Thanks to each of the judges who have volunteered their expertise and time to help select the finalists and winners for the 2020 Victorian International Education Awards. Learn more about them below.

Andrew Williamson

Executive Director, Victorian TAFE Association

Andrew Williamson

The Victorian TAFE Association (VTA) is the peak body representing Victorian TAFE Institutes and Dual Sector Universities at both state and federal levels. The VTA and its antecedents have served the Victorian TAFE sector for over 25 years. Recently, VTA has incorporated Victorian TAFE International.

Andrew has worked in executive and leadership roles in Victorian TAFE, dual sector university, technical college and government. He joined the VTA from the Department of Education and Training, where he was a Director in the Higher Education and Skills Group.

Benjamin Colthorpe

Operations Manager, NEAS

Benjamin Colthorpe

Benjamin is a Quality Assurance expert in International Education. He taught English across various sectors in Australia and worked as a Quality Assurance Assessor with the independent Quality Assurance agency, NEAS before moving into his current position as Operations Manager. Benjamin now manages the Quality Assurance activities for over 200 English Language Teaching Centres in Australia and internationally while supporting business development activities and managing various projects.

Brett Blacker

Chief Executive Officer, English Australia

Brett Blacker

Brett is the Chief Executive Officer of English Australia, the National Peak Body for the English Language Teaching sector. He has previously held a range of Director level roles at Murdoch University, and the University of Newcastle. Brett has experience with the Insurance and Health sectors as General Manager: Health, OSHC Worldcare a portfolio under Allianz Worldwide Partners.

He was a long-standing Board member and immediate past President of the International Education Association of Australia (IEAA). He has served on the Board of Perth Education City (PEC) and as part of the executive group of Australian Universities International Directors Forum (AUIDF). Brett is a member of StudyNSW International Education Advisory Board, the South Australian International Education Ministerial Advisory Council and Council for International Education.

Felix Pirie

Director of Policy & Research, ITECA

Felix Pirie

Felix has worked as a public policy professional for 20 years across defence, employment, industrial relations and education. His key areas of focus have been delivering policy and advocacy solutions across the post-secondary education sector and through graduate and labour market outcomes. Prior to his current role as the Director of Policy & Research at the Independent Tertiary Education council Australia (ITECA), he was the Director of Education and Equity at the Group of 8, representing Australia’s leading research-intensive universities. Felix has worked with the full range of government and non-government stakeholders across the international education sector at national and state levels for more than a decade, designing and delivering policy and system reforms, and has recently been involved in the Victorian Government’s Review Skills for Victoria’s Growing Economy on behalf of ITECA.

Gary Lee

International Education Project Coordinator, City of Melbourne

Gary Lee

Gary is a passionate champion for international education. Dynamic, creative and forward thinking, he specialises in the areas of high level strategic planning; policy development and advice; design and delivery of complex projects and student wellbeing initiatives.

Having earned a reputation as an affable and versatile collaborator, he has led many high profile initiatives including the Our Shout – Food Voucher Program, The Couch – International Student Centre, the Melbourne International Student Conference, the EDGE International Student Leaders’ Program and has managed, facilitated and mentored numerous internship and volunteering programs.

In 2018, Gary was the recipient of the prestigious IEAA ‘Distinguished Contribution to International Education’ award.

Gerard Holland

Founder, Outcome.Life

Gerard HollandJennifer Walsh

Gerard is a chartered accountant and has been a business advisor with a demonstrated history of working in the middle market and startup sectors over a decade. Gerard has also completed his Masters in Entrepreneurship & Innovation which inspired him to quit his comfortable corporate job to become an entrepreneur.

Gerard founded Outcome.Life in 2016 to solve the problem of employability for international students and also through other founded businesses, GADA technology, Pleased.Property and PCSS Gerard has employed over 30 internationals living in Australia.

Outcome.Life has received funding from LaunchVic, was a winner at the 2018 TechDiversity awards and equal second in the 2018 StartUpSmart Awards.

Jane Osborn

Investment and Trade Specialist, Tourism, Regional Development Victoria (DJPR)

Jane Osborn

Investment and Trade Specialist in Tourism for Regional Development Victoria, Jane is working to attract investment, support industry development, manage feasibility and business case projects in the Visitor Economy in Regional Victoria.

Jane has more than 25 years experience, including 15 years based in the Middle East, in the corporate, education marketing and market research sectors with Roy Morgan Research, Taylor Nelson Sofres, Travel Research Centre Sydney, Euromonitor International London and Education Adelaide.

With an educational background in media, research and communications, Jane has worked on many tourism projects for tourism related clients and in recent years has worked closely with the regional tourism boards of Goldfields, Grampians, Daylesford and the Wimmera Mallee regions to support  visitation growth and product development.

Jane is passionate about regional Victoria and growing skills, jobs and investment opportunities in tourism.

Jennifer Mendes

Senior Coordinator, Global Student Mobility, Deakin University

Jennifer Mendes

Jennifer is the Senior Coordinator, Global Student Mobility (Partnerships, Grants and Inbound) at Deakin University, leading the team responsible for all Inbound Study Abroad and Exchange, Trimester and Short Term Programs. She is also responsible for administering grants and exchange partnership agreements for all areas of Deakin Abroad including: Government and Deakin funded inbound and outbound mobility programs.

Jennifer is passionate about International Education and has worked in the Higher Education Sector since graduating in 2009. Her focus on International Admissions (Full-degree and Study Abroad and Exchange) has seen her lead teams of staff and students on a variety of local and international mobility and orientation programs. Jennifer holds a Bachelor degree in Arts and a Master degree in Communication.

Jennifer moved to Melbourne as an international student in 2005. Having experienced bouts of homesickness and learning to survive on limited cooking skills, she can relate to the struggles of an international student and is testament that it will all work out. Drawing from her personal and professional experiences in this space, she is committed to improving the student experience. She hopes that she can give back to the international student community, which was an integral part of her time as an international student.

Jennifer Walsh

Associate Director, Programs, Trinity College, University of Melbourne

Jennifer Walsh

Jen Walsh has an extensive background in adult education, including international students, oversight of learning programs, project management and the promotion of public education.

Currently Associate Director, Programs at Trinity College, the University of Melbourne, providing total leadership, management and implementation of the Non-Residential and Residential Programs. As Housing and Accommodation Manager at Trinity, Jen worked closely with external partners to ensure consistently high standards of student safety, security and wellbeing within a range of approved accommodation options for international students under the age of 18.

Jen is currently VP ISANA, Victoria/Tasmania. In this position she is collaborating with the Centre for Vocational and Educational Policy (CVEP) in the Melbourne Graduate School of Education on a research project funded through a grant from the Department of Jobs, Precincts and Regions (DJPR) under Category 2 of the International Student Welfare Program (ISWP) to study the homestay experiences of international students in the higher education (HE), vocational education and training (VET) and English language sectors.

Jeremy Irvine

Jeremy Irvine

Jeremy is an experienced industry association executive who has led peak bodies in Australia and New Zealand. He joined the Victorian TAFE Association as Executive Director in April 2020.

Jeremy commenced his career in the-then Commonwealth Employment Service and then moved to Canberra where he worked as a policy analyst, public affairs manager and adviser in portfolios including employment services.

In New Zealand, he ran a national peak body in the social services sector before transitioning to the public service as the ministerial speechwriter for the Ministry of Education.

In addition to holding senior government relations roles in the health and employment sectors, Jeremy has also led the Association of Independent Schools of the ACT, and the International Specialised Skills Institute, which provides scholarships to VET teachers to enhance and share skills.

Jeremy holds a Bachelor of Arts and Master of Arts (Organisational Communication), is a Member of the Australian Institute of Company Directors, and a Fellow of the Governance Institute of Australia.

Dr John Wellard

Policy Director International, Universities Australia

Dr John Wellard

Dr John Wellard is Policy Director International at Universities Australia, where he has responsibility for developing and coordinating policy and services in support of the Australian university sector’s international engagement activities. Prior to this John was the Counsellor for the Australian National University at the Embassy of Australian Washington D.C. where he was responsible for fostering new opportunities and supporting existing relationships between the ANU, North American universities and other institutions, policy makers and opinion leaders. John has held senior administrative positions within the University sector and has served time as a policy advisor in the Australian Government and held academic positions in Australia, the United Kingdom and Germany.

Josh Farr

Founder, Campus Consultancy

Josh Farr

An engineer, a traveller to 43 countries, and a former Graduate Recruitment Manager, Josh Farr founded his first company, Campus Consultancy in 2017 and has grown it to be a market leader. His team has upskilled more than 17,000 students from 33-universities through his workshops on leadership, entrepreneurship and emotional intelligence. He’s delivered two TEDx talks, lectured the University of Melbourne ‘Social Enterprise Incubator’ course and is a 2020 World Cup Judge for ENACTUS, supporting universities globally with social-entrepreneurial ventures. With a passion for education that's globally informed and locally brought to life, Josh was the lead facilitator for the Study Melbourne Leadership Labs programs in 2020 reaching more than 2500 international students in Melbourne. You can learn more about Josh and connect with him on LinkedIn https://www.linkedin.com/in/joshdfarr or visit his website www.campusconsultancy.org.

Judie Kay

Vice Chair Programs and Partnerships, WACE

Judy Kay

Judie Kay is currently Vice Chair Programs and Partnerships and an Executive Committee member for the world association for work integrated learning, WACE, and the RMIT Consultant, Graduate Employability. Previously, Judie was Director, Employability & Career Education at RMIT and was responsible for the development and implementation of a broad range of RMIT career, employability and industry engagement strategies. She has managed a range of national employability and work integrated learning (WIL) projects including WIL to Work and Emerging WIL Models and is currently managing a global student WIL project across 8 countries. Judie is a co-founder and Past President of Australian Collaborative Education Network (ACEN), the peak association for WIL in Australia. Judie was awarded a Life membership to ACEN (2020) and the WACE global award for “Excellence in Innovation, Entrepreneurship and Commitment to Co-operative education and Work integrated learning“ in 2015.

Martin Powell

CEO, VET Development Centre

Martin Powell

Martin commenced as the CEO at the VET Development Centre (VDC) in January 2016. Since this time, Martin has driven innovation and change at the VDC to support its goal to become a centre of excellence for continuous professional learning to the VET workforce.

The VDC Board has acknowledged the vision and considerable effort of Martin, who developed the business case and rationale for the establishment of the VDC permanent training facilities in Collins Street Melbourne as well as enhanced online training delivery. This initiative has enabled the VDC to expand its professional learning programs and consolidate its market presence to enable record participation. Martin has also refined the VDC team and streamlined business, marketing and corporate practices to enhance and stimulate engagement with the VDC by the professional workforce, government and other stakeholders.

Prior to joining the VDC, Martin has held prominent positions in the VET sector. Martin was the National Manager, Services / Victorian Executive Officer for the Australian Council for Private Education and Training (ACPET). With TVET Australia and the National Advisory for Tertiary Education, Skills and Employment (NATESE), Martin was Director of the National VET Equity Advisory Council (NVEAC), the COAG advisory committee responsible for independent social policy advice for those groups at risk of disadvantage. His experience extends to broader policy, project and program roles in public sector social policy in the areas of VET, health, corrections, youth services, mental health services, treasury and finance and industry.

Dr Sally Burt

Policy & Research Manager, Independent Higher Education Australia (IHEA)

Dr Sally Burt

Sally is IHEA’s Policy and Research Manager and in that role she assists members (independent higher education providers) by providing information and analysis of government policy and regulation of the higher education sector, accessing data, as well as representing members to government departments, agencies, sector bodies and TEQSA to advocate on their behalf.

Sally comes to the independent sector with experience as an academic. She received her PhD from the Australian National University in 2011 in US diplomatic history. She has been a lecturer at the University of New South Wales, Canberra, ANU, Monash University, and has been a Visiting Fellow at the University of Florida and West Point Military Academy in New York. She has also worked as a Research Assistant on projects examining Australia’s higher education and VET sector and employment skills in the Australian workforce.

Stewart Burn

Stewart Burn

Finding a new pathway for the third age. Ex Senior Principal Research Scientist at CSIRO. Ex Adjunct Professor at RMIT and Victoria Universities.