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Save   Share 31 October & 1 November 2024

Presenters

#2024NVC

Alison Wall and Lisa Bale

Chief of Staff and Director VET + Innovation, Future Skills Orgnanisation (FSO)

About Alison:

Alison has over twenty years of experience in the VET sector. Through her work with numerous training institutions and government agencies, she has gained significant expertise in training and assessment, program implementation, and qualification packaging. Committed to building skills within industry she has also led state and national initiatives to increase capability and address workforce shortages, at both NBN Co and Major Road Projects Victoria.

Alison served as a member and Deputy Chair of the ICT Industry Reference Committee, responsible for advising the Australian Industry Skills Committee on the skill requirements for various sectors of the ICT industry and ensuring the incorporation of industry skill into national training packages. As Chief of Staff at Future Skills Organisation (FSO), Alison has led the FSO's transition to become one of ten national Jobs and Skills Councils and integrates the work of the FSO to advance transferable and industry-specific skills in the finance, technology and business sectors.

About Lisa:

Lisa is the Director VET + Innovation at Future Skills Organisation (FSO). She is a VET professional who has held executive and senior roles in the Australian and International VET sector. Making significant contributions in her roles as a teacher, head teacher, and director of learning, teaching, and quality at TAFE NSW and Federation University Australia.

Additionally, Lisa worked for the Human Services Skills Organisation, at a national level as a leading VET specialist, and now leads the VET + Innovation team at the FSO, one of ten national Jobs and Skills Council.

Alison Wall and Lisa Bale

Angela McGregor

LinkedIn

Angela has worked as a consultant since 1999.  During this time she also set up and managed RTO for 9 years. She particularly enjoys setting up new RTOs, assisting with course accreditation, professional development of RTO compliance staff and administrators and the development of assessment writers. A trainer by heart, Angela is committed to  developing the skills of people within the VET sector.

Angela McGregor

Anthea Middleton

CEO - Powering Skills Organisation

Anthea Middleton is an Energy industry leader in workforce planning and development.

After completing her Bachelor of International Business and Human Resources, Anthea honed her leadership capabilities working across various industries, including tech, finance, mining, energy, gas, utilities, electro-technology, telecommunications, government and rail.

Anthea has grown and refined her skills in a range of challenging work environments, from relatively new start-ups, to small not-for-profits, all the way to world leading multinationals like Facebook.

Anthea is the CEO for the newly formed Powering Skills Organisation, one of ten industry jobs and skills councils, focused on industry workforce planning, engagement, and training sector enhancement. Anthea brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to the role, with recent achievements including contributing future workforce skilling research for Australia’s electricity networks, electrotechnology contractors, and the Coal Seam Gas industry.

Anthea Middleton

Casey Helman

General Manager of Education, IVET

Casey Helman is a dedicated Vocational Education and Training (VET) specialist with over 15 years of experience in the education sector. With a passion for empowering students through practical, industry-relevant learning experiences, Casey has become a leading advocate for VET in secondary schools across Australia.

Casey has developed deep expertise in RTO quality, compliance and operations through holding multiple roles in the sector. She has been an educator, an RTO owner, a consultant, in-house and regulatory auditor. This unique perspective gives Casey the ability to look at RTO quality, compliance and operations from every perspective.

Casey Helman

Chemène Sinson

LinkedIn

Chemène is a freelance learning and performance specialist who helps individuals and organisations design, develop and deliver learning and assessment experiences that lead to improved performance.

 She draws on her diverse experiences as an elite athlete and coach, school teacher, writer, facilitator and presenter, to mentor and support experienced facilitators and assessors with their ongoing development.  In VET, Chemène specialises in TAE and has written TAE resources used by more than 150 organisations to date.  She is a regular speaker at conferences and special events.

Chemène Sinson

David Garner

Principal Consultant, [consult dg]

LinkedIn

David Garner is the Principal Consultant at [consult dg] and provides advice, development and research to the VET sector. He has worked in a variety of compliance related roles for over 15 years.  He also currently works in staff roles for two RTOs delivering a range of courses to overseas students in Sydney, Melbourne and Perth.

Most recently, as the General Manager Regulatory Operations for the Australian Skills Quality Authority, David was responsible for implementing ASQA’s regulatory strategy nationally.

David was also Director, Training Quality, in the Queensland Department of Education and Training. Prior to joining the Queensland department in 2005, David worked in and managed training providers for many years. David also has been active in sports administration for over 30 years

David Garner

Dr Deniese Cox

Founder, TeachingOnline.com.au

LinkedIn

Deniese is the go-to source for exceptional online VET strategies that really are effective. Every strategy presented by Deniese has been proven to work in a variety of settings, and has been found by trainers and students alike to improve the online experience.

Having been teaching online since 2013, Deniese knows what it’s like to navigate demanding workloads while learning new strategies for online. Notably, her Masters degree in online learning was completed wholly online – so she’s seen both sides of what works and what doesn’t. Better still, Deniese’s PhD research was all about online VET, and her ongoing research with RTOs in this space means she’s the ideal person to bring us the most up-to-date insights. In short, Deniese helps educators cut through noise around online VET. 

Dr Deniese Cox

Dr Sven Erlic

Senior Education Consultant, Anaximander Academy of Training & Development

LinkedIn

Sven is an Educator, Learning Designer & Learning Strategist. He is an expert in the field of education as well as business and management, originally from a business background and later becoming the managing director of a national retail chain store. He facilitates nationally accredited courses in vocational education and Professional Development and has decades of practical experience designing and developing courses.

He has undertaken empirical research in ethics and critical thinking. He has delivered a number of papers at academic conferences around Australia, New Zealand and Canada. He has a Master’s Degree in History from Macquarie University, a Graduate Diploma of Adult and Vocational Education from Sturt University and a Doctorate in Business Administration from Newcastle University.

He is a passionate, engaging and focused trainer and teacher. He particularly structures programs to provide students with skills in problem-solving, critical and strategic thinking by actively and frequently seeking out to implemented modern, engaging and effective teaching methods and activities.

Dr Sven Erlic

Dr. Shweta Singh & Niv Roy

Director of Teaching and Learning (VET), Central Queensland University | Head of Training, NSW Local Government Procurement

About Dr. Shetwa

LinkedIn

Dr. Shweta Singh is a distinguished professional in the field of tertiary education, possessing a wealth of knowledge and experience that bridges the realms of Higher Education and vocational education
Her unique array of qualifications has created a portfolio of success in the Tertiary education sector. She has over 20 years of experience in the education sector in a diverse range of educational roles from a Teacher to a National leader. She is a published author of several academic books, papers, and has numerous professional development accolades. This scholarly background provides a unique lens through which Shweta brings a nuanced perspective to vocational education projects globally. The academic journey has been marked by a commitment to research and innovation, contributing to vitals of learning and teaching, and specializing in Agribusiness.

As a Director of Teaching and Learning (VET) at Central Queensland University, she has championed the integration of theory and practice. She was invited to represent TAFE Director’s Australia at the World Federation of Colleges and Polytechnics (WFCP) to develop their Global Statement on Artificial Intelligence (AI) in Professional and Technical Education and Training (PTET). Her leadership in Vocational education has been characterized by a commitment to inclusivity, innovation, and a tireless pursuit of excellence for which she has been recognized at the national level.

About Niv

LinkedIn

Niv Roy has proven expertise in a wide array of management functions, She has a keen desire to excel further as a Learning and Development professional. In an extensive career spanning more than twenty years as an educator, corporate trainer, consultant and senior manager, she has managed diverse functions around training activities. For more than ten years in a higher middle management position, she has utilized planning and organizational skills to successfully set up and lead several new initiatives and business units.


Dr. Shweta Singh & Niv Roy

Feren Yen

Director, Australian Trauma Education Centre

LinkedIn

Feren Yen has worked in the VET industry since 2015. She is a lifelong learner and over the years has worked for a variety of higher education providers in a range of roles including trainer assessor, lecturer, coordinator and education designer.

In 2017, Feren completed a Fellowship with the International Specialised Skills Institute on the topic of engaging and supporting disadvantaged students in adult. In 2023 she was awarded an Associate Fellow by the Higher Education Academy (Indigenous Knowledge) and is completing studies towards an Ed.D with a focus on trauma-aware education for adult learners. Currently, she is the Director of the Australian Trauma Education Centre and a Senior Learning and Teaching Specialist at RMIT University.

Outside of higher education, she runs mentoring programs as a Trauma Center - Trauma Sensitive Yoga Trainer and is actively looks to improve teaching practice.

Feren Yen

Helen Tinney, Alison Wall, Anthea Middleton & Natalie Turmine


About Helen:

| Executive Director Training Products & Implementation,  AUSMASA |

LinkedIn

Helen is an experienced executive and has extensive knowledge and understanding of the vocational education and training sector having worked in TAFE NSW and within the TAFE sector in Victoria.

She is driven to create innovative, student-centred learning that delivers high-quality education and training programs and products that make a difference to learners and an empowered workforce.

Helen is accountable for driving the execution of, and leading the development of innovative, contemporary fit for purpose VET training products, supporting collaboration between industry and training providers to improve training and assessment practice.

Her team aligns efforts across the mining and automotive industries to improve system responsiveness, build stakeholder confidence and drive high-quality outcomes for the VET sector, learners and business.


About Alison:

| Chief of Staff and Director VET, Future Skills Organisation |

Alison has over twenty years of experience in the VET sector. Through her work with numerous training institutions and government agencies, she has gained significant expertise in training and assessment, program implementation, and qualification packaging. Committed to building skills within industry she has also led state and national initiatives to increase capability and address workforce shortages, at both NBN Co and Major Road Projects Victoria.

Alison served as a member and Deputy Chair of the ICT Industry Reference Committee, responsible for advising the Australian Industry Skills Committee on the skill requirements for various sectors of the ICT industry and ensuring the incorporation of industry skill into national training packages. As Chief of Staff at Future Skills Organisation (FSO), Alison has led the FSO's transition to become one of ten national Jobs and Skills Councils and integrates the work of the FSO to advance transferable and industry-specific skills in the finance, technology and business sectors.


About Anthea:

| CEO, Powering Skills Organisation |

Anthea Middleton is an Energy industry leader in workforce planning and development.

After completing her Bachelor of International Business and Human Resources, Anthea honed her leadership capabilities working across various industries, including tech, finance, mining, energy, gas, utilities, electro-technology, telecommunications, government and rail.

Anthea has grown and refined her skills in a range of challenging work environments, from relatively new start-ups, to small not-for-profits, all the way to world leading multinationals like Facebook.

Anthea is the CEO for the newly formed Powering Skills Organisation, one of ten industry jobs and skills councils, focused on industry workforce planning, engagement, and training sector enhancement. Anthea brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to the role, with recent achievements including contributing future workforce skilling research for Australia’s electricity networks, electrotechnology contractors, and the Coal Seam Gas industry.


About Natalie:

| CEO,  Service and Creative Skills Australia |

LinkedIn

Natalie has over 28 years’ experience leading employment, disability, Indigenous, community, apprenticeship, workforce development, philanthropic, social enterprise, labour hire and training services across Australia for both not-for-profit and for-profit organisations.

Natalie has been the CEO of Service and Creative Skills Australia (SaCSA) for 8 months. SaCSA is one of the newly formed and Federally funded Jobs and Skills Councils. SaCSA is responsible for working with Industry, Unions, Federal and State Governments to identify skills and workforce planning nationally for the Arts, Personal Services, Retail, Tourism and Hospitality Industries.

Previously, Natalie was the CEO of Campbell Page for 6 years, COO of VERTO for 4 years and the Executive General Manager with Angus Knight/Jobfind for 15 years.

Natalie is also currently:

  • State Councilor – Business NSW playing an active and important role in the governance of the company and supporting the promotion of policy positions.
  • Chair of the Board - Australian Racing Drivers Club (ARDC) which manages Sydney Motorsport Park and the Australian Motorsport Innovation Precinct (Centre of Excellence for STEM workforce development and Motorsport workforce technology)
  • Non-Executive Director - Hydrogen House Australia, promoting hydrogen for the production and storage of renewable energy Natalie also currently plays a workforce development advisory role on committees including:
  • Business NSW, NSW Workforce Skills Policy Committee, to develop/promote the policy positions of Business NSW on workforce skills issues to government, industry.
  • Global Advisory Panel for Institute on Science for Global Policy “Pathways to a Hydrogen Energy Future” program advising on workforce development needs of the emerging industry globally and nationally.



Helen Tinney, Alison Wall, Anthea Middleton & Natalie Turmine

John Blake

Director of Online Learning - Eastern College Australia

LinkedIn

John is passionate about the opportunity to inspire educators and management to excel in shaping the future workforce through the empowerment of quality training. John has 20 years’ teaching experience in EAL/Foundation Skills, Hospitality, and Education and leadership training.

He has employed his practical experience in supporting international teams and classes across 20 countries using creative delivery approaches and contextualised assessments to support, engage and enable learners to apply their learning in becoming workforce ready.

John Blake

Josh Michel

Head of Campus, William Angliss Institute Sydney

Josh has been with William Angliss institute for close to 12 years. Through this journey, he started as a part time cookery teacher, became education manager and for the past few years as head of campus for NSW.

Josh is a chef by trade with close to 30 years’ experience in some of Sydney's (and the world’s) best restaurants. He still works in the industry and strongly believe in maintaining currency, as he can see how this benefits staff and students.


Throughout his personal journey, Josh continues to bring back a variety of innovative ideas and techniques. He is a strong believer in encouraging staff to undertake as many professional development opportunities as possible, and in turn, return these to the team.

As with all things in hospitality the most successful dishes involve finding that right mix of ingredients such as engagement, empathy, and passion. All of these help to create a strong and supportive culture, and in turn, have a positive effect on staff wellbeing.

Josh’s unique mix of storytelling and thinking outside the box will provide another engaging session this year full of tips and techniques which will continue to support the growth and success of our amazing VET system.

Josh Michel

Kay Schlesinger

Director, KGed Consulting

LinkedIn

Kay Schlesinger has worked in numerous educational sectors, including a position as a Deputy Principal where she took responsibility for the professional Development of educators and supported new leaders in the sector. In the last 20 years Kay has worked in VET, Higher Education and as an Educational Consultant.

In 2020 Kay was awarded an International Specialised Skills Institute fellowship by the Department of Education and Training for her work with new teachers. Kay is currently mentoring organisations around empowering new educators for organisational improvement. Developing the capability of educators has been Kay’s passion for many years. She is focussed on partnering with educators to create interesting, interactive learning experiences.

Kay Schlesinger

Kerri Buttery

Founder, Digital Literacy Licence

LinkedIn

Digital Literacy Licence (DLL) is the brainchild of Kerri Buttery, who founded the company in 2021 after a rewarding, decades-long career in the Vocational Education and Training (VET) sector.

Kerri's first foray into education saw her delivering VET in Schools (VETiS) programs in Queensland as a qualified secondary school teacher. This evolved into working as an auditor in the VET sector, then as a consultant assisting RTOs in maintaining compliance and delivering quality eLearning solutions

Kerri is also the founder of VETNexus. An Organisation that works alongside education providers to strengthen the relationship between compliance, technology and innovation.

Kerri Buttery

Kerri Wellington

Principal, Wellington Consulting

LinkedIn

Kerri Wellington is a qualified and highly experienced training and development (VET) consultant with over 20 years of experience in the VET sector. Areas of specialisation include validation, instructional design, internal auditing, audit preparation, post-audit rectification, and training and assessing up to Advanced Diploma level.

Kerri is an engaging and energetic presenter who interacts with her audience and adapts her style as needed. She has a wealth of knowledge that she is keen to share with other VET professionals and she is a passionate advocate for lifting the quality of training and assessment across all industries.

Kerri Wellington

Kevin Ekendahl

CEO & Principal Lead Auditor, Audit Express

LinkedIn

Kevin is the CEO & Principal Lead Auditor at Audit Express. He has extensive experience working in senior management positions across the VET sector and as a board member on health regulation & community organisations. Having built and managed an RTO, Kevin understands the importance of ensuring there is the right balance between growth & compliance.

Kevin Ekendahl

Kevin Ekendahl & Matthew Dale

CEO & Principal Lead Auditor | Co-Founder and CCO, Audit Express

About Kevin:

LinkedIn

Kevin is the CEO & Principal Lead Auditor at Audit Express. He has extensive experience working in senior management positions across the VET sector and as a board member on health regulation & community organisations. Having built and managed an RTO, Kevin understands the importance of ensuring there is the right balance between growth & compliance.

About Matthew:

LinkedIn

Matthew Dale is an experienced professional. in the Vocational Education and Training sector, with over 18 years of experience in various capacities, starting out as a hospitality trainer, Matthew continued to learn and grow into to coordination, management and executive roles in a range of Registered Training Organisations (RTOs). As Co-Founder and Chief Commercial Officer at Audit Express, he has utilised his extensive background, including his tenure as policy advisor to the Victorian Minister of Skills & Training, to profoundly influence the VET landscape through his commitment to quality and compliance.

Matthew's entrepreneurial spirit led to the establishment of Audit Express and Educonomy, a consultancy poised at the forefront of educational innovation. Through Audit Express, he drives client success and innovation in educational audit services. His vision for Educonomy, founded in 2017, was to establish and grow a forward-thinking consultancy that collaborates with stakeholders across industry, government and also at a provider level, to drive the future of education, with a focus on finding innovative solutions for complex problems. A relentless advocate for excellence and the transformative power of education, Matthew's leadership is characterised by a deep-seated belief in progress and a consistent record of enhancing educational outcomes.

Kevin Ekendahl & Matthew Dale

Kylie van Luyn

Founder/CEO, Elevated Coaching & Consulting Global

LinkedIn

Kylie is an international speaker, best-selling author and experienced workforce development and human rights consultant. Kylie is an accredited psychotherapist, emotional intelligence coach, NLP Master Practitioner and a Founding Member of the International Strategic Psychotherapists Association.

Kylie is a Non-Profit Executive with over 15 years of international experience in vocational training and specialised Employment Services, supporting people from diverse backgrounds on their journey to sustainable employment. She is passionate about working with organisations to develop vocational and pre-employment programs that foster workplace inclusion and psychological safety and support individuals to reach their full potential.

Kylie has spent her career working to empower people from diverse and marginalised backgrounds through positive psychology, skills development and economic participation. Kylie has coached & consulted widely with clients and Governments across a variety of industries globally and has a passion for social justice and social impact.

Kylie was a 2019 Australian State Businesswomen’s Awards Finalist in the For Purpose & Social Enterprise category for her work supporting the inclusion and economic empowerment of women from refugee backgrounds across Australia. In 2023 Kylie was named one of the Top 10 Influential Female Entrepreneurs and a Women of Influence Global Awards Finalist. In 2022, her company Elevated Coaching & Consulting Global was an Australian State finalist in the Outstanding Start-Up category. In February 2024, Kylie was named the Human Rights Consultant of The Year by CEO Today Global Awards (USA).

Kylie van Luyn

Laurie Kellie

Senior Trainer , Brain Friendly Training Pty Ltd

LinkedIn

Laurie is a distinguished senior trainer with a global footprint, renowned for his expertise in leveraging contemporary insights into 'how the brain works' to optimize the impact of training and foster effective learning. Since 1992, he has earned the title of one of Australia's Master trainers, specializing in delivering skills-based professional training for adult educators. Laurie's hallmark is ensuring that learners not only acquire knowledge but retain it for the long term.

With a wealth of diverse life and corporate experiences, Laurie has collaborated with an extensive array of groups, ranging from QFES and Government Departments to the Banking Ombudsman's Office, Jockeys, H.R. Managers, CEO's, Railway Gangers, Students, and Nursing Educators. His influence extends to working closely with Medical Consultants and Registrars from major Australian Hospitals, as well as educators in both major and smaller Registered Training Organizations (RTOs) across Australia and the Pacific.

Laurie's commitment is grounded in action, promising to "walk the talk" with a no-nonsense approach that emphasizes practical skills over fluff. Attendees can anticipate an immersive experience where the principles of Brain-Friendly Training come to life, demonstrating their efficacy firsthand. These are the essential delivery skills sought by trainers and fervently desired by students. Prepare to witness the transformative impact of Laurie's approach, as he shares insights that transcend theory and deliver tangible results.

Laurie Kellie

Leonie Webster & Leonie Keating

Head of Course Academic Learning Centre and Leading Vocational Teacher in the Academic Learning Centre, Central Queensland University.

About Leonie Webster:

LinkedIn

Leonie is a dedicated and experienced language, literacy, numeracy teacher with a passion for empowering individuals through education.

In 2015, she joined CQUniversity (CQU), a reputable dual sector university, as a teacher within the Adult Migrant English Program (AMEP) and Skills for Education and Employment (SEE) Program where she was able to hone my skills in supporting diverse learners with language literacy and numeracy needs.

She holds the position of Head of Course within the Academic Learning Centre (ALC) at CQU, leading a strong team of language, literacy and numeracy educators who provide essential support to apprentices, trainees, specialised cohorts, and mainstream VET students.

In this role, she is committed to developing tailored learning plans, implementing differentiated instruction strategies, and fostering a collaborative learning environment that meets the unique needs of each student. Through her work, she not only strives to create inclusive and engaging learning experiences that enable individuals to reach their full potential and potentially exceed in their academic and professional endeavor, but also encourage and support the team to do the same. 

Her team values the ‘VET Equation; Quality Inputs equals Remarkable Outcomes’.


About Leonie Keating:

Leonie Keating is a Leading Vocational Teacher in the Academic Learning Centre at Central Queensland University. 

With 25 years’ teaching experience in Language, Literacy and Numeracy in the Adult Migrant English and SEE Programme, Leonie is dedicated to the delivery of quality contextualised learning support to engage the learner across blended delivery modes, including face to face sessions and online support. 

Leonie assists rural and regional students across Certificate levels I to IV in the VET sector, with a focus on trainees, apprentices, and First Nations students across specialist cohorts, including BHP and Yuwi Corporation.

Leonie Webster & Leonie Keating

Lucy Bloom | Motivator, Innovator, Author, Conference Speaker

Lucy Bloom is the former Chief Executive Officer of Sunrise Cambodia and the former CEO of Hamlin Fistula Ethiopia. She is now a full time speaker and author.

Lucy Bloom | Motivator, Innovator, Author, Conference Speaker

Marc Ratcliffe

CEO & Founder, MRWED Training and Assessment

LinkedIn

Marc Ratcliffe is a multi-award-winning trainer, author and education entrepreneur. He is the CEO and founder of MRWED Training and Assessment, a private RTO that specialises in Trainer Training. He is a strong advocate for "edu-tainment" and believes that learner involvement and fun are integral to student success. He continues to be an in demand conference speaker and workshop facilitator, having presented at more than 50 conferences in a dozen countries in the past decade and was recently named as the winner of the “Best Training and Development Leadership” Award for 2017 at the World Training and Development Congress in Mumbai.

Marc Ratcliffe

Maria Langwell

Principal Consultant, Maria Langwell Consulting P/L

LinkedIn

Maria Langwell has worked within the VET sector for close to 40 years, commencing with TAFE NSW. 

On her relocation to Melbourne, Maria managed several government priority VET and employment service programs within the VIC public service, including contract managing SkillsFirst funding for VIC’s independent RTO sector. 

Maria transferred into service delivery, working at AMES prior to heading up Spectrum Education and Training (SET), where in recognition of the leadership and vision for servicing the most disadvantaged community members across VIC’s northern corridor, SET was awarded the 2010 Small Training Provider of the Year. 

Maria moved to ACPET where she supported compliance and quality across ACPET’s membership base as well as the wider VET community, through her initiation of ACPET’s professional development program and health check compliance services.

 Since 2015, Maria has established her successful boutique Consultancy, offering compliance and other services, including business planning and professional tender application activities to the VET sector. Maria holds an Executive Master in Public Administration and Management, a Master in Education (Administration and Management), a Diploma in Teaching and a Diploma in Quality Auditing.

Maria Langwell

Natalie Oostergo and Siân Tooker

Associate Director, Student Success Advising, USQ and Human Service Professional

About Natalie:

LinkedIn

Natalie Oostergo (she/her/hers) is the Associate Director of Student Success at the University of Southern Queensland where she leads the implementation of strategies to support the diverse learning needs of domestic and international students. Natalie is an innovative and strategic thinker with over twenty years of experience in tertiary and vocational education. 

Her career highlights include presenting at various conferences, receiving an Australian Award for University Teaching, becoming an IEAA Associate Fellow, and making lasting connections with students. Natalie lives and works on Jagera and Turrbal Country in Meanjin Brisbane and Giabal and Jarowair Country in Toowoomba.

About Siân:

LinkedIn

Siân Tooker (she/her/hers) is a human service professional based on Jagera and Turrbal Country in Magandjin Meanjin Brisbane.

Siân has worked in social and community services for nearly twenty years in frontline and leadership roles in intersecting fields of practice including family and domestic violence and reproductive justice.

Siân has a Lived and Living Experience (LLE) of working and studying with invisible disability, and she is looking forward to graduating with a Master of Social Work (Professional Qualifying) in June 2024 following the completion of 500 hours of workplace learning in the social work department of a major tertiary hospital in Queensland.

Siân hopes that providing an insight into her individual experience of invisible disability will encourage authentic and collaborative conversations within educational settings about accessibility and inclusion. #NothingAboutUsWithoutUs

Natalie Oostergo and Siân Tooker

Peter Doukas OAM

Managing Director, Denison Toyer Education Lawyers

LinkedIn

Peter owns and operates the education law firm Denison Toyer.

Working in the field of Education Law and Corporate Governance since 2007 Peter has acted for over one hundred Registered Training Organisations and Higher Education Providers in various stages of the education management cycle. He routinely acts for colleges in the Administrative Appeals Tribunal and provides extensive advice to RTO Management, Higher Education providers, Educational Conglomerates and Universities. His professional practice also includes providing legal and governance advice to listed and unlisted company boards. He has acted in some of the largest cases involving ASQA in the AAT.

Peter is also active in the multicultural space and acts as a volunteer director on various boards. He is the current chair of the Ethnic Communities’ Council of NSW.

He also works providing pro-bono legal assistance to new and emerging communities, particularly in the establishment of associations and governance structures within NSW.

In Australia Day 2020, Peter was awarded Honour of Member of the Order of Australia for services to Multiculturalism.

Peter Doukas OAM

Rod Matthews

Director, Rod Matthews Pty Ltd

LinkedIn

Rod Matthews has developed a reputation nationally and internationally as a leading expert on change and human performance.

He has worked with organisations across the commercial and the not-for-profit sectors for over 20 years. His experience, enthusiasm and natural curiosity have allowed him to build an encyclopaedic knowledge of tips, tools and techniques.

Rod is a voracious reader of many books and an author of 5.

In a world that faces a frightening volume and complexity of issues Rod believes that our hope lies in our ability to think, create, and evolve.

For more information: www.rodmatthews.com

Rod Matthews

Sarah Pavy

Head of Partnerships, ReadCloud

LinkedIn

Sarah began her career as a secondary school teacher of boys, undertaking research and completing a Masters in Education focused on engaging boys in learning. Sarah has spent over 20 years consulting in a variety of areas relating to learning and teaching. Over the years, Sarah has worked with schools, teachers and VET trainers to design curriculum, programs and assessment, effectively implement differentiated teaching, support students with additional needs, build positive relationships in classrooms and increase engagement in schooling amongst young people. In her role running her own RTO, Sarah supported the implementation of VET Certificate II and III in Applied Language across Australia in twelve different languages, including First Languages in remote indigenous communities. Following acquisition of her RTO, Sarah shifted into a management role, overseeing all aspects of compliance, learning and assessment under third party arrangements across 3 RTOs and 50 qualifications. Sarah is currently Head of Partnerships at ReadCloud, supporting relationships with schools delivering a range of VET qualifications across Australia. Sarah is passionate about supporting trainers to engage in reflective and current best practices, to enjoy their work in VET classrooms, Sarah works with schools to ensure positive and successful experiences and outcomes for students.

Sarah Pavy

Sarah Phillips, Melissa Palmer & Kerri Neven

Pop Education

About Sarah:

LinkedIn

Sarah is the founder and Managing Director of Pop Education. Since 2005, she developed VET resources in the online and blended space. Sarah has developed assessments for over 300 unique units of competency and began her assessment career developing assessments for 12 months under the guidance of an ASQA auditor. Sarah’s previous background in e-learning has allowed her to combine her skills to be a thought leader in the niche space of online assessment and has designed models for validating online assessments and assessment methodology. She is highly regarded in the sector for her management of large projects and her personable approach to client needs, and delivers high quality materials and training, leading her team by example. With a Bachelor of Adult Learning and Development, coupled with a Diploma of e-learning and qualifications in Auditing, Visual Arts and Project Management, Sarah knows all facets of resource development. More recently Sarah has embarked on a journey into the world of AI, working specifically with small language models and persona development. 

About Melissa:

LinkedIn

Melissa joined Pop Education and become a Director alongside Sarah and Alex Phillips in 2019. Pre-Pop Melissa has 15 + years’ experience in the VET sector across a wide range of roles and training organisations both in the public and private sectors. Melissa’s career has seen her become a leading assessment specialist. With the past seven years specifically working in roles providing assessment specialist services in assessment development, assessment validation and training and mentoring. Melissa has worked in lead roles on many significant projects with Pop, including developing the simulated RTO for Pop Education’s and Blackwater Projects TAE suite of resources for online and blended delivery. Melissa loves working creatively and collaboratively, especially when exploring new avenues for education solutions. 

About Kerri:

LinkedIn

Kerri Neven is a digital developer, education designer, UX/UI and graphic designer at Pop Education. She  has amassed 27 years of experience as a multi-award-winning educator, leading both teachers and students through evolving digital landscapes. Coming from a family of coders her first post grad study in 1998 focussed on computers in education and concreted the foundations for her interest in the relationship between humans and technology. Since OpenAI hit the world she has supported numerous teams and organisations in the adoption and exploitation of ChatGPT, encouraging the construction of critical and creative mindsets. Always an explorer and early adopter, she is fascinated with the philosophies both behind and in front of AI, and focuses on best practice in utilising technology, keeping humans at the heart of education. 


Sarah Phillips, Melissa Palmer &  Kerri Neven

Saxon Rice, Chief Executive Officer at Australian Skills Quality Authority (ASQA)

Saxon Rice has extensive experience across the VET and employment services sectors as well as the public policy process. Ms Rice previously held a range of senior government, VET and management positions. 

She was Assistant Minister for Technical and Further Education in the former Queensland Government from 2012 to 2015, and Chair of the then Ministerial Industry Commission responsible for industry engagement. 

Ms Rice is a former Director of Global Business Development for an Australian employment services company and was responsible for significant growth into new countries in the European and Asian markets. 

Ms Rice commenced as a Commissioner of ASQA on 16 April 2018, before being appointed as Chief Commissioner and CEO (initially Acting) on 7 October 2019. 

With effect from 1 January 2021, Ms Rice was appointed CEO for a period of five years.

Saxon Rice, Chief Executive Officer at Australian Skills Quality Authority (ASQA)

Simon Hester

Manager VET Implementation & Pathways

LinkedIn

Simon is a VET professional with 17 years of experience in leadership, quality and compliance, teaching and curriculum development. His background as a Carpenter makes him a practical and pragmatic leader who can relate to a wide range of people and take a solution-focused approach to complex problems.

His current role at the Mining and Automotive Skills Alliance sees him taking the lead in engagement with RTOs, VET educators, and State and Territory governments. A key focus of his role is ensuring that training products and other resources developed are fit for purpose and can be implemented effectively by RTOs.

Simon Hester

Stuart Rimmington

Cookery Lecturer/Principal Lecturer Specialist for Teaching and Learning, TAFE SA

Stuart is a Cookery Lecturer/Principal Lecturer Specialist for Teaching and Learning at TAFE SA

He has cooked professionally for 22 years, and currently his tenth year as a formal trainer. In 2021 he was a South Australian finalist in the Australian Training Awards: VET Teacher/Trainer of the Year.

Stuart wants to see a strong VET industry paving the way for those entering Vocational Education to ensure they have the best experience they can. He proudly promotes VET and the careers and opportunities it opens to participants by introducing the concept of lifelong learning.

Stuart has a passion for what he has witnessed over the last 10 years: massive changes in education, thrusting digital capacity upon the sector that needs to be able to maintain engagement with their cohorts.

Stuart Rimmington

TBC

TBC

Tobey Jones

AI, Metaverse & Emerging Tech Enthusiast | Public Speaker

Toby George Jones is a rising talent in the field of emerging technologies, with a particular focus on their transformative potential across various industries. For the past 15 years, he has been tracking the evolution of technology globally, working closely with educators and institutions to harness the power of cutting-edge innovations.

As a passionate advocate for the integration of technologies like Ai, blockchain, and the metaverse, Toby draws from his experience, offers accessible insights, practical applications, and real-world examples that inspire and empower attendees to embrace the evolving technological landscape.


Tobey Jones

Tony Kirton

Senior Instructional Designer and Facilitator, Engage Learning & Development

Tony Kirton is a facilitator and instructional designer with more than a 15 years’ experience in organisational learning and development and VET education.

Known for his engaging and evidence-based approach to online and face to face learning, Tony delivers workshops, webinars and conference presentations with a wide range of public and private sector organisations.

As a facilitator, Tony primarily teaches educators and trainers how to design and deliver engaging and meaningful learning. In the past two years Tony has spent most of his facilitation time working with trainers, managers and senior leaders to improve their facilitation and presentation skills.

As an instructional designer, Tony has overseen and personally designed hundreds of training programs and more than one thousand assessment resources from more than 30 different vocational qualifications.

He holds a Master in Business and Commerce (spec. HR & IR) and two Diplomas in Vocational Training and Learning Design.

Continuing his passion for the education sector, Tony currently sits on the Board of Directors at a Rudolf Steiner School located in the Northeast of NSW.

Connect with Tony via:

Email: tony@engageld.com

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/tkirton/

Web: https://engagelearninganddevelopment.com/

Tony Kirton

Will Wheeler

Founder - Neurodiversity Academy

LinkedIn

Will Wheeler is a social entrepreneur and founder of Neurodiversity Academy. He has been transforming education since 2010. With a decade in the VET sector, he noticed gaps in supporting neurodivergent students in higher learning. Will’s mission is clear: make education neuro-inclusive and guide neurodivergent students toward successful careers.

As the business world shifts, he’s ahead of the curve. By 2027, 25% of Fortune 500 companies will actively hire neurodivergent individuals (Gartner, 2020). Will emphasizes the urgency of understanding neurodiversity in higher education. It’s not just about social responsibility; it’s a strategic move to meet future workforce demands.

Join Will in reshaping education and employment. His Neurodiversity Academy isn’t just about today; it’s about creating a future where diversity isn’t a buzzword but a catalyst for success. Will Wheeler is turning a vision into reality, one neuro-inclusive step at a time.

Will Wheeler

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