Ministerial Advisory Board

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    About the Ministerial Advisory Board

    The Ministerial Advisory Board has been established under the Jobs and Skills Australia Act 2022 to advise the Commissioner and the Minister for Skills and Training on the performance of the functions of Jobs and Skills Australia.

    The Ministerial Advisory Board enables us to consult strategically and critically to shape our forward work agenda and deliver on our legislated remit. Importantly, the Ministerial Advisory Board’s advice will help Jobs and Skills Australia achieve its mission to help Australia meet present and future skills needs.

    Meet the Ministerial Advisory Board Members

    Cath Bowtell has a background in the superannuation sector and industrial relations, with experience as a CEO, advocate, and board director. In 2023 she was appointed Chair of IFM Investors, after 4 years on the Board. Cath is also the Chair of The Royal Women’s Hospital Board, and a member of the Board of the Melbourne Arts Precinct Corporation. She was appointed as a director of Industry Fund Services (IFS) in 2022, having served as CEO from 2016. Cath is also the Chair of The New Daily, and Deputy Chair of Industry Super Australia (ISA).

    Megan Lilly is the Executive Director – Centre for Education & Training at The Australian Industry Group (Ai Group). In this role Megan is responsible for the development of all education and training policy, research, and advocacy. 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, Megan held several senior management positions in various Victorian TAFE institutes.

    Megan is Deputy Chair – Worldskills Australia, a director on the board Australian Council for Educational Research (ACER), a member of the Qualifications Reform Design Group, and the Mansfield Adult & Continuing Education Centre. Megan was also on the Noonan AQF Review Panel and chaired Manufacturing Skills Australia.  She has been a member of the Australia India Education Council, including chairing the Skills Working Group, Australian Qualifications Framework Council, Queensland Ministerial Commission, Victorian Skills Commission and was a member of the Australian Industry Skills Committee, National Skills Standards Council, and the National Quality Council. Megan also chaired the Joint COAG-NQC Working Group – VET Products for the 21st Century and has presented at international conferences. She has a Masters in Educational Policy and Administration.

    Liam O’Brien, was re-elected as Assistant Secretary at the Australian Council of Trade Unions (ACTU) Congress in July 2021.

    Before joining the ACTU, Liam was the Victorian Assistant Secretary and National Vice-President of the Australian Workers’ Union (AWU). It was there where he fought for the rights of workers across the diverse range of industries that the AWU represents. As a national official he led the AWU’s work in the aluminium, aviation, glass and construction sectors.

    As ACTU Assistant Secretary Liam is responsible for leading the movement's policy, industrial and campaigning work on work health and safety and workers’ compensation matters. Liam is passionate about the rights of all workers to have safe, healthy and decent work, and is a member of Safe Work Australia and the Asbestos Safety and Eradication Council.

    Liam is also responsible for the skills and VET portfolio at the ACTU.

    Lill Healy is the Deputy Secretary, Skills and Employment Group in the Victorian Department of Jobs, Skills, Industry and Regions having joined from the Victorian Department of Education and Training where she was Deputy Secretary of Higher Education and Skills. Lill has worked across community, private and public sectors and has held leadership positions in a diverse range of portfolios focussed on greater economic and social inclusion for Victorian communities. Lill is the Victorian representative on the national skills network leading cross-jurisdictional planning of vocational education and training (VET) policy and programs.

    Lill led critical work with partners across government to enable Victorian industries and businesses to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic. Prior to this, she led a cross-government team at the Department of Premier and Cabinet to progress new ways of tackling entrenched socio-economic disadvantage through community led place-based approaches and wider service delivery reform. From 2016 to 2019, Lill oversaw the development of Jobs Victoria and the establishment of Victoria’s first Social Procurement Framework and Social Enterprise Strategy in her role as Deputy Secretary. Other previous leadership roles include in Agricultural Victoria and Regional Development Victoria. 

    Lill is a Director of Victorian Tertiary Admissions Centre Ltd. She is a former member of the Public Engagement Committee of the OXFAM Australia Board and former Director of Victorian Women’s Housing Ltd and Macaulay Community Credit Co-operative. Lill holds a Bachelor of Business, Banking and Finance, a Diploma of Youth Work, and is an Executive Fellow of ANZSOG.

    Jodie Wallace is the Executive Director Policy Planning and Innovation at the Western Australia Department of Training and Workforce Development and is Western Australia’s Skills Senior Official. Jodie is a steward of Western Australia’s skill system relative to education, training, migration and workforce planning. In her decade plus career with the Department of Training and Workforce Development, she has held Senior Executive positions in Service Delivery, State Workforce Planning and Skilled Migration. 

    Jodie’s career experience also includes senior roles in international education and the school education sector. Jodie’s career has been shaped by her passion for education and training, in which she has cultivated expertise in stakeholder and community engagement, intergovernmental relations, public policy, corporate communications and service delivery. 

    Luke Achterstraat is the Chief Executive Officer of the Council of Small Business Organisations Australia and offers experience of leadership within membership organisations, small business management, advocacy, and policy development. 

    Prior to this, Luke served as the NSW Executive Director of the Property Council of Australia and held the position of Chair of the Expert Housing Advisory Panel for the NSW Government. Luke has also worked in advisory roles for the Federal Government, including for the ministers for trade, investment, tourism, and international education. 

    Bran Black commenced as the Chief Executive of the Business Council of Australia in September 2023.

    Bran has served as Chief of Staff in 4 NSW ministerial portfolios, including as chief of staff to the Premier and Treasurer. In these capacities, Bran played a significant role supporting business through the COVID-19 pandemic and the post-pandemic recovery.

    Bran has also held executive positions in the higher education and community housing sectors, after having commenced his career as a corporate lawyer.

    Natalie Heazlewood is the Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry Director of Skills, Employment and Small Business.

    Natalie is skilled in both government relations and public policy with close to a decade's experience working in political offices and industry associations. Natalie oversees a wide portfolio focusing on small business, skills and VET, apprenticeships, employment, migration, and higher education, as well as providing Secretariat services to the Employment & Skills Committee and Small Business Committee.

    Annie Butler is a Registered Nurse, with more than a decade’s experience working in public hospitals, the community and on health education projects, and a further decade working in research and education.

    Annie’s career with the Australian Nursing and Midwifery Federation began at the New South Wales Nurses and Midwives’ Association where she held a variety of roles including professional officer, organiser, and lead organiser. In 2014, Annie was appointed as the Assistant Federal Secretary, before being formally elected to the role of Federal Secretary in 2018.

    Andrew Dettmer is the National President of the Australian Manufacturing Workers Union. He was previously the State Secretary of the Queensland/NT Branch of the union from 2003 until 2012. Before his election as State Secretary, Andrew was Assistant State Secretary in Queensland, and a National Organiser. He has been an official of the union since 1988.

    Andrew holds several board positions, including, TAFE Queensland, The Australia Institute, Chairperson of Union Aid Abroad APHEDA (Australian People for Health, Education and Development Abroad) and Spirit Super. He has been involved in Australian Industry Participation policy and vocational education and training policy for many years, seeking to improve the productive performance of Australia’s manufacturing and construction industries and the role of workers and their representatives.

    Correna Haythorpe has spent 17 years teaching in public primary schools. Most of her teaching has been in low socio-economic areas of northern Adelaide and Port Pirie, in regional South Australia. She also taught in the UK and Japan.

    Correna served as Australian Education Union (AEU) SA Branch President from 2008 to 2013. She took on the additional role of Deputy Federal President of the AEU in 2013 and has represented the AEU nationally and internationally with Education International.

    As the AEU’s Federal President since 2015, she leads the union in the fight to secure a strong, fully funded public education system via the For Every Child, Rebuild with TAFE and Preschool Funding Now! Campaigns. She has extensive experience and understanding of social justice issues, with a particular interest in students and their families from disadvantaged areas. Correna has a strong philosophical and personal commitment to public education.

    Professor Jack Beetson is a Ngemba Aboriginal man from Western NSW who has been involved in Indigenous education in Australia and internationally for over 30 years. He is Executive Director of Literacy for Life Foundation, an Aboriginal organisation focussed on lifting adult literacy levels as a path to achieving improvements in employment, training, health and children’s education. He is also Chair of Just Reinvest NSW, supporting community-led solutions to Aboriginal over imprisonment.

    Professor Beetson left school at an early age but returned to education and became one of the first Indigenous Australians to complete a university degree in adult education. He has represented Indigenous peoples at the United Nations (UN) and received an honour from the UN for his work. In 2019, he became the first Indigenous Australian inducted into the International Adult and Continuing Education Hall of Fame.

    Professor Rae Cooper AO is a Professor of Gender, Work and Employment Relations and Director of the Australian Centre for Gender Equality and Inclusion @ Work at the University of Sydney.  Her research interests span across gender equality issues, such as: women’s working lives, gender equality in male dominated occupations, future of work, flexible work, and decent work in frontline jobs.

    Rae has also held various positions throughout her career, such as: Editor of the Journal of Industrial Relations, President of the Association of Industrial Relations Academics of Australia and New Zealand, Executive Member of the International Labour and Employment Relations Association, Director of Family Planning NSW, Deputy Chair of the NSW Premier’s Expert Advisory Council of Women, Director of NSW TAFE Commission and Chair of the NSW Working Women’s Centre.

    El Gibbs is currently the Director of Policy and Advocacy at Disability Advocacy Network Australia and is passionate about the meaningful involvement of people with disability in public policy and public life. She has devoted over fifteen years to working in policy, strategy, and advocacy for the rights of people with disability and is a highly respected expert in the media and policy.

    Ms Gibbs is a person with disability who has previously worked as a sought-after consultant in policy, communications and strategy, including on employment issues. 

    Nyadol Nyuon OAM is a lawyer, human rights advocate, executive corporate advisor and writer. Nyadol moved to Australia as a refugee in 2005. Since her arrival, she has completed a Bachelor of Arts from Victoria University and a Juris Doctor from the University of Melbourne, and she is currently enrolled in a Masters of National Security Policy at the Australian National University. 

    Professionally, Nyadol practised for five years as a commercial lawyer. In 2022, Nyadol was appointed Director of the Sir Zelman Cowen Centre at Victoria University, where she leads legal education and research focusing on law and cultural diversity at Arnold Bloch Leibler in Melbourne. She has worked and volunteered in the community and not-for-profit sector to advocate for legal reform, social justice, human rights, and multiculturalism for over a decade. More recently, Nyadol has provided executive corporate advice to companies and organisations in the private sector dealing with complex ethical issues in a changing and challenging world. 

    Nyadol’s works have been recognised with awards, including the Order of Australia Medal in recognition of service to human rights and refugee women and being included among the Australian Financial Review’s 11 most influential women in Australia in 2019.

    Meeting communiques

    Friday 21 June 2024.docx



    Friday 21 June 2024.pdf



    Monday 20 May 2024.docx



    Monday 20 May 2024.pdf



    Upcoming meetings

    Meeting Date Time Location
    #2 Friday 21 June 2024 8.30am – 12.30pm Sydney
    #3 Monday 26 August 2024 9.00am – 1.00pm Melbourne
    #4 Monday 28 October 2024 1.30pm – 5.30pm Melbourne
    #5 Monday 2 December 2024 2.00pm – 6.00pm Melbourne