Bendigo Kangan Institute celebrates progress brought by outgoing Board Chair

Bendigo Kangan Institute celebrates progress brought by outgoing Board Chair

Peter Harmsworth AO is being celebrated this week by Bendigo Kangan Institute, as his time as Board Chair of the Institute comes to an end.

A passionate advocate for the TAFE sector with a strong vision for vocational education and training, Mr Harmsworth joined Bendigo Kangan Institute’s Board as a Director in 2016 and became Chair of the Board in October 2017.

The Board governs Bendigo Kangan Institute’s four brands comprising Kangan Institute, Bendigo TAFE, VETASSESS (an Australian assessing authority and independent assessment-only registered training organisation for clients internationally) and eWorks (an e-learning delivery and consultancy specialist).

During his tenure, Mr Harmsworth played an active role in the stewardship and oversight of Bendigo Kangan Institute’s daily business especially through his contributions as Board Chair and as a member of the Finance, Risk and Audit Committee, the Education and Business Development Committee, the Governance and Culture Committee, and the VETASSESS Committee.

Bendigo Kangan Institute’s CEO Sally Curtain said it was a privilege for the TAFE to have had Mr Harmsworth, who was appointed an Officer of the Order of Australia in 2008, serve as its Board Chair.

“Peter shared with Bendigo Kangan Institute a wealth of experience from over forty years in public administration, including his time as Chair and CEO of the State Services Authority, which is now known as the Victorian Public Sector Commission,” Ms Curtain said.

“Not only did he bring his knowledge to the role; he also brought his passion for the skills and trades sector which was contagious to all of those that worked with him.

“Peter was a tremendous support to all of us working at the Bendigo Kangan Institute and we thank him from the bottom of our hearts for the work he has done to better the lives of countless TAFE students across Victoria.”

Mr Harmsworth has also been acknowledged for his passion for Bendigo Kangan Institute’s Indigenous Education Centre and his work on its Innovate Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP) launched in August 2021.

The first of its kind for the TAFE sector, Bendigo Kangan Institute’s Innovate RAP is a framework designed to make real progress towards reconciliation by ensuring that the Bendigo Kangan Institute takes practical steps by building relationships, respect and opportunities in a way that’s accountable to the Institute and the Indigenous community.

“As an education organisation, Bendigo Kangan Institute has an obligation to be informed and involved in reconciliation and the RAP provides the framework towards achieving this,” Mr Harmsworth said.

“As Board Chair, I was incredibly proud to sponsor the RAP and of what we have achieved since its launch.”

“I would like to thank everyone I’ve had the pleasure of working with over the last six years,” Mr Harmsworth said on reflecting of his time on the Board.

“I am incredibly proud of everything we have achieved together, and I know that Bendigo Kangan Institute will continue to put the student at the centre of everything we do and support thousands of Victorian students every year to follow their dreams.”

Bendigo Kangan Institute’s Deputy Chair Marg O’Rourke, who also serves as a City of Greater Bendigo Councillor representing Eppalock ward, will assume the role of interim Board Chair from 1 September.

“I would especially like to thank Sally Curtain, the members of the Board and members of the executive team for their wise counsel, insights and commitment to transform the Institute into a leading training provider during my tenure,” Mr Harmsworth said.

“I’d also like to wish Marg O’Rourke all the best for her time as interim Board Chair, I know the Institute is in safe hands with her at the helm.”


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