Executives & Principals
M.Ed, B.Sc, AFAIM, MACE, GAICD, Cert III Carpentry
Mark Hands is the Chief Executive Officer for the Australian Industry Trade College Ltd (AITC). Mark has a broad history across the construction industry, youth work and education. He was the principal of an independent P – 12 school in Queensland for 16 years before taking up the present role in 2006. In August of 2020, Mark featured in The Educator's Hot List of 50 key individuals in the K-12 education space who have shown great commitment to improving the sector over the past 12 months. This recognition is the culmination of Mark's determination to create a school 'by industry, for industry' that instills values such as safety, respect, honesty and courage at the AITC It is this values-based philosophy, together with his agile approach to industry needs, which have contributed to significant and sustainable employment outcomes for over 1,400 young people in South East Queensland over the past 12 years.
Grad Dip (IT), CPA, B.Bus (Accounting), GAICD
Helen Coyer is the Chief Operating Officer for the AITC. Helen is focussed on scaling the AITC to a system with impact. Prior to joining the AITC, Helen built an extensive career as board director and senior executive in the banking and finance, education, not-for-profit and public sectors. Helen’s experience as Chief Operating Officer for QSuper, Deputy Executive Director with Independent Schools Queensland, and Assistant Commissioner Superannuation with the Australian Taxation Office proves her strength in strategic operations, development and execution. Helen also has a broad career as a non-executive director, having held roles on the QTMB and RACQ Bank boards, is a member of the Risk and Audit Committee of RSL Queensland, and Advisory Board Member of technology start-up, SurePact.
Bobbette van Zyl
B.Com (Hons), CA(SA) CA ANZ
Bobbette van Zyl is the Head of Business Operations for the AITC. Bobbette is a Chartered Accountant with more than ten years' Senior Management experience and a proven ability to improve processes and support business transformation. Prior to joining the AITC, Bobbette spent 13 years in the insurance industry and has extensive experience in successfully leading a range of operational departments, affording her the ability to develop and implement effective business plans and strategies across an organisation whilst ensuring a high level of integrity and bringing process improvement to various business activities.
BBus(HRM), Dip Neuroscience of Leadership, Cert IV Workplace & Business Coaching, FCPHR
Caroline is the Head of People and is passionate about creating rewarding and challenging working environments that deliver great business outcomes. With an interest in neuroscience and coaching, she works with leaders and employees across the AITC to collaboratively support the achievement of our objectives. As a Certified Human Resources (HR) practitioner, Caroline has an extensive HR background and also represents the HR community as a non-executive director on the Board of the Australian Human Resources Institute (AHRI), where she is also the Queensland State President. Caroline’s areas of focus within AITC include the attraction, retention, development and support of our people, in addition to setting our people strategy and ensuring legislative compliance.
M. Ed, Grad Dip Ed (Applied Learning), Grad Cert Careers Ed, B. Bus Man, TAE40110.
Eliza is the Head of Education and strongly believes in developing and providing programs that enable pathways and opportunity through education. Prior to joining the AITC, Eliza was Associate Director College Programs - TAFE (Federation College) at Federation University Australia, and was responsible for providing effective management, strategic direction and educational leadership to the TAFE portfolio. Eliza’s portfolio included the set up and delivery of one of first Federal Government senior secondary P-TECH (Pathways to Technology) pilots in Australia, alongside IBM Australia. Eliza also possesses 10 years experience in mainstream secondary education and spent a number of years in the recruitment and training field.
B,A (Hons), B. Sc, PGCE
Lee Smith is the Head of Future Schools and Partnerships at the AITC. Lee strongly believes in the ability for education to transform the lives and opportunities for young people and this drives him to achieve as much as is possible within the sector. Lee’s role is to create, develop and maintain partnerships with employers and industries in order to grow both the footprint and the influence of the AITC. Lee has over 20 years of senior and executive leadership experience within education having worked in the UK, Europe and Australia. His focus for most of his career has been on vocational education and creating and developing innovative programs to enhance the employability of young people.
Nicole de Vries
B.Bus (Marketing & Public Relations), B.CI (Media & Communications), M.Edplus
Nicole de Vries is the Head of Brand and Customer Experience for the AITC and believes a brand is ultimately defined by its people and relationships. As an advancement professional, Nicole strikes a balance between creative content and results-driven campaigns with an ability to reflect an organisation’s history to form a strong brand identity and strategic intent. Prior to joining the AITC, Nicole’s extensive experience at Independent Schools Queensland and three independent P-12 schools reflects a deep understanding of marketing campaign and content development, digital and social media, crisis communications, event planning and stakeholder engagement. Nicole has been recognised internationally for an award-winning campaign, as a conference speaker and an awards judge, and most recently co-authored a research article.