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About us

We are one of Western Australia’s most diverse training providers with major campuses in Bentley, Carlisle, Fremantle, Murdoch, Rockingham, Thornlie and Mandurah. 

We offer more than 300 qualifications, from foundation courses to apprenticeships and traineeships, to diplomas and skill sets. We have over 25,000 students across our Perth campuses and more students in Asia, the Middle East, Africa and South America through partnerships offshore. 

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 lifelong 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 to employ skilled staff or upskill their existing workforce, 
  • and by creating strong futures for our communities. 

See our annual reports, Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP) and Disability Access and Inclusion Plan (DAIP) on our Reports and Publications page. 

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. 

For information on the operation of the South Metropolitan TAFE Governing Council, contact:  
Daisy Vogels
T: 9229 9256

Note: Recommended applicants will be asked to consent to a criminal record check. Applicants with a convictions record are not automatically precluded from appointment to the Governing Council. Each case will be considered on its merits.

Current Governing Council Members 

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. 

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. 

Brian was born and raised in Bowral, NSW, from where he joined the Royal Australian Navy, graduating from the Naval College with a Diploma of Applied Science. He also holds a Master of Business Administration.

Brian specialised in information Technology, responsible for managing warship communications and data exchange networks. He has lived and worked in Australia, Malaysia, and the United States, and was seconded to the US military in Florida with responsibility for designing US communications and collaborative networks. In 2011 he led a team of US engineers to Afghanistan fielding the new network linking the regional commands with combat outposts, for which he was awarded the United States Joint Service Commendation.

Brian has been Director General of Navy Communications and Information Warfare, highlighted by his establishment of the Australian Navy Cyber Directorate and Deputy Mission Commander for Pacific Partnership, a US Navy deployment providing medical and humanitarian assistance to regional communities. He returned as the Commanding Officer of the HMAS Stirling Navy base.

Brian has transitioned to the Naval Reserve and lives in Rockingham with his wife Robin, a native of Washington DC, and their three children.

Paola Chivers is a Health Researcher and Biostatistician, working privately for DATaR Consulting.  She holds Adjunct positions with The University of Notre Dame Australia and Edith Cowan University.  Paola is the co-lead and Chair of the Western Australian Bone Research Collaboration and is on the statistical editorial board of the international journal Clinical Oral Implants Research. 

Paola has over 25 years’ experience as a teacher, academic and trainer in health and disability fields.  Over her career she has worked for not-for-profits, government, and private organisations, and taught at primary, secondary, TAFE and university levels.  Previously Paola served three terms on the Willetton Senior High School Board, the last two terms as Vice-Chair and Chair respectively and sat on both the Finance and Partnerships Committees.  Paola has also been a member of the WA Country Health Service Human Research Ethics Committee and Notre Dame’s school research committee.

Paola has a long history of philanthropic work within the disability and education sectors including governance and committee representation.  Paola continues to be an active partner in the CSIRO STEM Professionals in Schools program and is providing her expertise to the Australian Red Cross in Research and Strategy and is on assignment with the Australian Volunteers International.

Paola holds a BSc (Hons) from UWA, Graduate Diploma in Further Education and Training from USQ, and a PhD from Notre Dame. 

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. 

Erica is an experienced Chair, non-executive director, and executive. In addition to being both a member of the Governing Council of South Metropolitan TAFE and the Chair of the SMTAFE Finance, Audit and Risk Management Committee, Erica holds non-executive Chair roles at Uniting WA, MNG Survey and AusVet, is a member of the CPA Australia WA Divisional Council, and Founder and Director of Navigating Innovation, her own advisory business.

Throughout her career Erica has honed skills in strategy, innovation, transformational change and the connection of profit and purpose. Erica has worked for RAC WA, Wesfarmers Energy (Wesfarmers Limited) and Argyle Diamonds (Rio Tinto Limited).

Erica has been a Certified Practising Accountant for over 20 years and has completed the Advanced Management Program at Harvard Business School.


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.  

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.

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 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. 

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. 

In it's first year of operation, South Metropolitan TAFE was named as the Best Large Training Provider in the WA Training Awards.