About the Club
The inaugural South Australia Club was launched in London in 2011 with the simple objective of bringing together people with an interest in the future development of South Australia: people from the worlds of business, politics, academia, media and the arts who know that South Australia is a great place to visit, invest in, do business and live. People who know that South Australia is a place of unlimited potential.
The London chapter has today grown to 200 members, and operates as one of the most dynamic business networks in South Australia’s interests anywhere in the world.
In 2015, new chapters of the South Australia Club were launched in Shanghai and Hong Kong SAR. In 2016, an Adelaide chapter was created to enhance connectivity across Club chapters and back into South Australia. The Adelaide chapter has a focus on bringing together business migrants and people running foreign owned operations in South Australia, and connecting them with the more established business community operating in the State.
To maintain this focus, membership of the South Australia Club is by invitation only. However, Members are encouraged to bring a guest each event ensuring the Club’s dynamism.
Each chapter of the South Australia Club has 36 founding members, in recognition of the State’s origins and proclamation in 1836.
South Australia’s pace of development and progress is nothing short of astonishing. Consider that the State was proclaimed in just 1836. And yet, just 180 years on, it maintains the most enviable quality of life anywhere in the world. Pick your league table – education quality, safety, ease and cost of doing business, must see places to visit, food quality – and South Australia is consistently rated amongst the best in the world. And yet the State still manages to maintain that key ingredient to a happy life – balance.
The South Australia Club brings together people with a common interest in South Australia’s future development and the elements that define its success. The areas in which engagement with markets and ideas beyond its borders offer the greatest possibilities for mutual success, industrially and creatively.
The Club promotes new connections and builds trust, fostering the relationships that will drive the State’s future prosperity in arts, defence, tourism, renewable energy and food and wine.
Our International Patron
His Excellency the Honourable Hieu Van Le AO
His Excellency was born in Central Vietnam in 1954, where he attended school before studying Economics at the Dalat University in the Highlands.
Following the end of the Vietnam War, His Excellency, and his wife, Lan, left Vietnam in a boat in 1977. Travelling via Malaysia, they were one of the early groups of Vietnamese refugees to arrive in Darwin Harbour. His Excellency and Mrs Le soon settled in Adelaide, starting with three months at the Pennington Migrant Hostel.
As his tertiary study in Vietnam was not recognised in Australia, the Governor returned to study at the University of Adelaide, where he earned a degree in Economics and Accounting within a short number of years. In 2001, His Excellency’s further study earned him a Master of Business Administration from the same university.
His Excellency gained Certified Practising Accountant accreditation, and from 1991 worked at the Australian Securities and Investments Commission, where he led many high-profile matters. Upon his retirement from the Commission in March 2009, he held the position of Senior Manager – Financial Services Regulation.
His Excellency has served on many community boards and committees, in particular those relating to cultural and linguistic diversity, the arts and education.
In 1995 His Excellency was appointed a member to the SA Multicultural and Ethnic Affairs Commission, and was appointed Deputy Chairman in 2001. When His Excellency became Chairman in 2007, he was first person of Asian background to be Chairman. His Excellency resigned from the Commission in August 2014.
In August 2007, His Excellency was sworn in as the Lieutenant Governor of South Australia. Over the next seven years in this role, His Excellency served as the Patron or Honorary member of many organisations.
On 1 September 2014, His Excellency was sworn in as Governor of South Australia.
The Club promotes new connections and builds trust, fostering the relationships that will drive the State’s future prosperity in arts, defence, tourism, renewable energy and food and wine. It is understood that His Excellency is the first Vietnamese-born person who has ever been appointed to a Vice-Regal position in the world.
On Australia Day 2010, His Excellency was appointed as an Officer in the Order of Australia for service to the community in South Australia. He has also been awarded an Honorary Doctorate from both Adelaide University and Flinders University.
His Excellency is married to Mrs Lan Le, with whom he has two adult sons, Don and Kim.
Mr Bill Muirhead AM, Agent General of South Australia
Bill Muirhead AM, Agent General for South Australia in London, started the first South Australia Club in London in 2011. Bill is a South Australian who completed his education in London.
Bill began his advertising career in 1970 with Ogilvy & Mather before joining Saatchi & Saatchi in 1972. He is the former Chief Executive and President of Saatchi & Saatchi Worldwide. In 1995, he was a Founding Partner of M&C Saatchi together with David Kershaw, Maurice Saatchi and Jeremy Sinclair and was responsible for establishing the Company’s overseas offices.
He has a keen interest in political advertising. His work in advertising helped advance the interests of the Conservative Party in 1991 and he led the team that helped the party win the 1992 election. With Jeremy Sinclair, he picked up the Conservative Party’s election campaign in 2015, which again saw the party elected with a clear majority.
In April 2007 he was appointed Agent General for South Australia by Premier Mike Rann. His appointment was extended by Premier Jay Weatherill in 2015.
He was a co-founder in 1985 of the Famous Porkinson Banger Company together with Norman Parkinson, the celebrated English portrait and fashion photographer.
In 2013, Bill became a Member (AM) in the General Division of the Order of Australia, for significant service to the community of South Australia through the promotion of international trade.