About Martin Haese
Martin was born and raised in Adelaide and South Australia has always been his home.
Martin’s father, the late David Kinnear Haese, was a lawyer and later a Judge on the benches of the Industrial Court and the Family Court of Australia. Martin's mother Cecily, is a nurturer, traveller and investor.
Martin is married to Genevieve who was born in Singapore and educated in the United States and United Kingdom. Genevieve worked for a global advertising agency in London before founding her own media and wellness businesses in Singapore and South East Asia.
Martin opened his first business at the age of 22 and while it failed, he learned from the experience.
In the mid nineties, Martin then identified a gap in the retail sector and launched his next venture from a small premises in Regent Arcade in the city of Adelaide, South Australia. Youthworks was born.
The concept behind Youthworks was untested and untried at the time. Until then, Generation X bought their clothing from department stores but Youthworks disrupted this orthodoxy at every opportunity and gave a generation of young people a place to call their own.
What started as an owner operated business quickly grew and Martin opened stores in Adelaide’s suburban shopping centres before successfully expanding into the Eastern states.
By the early naughties, Youthworks had grown to 16 stores and employed more than 200 people, many of whom still credit their experiences at Youthworks as a defining moment in their careers.
The fact that Youthworks ‘Alumni’ maintain an active facebook page, speaks volumes about the company culture that Martin created.
‘Leadership is crucial ... Good leaders enable positive change and get things done’
Martin holds an MBA (with honours) and has lectured MBA students for several years. He has also shared his experience and knowledge in other ways, operating a retail consultancy business servicing clients as diverse as small to medium sized enterprises through to several local governments and international REITS.
In 2014, Martin was directly elected as the 78th Lord Mayor of Adelaide and between 2014 and 2018, he led a transformative term of council that realigned the organisation with community expectations and delivered more projects and policies, more programs and partnerships for the community than ever before.
During this time, Martin chaired the Council of Capital City Lord Mayors and delivered keynote speeches at the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Paris 2015 and the World Cities Summit in Singapore 2018.
Despite the heavy workload and frenetic pace of public office, Martin was able to forge relationships and strengthen ties with people from all walks of life. He is as comfortable in conversation with the Works Department staff as he is in the company of Prime Ministers and other world leaders.
Martin is an accomplished public speaker having addressed several thousand local government, retail sector and entrepreneurship events in Australia, Asia and Europe, throughout his career.
While ‘free time’ is often a foreign concept, Martin enjoys reading, writing, nature and the arts but particularly music which he enjoys both actively and passively. Martin is also passionate about historic motoring and especially British vehicles from the 1960's.
Martin speaks conversational French and is learning Mandarin and Bahasa.
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