Linkages: One tertiary education system

You’re invited to join TAFE Directors Australia (TDA) to explore the policy and practice that will strengthen alignment between higher education and vocational education and training.

The TDA online conference will take place from 1.00 pm to 4.30 pm AEDT on 18 October 2023, and features a range of high profile speakers from vocational education and training, higher education, government and industry.

Register now for this free event and don’t miss the opportunity to engage with experts and peers in the field.

Guest Speakers


Hon Brendan O’Connor MP, Minister for Skills and Training

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).  

Minister O’Connor leads discussions with the State and Territory Skills Ministers on the National Skills Partnership and VET reform.

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


Hon Jenny Macklin, Vice-Chancellor’s Fellow, University of Melbourne and Panel Member Australian Universities Accord

Jenny Macklin is a Vice-Chancellor’s Fellow at the University of Melbourne, in the School of Government. She is also a member of the Australian Universities Accord Review Panel. Prior to this, she served 23 years as the Federal Member for Jagajaga. Jenny was the first woman to become the Deputy Leader of a major Australian political party. She was the Deputy Leader of the Federal Parliamentary Labor Party from 2001-2006. 

Jenny served as the Minister for Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs and the Minister for Disability Reform in the Rudd and Gillard Labor Governments.

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Megan Lilly, Executive Director, Centre for Education and Training, Ai Group

Megan Lilly is the Executive Director, Centre for Education and Training at Ai Group. Prior to this she was the Chief Executive Officer of Business Services Training Australia, the national industry advisory board for the business services and related industry sectors. Before joining the national board, she held several senior management positions in various Victorian TAFE institutes.

Megan was a member of the Australian Qualifications Framework
Review Panel that reported to Government in September 2019. Megan is on the
advisory committee for Jobs and Skills Australia and the VET Qualifications
Reform Design Group.


Professor Sally Clift, President of Australian Learning and Teaching Fellows and Vice Chancellor’s Fellow, Victoria University

Sally is a Principal Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (PFHEA), a Fellow of the Australian Academy of Law (FAAL) and President of the Australian Learning and Teaching Fellows (ALTF). Sally is a renowned higher education expert and academic and has published widely on transition pedagogy, legal education and student transition. 

Sally was a member of the Australian Qualifications Framework Review Panel that reported to Government in September 2019.



Presenters and Panellists

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Catriona Jackson, Chief Executive, Universities Australia



Simon Walker, Managing Director, NCVER  


David Coltman, Chief Executive, TAFE SA 



Peter Heilbuth, Deputy Vice President of VET and Business Development, CQUniversity 


   Kelly Pearce, First Assistant Secretary, Higher             Education Division, Department of Education  


Katrina Quinn, Acting Executive Director of Regulatory Operations, Tertiary Education Quality and Standards Agency 



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Dr Sharon Schembri, Dean of Higher Education, TAFE Queensland  


   Dr Ben Allitt, Dean, Higher Education College,               Chisholm Institute




Mish Eastman, Deputy Vice-Chancellor – Vocational Education and Vice President, RMIT University 



Event Sponsor