National Vocational Education and Training Regulator Advisory Council member profiles
Advisory Council members are appointed based on expertise in governance, regulation, industry engagement, and education and training.
Mr Peter Costantini OAM has 3 decades of experience working with a wide range of industries and enterprises in business strategy, engagement and advocacy at the state and federal levels. His expertise includes the areas of employment, vocational education and training, and in forming partnerships with government and industry.
In this time, he has played a prominent role in the strategic direction of Australia's apprenticeship system, government funding models, skills shortages, Indigenous employment and training, and industry support for marginalised youth. He served for 8 years as a member of the Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry Ministerial Advisory Committee on Education and Training. During his 12 years with the Queensland Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Mr Costantini worked with successive governments on an extensive range of policy issues and delivery strategies. He was the founding Executive Officer of Queensland Apprenticeship Services, which became the principal provider of support services to employers, apprentices and trainees in Queensland.
Mr Costantini holds the qualifications Bachelor of Business (Marketing) and Master of Business Administration and is a member of the Australian Institute of Company Directors. He was awarded the Medal of the Order of Australia in June 2020 for service to business, particularly to education and training. Mr Costantini is currently the Managing Director of the SAS Group, a strategic public affairs and communications firm.
Dr Don Zoellner is the independent Board Chair of the Industry Skills Advisory Council NT and the NT representative on the Australian Industry and Skills Committee. He is an Honorary University Fellow at Charles Darwin University.
Dr Zoellner has worked in the school, vocational and higher education sectors in the NT since 1973. He served as the Executive Director of Centralian College in Alice Springs and Pro Vice-Chancellor VET and Community Engagement at Charles Darwin University.
He has been a member of the Board of Directors of the Enterprise and Career Education Foundation, a member of the National Advisory Council on Suicide Prevention, Chairperson of the Australian Principals’ Associations Professional Development Council, and an Executive Board Member of TAFE Directors Australia. Dr Zoellner has served on numerous advisory committees, reviews and evaluations of education and training at both NT and national levels; most recently the Shergold Review into Senior Secondary Pathways into Work, Further Education and Training.
Dr Zoellner completed his Doctor of Philosophy in 2013 by describing the development and implementation of vocational education and training policy in Australia, and continues to research, write and publish in the area.
Dr Grant Klinkum is Chief Executive of the New Zealand Qualifications Authority (NZQA). NZQA manages the New Zealand Qualifications Framework, quality assures over 400 non-university tertiary education entities and administers external assessment for the 3 levels of the National Certificate of Education Achievement and Scholarship examinations for senior secondary school education.
Dr Klinkum has been closely involved in the Reform of Vocational Education in New Zealand over the past 3 years and has taken a particular interest in the possibilities of micro-credentials within the New Zealand education and training system. Prior to working at NZQA, Dr Klinkum served on senior leadership teams at the Tertiary Education Commission, the Ministry of Education, a private training organisation, and an institute of technology polytechnic.
Dr Klinkum has a PhD in Political Science from Victoria University of Wellington, a Master of Education Administration from Massey University and a Master of Arts from the University of Canterbury.
Mr Neil Quarmby’s career extends across intelligence and operations fields, across a broad range of public sectors. His focus has been on improving decision making in organisations, including over 12 years in the senior executive in the public service and 2 years providing consultancy services to the executive of government agencies in Australia and New Zealand.
Mr Quarmby has led 3 operational government regulators across human services, health and social services. His most recent appointment was to a statutory position providing assurance for a viable and diverse NSW community housing sector. He continues to consult on improvements in the operational performance of organisations, particularly in the areas of regulatory decision-making and intelligence.
Mr Quarmby served in the Australian Defence Force for 21 years and on retirement from the Army, he served as a senior analyst and manager of a national strategic crime assessment agency in the Attorney General’s Department. Mr Quarmby then went on to hold senior leadership positions in the Australian Crime Commission, Medicare fraud and non-compliance, and Commonwealth work health and safety.
Ms Adrienne Nieuwenhuis was recently appointed as TEQSA Commissioner for a 5-year term. She is a member of the Australian Qualifications Framework Expert Advisory Group, the Australian Industry and Skills Committee, and the South Australian Skills Commission where she is also the Chair of the Commission’s Traineeship and Apprenticeship Sub-Committee.
Ms Nieuwenhuis has extensive knowledge of both the VET and higher education sectors and has held a range of positions including Director, Office of Vice Chancellor and Strategic Programs, Chancellery, at the University of South Australia and Deputy Chair of the South Australian Training and Skills Commission.
She is a former Director, Quality, Tertiary Education, Science and Research in the South Australian Department of Further Education, Employment, Science and Technology and in this role, she was responsible for the regulation of both VET and higher education prior to the establishment of ASQA and TEQSA. She worked closely with the Commonwealth Government in the establishment of national regulatory systems for both VET and higher education.
Ms Nieuwenhuis was an inaugural member of the National Skills Standards Council (2011–2013) and also of the Higher Education Standards Panel (2011–2014). Ms Nieuwenhuis was re-appointed to the Higher Education Standards Panel for a further 3-year term in 2018.
Ms Nieuwenhuis has over 30 years’ experience in tertiary education and has been a member of various state and federal committees and working parties associated with tertiary education. She holds Bachelor of Science (Honours) and a Master of Educational Administration.
Ms Renee Hindmarsh is the inaugural Skills Commissioner and Chair of the South Australian Skills Commission. This role provides independent, industry-led advice to the Government of South Australia on workforce development priorities and is responsible for advising the Minister on the performance of the training system. The Commission also regulates the Apprenticeship and Traineeship system in South Australia via its delegation to the Department for Innovation and Skills.
Prior to her appointment as Skills Commissioner, Ms Hindmarsh has held a range of executive roles relating to skills and education. In February 2019 she was appointed as South Australia’s Training Advocate and during her term the Office of the Training Advocate provided advocacy and support services to approximately 2,000 students, apprentices and trainees and employers to help navigate the training system and understand their rights and obligations with an aim of supporting successful training completions. These advocacy and support functions and services now form part of the Skills Commission’s remit.
From 2014 until early 2019 Ms Hindmarsh was Chief Executive of the Australian Technology Network of Universities which is the peak industry body for Australia’s leading technology universities. In this role Ms Hindmarsh contributed regularly to the national innovation and future skills debate and oversaw the introduction of Australia’s first national approach to intellectual property to foster closer collaboration between universities and industry.
Professor Valerie Braithwaite is an Emeritus Professor in the School of Regulation and Global Governance, Australian National University (ANU). As Director of the Centre for Tax System Integrity (1999–2006), she co-founded with John Braithwaite the ANU-based and internationally influential Regulatory Institutions Network (RegNet). Professor Braithwaite’s research projects range across a number of fields including aged care, work health and safety, social welfare, child protection and education. Her research aims to answer questions about how to regulate for harm prevention, improved productivity and democratic accountability.
Professor Braithwaite has served as an advisor on regulatory policy over her career. She is currently on the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency’s Expert Advisory Panel. She has advised governments on tax compliance in Australia, New Zealand and OECD countries and has served on the Australian Government’s ATO Cash Economy Task Force (1995–2005).
She was a member of the National Skills Standards Council (2011–14). In 2013, with Kwong Lee Dow, she conducted a review of regulation in higher education for the Australian Government and, in 2017, conducted a review of the National Vocational Education and Training Regulator Act 2011 for the Minister for Education, All eyes on quality: Review of the National Vocational Education and Training Regulator Act 2011 report. She continues to be actively engaged in how best to regulate vocational training and higher education for quality outcomes.