Nathan Casserly and Alex Ouwens have built Ouwens Casserly Real Estate into arguably Australia's fastest growing independent residential property firm since establishment in late 2011. During this time, OC have sold well over 2500 homes valued at over $1B, employ a team of over 90+ passionate property people and have accrued over 1300 rental properties.
OC's innovative approach to digital marketing, forward thinking business strategies and cultural structures has seen the business grow into one of the largest and most sought after independent real estate agencies in SA. Alex Ouwens is the current President of the Real Estate Institute of SA.
What a remarkable story by a remarkable young local entrepreneur. The DutchSA leadership series featured one of our own members: Alex Ouwens. Together with his business partner Nathan Casserly he started Harcourts Ouwens Casserly, and managed to grow their new business from 2 to 25 staff in just over one year.
Alex inspired his audience with his story of how focus, dedication and well implemented time management practice lead him to become a ‘corporate athlete'. Being able to shine a new light on an established and saturated industry such as Real Estate is a true achievement. But with their clearly defined corporate values (Authentic, Dynamic & Skilled, Optimistic, Passionate) that's just what they did. Just open the Real Estate magazine in the Saturday Advertiser and see who's properties stand out.
What an amazing night! On 30th April 2013 Adelaide waived goodbye to Queen Beatrix and welcomed the new Dutch monarch. King Willem-Alexander's coronation was witnessed live on the big screen by a large and very orange crowd. Long live the king! See pictures here , and feel welcome to add yours.
The feedback on the DutchSA Employment forum for Skilled Migrants on 21st Feb at Hilton Adelaide was overwhelmingly positive. It confirmed how relevant the discussion about employability for many ‘new Australians' is. Migrants bring a wealth of unique skills and experiences into the country, but how to best fit in and get the opportunity to prove these skills? For many it is hard to break into the employment market, or find work on their own level.
During the forum a panel of four experts gave their view on the local job market, each from their own perspective: Mark Glazbrook (Migration), Amanda Bald (Santos - Employer), Pippa Webb (Government) and Arthur Key (Recruitment). They shared many relevant insights for all participants, but a few stood out: (1) for many reasons the ‘skills in demand' list does not match the actual vacancies in SA; (2) applicants should focus on making it easy for employers to interpret their CV and cover letter; (3) there is lots of help available for job seekers from a myriad of local organisations; (4) it is better not to ‘dumb down' your CV just to get into the employment market; (5) Migrants should be proud of their background and sell the positives they bring.
It is very encouraging for DutchSA to see how many people from different backgrounds participated in this event. It emphasizes that we are all in the same boat and that diversity is what we have in common here in SA. Thanks everyone for joining.
A Dutch father who was left with critical head injuries after intervening in a fight in a hotel carpark has died in hospital. Henk van Oosterom, 39, was assaulted when he tried to break up a fight in the carpark of the Bushman Hotel early on Saturday morning. Three people have been arrested and charged over the incident.
Thursday 9 August 2012 saw another highly successful DutchSA business networking event. Our featured guest speaker this time was Adelaide's leading expert on social media, Michelle Prak. As it so happens, Michelle has Dutch roots, too.
Before an audience of professionals from a wide range of backgrounds at the Hilton Hotel Adelaide, Michelle shared insights into how to get the most out of social media, both in your professional and your personal life. In her presentation Michelle busted some myths and misconceptions around social media, and gave helpful advice on how to make social media a useful tool in customer services strategies, as well as your marketing strategies.
Many organisations have started to use social media as a way to reach their customers and clients - some use social media simply because they feel that it's expected of them, others have put more thought into it, but it is clear that most organisations could benefit from more strategic use of social media.
After Michelle's insightful and energetic presentation there was a brief opportunity for questions, and many questions showed that attendees were quite knowledgeable and interested in social media, but were eager to learn more.
On 7 March 2012 DutchSA launched a new professional networking initiative: the Business Breakfast series. Special guest and featured speaker for this first edition was Bill Vis, the founder of the Adelaide based VIP-Home Services franchise ($110million turnover).
Bill shared the story behind his success, which is due to a number of qualities and regardless of the current economic climate: A keen sense for business opportunities; a willingness to try out new ways and to discard things that aren't working as well; an eagerness to keep listening to new ideas; having goals in your life to work towards and having a care for the people you work with.
Bill stressed that he firmly believes in a flat franchise organisation model, which allows him to coach and mentor his franchisees directly. And he explicitly opened the door for his fellow Dutch migrants to join his franchise. See our video summary.
A packed suite in the Hilton Hotel Adelaide eagerly engaged with Bill, who made sure to spend some personal time with all participants. A great start of what we hope will be a successful series of DutchSA business networking events. Stay tuned!
The third installment of our Professional/Business Networking events series on 18th Oct featured renowned South Australian business leader Rob Chapman as a guest speaker. Currently the Chairman of the Adelaide Crows, Rob Chapman has a long and impressive professional history, including CEO of Bank SA and St George bank.
Rob addressed an audience of over 30 business and public sector leaders and shared his view of effective leadership. His core messages echoed those of Bill Vis in our first event of this series: a leader must show to genuinely care for his employees and should communicate clearly where the organisation is heading towards. Effective leadership requires approachability and consistency in behaviour. Rob insists that in his view the distance between staff and management should be minimized, motivation should be measured, there should be tolerance for cynisism and any if possible leader should take part of new staff induction personally.
Throughout both Rob's presentation as well as Bram LaGrou's interview and the questions from the room, Rob's captivating presence ensured a very engaged and inspired audience.
Special thanks to our sponsors Lagrou Partners and Mackbel Films for making this event possible.
On Monday 9th May DutchSA and the Embassy of The Netherlands hosted an networking dinner for Dutch companies visiting the Ozwater2011 conference in Adelaide.
Guests from various visiting Dutch companies and industry organisations as well as SA companies with interests in the water industry exchanged views and experiences in an informal environment. Guest speaker Joe Flynn talked about the water industry in South Australia, its challenges, and the innovative projects and initiatives that are being undertaken, resulting in astonishing results in water efficiency. What followed was a very engaging discussion about opportunities and challenges between those present around the table.
A special thanks goes to local company Elwa (energy efficient hot water systems) for sponsoring this event.
What a luxury being surrounded by the best wines in the world! Living in South Australia almost comes with the obligation to know our local wines and wineries and enjoy as much is physically possible.
Early November 2010 a group of interested local Dutchies headed off to the Barossa to visit Richmond Grove and Haan Wines. Philip Giesbertz was so kind to organise a special tour around the Richmond Grove processing plant and cellars. Being a large winery, it was quite amazing to experience the size and volume. The tour was concluded by an impressive tasting exercise and run to the order forms.
After a short lunch in Tanunda town, the group visited Haan Wines. Owner Hans Haan is sponsor of DutchSA and runs a unique winery in the Barossa, collecting many prizes and awards for his fine wines for years already. Haan Wines was also awarded Australian Winery of the Year, a tribute by the industry to be proud of. Thanks to Hans' generosity the group was able to taste no less than nine of his wines, each accompanied with a story. Some of Hans' wines like the Wilhelmus (!) have been given an excellent rating by James Halliday of 94 points, a brilliant achievement.
A Dutch Water Trade Mission met with SA business and government officials on Friday 12th March, following a visit to the Ozwater conference in Brisbane. Organised by the Dutch Embassy and Austrade, the mission exchanged research, latest developments, and future opportunities with delegates from UniSA, the independent Commissioner for Water Security, and the management of SA Water.
The core part of the program included a visit to the Water Industry Alliance, a overarching body consisting of over 250 companies representing over $1.5 billion in the water industry. The trade mission ended with cooling down drinks organised by DutchSA and kindly hosted by PWC.
Sustainability, renewable energy and water security are high on our agenda and of our embassy. After last week we feel we're at least one step closer to better water security for SA, by using Dutch knowledge and technology!
A 76-metre clipper that is re-enacting the Beagle voyage of world-shaking scientist Charles Darwin, author of evolutionary handbook Origin of the Species, berthed in Adelaide. The Clipper Stad Amsterdam follows in the footsteps of Charles Darwin 150 years after the publication of Darwin's book "On the Origin of Species" the Clipper Stad Amsterdam, by request of the Dutch Broadcaster VPRO, sails around the world following the route of the Beagle. Stad Amsterdam will be visiting four Australian ports – Sydney, Melbourne, Adelaide and Perth - for VPRO’s Beagle re-enactment voyage. A Dutch film crew, guests and scientists will be on board.
We couldn't have wished for a better start: the first DutchSA Business event was a great success. Around 80 Business contacts attended the Renewable Energy Function, marking the finish of the World Solar Challenge. Although the Dutch Nuon team did not win this time, we heard first hand from their team leaders what a heroic battle they fought to become second. Their team mentor, former space shuttle astronaut Wubbo Okkels, gave us an inspiring view of the future of sustainable energy. Believe it or not, but in ten years time we will all have a solar panel on our roof. And solar charged cars are almost a certainty!
We organise Business and Social events to connect Dutchies and South Australia