Dr. Teresa De Fazio OAM has extensive experience as a former academic and researcher in the fields of education, leadership, inclusion and equity. She is the Director of Intersect Global Partners and continues to be an active community advocate. Teresa is a former Commissioner of the Victorian Multicultural Commission. She has a strong research and publications profile which reflects her interests in areas such as inclusive educational and leadership practices, curriculum development and student retention.
Teresa brings a strong board directorship profile to ACFE which includes Zoos Victoria and Multicultural Arts Victoria. Her own lived and professional experiences provide her with a strong passion for ensuring equitable and quality educational opportunities are accessible to all.
Michael is the State Director of Victorian, South Australian and Tasmanian branches of the Advanced Manufacturing Growth Centre. Previously Chief Executive Officer of Sutton Tools Pty Ltd, he sits on the Board of Manufacturing Skills Australia, and is Director of DMTC (formerly known as the Defence Materials Technology Centre).
Michael chairs the William Ruthven Secondary College School Council, is the Director of Evolve in Focus and is a board member of Melbourne Polytechnic.
Ekrem has extensive experience in primary and secondary education, with of over 30 years of experience in the sector. Most recently, Ekrem was Principal of East Preston Islamic College, having served as Principal for 14 years and was the founding Principal of Mt Hira College. His experience and expertise extends to community and cultural development in CALD communities, specifically relating to Turkish and Islamic communities, with a focus on education.
In 2010, Ekrem was awarded the Medal of the Order of Australia for service to the Turkish community of Victoria, and to education. Ekrem is currently a director of the Yunus Emre Institute and served as Chairperson and Vice-Chairperson of the Islamic Coordinating Council of Victoria from 2002 to 2020.
John has extensive governance and senior executive leadership experience in the tertiary and adult education sectors, including as Chief Executive Officer of Box Hill Institute, the Gordon Institute of TAFE and the CAE.
His governance experience as a non-executive director in the education sector includes the Victorian Curriculum and Assessment Authority Board, Victorian Tertiary Admissions Centre (VTAC) Board of Trustees, Deakin University Council, Monash University Faculty of Education Board, Innovation and Business Skills Australia, Australian Training Products and eCoach boards.
John is a Fellow of the Australian Institute of Company Directors and a member of the Victoria Polytechnic Vice Chancellor’s Advisory Committee at Victoria University.
He was awarded the Australian Sports Medal for volunteer services at the Sydney 2000 Olympics.
In 2013, John was made a Member of the General Division of the Order of Australia for significant service to vocational education and training, and to the sport of basketball.
Ann Maree Playfair boasts a wealth of experience and an impressive track record spanning three decades in marketing, project management, and the development of community-based programs across regional Victoria.
Ms. Playfair's journey includes 10 years of vocational teaching experience, where she actively contributed to the growth and development of individuals. Her extensive professional journey is further enriched by her valuable experience in teaching at both university and TAFE (Technical and Further Education) levels.Her teaching roles have encompassed positions at Mansfield Adult Community Education (MACE), Jesuit Community College/Job Providers, and Australian Employment Training Solutions (AETS)/Job Providers.
She has dedicated a decade of her time to volunteering with community-based organizations, serving in various capacities such as Chair, board member, or committee member. Ms. Playfair has also delivered training at Learn Locals throughout the Hume regional area and her responsibilities have extended to managing Adult, Community, and Further Education pre-accredited courses to ensure their alignment with foundation skills and pathways. Her career also includes a role in marketing at the Transport Accident Commission, as well as consultancy positions, where she has undoubtedly contributed significantly to her field.
Kate Gaffney boasts a 20-year career in Higher Education and Adult Education, including work in TAFE partnerships and pathways programs across Victoria. In 2021, she completed a Global Executive MBA at Monash University, emphasizing governance, innovation, global strategy, financial management, and leadership. Since completing her MBA, Ms. Gaffney has transitioned into roles within the realms of investment banking and corporate advisory with a focus on supporting social and environmental sustainability. Her dynamic career trajectory reflects her ability to excel in demanding and competitive environments, showcasing her adaptability and acumen.
Beyond her professional pursuits, Kate is the proud owner of a sustainable farming business based in West Gippsland where she was born. Her commitment to sustainable practices aligns with her broader vision of advancing the interests of regional and rural communities. Ms. Gaffney is a fervent advocate for enhanced access to educational opportunities. She recognizes the profound impact of education in elevating the well-being and prospects of individuals in these regions, making her an invaluable leader and champion in her field.
Margaret has wide-ranging experience on community boards and committees. She is currently the Chair of Remembrance Parks Central Victoria and a board member of Castlemaine Health (now Dhelkaya Health), Planning for Sustainable Animal Industries Implementation Reference Group, and Joyces Creek Cemetery Trust, in addition to other non-government bodies and committees.
Margaret has extensive experience in education, having been a teacher for 25 years and a principal for 18 years in the Loddon Mallee Region. She was on the board of the Goldfields Local Learning and Employment Network for more than 20 years, and Deputy Chair for many years before retiring in May 2022.
Claudia Fatone is an experienced Executive and Non-Executive Director across sport, community and the legal assistance sector. Currently Chief Executive Officer of Women's Legal Service Victoria, Prior to this role, Claudia was General Manager, Operations & HR for Man Cave Global (a mental health and emotional intelligence charity), and Chief Executive Officer of the Fitzroy Legal Service, one of Australia’s oldest community legal centres. A graduate member of the Australian Institute of Company Directors, Claudia is also a Board member of Respect Victoria and an external member of the Victoria University Compliance Audit and Risk Committee.
She is a former director of Cricket Victoria, Melbourne Stars and Melbourne Renegades, and a former board member of the Victoria Law Foundation. Claudia was appointed to the ACFE Board in July 2020.
Deborah has wide-spread experience in media, communications and stakeholder engagement, with previous roles as Executive Manager, Cultural Development and Community Engagement at the Geelong Regional Library Corporation and as a producer for the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC).
Deborah who is from the Barwon region, has been the Director of her own consultancy firm since 2003, specialising in community engagement, creativity, and workforce development across the arts, government, business, and not-for-profit sectors.
Natasha has a strong background in financial and management accounting and leadership. From 2012 to 2016 she worked in management, accountancy and recruitment roles for Woodside Energy Limited, during which time she engaged with members of the Timor-Leste Development Program and developed working relationships with local universities to support graduate recruitment. She also held the position of chairwoman of an internal organisation to drive diversity and inclusion called Women of Woodside. From 2017 to 2021 she held the role of Executive Manager, Store Operations at Aldi, Western Australia. She has also served as a volunteer at Foodbank Australia.
The Adult, Community and Further Education Board's role is to plan and promote adult learning, allocate resources, develop policies, and advise the Minister for Training and Skills on matters related to adult education in Victoria.
Through the Board, the Victorian Government provides funding to registered Learn Local providers to deliver education and training programs to a broad range of Victorians who are above compulsory school age and who are seeking to gain the educational capacity and core skills they need for study, work and life.
The Board provides funding to around 230 Learn Local providers, as well as AMES Australia and the Centre for Adult Education, to deliver pre-accredited training and other programs that support learners to:
- return to study
- improve their core skills (literacy, numeracy, English language, employability, digital skills)
- gain a qualification
- broaden their employment options
- learn new skills.
Learn Local providers are all not-for-profit community organisations dedicated to meeting the individual needs of learners with flexibility, in a warm and welcoming environment. This flexibility and support allow learners to successfully participate both economically and socially.
Contact the Board
Adult, Community and Further Education Board
C/O Manager, ACFE Secretariat
Adult, Community and Further Education Division
GPO Box 4367, Melbourne VIC 3001
Meet the Board
Under legislation, the Board has 12 members, including a Chairperson and Deputy Chairperson. Members of the Board are appointed by the Governor-in-Council on the recommendation of the Minister for Training and Skills. Members reflect the breadth and diversity of adult education in the community and its links with government, industry and the community sector.
Regional Councils of Adult, Community and Further Education
There are 8 Regional Councils of Adult, Community and Further Education across Victoria, each with a minimum of 5 and a maximum of 9 voluntary members who are appointed by the Minister for Training and Skills. Find out more about applying to of the Regional Councils.
Reviewed 28 September 2023