New Board Chair and Deputy Chair announced

Bendigo TAFE announces the appointment of Margaret O’Rourke as Bendigo Kangan Institute’s Board Chairperson and Professor Hal Swerissen as Deputy Chairperson.

The new appointments were confirmed by the Minister for Training and Skills and Higher Education, the Hon. Gayle Tierney MP on 31st October.

Ms O’Rourke joined Bendigo TAFE’s Board in April 2013 and has served on Bendigo Kangan Institute’s Board since July 2014. Currently a Councillor of the City of Greater Bendigo and a Director of Goulburn Murray Water, Ms O’Rourke is a business leader with a strong focus on community engagement outcomes. 

A key priority for Ms O’Rourke at the helm of Bendigo Kangan Institute will be to lead the transformation and growth of its regional and metropolitan TAFE brands, Bendigo TAFE and Kangan Institute, in line with the organisation’s 2020>2025 Strategic Plan.

“I am honoured to be appointed Bendigo Kangan Institute’s Board Chair. TAFEs play a critical and central role in the vocational education system and are an important part of our community,” said Ms O’Rourke.

“My focus is on working collaboratively with the Board, staff, students, the Victorian Government, industry and the wider community to ensure Bendigo Kangan Institute continues to evolve to fulfil its vision to be a leading educator and trainer in work and life skills.”

Having served on the Bendigo Kangan Institute Board since December 2017, Professor Swerissen is currently Chair of the Board’s Education and Business Development Committee and VETASSESS Committee.

An Emeritus Professor of Public Health at La Trobe University and a Non‐Executive Director of Murray PHN, Professor Swerissen has extensive executive experience in higher education, TAFE, health services and government sectors, and has authored more than 150 scholarly publications.

“It is a privilege to accept the appointment as Deputy Chairperson and I look forward to working with Marg O’Rourke and the rest of the Board to deliver the strategic direction of Bendigo Kangan Institute and making a real difference for students and industry across the communities we serve,” said Professor Swerissen.

The appointments follow the retirement of Bendigo Kangan Institute’s former Board Chairperson, Peter Harmsworth AO, in August this year.

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