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About us

Challenger Institute of Technology and Polytechnic West formed South Metropolitan TAFE in 2016, 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 300 qualifications, from foundation courses and apprenticeships to diplomas and skill sets, with over 25,000 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 2022 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

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.

DebHamblin.jpgDeborah Hamblin (Deputy Chair)

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.


JulianCoyne.pngJulian Coyne

Julian Coyne brings entrepreneurship, engineering and technology together. After graduating with honours in Computer & Mathematical Science in 2002 Julian founded his first company Unified - which has since delivered successful technology solutions to major clients including Toyota, Rio Tinto, INPEX, IBM, Microsoft, Landgate, Lotterywest, UWA and State & Federal Government agencies throughout Australia. Julian has since launched several other successful companies and initiatives, and has been invited to Oxford University, Silicon Valley and Singapore to present and work on the future of technology, industry, academia & government.

Julian presently serves as WA Chairman for the Australian Information Industry Association (AIIA) - Australia's peak body for the technology industry. The AIIA represents global organisations including Apple, Amazon, Google, IBM, Intel, Microsoft, Optus, Telstra, Deloitte, EY, KPMG & PwC through to local SMEs, start-ups and scale-ups. In 2006 Julian was selected for the Commonwealth Government's inaugural ICT Industry Entrepreneur Accelerator Program, hosted at Macquarie Graduate School of Management (MGSM) in partnership AusIndustry and AIIA. Julian is also a graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors (AICD), a Senior Certified Professional with the Australia Computer Society (ACS), a member of the Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers (IEEE) and a member of the Commonwealth Club of California.

In addition to serving on the Governing Council of South Metropolitan TAFE, Julian serves as Chairman of the Autism Academy of Software Quality Assurance (AASQA) and Chairman of the Advisory Board for the State Government’s Regional New Industries Fund.

LinaDickens.pngLina Dickins

Lina Dickins has led training and competency functions for a number of major oil and gas projects in Australia and overseas. In executing these projects, her strategies always promote collaboration with vocational institutes, indigenous employment, and the development of trainees and apprentices.

Lina will bring her experience to drive closer alignments between industry and educational institutions, which she sees as one of the key areas for developing future skills in Australia.


NiegelGrazia.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.

EricaHaddon.pngErica Haddon

In addition to serving on the Governing Council of South Metropolitan TAFE, Erica is a non-executive director with Anglicare WA, a large community services organisation. To compliment the pursuit of her non-executive director career, Erica has an advisory business, Navigating Innovation, providing guidance on how to pursue innovation in mature businesses.  

Throughout her career Erica has held several senior executive roles and has honed skills in audit and risk, innovation and culture change, and the connection of profit and purpose. Erica has worked for RAC WA, one of Australia’s pre-eminent member organisations with over 1 million members; Wesfarmers Energy, a wholly owned Division of Wesfarmers Limited, a top 100 Australian company; Argyle Diamonds and Dampier Salt (both owned by Rio Tinto Limited, a global mining company).

Erica has a Bachelor of Business with a major in Economics and Finance and is a Certified Practicing Accountant. In addition, Erica completed the Harvard Business School Advanced Management Program in 2012, is a fellow of the Australian Institute of Company Directors and a Fellow of Australian Institute of Management.

ElenaLimnios.pngElena Limnios

Elena is motivated by a passion and understanding of purpose-driven businesses, aligning business models with organisational purpose and strategy for resilient growth. She has consulted, large, multi-billion dollar businesses on strategy, governance models and process restructuring for organisational change. As an Assistant Professor at the UWA Business School she has researched, presented, and published on diverse topics of governance, strategy, finance and stakeholder engagement over more than a decade. Elena is considered an international expert on co-operative and mutual business models, having published and consulted extensively in this area, as well as co-created an Executive Leadership course for Mutuals at the level of the AICD course, delivered through the Australian Institute of Management in WA. 

Elena is an accredited Civil Engineer, holds an MBA, a PhD on organisational resilience (UWA) and a post-doctorate on cooperative enterprise. She applies her engineering and management skills through Limnios Projects, a Project Management and Development Management business with experience in delivering complex residential, commercial and industrial projects in Perth. 

Elena is passionate about entrepreneurship, and assists start-up and NFP businesses as a Board Member, through pro-bono consulting and advisory roles. She has taught entrepreneurship, small business and marketing at the UWA Business School at undergraduate and postgraduate courses, where she was awarded for Excellence in Teaching in 2015.

ZanetaMascarenhas.pngZaneta Mascarenhas

Zaneta Mascarenhas is a passionate, pragmatic, socially minded professional with sustainability, community and engineering skills. She is an engineer, mother and daughter of a fitter and turner. She leads the WA team for Energetics, Australia’s leading carbon and energy management consultancy. At Energetics she provides advice to mining, oil and gas and industrial clients. 

She was born and brought up in the Goldfields and has worked in the mining and construction sectors; here she has seen the importance for having a recognised vocational qualification. 
Zaneta has extensive governance experience having served on the following boards: Curtin University, Professionals Australia, Welfare Rights and Advocacy Service (current), Curtin Student Guild, and National Union of Students.

She has degrees in Chemical Engineering and Chemistry and is studying a Masters in Community Development. Volunteering is important to Zaneta.  She worked for the World Bank’s Water and Sanitation Program as part of AusAid’s Youth Ambassador program and has volunteered in the sustainability and union movements. Today she volunteers with the Vic Park Transition Network and she anticipates joining the Uniting Church WA’s Social Justice Commission shortly. Zaneta’s diverse work, volunteer and education background allows her to provide unique strategic advice to not-for-profit organisations.

Kelly2.jpgKelly Townson

Kelly Townson has over 20 years’ experience in strategy development, brand building, partnership development, and change leadership having worked across a diverse portfolio of industry sectors including tourism, higher education and training, FMCG and financial services. 

She has private and government sector exposure and previous board experience.  She serves on the Board of Bicycling Western Australia and currently she is the General Manager of Marketing for Crown Resorts Perth.



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. 

2019 SM TAFE Annual Report

2018 SM TAFE Annual Report

2017 SM TAFE Annual Report

2016 SM TAFE Annual Report

Strategic Plans

South Metropolitan TAFE 2020-2022 Strategic Plan

South Metropolitan TAFE Innovate Reconciliation Action Plan 2018-2020

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

Disability Access and Inclusion Plan (DAIP)

South Metropolitan TAFE is committed to quality vocational education and training that is accessible and equitable for all students. Consistent with the spirit and intent of the Plans in place at the former Challenger Institute and Polytechnic West, we will continue to progress ongoing strategies and projects, as part of our strong commitment to access and inclusion. These activities support the principles of a socially inclusive college community and address disadvantage. By removing barriers to opportunity in education and training, we support the educational participation of people with disabilities.

Over a period of 12 months from the formation of the college in April 2016, consultation and planning resulted in a a new DAIP, developed to highlight key strategies to ensure that people with disabilities have the opportunity to fully participate in all aspects of college life. Download our Disability Access and Inclusion Plan.


Page last updated September 22, 2020