Formed in 2013, TasTAFE is the largest public provider of post-compulsory vocational education and training and one of the 10 largest RTOs in Australia.
TasTAFE is a stable, state-owned asset that operates under the auspices of its own legislative functions and powers and is governed by an independent Statutory Board who report to the Minister.
The TasTAFE Board is responsible for the development of the TasTAFE Corporate Plan, which will enable public VET provision through the development of a new contemporary organisation within a new operating environment.
The Board meets regularly and is supported by several sub-committees.
TasTAFE Board Profiles
Mike Blake – Chair
Mike has over 39 years’ experience in the audit and accounting professions in both the public and private sectors, as well as four years as a line manager in the health sector.
In early 2016, after almost 12 years in the role, Mike retired as Tasmania’s Auditor General and now focuses on board work. Mike remains active in setting standards through his membership of the Australian Accounting Standards Board and he is Australia’s representative on the International Public Sector Accounting Standards Board.
Mike’s contribution to his profession included some years as a member of the Board of Chartered Accountants Australia and New Zealand, where he chaired its Audit and Risk Committee. Mike joined the Institute of Chartered Accountants in Australia in 1991, advancing to Fellowship in 1997 and was appointed a Director in January 2011. He has also been an active member of CPA Australia.
He chairs the Tasmanian Electoral Commission.
Michelle’s career spans 30 years in private, government and for-purpose organisations. Michelle is a Fellow of the Australian Institute of Company Directors and holds a Bachelor of Social Work degree. In 2010, she studied Negotiating and Influencing at the London Business School; she also holds leadership and management qualifications.
Michelle is a graduate of the Tasmanian Leaders Program and is currently the Director of Leadership and Change Consultants Pty Ltd.
Her qualifications and experience are demonstrated across a number of non-executive director and executive positions. Michelle has been an active member of a number of not-for-profit boards, holding Vice-Chair and community leadership positions, as well as representing community sector organisations at state and national level. She is currently a committee member of Regional Development Australia Tasmania.
After 4.5 years in Uruguay and China, Nicola returned to Tasmania to become CEO of Tasmanian Irrigation; a state owned company that develops owns and operates irrigation schemes in Tasmania. She commenced in her role on 1 March 2016 and led Tasmanian Irrigation through its transition to a more operationally focused business. Following acceptance of all proposed changes to the business by the inquiry into water management she left Tasmania Irrigation in November 2018 and is now a self-employed agribusiness executive.
From Dec 2013 until August 2015 she was Business Head of New Zealand Farming Systems Uruguay and Vice President Dairy for Olam International. NZSFU is one of the largest global dairying operations.
From October 2011 until November 2013 Nicola was Director of Farming Operations for Fonterra based in Beijing, China.
Nicola’s first experiences in Tasmania were as Chief Executive Officer of the Van Diemen’s Land Company and Tasman Farms Ltd, a position which she took on in March 2008. This company was Australia’s largest dairy farming business.
Whilst in Tasmania over this period Nicola was also a director of DairyTas and Skills Tasmania.
In New Zealand Nicola was Chief Executive Officer for 15 years of Taratahi Agricultural Training Centre a tertiary education organization in New Zealand which provided education and training to the wider farming community and new entrants using a number of commercial farming properties operated by the center and she started her working career as an agribusiness banker.
Nicola holds a Bachelor of Agricultural Science degree majoring in rural valuation and farm management; a postgraduate diploma in finance and banking; a Masterate of Business Administration and a Masterate in Public Policy.
She is a registered valuer and farm management consultant.
She has a strong interest in agribusiness and in encouraging young people into agriculture.
Aaron Devine is a leading education executive, with 16 years as senior leader of some of Australia’s largest and most innovative tertiary providers. Until October 2016, Aaron was the General Manager of TAFE Queensland (Brisbane), one of Australia’s largest TAFE institutions.
Prior to this leadership role in Brisbane, Aaron was the Chief Executive Officer for Gold Coast Institute of TAFE and Director VET at Charles Darwin University. On three separate occasions, Aaron has led an Institution within a jurisdiction to be recognised as Training Provider of the Year at the Australian National Training Awards.
Aaron is also recognised internationally and was the Vice President of the Post-Secondary International Network of VET Presidents, a previous Board member of Business Southbank and is CEO of Arcadia College on the Gold Coast.
Prior to his leadership roles in the vocational sector, Aaron worked as a Solicitor in Victoria. He was a Senior Adviser to the former Premier of Tasmania, the Hon Jim Bacon AC and Senior Policy Adviser to Paula Wriedt MHA when she was the Tasmanian Minister for Vocational Education and Training.
Aaron has recently established his own consulting company providing expert advice to industry, educational providers and Government on skills and training issues. With a passion for delivering strong student outcomes, cutting edge training and world class teaching, Aaron has a wealth of strategic leadership experience in the education sector.
Ray’s career spans over 39 years in the minerals processing arm of resource majors BHP and Rio Tinto. He has experienced a full range of disciplines from Maintenance, Engineering, and Project Management to Operations and Finance throughout the peaks and troughs of the resource industry.
Ray was appointed as the General Manager Operations – Bell Bay Aluminium at Pacific Aluminium in 2011. He successfully led the site through a period of significant change in the global aluminium industry. Bell Bay’s transformation has been an inspiration to many in the industry as well as within the Tasmanian business community. In 2014, Ray won The CEO Magazine’s Manufacturing Executive of the Year Award, on the back of the smelter’s business transformation. Ray left Bell Bay Aluminium in 2018 and he is now CEO of the Tasmanian Minerals, Manufacturing and Energy Council (TMEC) and Executive Director of Keen Training Pty Ltd. In 2018, Ray was inducted into the Launceston Chamber of Commerce Hall of Fame.
Ray has played a key role as a member of the State Government task forces on freight and energy. He is a graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.
Janelle worked for over 40 years in universities and has a deep knowledge of the sector. She has considerable experience in learning and teaching, curriculum design, and development and delivery. Much of her focus was on education courses and workplace development, particularly in regional contexts, both in Australia and overseas.
Janelle has worked for Australian Aid and the Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research in Indonesia, Papua New Guinea and later in 2018 in Cambodia. She has also worked in South Africa and Lesotho. More recently, Janelle was the founding Principal of University College which offers applied and experiential diploma and Associate degrees.
Yvonne is a Fellow of Chartered Accountants Australia and New Zealand, the Australian Institute of Company Directors and the University of Tasmania. Yvonne is a former owner and director of a statewide Chartered Accounting practice and has over 30 years of experience in public practice, consulting in areas such as: succession planning, strategic planning, corporate governance, risk management, business and taxation advice.
Yvonne has experience in a range of board roles with her current roles including Director of Aurora Energy Pty Ltd and Chair of Aurora Energy Board Audit and Risk Committee; Director of Metro Tasmania Pty Ltd, Metro Coaches (Tas) Pty Ltd, Fairbrother Foundation Pty Ltd and Action Against Homelessness Limited; Member of the University of Tasmania Foundation Committee and Director of a number of privately owned companies. From 2005-2011, Yvonne served on the University of Tasmania Council and was appointed Deputy Chancellor in 2008. Yvonne is a former Chair of AGW Funds Management Ltd and Director and Chair of Audit and Risk Committees for both Port of Devonport Corporation Pty Ltd and TOTE Tasmania Pty Ltd.