Board / Executive Leadership Team

Board / Executive Leadership Team2023-09-06T09:54:58+10:00

The AITC Board

The Board is responsible to the AITC members for implementing and maintaining effective, sustainable, value-adding governance practices by improving the performance of the AITC through strategy formation and policy making. The AITC has recruited its Board Directors carefully to ensure that our collective experience offers expertise across the appropriate areas of the AITC’s strategic plan, including: educational delivery, industry leadership, legal matters, business management, vocational training and finance.

Ric Roach, Board Chair

B Comm, CA, ICAA

Ric is a senior partner of EY, with over 30 years’ experience (19 years as a partner) working with leading companies in Australia and the UK. In his role leading the audits of publicly listed companies, growing private businesses, and not-for-profit enterprises, Ric engages with directors and management on strategic, financial, valuation, enterprise risk, and corporate governance matters. Previously Operations Leader for EY QLD Assurance, EY National Training Committee member, Ric led EY QLD Property and Middle Markets focus, and also serves as a Director and the Treasurer for Circa, one of the world’s leading circus performance companies.

Jack Stevens

B Bus, B Com, GradDip CA

Jack is the Co-Founder and CEO of Edstart, a technology and financial services company providing funding and payment services in the education sector. Jack also has over five years experience as a Chartered Accountant working at KPMG. He holds a Bachelor of Commerce and Bachelor of Business from Bond University.

David Rutter

BPD, BBld, GradDip Property, MBA, GAICD

David has nearly 30 years’ experience in the commercial construction sector. Following early experience working on several landmark Melbourne projects including the Melbourne Casino and Federation Square, he joined Kane Constructions in 2000 before relocating to Brisbane early 2007 and founding the Queensland branch of Kane. As a Board member of Kane, he has been an integral part of the growth into four States & Territories and $1b annual turnover. Industry affiliations include the Queensland Master Builders Association and the Property Council of Australia. He is also on the Queensland Board of Advisors for the Property Industry Foundation – an industry charity focussing on building homes for homeless youth.

Professor Geraldine Castleton

Cert T, B Ed, GradDip T, M Ed (Hons, First Class), PhD

Professor Castleton is a highly experienced and successful leader who has provided strategic direction and management at a senior level in educational institutions across the tertiary, vocational education and school sectors. Her leadership  in universities in Australia and the United Kingdom includes the roles of Head of Postgraduate Education, Dean and Head of School of Education.  Expertise includes development and delivery of innovative education programs; developing policy, managing and undertaking ground-breaking research and consultancy.  Geraldine has a distinguished international and national track record in research in literacy across a range of contexts (schools, community settings and workplaces) including the successful management of projects and dissemination of results. She has served on national curriculum and research advisory and reference committees including as a member of the Australian English Curriculum and currently is a member of the Australian Council for  Educational Research expert group for the Literacy and Numeracy Test in Initial Teacher Education  (LANTITE).  Geraldine’s expertise in adult literacy has included the design and leadership of accredited and non-accredited professional development for adult literacy tutors in Australia, the United Kingdom, Ireland and Taiwan.  Her contribution to education was recognised by her peers in the 2019 Australian Council of Deans of Education Outstanding Contributon to Education Awards. Currently Geraldine is a volunteer with The Smith Family’s Learning Club.

Dan Bridges

MBA, B Mech Eng Tech, Engineering Mechanical Trade (Fitting, Turning & Machining)

Dan is Co-CEO (Technical and People) of B&R Enclosures, a family-owned business specialising in the design and manufacture of enclosures, racks and cabinets. He commenced with the company over 25 years ago as an apprentice fitter and turner. In his role, Dan drives the company’s strategic planning, development and execution and has lead the implementation of many significant innovations. He oversees product development; quoting; design; systems engineering; health, safety and quality, IT and human resources. Dan is a Member of the Australian Industry Group. He is also a volunteer surf life saver with the North Kirra Surf Club.

The Executive Leadership Team

Mark Hands

M.Ed, B.Sc, AFAIM, MACE, GAICD, Cert III Carpentry

Mark is the Chief Executive Officer and Executive Principal 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.

Bobbette van Zyl

B.Com (Hons), CA(SA) CA ANZ

Bobbette is the Director of Business and 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.

Lee Smith

B.A (Hons), B. Sc, PGCE

Lee is the Director 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, B.CI, M.Edplus

Nicole is the Director of Brand and Community 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.

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