Hunter TAFE Foundation - Board Members

Foundation Board Members

Gary is the former CEO and Director of Newcastle Port Corporation and worked in maritime operations for Newcastle Port Corporation for over thirty years. He previously served as Chairman of Ports Australia, Newcastle Seafarers Centre Limited and Lifeline Hunter Central Coast and was a Director of the Hunter Valley Coal Chain Coordinator Limited, Hunter Valley Research Foundation and Lifeline Direct Ltd. He has also been a Board Member of the Australian Maritime Safety Authority.

Gary holds a Graduate Diploma in Business Administration (Executive); Graduate Diploma in Education (TAFE NSW) and a Bachelor of Surveying (Honours), is a Fellow of the Australian Institute of Company Directors and in 2008 was named as Newcastle City Council’s Australia Day Citizen of the Year.

Joss is a well-known member of the Hunter business community and has successfully built a number of manufacturing and engineering enterprises in the Hunter region. Joss currently holds the position of Director of Custom Fluidpower Ltd Pty, Comrie & Weir Pty Ltd, Dynamic Hydraulics Pty Ltd, Australian Automation Centre, Gamde Pty Ltd, Fluidtech International Pty Ltd, Newcastle Port Consortium Pty Ltd and WESF Pty Ltd. De Iuliis Wines is a stakeholder in the Hunter region’s wine industry, and Joss is an ambassador for the Hunter’s wine and tourism industries.

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.

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.

Joanne was an employee of TAFE NSW for 21 years, working in a variety of roles across campuses throughout the Hunter Region, most recently managing contracts, bids, and tenders across the TAFE NSW footprint, as a member of the Business Development team.

Leaving the organisation in 2018 to complete her accounting degree, Joanne also commenced a new career, working in the accounts team at Rural and Remote Medical Services (RARMS) – a not for profit charity, providing medical services in rural, remote and Indigenous communities throughout NSW.

In late 2019, Joanne joined the RARMS Medical Workforce and Telehealth team, working to ensure consistent, high quality medical care is within the reach of all community members, regardless of their location.

Joanne holds a Bachelor of Business (Management) and a Bachelor of Accounting.

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.