Nicole Haack is Managing Director of Corporate Communications and Public Relations firm ‘The Message Bureau’, advising clients on high-profile communication and marketing campaigns, branding, issues & crisis management and media relations. Nicole has more than 20 years’ experience in the media, encompassing television, radio and print, and maintains a strong network of contacts within all sectors of the South Australian media, government and corporate sector.
"I was introduced to Variety – The Children’s Charity at the age of 20 and was immediately drawn by the caring and fun-loving nature of the people involved, who were all dedicated to making a difference to the lives of children in need. After volunteering my time to assist with media relations, I progressed to Committee and then Board level. Variety forms a very special part of my life and I continue to humbled by the commitment of its many hundreds of volunteers and the tremendous spirit of the children we come into contact with. They are an inspiration."
Chairman of the Variety Adventure TV Committee
Ron Barton joined Yellow Cabs in 1983 as a motor mechanic. At the time, the firm operated 50 taxis from its base in a modified service station on Main North Road. From these humble beginnings, Ron quickly grew into the organisation liking it so much that he purchased it in the mid nineties. Today Yellow Corporation includes Yellow Cabs, Yellow Couriers and Taxi Trucks, Yellow Buses, Aussiefast Transport Solutions, Consolidated Data Communications and Consolidated Security Services. The fleet totals around 600 vehicles making Yellow Corporation one of the largest privately owned transport companies in South Australia.
Like many, Ron started his involvement with Variety through the Bash before embarking on his first 4WD Challenge in 2007. With a passion to raise money for the kids, Ron bought a concept to Variety for a Radiothon which resulted in him chairing the successful inaugural Kick in 4 Kids Committee (Now Variety Adventure TV).
"I was invited to join the Variety board some time ago and readily accepted the position because I wanted to help make a difference in the lives of the children that need our assistance. I started as a basher not really focusing on the real reason that we were fundraising but that soon changed when I started to see some of the families that Variety helped.
I have been a participant in most of the events that we do as well as working on the Variety Adventure TV project, It is a very satisfying feeling to know that the effort that is put in is assisting in some way to the wellbeing of the families that need our help. I like particularly the feeling of comradery among the variety people. Over the years I have made many friends and have had a lot of fun along the way. There is a lot more work to do and I look forward to being a part of the variety family for many years to come."
Dough Guy (Treasurer)
Governance & Audit Committee
Russell is Head of the Westpac’s Institutional & Corporate Banking in SA & NT. Russell moved to Adelaide twelve years ago and has a passion for the local community and SA. As well as being Treasurer of Variety Tent 75 since November 2006, Russell also sits on the Governance & Audit Committees.
"I became involved in Variety as I saw it as a way to contribute something back to the community, and in a small way, to help make a difference to the lives of the children in need in SA. It has been great to see how Variety makes a difference to the lives of children. I have met some wonderful people that devote a great deal of their time and money to support Variety. You often feel quite humbled by the effort of these caring people.
It’s really all about the people involved in Variety and the passion of these people and their fundraising that makes Variety so special. There are so many that contribute in their own way; whether it be through tireless work to raise money, donation of cash, time or special skill that they bring; they all take pride in the outcomes of what they do and do it without the need for recognition."
Peter de Cure
Immediate Past Chief Barker
Chairman of the Governance & Audit Committees
Peter is a professional Company Director and Chartered Accountant. His qualifications include B.Ec (Adel), ACA and 24 years at KPMG. Peter was first referred to Variety's corporate membership program through a friend. He has developed a strong affiliation with Variety and is Variety's Immediate Past Chairman, a member of the Governance and Audit Committee and so far has participated in 5 Bashes, 2 Four Wheel Drives and 3 V2's.
Peter enjoys cricket, golf and Aussie rules and the odd glass of red and has a love for fishing and Kangaroo Island.
"Having met the existing Board members it was obvious to me that this was an opportunity to do something really worthwhile for the needy kids in SA. Not only have I gained great friendships but a real feeling of achievement and the opportunity to be involved with something really positive for our community.
The best thing about Variety is the feeling generated by the people we work with and the children we work for. I often say that if I go home from work via the office, I arrive home much happier than straight from work."
Chairman ACC Ball Committee
New Projects Committee
Chair V2 Bike Run
Governance & Audit Committee
Peter’s connection with Variety began in 1988 as a Bash entrant, chaired the Bash from 1999 to 2001, chaired the 4WD Challenge from 2006 to 2008, taking the event to new fundraising levels. Currently the Chair of the ACC Themed Ball and former Chief Barker, Peter has recently assumed the Chair of the V2 Classic Bike Run. As the retired Managing Director of Midcity Motor Auctions and Smile Rent a Car and when not in a "Chair" for Variety, he enjoys horse racing, golf and fishing.
"I joined the Variety board in 1998/99 after accepting the position of Bash Chairman and have enjoyed seeing and being part of the further development of Variety as a leader in event management in South Australia. During my terms as chair of the Bash, 4WD Challenge and the annual themed ball, I have greatly enjoyed being part of the success of the committees and entrants as they have fun while fundraising.
In commercial terms our achievement of owning the premises on Richmond Road will see Variety continue to deliver much more to the children of South Australia. Variety's greatest achievements are measured in smiles, often accompanied by a few tears."
Chairman of the Appeals Committee
Bronte Ayres is a consultant Cardiologist and former State Chairman of the Royal Australasian College of Physicians in SA. He was Deputy Chairman of the Ashford Community Hospital as well as sitting on the board of its foundation. He has a passion for growing Merlot grapes in the Adelaide Hills and is a life member of the Brighton Beef Steak and Burgundy Club. His involvement with Variety began as the Bash Doctor in 1991 and 15 years as a medico for the Bash and 9 years for the 4WD Challenge followed. He's been an honorary Medical Advisor to Tent 75 since 1995, is a former Chief Barker and has been a member of the Crew since 2000.
"After 10 years as a bash and 4WD event medic, I was enthusiastic about joining the board to offer professional medical input at an organisational level. The broad level of expertise that exists on the Variety board taught me a lot along the way to prepare me for the Chief Barker role and now Chairmanship of the appeals committee. I am most honoured to be leading the committee that grants the wishes of children in need in South Australia. On behalf of the Variety family that raises this money I love the pleasure we see on the faces of the children at the Christmas and Easter events."
Chairman of the Sunshine Coach Program
Peter Cochrane is the Managing Director of Peter Cochrane Transport, a thriving warehousing and distribution business that delivers daily to more than 1,200 retail outlets throughout SA. Recently, Peter also acquired Northern Kope Parcel Express, the leading supplier of express freight and parcel services in country South Australia.
Peter’s involvement with Variety began in 1989 when he was an entrant in the first Bash. He became Bash Chairman in 1993 and held that role until 1998. During this time he ran six highly successful Bashes with his late wife Christine. Peter maintains his involvement with the Bash, supplying and driving the “Bag Truck”.
Peter was appointed to the Variety Board in 1993 and became Chief Barker in 2003. During his term he oversaw many major developments including raising capital for the construction of a new building to house Variety headquarters. Peter was made a life member of Tent 75 in 2007.
Chair of the Variety Scholarship Program
Deborah is a speaker, business advisor, trainer and sales coach and is the founder and CEO of Acuere Pty Ltd, a business consulting company which helps companies increase sales revenue through working with their sales & marketing teams.
Deb has an MBA from Adelaide University, Bachelor of Arts in Accountancy from the University of South Australia and Diploma of the Security Institute of Australia. She is an Associate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors, a Certified Practicing Accountant (CPA) and a member of the National Speakers Association. She is a board member of the Adelaide Football Club and Golf SA.
Deb also has a successful sporting background as a former state netballer and state league coach and is a passionate supporter of Variety - the Children's Charity.
"Having raised funds and participated in the annual Bash for 7 years – I wanted to do more. I put my business experience and network of contacts to work to help generate more revenue and more giving.
Being involved in Variety is something I wish I could bottle and pass on to the youth of today – I wish I was involved when I was younger! I love the commitment and focus of the organization; the passion and protection – it really is like an extended family."
Governance & Audit Committee
Kathryn and her husband Chris were first introduced to the work of Variety after providing medical support to the SA Variety Bash in 1989. Having completed 25 Bashes between them, they have recently gone into semi-retirement. Together they continue to be business partners of Variety. With a diverse health background Kathryn is currently the Director Organisational Performance and Improvement for the Central Northern Adelaide Health Service. In a voluntary capacity, she has been a member of St John Ambulance Australia for over 30 years and a representative on the SA Voluntary Minister Advisory Group. She has recently been appointed as Clinical Associate Professor for the University of Adelaide and is a Board Director of CRANAplus providing advocacy, education and support to remote heatlh providers.
"Having retired as a basher due to family commitments I wanted to find another way to contribute to Variety and was accepted onto the Variety SA board. I have gained so much from the experience; from feeling in a small way that I am playing an active part in supporting the great work of Variety and contributing to the SA community by supporting a cause I am very passionate about. I love that the high level of monies raised is being directly used to support disadvantaged children in SA."
Scott was first exposed to Variety when his brother Greg was an entrant in the early days of 'Bashing'. Scott's involvement grew when he became a Bash entrant in 1996 and was privileged to be invited, along with his wife Wendy, to join the Bash Committee for 'Cocho's’ last bash. After a couple of years on both the Bash Committee & 4WD Committee, Scott's passion with 4WD’ing saw him dedicate more of his time to the 4WD Challenge as OVZ before taking on the Chairmanship in 2008. Scott & Wendy have also been on the ACC committee since its inception. Scott is Solar Depot's General Manager and avid supporter of renewable energy.
"After many years involved in the Bash, the 4WD Challenge, the Long Lunch and the Adelaide Convention Centre Ball, I was privileged to be asked to take up the 2009 4WD Chairmanship and was also asked to consider a position on the board.
I offered up my candidacy as a board member, as the opportunity to become more involved in the future direction of Tent 75 was very appealing. Participating on the board as opened my eyes to the complexity of running a charity organisation like Variety, with its may varied fundraising channels and events, and keeping the correct balance between the corporate governance, whilst ensuring the fun in fundraising for our many volunteers.
My association with Variety has been long and varied and I have gained so many things, but the predominate two for me has been the opportunity to see how immense the needs are for our disabled and disadvantaged children and the change that Variety can make to their lives. Added to this is the wonderful group of people that support Variety, the Variety family that I call my friends."
Phillip first joined the Variety family in 2000 when he entered his first SA Bash. Phillip became the Chairman of teh SA Variety Bash for 2007 and 2008, successfully steering the event to create a record fundraising level of $2.1 million net. He has now completed a total of 12 consecutive SA Variety Bashes.
Phillip’s background and training is originally in Sales and Marketing. However for the last seventeen years he has owned and operated a number of his own businesses in the Investigation and Collection Industry. Phillip has three young boys that keep him very busy. He is showing them Variety Spirit and two of them now volunteer to assist with the Variety Children’s Easter & Christmas Parties.
I never anticipated that a short meeting with a couple of friends back in 2000 would set me on a path to become involved in a organisation that has provided me with some of the most rewarding experiences of my life. I thought that my initial involvement with the Variety Bash in 2001 was just to have some fun travelling through the outback of South Australia. Almost as soon as I became involved, I realised that there was a much deeper purpose and that with our help, we can make real differences to the lives of children in need in South Australia. At a young age I worked school holidays with the Orana Workshops organisation, and saw first hand that with a little help, you can make a significant change to the lives of children who are sick, disadvantaged or have special needs.
John’s employment and business background includes the insight of Parliament as an Hansard reporter, the competitive nature and challenges of the private sector at SME level and the multi managerial structure and shareholder expectation pressures of the large corporate sector. Most recently John was the managing director of Panurgem Pty Ltd which provided both hands-on project management and also assessment and professional development services and training. The company which focussed on the water industry was sold in December 2011.
John is a Fellow of the Australian Institute of Company Directors (AICD) and a Certified Practising Project Director and Member of the Australian Institute of Project Management.
John is married to Sharon and they have two daughters, Bianca and Mia. Together with Sharon, John has participated as an entrant or committee member in the Variety 4WD challenge over the last 15 years.