A Yellow Labrador puppy laying down looking excitedly up towards the camera

New Board appointments at Guide Dogs SA/NT will position the organisation as a leading charity within the new National Disability Insurance Scheme environment.

The appointments, announced at the recent Annual General Meeting are:

  • Leading Adelaide businessman, Joe Thorp, who has been appointed Chairman of the Guide Dogs SA/NT Board, having served as a Board member for two years.
  • Marketing and communications strategist, Jan Turbill and senior lawyer Gerry Cawson, have been appointed to the Board.

Mr Thorp brings excellent business skills to the organisation, as a Managing Director of Hoshizaki Lancer Pty Ltd – a world leader in beverage dispensing technology. Joe is also a Director of A Noble & Son Ltd, an Adelaide Advisory Board Member of OzHarvest Ltd, and a member of St Peter’s Cathedral Council.

HIs work has been recognised with awards for training, manufacturing, innovation, export, product excellence and environmental impact. His outstanding business acumen and vision will help lead Guide Dogs SA/NT in transitioning to the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) environment.

Mr Thorp takes over as Chairman from Rick Sutton who, after 14 years of outstanding volunteer srevice on the Board and nearly 10 years as Chairman, has decided to retire as Chairman. Mr Sutton will remain on the Board. Ms Turbill and Mr Cawson fill two vacancies.

Ms Turbill heads her own company Intuito Pty. Ltd. She is a specialist market researcher, market planner, and has particular strengths in customer relationshp managment (CRM) programs.

Mr Cawson is a senior lawyer, heading the Corporate Team at Kain C+C Lawyers. In 2013 he was named by Best Lawyers Australia as Best Commercial Lawyer – Adelaide. He is experienced in the technical and practical application of corporate governance principles.

Committed to elevating the organisation, Mr Thorp said he was pleased to be given the opportunity to lead the board in a period of renewal and a challenging future.

“It is important that we chart a strategically secure future as we transition into new NDIS funding arrangements in supporting people with a disability,” Mr Thorp said.

“Our organisation receives government funding for about 30% of its vital services yet none for our dog services – therefore it is important that we further engage and connect with the corporate sector and the general public to ensure ongoing support and grow our donations base.”

At a time when Guide Dogs recently was voted Australia’s Most Trusted Charity, Mr Thorp said he hoped to build greater corporate partnerships to leverage powerful business linkages for local brands and Guide Dogs SA/NT.

Mr Thorp said that one of the strengths of the Board was the work undertaken by its Finance, Service Delivery and People Committees, where external professional leaders collaborate to contribute contemporary expertise to the organisation.

Adelaide finance and business strategy executive Ian Jamieson, has recently been appointed to the Finance Committee and Professor Elizabeth Farmer has been welcomed to the eight-member Service Delivery Committee.