Home 5 News & Views 5 Weld Australia Strengthens Presence in South Australia with Strategic Leadership Appointment

Weld Australia Strengthens Presence in South Australia with Strategic Leadership Appointment

Jul 1, 2024

Weld Australia is pleased to announce the establishment of a new local presence in South Australia, reinforcing its commitment to support and advocate for the local welding and manufacturing industries. With the appointment of Ben Mitchell as Executive General Manager, Strategic Partnerships, Weld Australia is poised to strengthen our strategic initiatives and partnerships within the state. Ben will be based in Adelaide.

Manufacturing is South Australia’s largest sector, contributing approximately 17% of the state’s total output by revenue, 20% of exports, and 7% of employment. South Australia is embracing sovereign manufacturing within a low-carbon, clean industrial future—particularly through the State Prosperity Project—and some of the nation’s largest defence industry programs.

According to Geoff Crittenden (CEO, Weld Australia), “South Australia’s manufacturing sector is vital to the state’s economy and future growth. South Australia’s renewable energy share has surged from 1% in 2007 to 74% in 2023. South Australia is also home to Australia’s richest copper resource, with global demand for copper set to surge for use in sustainable technology such as electric vehicles and wind turbines. In addition, South Australia will be central to delivering some of the largest and most complex defence projects ever undertaken in Australia, including building Australian conventionally armed, nuclear-powered submarines.

“By establishing a local presence, Weld Australia will be better positioned to serve our members and advocate for the interests of the local welding and manufacturing industries. Thousands of new local jobs will be created in the hydrogen, critical minerals and manufacturing industries. Weld Australia’s efforts will focus on much-needed key skills initiatives. With Ben Mitchell’s leadership, we are confident in our ability to support South Australia’s growth and innovation.”

Ben Mitchell brings over 20 years of experience in marketing, strategy, leadership, management, innovation, and business acumen. His diverse experience spans various commercial sectors including welding, agriculture, automotive, aerospace, and construction. This extensive background, combined with his ability to merge a commercial mindset with a people-first approach, has enabled Ben to play pivotal roles in numerous organisational transformation projects.

Ben previously held several key roles at K-TIG, including Chief Executive Officer and Chief Marketing Officer, where he was responsible for the company’s global marketing strategy and spearheaded initiatives to build the brand and generate sales opportunities. Additionally, Ben spent 15 years at Nitto Denko, progressing to the role of Director of Strategic Planning and Marketing. In this capacity, he was integral to creating and overseeing strategic direction, governance, and policy, driving the business into new fields with regional and global impact. Ben holds several professional qualifications, including an MBA from the University of South Australia.

Commenting on his new role, Ben said, “I am thrilled to join Weld Australia and lead our efforts in South Australia. This state is at the forefront of a transformative period in manufacturing, renewables and defence. I look forward to collaborating with local industries to harness these opportunities and drive sustainable growth.”

“Weld Australia will work with government, industry, unions, and education and training providers to ensure that South Australia has enough skilled people to deliver these vital renewables and defence projects. We will progress our industry-leading skills programs, focused on encouraging high school students and women to pursue a career in welding, upskilling prisoners, training First Nations people, and modernising how TAFEs teach welding.”

“With a local presence, Weld Australia will be better placed serve our local members and ensure that the interests of South Australia’s welding and manufacturing sectors are strongly represented and advocated for.”

Weld Australia’s expansion into South Australia aligns with its mission to ensure that the Australian welding industry remains competitive both locally and globally. By being on the ground, Weld Australia can provide more immediate support, foster closer relationships with local industry stakeholders, and actively participate in the development and implementation of policies that will benefit the local South Australian economy.


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