CCA brings in new Board of Directors

Community Colleges Australia has brought in a new Board of Directors, at its virtual Annual General Meeting held on 25 November 2020.

Three new Directors (view details here) are:

  • Kerry Johnson, CEO, ACE Community Colleges, Lismore;
  • Kerrie Smith, Training and Operations Manager, WEA Illawarra, Wollongong; and
  • Jade Vermeer, Finance and Administration Manager, Tamworth Community College.

They join continuing Directors Acting Chair David MacKay (TLK Community College), Theresa Collignon (Macquarie Community College), Jennifer Aldred (Sydney Community College, re-elected to the Board), Joanne Martin (Central Coast Community College), Ron Maxwell (VERTO, re-elected to the Board) and Ted Nabung (Hornsby Ku-Ring-Gai Community College).

Retiring Directors were David Fuller (CEO of WEA Illawarra) and Michelle Simpson (CEO of Tamworth Community College).

In his Report to the AGM, outgoing Chair David Fuller said:

“I wish to acknowledge that I am speaking to you today from Wollongong the land of the traditional custodians, The Wadi Wadi people of The Five Islands Dreaming. I pay my respects to Elders past, present and future and value their continuing cultures and connection to the land, waterways and the sea.

“Most of you recall, our last AGM took place at our conference in Brisbane a year ago what a long time ago that seems now. We were to have undertaken this AGM at a Sydney conference, but like so many things over the past 12 months these plans were turned on their head. I do hope that we – the members of CCA – will soon be able to gather as a group again without restrictions, and things are looking optimistic.

“After six years – on the Board, including five years as Chair, I have decided not to seek re-election to the Board of Directors of CCA, at this AGM on the expiration of my second 3 year term. I do this as I think it is healthy for an organisation to have new talent on the board and also to concentrate my focus on larger projects within my own college over the next few years before I retire.

“I want to thank the previous CCA Chair, David Martin, for passing on an organisation in good shape (although my first job was to recruit a CEO at the time). I also want to thank the other CCA Board members who I have had the pleasure to work with over the past five years, including David MacKay, Theresa Collignon, Joanne Martin, Ron Maxwell, Jennifer Aldred, Ted Nabung, Helen Zwicker, Valerieanne Byrnes, Danielle Bensley, Joneen Troup, Jonathan Davis, Ben Grushka, John O’Neill, Peter Gilchrist, Kerry Johnson, Julie Neeson, and there may be others who I have overlooked.

“However, I also want to acknowledge the very significant contribution of two people, firstly retiring Board Director Michelle Simpson, who has fought the good fight for CCA in many different arenas over the past few years, and I want to say a heartfelt thanks personally and on behalf of the CCA membership; and secondly, Rodney Wangman, the CEO of Albury Wodonga Community College, who chooses not to serve on the Board of CCA but has for many years provided much appreciated assistance to the operation of CCA. Thank you both so much.

“I have also enjoyed working with the current CCA Board Executive team of Deputy Chair, David MacKay and Treasurer, Theresa Collignon and I’m proud of the fact that the next Chair of CCA will lead an organisation that now has a solid financial position, a very capable administrative team led by a passionate CEO who appears to love his work and never slows down.

“So turning our attention to what has happened over the past 12 months that is noteworthy.

“Since our Brisbane AGM a year ago, CCA has had an excellent time of achievement for its members and for our sector. Highlights include:

  • We continue to run the highly-regarded Community Education Student of the Year Awards, now in its fourth year, this year sponsored by the NSW Government. Immediately after this meeting at 1.30pm Sydney time today, the 2020 Awards will take place via Zoom. We expect up to 120 people to participate via 20 or more locations around the country. These select students showcase the very best outcomes of the adult and community education sector, and we are all rightfully very proud of them.
  • Our Brisbane conference a year ago set a new record for political engagement with six different speakers representing Queensland and Commonwealth governments.
  • In September of this year we launched the latest of our – now annual – reports on vulnerable and disadvantaged government-funded VET students in New South Wales. Instead of the planned Parliament House launch, this year we ran the event via Zoom, with almost 100 attendees, including 20 State Members of Parliament, and our keynote speaker, the Honourable Dr Geoff Lee MP, NSW Minister for Skills and Tertiary Education.
  • In August, the NSW Government launched a much-awaited and nationally significant adult and community education policy, the first in 12 years.
  • In New South Wales we have had two recent major special funding successes: $2.3 million provided for an infrastructure maintenance program, and in April of this year, the State Government provided $2 million in COVID-relief funding for NSW ACE providers.
  • Our representations continue to be highly regarded on both Commonwealth and State levels, including strong collaborations with Victorian ACE peak organisations.
  • And with the arrival of the pandemic, CCA quickly altered its networking and professional development program, running 20 online Zoom sessions in March, April, May and June alone.
  • CCA is also justly proud of its CEO coaching, VET managers networking and other professional development, including the excellent work to raise the level governance capability of our colleges, and while I suspect there is still more to do in this college governance space we have shone a light into an area that is vital for the health and sustainability of our members.

“To the members, I say – thanks for your support and enthusiasm, CCA is only ever as strong as its members allow it to be. And finally, I want to thanks the CCA staff – Don Perlgut, Evelyn Goodwin and Clare Harris – for their tireless and thorough work with us over the last year. I have enjoyed my time with you all and wish you well for the future.”

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