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.


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Episode 90 – Robert Baird – Sales Director Ezidebit at Global Payments

Robert Baird, Sales Director Ezidebit at Global Payments, talks: Measuring success, personal integrity, service of others before service to self, spirituality through performance and running off with the circus.

Robert Baird is the Sales Director of Ezdebit, now a part of Global Payments. Ezidebit has become a success story, growing from a private Australian company to being acquired by a global business based in the United States. Global Payments Inc is a leading world wide provider of payment technology services which delivers innovative solutions to its market, driven by customer needs globally. Headquartered in Atlanta, Georgia, the company has more than 8500 employees worldwide and is a member of the S & P 500, with merchants and partners in 29 countries throughout North America, Europe, the Asia Pacific and Brazil. Robert  joined Ezidebit in 2008 and has a fascinating personal story and a unique outlook on what defines successful leadership.

Episode 86 – Clive van Deventer – CEO – Bartercard Australia

Clive van Deventer, CEO of Bartercard Australia, talks business to business, being in tune, instilling confidence, never dropping below the line and giving back to the community.

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.

Page Maxson – Former CEO – Australia Pacific LNG

3255b45Page Maxson Former CEO of Australia Pacific LNG and Non Executive Director Queensland Symphony Orchestra  talks the importance of community, following the rules, clean energy and finding a home away from home.

Page Maxson is the Former CEO of Australia Pacific LNG, the Director of the American Chamber of Commerce in Australia; Chairman of the business advisory council at the Ipswich North Precinct and is on the board of Queensland Symphony Orchestra. Page joined ConocoPhillips in 1988 and worked with the organisation globally for many years, including in Houston, Norway, Indonesia, West Texas and Libya.

Born in Oklahoma in the US in the 1960s, Page was raised as one of five children on a small property. His father was a research engineer at Conoco Phillips and his mother stayed at home to raise the family. After completing high school, Page attended Oklahoma State University and immediately after completing a Bachelor of Science and Civil Engineering moved on to a Masters of Business at the University of Texas. An entrepreneur at heart, Page self funded his way through university by working as a lab technician and with money he had saved from a small but successful agricultural business he began in high school. After completing university, Page worked as a consultant for many years before seeking out an opportunity at Conoco Phillips at the age of 28. Page relocated to Australia and joined Australia Pacific LNG in 2010.

Page is an avid golfer and loves to sail. He last lived in the U.S 17 years ago but plans to retire in the near future and will return to his home in Austin, Texas.


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

Dr Fred Hess – Managing Director – PanAust

Fred Hess_169x172_0Dr Fred Hess Managing Director of PanAust talks: Striking gold, finding things you care about, getting noticed and his passion for collecting stamps.

Dr Fred Hess is the Managing Director of PanAust, a copper and gold producer in Laos with pre-development opportunities in Laos, Papua New Guinea, Myanmar and Chile. Fred has over 30 years experience in the mining industry across copper, nickel and gold operations and he has worked throughout Australia, New Zealand and Papua New Guinea. He has held a range of roles within PanAust over 11 years and was promoted to Managing Director  in 2014.

Fred was born in Charleville in Western Queensland where he pent the first five years of his childhood before his parents relocated the family to Brisbane. Fred’s father worked for the Queensland railway and instilled in him to choose a line of work he would always enjoy. During high school Fred’s chemistry teacher inspired him and challenged him to push himself to achieve academically. Excited by the possibilities of chemistry Fred transitioned to university following high school, commencing his undergraduate in engineering with a major in chemistry at the University of Queensland. It marked the beginning of an eight year academic journey for Fred who eventually completed his Phd at UQ’s Julius Kruttschnitt Mineral Research Centre (JKMRC).

Melissa King – CEO – Surf Life Saving Australia

mkMelissa King, CEO Surf Life Saving Australia talks: Living a nomadic life, creating shared Value, putting yourself out there and swimming between the flags.

Melissa King completed a Bachelor of Arts in Recreation and Marketing at Victoria University before commencing her career in marketing and corporate sponsorship roles. Later during her career she received a Masters of Business Administration from the University of New England; a Graduate Certificate of Arts Management and she is a graduate of Stanford University Graduate School of Business. Melissa has worked for some iconic organisations including as the Director of Marketing and Development with the Chartered Secretaries of Australia; as Manager of Sponsorship and Business Relations with the 2007 APEC Task Force, and as Group Manager of Corporate Partnerships at Sydney Opera House. Melissa became CEO of iconic brand Surf Life Saving Australia in July 2015, it’s an organisation she lives and breathes and Melissa genuinely views the organisation’s success as her own.

David Pich – CEO – Institute of Managers & Leaders

headshotDavid Pich, CEO Institute of Managers & Leaders, talks: Leadership and management essentials, his love of learning and never knowing what’s around the corner.

David Pich is CEO of the Australian Institute of Management, an iconic brand which is the peak body for representing the interests of managers and leaders. David’s expertise is in the non-profit sector in a variety of leadership, senior executive, fundraising, marketing, media communications and corporate partnership roles. His experience spans the philanthropic charity sector, and the Membership-based non-profit sector.

Born in Manchester, David is the middle child of three siblings and his parents remain in the house he was born into. He attended the local comprehensive school before excelling in his senior education and earning himself a place at the University of Cambridge, the very first person from his school to do so. David studied social and political science and later specialised in psychology at the University of Western Sydney. David was always called to work with people and while he initially intended to be a social worker, fate had other plans. At the completion of his bachelor degree he was recruited by Cadbury Schweppes where he began his career working on the Liquorice Allsorts production line.

David was inevitable recruited by Hewlett Packard which eventually had him relocate to Australia. He refers to his role with HP as a “transformative job,” one which taught him the value of organisation culture. In recent years, he has held roles with CanTeen Australia and St George and Sutherland Medical Research Foundation.

David lives in Brisbane with his wife and two young daughters.



David on LinkedIn

Cambridge University

Western Sydney University

CanTeen Australia


Cameron Mackellar — Business Consultant, Senior Leader

Cameron Mackellar — Business Consultant, Senior Leader & CEO — Talks Driving Strategy, Digital Disruption & the Importance of Collective Intelligence 

Cameron Mackellar is the former CEO of Remington Group in Papua New Guinea (PNG) and interim CEO of LocalSearch. He is a sales and marketing expert and has enjoyed a diverse and rich career across the digital technology, printing and manufacturing sectors in senior executive and leadership roles. Many of Cameron’s tenures have particularly focused on operational and cultural transformation to achieve growth strategy; he has led large teams of up to 350 employees and managed responsibility for businesses with financials of up to $220 million. Most recently, Cameron has been consulting to large organisations such as Sensis, Orange Digital and Monadelphous Group to support innovation and growth strategies.

Cameron was born in Australia but spent the first eight years of his boyhood in PNG, where his parents worked as teachers. One of five children, Cameron warmly recalls a childhood spent exploring outside for hours-on-end, during PNG’s pre-independence era. He returned with his family to Sydney in 1974, where he took some time to adjust to the “hectic” lifestyle of the city.

After finishing his schooling in Sydney, Cameron received a Diploma of Accounting and completed a graphic arts apprenticeship, but adventure soon beckoned. Widely travelled, Cameron spent three years in his twenties venturing around the UK, Europe and Central America, before returning home to kick-off his career with PMP Print, where he remained for 12 years. Cameron later achieved his MBA from Southern Cross University. He has four children and lives in Brisbane with his family.


Cameron on LinkedIn

Southern Cross University


Orange Digital

Monadelphous Group

Paul Grainger – CEO

0c8aaa0Paul Grainger — Former CEO The Brisbane Club Reflects on a Career in the Hospitality Industry & Talks the Importance of Having a Thick Skin and Fine Sense of Humour.

Paul Grainger is CEO of The Brisbane Club, one of Australia’s premier private clubs with a tradition of excellence since 1903. The Brisbane Club is home to over 2200 local, international and interstate members from the professional and business industries. Paul is currently responsible for the operation and strategic direction of the club, reporting to a board of directors. It’s a role Paul approaches with commitment and passion, he is someone who thrives on responsibility and who has dedicated his entire professional life to working within the hospitality space. He has some excellent insights about the unique challenges and rewards of working in the industry, which he shares on the Arete podcast.

Build your profile to build your business brand

Guest blogger Linzi Boyd discusses buidling your personal profile to build your business brand.

Brand famous imageWhile the importance of brand is becoming well understood by business leaders, we believe there’s more to it than simply ‘brand’ alone. We’ve identified three key pillars to help clients jump their businesses smoothly: brand, people and purpose.

Why build your profile into an asset?

In this article I’m concentrating on the ‘people’ aspect of brand because in the digital era ‘people’ has become as important, if not more so, than ‘brand’. Why? Because the new school way of doing business is ‘people buy from people’. Customers, in particular, want to see the people and culture behind a brand and to trust in the business’s authenticity.

Paul Freer – Former COO of Collection House Limited

Paul Freer Taking the road less travelled – Paul Freer, Former COO of Collection House Limited, talks going global & leading with insight & integrity.

Paul Freer is an experienced CEO, COO and executive business leader in the banking and financial sector. Paul has extensive experience in leading financial services organisations and has enjoyed a global career, including roles in Africa, Asia, Europe, the Indian Ocean, the Middle East and the United States. Most recently, Paul was Chief Operating Officer with Collection House Limited, an ASX listed company. Paul led five operating business units within Australia as well as units in the Philippines and New Zealand.

Born in the UK in small town Taplow, Paul was educated at the local state school before deciding to leave school early, at age 16. A career in banking soon beckoned and Paul entered a training program at Barclays bank, where he learnt on the job while completing his tertiary education in financial services at The University of West London. Later, Paul completed executive development courses at Harvard Business School and London Business School, is an associate of the Chartered Institute of Bankers and a graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.

Cutting his teeth as a junior officer and teller, Paul spent 17 years with Barclays working his way up to become a Managing Director in the corporate banking sector, in roles which took Paul to challenging locations such as The Seychelles and Africa. Paul has also previously worked for Lloyds Bank, National Commercial Bank and Alquity Group. Paul has decided to call Australia home and lives in Brisbane with his wife and young children.


Paul on LinkedIn

Barclays Bank

Harvard Business School

London Business School

Chartered Bankers Institute

Australian Institute of Company Directors

Alquity Group

Lloyds Bank

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

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.