Current Board

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ADIA is governed by a Board of Directors made up of both current and life members from across Australia. The most recent board elections were in November 2020. 

These are our current ADIA Board of Directors:

Peter Jacobs

Peter Jacobs (Board President)

  • Senior Vice President Asia Pacific, Foraco Australia
  • Elected Director on 3 October 2016
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How would you describe yourself?

Loyal, engaged and optimistic

How and when did you learn about ADIA, and what made you want to be on the board?

Some of my early mentors and people I had a huge amount of respect for were actively involved in the ADIA. As my career developed I wanted to give something back to the industry and help advance our technical and HSEC delivery.

Companies I worked for back in the 1980’s were industry members (G&K, Longyear). I spent the 1990’s in Canada, returning to Australia in 2002 where I once again became a member. Board membership and the opportunity to participate in the promotion of a professional, respected and world leading industry is an honour.

What’s your outlook for the drilling industry over the next couple of years?

Thing have definitely improved for the better over the past 18 months – a trend that will hopefully continue as sustained growth allows us to develop our people and upgrade equipment. That could, however, be wishful thinking as our industry is renowned for its boom and bust cycles.

If you could change anything about the industry tomorrow, what would you change?

The ability to get a decent return on capital invested over the business cycle.

To deliver safety, innovation and efficiency gains, you need to make a profit – something our clients seem to struggle with!

Todd Symons

Todd Symons (Vice President)

  • Managing Director, Daly Bros Drilling Contractors
  • Board member since 7 March 2009
Marc Adams

Marc Adams

  • Driller/Operations Manager – Adams Drilling
  • Elected Director on 11 December 2015
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Marc grew up in the drilling industry. He has fond memories of time spent on site during school holidays (and even wagging school) learning more about the profession. After becoming a driller Marc worked on many projects from small stock and domestic bores to 1500m geothermal wells. He is excited for the future of ADIA saying that clear goals that have been put in place give the association a promising future.

How would you describe yourself?

Enjoys a challenge

Tell us how you came to be part of the drilling industry?

I am a third generation driller – my grandfather started drilling in 1950s. I used to go to sites as a young boy and would love playing on the equipment.

How and when did you first learn about the ADIA/what made you join?

I used to go to the Christmas functions as a kid and loved meeting people from different companies. I remember seeing the old green/yellow ADIA stickers on trucks and rigs and thinking that it must be a group who is really proud of their industry.

What’s your outlook for the drilling industry over the next couple of years?

I believe there will be big changes towards automation of the drilling operations. There will be some major challenges in reliability of electronics to cope with the harsh environments we work in. I also think there will be major skills shortage in the next couple of years as the mining industry ramps up

Andrew Elf

Andrew Elf

  • CEO, Mitchell Services
  • Elected as a Co-Opted Director on 3 October 2016
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Andrew began working in the drilling industry after six years working within the agriculture, defence and steel industries in various finance and commercial roles. Having worked in the mining services industry for over thirteen years and more specifically in the drilling industry, he has also held various senior leadership roles.

Andrew has completed a Bachelor of Commerce majoring in Accounting and a Masters in Business Administration majoring in Strategy & Planning. Andrew is a Fellow of CPA Australia and is a member of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.

How would you describe yourself?

Hard but fair.

How and when did you first learn about the ADIA/what made you join?

I first learnt about the ADIA was when I was working back at Boart Longyear as they traditionally had someone on the ADIA board. When I left Boart Longyear and worked for Mitchell overseas I really didn’t think too much about the ADIA.
Years later, and now as the CEO of one of the larger drilling companies, I can see the impact companies can have when they get involved to support the industry and work towards making it better for everyone; most importantly the people!

What made you want to become part of the board?

I’m older and wiser these days and have enough industry and business experience to add value to the board and in turn the association and its members.

If you could change anything about the industry tomorrow, what would you change?

I’m a dad and I like to go home safe to my wife and kids. I want everyone in our industry to go home safe everyday too. I’d love to wave a wand and say “injuries be gone from the drilling industry” but unfortunately, it’s not that simple.

Sally Forgan

Sally Forgan

  • General Manager, Eagle Drilling NQ
  • Elected Director on 25 October 2018
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Sally has been involved in the drilling industry from a very young age. Her father’s involvement and her family’s business grew her interest in the industry and she joined in as soon as she had the opportunity.

Sally learned of ADIA through the Australasian Drilling magazine, and became a member after seeing benefit from the information and industry knowledge that the ADIA shares with and through their membership.

How would you describe yourself?

Happy, driven and friendly

What made you want to become part of the board?

I became an individual member of the ADIA in June 2017; though our company has been a member since 2006

I wanted to become part of the board to actively contribute to the ADIA and the drilling industry. I also wanted to improve my personal understanding of the industry as a whole.

What do you think typifies a company that belongs to the ADIA?

Companies that belong to the ADIA are interested in professionally advancing the drilling industry by addressing and improving area including safety and training; equipment design and improvement; and compliance.

What’s your outlook for the drilling industry over the next couple of years?

Quite positive. From 2017 onwards, there have been a couple of positive indicators that the drilling industry is moving up and out of the downturn period that we have all suffered from over the last few years.

Kerry Brydon

Kerry Brydon

  • Lucas Drilling Services
  • Elected Director on 25 October 2018
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Kerry joined the drilling industry through a family friend, Mike McDermott, and has since been involved for over 40 years. He is now looking to give back to the industry through his involvement with the Board of Directors.

Kerry’s biggest push is to make the drilling industry more accessible and open to both men and women alike by improving current and providing further training opportunities.

How would you describe yourself?

A son of a carpenter who ended up a driller.

What’s your outlook for the drilling industry over the next couple of years?

Throughout 2014 and 2015 there was a slow increase in activity here on the east coast which I expect will continue. There has been a very strong increase in the market and I can see this level remaining strong for the next 4-6 years

What do you think typifies a company that belongs to the ADIA?

A company that belongs to the ADIA will demonstrate an unwavering attitude to safety and be committed to professional development of employees.

If you could change anything about the industry tomorrow, what would you change?

Enhance and further the training opportunities to a level where these opportunities appear enticing to people, and therefore promote the drilling industry.

Tim Westcott

Tim Westcott

  • Owner TDW Consultants
  • Member of WA Waterwell Adjudication Committee
  • Elected Director on 21 November 2013
Kerry Brydon

Bill Gardner

  • General Manager, Bunbury Drilling Company Services
  • Elected Director on 11 November 2020
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After leaving school, Bill took a job on a station out of Kununurra in the Kimberly and quickly discovered a love of remote locations and working outdoors. Bill worked throughout Australia and then Brazil before returning to live on his farm in the South West of WA with his wife and three sons. Bill has been with Bunbury Drilling Company for 10 years and has been heavily involved in waterwell drilling for the Iron Ore sector in the Pilbara.

How would you describe yourself?

Enjoys a challenge

Tell us about how you to came to be part of the drilling industry.

I started my drilling career with Swick Drilling Australia on an RC rig in the Northern Goldfields of Western Australia. In these early years I worked throughout Australia on both remote exploration work and mine sites. I enjoyed the geological, engineering and logistical challenges of drilling and have never looked back. My time in Brazil taught me much about planning, negotiating and problem solving. I’m now focussed on continuous improvement in the industry, through equipment, technology and most of all hands-on training for our people.

How long have you been an ADIA member and what made you want to become part of the board?

Bunbury Drilling Company has had a longstanding association with the ADIA, the Linaker family having previously been members of the board. I have come to know a number of past and present board members and feel I have the industry experience to offer value back to the Association. I particularly want to understand what our members want from the Association and how we can deliver positive outcomes for the industry.

What’s your outlook for the drilling industry over the next couple of years?

It’s been a tough year to make any predictions but I certainly think the drilling industry has fared better than many in 2020. Demand for exploration is strong and the mining sector in both Gold and Iron Ore are enjoying record prices. We are again at a point where trained, experienced people will likely be the limiting factor for business growth.

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