Board Members’ Expertise
GOTAFE’s Board directors come from a range of backgrounds and have a variety of skills. The Board aims to have members from diverse backgrounds to provide GOTAFE with the skills necessary for quality leadership and good governance.


GOTAFE Board Chair Joanne Dwyer

Joanne Dwyer | Board Chair

A Director since 2013, Joanne is a Certified Practising Accountant and has a Bachelor of Commerce degree. Joanne is an independent consultant with extensive experience across each of the private, public and not-for-profit sectors. A current member of the Australian Institute of Company Directors and CPA Australia, Joanne has held a number of directorships in regional Victoria, and her expertise lies in business project management and strategic planning.

Joanne ascended to the Board Chair position in July 2017.

GOTAFE Board Member Christine Riches

Christine Riches

MBA qualified and with Diplomas of Training and Education, Christine has held senior roles across various disciplines and organisations. Her experience in North-East Victoria includes workforce planning with small and medium sized enterprises and leading a community based Registered Training Organisation.

An experienced Board member, Christine specialises in strategic planning, organisational development and business review, and is also a skilled trainer and course developer in leadership and business.

GOTAFE Board Member Angela Verde

Angela Verde

Angela has over 20 years of experience working regionally in senior and Regional Director level roles across multiple government departments and the Not for Profit sector. She has played an integral role in facilitating a broad range of regional economic, planning and community development outcomes within the Hume region and has been instrumental in leading the development of integrated regional strategic plans.
Currently coordinating a local government change management project, Angela has a strong record of achievement in facilitating change, leading teams, delivering regional programs and building sustainable partnerships. She also brings to GOTAFE an enduring passion and commitment to improving outcomes for people in regional communities.
Angela holds a Bachelor of Applied Science and Diploma in Business Management and is also a member of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.

GOTAFE Board Member Mark O'Sullivan

Mark O’Sullivan

Mark has had over 25 years’ executive level leadership experience, including former Chief Executive Officer of the Royal Agricultural Society of Victoria Ltd (RASV), a position he held for 11 years. Prior to this, Mark spent 24 years in various roles within the Victorian Thoroughbred Racing Industry, including 12 years as CEO of Country Racing Victoria Ltd (CRV).

Mark is currently chair of the Board of Spring Valley Golf Club, and a member of the Australian Institute of Company Directors. Mark holds a Bachelor of Business and Graduate Diploma in Entrepreneurial Studies and recently completed an Advanced Management Program at INSEAD (Singapore).

GOTAFE Board Member Fiona Lloyd

Fiona Lloyd

Fiona is the Communications Manager at Goulburn Broken Catchment Management Authority and holds a Bachelor of Arts (Teaching) and a Graduate Diploma in Journalism obtained in Perth, Western Australia.

Based in Bunbartha, Fiona has extensive experience in marketing and journalism in the Goulburn Murray region. Her current role sees her develop, implement and monitor communication strategies, work collaboratively with government agencies, community and landholder groups and participate in the senior management of the Catchment Management Authority.

Board Member Dean Walton

Dean Walton

As the Executive Manager of Positive Ageing & Disability Services at Rumbalara Aboriginal Co-Operative, Dean manages a 30 bed Elders facility, homecare and mental health disability programs across four regions in Victoria and New South Wales.

Dean is the Coach for Shepparton United under 18’s Youth Girls Football team and Secretary of the Old Students Cricket Club in Shepparton.

Dean is currently studying the Advanced Diploma of Leadership and Management and holds numerous diplomas and certificates in Community Services, Management and Aged Care. Prior to his management roles, Dean was an Enrolled Nurse for over a decade.

Ro Allen

Ro is the current Victorian Commissioner for Gender and Sexuality.  Ro is a former CEO of UnitingCare in the Goulburn Valley and former Hume Regional Skills Coordinator for the Department of Education.

Ro has also held the positions of, Chair of the Victorian Adult, Community and Further Education Board, the Victorian Skills Commission, the Youth Affairs Council of Victoria (YACVIC), and former member of the Hume Regional Development Australia Committee. Ro has been recognised for extensive community service: in 2003 Ro received a Centenary Medal and in 2009 was inducted into the Victorian Government Honour Roll for Women. Recently Ro was recognised in the Top 50 Public Sector Women (Victoria) 2017 and won Hero of the Year in the 2017 Australian LGBTI Awards.

Travis Heeney

Travis Heeney | GOTAFE CEO

Travis Heeney is a tertiary qualified, results driven executive with strong business, political and financial acumen. He is a transformational leader with natural enthusiasm for innovation, in depth knowledge and awareness of regulatory obligations, and the ability to facilitate significantly improved community focused outcomes. He has specific skills in strategic positioning and in resolving organisational challenges and driving operational improvement. Travis is a highly analytical and strategic thinker, with a unique and insightful view of organisational performance. Whether it is culture, processes, business models or individual behaviours, his ability to understand and influence these forces leads to the successful achievement of desired outcomes at both strategic and tactical levels.

Travis has significant experience in community focussed organisations, having held leadership positions in Public Health, Not for Profit and Local Government. Most recently, Travis has held executive positions in Local Government at both Director and CEO level. Travis has also worked with various organisations in a transformational capacity at Director and CEO level, to assist in the achievement of improvement activities.

To ensure his own professional growth, Travis has also completed the Company Director’s Course at the Australian Institute for Company Directors, and has been an active member of Australian Institute of Company Directors and various peak bodies.

Suellen Loki

Suellen Loki | Staff Representative

Suellen joined the VET sector 15 years ago after a successful Retail Management career in Sydney.
Suellen’s educational qualifications include; Master of Education, Graduate Diploma in Vocational Education and Training, Graduate Certificate in Tertiary Teaching, TAE50211 Diploma of Training Design and Development, TAE50116 Diploma of Vocational Education and Training and the TAE40116 Certificate IV in Training and Assessment, as well as qualifications in retail and business management.
The primary focus in her role at GOTAFE is to transition industry experts through training, support and mentoring, to perform as valuable Vet Practitioners at GOTAFE.