State of the State Series – Final Event

25 Nov 2020


State of the State Series: Final Event 

Date: Friday 11th December 2020

Time: Webinar 11:00am – 12:00 pm (ACST).

Platform: Webinar – You will be sent a link to the Webinar the day before the start date.

This December event will be the wrap-up session of our ‘State of the State’ series, bringing together experts from government and private sectors to explore key issues with a view to aiding SA businesses to become resilient, adaptive and innovative in the new business environment.

Throughout the series we have been asking important questions such as:

• What is happening with China’s economic recovery and where are the new opportunities for SA businesses?

• What is happening with Australia-China relationship and how will it affect current and future business deals?

• What do our SMEs need to do to stay relevant in the Australia-China business ecosystem?

This event will see a discussion with industry leaders, Mike Brown from Gemtree Wines, who will be talking about the opportunity of sustainable wines in the China market, Mark Roe from Fuse Tec, who will discuss high tech, R & D and training and Karyn Kent from StudyAdelaide, who will speak about international education and its flow-on effect on other sectors such as tourism.

We hope you can join us for this final event in our State of the State series.


Mark Roe, Chief Executive Officer/Co-Founder, Fuse Tec

Mark completed an apprenticeship as an Offset Printer while attending 4 years of college to become a Graphic Artist and Designer.

Mark’s thirst for knowledge begun early in his career. After being employed for 12 months and recognizing there was little more to learn, he would change employment to learn new knowledge.

Mark dreamt of becoming a Production Manager of a large print factory. At age 23 his dream had been realised.

Working long hours and saving well, Mark purchased his first home at 23 years of age and managed to pay the house off by age 27.

Being debt free, Mark now dreamt of bigger things and founded his first company at age 27.

From humble beginnings, Five Star Press begun operations in 1991. As a start-up in a tin shed the initial goal was to create a world best manufacturing company. This goal seemed an impossible task, against well establish companies the globe over. Backing his own ability, Mark accepted the challenge.

Within 18 months Five Star Press won their first state- based manufacturing award, on second-hand machinery. By 1995, Five Star Press won Best Printed Calendar at the International Print Awards. Mark went on to win hundreds of awards and achieved personal acclaim by being awarded “Graphic Arts Person of the Year” in Australia.

Mark sold Five Star Press in 2003, when his wife became seriously ill. Under medical advice, Mark moved his family to a less stressful society, a remote island in Fiji and semi-retired at 38years of age.

Under new management, Five Star press went into administration, in 2015.

In a new country and with no shipping experience, Mark identified a need in the market for reliable shipping. Backing his own ability, Mark lead a team and commence a new company. Bligh Water Shipping Limited (BWSL) faced many obstacles all of which were overcome. BWSL quickly dominated the sea ferrying industry and grew to 3 ships, 11 regional offices, a fleet of trucks, and 140 staff all within a few short years. Mark was annually re-elected Chairman.

Mark’s local reputation grew rapidly and became a business adviser to the Prime Minister of Fiji. Chairing several boards and travelling with the PM on international trips.

Mark resigned from all duties and returned to Australia due to the deterioration of his wife’s health. BWSL under new management struggled to maintain momentum and eventually downsized.

After recognizing a training gap in the medical market, Mark identified a wonderful opportunity to help save lives while creating a scale-able global business.

Mark travelled extensively and undertook initial research into 3D anatomical printing and imported the world’s best technology back to Australia.

Fusetec was founded in 2017, with the goal of manufacturing 3D operable anatomy. Fusetec has a unique and ambitious product offering, which will require a specialist skill set. Mark assembled a research and development team to create intellectual property for the purpose of commercial activities. Fusetec has become an IP centric company in perpetual R&D mode. Fusetec has now formed collaborations with industry and university partners to constantly improve software, materials and anatomical segmentation, while simultaneously rolling out products globally.

Mike Brown, Organic & Biodynamic Winemaker/Managing Director, Gemtree Wines.

Mike works alongside his wife, Melissa Brown – who is Gemtree’s viticulturist and a renowned expert in organic and biodynamic farming practices. Melissa’s grapes are brought to the winery in pristine condition where Mike and his team craft them into elegant and delicious wines, a direct reflection of how and where the grapes are grown. Mike is forever grateful he has made his home in McLaren Vale.

Mike is the managing director of Gemtree, where he does everything from making the wine to wearing out the shoe leather (in a normal year) during his travels from Queenstown to Quebec, sharing the stories of his McLaren Vale wines.

Originally from NSW, Mike undertook a vintage in SA in the early 1990s, shortly thereafter leaving Sydney and his job at the stock exchange to study wine marketing, gaining valuable insights into wineries and winemaking. However, it was the smells, tastes and activity within the cellar that Mike really loved. After working many vintages in wineries around McLaren Vale and France, in 1998 Mike completed his first vintage as a winemaker at Gemtree.

Karyn Kent, Chief Executive, Study Adelaide

Karyn Kent has had an extensive career in destination marketing, including executive roles with the South Australian Tourism Commission and Tourism Australia. She was SATC’s global International Marketing Manager and later Director of Sales before moving to Singapore where she was Tourism Australia’s Regional General Manager South/South East Asia and Gulf Countries. Karyn moved back to South Australia in 2014 to take up the role of Chief Executive with StudyAdelaide, which is responsible for marketing Adelaide as an international study destination. In 2016, she was appointed to the National Council for International Education, which was formed to oversee the implementation of Australia’s first National Strategy for International Education 2025, working with education providers, industry and federal, state and territory governments.

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Event Speakers