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Dale Roberts, the 2023 Watering Can recipient.

3 November 2023

The silver watering can is awarded by the presidents each year for outstanding contribution above and beyond the call of duty to the advertising industry in South Australia.

After use in the television commercial by Clemenger in 1978, the silver watering can was donated by Adelaide & Wallaroo Fertilizer.

It’s always a challenge for a President to try and get as fair as possible through their speech at the Awards without the recipient being revealed, and this year was no different.

Safe to say, this person is a bit of a South Australian hero. A highly driven individual with an entrepreneurial mindset, who is both loyal and dedicated to both their business and their family. They have been described by numerous people as “One in a Million” which is the kind of calibre we expect for this award. At the AADC Talks the day before the Awards, his name came up as just someone that you can always trust.

From the age of 5 they were always the kid with the camera, making surfing films, holiday videos and school projects.

After failing to get into the highly regarded Film Studies course at Flinders University by 2 points, they took matters into their own hands and started working for free as a dubbing assistant in 1991, aged 17.

They quickly worked their way in to a paid Junior Editing position working on commercials, music, videos, TV shows and documentaries.

After 4 years, they took the leap and became a freelancer working with many Adelaide agencies.

In 1995 they worked as an assistant editor for Oscar-nominated Director Scott Hicks and they got their taste of Hollywood.

In 1996, they bought shares in KOJO, aged just 22, joining founders Kent Smith and John Chataway to launch the company's post-production business.

In 1999 Marty Pepper joined KOJO and the two forged a strong working relationship to rapidly grow the company in South Australia, working nationally and internationally.

In 2011 they left the creative side of KOJO to take on the national role of Managing Partner before becoming group CEO in 2012, the business at the time had 45 people across Adelaide and Melbourne.

Fast forward to today and they are now Managing Director, working with CEO Stephen Lord and Executive Director Marty Pepper to run KOJO across 9 locations in two countries, employing over 120 talented people across its broad interests of Sport, Brand Marketing and Entertainment.

They are a member of the Young Presidents Organisation, which is a global network of CEO’s and MD’s and a Board Member at Ausfilm.

Proud father to Will and Lily, and husband to Shelley who was able to make it to the Awards ceremony, who we're sure he couldn't have done it all without.

Ladies and gentlemen, Dale Roberts.