​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​In 2016, the Training Providers Forum program will include three discussion panels, a selection of information sessions, and workshops showcasing examples of good practice and innovation.

Three panels have been set up to discuss the following topics during the plenary sessions at the Forum:

  • Competition, the Federation and quality. Where to from here?
  • Student perspectives on VET – improving the student experience
  • New arrangements for training product development for Australian industry. The Australian Industry Skills Committee, Industry Reference Committees and Skills Service Organisations explained.

For further information on discussion panels and workshops, watch for updates on the 'Program'​ tab as they become available.

speaker Cheryl Edwardes
panel Rod Camm
panel Simon Walker
panel Michael Lavarch
facilitator Ruth Shean
speaker Fona Kalaf
panel Jared Stone
panel Sandra Van Der Gaag
panel Taylor Wood
facilitator Rod Camm
Jason Ash | MRWED Training and Assessment

Jason Ash has more than 13 years of training and assessment experience, gained predominantly in corporate environments. He has specialised in delivering training in sales, coaching, business communication and management.

Jason was the winner of the Platinum Award for ‘Best Young Learning Leader’ at the 2011, LearnX Asia-Pacific Awards, and was named a young trainer to watch by US Training Magazine in 2012. In addition to his dynamic face-to-face facilitation, Jason has built skills in developing effective online training programs and has been heavily involved in the customisation of training material to meet unique client needs.

Jason is a two-time ‘MRWED Trainer of the Year’ and is one of only three trainers to be certified in Bob Pike’s Train-the-Trainer Boot Camp, the world’s most well-respected trainer training program.

A strong advocate for the participant-centred approach to training, Jason has spoken on the topic of Creative Training Techniques at conferences all over Australia and at multiple events in the United States. Most recently Jason was named as the top presenter at the Annual Creative Training Techniques conference in Minneapolis (2014).

Karen Barber | North Metropolitan TAFE

Karen Barber is the vice president of the Australian Council of TESOL* (ACTA) and is a teacher in the Adult Migrant English Program (AMEP) at Central Institute of Technology (North Metropolitan TAFE after April 11). Her areas of expertise include developing specialist TESOL courses, classroom research and linguistic mindfulness. While she has managed and taught at language schools in China, as well as working in marketing, public education and public works engineering, Karen most loves teaching in the AMEP with its exciting challenges, complications and delight. She has a Master of Education in TESOL and a Bachelor of Science in civil engineering. Most recently she has written the ‘Carly and Kumar’ reader series.

*Teachers of English to Speakers of Other Languages

Rod Camm | CEO, ACPET

Rod Camm is the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Australian Council of Private Education and Training (ACPET).

He has had a long career in the vocational education and training (VET) field including as Managing Director at the National Centre for Vocational Education Research (NCVER), and CEO of Skills Queensland. Before that he was Associate Director-General of the Queensland Department of Education and Training, and CEO of Construction Skills Queensland. He has performed numerous other executive roles across government and has sustained a strong relationship with industry.

As well as being recognised for leading VET and industry policy and strategy, Rod has completed an Executive Masters in Public Administration and has considerable experience in industrial relations.​

Kevin Coombes | Director of Training Resource Allocation, Department of Training and Workforce Development

Kevin has 35 years’ experience in Government in Western Australia. During this time he has worked in a variety of organisations including the Department of Corrective Services, Authority for Intellectually Handicapped Persons, Department of Education and Training and Polytechnic West. He is currently the Director of Training Resource Allocation with the Department of Training and Workforce Development.

In this role Kevin is responsible for directing and managing purchasing strategies for the procurement of training from private and public training providers in accordance with state training priorities, and manages an annual budget in excess of $450 million. As a result of his current and previous work experience Kevin has high level knowledge and expertise in Government procurement, contract and budget management, business and strategic planning, and policy and program development and evaluation.

Kevin holds a Bachelor of Applied Science, a Graduate Diploma of Occupational Psychology, and a Graduate Diploma in Business Administration. He is also a graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.​

The Hon. Cheryl Edwardes | Member of the ‘Reform of the Federation Expert Advisory Panel to the Prime Minister’ since 2014 and Chair of the 2015 ‘Training Sector Reform Project’

Cheryl Edwardes is a former Attorney-General for Western Australia and Minister for the Environment. More recently she has been Executive General Manager for External Affairs, Government Relations and Approvals at Hancock Prospecting and Senior Advisor Strategic Communications at FTI Consulting.

Cheryl has been a part of the ‘Reform of the Federation Expert Advisory Panel to the Prime Minister’ since 2014 and in 2015 chaired the ‘Training Sector Reform Project’ looking at the function and structure of Western Australia’s public training system.​

Emily Fraser | Newton Moore Education Support Centre

Emily Fraser has worked in the education sector for the past 12 months as the VET Coordinator at Newton Moore Education Support Centre. Prior to this she worked in Local Government in Occupational Safety and Health. Emily has achieved a Bachelor in Health Science, majoring in Occupational Safety and Health, and a Graduate Diploma in Education that lead her to her current role.

Suzi Hewlett | A/g Group Manager, Industry Skills and Quality, Australian Government Department of Education and Training

Suzie Hewlett has national and international experience including a range of positions within: the Australian Public Service, a Ministerial Office, an inter-governmental agency – the Commonwealth Secretariat, local government, the community sector and the private sector.

She has had significant involvement in the development and implementation of key aspects of the Australian Government’s reform agendas in tertiary education, Indigenous employment and education, and youth affairs​​

Michelle Hoad | Managing Director, North Metropolitan TAFE

Michelle Hoad is the Managing Director at North Metropolitan TAFE.

Michelle's organisational/industrial psychology background has led to management and leadership roles in the implementation of quality systems, governance and culture change in a higher education and training context.​​

Fiona Kalaf | CEO, Youth Focus WA 2015 Finalist Telstra WA Business Women's Awards

Fiona Kalaf is a management professional who has held senior executive positions in commercial, corporate and not-for-profit organisations.

She is currently the CEO at Youth Focus WA and is a board member on the Metropolitan Redevelopment Authority, and the Australian Institute of Management.​​

The Hon. Michael Lavarch AO | Commissioner, Risk Analysis and Investigation

Michael Lavarch commenced as a Commissioner at ASQA in 2012. He has extensive experience in Higher Education and the public policy process. He is a former Dean of the Faculty of Law of the Queensland University of Technology and Secretary-General of the Law Council of Australia.

From 1987 to 1996, Mr Lavarch was a Member of the Australian Parliament, and he served as Attorney-General from 1993 to 1996. He was made an Officer of the Order of Australia in 2012 for his contribution to the law, education and human rights.​​

Nigel Haywood | General Manager, Education and Workskills, National Energy Resources Australia

Nigel has substantial experience in vocational education and training policy and delivery issues, having held policy and leadership roles within the Western Australian Department of Education and Training and the Australian National Training Authority (ANTA).

Nigel was also the Project Director for Challenger Institute’s $23 million Australian Centre for Energy and Process Training (ACEPT) based at Henderson, south of Fremantle in the Australian Maritime Complex (AMC). He has private sector experience as Chief Executive Officer for the Civil Contractors Federation (CCF) in Western Australia.

Following a period living in Beijing, Nigel returned to Western Australia and was the Manager, Resources Industry Training Council where he was responsible for providing advocacy and facilitation of policy and programs across the oil and gas, mining and downstream processing industries. In this role, He was responsible for providing workforce development related advice and information on the RITC industries to the Department of Training and Workforce

Debra Lunt | North Metropolitan TAFE

Debra Lunt works as a Learning and Development Consultant at Central Institute of Technology (North Metropolitan TAFE after April 11) in Northbridge. She enjoys working with staff on a wide range of programs, including language literacy and numeracy. Her current areas of interest include effective communication in the workplace, the role of co-operative learning in reaching students at risk and the role of training in organisational cultural change.

Catherine MacDougall | Cyril Jackson Senior Campus

Catherine MacDougall initiated the 5000 meals program, which is now running in over 30 schools throughout the state. This program value adds to current Certificate delivery while also providing meals for the homeless. Further projects have included Kambarang, the CEO Sleepout and the WA Mental Health Associate Breakfast. The aim in being part of these projects is to work with and support the youth of WA to engage with one another across all educational sectors.


Beth Marr has extensive experience in adult numeracy teaching, curriculum writing, resource production and professional development. She was the lead writer of many Australian adult numeracy resources, including Mathematics: A new beginning; Strength in Numbers; Breaking the Maths Barrier and Numeracy on the Line. These resources have been widely used in Australia and internationally for over 20 years. Beth’s most recent production for the Victorian Adult Literacy and Basic Education Council, 2015, celebrates the success of these publications by updating and supplementing the best activities to create a new, updated collection: Building Strength with Numeracy, which is currently available on line.

Beth has conducted successful interactive professional development workshops for teachers all over Australia as well as in developing countries. Her numeracy education work includes workplace numeracy training in Australia and more recently in East Timor. She has also written curriculum and resources for Timor's newly developing vocational education system.

In WA, Beth has conducted the intensive professional development program, Collaborative Numeracy: working together to build numeracy skills in adults, as well as a condensed version of the program, Practical Strategies for teaching adult numeracy for several years. On request, she has also adapted and delivered aspects of these programs to suit the needs of other educational organisations as in-house training.

Katherine McGregor | National Centre for Vocational Education Research (NCVER)

Katherine McGregor is a Senior Research Officer at the National Centre for Vocational Education Research (NCVER), Australia’s premier vocational education and training research, evaluation and statistics agency.

Katherine leads the AVETMISS team in the National Standards Branch at NCVER. She has more than 15 years’ experience in educational statistics in both the VET and school education sectors. She has a particular interest in balancing the need for high quality data in the national VET collections with the demands this places on RTOs.

Jani Murphy | Jani Murphy and Associates

Jani Murphy is a highly skilled workplace productivity expert and qualified educator with over 20 years' experience in training and consulting, showing people how to work smarter and enjoy a stress-free way of achieving project outcomes and organisational aims. Jani works with a variety of clients across the Corporate, Government and small and medium enterprise (SME) markets. Being a very direct and practical person, Jani delivers programs that are all results-oriented. Clients come away with practical strategies to dramatically improve productivity and effectiveness.

Damian Noud | MRWED Training and Assessment

As a former Principal and Director of Studies at registered training organisations in Queensland and New South Wales, Damian Noud joined MRWED Training and Assessment in 2003. For the past 12 years Damian has held a wide range of positions at MRWED and has won the MRWED Trainer of the Year Award twice. His current position as Team Leader of the Learner Success Team has Damian focusing upon the development of all of MRWED's resources and the support services to online, correspondence and RPL students. Recently, Damian also established damiannoud.com, his website devoted to helping people build their skills and confidence in online presenting. Focusing on webinars and other live stream technologies, Damian provides free weekly training to motivated educators and business professionals that want to develop their online presentation skills. Damian will be releasing a regular podcast about webinar skills on iTunes in the first half of 2016.

Geoff Oliver | Velg Training

Geoff Oliver has over 40 years’ experience in the film and television industry and over 14 years in training and the VET sector.

Since 1987 Geoff has operated a production company both in Australia and in Singapore, filming throughout Australia, Southeast Asia and other parts of the globe. This experience brings a fresh approach to training and meeting the requirements of AQTF, VQF and other compliance requirements.

Geoff is a member of the board for Montessori World Educational Institute (Australia), an independent higher education provider, and trains Montessori teachers.

He was also instrumental in the development of the Certificate III to Advanced Diploma courses in Film and Television at Central TAFE (North Metropolitan TAFE after April 11) in Perth. Geoff now provides support and consultancy services to RTOs as a qualified Lead Auditor.

Dimity Redcliffe | Velg Training

Dimity Redcliffe is the Marketing, Conference and Events Manager at Velg Training. Dimity has worked for Velg Training since December 2008 and has studied a Bachelor of Business Management (Human Resources & Marketing).

Dimity is responsible for overseeing the seven social media channels at Velg Training; Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube, Vimeo Instagram and Wordpress. Dimity is a keen ‘Twitterbird’ and lives and breathes social media in her working and personal life. She visited New York last year to attend the Social Media World Conference. Dimity is also the treasurer of the Vocational Education & Training Industry Group (VETIG).

Dr Ruth Shean | Director General, Department of Training and Workforce Development (DTWD)

Dr Ruth Shean has been Director General of the Department of Training and Workforce Development since December 2009. Previous roles include Commissioner for Public Sector Standards, Director General of the Disability Services Commission and Director General of the Department for Community Development.

Ruth has also been a non-government CEO, held leadership positions on State and Commonwealth Government reviews and committees and has comprehensive experience in university governance. Ruth represents the Department on the Council of Australian Governments Industry and Skills Council and is a member of the School Curriculum and Standards Authority Board. Ruth has a Master’s Degree and a Doctorate of Philosophy from the University of Western Australia. She is a Fellow of the Governance Institute of Australia and the Australian Institute of Company Directors.

Jayde Smith | YouthFocus

Jayde has worked in the mental health field for over ten years. He takes great joy in presenting mental health awareness programs to the corporate, community and education sectors.

Proactively reducing youth suicide, self-harm and mental illness by destigmatising mental health issues in the community. Building community awareness of Youth Focus and the free counselling/support services Youth Focus provide for young people in need.

Naomi Stallard | Sector Capability, Department of Training and Workforce Development

Naomi Stallard is a Senior Program Officer at the Department of Training and Workforce Development. In her role, she provides support and advice on intellectual property (IP) and copyright for TAFE colleges and registered training organisations that deliver publicly funded training.

She also conducts professional development on how to manage IP issues and risks when using and creating training resources.

Jared Stone | 2015 WA Apprentice of the Year and 2015 Australian Apprentice of the Year

While studying music for two years, Jared Stone developed an interest in the technical aspects of sound recording and playback, and the associated electrical theory behind them. This led him to complete qualifications in the areas of Electrotechnology and Engineering (Instrumentation), while carrying out an apprenticeship with Western Power.

Now a qualified electrician, Jared’s goal is to continue his education and training in the field. Jared believes that gaining a qualification in a skilled trade provides the ideal base for personal and professional development, and should be viewed as a worthy pursuit to consider.​​

Shane Thomas | Crown Resorts

Shane Thomas is Group Manager Learning and Development at Crown Resorts. He is responsible for developing and implementing learning and development strategies for Crown’s Australian properties. He counts among his many successes the numerous awards that Crown has been honoured with, including 2010, 2013 and 2015 Employer of the Year at the Victorian, WA and Australian Training Awards (making Crown the only organisation to win this award three times in the last five years).

Sandra van der Gaag | 2015 WA Trainee of the Year and 2015 Australian Apprentice (Trainee) of the Year

Sandra van der Gaag is completing a two year traineeship as a process plant operator. With a mind for technical work and problem solving, Sandra saw her career choice as one that would provide her with the challenges she enjoys while allowing plenty of scope for team work and increasing responsibility.

Completing the traineeship has not only given Sandra a qualification but she has also gained valuable knowledge and practical experience as a process plant operator in the oil and gas industry.​

Claire Werner | Director, Meyvn Group

Claire Werner is the Director of the Meyvn Group, which is an association of consultants with a range of specialisations. Claire is a highly respected professional VET consultant with many years’ experience as a presenter and auditor for the VET sector.

Simon Walker | Executive Director, Policy, Planning and Innovation, Department of Training and Workforce Development (DTWD)

Simon Walker began his career in the public sector as a financial analyst for Central TAFE after working in the private sector for 15 years. Simon joined the Department of Training in 1997 and has since worked in a variety of senior roles with a particular focus on VET sectoral planning, policy and resourcing. Simon represents Western Australia on the national Skills Senior Officials Network as well as being a member of the Curtin University School of Economics and Finance Advisory Board, ex-officio member of the Western Australian State Training Board and a Director of the board of the National Centre for Vocational Education and Research. Simon is also Chair of the State Government Workforce Development Advisory Group.​​

Lesley Warren | Australian Standards Quality Authority (ASQA)

Lesley Warren is the ASQA WA Manager of Regulatory Operations based in Perth. Prior to this role, Lesley was involved in capacity building and business analysis with the Office of the CEO of Norfolk Island Administration. Lesley has also performed management, policy and program delivery roles at the Department of Human Services, Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry and Centrelink. During her time at Centrelink, Lesley supported the agency’s registration as an enterprise RTO. A major focus for Lesley in the last 12 months has been building the team in ASQA’s Perth office.

Taylor Wood | WA School Based Apprentice of the year 2014

Taylor Wood has a passion for cooking and creating amazing food for people to enjoy. She undertook a school based apprenticeship at Matilda Bay Restaurant, where she honed her skills in a range of areas.​​

Taylor jumped at the chance to embark on this pathway, allowing her to complete her Western Australian Certificate of Education while also getting a head start on a career in an industry she loves.​​

Taylor plans to use her skills while travelling around the world and also plans to enhance her food knowledge by studying nutrition at university.​​

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Philip Wyles | Apprenticeship Office, Department of Training and Workforce Development

Philip Wyles is the Director of Service Delivery Strategy in the Department of Training and Workforce Development, having taken up the role in September 2014. He oversees the Apprenticeship Office, Aboriginal Workforce Development Centres and the Worldskills team.

Prior to working at the Department, Philip worked with the Victorian Building Authority as Manager of Investigations and Prosecutions and also spent time as a TAFE teacher, instructing plumbing and gas fitting apprentices. Philip has more than 10 years’ experience working in government and also holds a Bachelor of Laws.

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