ASQA is an independent statutory authority. ASQA has two Commissioners, who are appointed by the Governor-General for up to five years:

  • the Chief Commissioner
  • the Deputy Chief Commissioner and Commissioner, Regulatory Operations.

For the purposes of the Public Governance, Performance and Accountability Act 2013, the Chief Commissioner is also ASQA's Chief Executive Officer and is responsible for ASQA's management and administration.

Ms Saxon Rice
Chief Commissioner and Chief Executive Officer

Saxon Rice portrait photo

Ms Saxon Rice has extensive experience across the VET and employment services sectors as well as the public policy process. Ms Rice previously held a range of senior government, VET and management positions. She was Assistant Minister for Technical and Further Education in the former Queensland Government from 2012 to 2015, and Chair of the then Ministerial Industry Commission responsible for industry engagement.

Ms Rice is a former Director of Global Business Development for an Australian employment services company and was responsible for significant growth into new countries in the European and Asian markets. Ms Rice has also served in a range of Senate Committee Secretariats, including as Acting Secretary and Principal Research Officer to the Senate Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade Committee. More recently, Ms Rice was a Member of the Administrative Appeals Tribunal from 2016 to 2018 and she is a Member and Graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.

Ms Rice commenced as a Commissioner of ASQA on 16 April 2018 and as Chief Commissioner and CEO (initially Acting) on 7 October 2019.

Dr Irene Ioannakis
Deputy Chief Commissioner

Irene Ioannakis landscape photo

Dr Irene Ioannakis has extensive experience in the disciplines of vocational education and training (VET), secondary and tertiary education and human resources management. Dr Ioannakis’ most recent position was Chief Executive Officer of Ioannakis and Associates. Prior to running her own consultancy business, Dr Ioannakis was employed by Chevron as the Australian Business Unit Manager - Organisational Capability and Development and, prior to this role, Dr Ioannakis was the inaugural Director of the GE Oil and Gas Skills Development Centre.

Dr Ioannakis is a former Managing Director and Executive General Manager responsible for expanding the Caterpillar Institute (now the WesTrac Institute), a registered training organisation, specialising in the heavy vehicle mechanical trade area. During this phase of her career, Dr Ioannakis was promoted to Executive General Manager – Human Resources. She also served as the Director – Safety, Education and Training at the Chamber of Minerals and Energy of Western Australia, was a member of the Training Accreditation Council (TAC) in Western Australia for almost 18 years, and served on the Curtin Business School of Management Advisory Board. Dr Ioannakis is currently a Fellow of the Australian Institute of Management (FAIM).

Dr Ioannakis commenced as a Commissioner of ASQA on 11 September 2017 and as Deputy Chief Commissioner on 13 December 2019.

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