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The executive search division from a renowned national organisational performance company have, in many ways, come home to the Northern Territory.

Davidson, which has established a respected national presence in a highly competitive industry over the past 32 years, has opened an office in Darwin city centre. 

But it has been recruiting senior managers for the Territory Government and private businesses for several years. 

Davidson has successfully placed more than 20 executive positions in the NT, including the Chief Executive of a Territory Government department, the latest Investment Commissioner and the Police Commissioner. 

Company Chief Executive Trent McMahon was born in Sydney but moved to Darwin in September 1974 and endured Cyclone Tracy three months later. 

He returned from 1980-86 and still has his junior Nightcliff Dragons jersey. 

One of Davidson’s general managers, Imogen Studders, grew up on Groote Eylandt and her family still lives in Darwin. 

 “We’ve got strong Territory connections,” says Trent. “Opening an office in Darwin and extending our services in the Territory was a natural fit. 

“We’re not southerners moving in and telling locals what to do. One of our core values is, we’re here for 30 years, not 30 days. We know the Territory and work in partnership with Territorians.” 

The Territory has long suffered a brain drain – there have been 21 consecutive quarters of net negative interstate migration from the NT. 

Davidson is helping reverse what it calls the “war on talent” by recruiting executives for government, private enterprise and Indigenous organisations, and is pushing into the resources industry. 

The company’s Territory head, Ryan Webster, says recruiting high-flying executives takes a great deal of skill. 

“We find the right candidate for the right job at the right time,” he says.

“We attract excellent candidates by stressing the Territory’s great advantages. It’s a small jurisdiction, which means senior managers can have a much greater effect on outcomes than those in bigger cities. 


“The Territory’s closeness to Asia is also attractive. 

“And people who take on senior jobs in the NT are a big part of the community – in the Territory you meet Cabinet Ministers in the grocery store. 

“We tell candidates that the opportunities in the Territory are marvellous and it has a great lifestyle. 

“Of course, there are challenges and so often people emphasise the reasons why you shouldn’t move to the Territory. But we stress the reasons why you should – and there are a lot of them.” 

He says some candidates are interested in settling in the Territory for the long term but others see a job in the NT as a way to accelerate their careers and plan to stay for only a few years … although the “I only came here for a few months – that was 30 years ago” is a common story. 

Trent says top-class Territory Government chief executives are important to achieving the “ambitious yet exciting” goal of a $40 billion economy by 2030. 

Davidson has a proven track record of recruiting first-rate candidates. 

But it takes a holistic approach to workplace performance that goes beyond recruitment and includes business advisory and technology consulting designed to support Territory businesses to improve revenue, reduce costs, improve stakeholder outcomes and increase efficiencies. 

“We give the same advice to government, private business and candidates as we would give to a close friend or relative,” Trent says. “We always go above and beyond to ensure we deliver for our clients.” 

Candidates are thoroughly vetted before being presented to clients as potential recruits. 

Davidson supports the retention of talent in the Territory in innovative ways, including the unique x180 program, which provides newlyplaced executives with an “executive companion” and personalised experience designed to help them transition into their new role. 

The company also takes part in community development through partnerships with not-for-profit organisations such as Yalari, which offers secondary boarding school scholarships to Indigenous children, many of them from the Territory. 

Davidson also has offices in Adelaide, Brisbane, Canberra, Melbourne and Sydney.



3/40 Cavenagh Street, Darwin City

NT 0800

08 8980 5700