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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 250 Learn Local providers, as well as AMES Australia and CAE, 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 that focus on the individual needs of learners and the flexibility to meet their learning needs. This allows learners to successfully go on to further training, gain a qualification or get a job. 

The Board is a statutory authority under the Education and Training Reform Act 2006.

Contact the Board

Post: 

Adult, Community and Further Education Board 
C/O Manager, ACFE Planning and Secretariat 
Engagement, Participation and Inclusion Division 
GPO Box 4367, Melbourne VIC 3001 

Email: acfe@education.vic.gov.au

Meet the Board 

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. 

  • Maria Peters - Adult, Community and Further Education Board

    Maria has been involved in the adult education sector for more than 30 years and was most recently the independent Chairperson of the Future Opportunities for Adult Learners in Victoria reference group. 

    She is a leading figure in the Australian vocational and tertiary sector, who has held a wide range of management, leadership and governance roles. 

    Maria joined Chisholm Institute in 1987 as a sessional teacher in the adult community education and foundation field, and has provided 30 years of continuous service to communities the Institute serves, becoming a highly respected leader in vocational education and training at a state, national and international level. 

    As Chisholm's Chief Executive Officer from 2010-17, she has been driven to improve participation and ensure strong student and industry outcomes. 

    As a recipient of the Lynne Kosky Lifetime Achievement Award at the 2017 Victorian Training Awards, Maria was recognised for leading significant educational innovation within the vocational education and training sector. 

    In 2018, Maria was awarded an Honorary Doctor of Education from Swinburne University of Technology for her outstanding leadership and commitment to vocational education. 

  • Raoul Wainwright - Adult, Community and Further Education Board

    Raoul has a background in public policy, industrial relations and community services. 

    He is a legal officer for the Australian Manufacturing Workers’ Union. Raoul holds a Bachelor of Laws and Bachelor of Arts, has held ministerial advisory roles and has been a member of local government. 

    Raoul has longstanding experience in working with government at all levels and is committed to improving access to educational opportunities for all Victorians. 

  • Sally Brennan - Adult, Community and Further Education Board

    Sally is an experienced education consultant with a particular emphasis on community development and adult community education. She has extensive experience in the Learn Local sector, including 22 years as Chief Executive Officer of Upper Yarra Community House (now Cire Services), and in representing peak bodies at state and national levels. 

    Sally has worked with all levels of government creating and maintaining local and regional services, engaging with communities, and working with industry and education providers to improve learning outcomes for disadvantaged and vulnerable learners. 

    She is currently principal adviser in regional development at Swinburne University of Technology. Sally has qualifications in adult development, including a Master of Education, and is a graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors. 

  • Michael Grogan - Adult, Community and Further Education Board

    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, Michael sits on the Board of Manufacturing Skills Australia and is Director of DMTC (formerly known as the Defence Materials Technology Centre). 

    He chairs the William Ruthven Secondary College School Council and is Director of Evolve in Focus. 

  • Margaret Lewis - Adult, Community and Further Education Board

    Margaret has wide-ranging experience on community boards and committees including Goldfields Local Learning Employment Network, Bendigo Trades Hall Council, and the Victorian Branch Council of the Australian Education Union. 

    Margaret is currently a board member of Castlemaine Health, Remembrance Parks Central Victoria, 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. 

  • John Maddock OAM - Adult, Community and Further Education Board

    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. 

  • Dr Win Scott - Adult, Community and Further Education Board

    Dr Scott is a consultant with extensive experience in the vocational education and training sector. She was Chief Executive Officer of Sunraysia Institute of TAFE until her retirement in June 2016. 

    She was awarded an Honorary Doctorate of Education in 2016 by La Trobe University, and holds a Master of Educational Management. 

    Dr Scott is the Chair of the Mallee Regional Partnership and Deputy Chair of the Regional Development Advisory Committee. 

    She is also a member of other regional and local boards. Before joining the TAFE sector, she was a restaurateur in Bendigo. 

  • Penny has extensive government, community, and private sector experience. 

    As Senior Partner at SHK Asia Pacific, she specialises in executive search and business transition in government, not-for-profit, and regulatory settings. 

    Penny has held senior roles in public service and is the former Chief Executive Officer of both the Responsible Gambling Advocacy Centre and the Victorian Council of Social Service. 

    A long-standing volunteer in adult learning programs, Penny was Chair of Learn for Yourself, a Learn Local provider. 

    Penny has qualifications in social sciences, communications and business management, and she is an experienced non-executive board director. 

  • Dr May Lam - Adult, Community and Further Education Board

    Dr Lam has held senior executive positions in several non-government organisations focused primarily on research, policy, and strategy. Her longest serving role was for Jobs Australia – a peak body that provides policy, strategy, financial and business planning advice to its community-based members. She served there as Manager of the policy team and then as Deputy Chief Executive Officer. 

    Her most recent role was as adviser on governance and social impact at Jesuit Social Services. 

    In 2019, Dr Lam served as a Commissioner in the National Youth Commission into Youth Unemployment and Transitions. 

    She holds a Doctor of Philosophy and Master of Education from the University of Melbourne. 

  • Claudia Fatone is the Head of Operations for Man Cave Global, a mental health and emotional intelligence charity, whose mission is to empower boys to become great men by providing them and their communities with impactful programs, role models and resources. 

    Prior to this role, Claudia was the Chief Executive Officer of the Fitzroy Legal Service, one of Australia’s oldest community legal centres. Her prior work experience has included the following roles - Sector Development Manager of the Federation of Community Legal Centres, Associate Director of Sport Employment Australia and Women’s Cricket Operations Manager with Cricket Victoria. 

    A Graduate Member of the Australian Institute of Company Directors, Claudia is also a Board member of the Victoria Law Foundation, Adult Community and Further Education Board, and the Federation of Community Legal Centres.

    She is a former Director of Cricket Victoria, Melbourne Stars and Melbourne Renegades.

  • James Atkinson - Adult, Community and Further Education Board

    James has a life-long commitment to the preservation of Indigenous culture, language and customs, and the regeneration and continued advancement of his community. He also has 35 years' experience across a range of Aboriginal Services and government departments. 

    James is the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) with the Aboriginal Community Elders Service (ACES). Prior to joining ACES, James was Director, Strategy and Development, Victorian Aboriginal Health Service; CEO of Rumbalara Aboriginal Cooperative; and previously has held senior positions in the Department of Education and Training. 

    James has a strong academic background in public policy and management, extensive experience in leadership and management focusing on the strategic planning, staffing and complex stakeholder management for Aboriginal organisations, and Indigenous education in early childhood, TAFE and the school sectors. 

    James has significant involvement in state/federal government and community advisory groups, such as:

    • Institute Public Administration Australia – Victorian Aboriginal Advisory Committee
    • Victorian Professionals Indigenous Network
    • Australian Indigenous Training Advisory Council
    • Collingwood Reconciliation Action Plan

    He has extensive connection and engagement with organisations focused on certainty of access to services for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, such as:

    • Victorian Aboriginal Child Care Agency
    • Victorian Aboriginal Education Association Inc
    • Rumbalara Aboriginal Cooperative
    • Yorta Yorta
    • Bangerang 

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 voluntary members who are appointed by the Minister for Training and Skills. Find out more about Regional councils of Adult, Community and Further Education.

More information 

Reviewed 26 July 2021

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