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The Lynne Kosky Memorial Award for Lifetime Achievement is presented in recognition of an individual's outstanding leadership and contribution to the Victorian TAFE and training sector for more than 25 years.

A contribution may be a new innovation, new knowledge, or ways to improve professional practice deemed to be above and beyond the everyday with a long-lasting impact within the sector.

You can learn more about all recipients of this award since 2016 below.

  • Catherine Scarth

    Cath Scarth - 2021 Lynne Kosky Memorial Award Recipient

    Catherine Scarth’s career has focussed on the design and implementation of innovative social, education, employment programs and enterprises in Australia and the United Kingdom. She has achieved this through the creation of partnerships with government, employers and the community sector to deliver programs designed to increase the economic and social participation for newly arrived migrants and refugees.

    Ms Scarth is the Chief Executive Officer of AMES Australia, an organisation providing a wide range of interconnected settlement, education, vocational training and employment services in Victoria, South Australia, New South Wales and Tasmania.

    Ms Scarth is a Board Member of Thrive Refugee Enterprises and Migration Council Australia.

  • Geraldine Atkinson

    A Bangerang/Wiradjuri woman, Geraldine Atkinson has devoted her career to expanding the possibilities available for Koorie people through education and training. For over 30 years Geraldine has been a significant presence in the Koorie and wider Victorian community, beginning as an Aboriginal teacher aide in 1976 to her current role as President of the Victorian Aboriginal Education Association Inc. (VAEAI).

    Geraldine also represents VAEAI on a number of national and state committees while maintaining her involvement at the regional and local level. Geraldine represents all Indigenous Education Consultative Bodies (IECBs) in Australian States and Territories on the Ministerial Taskforce for Education, Early Childhood Development and Youth Affairs (MCEEDYA).

    Lionel Bamblett

    Lionel Bamblett is the General Manager of the Victorian Aboriginal Education Association Incorporated (VAEAI) and has been involved in Koorie education for over 25 years. Lionel has provided advice to successive governments in Victoria on measures to improve education and training opportunities for Koorie people in Victoria and has played a prominent role in promoting Indigenous education and training issues at a local, regional, State and National level.

    Lionel was instrumental in the development of the Wurreker Strategy (2000), which is the central strategy for Indigenous vocational education and training policy development and service delivery in Victoria. Lionel has continued to inform the development of the key policies and strategies in Koorie education and training in Victoria including the Partnership in Education: Koorie Education Policy (1990), the Koorie 2000 strategy, the Yalca policy (2001), the Wurreker (2000) strategy, Wannik strategy (2008) and the Marrung Aboriginal Education Plan (2016-2026).

  • Patricia Neden is a highly regarded and respected leader of Victoria’s vocational education and training sector. She was the former Chief Executive Officer, Innovation & Business Skills Australia (IBSA), from 2008 - 2018 where she made a significant contribution to VET in Australia. At IBSA she championed government and ministerial reforms through the transition of training packages to new standards and ensured training products best supported industry needs.

    Patricia's vast experience covers policy, intergovernmental negotiations, national systems implementation and purchasing arrangements with service providers. She has previously held senior positions in education and her career as a public servant has spanned across various Victorian Government departments, including Industry and Labour, Skills Victoria and the Office of Training and Tertiary Education. In the latter role Patricia was instrumental in the policy development for Securing Jobs for your Future – Skills for Victoria to ensure Victorians a better vocational education and training system to create a sustainable state.

  • Jennie Barrera has a long-established history as an inspirational leader and community advocate supporting the most vulnerable members of the community to establish education and training pathways into real jobs.

    Jennie is recognised as a leader in innovation among the Adult Community and Further Education Sector with her programs setting a quality benchmark for others to replicate across the state.

    Throughout her career, Jennie has won multiple awards, including the Multicultural Award for Excellence in 2009, the Case Worker of the Year Award – Migration and Settlement in 2013, and the Learn Local Legend Award in 2015. She has been the Chief Executive Officer of the Wyndham Community & Education Centre since 2007 and was awarded Life Membership of the organisation in 2017.

  • Maria Peters was CEO of Chisholm at the time of receiving this award and has extensive experience in vocational education and training at a state, national and international level, having held a wide range of management, leadership and governance roles.

    Maria has led significant educational innovation within the VET sector aimed at improving participation and ensuring strong student and industry outcomes. She has been at the forefront of effective organisational change and management in the TAFE sector. Her commitment to industry has seen the development of specialist centres in partnership with industry to meet employment and community need in areas of engineering, manufacturing, health and the trades.

    She has held a range of management positions before becoming the Chisholm Director of the School of Social Sciences in 2001. She was appointed to the newly created position of Deputy CEO and Executive Director Programs in 2008.

  • Bruce Mackenzie is the former CEO of Holmesglen Institute of TAFE, and has dedicated his working life to the Australian vocational education and training sector.

    His drive and leadership has made a difference to the lives of hundreds of thousands of students, providing them with high quality training to develop the skills they needed to gain meaningful jobs.

    Bruce has also made a significant commitment and contribution to the sector in the development of innovative products and practices in technical and vocational education. Bruce Mackenzie is driven by a passion and determination to broaden opportunities for students and to lift the perception of vocational education in the community.

    Over the past 30 years he has worked to establish Holmesglen as one of the foremost TAFE institutes in Australia. His impact on the vocational sector in Australia is, however, much wider than the success of Holmesglen.

    A key attribute is how Bruce Mackenzie has been an innovator and leader, not only in the TAFE sector, but informally and informally developing networks to build capacity, mentoring others and providing strong advocacy on behalf of the whole VET sector.

Reviewed 16 October 2021

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