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On Tuesday 12 October, the Minister for Training and Skills and Higher Education, Gayle Tierney, announced the membership of the Victorian Skills Authority Advisory Board. This will provide independent advice to government and the Victorian Skills Authority CEO.

About the VSA Advisory Board

The VSA Advisory Board will provide independent advice to the Minister and the CEO on:

  • long-term strategic direction
  • maximising outcomes from the State’s investment in the training and skills sector
  • strategic input into reforms in response to industry and community needs
  • the relevance, quality and equity of the Victorian training system. This may include reviews or reports at the request of the Minister
  • Ensuring the Victorian Skills Plan takes into account current and future needs
  • delivery of the skills and training requirements to support government priority workforces
  • the VSA’s 4 workstreams:
    • data analysis and insights
    • statewide and local problem-solving
    • quality
    • skills development and innovation, including strategic advice to the VSA CEO on the VSA workplan
  • any other matters referred by the Minister.

The Advisory Board reflects the range of skills development needs across Victoria. Each member brings unique experience and expertise. This will help shape strategies for Victoria to adapt to the changing skilling needs of industry and the community.

The Advisory Board will engage with community, industry and providers to plan strategies for skills for Victoria. Learn more about the VSA Advisory Board Chair and Members below.

  • Mrs Lisa Line

    Most recently, Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Pathways and Vocational Education), Swinburne University of Technology

    Lisa has a strong reputation in the vocational and higher education sector.

    Throughout her career, Lisa has focused on modernising the delivery of education in a dynamic and competitive environment. She is a strong advocate for the connection between industry needs, teaching excellence and career pathways.

    Before her role with Swinburne, Lisa was Chief Executive Officer of The Gordon Institute of TAFE in Geelong. She has also held executive leadership positions at The Gordon, and the University of Plymouth in the UK. Lisa is based in regional Victoria.

  • Mr Neville Atkinson

    Executive Manager, Programs and Policy, Victorian Aboriginal Education Association (VAEAI)

    Neville is a Bangerang man from north-east Victoria. With VAEAI, he plays a key role in improving education, training and employment participation outcomes for Koorie peoples in Victoria.

    Neville has worked in senior leadership roles within Aboriginal community-controlled and prescribed body corporate organisations.

    He is passionate about working with the business and broader community to achieve economic and social change for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.

    Mrs Rebecca Casson

    CEO, Master Builders Victoria (MBV)

    Rebecca is the CEO of Master Builders Victoria - the first female leader in the association’s 146-year history. She is a great advocate for her members and the broader building and construction industry during the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic.

    Rebecca has enhanced MBV’s reputation as a credible industry voice by developing strong relationships with the Victorian Government and working collaboratively with industry unions and employer associations.

    Rebecca has held senior roles with responsibilities including international engagement, government relations, corporate diplomacy, and major projects, together with policy development and implementation.

    Ms Lisa Fitzpatrick

    State Secretary, Australian Nursing and Midwifery Federation (ANMF)

    As the current State Secretary of the ANMF, Lisa is a strong advocate for the industrial and professional rights of the nursing and midwifery profession across the country.

    Since her election as ANMF State Secretary in 2001, membership of the Victorian branch has grown significantly from 32,000 to more than 95,000.

    Lisa has extensive clinical nursing experience, alongside professional roles including Trustee Director, Aware Super; Executive Member, ACTU; and Director, Footscray Football Club.

    Ms Elaine Gillespie

    Vice President TAFE, and Adult Provision, Australian Education Union (AEU)

    Elaine has more than thirty years of experience in teaching, managing and leading teams, curriculum development and implementing quality governance processes in the vocational education sector.

    Elaine is a strong advocate for teachers and has extensive stakeholder engagement and conflict resolution skills.

    She has extensive experience working in the Victorian training and skills sector including previous roles at Melbourne Polytechnic and Victoria University.

    Mr William Hamill

    CEO, Rural Industries Skill Training Centre, Hamilton

    Bill is Chief Executive Officer of the Rural Industries Skill Training Centre, one of Australia’s largest non-public vocational training providers in agriculture.

    Bill is an innovative and strategic thinker who is passionate about delivering training opportunities for disengaged learners in regional communities. He is a strong advocate for regional Victoria, where he is based, and has a keen interest in the millennial generation and how they wish to learn and be trained.

    He has held CEO and senior management roles in national organisations including Elders Limited, First National Real Estate and Sanwa Australia.

    Mr Luke Hilakari

    Secretary, Victorian Trades Hall Council

    Luke leads the Victorian union movement in his role as Secretary of the Victorian Trades Hall Council (VTHC), a role he has held for over 5 years. VTHC is the peak body for unions in Victoria, representing over 40 unions and 500,000 union members from every sector of the workforce, both public and private, across Victoria. Under his leadership, Victorian workers are taking unprecedented collective action to improve their working lives.

    Luke represents Victorian workers on a number of boards, and has extensive experience in workplace consultation, policy development, advocacy, stakeholder engagement and industrial relations.

    Dr Susie Siew Yuen Ho

    Associate Dean (International and Graduate Education) in Science, Monash University

    Susie has more than 12 years of experience and expertise in science curriculum and course design, delivery, research and management, with a focus on employability skills and sustainability. She is a strong advocate for the benefits of engaging in non-traditional educational partnerships and pathways.

    She is a proven leader with roles including Deputy Associate Dean Education at Monash University, and Course Director and Environmental Security Specialisation Coordinator. Susie is of Malaysian background.

    Ms Emma King

    CEO, Victorian Council for Social Service (VCOSS)

    Emma joined VCOSS as Chief Executive Officer in 2013, providing a strong voice of leadership and advocacy on social justice issues for the community sector.

    Emma was previously Chief Executive Officer of the Early Learning Association Australia. She has an extensive background in workforce and education issues. This includes the establishment of initiatives including traineeships and partnerships with tertiary institutions.

    She represents VCOSS on a range of ministerial advisory groups and committees. Emma is also the President of the Farnham Street Neighbourhood Learning Centre and a Board Member of the Portable Long Service Authority.

    Ms Fiona MacDonald

    Executive Director, Victorian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (VECCI)

    Fiona has extensive experience in communications, strategy and planning, operations, financial management and systems, and stakeholder engagement.

    Fiona is closely connected to the training sector through roles with Commonwealth Apprenticeship Support Australia and the Victorian Government’s Senior Secondary Pathways Reform Industry Advisory Panel.

    Ms Maria Peters

    Chair, Adult, Community and Further Education Board (ACFEB)

    Maria was appointed Chair of ACFEB in August 2018. She also sits on RMIT University Council.

    Maria has led significant educational innovation within the vocational education and training sector, aimed at improving participation and ensuring strong student and industry outcomes.

    She has extensive leadership experience in the sector and was Chief Executive Officer of Chisholm Institute from April 2011 until December 2017. In 2017, Ms Peters was awarded the Lynne Kosky Memorial Award for Lifetime Achievement at the Victorian Training Awards.

    Maria received an honorary doctorate in recognition of her leadership and contribution to vocational education quality, student outcomes and industry work.

    Mr Des Powell AM

    Most recently, Chair and Board member, TAFE Gippsland

    Des has significant experience in senior executive and leadership roles in education, community and social services, transport and logistics sectors.

    Des has held multiple board and advisory roles and currently is Director, Barwon Region Water Corporation; Director Ports Victoria; Director, Mercy Ministries Companions and Director, Emerging Futures Collaborative.

    He was awarded the Member of the Order of Australia (AM) in 2013. Des splits his time between metropolitan Melbourne and Regional Victoria.

    Mr Gavin Smith

    Chairman and President of Robert Bosch Australia

    As Chairman and President of Robert Bosch Australia, Gavin heads one of Australia’s leading diversified automotive, industrial and consumer goods businesses. The company employs more than 1,600 staff and generates approximately $1.2 billion in revenue.

    In addition to his Bosch roles, Gavin is a member of multiple boards and advisory groups including; Australian Strategic Materials (ASX:ASM), Alkane Resources (ASX:ALK), The Yield, and the CSIRO’s Manufacturing and Science advisory councils.

  • Mr Craig Robertson

    CEO, Victorian Skills Authority (VSA)

    Craig joined the VSA in August 2021 as founding Chief Executive Officer.

    Craig brings a wealth of knowledge in the training and skills field to the role, with a significant career in the state and federal public sector and a reputation as a leader in vocational training policy and reform.

    He has most recently held roles as Chief Executive Officer, TAFE Directors Australia, and Deputy Secretary, Higher Education and Skills, Department of Education and Training.

    Ms Lill Healy

    Deputy Secretary, Higher Education and Skills, Department of Education and Training (DET)

    Lill joined DET as Deputy Secretary, Higher Education and Skills in April 2021.

    Lill has worked across the community, private and public sectors and has held leadership positions in a diverse range of portfolios, all of which focused on greater economic and social inclusion for Victorian communities.

    Previously, Lill has served as Deputy Secretary, Service System Reform, Department of the Premier and Cabinet (DPC); and Deputy Secretary Deputy Secretary, Policy, Programs, Small Business and Employment, Department of Jobs, Precincts and Regions (DJPR).

Reviewed 22 October 2021

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