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Queensland Overseas Foundation Board


Geoff Favell

QOF Chair

Queensland’s current Training Ombudsman, Geoff Favell, has had over 30 years’ experience in the Queensland public sector with senior roles across employment, industrial relations and training portfolios in metropolitan and regional centres. As Interim Training Ombudsman, Geoff will provide a recognisable and accessible avenue for complaints and consumer advocacy for VET stakeholders to progress disputes and seek advice and assistance relating to the overall conduct of the VET sector in Queensland.

Geoff holds a Bachelor of Business (Human Resource Management). Geoff also holds directorships with CISC Pty Ltd trading as Construction Training Centre and the Queensland Overseas Foundation.


Paul Miles

QOF Treasurer

Paul Miles, CEO and Executive Director at BUSY At Work, has been with BUSY since January 2007, initially as Deputy CEO and then appointed as CEO in late July 2012. Paul has a degree in Law from Cardiff University, Wales, however retrained as an accountant within the energy industry and is a Fellow of the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA). In between leaving the energy industry and joining BUSY, Paul worked within the financial services sector for major banking and insurance organisations in both Australia and the UK. Paul is also very proud to be the Vice Chair of the Australian Industry Trade College.


Carla Crawford

QOF Governor - Board Secretary

Carla is the Director – Legal and Communication at Construction Skills Queensland. She joined the QOF Board of Governors in 2017.


Paul Kulpa

QOF Governor

Paul is the current General Manager of Training for MTA Institute and General Manager of Innovation for MTAiQ, Australia’s first automotive innovation hub, developed by the Motor Trades Association of Queensland. 

Paul has worked in various management roles in not for profit and government agencies with over 20 years of experience in skilling and workforce development dealing with government contracts, corporate business policy and the development and implementation of training processes.

Paul joined the MTA Institute (RTO no. 31529) as General Manager in 2011 and is responsible for its management and operations. MTAI is the largest private automotive Registered Training Organisation in Queensland and provides training predominantly focussing on apprenticeships. Prior to this position, Paul worked as the Executive Officer at Automotive Skills Queensland, which provided advice to Government regarding training initiatives for current, medium and long term issues affecting the automotive industry. The role of the Executive Officer was vital to driving change in the Vocational Education & Training (VET) sector by working closely with industry, key stakeholders and Government to achieve solutions for the automotive industry skills’ shortage and sustainability.

Paul has also worked on the Queensland ITECA State Committee for the 5 years achieving positive results for the VET industry through policy feedback to the government of the day and RTO industry guidance.

Paul holds the following qualifications: BBus (Marketing), Grad Cert Business, Grad Cert Veterans’ Law, Dip Market Research, Dip Export Management, Cert IV TAE.


Merv Walton

Life Member/QOF Governor

Merv served as an apprentice Boilermaking with Vickers Ruwolt and was awarded a Victorian Overseas Foundation Scholarship in 1962 working with Vickers Armstrong in England and Canada. In 1987 Merv joined Evans Deakin Industries as the Marketing Manager – Design and Construction Division and Corporate Marketing Manager. Retiring in 2008 Merv holds a range of positions with non-profit organisations – he has worked tirelessly on the Board for over 25 years, most of those as secretary. During this period Merv has mentored Sandra Smith (1992), Rebecca Chadwick (1993), Cassandra Baker (1997), Caitlyn Paustain (2011), Phoebe Younger (2011), Rhys Walsh-Tundall (2013) and Russell Routledge (2015).


Simone Smiles

QOF Governor

Simone is the State Coordinator for the Queensland Training Awards and she previously worked as a Corporate Events Manager for TAFE Queensland Brisbane, Southbank. Simone joined the Queensland Overseas Foundation Board of Governors in 2016 and she brings a wealth of experience in managing a state-wide, vocational sector award programme to the QOF Board.


Mary Campbell

QOF Governor

As the Chief Executive Officer, Mary is responsible for the strategic direction and overall operation of TAFE Queensland as the largest and most experienced provider of vocational education and training across Queensland, delivering practical, industry-relevant training to more than 120,000 students each year.

Mary has spent more than 30 years working in the VET sector and is passionate about all aspects of the business, but most importantly about creating real outcomes for students and their employers. Mary has held a number of senior leadership positions within the VET sector and brings a wealth of knowledge to this important role.

Most recently, Mary has worked as the General Manager of TAFE Queensland SkillsTech, the lead provider of trade and technician training in Queensland. Prior to her appointment as General Manager, Mary held senior management positions across a number of TAFE institutes in Queensland including SkillsTech Australia, Metropolitan South Institute of TAFE and Moreton Institute of TAFE.

As a member of or contributor to a number of government, industry and community forums and committees, Mary is a well-recognised leader in the VET sector, not only here in Queensland, but also at a national and international level.

Mary has a Bachelor of Arts Degree, Diploma of Teaching (TAFE), Graduate Diploma in Open and Distance Learning, and a Master’s Degree in Education and Learning Innovations.


Ed Given

QOF Member

Ed Given started his career in 1975 as an apprentice carpenter in the construction industry working mainly in the housing industry. After 25 years as a builder ,project manager and building estimator Ed followed his interest in training young people through apprenticeships and pursued a career in the Group Training Industry. Spending 22 years in Group Training allowed Ed to assist in the development of hundreds of young men and women into fine tradesmen and women many of who have become leaders in their industries. Ed is proud to be involved in the Qld Overseas Foundation assisting young tradesmen and women to travel overseas to expand their skills and to bring their skills back to Australia.


Eric Davis

QOF Member

Eric Davis has over thirty-four years experience in the VET sector, twenty-five as a teacher and nine years as the Queensland State Manager for Worldskills Australia. Eric holds several qualifications including a Diploma of Teaching, Bachelor of Education and a Post Graduate Diploma of Occupational Health and Safety.

Since 2003 Eric has also been a regular volunteer for Worldskills Australia, undertaking a number of roles including National Chief Judge, National Project Designer and International Expert for the skill category of Bricklaying.

Eric has demonstrated a long term commitment to the VET sector and is passionate about promoting career pathways to young Australians.

Queensland Overseas Foundation Patron


His Excellency the Honorable Paul de Jersey AC, Governor of Queensland has been the Patron of the Queensland Overseas Foundation since his appointment as Governor in July 2014. The Office of the Governor has had a long association with the QOF and we are honoured to have this support especially at the annual QOF Scholarship Award Ceremony.


  • Kaye and Paul de Jersey are dedicated long-standing Queenslanders.
  • The Governor was born in Brisbane in 1948, the third son of school teacher parents Ronald and Moya (both now deceased).
  • He won a Commonwealth Scholarship to the University of Queensland, from which he graduated in Arts in 1969 and Laws (with Honours) in 1971. Also in December 1971, the Governor married Kaye Brown. Mr and Mrs de Jersey have three children and three grandchildren.
  • The Governor was called to the Bar at the end of 1971 and was appointed as Her Majesty’s Counsel (QC) in 1981.
  • The Governor was appointed as a Judge of the Supreme Court of Queensland in 1985, when aged 36 years, becoming the 17th Chief Justice of Queensland on 17 February 1998, and served in that role for more than 16 years until 8 July 2014.
  • In recognition of his contribution to the Australian community, the Governor was appointed a Companion of the Order of Australia in 2000, and awarded a Centenary Medal in 2003. He holds honorary doctorates from the University of Queensland (2000) and the University of Southern Queensland (2008), and has recently accepted an honorary doctorate from Griffith University.
  • Mr de Jersey was appointed the 26th Governor of Queensland on 29 July 2014.

Past Governors

We are grateful to the following people who have dedicated their time and service to promoting and supporting the Queensland Overseas Foundation as members of the QOF Board

Tony Andersen (Chair)General Manager Projects – CS Energy
Colin AndersonPrincipal – Anderson Printing
Ron BerryManager – Hastings Deering Institute of Training (former)
Joe Box MBE *Principal – JS Box Master Builders
John F S Brown AO MC *Agent General for Queensland (London)
Garth BurgeSecretary – AMWU (Automotive Section)
Frank BurnettGeneral Manager – Castlemaine Perkins
Peter BurtonManaging Director – Sterling Process
Hon. Fred Campbell (Chair)*Minister – Employment & Training
Bernie CarlonGeneral Manager – Employment Task Force DETIR
Phillip CharltonMax Solutions
John F Cockburn*President – ASC Pacific Inc. (Washington)
D C T Collier *Original Governor appointed 28.08.1976
Peter Costantini (Chair)Director at Innovation and Business Skills Australia Ltd
Peter de MediciExecutive Officer – Group Training Australia
Jenny DoddChief Academic Officer, TAFE Queensland
R J (Bob) DruittGeneral Manager – Queensland Alumina Limited
Jenny FieldDirector – Prime Learning Specialised Training Services
Desirae FrenchPrincipal – Leadership Management Australia
Neil A Galway (Chair)Commissioner – Queensland Electricity Commission
Rebecca Hall (Chair)Director – International Education, Department of State Development, Business and Innovation (Victoria)
Harry Hauenschild AOPresident – Queensland Trades and Labour Council
Keith HillessCommissioner – Queensland Electricity Commission
Hon. Sir William Knox (Chair)MLA for Nundah
Jack S Lacey*H R Manager – Mount Isa Mines
Wendy LawsonCustomer Services Manager – Toowoomba Holden
Roly L Livingstone*Principal – Livingstone Australia Public Relation
Ryan MalsemPrincipal – Cold Energy Contracting
Lorraine MartinPrincipal – Lorraine Martin Business College
David MitchellExecutive Officer – Apprenticeship Employment Network
G D (Doug) MoffettMount Isa Mines
E D Murray*Original Governor appointed 28.08 1976
Mark NealeGroup Service Operations Project Manager -Hastings Deering (Australia) Ltd.
P J (John) NobleGeneral Manager – CSR Limited
Dr John O’HaganCSIRO
Keith W Peterson*Managing Director – Queensland Alumina Limited
Barry ReadChief Executive – Department Employment Vocational Eduction & Training
Mick J RobertsonPrincipal – Robertson Business Consultancy
Sarina RussoPrincipal – Sarina Russo Schools Australia
Peter SearsonBusiness Consultant
Will SigantoManaging Director – Siganto & Stacey Pty Ltd
J W W (Bill) Siganto AM (Chair)Chairman – Siganto & Stacey Pty Ltd
Barry B SmithChair – Training & Employment Board
Chris Trevor-JonesPrincipal – HR & IR Services
J A (Aussie) VaughanState Secretary – Australian Manufacturing Workers Union
Roy H Wallace*Director – Division of Technical &a Further Education
Cliff D WilsonGeneral Manager – AE Smith & Past Recipient – Victorian Overseas Foundation
Matthew TraynorExecutive Officer - ACPET QLD

* Governors of original QOF Board