Directors and Management

The AADA board is managed by an inspired team with real automotive dealership experience and expertise.

There’s now a member of the board from each Australian state and territory, along with four independently elected Dealers, making up a total of twelve national representatives. What’s perhaps most important about this new board is that the AADA now has input from all sectors of the Dealer community – from small rural dealerships to large metro operations, including AP Eagers and AHG.

The key board members are:

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Terry Keating – Chairman

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David Blackhall – CEO

David Blackhall is a highly experienced  automotive executive with a strong background in finance, corporate strategy, automotive operations and all aspects of marketing and advertising. David was appointed CEO of the Australian Automotive Dealer Association effective June 1 2016.

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Michael Deed – Policy Director

Michael’s considerable experience includes policy and legislation for a major department in Canberra and over 20 years experience in leading professional accounting firms in the world. He has a proven ability to identify, evaluate and articulate emerging policy issues and will be a valuable member of the rejuvenated AADA. This will further the interests of all Australian car dealers by striving for a fair trading environment that benefits all stakeholders. Michael has three children who all work in the business.

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Vinesh George – Secretary

He lists as one of his career highlights his significant involvement in the lobbying and drafting of Part 6 of the NSW Motor Dealers and Repairers Act 2013 which protects dealers from unjust conduct and unfair contract terms, the recent reviews into the grey and parallel imports and the changes to the Franchising Code of Conduct. Vinesh is currently Principal of his own law firm, V.S. George Lawyers, which aims to be a leading service provider to motor vehicle dealers and franchise clients generally. Prior to that, he was an integral member of the HWLE Automotive Industry Group where he spent 4.5 years and published many articles including being the founding author of their Automotive Industry Report. In all he has practiced law for 15 years.

James Voortman – Executive Director, Communications & Policy

James Voortman is Executive Director, Communications and Policy with extensive policy and automotive advocacy experience.  He joined the Secretariat from the office of the Hon Paul Fletcher, MP, Minister for Urban Infrastructure where he was Policy Advisor.

Prior to that James served as National Policy Manager for the Australian Automobile Association and has held other relevant senior roles.

This experience is backed up with a Masters Degree in Strategic Affairs from the Australian National University, as well as a BA Honours degree in Political Science and a Certificate in Journalism. Additionally, James’ extensive and intimate knowledge of the workings of the National Capital has strengthened the AADA’s advocacy capabilities.

He is based in our Canberra office.

Brian Savage – Executive Director Operations

Brian Savage is Executive Director Operations based in Melbourne.

He is a highly experienced automotive executive with an extensive background in policy development, member relationship management and industry relations having held senior positions at the VACC, and with vehicle importers.

Brian has an MBA from the University of Canberra and is a qualified automotive technician. He has responsibility for all operational matters including finance, IT and member services and is playing a key role with the Australian Motor Dealer Council.

Ray Kennedy – Specialist Media Adviser

Ray Kennedy has spent most of his working life in the public relations and communications business both in the corporate sector and as a private practitioner.

Before establishing his own business in 1978 he was chief of public relations at Ford Asia-Pacific Inc. an international arm of Ford Motor Company.

During his time at Ford, he lived and worked in many parts of the world in a senior management capacity dealing with governments and international media, launching new products and working with motor vehicle dealer groups.

He began his career as a journalist on metropolitan daily newspapers before accepting the challenge to work for a public relations consultancy from where he was eventually recruited to Ford Motor Company.

 

Board members include

Ian Field – QLD
Leigh Smith – VIC
Rick Collins – SA
James Johns – TAS
Richard Rolfe OAM – ACT
John McConnell – AHG
Martin Ward – A.P. Eagers
Mark Woelders – Appointed
Paul Warren – Appointed
Graeme Stewart – Appointed
Anthony Altomonte – Appointed
Keith Thornton – A.P. Eagers Alternate
Dave Christison – AHG Alternate