Representing quality private education
providers in Australia

Board of Directors

The ACPET Board of Directors is committed to effective corporate governance. The ACPET  Corporate Governance Policy forms the basis for all decision making and action.

The Policy sets out key principles and limitations relating to the ACPET Board of Directors governance role and processes. The ACPET Corporate Governance Policy is subject to regular review.

Martin Cass

Martin Cass

  • National Chair
  • Director representing NSW (since 2008)
  • Director, JMC Academy

Martin Cass has a lifelong dedication to the continuous improvement in the quality of education and training standards provided by the tertiary private sector. As evidenced by his establishment of JMC Academy in 1982, and his pursuit of a Doctorate in Education.

The JMC Academy is a dual sector education provider with campuses in Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane. The JMC Academy pioneered one of the first fully accredited courses in Audio Engineering (1991), Multimedia (1996), and Digital Television (2000), and despite challenges continues to provide very high educational standards.

Martin has served on numerous accreditation and advisory panels in the education and training sector, including:

  • VETAB accreditation panels
  • CREATE Australia advisory panel for the development of Music and Entertainment industry Training Packages and competency standards
  • curriculum advisory panel for the Graduate Diploma in Design Science (Audio) at the University of Sydney;
  • AUSMUSIC education advisory panels
  • Australian Contemporary Music Institute ACMI panel
  • and a variety of Arts Training NSW advisory panels.

Martin joined ACPET in 1994, and has made active contributions to various ACPET initiatives including the Benchmarking Sub-committee and the Higher Education Sub-committee.

Martin’s has contributed numerous published articles and presentations to industry forums and conferences. He also holds a Masters in Recording Arts from Macquarie University and a Certificate IV in Assessment and Workplace Training.

Mel Koumides

  • Deputy National Chair
  • Director representing Victoria (since 2010)
  • Director , Governance Audit and Risk Committee
  • Director, Academia Australia / Academia International

Mel is a director and co-founder of Academia Australia / Academia International, a private educational institution delivering ELICOS, Pathway to University and Trade Courses to both local and international students. Academia offers over 30 courses delivered to more than 60 nationalities.

Previously, Mel worked in information technology for large multinational organisations including Siemens, Fujitsu and Teradata. He has held consulting and managerial roles, heading professional consulting services based in Australia and the Asia Pacific region.

Mel belongs to the ACPET Victorian state and Governance Audit and Risk committee. He holds a Bachelor of Applied Science majoring in Computer Science from RMIT.

Andrew Crevald

  • Director representing Western Australia (since 2013)
  • College Director and Principal of Curtin College (a Navitas College)

Andrew has spent over 25 years in tertiary education management and leadership. This experience includes seven years as College Director and Principal of PIBT, a Navitas HEP, RTO, and ELICOS college for both local and international students.  Prior to PIBT Andrew held a variety of roles within WA universities including stints as Director of Policy and Planning, and Director of Student Services. 

Andrew is currently the Chair of WAPETIA and has previously served on committees and boards such as the ACPET WA State Committee, ESOS Contributions Review Panel, Callista Clients Strategy Group, the WA TISC and the Mel  Maria Primary School Board.

Andrew is a member of the ACPET WA State, and Governance Audit and Risk Committees.  He holds a Master of Education from Murdoch University and a BSc(Hons) in Computer Science from the University of East Anglia, UK.

Richard Finlayson

  • Director representing South Australia (since 2010)
  • Group Managing Director, Quality Training & Hospitality College

Richard has been the owner of Quality Training and Hospitality College (QT&HC), for the last 15 years. QT&HC is a South Australian based private training company, with offices in Adelaide and Sydney but also delivering in Queensland and Victoria. The College was formed in 1992 and trains domestic and international students. Last year the College trained over 1,000 students in hospitality programs.

Prior to QT&HC, Richard worked in Hospitality and Retail in Australia, Scotland, France and South Africa.

Richard completed his Hospitality Diploma in three different continents, starting in Johannesburg, South Africa, transferring to Edinburgh in Scotland, and completing the qualification at Regency Park in Adelaide, Australia. Richard has first-hand knowledge of different teaching methodologies, training packages and educational ideologies.
Richard is a Board Member for Restaurant and Catering South Australia since 2012

Nicole Gayewski

  • Director representing Tasmania (since 2011)
  • Tasmanian State Manager, MEGT Institute

Nicole Gayewski is the Tasmanian State Manager and National Workplace Delivery Coordinator of MEGT Institute, the education and training division of MEGT (Australia) Ltd, delivering accredited training to domestic and international students. MEGT (Australia) Ltd is a private, not for profit education, training and employment organisation with offices in each state of Australia and in the UK.

Whilst the prime focus is on strengthening and expanding MEGT’s core RTO operations via industry partnerships, the business has diversified to develop and deliver tailored training programs for students with disability and mental illness, receiving the Social Inclusion Initiative Award in the 2012 ACPET Awards for Excellence.

Nicole has worked in the education, employment and labour market sectors since 1992 holding senior operational and managerial roles..

Sean Mahoney

Sean Mahoney

  • Director representing Northern Territory (since 2012)
  • Managing Director, International College of Advanced Education (ICAE)

CAE is a private not for profit RTO and has been offering domestic and international programmes in VET since 1998. ICAE has had a particular focus on the hospitality and tourism sector, in addition to remote Indigenous training delivery. ICAE has won numerous Awards for tourism and indigenous education, and recently and export award winner in the Northern Territory.

Sean has experience in VET both in Australia and overseas, including working in several third world countries on Aid projects including TVET reform.
He previously was a Director on the National Board from 2005 to 2008 and also filled the casual Northern Territory vacancy on the ACPET National Board during 2011/12.

Sean has also been the Chairman of the International Business Council of the Northern Territory since 2006.

Karen NicholasKaren Nicholas

  • Director representing the Australian Capital Territory (since 2012)
  • Director, Learning Options & Skillpod

Karen is the founder and Director of Learning Options, a privately owned and operated, award winning, RTO based in Canberra, Australia.  Commencing operations in 2002, Learning Options experienced rapid growth whilst still maintaining our vision to remain a boutique training organisation.  In the last year Learning Options delivered training to almost 700 students, and the RTO is approaching almost a quarter of a million training hours delivered in its 11 year history.

Karen is the President of the ACT Association of Providers of Training Services, a long time member of the ACT Flexible Learning Advisory Group, a previous member of the Accreditation & Registration Council, and is also passionate about women in business as a committee member of the ACT & Region Chamber of Commerce & Industry Women in Business Group, and the Telstra Women in Business Alumni programs.



Dr George Brown

  • Board appointed Director (since 2013)
  • Group Academic Director, Study Group (Australasia)

George has held senior academic positions with the Australian Institute of Business, Think: Education Group, Navitas, Le Cordon Bleu Australia, International College of Hotel Management and TAFESA.  He is an immediate past Board Director of the Australian Learning and Teaching Council (ALTC) and the Australian Universities Quality Agency (AUQA).

Dr Brown currently sits on the Fellowships Standing Committee of the Office for Learning and Teaching (OLT and the Regulatory Risk Reference Group for the Tertiary Education and Quality Standards Agency (TEQSA

He is also a member of the Higher Education Reference Group for the Grattan Institute ( and the European Qualifications Advisory Group (EQAG) for the Australian Qualifications Framework Council (AQFC).  His research interests surround higher education accreditation, governance, learning and teaching excellence and the burgeoning problem of non-official higher education provision.

George holds a Bachelor of Business and a Graduate Diploma of Education from the University of South Australia, a Master of Educational Management from Flinders University and a PhD from the University of Adelaide.