family’s caravan, fishing and sailing at Lake Macquarie in NSW. From an early age, Chris was called to the energy and engineering industries. A passion for mechanics was shared by his father, a valuer for the Electricity Commission of NSW, and the pair spent much of Chris’ boyhood tinkering with, and building, car and boat engines.

Nigel Chamier, Chair & NED


Nigel Chamier photoNigel Chamier feeling honoured & privileged to serve the Brisbane community.

Nigel Chamier is a highly accomplished individual who genuinely feels privileged to engage in a wide range of portfolio roles, particularly those which serve the community. He is a passionate champion for both Brisbane and Queensland and has proudly contributed to the advancement of both across a number of areas. Nigel is particularly invested in developing Brisbane landmarks and preserving its historical architecture. It was fascinating to hear what Nigel has achieved within the Brisbane landscape and his experiences really resonate given Arete Executive is also based in Brisbane. It must be amazing for Nigel to be able to look across a city and observe what an influential role he’s had in developing and growing Brisbane into a sophisticated city.

Nigel is the Former Chairman of the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games Corporation and the Commonwealth Games Infrastructure Authority. He’s been the Honorary Consul for Sweden since 2000 and is a proud member and the immediate past President of The Brisbane Club. Nigel is a Fellow of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors, a Fellow of the Australian Property Institute and a Fellow of the Australian Institute of Company Directors. Nigel is a recipient of the Medal of the Order of Australia for Services to the Property Industry and in 2008 was awarded the Royal Order of Polar Star for Services to Sweden.

Rob Goudswaard – CEO of Credit Union Australia

Rob Goudswaard – CEO of Credit Union Australia – on the importance of being vulnerable and having self awareness, managing a farm and his love of cricket.

It’s always fascinating to have guests on the Arete Podcast who are relatively new to their roles, particularly CEOs. The initial period of understanding the culture of an organisation and establishing and implementing strategy is an exciting time filled with many challenges and opportunities. Capturing conversations with CEOs and hearing their unique insights in the early stages is for me, highly enjoyable and of great value to upcoming executives and aspiring CEOs.

Richard Kennerley – Former Executive Director – University of Queensland Business School

Changemaker, Richard Kennerley – Former Executive Director of University of Queensland Business School Executive Education – talks diversity, innovation and holding true to your beliefs.

The notion of adaptability kept emerging during my discussion with Richard Kennerley and he is indeed an individual who is willing to embrace change. Richard relocated to Australia from his native UK in 2010 to undertake the role of State General Manager of National Australia Bank, Queensland.  In 2014, he became the Executive Director of the University of Queensland Business School Executive Education, transitioning to a new sphere after working in finance and corporate banking for over 30 years.

The eldest of three siblings, Richard was raised in a middle class family in north-west England where he attended Sir John Deane’s Grammar School. A qualified banker and corporate treasurer, highly successful executive and leader, Richard’s career got off to an unconventional start. Fuelled by a touch of teenage rebellion, a young Richard challenged his traditional upbringing and dropped out of his degree to sing in a rock band. It wasn’t long before he changed direction and decided to do something a little more “respectable.” Richard assumed a position at National Westminster Bank where his talent for banking was quickly realised and the rest as they say, is history.

Richard’s capacity to think outside the box has been pivotal to his success as a leader, and has seen him deliberately and successfully deliver strategy around diversity and equality. Richard is a Graduate of the AICD Company Directors program. He also has extensive experience in finance and corporate banking in various leadership roles, previously as the Head of Corporate and Structured Finance, Clydesdale Bank and Director of Corporate Banking, Hill Samuel Merchant Bank

In addition to his role at UQ Business School Executive Education, Richard is also Vice President of the Brisbane Broncos Leagues Club and is a board member of the Australia China Business Council and Youngcare Changemakers.


University of Queensland Business School

Chartered Institute of Bankers

Associate of Corporate Treasurers

Brisbane Broncos Leagues Club

Australia China Business Council

Youngcare Changemakers

If you enjoyed this podcast please share it with your friends. We would also love you to subscribe to the Arete Podcast on I-tunes or Stitcher to stay abreast of our latest discussions with leading CEO’s and Non Executive Directors and post your comments.

Follow Arete Executive on LinkedIn

Rod Cameron – CEO – Autism Queensland

Rod Cameron headshotBackground

Rod is the CEO at Autism Qld. He is a highly experienced financial executive with extensive multinational experience in the energy, resources, renewable energy, airport & seaport sectors. An expert in project, corporate & infrastructure finance, he has more than 30 years experience within the commercial sector in high growth capital intensive businesses. Rod is currently Executive Director for Capital Advisory Services, and a Non Executive Director and Deputy Chairman for Blue Energy.

He has worked as CFO for ASX and MYSE listed multinational corporations and has held several NED and Chair positions, also with ASX listed entities.

Prior to joining Autism Qld, Rod was Executive General Manager, Corporate Services for Endeavour Foundation.

Rod is a Certified Practicing Accountant (CPA) and Fellow of the Australian Institute of Company Directors, with a Bachelor of Commerce (Hons), Griffith University 1987, Master of Business Administration, University of Queensland 1990 & Master of Financial Management, Central Queensland University 1996.

Quick Links

Women on Boards – The practical guidelines for improving gender balance launched!

Practical guidelines for improving gender balance launched today

One of Australia’s most respected directors, Graham Bradley AM, urged companies to stop procrastinating and take ownership of gender balancing their businesses when he launched the Guidelines for Gender Balance Performance and Reporting in Sydney on the 1st May, 2013.

The Guidelines are the brainchild of Women on Boards, which formed a coalition early in 2012 to develop a practical and relevant framework to enable Australian entities to raise their performance and reporting of gender balance in their workforce.