Gather Round SA’s Business Leaders

APR 4th 2024

Event Details


National Wine Centre


Thursday, April 4, 2024 12:00 PM

Celebrating South Australian Tourism and Events

Join us as we kick-start AFL Gather Round celebrations with a long lunch at the beautiful National Wine Centre of Australia. Returning for a second year, the AFL’s new initiative promises to once again capture the hearts and minds of South Australian footy fans.

Emceed by AFL great Matthew Pavlich, our first panel will reflect on the past two-three years, a time in which South Australia has been able to secure several key events on the national and international sporting landscape.

Special guest, former Essendon player Andrew Welsh will share his journey from Essendon Football Club vice-captain to managing regional housing projects worth hundreds of millions of dollars, before our final panel of AFL talent give their predictions for the much-anticipated Gather Round.

Following the event, guests will be invited to stay on for drinks in the courtyard before making their way to Adelaide Oval for the Adelaide Crows v Melbourne game.

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Our Speakers

Matthew Pavlich

Fremantle’s most respected and admired player in its history, Matthew Pavlich was long admired as one of the AFL’s biggest stars.

He starred in a number of roles for the Dockers over his 17-year career, becoming the first WA based player to play over 300 AFL games – ending on 353 AFL games. Matthew was a six time Doig Medallist as Fremantle’s Best and Fairest player and was named as an All-Australian six times including in the midfield, fullback, half forward and full forward.

Appointed Captain at 24, he captained the Dockers for a record 9 years which sees him ranked 6th all time for games played as an AFL Captain.

Off the field Matthew obtained both a Bachelor of Science and an MBA from University of Western Australia while he was playing. He also completed a 3-year tenure as the AFLPA’s President and a member of their board of directors (9 years). During his career he also spent time on the AFL Laws of the Game Committee.

He has been a brand ambassador for a number of corporate organizations and is now embarking on a blossoming career with Fox Sports and Channel 9.

Matthew also has a number of business interests including PMY Group, Lumin Technologies and PickStar.

Matthew is Patron of Youth Mental Health charity Zero2Hero.

Matthew is married to wife Lauren and they have three young children; Harper, Jack and William.

Andrew Welsh

Andrew is a former Essendon football club vice-captain who played 162 games before retiring at 28 due to injury. Within 2010 he founded Sitetech Solutions, providing the construction industry with on-site safety equipment and site signage, he did this while still playing for Essendon growing it into a profitable business and eventually selling it to a private equity group in 2015.

Outside of pursuing a career in sports media with Channel 7 as a special commentator, Andrew turned his focus and dedication to building Wel.Co where he is Founder & Managing Director.
Wel.Co is a multifaceted development business specialising in building Australian community developments. Wel.Co is involved in some of Australia’s most awarded and celebrated communities. His business continues to grow which now has a $3Bill portfolio of over 10000 homes as well as 50 commercial developments across South Australia, Victoria and Queensland.

After returning to Essendon on the Board in 2022 he is chair of the Football Governance Committee overseeing all football programs as well as recently being elected by the board as Vice President.

Heather Croall AM

Heather Croall is an experienced CEO and Director known as a visionary in the creative sector who delivers innovative festival programs, new audiences and organisational growth.

Under her leadership, every festival Heather has run has seen an increase in turn over, been met with high critical acclaim, delivered increased ticket sales and expanded audience demographic. Heather embraces adaptive and agile leadership methodologies and is known for implementing innovative digital platforms and systems that drive change and growth.

Heather is a filmmaker and has produced and directed documentaries for SBS, ABC, Ch 4 and BBC.

She first worked at the Fringe Star Club in the early 1990’s and also ran the film event, Shoot the Fringe from 1992 to 2002, then was Director at the Australian Documentary Conference before going to the UK to take up Festival Director and CEO role at the Sheffield Doc/Fest from 2005 – 2015.

Heather then returned to Adelaide to take up the role of Director and Chief Executive in 2015 at Adelaide Fringe.

Peta St Clair

Peta’s career spans working in General Management, Events Management, Communications and Marketing Management in a number of industry sectors including Major Events, Professional Services, Government relations, and Not For Profit. Peta’s passion is to help attract people to South Australia to visit, live and work here, which in turn drives our economic growth.

Peta’s most recent work has seen her work with Performance 54 to deliver the 2023 LIV Golf held at the Grange Golf Club which saw 77,000 visitors and drove $65 million into South Australia’s economy.

For this years tournament, Peta is the Director of Guest Services Australia, working with the LIV Golf Team, the South Australian Tourism Commission and major stakeholders to deliver a next level experience which will see 30,0000 spectators a day.

Joanne Chadwick

Joanne has 25 years of experience in leisure events and tourism. As the General Manager Event Operations at Events South Australia, she is responsible for overseeing the event delivery of some of South Australia’s most iconic events including the Santos Tour Down Under, Tasting Australia presented by RAA Trave and the National Pharmacies Christmas Pageant.

Prior to this, as Business Development Manager at Events South Australia, she was responsible for scoping new events for the state, bidding for international and national events and working with existing events that were supported by Events South Australia to ensure maximum benefit for the state.

In 2006, Joanne was a part of the South Australian Tourism Commission’s Trade Events team, that saw Adelaide host the Australian Tourism Exchange (Australia’s largest tourism trade show) for the first time. She was responsible for ensuring South Australia’s tourism operators were able to optimise the benefits from this hosting opportunity. In 2010, the second time South Australia hosted this event, Joanne worked closely with Tourism Australia to ensure that South Australia was showcased to the international tourism trade representatives in attendance.

Nathan Van Berlo

Born in Perth, Adelaide would become Nathan van Berlo’s football home when the Crows drafted him with pick No. 24 at the 2004 National Draft. He debuted as an 18-year-old early in his first season, earning high praise among a talented midfield.

With regular top-ten best and fairest finishes and true leadership qualities, van Berlo was appointed Club captain in 2011 following the retirement of Simon Goodwin. Whether playing as a lead midfielder, tagger or in defence, van Berlo was renowned as a tough tackler.

A 2014 training accident saw him rupture his achilles, an injury which sidelined him for the full season. While he returned to play 20 games in 2015, and reach his 200-game milestone, van Berlo handed the captaincy over to Taylor Walker. One year later he announced his retirement from the game. He accepted an assistant coach role at West Coast before returning to a similar position with the Crows at the end of 2020

Mark Williams

Coach of Port Adelaide’s first AFL Premiership, Mark Williams has a long and storied career as both a player and coach.

During his 12-year coaching tenure at Alberton, the Power qualified for the finals on seven occasions, going all the way in 2004 to claim their maiden Premiership triumph. He again took them to the Grand Final in 2007, where they were defeated by Geelong.

After stints with GWS Giants, Richmond and Werribee, Mark took on the Head of Development role at Melbourne Football Club, where he currently works closely with the club’s younger players in developing them to play at the highest level.