He began his career in Education majoring in Human Movement Studies, having initially earned a Diploma in Teaching at Uni SA, he then went on to complete a Bachelor of Education with his main aim focused on assisting obese children. His major work, with close ties with the CSIRO, saw him complete a two year research paper called, “A Behavioural Approach in Treating Childhood Obesity”.
Today, some 30 years later, the research and findings that hit the headlines, findings and remedies are no different to what Steve concluded all those years ago.
Steve’s goal was to complement his natural inquisitive savvy with a strong foundation in business and finance and to achieve this he joined a progressive hospitality focused enterprise known as the Sparr Group of Companies.
Taking five years leave without pay from the Education Department, in 1981 he became the inaugural joint manager of Windy Point Restaurant Complex, and after only six months in the industry was promoted to Complex Manager. Soon the awards started flooding in such as winning the American Express award for “Best South Australian Restaurant”.
Recognised for his entrepreneurial skill, he accepted his first senior executive position with the Sparr Group as Special Projects Manager, responsible for propelling the group into new ground which included the establishment of an outside catering division, an equipment hire company, and a consulting arm.
Soon after he was promoted to the position of General Manager. His highlights included being appointed as consultant to “The Ultimate Event”, the opening of Sanctuary Cove Queensland.
Subsequent to this event, Steve was acknowledged as a leader in his field and was invited to apply his expertise and consult to the State government in relation to the new Adelaide Entertainment Centre.
His commitment and focus to deliver an exceptional standard saw him dominate the “back stage logistics business” which led to him to look after superstar performers such as Frank Sinatra, Peter Allan, Sir Elton John, Mick Jagger, INXS, Stevie Wonder, Neil Diamond, Kiss, Lionel Richie, Euthryhmics, Sir Cliff Richard, Tom Jones, Whitney Houston, Pink Floyd, Dolly Parton, AC/DC, George Michael, Barry Manalow, Kenny Rodgers, John Farhnam, Van Halen, UB40, Genesis, James Brown, ZZ Top, Cher, Rod Stewart, U2, Tina Turner, Simply Red and royalty including Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, Prince Phillip, Princess Dianna, and Prince Charles.
After 11 successful years Steve’s career took a ten-fold leap in responsibility when he was “head hunted” to consult to a group of national food logistics corporations on the east coast of Australia.
Later, Steve’s career took another leap forward when he was appointed as Catering Operations and Special Projects Manager with the South Australian National football League. In 1999 Steve undertook additional studies at the University of Adelaide where he completed an MBA (advanced).
During this period, Steve was elected as director of the Licensed Clubs Association of South Australia and within one year was elected as President. Here he took the strong Hotels Association head on, particularly in the area of gaming. Despite being told by the AHA that it was illegal he led the charge and lobbied the State Government for tax reform for clubs in the area of gaming revenue. He was successful and today all gaming clubs in South Australia are millions of dollars better off as a consequence of this reform. Steve lobbied successfully to have legislation amended so the general public could enter clubs without necessarily required to be signed in by an existing member; a first in Australia.
After twelve months he was elected as President of Clubs Australia and New Zealand which saw him representing the national club industry in Canberra on a regular basis particularly zealously protecting the “mutuality” (tax free benefits) tax status that the club industry received on the basis that all surpluses were directed back to the community, much to the annoyance of Australian Hotels Association national body.
After five successful years at the SANFL, despite not having a racing background, he was appointed as CEO of the SAJC, where he was the first Racing CEO in Australia to secure a multimillion dollar naming rights sponsorship for the premier race course, Morphettville, which was renamed Allan Scott Park Morphettville.
However his greatest strategic achievement was the sale of Cheltenham Park Racecourse. His platform was simple; turn a non performing asset into a performing investment. His time at the SAJC, has been recognised as being one that cast aside tradition by bringing commercial reality to a fledgling industry. After eight years his tenure at the SAJC came to an end but not before he left the Club in a very prosperous position. It is now now up to the conservative element to take the club to the next level; an awesome responsibility!
During his career Steve has held many professional and board positions including (past & present (*),
- Executive Member of the Council of Community Clubs of Australia & New Zealand
- Member of Australian Hospitality Review Panel (AHRP);
- Member of Drug & alcohol Working Group
- Member of Hospitality Industry OH&S and Workcover (Safer Industry 2001)
- Member of Gamblers Rehabilitation Committee
- Member of Tourism – Hospitality Training SA
- President Licensed Clubs’ Association of South Australia Inc
- President Licensed Clubs’ Industry Training Foundation Inc
- President Clubs Australia & New Zealand
- Director Independent Gaming Corporation Ltd
- Director The Competitive Edge: consulting to industry
- Director Yamlex Pty Ltd (Commercial / Domestic Development Investments)
- *Director PB Capital Group P/L- Corportate Consulting, Investment, Venture Capital Raising, IPO’s (AFS Licence holder)
- *Director PB Capital Group (Holdings) P/L – Investment Company
- *Director First Global Energy P/L – Energy Assets/ Investment company
- *Director First Global Energy PLC – Energy Assets/ Investment company- Listed Frankfurt Stock Exchange (DAX) (pending)
- *Director Palamedia LTD – New Media/ ASX Listed Company (pending)
- *Director Sookco P/L – Corporate Advisory Management Company