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Harnessing the power of entrepreneurial action in tertiary education institutions

This event is no longer taking place.
Friday, 29 August 2014
Parkroyal Darling Harbour, 150 Day Street, Sydney

‘Education has no alternative, if it is serve its community properly, but to create people who are more open to creating businesses, who are more confident about coping with uncertainty, who actually have a different experience than simply a diet of teaching.’ - Fintan Donohue, Elite Business Magazine

What will you experience?

Join Fintan Donohue, Chief Executive Officer of the UK based Gazelle Group as he discusses how a collaborative cluster of further education colleges are transforming their organisations to foster a new generation of social and commercial entrepreneurs; entrepreneurs who can add value to communities, bring innovation to existing businesses and who can create their own employment with confidence and ambition.

In particular, Fintan will deliver a keynote presentation on the following themes:

  • Work and learning in the 21st century economy
  • Need for reinventing the business of further education
  • Gazelle Group business model and underpinning paradigms
  • Entrepreneurship as a strategic driver of change
  • Challenges associated with creating transformative change in large organisations; and
  • Practical strategies for adopting an ‘entrepreneurial learning’ approach.

He will also lead a practical, interactive workshop on the theme of ‘Entrepreneurial learning, innovation and creativity’.

The symposia will also feature presentations by Bruce Mackenzie, former CEO, Holmesglen and Senior Fellow, LH Martin Institute and David Riordan Institute Director, TAFE NSW - Sydney Institute on the topic ‘Entrepreneurship in the Australian context’.

Download full program.

Who should attend?

This symposium would be of great interest and benefit to senior executives working in (or for) VET and higher education systems and organisations with responsibilities for:

  • Policy and planning
  • Business development
  • Strategic change management
  • Workforce development
  • Curriculum development; and
  • Industry and community engagement.

Who will be involved?

  • Mr Fintan Donohue, Chief Executive Officer, Gazelle Group

Fintan Donohue OBE has been at the centre of innovation in the UK Further Education and public sector for over 30 years. He is widely credited with igniting the debate around entrepreneurship as a strategic driver for change in the tertiary education sector. His vision for a global network of recognisable entrepreneurial colleges has been reflected in the publication he edited in 2011, ‘New Perspectives on Entrepreneurship’ and more recently in the Gazelle thought leadership publication, ‘Enterprising Futures’. He has built a network of entrepreneurs, corporate employers and education leaders that is unprecedented in its range and contribution to the enterprising debate.

The Gazelle Colleges Group has most recently been singled out in the UKs most far reaching report on enterprise in education as an exemplar for the promotion and advancement of enterprise in curriculum and in student learning experience. Fintan has used partnerships with organisations such as the Kauffman Foundation, Babson College in the US, Microsoft, IDEO and a range of innovative organisations in the UK, to challenge the status quo and bring new thinking into the leadership of further education. He has found supporters and challengers in presenting the case for a more advanced approach to the development of entrepreneurial thought and action in the programmes for leaders in further education.

  • Mr Bruce Mackenzie, Former CEO Holmesglen Institute of TAFE and Senior Fellow, LH Martin Institute

Bruce Mackenzie has played a leading role in the successful development and implementation of the TAFE system in Victoria. His involvement in TAFE goes back to 1981 when he was a member of a four person unit that designed the TAFE system for Victoria which was implemented in 1982. His contribution to the vocational education and training sector was formally recognised in the selection for the 1994 National AUSTAFE award for educational leadership . In the 2005 Australia Day Honours list, he was awarded the public service medal for outstanding services to vocational education. In 2013 he was made an honorary Doctor of the University of Canberra for his work in vocational and tertiary education.

  • Mr David Riordan, Institute Director, TAFE NSW – Sydney Institute

David Riordan was appointed Director of TAFE NSW – Sydney Institute in June 2010. Sydney Institute is one of the largest education and training providers in Australia, helping over 70,000 students achieve their education and employment goals annually via 800 nationally-recognised courses and training programs. Since taking up his current position, David has focussed on structured reform, globalisation and positioning the Institute for a sustainable future.

David has over 30 years’ experience working in the VET, higher education, schools and corporate sectors in Europe and the Middle East. He managed the workforce training for the 2000 Sydney Olympic and Paralympic Games.

  • Ms Marian Schoen, Deputy Director, LH Martin Institute

Marian Schoen commenced with the LH Martin Institute as Deputy Director in April 2013.
She has had extensive experience in governance and executive management in the public and higher education sectors including roles as General Manager of the Melbourne School of Engineering, as Executive Director of the Melbourne Law School, as the Director, Group of Eight Australia Centre Europe in Germany and as a member and now fellow of the Council of the University of Melbourne.

Building on her background in constitutional review and administrative law, she has held executive positions in diverse national organisations such as the National Native Title Tribunal and the Wilderness Society.

  • Dr Ruth Schubert, Program Director (Vocational Education and Training), LH Martin Institute

Dr Ruth Schubert has worked in the Education Sector for over 30 years, with experience in private RTOS, the schooling sector, and universities, and most recently 15 years in Executive positions in TAFE Institutes in South Australia. Ruth has had several stints as A/Managing Director, TAFE SA Regional. Ruth was instrumental in the process for TAFE SA Regional winning the State and National 2011 Large Training Provider of the year. Ruth’s considerable expertise in the Vocational and Training Sector includes education and corporate roles with responsibility for Strategic and Business Planning, Relationship Management and Business Development, Cultural Change, VET Program Delivery, Quality, Regional and Community Engagement, Marketing, and Higher Education Partnerships.

Ruth was appointed by the Federal Minister for Regional Development to the role of Chair for the Limestone Coast RDA Board. Ruth has been a Director of the Stand like Stone Foundation since 2004, and is an inaugural member of the Governor's Leadership Foundation. Ruth’s research interests are in leadership, social capital, building successful communities, and the structure and positioning of the Vocational Education and Training sector.

  • Ms Helen Zimmerman, Group General Manager Government and Stakeholder Relations, Navitas Ltd

Helen Zimmerman has worked in leadership roles in Australian public and private education for over 30 years. She is currently a senior executive of Navitas Limited, an Australian top 100 Company and global education provider that delivers higher education, English language training and settlement services, creative media education, workforce and professional education, and student recruitment.

Prior to joining Navitas Ms. Zimmerman was Managing Director of the ACL Group of companies, the largest private provider of English language education in Australia. She is President of the International Education Association of Australia and has served on the boards of a number of peak professional education associations and regulatory bodies.

Program fee

$800 (including GST)


For enquiries or to register groups, please contact Anita Wong (Program and Events Coordinator) or call +61 3 8344 0906.


Click on 'Register and Pay by Credit Card' or 'Register and Pay by Invoice' or download and complete the registration form (pdf).

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