View all news

Simon Kalinowski wins SCU Young Alumnus of the Year


Zoe Satherley
14 August 2009
Brisbane entrepreneur Simon Kalinowski, head of waste technology company Mandalay Technologies, Australia’s leading provider of weighbridge and data capture software, has been named Southern Cross University’s Young Alumnus of the Year.

Simon is also the driving force behind the fundraising for the University’s Healing Circle project – a national initiative focusing on Indigenous capacity building that aims to raise $7 million from donors and industry partners to fund five key priorities for Indigenous Australian people.

“I firmly believe in philanthropy and giving back to the community,” Simon said.

The Healing Circle project, under the stewardship of the University’s Gnibi College of Indigenous Australian Peoples, is based on Gnibi’s experience with Aboriginal communities in crisis, bringing together proven methodologies for addressing trauma and healing to help individuals shape their future and promote progressive change.

“This is work about which I am truly passionate,” said Simon. “It is crucial to invest in better outcomes for Indigenous people and I challenge other business organisations to get behind the project.

“At the heart of The Healing Circle are community recovery initiatives, undertaken in partnership with Aboriginal communities themselves.

“This is the work Gnibi excels at. It is slow and personal but it has the ability to profoundly affect individuals and communities who can become far more self-sustaining when they have gone through this process.”

Simon’s start in the business world began when he completed his Bachelor of Business at Southern Cross University in 2001. Before graduating, he had already started work in a pharmaceutical distribution company, progressing from trainee to manager, while juggling study demands.

Then in 2003, at the age of 24, he bought Mandalay Technologies, identifying an opportunity in the ailing company which had made a $4 million cumulative loss since its inception and was struggling to continue operating.

“Through my leadership and ability to take the company through change, I redesigned Mandalay’s business model creating a 30-fold increase in revenue over the last 12 months and positioning Mandalay as a stand-alone company in its industry. It now services over 350 clients across Australia, New Zealand and South Africa,” Simon said.

“The next phase of expansion for my company is increasing its participation in one of the most dynamic sectors for the future – green technology for climate change. We will seek to further extend Mandalay’s carbon data capture capabilities to meet the needs of customers in target industries.”

Simon said he was constantly looking for ways to improve his own performance as a leader and manager and the performance of the companies he works with. In addition to his role in Mandalay, Simon also started a financial business in partnership with two colleagues in 2007, to fill a niche in business finance broking. He consults to a range of businesses with turnovers of between $1 million to $300 million nationally.

Despite his demanding business commitments, Simon always makes time for his personal interest in youth and Indigenous affairs.

In the past, Simon has been a member of the National Youth Round Table (the Australian Government's youth consultation mechanism), a committee member with The Foundation for Young Australians (Australia’s fourth largest philanthropic organisation for youth and Indigenous projects), and President of the Young Entrepreneurs Organisation.

He is currently a founding member of Southern Cross University’s Foundation Board and a motivational speaker who has shared his insights and experiences in many different forums.

Photo: Simon Kalinowski, SCU Young Alumnus of the Year.