RdL Speaks with Andrew Cooper about his Leadership Insights.

Click the link to listen to Andrew’s story.

Read Andrew’s response and his Biography below.

What lead to your success as a senior manager and leader?

  • It all started early in my career with one word “RESPECT”
  • I have a philosophy that underpins my interaction with people and that is
    “We are all created Equal in Value – but different in function”
  • What this means is that we can relate to all people as equals regardless of race, gender, religion or position knowing that functions can change from one day to the next
  • What we do comes from who we are and being at peace within yourself; from there, RESPECT for others will flow and that is the key to being a good leader

What do you feel are the 3 most important leadership qualities?

  • Listen
    • To your team
    • To your mentors & leaders
    • To your customers
  • Engage
    • Hear the heartbeat of your people and community
    • We have been born with two ears but only one mouth, apply that ratio because people want to be heard
  • Take Action
    • If you say you are going to do something – Do it!
    • Follow up and confirm outcomes
    • Be open to feedback – Good or bad

What advice do you have for dealing with a crisis?

  • Be teachable
    • No one person has all the answers and a good leader knows how to bring the team together to find answers. Often answers come from front line people who know the business intimately well
  • Be steadfast & stand firm
    • Your role is to bring people together and steer the ship through sometimes uncharted waters
  • Be flexible
    • Things can change rapidly and responsiveness to lead and lag indicators is critical in times of crisis
    • Don’t be so rigid in your execution of the crisis management plan that you miss the opportunity for responsiveness to changing dynamics

What is your top tip for future and up and coming leaders?

  • Believe in your people
    • they are the key to your success as a leader and
    • they will respond well if they feel valued


Andrew Cooper Biography

Andrew has a long and distinguished career in technology and services spending many years offshore as Country Director for major subsidiaries. Andrew relocated back to his birthplace in Adelaide in 2016 and was appointed as Director, Future Industries & Advanced Manufacturing with the State Government of South Australia with focus on inbound business investment.

He was the only State Government representative nationally to participate in the Prime Ministers Industry 4.0 Taskforce delegation in 2017 lead by Siemens CEO & Chairman Professor Jeff Connolly.

Andrew secured key investment through a triple helix approach in Photonics resulting in the establishment of the Silanna Technologies partnership with the University of Adelaide and installation of a pico-lab to develop new atomic crystal structures for semiconductor development.

Adelaide remains the only city in the world to have all four OEM’s in Autonomous shuttles with consecutive public interface trials on road as well as other autonomous vehicles being developed in South Australia.

Andrew commenced his career as an electronics technician but moved quickly into management with Hitachi managing service and parts covering five Industry groups for eight years. His career spans over 30 years with companies like Konica, Lanier, Stihl, UMW Corporation (Komatsu) and Cardno.

He has a proven track record of building business both in Australia as well as in emerging markets over 8 years in Papua New Guinea (PNG) trading in goods and services across 14 countries throughout Asia and the Pacific.

He served as Country Manager & Resident Director for Cardno PNG Limited. Cardno is an ASX-200 professional infrastructure and environmental services company, with expertise in the development and improvement of physical and social infrastructure for communities around the world as a project-based consultancy working with private sector with Governments.

As Country Director for UMW Niugini Ltd (Komatsu), he grew the subsidiary to 10 times its size in revenue over 5 years and managed over 440 personnel.

As an active member of the Australia Papua New Guinea Business Council Executive, Andrew was at the forefront of development of bilateral trade with direct involvement in Ministerial working groups and forums at the most senior of levels with both Governments.

Andrew served for four years on the PNG Forestry Industry Association Board and was actively engaged with the business community, Governments of PNG, Australia and Malaysia as well as diplomatic representatives across multiple countries.

Andrew formed very close associations with the PNG Sports Federation and Olympic Committee enabling young PNG athletes to compete in Beijing as well as being a significant contributor to Cricket PNG, AFL PNG, Netball and Rugby. He spearheaded the KOMATSU Sports radio program on FM100 for 4 years reaching over 3 million people per week. Komatsu Sports was awarded a High Commendation from the PNG Media Council 2009, Sports Broadcaster of the year 2010, 2011 and the coveted SP Sports award for the Broadcast presenter of the year for 2011.

In 2010 Andrew was awarded by UMW Corporations CEO & President Dato Abdul Halim Harun amongst a small group of individuals from over 11,000 employees worldwide for his outstanding work with the rebranding of UMW Niugini in line with the new Global direction for the Corporation.

Since leaving Government he has remained active in his consultancy work in capital markets as well as project-based growth strategies for business.