33rd National VET Research Conference 'No Frills' 2024 Program

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The Hon Brendan O'Connor MP, Minister for Skills and Training (pre-recorded)

Thursday 11 July 2024 9:30am

The Hon Brendan O’Connor MP is the Minister for Skills and Training, a Cabinet position in the Albanese Labor Government.

A belief in the benefits of secure employment and quality education and training, as well as a commitment to fairness and equal opportunity, led Mr O’Connor to commence his career in a union.

He represented the interests of Victorian workers before becoming Assistant National Secretary of the Australian Services Union (ASU).

He was elected to parliament in 2001 and has since headed several portfolios.

As Minister for Employment Participation, he overhauled the employment services system, streamlining the process to provide a personalised service called Job Services Australia.

As Minister for Home Affairs, one of his many noteworthy achievements includes reforming Australia’s anti-dumping regime to encourage fairer and equitable business practices.

Mr O’Connor went on to serve as Minister for Small Business at Cabinet level, the first time in over ten years that the portfolio had been elevated to such a level. Mr O’Connor worked to cut red tape and support growth and jobs through tax reform, including the $6500 Instant Asset Write-off to assist Australia’s 2.7 million small businesses to improve their cash flows and the introduction of Australia’s first Small Business Commissioner.

In 2013, Mr O’Connor was elevated to Minister for Immigration and Citizenship and finished the term as Minister for Employment, Skills and Training.

From 2013 – 2019, Mr O’Connor was appointed Shadow Minister for Employment and Industrial Relations. In 2019, he was appointed Shadow Minister for Employment and Industry, Science, and Small and Family Business as a member of Anthony Albanese’s Labor frontbench team and served as Shadow Minister for Defence from January 2021 until Labor won the 2022 election.

Professor Barney Glover AO, Commissioner, Jobs and Skills Australia

Thursday 11 July 2024 9:45am

Professor Barney Glover AO began his five-year term as Commissioner of Jobs and Skills Australia in 2024.

Professor Glover is a distinguished academic leader, an accomplished mathematician and mathematics educator with significant experience in developing strong relationships with the vocational education sector. He is well respected for his engagement with First Nations Australians and disadvantaged communities.

He was Vice-Chancellor and President of Western Sydney University for ten years, from 2014-24, and in 2019 was appointed an Officer of the Order of Australia for distinguished service to tertiary education, professional associations and cultural organisations. In 2015, Professor Glover was awarded the title of Emeritus Professor for his outstanding leadership whilst Vice-Chancellor of Charles Darwin University from 2009 to 2013.

Professor Glover has served on the boards of a diverse range of corporate organisations and several state and national centres covering areas such as health and medical research, energy, mineral exploration, and telecommunications.

Headshot of Gihan Perera

Gihan Perera, Futurist, Fit for the Future

Friday 12 July 2024 11:00am

Has disruption – from employee burnout, hybrid work, AI, global uncertainty, and more – shaken up your world? Are your people looking for clear leadership in this time of massive change? Do you want to be more confident in chaos and uncertainty?

Gihan Perera is a business futurist, conference speaker, AI researcher, and author who shows you how to be fit for the future in a fast-changing world.

For more than 25 years, he has worked with organisations and leaders throughout Australia and the world, helping them to lead in uncertainty, act with clarity and confidence, and thrive in a fast-changing world.

He is the author of Disrupted, Disruption By Design, The Future of Leadership, and ten other books.

Forbes magazine rated him the #5 social media influencer in the world (and #1 in Australia) in his area of expertise.

Dinner Speaker: Catherine MacDougall

Thursday 11 July 2024

Catherine MacDougall is a chef, educator and trainer who co-founded Prepare Produce Provide (PPP), a not-for-profit organisation helping young people pursue careers in education, food and hospitality.

Committed to creating meaningful change, Catherine is adopting a multi-faceted approach in addressing the complex issues facing youth.

The ‘5000Meals’ program addresses wastage and food insecurity by bringing together chefs, students, volunteers and donated food to create nutritious meals for people experiencing homelessness. Since its 2012 inception, it has provided more than 100,000 meals and 45,000 meals during the Covid-19 pandemic.

The ‘Djinda Ngardak’ culinary program offers Aboriginal students across Western Australia the opportunity to train with top chefs and cultural leaders, inspiring careers in the hospitality and tourism industries. It supported the first two Indigenous youth to participate in Germany’s Culinary Olympics.

Catherine’s efforts are testament to the power of local engagement. Her selfless efforts are fostering community spirit and empowering Indigenous young people.

1. DISCUSSION PANEL: VET partnerships powering a dynamic workforce

This discussion panel will be based on the conference discussion paper, ‘VET partnerships powering a dynamic workforce’, which explores past research to highlight what we know about making partnerships effective for all participants. In many of NCVER’s recent research publications, RTO engagement in VET partnerships has been identified as vital to training quality, student success and employer satisfaction.

The conference discussion paper also highlights how partnerships enable us to reach the vulnerable cohorts that remain under-represented in training and the workforce and considers what more can be done to support VET partnerships, and by extension further improve VET’s flexibility to meet Australia’s emerging and rapidly changing workforce needs.

The conference discussion paper will be published on 3 July 2024.

Headshot of Joy de Leo manager of the Research and Data Analytics Branch at NCVER

Moderator: Dr Joy de Leo, Research and data Analytics Manager, NCVER

Joy has worked in education for over 40 years in both public and private sectors, involved in policy, curriculum development, research, management, advocacy, and teaching in the school and tertiary education sector.

She manages a team of NCVER researchers and data analysts to deliver the National VET research and advanced analytics programs, which integrate quantitative with qualitative research with advanced analytics and data linkages with other agencies, to inform policy development for Senior Skills Officials.

Headshot of Vivienne Scott, panellist at NCVER's No Frills VET research conference

Ms Vivienne Scott, Executive Director Product and Quality, North Metropolitan TAFE

Vivienne Scott is the Executive Director Product and Quality at North Metropolitan TAFE (NMTAFE), the largest vocational training provider in Western Australia. With over 30,000 students each year, Vivienne oversees the quality and development of training programs and delivery at NMTAFE’s nine campuses.

With a background in organisational psychology and team development, Vivienne is passionate about quality teaching and learning in the VET Sector and has led policy development and projects to assist the development of dual professionals.

By leading innovation in product design and quality through NMTAFE’s Teaching and Learning Committee and Academic Board, Vivienne also manages the Academic Support and Library teams, helping to transform learning environments, driving experimentation with and access to cutting edge technologies.

Vivienne has led industry partnerships with large private and government organisations ensuring needs of students, industry and community are met and never compromising on quality training delivery and outcomes for all stakeholders.

Headshot of Jim Walker, panellist at NCVER's No Frills VET research conference

Mr Jim Walker, Chair WA State Training Board

Jim has over 45 years experience in the resources, construction, transport and agricultural sectors. Jim was previously CEO of WesTrac Pty Ltd, one of the world’s largest Caterpillar dealers.

Jim is currently Chair of the State Training Board WA, Non-Executive Chair RACWA Holdings Pty Ltd, RAC Insurance Pty Ltd, Austin Engineering Ltd and Chair of the Motor Museum of WA and Forum Chair Diggers and Dealers and was formerly National President of Australian Institute of Management and AIM Western Australia.

Jim’s focus on apprentices and training was recognised when he was awarded the GJ Stokes Memorial Award at Diggers and Dealers 2014.

Headshot of John King, panellist at the No Frills VET Research Conference

Mr John King, Managing Director, NCVER

John is an accomplished strategist and leader with extensive public sector and skills policy experience, specializing in data analytics, evaluation, and research.

As the new Managing Director of the National Centre for Vocational Education Research, John will lead the organisation in providing insights into vocational education and training in Australia.

Over the past six years, John has led the development and use of evidence in social policy. In his role as Chief Data Officer at Seer Data and Analytics, he helped community organisations to access and use administrative data effectively. As Executive Director of Analytics, Evaluation, and Research at the Victorian Departments of Health and Families, Fairness and Housing, he pioneered the use of linked data, advanced analytics, and evaluation in health and human services policy and programs.

John previously spent a decade in the Commonwealth, South Australian, and Victorian public services, with a strong focus on skills policy.

He holds an MPA from the London School of Economics and Political Science, and a BA (Hons) and LLB (Hons) from the Australian National University.

2. OPEN DISCUSSION: Partnering for success - sharing our knowledge
Headshot of Gavin Lind, Facilitator of panel discussion at NCVER's No Frills VET Research Conference

Facilitator: Mr Gavin Lind, CEO, Mining and Automotive Skills Alliance

Gavin is an accomplished academic and minerals industry executive who has led the evolution of the highly successful Mining Skills Organisation Pilot (MSOP) to become the independent Australian Minerals and Energy Skills Alliance (AUSMESA) facilitating greater industry and employer engagement with workforce and skills.

Prior to this, Gavin spent more than a decade in a leadership role in minerals policy and advocacy with the MCA, and had worked professionally for industry, government, and academia in both Australia and South Africa.

In 2013, Gavin received the LH Martin Award for Excellence in Higher Education Leadership for his work promoting minerals education in Australia. Gavin is based in Melbourne.

Headshot of Steve Hall, panellist at NCVER's No Frills VET Research Conference

Mr Steve Hall, General Manager Projects, Powering Skills Organisation

With over 34 years in the electrotechnology industry, Steve’s experiences as an electrician, contractor, business owner and manager across industry and the vocational education and training sector inform his holistic approach to educating the energy workforce.

His current role with the Jobs and Skills Council for the energy sector, Powering Skills Organisation, builds on his work with the Industry Skills Council and Skills Services Organisations. From his lived experience as an apprentice, to his rewarding career in RTO management, his lifelong learning journey is not only something he embraces but drives him to extend those same opportunities to the future generation of energy workers.

Headshot of Lisa Bales, panellist at NCVER's No Frills VET Research Conference

Ms Lisa Bale, Director VET and Innovation, Future Skills Organisation

Lisa is a VET professional who has held executive and senior roles in the Australian and International VET sector. Making significant contributions in her roles as a teacher, head teacher, and director of learning, teaching, and quality at TAFE NSW and Federation University Australia. Additionally, Lisa worked for the Human Services Skills Organisation, at a national level as a leading VET specialist, and now leads the VET + Innovation team at the Future Skills Organisation Jobs and Skills Council.

Lisa has submitted a No Frills abstract on generative AI. The FSO recently undertook research with Mandal Partners to examine the impact of GenAI on occupations and subsequent impact on training package qualifications for the finance, technology and business sectors.

Headshot of Kirsty Waugh, panellist at NCVER's No Frills VET Research Conference

Ms Kirsty Waugh, Director of Training and Product Development, Public Skills Australia

Kirsty Waugh is an accomplished education specialist with more than 15 years’ experience leading the design of diverse learning programs within schools and VET. Her experience spans the private, not-for-profit and public safety sectors.

Prior to joining Public Skills Australia, Kirsty worked in the Fire and Emergency Services industry-sector as the Manager Quality and Evaluation at the CFA. In this role, she supervised the design of learning courses and management of the Registered Training Organisation (RTO).

Kirsty’s unique blend of project management, stakeholder engagement and learning design set her apart as a dynamic leader in the field of education. She is a driving force behind the innovative solutions that empower learners across Public Skills Australia’s industry-sectors.


Program subject to change

13:00Registration open, arrival tea and coffee Level 2, Building 2, 30 Aberdeen Street, Northbridge
 Note: Lunch is not provided on Wednesday 10 July

Professional development workshops will run concurrently on Wednesday 10 July. Delegates will have the opportunity to attend a maximum of two workshops of their choice. The workshops start at 1.30pm and can be purchased as an additional extra for $80.00 (please note, the cost of the workshops is $80.00 whether you select to attend one or two workshops). The fee includes a light snack break during the workshops but not lunch.

Bookings for the workshops are limited.

13:30WORKSHOP 1 (Room 259-260) WORKSHOP 2 (Room 311)
 Data insights on VET students and their outcomes:
learn how to extract and build your own data
 Youth transitions in Australia: opportunities for research using the Longitudinal Surveys of Australian Youth (LSAY)

Are you interested in unpacking the NCVER data on vocational education and training (VET) students, their training, and their outcomes but don’t know where to start? Then come join the interactive and hands-on workshop presented by NCVER staff who are immersed in the data on a daily basis.

Annually NCVER collects data on over 4 million students through the National VET data collections and sends survey invitations to almost a million of these students to understand their outcomes and satisfaction. This information is packaged into various products within the Total VET students and courses and VET student outcomes publication suites.

This interactive workshop will focus on the Total VET students and courses and VET student outcomes data products and will include:

  • an introduction to the national VET data collections and surveys
  • a demonstration on how to access, interrogate and use the NCVER’s statistical and data products
  • a guide to understanding survey data, including how to interpret the margins of error presented in selected data products
  • an opportunity to learn how to extract and build the data you need.

By the end of the workshop, you will be able to select the best tool to use, access, interrogate and build your own data tables on VET students and their outcomes and understand and use these data to guide your own work.

Olivia Gu and Ian White, NCVER


For close to 30 years the Longitudinal Surveys of Australian Youth (LSAY) has provided researchers, policy makers and education practitioners with a valuable resource for capturing the pathways of young people as they make their way from school to post-school education and training and into the workforce. Since 1995, more than 60,000 young people have participated in LSAY, providing a vast evidence base for exploring youth transitions over the decades.

LSAY covers topics relating to education, employment, living arrangements and wellbeing. The surveys also include information that isn’t captured by administrative data sources, for example attitudes to school, barriers to study and work, life satisfaction and soft skills.

This workshop will introduce participants to LSAY and the many resources available to help use and understand the data. Particular focus will be given to data tools that provide quick access to survey results, and resources to help users find the information they need. These tools will be demonstrated ‘hands on’ and provide participants with opportunities to work through examples, explore the data and ask questions.

The workshop will be run by members of the LSAY team from the National Centre for Vocational Education Research and will include a combination of presentations, demonstrations and exercises.

Ronnie Semo and Cameron Forrest, NCVER

15:30WORKSHOP 3 (Room 311)  WORKSHOP 4 (Room 259-260)
 VOCEDplus: same great content, great new look Classifying the Australian VET sector: a new approach, and
Jobs and Skills Atlas: interactive labour market and skills platform

Join us for this hands-on workshop to see what looks different, learn about new ways to search, and refine your searches to find what you need, plus how to save your searches so you can easily reuse them later!

With more than 98,000 publications in the database and a range of curated content, VOCEDplus is your gateway to a wealth of information, policy, research, and statistics.

If you have never heard of VOCEDplus, this is a must-do workshop. And if you have used VOCEDplus, this is an excellent opportunity to learn more about what it has to offer.

Tracy Gamlin, NCVER


In this workshop, we will:

  • Present the methodology used to develop the new Registered Training Organisation (RTO) Typology for the Australian VET system. We'll take you through the categories, partitions and segments of the RTO Typology, and explain its potential uses in analysing the VET landscape, delivery footprint and outcomes for student cohorts.

  • Demonstrate the new ‘Jobs and Skills Atlas’ which combines labour market and training data in a single tool, with the ability to dive into regional areas and compare data across regions, states and nationally.

Fan Xiang, Sally Soei and Ritesh Mandaliya, Jobs and Skills Australia

17:15WELCOME RECEPTION: Level 2, Building 2, 30 Aberdeen Street, Northbridge

SPONSORED BY: Charles Sturt University

Program subject to change

8:00Registration open, arrival tea and coffee
Level 2, Building 2, 30 Aberdeen Street, Northbridge
9:00Conference starts
Lecture Theatre, Level 2, Building 1, 25 Aberdeen Street, Northbridge
9:30Ministerial address: The Hon Brendan O'Connor MP, Minister for Skills and Training (pre-recorded)
9:05 Welcome to Country9:45OPENING KEYNOTE ADDRESS - Sponsored by Federation University
Professor Barney Glover AO, Commissioner, Jobs and Skills Australia
9:10NCVER welcome: John King, Managing Director, NCVER 10:30Exhibitor introductions
9:20Co-host welcome: Darren Channell, General Manager Training Services, North Metropolitan TAFE 10:40 Walk to 30 Aberdeen Street for morning tea and concurrent sessions
  CONCURRENT SESSIONS - DAY 1 (30 Aberdeen Street, Northbridge)
 ROOM 125ROOM 354ROOM 213-214ROOM 285ROOM 309

Supporting inclusivity and disadvantaged learners

Callista Dinelli, Sam Harrison and Ashley Deans
Melbourne Polytechnic

Read abstract

Empowering a dynamic workforce: policy-driven partnerships between VET and industry in Singapore

Bryan Ang
Institute for Adult Learning

Read abstract

Industry and TAFE collaborate on resource development in autonomous mining operations

Donna Dejkovski and Caroline Winter
Mining and Automotive Skills Alliance

Read abstract

What do we mean by 'industry' in vocational education and training? Research findings

Erica Smith and Paschal Somers
Federation University

Read abstract

Empowering information technology students for employment success through online and flexible learning modes

Jamie Weston and Aleta Gilmartin
Holmesglen Institute

Read abstract


Innovative partnerships and evidenced-based frameworks to build gender equality in VET institutions

Katie Yates Burgess
Our Watch

Read abstract

Partnerships in VET teacher education in Ukraine: experiences from an ERASMUS+ project

Thomas Deissinger and Oksana Melnyk
University of Konstanz

Read abstract

Aboriginal perspectives in VET

Anissa Jones
UNSW Sydney

Read abstract

From transactional to transformative: the key elements of thriving RTO-employer partnerships

Daniella Trimboli

Read abstract

Partnering in AI for multicultural adult education: AMES Australia and Getmee's MyAMES Chat app

Linh Le and Balendran Thavarajah
AMES Australia and Getmee

Read abstract


Australian Community Workers Association (ACWA)

Advancing youth pathways into advanced manufacturing (engineering) through a STEM-VET curriculum co-design partnership

Ben Jenkinson
Chisholm Institute

Read abstract

International collaboration to address critical skills needs to develop qualifications and create dynamic workforce - study on agriculture sector

Shweta Singh and Prafulla Pandey
Manneeraj Education and Mahindra and Mahindra

Read abstract

Employment pathways for remote indigenous VET students: combining industry demand with culturally appropriate employment support

Miriam Forte
Woguntha CAPS

Read abstract

Increasing university participation: the impact on apprentices

Jo Waugh and Cameron Forrest

Read abstract

Who's teaching who: exploring dual professionalism in VET for the Construction and Infrastructure sectors

Kylie Taffard
ConCOVE Tuhura

Read abstract


Partnering with industry to translate research for small to medium enterprises (SMEs)

Shaz Gerchow and Joshua Rayner
Jobs Queensland

Read abstract

Pilot of the APEC occupational standards in hospitality in Latin America

Melinda Brown

Read abstract

VET voices of success: Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander student experiences

Natalie Gardam

Read abstract

Modernising apprenticeships to align with emerging and future work landscapes

Lucia Stejer, Michele Waldon and Brett McCroary

Read abstract

Beyond the pandemic: the use of online delivery in VET

Tabatha Griffin and Upekha Andrahannadi

Read abstract


No longer 'ducks on the pond': promoting women's inclusion and safety in construction trades training through gender transformative pedagogy

Brett Woods
Victoria University

Read abstract

BCITO construction apprentice retention: undertaking research in a period of complex change

Greg Durkin and Adam Barker
BCITO, New Zealand

Read abstract

Professional development costs: deterrence for VET practitioners in Western Australia

Christopher Ward
Deakin University

Read abstract

VET Emerging Industries Initiative - skilled workers for new or evolving jobs

Andrew Peters
Department of Employment, Small Business and Training

Read abstract

Thinking differently about the status of VET: an institutional logics perspective

Don Zoellner
Charles Darwin University

Read abstract

16:20DISCUSSION PANEL: VET partnerships powering a dynamic workforce
Lecture Theatre, Level 2, Building 1, 25 Aberdeen Street, Northbridge

Joy de Leo, Manager Research and Data Analytics Branch, NCVER

Vivienne Scott, Executive Director, Product and Quality, North Metropolitan TAFE
Jim Walker, Chair, WA State Training Board
John King, Managing Director, NCVER

SPONSORED BY: VET Development Centre (VDC)
18:30CONFERENCE DINNER: Pavilion Restaurant, Joondalup Campus, 35 Kendrew Crescent, Joondalup

Catherine MacDougall, Co-founder, Prepare Produce Provide

SPONSORED BY: Construction Training Fund (CTF)

Program subject to change

8:30Registration open, arrival tea and coffee
Level 2, Building 2, 30 Aberdeen Street, Northbridge
CONCURRENT SESSIONS - DAY 2 (30 Aberdeen Street, Northbridge)
 ROOM 354ROOM 213-214ROOM 285ROOM 309

Workforce journey indicators: quantifying how people enter, progress, and exit construction and infrastructure VET and careers in NZ

Nina Herriman
ConCOVE Tuhura

Read abstract

Industry-led innovations in training and workforce development in health and community services

Kipley Nink
Jobs Queensland

Read abstract

Skilling Queenslanders for work - training and employment pathways for disadvantaged learners

Lorraine Yabsley
Department of Employment, Small Business and Training

Read abstract

Responding to change: innovations and adaptations to VET programs in a post-pandemic world

Mary Hughes and Julie Wright
Holmesglen Institute

Read abstract

10:15OPEN DISCUSSION: Partnering for success - sharing our knowledge
Lecture Theatre, Level 2, Building 1, 25 Aberdeen Street, Northbridge

Gavin Lind, CEO, Mining and Automotive Skills Alliance

Steve Hall, General Manager Projects, Powering Skills
Lisa Bale, Director VET and Innovation, Future Skills
Kirsty Waugh, Director of Training and Product Development, Public Skills Australia
11:00KEYNOTE SPEAKER: Gihan Perera, Futurist, Fit For The Future

SPONSORED BY: Independent Tertiary Education Council Australia (ITECA)

The Welcome Reception and Conference Dinner provide the opportunity to network with industry peers and enhance your conference experience.

Social activities are booked through the registration portal when you book your conference registration.  If you have already registered for the conference you can make changes or update your booking by selecting "Modify Booking" on your confirmation email.

Visit registration details

WELCOME RECEPTION - Wednesday 10 July, 5.15pm - 7.00pm  

The welcome reception will be held in the Foyer of North Metropolitan TAFE, Level 2, Building 2, 30 Aberdeen Street, Northbridge and is a great opportunity for you to meet and network with other delegates. Drinks and canapes will be provided.

Tickets - $80 per person

SPONSORED BY: Charles Sturt University

CONFERENCE DINNER - Thursday 11 July, 6.30pm - 10.00pm CONFERENCE DINNER TRANSPORT - Thursday 11 July

The conference dinner will be held at the Pavilion Restaurant at the North Metropolitan TAFE, Joondalup Campus, 35 Kendrew Crescent, Joondalup.

Delegates will be treated to drinks and a delicious three-course dinner (alternate drop). A perfect opportunity to network with colleagues in a relaxed but formal setting.

GUEST SPEAKER: Catherine MacDougall.

Catherine is a chef, educator and trainer who co-founded Prepare Produce Provide (PPP), a not-for-profit organisation helping young people pursue careers in education, food and hospitality.

Tickets - $140.00 per person
Bookings for the conference dinner are limited.

SPONSORED BY: Construction Training Fund (CTF)

Bus transfers to and from the conference dinner
$27.50 per person