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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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.

Simon Hackett (left) with VAF founder Philip VafiadisIconic Adelaide loudspeaker manufacturer VAF Research is aiming for strong growth this year with a high profile presence at WOMADelaide, innovative new products and the backing of Simon Hackett.

The Kent Town-based company will provide WOMADelaide attendees with welcome respite from the heat and bustle of the four-day festival in the large comfortable VAF Listening Lounge, which will stream live music from WOMADelaide’s Foundation Stage and the Moreton Bay Stage on high-fidelity VAF loudspeakers.

The lounge will offer free high-speed WiFi access and free phone-charging facilities plus a Combi Coffee van to recharge your batteries. VAF umbrellas and VAF ‘bumboxes’ will give the brand high visibility throughout Botanic Park. WOMADelaide runs from Friday, March 11 to Monday, March 14.

VAF Research founder Philip Vafiadis, who is chairman of business innovation specialist Innovyz and also co-founded Zen Energy Systems, said 2016 was shaping up as a great year for the company. “We have big plans for this year, starting with WOMADelaide,” he said.

Simon Hackett (left) and Philip Vafiadis beside VAF's innovative SoundWallIconic loudspeaker manufacturer VAF Research is aiming for strong growth this year with innovative new products, a beefed-up channel and the backing of technology entrepreneur Simon Hackett.

The Adelaide company sells directly from its Kent Town head office as well as distributing products nationally through selected resellers. This distribution network will be expanded this year, with the goal of substantially increasing the volume of indirect sales.

VAF attracted the interest of Simon Hackett – the Internode founder, NBN director and technology investor – after he bought a pair of VAF speakers in November 2012 to install at his office at Base64, the $3 million renovation of an historic 1865 Adelaide mansion and surrounding buildings that is now a state-of-the-art business centre.

During the past 18 months, Simon and VAF founder Philip Vafiadis have collaborated to define a shared vision for the company’s future and where the market is heading. This has involved streamlining a number of back-end systems, a refresh of VAF’s brand and website and the development of a new national distribution strategy.

Philip Vafiadis, whose other business interests include chairing business innovation specialist Innovyz and who also co-founded Zen Energy Systems, said 2016 was shaping up as a great year for VAF Research. “We have big plans for this year,” he said.