Simon Hackett

Simon at Base64 3Simon Hackett is an Australian business leader who combines entrepreneurial energy with technical expertise. After building Internode into Australia's largest privately-owned broadband company, Simon sold Internode to iiNet Ltd, Australia’s second-largest provider of DSL broadband services. After serving as a non-executive director on the iiNet board for 18 months, Simon resigned that role in November 2013 to become a non-executive director of NBN Co, the government-owned company building the National Broadband Network. Simon has also invested in a number of innovative Australian start-up technology companies.

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Simon Hackett (left) with Jorg HackerAn SA-based airborne research institute that tracks everything from dinosaur footprints to cattle flatulence has received a major research boost from a more than $1 million donation by the Hackett Foundation.

Airborne Research Australia (ARA) was born 30 years ago at Flinders University and has established itself as a unique, national and international research group for airborne research. This donation sees ARA move to an independent, not-for-profit company that will maintain strong links with university-based research and education.  Members of the ARA Board of Directors have strong scientific backgrounds as active researchers and educators at Australian and overseas universities.

The support from the Hackett Foundation will assist ARA to invest in new scientific instrumentation and capabilities, as well as specialist staff to map the Earth in all of its aspects using a fleet of unique small aircraft to obtain new and important information about our living environment, including the atmosphere and coastal submerged features.

Sony VPL-VW5000ESAdelaide’s premier audio-visual specialist VAF Research will this week display Sony’s latest and greatest 4K high definition laser projector - worth $90,000 - in an SA first event at its Kent Town showrooms.

Highlighted by an invitation-only event this Wednesday evening, VAF will demonstrate Sony’s top-of-the range VPL-HW5000es projector all this week, hooked up to breathtaking VAF speakers.

Dubbed the world’s most advanced 4K projector, the Sony VPL-VW5000ES contains dual laser light sources that deliver 20,000 hours of lamp life with as much as 5000 lumens of brightness at a screen resolution of 4096 by 2160 pixels.

Simon Hackett with Pia Peterson

Sydney-based Tesla transport company Evoke plans to grow its fleet of luxury vehicles and expand interstate after technology investor Simon Hackett purchased a 10 per cent stake in the business.

Evoke began operation in May 2015 when the first Tesla Model S arrived in Australia, pitching itself as a zero emissions luxury chauffeur service. The privately-owned company deployed its fifth Model S in August with plans to add three Tesla Model X Sport Utility Vehicles (SUVs) by mid 2017.

Since it started, Evoke has made a significant environmental contribution, avoiding more than 110 tons of CO2 emissions and reducing the need for Australia to import more than 45,000 litres of petrol.

Simon Hackett, an avid Tesla enthusiast who met Evoke founder Pia Peterson through the Tesla community, uses Evoke’s service whenever he is in Sydney.

Max MasonMax MasonResurgent Adelaide restaurant The Henry Austin is delighting diners with high-fidelity VAF SoundWall speakers that match the venue’s fine food and wine with a diner-controlled world-class sound system.

Reborn in the premises of iconic Chesser Cellar, The Henry Austin Restaurant & Bar opened in June this year after a six-week renovation blitzkrieg. By the end of August, enthusiastic word-of-mouth and great reviews were filling the restaurant each Thursday, Friday and Saturday night.

As well as a 100-person dining room and an 8000-bottle cellar, The Henry Austin offers the Hogarth Room, a heritage-listed, oak-panelled, 40-person function room equipped with hidden VAF speakers.

Max Mason, who founded The Henry Austin Restaurant & Bar with partners Tess Footner and chef Shane Wilson, said the VAF SoundWall speakers were perfect for the Hogarth Room. “To offer a room where diners can bring their own playlists, set their own volume and enjoy their own music at such a high quality is a world-class thing to do,” he said.

The new limited edition VAF EVO1 speakerThe new limited edition VAF EVO1 speaker

Australian loudspeaker innovator VAF Research will unveil its first new loudspeaker in three years, the high-performance ultra-compact VAF EVO1, at Melbourne’s International HiFi Show this week.

On the VAF’s 112.5-square-metre stand, the tiny speakers will take up only a small space, but deliver a huge sound from two separate drivers that require no subwoofer to produce strong bass performance. This makes a pair of VAF EVO1s ideal for inner-city lifestyles where consumers refuse to compromise their home music and movie sound experience due to limited apartment space.

A pair of the VAF EVO1 speakers, which measure 366mm high, 220mm wide and 336mm deep, starts at $2999. As well as your choice of timber finishes, the speakers offer a stylish optional finish of vee-shaped blond wood inset into dark wood. The EVO1 is part of VAF’s flagship Signature Series. 

VAF Research, maintaining its nearly four decades of HiFi innovation, will have the first pair of limited edition VAF EVO1 speakers on display at the International HiFi Show, which runs at the Pullman Mercure Hotel, in Albert Park, from July 1-3. The VAF stand will contain the full VAF range of speakers and supporting audio equipment, with represented brands including  Anthem, Densen and Chord, plus compelling show specials.

The VAF team for the International HiFi Show includes the company’s founder, Philip Vafiadis, who will demonstrate its flagship Signature speakers and General Manager, Simon Wilde, who designed the new VAF EVO1.