Representing quality private education
providers in Australia

In Focus
A message from our National Chair

It is with great pleasure that I am writing to kee... Read more

Looking outward

International education is topical right now, with... Read more

NCVER Webinar - TVA data: a more comprehensive picture

We now have a clearer idea of the extent and natur... Read more

Meeting the Standards for RTO's 2015 has just become easier and more affordable!

Being well informed on how to meet the Standards f... Read more

ACPET at ICEF Berlin

ACPET was proud to represent members at the ICEF B... Read more

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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.

Mel Koumides

  • 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.

Bruce Callaghan

  • Deputy National Chair
  • Director representing New South Wales (since 2015)
  • Member, National Quality and Ethics Committee
  • Chief Executive Officer, BCA National Training Group
  • ACPET representative, NSW Smart & Skilled Reference Group
  • Member,  NSW Skills Board VET Reference Group

Bruce Callaghan is Chief Executive of BCA National Training Group (BCA National), a registered training organisation (RTO) with self-regulation status with ASQA. BCA National offers a range of training programs across Australia and is registered for Vet Fee Help and CRICOS. The company has campuses in Sydney and Darwin, but delivers courses nationally. BCA National has been a member of ACPET since 2010

Prior to establishing BCA National, Bruce led his Sydney-based consultancy practice, Bruce Callaghan & Associates, specialising in board development, board governance, business management, project management and strategic planning for over 30 years. He has also held a number of senior posts in government. Bruce has lectured at the University of NSW in public administration, business ethics and political philosophy and contributed as a visiting lecturer in management for five years in the School of Psychology at Macquarie University.

In the past 30 years, Bruce and BCA National have worked closely with Aboriginal organisations and communities in delivering capacity building services. BCA National has developed a strong position in Aboriginal training, especially in remote and rural communities and has worked with the NT Government on strategies to enhance Aboriginal employment in the Public Sector.

Bruce has been a member of the ACPET NSW State Committee since 2011. He is the ACPET representative on the NSW Smart & Skilled Reference Group and a member of the NSW Skills Board VET Reference Group. Bruce has also served as a Director on a number of not-for-profit Boards, including Richmond Fellowship. Barnardos Australia, LEADR Australia and Tresillian and is actively involved in VET Reform, holding positions on advisory, committees and task forces.

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

Karen is the founder and Director of Learning Options, an award winning Registered Training Organisation based in Canberra, Australia.  Commencing operations in 2002, Learning Options experienced rapid growth whilst still maintaining a vision to remain a boutique training organisation. Learning Options delivers qualifications in Business Services, Training & Assessment, Quality Auditing, Government, and Real Estate through its partnership with the Academy of Real Estate.  Whilst training delivery remains our core focus, we continue to offer a range of consulting services to our core VET sector clients in compliance matters, program development, validation services and specialist learning and development projects.  Learning Options has been recognised through the ACT Training Excellence Awards and the Telstra Business Awards and Business Women’s Awards programs.

Karen is the President of the ACT Association of Providers of Training Services and is a member of the ASQA Provider Reference Group.  One of only two recipients in the ACT Training Excellence awards history to win both the John Scott Memorial Award and the Norm Fisher Award for contributions to the Vocational Education & Training Sector, she is passionate about women in business and coordinates PD activities for ACT Business Women through the Telstra Women in Business Alumni program.

Warren Walmsley     

  • Director representing Queensland (since 2015)
  • State Director - Queensland, Think Education

Warren Walmsley has spent the past 20+ years in tertiary education with experience across the ELICOS, VET and Higher Education sectors, in management and leadership roles. Warren is the State Director – Queensland for Think Education.

He started his career as a teacher and in 1980, entered private enterprise. Over the next 15 years he built 3 successful businesses in hospitality, tourism and retail. 

In 1992 he returned to education as a teacher of VET, moving to Course Co-ordinator, Principal, Campus Director, and his last 2 appointments as State Director – Queensland for Study Group and since 2009, Think Education.

Warren has served on numerous boards and committees including:-

  • Chair - Study Gold Coast/ Gold Coast Education and Training Network
  • Chair - Fortitude Valley Business Association
  • Chair - Gympie Cooloola Tourist Association.
  • Director – Board for  Jazz Music Institute ( current)

Warren has been a member of the ACPET Queensland State Committee since 2002. In January 2015 he became acting Chair of the State Committee and now represents Queensland at the National Board of Directors.