The VRQA is governed by an independent Board with expertise from education, training, quality assurance and industry.
Deputy Premier and Minister for Education, the Hon. Ben Carroll MP
Deputy Premier Carroll was elected to the Victorian Parliament as the Member for Niddrie in 2012. He has been the Minister for Education since October 2023.
For more information about Deputy Premier Carroll, see:
Minister Skills and TAFE, the Hon. Gayle Tierney MP
Minister Tierney was elected to the Victorian Parliament as the Member for Western Victoria in 2006. She has been the Minister for Training and Skills since November 2016 and became Minister for Skills and TAFE in October 2023.
For more information about Minister Tierney, see:
Minister for Economic Growth, Mr Tim Pallas MP
Minister Pallas was elected to the Victorian Parliament as the Member for Werribee in 2006. He has been the Minister for Trade and Investment since December 2022 and became Minister for Economic Growth in October 2023.
For more information about Minister Pallas, see:
The VRQA is led by a board of 9–13 members. It reports to the Minister for Education and the Minister for Skills and TAFE.
Members are appointed by the Governor-in-Council. They are:
- Ms Pam White PSM – Chair
- Ms Jenny Atta PSM
- Dr Julie Caldecott
- Ms Fran Reddan
- Ms Judy Rose PSM
- Mr Anthony (Tony) Nippard
- Ms Penny Hutchison
- Mr Peter Loney
- Ms Geraldine Atkinson
- Mr Mark Cameron
- Mr Neil Pharaoh
- Mr Tri Nguyen
Ms Pam White PSM – Chair
Ms Pam White has over 30 years of experience in senior management and leadership positions in the Victorian Public Service, in both policy development and operations. Most of her work has been in child protection, disability, housing, youth justice and emergency management.
For 2 years, she led the State Services Authority (now the Victorian Public Sector Commission), the body responsible for public sector administration, governance, service delivery, and workforce management and development. She is a member of the Country Fire Authority and the department's Remuneration Committee. She is also a Board Director of Oak Possability and Launch Housing.
Ms White has an expert understanding of the roles and workings of all levels of government, the development and administration of legislation and regulations, and the importance of good governance in delivering effective and integrated public services. In 2012, she was awarded the Public Service Medal (PSM) for her work in improving services for vulnerable children, and for services to emergency management recovery services.
Ms Jenny Atta PSM
Jenny Atta has been Secretary of the department since March 2019. Prior to this, Jenny was Acting Secretary from November 2018.
Ms Atta is directly responsible for the management of the department and for supporting the early childhood, education and training portfolio ministers in the management and administration of their portfolios.
Ms Atta joined the department in December 2015 as Deputy Secretary, Infrastructure and Finance Services Group. In this role, Ms Atta was responsible for the management and oversight of the department's financial, procurement and information technology services, along with strategic advice and planning for State Budget processes, and infrastructure policy and delivery. This followed a range of senior roles in the VPS, including with the Department of Treasury and Finance and the Department of Human Services.
Ms Atta holds a Bachelor of Applied Science and a Master of Public Policy and was awarded a PSM in June 2021 for outstanding public service to strategic social policy reform and delivery in Victoria. In 2019, Ms Atta was inducted as an Institute of Public Administration Australia Victorian Fellow.
Dr Julie Caldecott
Dr Julie Caldecott has extensive experience as a consultant and non-executive director across both the public and private sectors. As a Director and Partner of Boston Consulting Group, she focused on consumer goods, health and public policy reforms. She trained as a medical practitioner prior to joining Boston Consulting Group, and has an MBA from the Melbourne Business School, University of Melbourne.
Her previous board memberships include Board Chair of Blue Cross Aged Care and non-executive directorships at Melbourne's Royal Children's Hospital, the Victorian Transport Accident Commission, and the Institute for Safety, Compensation and Recovery Research.
Dr Caldecott is a member of the Victorian Major Transport Infrastructure Board and also chairs its Audit and Risk Committee.
Ms Fran Reddan
Ms Fran Reddan is a Board Director, Consultant and Executive Coach who specialises in supporting leaders to excel. With a distinguished career in education spanning more than 30 years, Ms Reddan has been honoured with national fellowships and is recorded in Who's Who for her contribution to education.
She has deep leadership experience, including serving as Principal of Mentone Girls' Grammar School, where she pursued excellence and innovation for over 14 years. An outstanding educator, she was noted on The Educator's Hotlist 2018 and has taught at primary, secondary and tertiary levels. Ms Reddan has worked as an accredited school reviewer and is conversant with Australian and international quality benchmarks.
Her previous board positions include serving as President of the Alliance of Girls' Schools Australasia, the peak advocacy group for girls' education, as well as the boards of a university residential college, a charitable trust, and an organisation serving the teaching profession.
As a consultant, Ms Reddan advises in strategy, innovation and reputation, and specialises in leadership and executive coaching in a variety of organisational settings.
Ms Judy Rose PSM
Ms Judy Rose was the Regional Director for the North Eastern Victoria Region Department of Education and Training, where she had direct responsibility for over 400 schools, and a key role to play in the early childhood and further education sectors. She has worked in the Victorian Government's education portfolios for over 35 years in metropolitan and rural Victoria, as well as in the Education faculty at Monash University.
Ms Rose has served on the Education State Board, the Australian Institute for Teaching and School Leadership's School Teaching and Learning Advisory Committee, and Deakin University's Education Faculty Board (Primary Education).
Ms Rose is a passionate advocate for education and the right of all children and young people to have equal opportunity for high-quality educational pathways, no matter their personal circumstances. This is reflected in her current work with the Colman Education Foundation and its key work in Victoria's most vulnerable communities. Ms Rose is also a consultant with Waldara Business Support Services.
In 2016, Ms Rose was awarded the PSM in the Queen's Birthday Honours, primarily for her work in establishing flexible learning options for disengaged young people in North East Victoria.
Mr Anthony Nippard
Mr Anthony Nippard is a governance professional, Board Chair, Board Director and committee member. Since 1988, he has been a director of not-for-profit and public entities spanning sectors including higher education and training, children's services, community and mental health, and school governance. He has worked on advisory committees in the child protection, defence, public sector governance and university sectors.
Mr Nippard is currently a Board Director of Mental Health and Wellbeing Australia Ltd. He is a board director of Melbourne Forum and Neami National and a board member at Victoria TAFE Association and Box Hill Institute. Mr Nippard also provides governance training and advice, board evaluations, inductions and strategic planning for public sector and not-for-profit organisations. He is a Principal of Thoughtpost Governance and Managing Director of Nippard Pty Ltd. He formerly chaired Moreland Affordable Housing and was a Board Director of Melbourne Forum.
Mr Nippard has extensive experience as a senior executive in various roles, primarily in the areas of health, housing finance, public and community housing, homeless housing services, financial management, corporate services, public administration and integrity, knowledge management and public sector governance.
Ms Penny Hutchinson
Ms Penny Hutchinson commenced her professional career with a chartered accounting firm in London, before migrating to Australia in 1983. Ms Hutchinson was the Director of Arts Victoria from 2000 to 2013, managing relationships across several major government institutions and numerous non-government organisations across arts and culture. She had a leadership role in several major cultural infrastructure projects in Victoria. Ms Hutchinson is also highly experienced in the finance sector. She is a chartered accountant and was a partner in a large financial services and consultancy firm.
Ms Hutchinson has been on the Board of and chaired the audit committee of many organisations, including Medibank Private, the Federal Airports Corporation and Monash University, and is currently on the Board of Eastern Health and Central Gippsland Water.
Ms Hutchinson holds a master degree in Public Policy and Management from the University of Melbourne, a Music Performance Diploma, and an honours degree in German and Music from the University of London. She is also a Graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors, a Fellow of Chartered Accountants Australia and New Zealand, and an Associate of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales.
Mr Peter Loney
Mr Peter Loney is a former teacher, Member of Parliament and academic. Following a long teaching career, he was elected to the Parliament of Victoria in 1992.
A Member of Parliament until 2006, Mr Loney held several parliamentary positions, including Deputy Speaker, Chair of the Public Accounts and Estimates Committee, Chair of the Australasian Council of Public Accounts Committees, Chair of the Privileges Committee, and member of the Standing Orders and Law Reform Committees.
From 2006–2010 Mr Loney was Adjunct Professor and Executive Director of the Public Sector Governance and Accountability Research Centre at La Trobe University and was Adjunct Professor specialising in legislative governance at Deakin University's Alfred Deakin Research Institute from 2010–2019.
Ms Geraldine Atkinson
Ms Geraldine Atkinson has broad experience within Koorie Education. Ms Atkinson played a pivotal role in the establishment of the Minimbah Adult Education Program, which provided Koorie people with an opportunity to take a new direction through training. She has contributed her expertise to key policies and strategies that have yielded significant improvement in outcomes through her role as President of Victorian Aboriginal Education Association Incorporated (VAEAI). She co-chairs the First Peoples' Assembly of Victoria and has been instrumental in driving government and policy reform in Aboriginal education for over 40 years.
Mr Mark Cameron
Mr Mark Cameron has had a long career in the industrial and manufacturing sectors. He is an industry representative with strong experiences developing training programs and promoting apprenticeships in the transport, welding, and electrical trades. Mr Cameron is a non-executive Director of Sparkways, a leading independent social enterprise focussed on children and young people delivering youth services and early education and care, a non-executive Director of Merri-bek Affordable Housing and Chair of Barker Trailers, a significant employer of trade qualified personnel.
Mr Neil Pharaoh
Mr Neil Pharaoh sits on a number of boards including Thorne Harbour Health & Sustainability Victoria where he is also member of both Risk, Audit and Finance Committees. He is experienced in social purpose, government, public policy, and advocacy organisations. Mr Pharaoh has been a strong contributor to leading social policy and advocacy campaigns, as well as national and international philanthropic and development work in child welfare, education, refugee, and LGBTIQ+ issues.
Mr Tri Nguyen
Mr Tri Nguyen was born in Vietnam and arrived in Australia via Malaysia by boat as part of the UNHCR Refugee Program in the early 1980s. He was the first Vietnamese law graduate of the University of Adelaide. He is an accomplished corporate lawyer highly experienced in corporate governance, compliance, risk and finance. Mr Nguyen has over 2 decades of board level experience. He is a Director of the Indigenous Education Foundation, an Independent Director of First Super, a Founding Board Member at Vietnamese Australian Benevolent Foundation, General Counsel and Company Secretary at genU, and was formerly General Counsel at Indigenous Land and Sea Corporation.
Our executive team
Acting Chief Executive Officer (Director) – Christopher Ingham.
Our CEO (Director) is responsible to the VRQA Board and to the Secretary of the Department of Education.
There are 3 Deputy Chief Executive Officers (CEOs) who report to the CEO (Director):
- Deputy CEO, Students and Services – Keith Don
- Deputy CEO, Schools – Dr Kelly Jarvis
- Acting Deputy CEO, Training and Skills – Bree Gauci
Our business areas
The CEO (Director) is also responsible for :
- Governance and Corporate Services
The Deputy CEO, Students and Services is responsible for:
- Home Schooling
- Information Services
- Complaints and Student Services
The Deputy CEO, Schools is responsible for:
- International Education
- Regulatory Projects
- School Quality Assurance
- Schools and Senior Secondary
The Deputy CEO, Training and Skills is responsible for :
- Apprenticeships Field Services
- Apprenticeships Administration
- VET and Industry Engagement
Our strategic plan
Our strategic plan is developed by our Board and sets out our 6 strategic priorities for 2022–25.
- Implement government directions effectively
- Continue to strengthen our regulatory approach
- Build greater clarity and visibility about our role
- Continue to improve business processes and systems
- Develop, empower and support our people
- Prudent financial management