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Board of Governance

Rob Carolane


Bachelor of Science (Microbiology)
Alpine Valleys Community Leadership Program Graduate
Advanced Diploma of Group Facilitation
Graduate Australian Institute of Company Directors Course

Board Director since 2010
Deputy Chair 2014-2017 Board Chair 2017-2018


Chair

Audit & Risk Committee
Performance and Remuneration Committee


My working life has had quite a few career changes …and learning new skills with each change has been a big part of my growth as a person. I really like learning new things and I do a lot of informal learning.
Adult education is so important because it’s not until you grow up a bit that you can really decide where your interests lie. Learning new things in a community setting is more supportive because you are connecting with your peers and the outcomes are connected to community needs.

The Centre provides lots of opportunities for people to access learning in a well-supported way. Serving on the Board is my way of helping people to grow and participate in work and community.
Rob lived at Whitlands at the top of the King Valley from 1984 until moving to Wangaratta in late 2016. He has worked as a scientist, farmer, vineyard manager, public servant and is now a self-employed consultant facilitator. Rob was employed at the Centre for three years (2002 – 2005) and was the first team member of what has become Sport North East. Rob grew up in Melbourne and went to university in Canberra, before choosing north east Victoria as a wonderful place to live. Rob is passionate about sustainability and is concerned about climate change. He believes that everyone should have the opportunity to learn new skills and knowledge as they go through life.

What role has education played in your life?
I was not a stand-out student at secondary school and was very lucky to get through year 12 way back in 1973 - I wasn’t motivated to do anything other than drift along. My parents had a high expectation that I would go to university and I got just enough marks to get into a course that I thought would get me into the outdoors rather than behind a desk.
I had a wonderful time at university, mainly focused on the weekends: canoeing, walking, and skiing. After a little while I realised that study was not my thing - I dropped out of my course and focused all my time on canoeing, walking, skiing, cycling and mountaineering. I also had to do bits of casual work to support myself. I did ultimately get my degree and I appreciate that now. However, it was not until 2005, 25 years after graduating, that I got a job requiring a degree.
My working life has had quite a few career changes (not always of my own making) and learning new skills with each career change has been a big part of my growth as a person.

How do you continue learning in your own life?
I really like learning new things. I do a lot of informal learning: I’m very good at making mistakes and then figuring out how I should have done it. I’ve also learnt a lot in more formal settings such as the Alpine Valleys Community Leadership Program, an Advanced Diploma of Group Facilitation, and the Australian Institute of Company Directors Course. I think I’m a much better student than I used to be because I study things that have a direct link to things in which I’m interested.

Why is adult and community education so important?
I think adult education is so important because it’s not until you grow up a bit that you can really decide where your interests lie. Also, circumstances change as you go through life and sometimes you find you must change your career path. Learning new things in a community setting is more supportive because you are connecting with your peers and the outcomes are connected to community needs

What does The Centre mean to you, and why do you want to be part of the Board?
The Centre provides lots of opportunities for people to access learning in a well-supported way. I believe we are focused on the learner’s needs, and only focused on the needs of The Centre as far as they make us a strong and reliable institution. Serving on the Board is my way of helping people to grow and participate in work and community.


Tamara Watson


Alpine Valleys Community Leadership Program Graduate

Board Director since 2017
Deputy Chair



Finance Committee
Performance & Remuneration Committee


As part of completing the Alpine Valleys Leadership Program my goal was to apply for board positions. I have been part of numerous committees at a local level but I have been wanting to take the next step and put my learnings from AVCLP into practice - to gain experience in a board environment and learn more about governance.
The Centre caught my eye when I was aware of a board position becoming available. While operating across the North East region, The Centre provides local community-based learning that is so important in rural areas.

I am pleased to be part of an organisation that does great things for the communities of North East Victoria.
Tamara has always lived in Regional Victoria. Her parents moved around due to work commitments, so the family spent time in Hayfield, Bairnsdale, Benalla and Mansfield – where Tamara has now lived since the early 1990s.

Tamara completed VCE in Mansfield and then went on to study at La Trobe University in Bendigo, taking a year off to work and to buy a horse as she has a passion and love for horses. After returning to Bendigo, Tamara found she wanted to study Natural Resource Management so she made the switch from La Trobe to The University of Melbourne and studied Natural Resource Management at the Dookie College campus.

Tamara has worked in a number of roles: shop attendant in a local bakery for a number of years while studying at university: a Water Watch Co-ordinator in the Mansfield District: a laboratory technician: a project fire fighter with DELWP: and seasonal ranger with Parks Victoria.
Currently Tamara is employed with Parks Victoria as a Ranger Team Leader for the Western Alps management area. She is involved in a number of community and sporting organisations in Mansfield and have a young family that enjoys the country lifestyle.

What role has education played in your life?
Education has lead me on a long path to where I am now. I went to a lot of different schools as my family moved towns. I would not have the role in Parks Victoria now if I did not further my studies and go on to university. I'm fortunate that I was able to attend university close to home while living in a rural area.

How do you continue learning in your own life?
I have recently completed the Alpine Valleys Community Leadership Program, sponsored by Parks Victoria. I'm always on the look out to learn new things. Life generally throws challenges at you and you learn from making your way through them, such as kids, marriage, work and the rest. I know that I will continue to learn through courses or further studies as my interests and life changes along the way.

Why is adult and community education so important?
Community Education is important to allow for options of learning for everyone. It can be the first step that people take to do something that can change their way of life and create a whole new journey which can lead to job opportunities, employment and to benefit the community.

What does The Centre mean to you, and why do you want to be part of the Board?
As part of completing the Alpine Valleys Leadership Program my goal was to apply for board positions. I have been part of numerous committees at a local level but I have been wanting to take the next step and put my learnings from AVCLP into practice - to gain experience in a board environment and LEARN more about governance.
The Centre caught my eye when I was aware of a board position becoming available. While operating across the North East region, The Centre provides local community-based learning that is so important in rural areas. A real bonus is having Sports North East based at the The Centre which I'm excited to learn more about. I am pleased to be a part of an organisation that does great things for the communities of North East Victoria.


Linda Huzzey


Linda HuzzeyBachelor of Science (Geology)
Master of Science (Geography)
PhD (Marine Science)
Diploma of Spatial Information Services
Certificate IV in Training and Assessment


Board Director since 2018

Treasurer


Audit & Risk Committee


Linda grew up on a farm in north-east Victoria and went to high school in Wangaratta before moving away for study and work, including 25 years in the USA. She returned to the area in 2006. She has primarily worked as a scientist and educator, teaching at a maritime college as well as various vocational education and training colleges. She currently lives on a small farm near Chiltern and is also an active volunteer with the local CFA.

What role has education played in your life?
Education and learning, especially relating to the natural world, has always been central to my life. From an early age I can remember (as can my family!) picking up rocks or plants and bringing them home whenever we went on picnics or outings. In fact I may still have some of those rocks! I was fortunate to get a scholarship to study at Melbourne University, and from then on have frequently worked in association with tertiary colleges. I was the first person in my family to undertake any tertiary education but learning was always encouraged in our family and many evenings were spent, by all of us, looking things up in our set of encyclopaedias. That curiosity and interest in the world around me still pervades my daily activities.

How do you continue learning in your own life?
Primarily by reading, but also by challenging myself to learn new skills and seeking out people with expertise. After returning to Australia in 2006, whilst working full-time, I pursued my interest in mapping by obtaining a Diploma of Spatial Information and also completed my Certificate IV in Training and Assessment. I regularly attend workshops, listen to podcasts, or read blogs and articles on a wide range of topics.

Why is adult and community education so important?
It is essential that everyone has access to continuing education, not only for employment but also for furthering their understanding of the world. Education does not cease when you leave high school but should be able to be picked up and pursued throughout your life. This requires colleges that can provide a welcoming and safe learning environment for all members of the community, regardless of age, background or prior education.

What does The Centre mean to you, and why do you want to be part of the Board?
The Centre has been an important part of Wangaratta and the surrounding rural areas for many decades. My mother studied there to complete her VCAL, and thus move on to other training, when she was in her late forties. It made a huge difference to her life. This story would be true of countless other people over the years. I am proud to be part of the Board to help support the continued growth and development of The Centre.



Gavin Woolley


Gavin WoolleyBachelor of Arts (Hons)
Master of Arts (Industrial Psychology)

Board Director since 2019

Gavin Woolley has a wealth of experience in human resource management in health and other industries and has worked in leadership positions with public and private sector organisations both here and in New Zealand.

Gavin has particular strengths in workforce planning and organisational development and has served previously as a Board Member and trustee in the education sector and community workforce space.

Gavin made the tree change to the north east and looking forward to being part of community life both through his commitment to The Centre and through his connections with the health and community services sector in Wangaratta

What role has education played in your life?
My early learning gave me the foundation knowledge and a strong base for completing university studies. At university, with the help of great mentors, I was able to pursue my career interests as well as personal interests in social sciences.

How do you continue learning in your own life?
I undertake professional development courses in psychology, read and prepare case studies and research assignments under the guidance of outstanding clinical supervisors and mentors. I have completed leadership and ICAM investigation lead training to continue my journey as a leader and build my skills in evidence based inquiry.

Why is adult and community education so important?
Knowledge is power and power is the ability to create change. Through providing adult and community education we provide people with a broader understanding of community issues and contemporary changes facing modern society. This is particularly important in regional communities where people become empowered to make a difference professionally, personally and as a member of the community.

What does The Centre mean to you, and why do you want to be part of the Board?]
I believe the communities of regional Australia deserve the very best and I really want to be engaged in the governance of an organisation that is valued and continues to deliver value, excellent learning experiences and innovative programs to support and empower learners and communities alike.


Kirsten Williams


Kirsten WilliamsBachelor of Arts (Hons) (Criminology and Psychology)
Graduate Diploma in Criminal Intelligence
Graduate Certificate of Management


Board Director since 2019

Audit & Risk Committee


Education and learning has played an important role in my professional and working life. I enjoy continuously developing my skills and knowledge through engaging in education opportunities and networking with like-minded people.

What role has education played in your life?
Learning has enabled me to grow personally and professionally and opened up numerous opportunities to develop and give back to my community.

How do you continue learning in your own life?
I regularly engage in learning opportunities from anything ranging from activities such as reading to formal courses and networking to enhance my knowledge and skills.

Why is adult and community education so important?
Learning and enhancing skills is key to ensuring that our communities thrive and achieve. I believe access to learning opportunities is particularly important in regional communities.

What does The Centre mean to you, and why do you want to be part of the Board?
The Centre is a unique and important community service which provides access to learning and skill development for all.


Felicity Williams


Felicity WilliamsBachelor of Arts
Graduate Certificate in Leadership
Master of Business Administration (Executive)
Member Australian Institute of Company Directors

Chief Executive Officer since 2014

Board Secretary

Ex-Officio member of all Board Committees

In September 2014, Felicity took up the role of CEO of The Centre for Continuing Education, fulfilling her desire to return to the tertiary sector within an adult community education college. Felicity’s passion for the vocational education and training sector is embedded in its capacity to link people to community and industry, and because education has the power to change lives. Provision of education through an adult education college such as The Centre is enhanced through the sector’s close and intimate connections to community.

Felicity grew up in Melbourne, but gradually moved further out finally settling in Corowa 20 years ago. Following completion of secondary school, Felicity completed her Bachelor of Arts at Melbourne University and took up a junior editor position with a Melbourne publisher, eventually working as an editor for Penguin Books. Following this she commenced her career in public relations and marketing within a number of organisations, including an educational scholarships group.
While raising two daughters, Felicity set up a successful marketing and business consultancy in North East Victoria and worked closely with businesses and various organisations, including Aboriginal Corporations, through the North East and Southern NSW.
During this time, Felicity was a member of the Albury Wodonga Area Consultative Committee where her passion for building links between education, industry and regional development grew. In 2007, Felicity began her association with the vocational education sector as Marketing Manager of Wodonga TAFE. This was followed by a senior executive position at Bendigo TAFE, and then a business management role at a Catholic Secondary College.
Felicity deepened her skills and knowledge of business concepts and practices when she achieved her Master of Business Administration. She has also lectured in marketing for Federation University.
In September 2014, Felicity took up the role of CEO of The Centre for Continuing Education, fulfilling her desire to return to the tertiary sector within an adult community education college. Felicity’s passion for the vocational education and training sector is embedded in its capacity to link people to community and industry, and because education has the power to change lives. Provision of education through an adult education college such as The Centre is enhanced through the sector’s close and intimate connections to community.

Felicity is Chair of this sector’s peak body – ACEVic. and also serves on the ACFE Hume Regional Council. She is also a Board member of Gateway Health and NE TRACKS LLEN.

What role has education played in your life?
Education has definitely been an enabler for me. But I fear that I squandered my experience at Melbourne University when I completed my Bachelor of Arts – I truly wish I had that time over, but with the benefit of a little maturity, more commitment to achieving outstanding results . . . and perhaps less partying.
My experience in completing my MBA was wonderful – even though I was working full time and raising a family, my commitment was true. I was able to achieve my MBA with Distinction. I actually mourned a little when it was over. I very much embraced the opportunity to fully explore the various themes, theories and practice associated with management and business.

How do you continue learning in your own life?
I have embraced lifelong learning and am constantly seeking ways to learn. I am currently participating in MOOKs – free courses offered by universities from around the world. This has proven to be a great way to access global thinking and ideas.

I am constantly reading articles – my favourite source tends to be Harvard Business Review, which contains articles that are thought provoking, innovative, sometimes challenging existing thought and practice, but largely practical and lend themselves to practical application. I also listen to podcasts about wide ranging themes. I find this source of discussion, thinking and exploration of issues to be a rich source for my thinking about The Centre and our possibilities.
Why is adult and community education so important?

Adult and community education is absolutely vital within our educational landscape. It provides a way in for people with significant barriers to access formal education and economic empowerment. We have learners of all ages – from 15 through to 65+. They mingle, learn from each other, and have ownership of The Centre. Our approach is learner driven – not teacher driven. Our learner experiences form a vital part of the learning journey within the community education vehicle. We change lives, we provide hope, we build resilience in people through connections to community, and a road to health and wellbeing.

What does The Centre mean to you, and why do you want to be part of the Board?
I feel honoured and privileged to be able to lead The Centre, working with our wonderful Board and my fantastic leadership team. The Centre is an intrinsically important part of our regional community, as evidenced by the outstanding turnout to our community meeting in 2016. Our passionate staff make The Centre a wonderful place to work, learn and contribute. The work we do genuinely makes a difference to peoples’ lives – this is what gets me out of bed each morning.