Skills Tasmania
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2016 Skills and Workforce Development Conference

Growth through Collaboration    

Monday 30 and Tuesday 31 May
Wrest Point Conference Centre, Hobart


Conference programme
Word 1MB 
PDF 529KB                        

Conference booklet

Word 27KB 
PDF 166KB      

Concept and background

The annual Skills and Workforce Development Conference is a key event within Tasmania’s Training and Workforce Development System.  The Conference now incorporates a workplace health and safety stream that was well-attended last year.  Skills Tasmania will continue to partner  with  WorkSafe Tasmania as there is a strong training and workforce development component within workplace health and safety.

Conference theme

The theme of Growth through Collaboration reflects the State Government’s ‘Growth’ agenda – growth of the individual, growth of businesses, growth of the population, economic growth and social growth. The ‘Collaboration’ element underscores  the  positive benefits in working harmoniously in association with others (individuals, industry associations, employers, other organisations and government).


The majority of the registered delegates will be from the VET sector, including public and private registered training organisations (RTOs). Industry Associations are normally well-represented and some private sector businesses also attend.  Some industry associations, which are also ‘Strategic  Industry  Partners’, will be amongst those who lead cafe conversations on skills and workforce development issues within their constituencies.

Café Conversations on Tuesday 31 May

Each Café Conversation leader will host a table of up to 10 for each of the three 20 minute conversations. Delegates will be able to take morning tea to the conversation tables.

Conversations will be based on a specific topic or can be more general.  They are informal but the conversation may start with a (verbal) presentation.  Alarms will signal the end of each 20 minute conversation – there will be a five-minute change-over period between conversations.

Exhibition Booths

This year’s conference will again feature exhibitor booths. If you would like to participate please complete the form and email to


A new feature for this year’s conference will be opportunities for private networking at specific times, in bookable spaces.  These opportunities may overlap with the formal plenary and café conversation sessions. This feature will be advertised but there will be no charge.

Pre-conference activities - Monday, 30 May

Betterwork Tasmania Collaboration Session
  • 9:00am – 10:45am
    Business to Business Clusters
    (Leadership, Ageing Workforce, Mental Health and Wellbeing)
Australian Skills Quality Authority RTO Briefing
  • 9:30am – 12:30pm  
Leaders Forum
  • 11:00am – 12:15pm
    Good Governance or Good Luck...
    Proactively managing the risk of health, safety and wellbeing

Keynote speaker
Mark Leopold – VIC/TAS/NT Engagement Manager, beyondblue

Narelle Hopper – corporate adviser and director of The Ethics Centre, the Tasmanian Development Board and the Documentary Australia Foundation

Michael Bailey – CEO, Tasmanian Chamber of Commerce and Industry
Tracey Mathews – Chair, Tasmanian Building and Construction Industry Training Board
Geoff Pearman – Director of ‘Partners in Change’
Jimmy Stewart – Australian  Institute  of Management / JVAT

Conference proceedings

Day 1 (Monday, 30 May) of the Conference has mixed activity.

There will be some pre-conference activity aimed at business groups and at RTOs.  These events are free.

The formal Conference starts at 1:00pm following lunch (provided).  The target audience is industry, employers, RTOs and other VET service providers.

Our day one speakers include Jenny Lambert (Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry), Les Souster (James Boag & Sons), Will Kestin (TasICT) and Michael Bailey (Tasmanian Chamber of Commerce and Industry).  There will be a special panel session about entrepreneurship featuring Beth  Mathison  (Centaur), Adam Mostogl (Illuminate Education and Consulting) and Geoff Pearman (Partners in Change)

We will also hear from Michelle Howells from Clennett’s Mitre 10, who in collaboration with Whitelion Incorporated and MEGT Institute won the Australian Training Awards 2015 Industry Collaboration Award.

There will be informal networking opportunities at the end of the day at our very popular cocktail function.

The conference dinner will be held in the Derwent Room at Wrest Point Hotel and will feature presentation of the 2016 Employer of Choice Awards and after dinner speaker Paul Taylor from the Body-Brain Performance Institute. The dinner is 6:30 pm for 7:00 pm.

Day 2 (Tuesday, 31 May) of the conference is aimed at VET practitioners and workplace health and safety practitioners.

The day commences with a WorkSafe Tasmania Breakfast. This is an invitation-only event; however, the first 75 early-bird delegates to register and pay will be offered a place at the breakfast.

The formal Conference session begins with keynote speaker Paul Taylor. Delegates will then hear from Stephen Lunn, the 2015 Australian VET Teacher/Trainer of the Year. Following Stephen we have our hugely successful Café Conversations where there will be a number (15-20) of specialist topic speakers  leading  three consecutive 20-minute conversations.

The remainder of the day comprises three concurrent workshop sessions. There will not be a final plenary session – Day 2 ends at 4:15pm at the end of the third workshop session.

Thursday, 2 June will be a special post-conference activity in Launceston, with a repeat of the Australian Skills Quality Authority (ASQA) workshop.


For enquiries about conference logistics, and to book a place at a pre-conference session, please contact Jacqui Maclaine on 03 6165 6008 or

For enquiries about the conference program and content, please contact Chris Johnston on 03 6165 6059 or