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About Us

The ITF is governed by a Council of its members, representing all of New Zealand's recognised Industry Training Organisations, with an Independent Chair.

Executive Committee

Professor Pat Walsh, Independent Chair

Emeritus Professor Walsh is the former Vice-Chancellor of Victoria University. Professor Walsh has had a distinguished academic career focussing on industrial relations and labour markets.

Garry Fissenden, Deputy Chair

Garry Fissenden is the CEO of The Skills Organisation, which covers 21 industries including Electrical, Plumbing, State Sector, Local Government, Financial Services, Contact Centre, Real Estate, Security and others. Garry has had a breadth of General Manager experience, mainly in financial services in both Australia and NZ for ASB Bank, Esanda Finance and UFC Finance. Garry has served on many boards and is the current Chair of the NZ Rugby League board.

Dean Minchington, ServiceIQ

Dean Minchington is Chief Executive of ServiceIQ, the ITO that covers aviation, tourism, travel, cafes, bars and restaurants, food services, accommodation, museums, retail and wholesale. Previously, Dean was CEO of Entello Group Pty Ltd, Chief Operating Officer with Careflight, and GM Business Development with Aviation Australia. Dean's last role in NZ was with Origin Pacific Airways. Dean is also a company director, and a former member of the Australian Institute of Company Directors, CEO Institute and the New Zealand Institute of Management.

Dr Grant Davidson, Skills Active

Grant is currently Chief Executive of Skills Active Aotearoa (the ITO for sport, fitness, recreation and snowsports). He has been in CE roles for the past 20 years, coming from the education and outdoors sector. He has been instrumental in the development of outdoor training and qualification systems and was the initiator of the New Zealand Outdoor Instructor Association – holding top level awards in a number of disciplines. Grant has been active in governance roles in a number of key outdoor organisations in New Zealand and is firmly committed to furthering professionalism in the sport and recreation sectors.  Grant has a PhD in risk management from the School of Management at Waikato University and is considered an international expert in this field. He is also a member of the Institute of Directors with a strong interest in governance effectiveness. He lives to serve his wife, three children and border collie.

The ITF Team

Josh Williams, Chief Executive Officer

Josh has worked in the Education Sector for 16 years, focussed on skills, qualifications, and quality assurance issues in the schooling and tertiary sectors. Prior to rejoining the ITF he was Senior Policy Manager in Tertiary Policy at the Ministry of Education, leading policy for vocational and foundational education, and secondary-tertiary transitions.

Josh was programme manager for the implementation of Youth Guarantee initiatives, and led the development of Vocational Pathways, recognised as an example of successful government and industry partnerships.

He was Principal Policy Advisor at the Industry Training Federation, a Senior Policy Analyst at NZQA, and Private Secretary to three Ministers of Education.

Josh holds a Bachelor of Arts (Humanities) degree from Massey University.

You can contact Josh on:
josh@itf.org.nz

Adrienne Dawson, Principal Advocacy Advisor

As Principal Advocacy Advisor at the ITF, Adrienne’s role is to advocate for the interests of the industry training sector and ITOs by providing advice on policy and sector performance issues. She has an Honours degree in English Literature and a Tohu Maoritanga from Victoria University in Wellington. Adrienne started her career as an analyst for NZQA before moving into qualification development and managerial roles within a number of ITOs. She lives in Nelson with her husband Garth and her two children George and Grace. 

You can contact Adrienne on:
adrienne@itf.org.nz

Natalie Pene, Office Manager

Natalie is new to the ITF and has taken up the role of Office Manager. As well as assisting the Chief Executive, she also looks after the day-to-day running of the office. Natalie works Monday to Thursday allowing three days to be spent with her wonderful young son, Thyme. 

You can contact Natalie on:
natalie@itf.org.nz

Wendy Dykstra, Finance and Payroll Manager

Wendy has worked part time for the ITF since October 2011, with her role being finances and payroll.  She works part time for two companies in a finance, reporting qualifications and payroll capacity.

You can contact Wendy on:
wendy@itf.org.nz

For account queries please contact accounts@itf.org.nz

Skills Highway Team

Nicky Murray, Programme Manager

Nicky is the Programme Manager for the Skills Highway workplace literacy and numeracy programme. She has been involved in industry training, workplace learning, and adult literacy and numeracy for a number of years. Nicky is a strong proponent of lifelong learning, having begun her under- and post-graduate studies later in life. Her doctorate thesis, entitled 'Who gets their hands 'dirty' in the Knowledge Society? Training for the skilled trades in New Zealand’ is a jolly good read. She is the mother of dragons (three delightful adult daughters) and in her spare time enjoys sitting quietly.

You can contact Nicky on nicky@itf.org.nz

Anne Alkema, Research Manager

You can contact Anne on anne@itf.org.nz

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