Hunter TAFE Foundation - Board Members

Foundation Board Members

Karen Howard is an award-winning entrepreneur, with over 21 years’ experience as a successful business owner. Additionally, for over 19 years, Karen has served as a non-executive director and independent chairperson on not-for profit, private, charity, and government boards.

Demonstrating significant expertise in the education, health, property development, construction, and tourism sectors, in 2013, Karen was the winner of the Hunter Tafe Inaugural Alumni Award for Contribution to Business.

Karen is a strategic thinker, with strong personal and professional networks throughout private, public, and not-for profit sectors, as well as having extensive experience engaging with governments, managing organisations, and facilitating government relations.

Karen is a qualified mediator, accredited under the National Mediator Accreditation System (NMAS), and a Fellow of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.

As a graduate of Queensland University of Technology, the Australian Institute of Company Directors and the University of Adelaide, Susie has experienced first-hand the value of education and training in career advancement and development.

In 2016, Susie joined TAFE NSW as the General Manager People and Safety was then promoted to the Regional General Manager at TAFE NSW, North Region in May 2018. Susie has been instrumental in modernising TAFE NSW to be a corporate, commercial and sustainable business. TAFE NSW North Region provides vocational education and training to tens of thousands of students each year across 35 campuses located from Gosford to Kingscliff.

Kay was a Director with the NSW Department of Education from 2007 to January 2016, having leadership and management responsibilities for NSW public schools and their Principals in Lake Macquarie East. For over a decade she was a member of the Department’s Hunter/Central Coast Regional, later Tamworth Network, Executive, and led a range of education portfolios including Equity, Student Wellbeing, Vocational Education and Professional Leadership. Previously she was principal of Lisarow High School on the Central Coast for over six years. She has also held executive positions in four other NSW high schools, has been the NSW Board of Studies Liaison Officer for the Hunter region and a previous NSW Education Regional Manager for equity and vocational education initiatives.

For over 30 years, Mark has been in involved in the mining industry, accruing a wide range of experiences at various levels of management. He is the founder and Managing Director of MB Engineering Solutions, a market leader in the coal handing plant maintenance arena, operating throughout the mining industries of NSW and QLD.

Having earned his Associate Diploma in Mechanical Engineering from TAFE NSW Newcastle and his Master of Business Administration from the University of Newcastle, Mark has firsthand knowledge of the value that education and training can instill, making him proud to join an organisation that helps others to enjoy similar opportunities.

Cameron Denny is an experienced operations and risk professional, who has built a successful career through national and international businesses, and more recently, consulting in expert services.

Having recently graduated from the University of Newcastle with a Bachelor of Business degree and a Bachelor of Commerce degree, Cameron brings a young, but professional perspective to the board.

Cameron truly believes in the purpose of the Hunter Foundation, and as someone who avidly values personal development, he is excited to become a part of an organisation that is helping others accomplish their own educational endeavours.

Colin Law has more than 20 years’ experience in the banking industry. He is the Area Manager for Small Business in ANZ and a well-known local business person in the Hunter Region.

As a driven and visionary leader, Colin is motivated to help people. He is committed to the local community and passionate about building successful partnerships. He is the Treasurer of the committee of the Newcastle Tourism Industry Group, and also the Founder of the Surfest Women's Prof Crowd Funding Initiative and Wine & Dine for Disability Initiative.

Colin holds a Master’s degree of Business from University of Newcastle.

Kiraley Martin has over 15 years’ professional experience within a wide range of industries; including logistics, manufacturing, mining, construction, government and not-for-profit. After holding executive roles in finance and governance, Kiraley has now entered the technology space, as Chief Information Officer (CIO) at Lake Macquarie City Council.

Kiraley holds a Master of Business Administration (MBA) and Bachelor of Commerce from the University of Newcastle. She has completed her CPA and is a graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors. She also holds a Certificate of Governance Practice and a Certificate 4 in Workplace & Business Coaching.

Kiraley is passionate about helping her community and as CIO of LMCC, she is able to help people stay connected, innovative and resilient. She is also an advocate for diversity and inclusion, and is committed to helping people gain better access to equal opportunities, especially in education. Not only is she on the Board of Hunter TAFE Foundation, Kiraley is also a Director of Equal Futures Project, a member of the University of Newcastle’s Alumni Advisory Committee and a member of the Women in Mining Committee for the Hunter Valley.

Jason Darney is a proud Wiradjuri man from the Central West of NSW and boasts an impressive profile working in education and government with significant long-term contributions to Aboriginal Education and Training. Jason has been part of the TAFE NSW Regional executive teams since 1999 and is currently in the role of Deputy Regional General Manager North.

Jason is a strong advocate for social equality and promotes education without favour or bias but with the core belief of creating the best opportunities for all students.

His qualifications in social sciences, education and management and strong leadership skills enable him to focus on achieving desired results whilst still maintaining strong connectivity with the core business of teaching and learning.

Jason is well respected and known by his colleagues as a dedicated Indigenous man who has risen up the ranks of his organisation and passionately advocates on behalf of others in need. He is a man who, as his father taught him, respects others as he would like to be respected himself. These qualities make him a role model for both in his personal and professional life.