The ITF is governed by a Council of its members, representing all of New Zealand's recognised Industry Training Organisations, with an Independent Chair.
Professor Pat Walsh, Independent Chair
Emeritus Professor Walsh is the former Vice-Chancellor of Victoria University. Professor Walsh has had a distinguished academic career focussing on industrial relations and labour markets.
Garry Fissenden, Deputy Chair
Garry Fissenden is the CEO of The Skills Organisation, which covers 21 industries including Electrical, Plumbing, State Sector, Local Government, Financial Services, Contact Centre, Real Estate, Security and others. Garry has had a breadth of General Manager experience, mainly in financial services in both Australia and NZ for ASB Bank, Esanda Finance and UFC Finance. Garry has served on many boards and is the current Chair of the NZ Rugby League board.
Dean Minchington, ServiceIQ
Dean Minchington is Chief Executive of ServiceIQ, the ITO that covers aviation, tourism, travel, cafes, bars and restaurants, food services, accommodation, museums, retail and wholesale. Previously, Dean was CEO of Entello Group Pty Ltd, Chief Operating Officer with Careflight, and GM Business Development with Aviation Australia. Dean's last role in NZ was with Origin Pacific Airways. Dean is also a company director, and a former member of the Australian Institute of Company Directors, CEO Institute and the New Zealand Institute of Management.
Dr Grant Davidson, Skills Active
Grant is currently Chief Executive of Skills Active Aotearoa (the ITO for sport, fitness, recreation and snowsports). He has been in CE roles for the past 20 years, coming from the education and outdoors sector. He has been instrumental in the development of outdoor training and qualification systems and was the initiator of the New Zealand Outdoor Instructor Association – holding top level awards in a number of disciplines. Grant has been active in governance roles in a number of key outdoor organisations in New Zealand and is firmly committed to furthering professionalism in the sport and recreation sectors. Grant has a PhD in risk management from the School of Management at Waikato University and is considered an international expert in this field. He is also a member of the Institute of Directors with a strong interest in governance effectiveness. He lives to serve his wife, three children and border collie.
The ITF Team
Josh Williams, Chief Executive Officer
Josh has worked in the Education Sector for 18 years, focussed on skills, qualifications, and quality assurance issues in the schooling and tertiary sectors. Prior to rejoining the ITF he was Senior Policy Manager in Tertiary Policy at the Ministry of Education, leading policy for vocational and foundational education, and secondary-tertiary transitions.
Josh was programme manager for the implementation of Youth Guarantee initiatives, and led the development of Vocational Pathways, recognised as an example of successful government and industry partnerships. He was formerly Principal Policy Advisor at the Industry Training Federation, a Senior Policy Analyst at NZQA, and Private Secretary to Ministers of Education.
Josh holds a Bachelor of Arts (Humanities) degree from Massey University and is a member of the Institute of Directors.
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Michael Ross, Principal Advocacy Advisor
As Principal Advocacy Advisor at the ITF, Michael's role is to advocate for the interests of the industry training sector and ITOs by providing advice on policy and sector performance issues. He has a Masters degree in Political Science from the University of Canterbury. Michael started his career as a policy analyst at the Ministry of Economic Development before joining the Ministry of Education where he worked in tertiary education policy, as an advisor in the Secretary for Education’s office, and most recently as part of the central Budget Strategy and Coordination team.
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Natalie Pene, Office Manager
Natalie is the Industry Training Federation's Office Manager who also has the pleasure of being Executive Assistant to the Chief Executive. Natalie works Monday to Thursday allowing three days to be spent with her wonderful young son, Thyme.
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Wendy Dykstra, Finance and Payroll Manager
Wendy has worked part time for the ITF since October 2011, with her role being finances and payroll. She works part time for two companies in a finance, reporting qualifications and payroll capacity.
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Donna Lewis, Communications & Campaigns Manager
Donna is the newest addition to the team, bringing with her over 20 years experience in advertising and strategic communications, with wide-ranging leadership, campaign and relationship management experience in both the public and private sector. At the Industry Training Federation she is responsible for the overall communications and the management of the successful Got A Trade, Got It Made campaign. She has a degree in English Literature & Classical Studies from Victoria University that probably led to her love of poetry, which she often writes in her spare time. Spare time she claims to have little of between gym visits, looking after her husband Paul, and their two chocolate Labradors Ayla & Purdie.
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Skills Highway Team
Nicky Murray, Programme Manager
Nicky is the Programme Manager for the Skills Highway workplace literacy and numeracy programme. She has been involved in industry training, workplace learning, and adult literacy and numeracy for a number of years. Nicky is a strong proponent of lifelong learning, having begun her under- and post-graduate studies later in life. Her doctorate thesis, entitled 'Who gets their hands 'dirty' in the Knowledge Society? Training for the skilled trades in New Zealand’ is a jolly good read. She is the mother of dragons (three delightful adult daughters) and in her spare time enjoys sitting quietly.
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Anne Alkema, Research Manager
Anne is the Research Manager who possesses an abundance of knowledge having worked in education as a teacher, public servant, and for the last 10 years as a researcher and evaluator. Anne holds a Master of Education degree, her main area of work is in adult literacy and numeracy where her focus has been on the economic and social impact of New Zealand government policies and the extent to which these policy settings are working for target groups and industries. As an adjunct to this work, she has also helped to develop frameworks of good practice for embedding literacy and numeracy into education and training programmes in tertiary education settings and workplaces.
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