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About us

Challenger Institute of Technology and Polytechnic West now form South Metropolitan TAFE, creating one of Western Australia’s most diverse training providers with major campuses in Bentley, Carlisle, Fremantle, Murdoch, Rockingham, Thornlie and Mandurah.

South Metropolitan TAFE offers more than 500 qualifications, from foundation courses and apprenticeships to associate degrees, with over 37,000 students across its campuses.

Our purpose

"We provide students with skills to enable employment and career development"

We do this by:

  • Providing students with high quality training services that prepare them for pathways to employment.
  • Providing students with pathways to further education and training opportunities that can launch and extend their careers.
  • Helping industry and our employers grow and create the workforce of the future.
  • Strengthening our communities by enabling life long learning opportunities for all.

Our vision

"By 2020 SM TAFE will be recognised as a national leader in providing skills for employment and career development."

  • Our vision ensures we aspire to create futures for individuals - through preparing them for jobs or supporting further learning to develop their careers.
  • By creating future workforces for industry and employers - through helping them employ skilled staff or upskill their existing workforce.
  • And by creating strong futures for our communities.

Find out more about us in the below sections:

Governing Council

South Metropolitan TAFE’s Governing Council plays an immensely important role as the governing body of the college, with its role to oversee operations, affairs and drive strategic direction. 

South Metropolitan TAFE’s Governing Council is comprised of a Chairperson, Deputy Chairperson, the Managing Director, and between six to ten other members. Governing Council members are appointed by the Minister for Education and Training. Each Council member is selected for their experience and expertise in education, training, industry or community affairs, and for their ability to contribute to the strategic direction of the college.

Members are appointed for a term of up to three years, and at the end of their term are eligible for re-appointment.

Queries regarding South Metro TAFE’s Governing Council should be directed to Ms Daisy Vogels via email at Daisy.Vogels@smtafe.wa.edu.au.

Current Governing Council Members

Elizabeth Carr AM (Chair)billLouden.jpg

Elizabeth Carr has been the Chair of the Governing Council since its inception in April 2016. Elizabeth is a full time non- executive director with a board portfolio covering government, private, education and not-for-profit organisations in both WA and NSW.
Her background incorporates both the private and public sectors. She has worked in senior executive positions for IBM and Macquarie Group and within senior levels of politics and government in NSW, WA, PNG and the USA. 
She chairs St Catherine’s Aged Care Services (NSW), Seton Villa Disabilities (NSW), and the Department of Family and Community Services Audit and Risk Committee (NSW). 
She is a member of The Environmental Protection Authority (WA), Director of Insurance and Care (NSW), the Kokoda Track Foundation (National) and St Mary’s Anglican Girls School (WA). She is a prequalified member of NSW Government’s Audit and Risk panel and sits on the Audit and Risk Committees for the Urban Growth Development Corporation (NSW) and Australian Technology Park (NSW). 
Elizabeth is on the National Councils – as a WA representative - for both the Harvard Club of Australia and The Funding Network. Elizabeth holds a BA (Hons) from UWA, a Master’s Degree from Harvard University and is a Fellow of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.


arshad_omari.jpgEmeritus Professor David Wood (Deputy Chair)

Emeritus Professor David Wood is a retired academic having spent much of his professional life at Curtin University where he was Provost and Senior Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Deputy Vice-Chancellor International, Pro Vice-Chancellor of Humanities and also held a number of other positions in the Faculty of Humanities and the School of Built Environment.  
His academic discipline is Urban and Regional Planning and he has led numerous research projects in this area, most recently leading CSIRO collaboration clusters which join university and CSIRO scientists to address real world problems; in this case in Australia’s coastal zone. David continues to serve Curtin University as Emeritus Professor in Humanities and as a Member of the Humanities Faculty Advisory Council.
Between 2004 and 2010, David served on a number of State boards including the Coastal Planning and Coordination Council and Ningaloo Sustainable Development Committee, both of which he chaired, and the WA Planning Commission and the Heritage Council of WA.
David’s earlier careers were in local government where he was Coordinator of the Arthur Head Bicentennial Project, and Joint Head of the Department of Conservation and Restoration and Curator of Restoration at the WA Maritime Museum.
David Wood has a Bachelor of Arts (Monash) and a Postgraduate Diploma in Urban and Regional Planning and Doctorate from Curtin University.


mara_west.jpgStephen Cain

Stephen Cain is the Chief Executive Officer of the City of Cockburn. Over the past 20 years he has held senior management positions in the private and public sectors. He served for 36 years as an officer in the Australian Army (Regular and Reserve Forces) and is a graduate of the Royal Military College, Duntroon.
He continues to serve in the Reserve Forces as an Aide-de-camp to the Governor General and holds the rank of Brigadier. Stephen is a fellow of the Chartered Institute of Transport and Logistics, sits on the Board of Hockey WA and is a member of the Bravery Trust (Governance Committee).



graham_droppert.pngChristine Coyne

Christine Coyne has been providing specialist Aboriginal engagement and training services over a career spanning 35 years.  In the past four years Christine has been running her own consultancy business – Christine Coyne & Associates and works with a range of clients involved in major construction projects, mining, infrastructure and a broad range of industry sectors and groups. 
Christine is recognised as a specialist in this area.  During the past 25 years, Christine has worked within the private sector for some of the country’s major employers including Woodside Energy Ltd, Fortescue Metals Group, Foster Wheeler, Worley Parsons, Compass Group Australia and the Chamber of Commerce & Industry.  Prior to this, Christine spent ten years working in policy development and training in the Aboriginal programs area for the Federal Government.
As well as providing specialist Aboriginal engagement services and managing a range of Aboriginal employment projects, Christine has been involved in the development and delivery of Aboriginal cultural awareness, mentoring workshops and other customised training programs.


DebHamblin.jpgDeborah Hamblin

Deborah Hamblin is the Deputy Mayor of the City of Rockingham and has actively promoted the importance of education in the region for the past 12 years while on the City of Rockingham Council. She is passionate about the value of education and its importance in developing a strong community.  Cr Hamblin has been a member of a variety of management boards and is privileged to contribute to South Metropolitan TAFE’s Governing Council. She holds a bachelor degree from Murdoch University, a post graduate qualification from Curtin University and is an Associate Member of the Australian Library and Information Association.



MichelleHoad.jpgNiegel Grazia

Niegel Grazia was appointed as Deputy Director General at the Department of Regional Development in September 2016. 
His contribution to SM TAFE is informed by experiences working with communities, NGOs, the media and governments on remote and complex development projects, here in Australia and overseas. 
Niegel worked in the oil and gas industry for 21 years, including in senior corporate and project based roles and five years as the Australian Petroleum Production and Exploration Association’s representative in WA.  He has led the corporate affairs function in an ASX top 20 company and has undertaken residential postings in WA’s Pilbara and Kimberley regions. Niegel has formerly served Governing Council Chair of the Kimberley Training Institute.
Prior appointments also include roles with the Kimberley Development Commission, the Department of Premier and Cabinet and other agencies within the WA public service. He has also served seven years on the staff of WA Government ministers across the local government, mines, energy and emergency services portfolios.
Niegel holds a Bachelor of Business from Curtin University and has demonstrated leadership, communication, advocacy, strategic thinking and problem solving skills.


The campuses that now form South Metropolitan TAFE have been involved in numerous name changes and merges with other colleges under the direction of the WA State Government for nearly 120 years.

Prior to 1900, technical education in WA was sporadic and mostly supported through Mechanics and Miners Institutes. However, Challenger Institute’s technical education record in Fremantle had its beginnings in 1898 when evening classes were conducted at Fremantle Boys School. These took place in the FTI building in Adelaide Terrace. Challenger’s subsequent incarnation was as the Fremantle Technical School. The inaugural class of 1900 comprised 116 male students taking evening classes in the South Terrace building that is still used today as a campus and administrative office.

In Perth’s East however, Midland College of TAFE was first known as Midland Junction Technical School and established in 1904. An advertisement in The Swan Express dated 15 February 1929 promoted “Sound tuition is given in commercial, domestic, trade and art subjects” and encouraged parents to enrol students aiming towards apprenticeships in “mechanical drawing, mechanics and mathematics classes.”

The decades to 1996 saw the now-defunct Challenger Institute established after many years of name changes, operating at various times as South Metropolitan Technical College, South Metropolitan College of TAFE and Challenger TAFE, while Swan TAFE came into being in January of 2003 following a merger of Midland College of TAFE, South East Metropolitan College of TAFE and the Balga Campus of West Coast College of TAFE.

The formation in 2009 of a new West Australian training department resulted in the launch of a state government training blueprint, Training WA. Integral to this report was the call for public training organisations to become more autonomous, with the government giving TAFE colleges greater scope for flexibility and innovation. As a result of this change, the name Challenger Institute of Technology was formally adopted on 15 December 2009 while Swan TAFE became Polytechnic West.

In February 2016, a new reform of TAFE in WA resulted in further merges, seeing Challenger Institute of Technology and Polytechnic West campuses become one under the umbrella of South Metropolitan TAFE. 

In January 2017, the final transition from that reform resulted in Balga and Midland campuses moving to the operations of North Metropolitan TAFE.


Please click on the relevant link to access South Metropolitan TAFE publications.

Annual Reports

In May 2016, the WA State Government reformed TAFE in WA, merging Challenger Institute of Technology and Polytechnic West Institute into South Metropolitan TAFE. As a result, the new organisation has only one year's activities to report and that most recent Annual Report can be downloaded below. For more information about the merger, visit our blog

2016 SM TAFE Annual Report

Strategic Plans

South Metropolitan TAFE 2018-2020 Strategic Plan

Quality Indicator Reports

South Metropolitan TAFE is committed to providing quality training and support services in a flexible and responsive manner. Our programs and courses are planned and delivered to match the identified needs of our customers and stakeholders, including students, employers, government and the wider community.

As a Pre-Qualified Supplier South Metropolitan TAFE is obligated to publish a summary of findings from the latest audit. You can access the report by downloading it below.

Audit Report Challenger Institute 2013

Page last updated February 19, 2018