Sustainable and Diversified Business Models for ACE Providers

The CCA member virtual Zoom professional development event on “Sustainable and Diversified Business Models for ACE Providers” took place on Thursday 27 May 2021.

This virtual event was recorded and is available to watch on YouTube, for CCA members. Email CCA at for the video link.

The session gives participants deep insights into how four current CCA members have approached developing new and sustainable business models through four very different activities. We heard presentations from:

  • Kerry Johnson, ACE Community Colleges: Expanding VET into Queensland – Opportunities and Challenges
  • David Martin, Western Riverina Community College: Setting up a Special Assistance Secondary School – Timing, Philosophy, Resources, Staff and Location
  • Ron Maxwell, VERTO: Diversifying and Expanding Services – Community, Apprenticeship, Employment, Disability and Careers
  • Jade Vermeer and Elana Davis, Tamworth Community College: Adding New Training Products to Meet Community Demand – Consultation, Application, Resources and Financial Impact

The session was chaired by Dr Don Perlgut, CEO of Community Colleges Australia.

Who is this session for?

  • CEOs
  • Board Directors
  • Senior staff with strategic, governance, financial or programming responsibilities

Session Presenter Details

Kerry Johnson, CEO, ACE Community Colleges

As CEO of ACE Community Colleges since 2006, Kerry Johnson has overseen the growth of the College expansion into Queensland, opening two campuses on the Gold Coast. Kerry started her work in education as a primary school teacher in South East Queensland where she taught for five years. In 2003 she was appointed Executive Director of Recreation Training Queensland, an Industry Training Advisory Body for sport, outdoor recreation, fitness, horse racing and gambling, which propelled her into the world of VET. She has an extensive background in the management of not-for-profit organisations and has held positions on various boards including CCA, Sports Federation Queensland and Co-operative Learning Ltd.

David Martin, Chief Executive Officer, Western Riverina Community College

With a background in education administration and business, David Martin joined Western Riverina Community College (WRCC) in 2004. Since then, he has been instrumental in driving the College’s impressive expansion. Through additional board roles with Community Colleges Australia (including as CCA Chair), David has also helped to develop and strengthen the contribution of community colleges across Australia. David holds a Master of Education Leadership and Policy, Bachelor of Adult Learning and Development, as well as qualifications in business and accounting. Also known for his involvement in the community, David received the Governor-General’s Award for services provided to Scouting Australia in 2011 and was named ACT Rugby Volunteer of the Year. A keen sailor in his leisure time, David completed a two-week sailing voyage from Australian to New Zealand aboard HMB Bark Endeavour (replica) in 2019.

Ron Maxwell, Chief Executive Officer, VERTO

Ron Maxwell is Chief Executive Officer at VERTO since 2014, and previously CEO of Western College, Dubbo. Ron is a GAICD, holds a Bachelor of Business (Economics) and Grad Cert Innovation Training & Ed. He has 20 years’ experience in the commercial sector. He is a director of the National Australian Apprenticeship Association; a member of the Independent Tertiary Education Council Australia (ITECA) New South Wales Committee; the New South Wales State Training Services’ Smart & Skilled provider reference group; a member of the NSW Skills Board Provider advisory group, and a CCA Board Director. In 2014, Ron also served as a member of the National Skills Standard Council reference group for the introduction of the new National VET Regulator standards.

Jade Vermeer, Acting Chief Executive Officer, Tamworth Community College

Jade Vermeer is the Acting Chief Executive Officer at Tamworth Community College, having worked for the College for over 10 years, most recently as Finance and Administration Manager. She holds a Diploma of Management and VET qualifications in Business. Jade’s experience spans across both the non-profit and corporate sectors, including positions at BOC Operations Centre QLD and Leighton Holdings Ltd, specialising in operational and strategic planning, leadership and accounting. Her passion and belief in personal development and professional training have enabled her to develop a diverse range of skills including project management, change management and marketing, as well as empowering the individuals she leads to achieve outstanding goals and contribute to organisational success and her community. She is a member of the CCA Board of Directors.

Elana Davis, Training and Quality Manager, Tamworth Community College

Elana Davis has been with Tamworth Community College (TCC) since 2006. Her roles during this time have been Reception, Training Coordinator and recently taking on the Training & Quality Manager role in January 2020. Elana also assists with providing guidance to students through the TCC Pathway Planning Program. Elana’s employment history has been ‘customer’ focussed, in sales and customer service. She holds business qualifications, Certificate IV in Training and Assessment and a wide range of professional development certificates. She is also a Director on the Board for Tamworth Dementia Respite Service (TDRS).