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Corporate Governance


Melbourne Polytechnic, and its Board, operate under the accountability, powers, duties and functions as set out in the Education and Training Reform Act 2006  and The Constitution of Melbourne Polytechnic Order 2016.

The Minister

Melbourne Polytechnic is accountable to the Minister for Training and Skills.

The Victorian Government Minister for Training and Skills is the Hon. Gayle Tierney MP.

Further information about can be obtained from the Victoria Government Education and Training website:  www.education.vic.gov.au

The Board

In accordance with The Constitution of Melbourne Polytechnic Order 2016 the Board of Melbourne Polytechnic is established to oversee and govern the Institute.

Pursuant to the Constitution, the Board must:

  • take all reasonable steps for the advancement of the objectives of the Institute and the Board under the Act and the Constitution;
  • operate in accordance with the economic and social objectives and public sector management policy established from time to time by the Government of Victoria;
  • meet at intervals prescribed in the Constitution;
  • provide all assistance and information as the Minister, the Secretary or the Deputy Secretary may reasonably require from the Board; and
  • ensure the safe custody and proper use of the common seal of the Institute.

These duties are in addition to, and do not take away from, the duties imposed on the Board by the Education and Training Reform Act 2006, other provisions of The Constitution of Melbourne Polytechnic Order 2016, and any other duties imposed by any other Act or law.

Board Members

 +  Jim Pasinis – (Chairman, Ministerial Appointed Director)

Jim Pasinis has over 30 years’ experience in the health and community services sector and was awarded the Centenary Medal for his services to culturally and linguistically diverse communities in the northern metropolitan area of Melbourne. He is a director of the Victorian Responsible Gambling Foundation (VRGF) and the Araleuen Centre.

Mr Pasinis has been instrumental in implementing government-funded community health services and has assisted marginalised young people in developing social and employment skills.

He has served as a director of the Penington Institute, a charity that raises awareness regarding drug use and disease prevention, and was Chief Executive Officer of Banyule Community Health, West Heidelberg Community Health Centre and Box Hill Community Health Service.

Mr Pasinis holds a Diploma of Accounting and a Graduate Diploma of Health Administration and is a member of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.

 +  Fiona McNabb – (Ministerial Appointed Director)

Fiona is a finance and risk management professional with over 25 years’ of corporate experience as an executive, consultant and non-executive director. Her professional background is in treasury, global financial markets and risk management.

Fiona is currently a board member at Melbourne Polytechnic and an independent director of Responsible Entity Partners Ltd and Tisdwell Financial Services Ltd, subsidiaries of Sargon Capital, where she also chairs the audit, risk and compliance committees. She was previously a director of VicForests where she was Chair of the Audit and Risk Management Committee and a deputy trustee director of VicSuper Fund. Fiona has extensive board experience across many sectors, including superannuation, investments, agriculture and the arts.

In addition, Fiona is a Senior Industry Fellow within Monash Business School, teaching finance and investments.

Her qualifications include Bachelor of Science majoring in Pure Mathematics (BSc), Fellow of the Australian Institute of Company Directors (FAICD), Senior Fellow of the Financial Services Institute of Australasia (SF Fin) and Graduate of the Australian Institute of Superannuation Trustees (GAIST).

Fiona’s passions include women’s affairs, finance, investments, education and sustainable agriculture – plus golf.

 +  Helen Clarke – (Ministerial Appointed Director)

Ms Clarke began her career teaching at Preston East Technical School and subsequently held executive and senior roles in the Department of Education and Training and the Department of Human Services.

Ms Clarke has worked in policy and operational roles including curriculum development, school governance and stakeholder relations.

As deputy chair of Bank Australia and its predecessor, Education Credit Union Pty Ltd Ms Clarke is an experienced company director practised in board governance including risk, remuneration, audit and sustainable development strategy.

In addition to Diplomas in Social Science and Education, Ms Clarke holds a qualification from the Australian Institute of Company Directors and is a Fellow of the Institute.

 +  Tali Bernard – (Ministerial Appointed Director)

Tali Bernard is currently serving as a board member and Deputy Chair of the Accident Compensation Conciliation Service. She is also a member of the School Council at Clifton Hill Primary School.

Ms Bernard practised as a lawyer for over 18 years in the areas of family law and personal injury litigation. She is committed to improving access to justice and access to education for all Victorians. She is also passionate about alternative dispute resolution.

Ms Bernard has had many years experience as a board member in the Community Legal Service sector, including being a board member of Women’s Legal Service Victoria (WLSV) for over 11 years. As a board member of WLSV, Ms Bernard assisted with an organisational restructure and change in strategy which enhanced WLSV’s casework capacity and facilitated a focus on relationship breakdown and violence against women.

In addition to her legal qualifications, Ms Bernard has a Bachelor of Arts, is a former student of Melbourne Polytechnic and is a graduate of the Company Directors Course at the Australian Institute of Company Directors.

 +  Daniel Stubbs – (Ministerial Appointed Director)

Daniel Stubbs has a wealth of legal, policy and economics experience and is the Chief Executive Officer of Inner Melbourne Community Legal, a community legal centre that provides legal services to disadvantaged and marginalised Melburnians. He is also a director of the National Association of Community Legal Centres.

Mr Stubbs has a particular interest in human rights, social justice and disability. He is a director of Blind Citizens Australia and previously served as Executive Director of the Australian Capital Territory Council of Social Service Inc and as President of Australia-Pacific Islands Disability Support Inc.

He has held policy roles in the Commonwealth Department of Employment, Education and Training and the Commonwealth Department of Education, Training and Youth Affairs and has acted as a governance and strategic policy consultant for various overseas non-governmental organisations.

Mr Stubbs’ qualifications include Bachelor of Laws (Hons), Bachelor of Commerce (Hons) and a Graduate Diploma in International and Development Economics.

 +  Fiona Smith – (Ministerial Appointed Director)

Fiona Smith AM has been awarded the Order of Australia in recognition of her human rights and social justice advocacy. She served a five-year term as Chairperson of the Victorian Equal Opportunity and Human Rights Commission and played an integral role in implementing Victoria’s Charter of Human Rights and Responsibilities.

Ms Smith has practised as a public interest lawyer, is an accredited mediator, has served as a member of the Commonwealth Administrative Appeals Tribunal and holds a qualification from the Australian Institute of Company Directors.

Throughout her career, Ms Smith has held a range of leadership positions including ten years as Chairperson of Victoria’s Business Licensing Authority, serving as a director of Yooralla and the Victorian Eye and Ear Hospital, and as a trustee of the Reichstein Foundation.

 +  Joe Dicks – (Board Appointed Director)

Joe Dicks has over 31 years’ experience as a chartered accountant and was one of the founding partners of the forensic accounting division of PPB Advisory.

Mr Dicks has advised Victorian TAFEs on performance reporting, strategic planning and budgetary matters during his time as a consultant.

He is a director of Campus Living Villages, a student accommodation provider, and Think Childcare. He was a founding board member of Uniting AgeWell and also served on the board of Wesley Mission Victoria.

Mr Dicks is an accredited Business Valuations Specialist, a Certified Fraud Examiner, and has completed the Australian Institute of Company Directors course.

 +  Lee Astheimer – (Board Appointed Director)

Professor Lee Astheimer served as Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research) at Deakin University (2009-16) where she managed growth and development of Deakin’s research portfolio, including research training, infrastructure, and engagement with business and industry.

She previously served as Pro Vice-Chancellor (Research) at the University of Wollongong and has a wealth of experience in research development, research policy and managing national and international research partnerships.

Lee held academic positions at Rutgers University in New Jersey, USA, the University of Tasmania and the University of Wollongong. She was held an NSF Postdoctoral Fellowship at the University of Washington in Seattle, USA and her work has been widely published in peer reviewed journals.

She has BSc (Biology, Hons) from Lakehead University in Ontario, Canada and a PhD in Ecology from the University of California, Davis, USA. She has been a member of numerous boards and holds qualifications from the Australian Institute of Company Directors.

 +  Ian Munro – (Board Appointed Director)

Ian Bruce Munro has extensive experience in economic development across a broad range of industry sectors, and in regulatory and land supply matters. Mr Munro was the inaugural Chief Executive Officer of Invest Assist, and served as a board member of the Metropolitan Planning Authority/Growth Areas Authority and the Victorian Environmental Assessment Council for several terms.

He held various executive roles in the then Department of Innovation, Industry and Regional Development including as Chief Executive Officer, Deputy Secretary and Executive Director and as a specialist consultant to the Victorian Department of Economic Development, Jobs, Transport and Resources for many years.

Mr Munro holds a Bachelor of Applied Science (Surveying), is a Licensed Surveyor and holds a qualification from the Australian Institute of Company Directors.

He was awarded a Public Service Medal in 2007 and Centenary Medal in 2001.

 +  Richard Tait – (Board Appointed Director)

Dr Richard Tait has extensive experience in the information and communications technology sphere. He is currently a non-executive director of CenITex, a Victorian government authority that provides information technology services, and has served as Chief Information Officer of Goldman Sachs JBWere in Melbourne, Interim Chief Information Officer at the Australian Taxation Office, and Chief Technologist at ANZ Bank.

Dr Tait holds qualifications in science and information technology from the University of Melbourne and Monash University, and a PhD from the Université Pierre et Marie Curie (Paris VI). He is also a graduate member of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.

 +  Frances Coppolillo – (Chief Executive)

Frances Coppolillo has an extensive history with Melbourne Polytechnic, most recently as Deputy CEO where she has led the College, Schools and a range of student focussed departments since September 2014.

Prior to this, Ms Coppolillo was the Deputy Director Programs – Teaching and Learning, and has extensive experience in education, joining the VET sector as a teacher in 1986. Through her career progression, she has held a range of teaching, management and leadership positions including fourteen years as the Associate Director of Melbourne Polytechnic’s Faculty of Further Education.

Ms Coppolillo was also a founding director on the Board of the TAFE Development Centre (now the VET Development Centre), and has led projects in learning resource development, and best practice projects in student engagement and retention.

Frances has been a member of a number of regional development committees including Northern RDA and Local Learning and Employment Networks. Her qualifications include Bachelor of Education and Masters in Social Sciences (Policy and Management).

Ms Coppolillo is the first female CEO of Melbourne Polytechnic, formerly NMIT.

 +  Mel Riel – (Staff Elected Director)

Mel Riel began his career in Vocational Education and Training when he was employed as a sessional teacher in the Hospitality Department at Melbourne Polytechnic in July 1997. Within 6 months, he was appointed the Restaurant Program Coordinator of Melbourne Polytechnic’s training restaurant, St Georges.

Under Mr Riel’s leadership and guidance, St Georges was voted the Training Restaurant of Victoria. Other nominees were various reputable training organisations including William Angliss, Crown Casino & Hotel Sofitel. Mr Riel’s passion for teaching has produced quality hospitality graduates who are highly regarded by the industry.

Over the past 21 years at Melbourne Polytechnic, Mr Riel has held a series of positions including Manager Food and Beverage Operations, Hospitality Department Manager and currently the Head of Conferencing and Events. Prior to teaching, he established a career in the hotel and restaurant industry and has been actively involved in the industry for the last 30 years.

Mr Riel has worked for organisations such as the Sheraton, Hilton, Regent, Sofitel and notable restaurants in Melbourne. His strong alliance with the industry provides Melbourne Polytechnic’s hospitality students with learning outcomes that are current and relevant as well as employment opportunities.

Mr Riel’s qualifications include Advanced Diploma of Hospitality Management and Diploma of Vocational Education and Training and he is currently an honorary member of Preston Rotary Club.

Further information can be found on the public board appointments Victoria website:  http://www.publicboards.vic.gov.au/

Senior Executive

Frances Coppolillo

Chief Executive

Claire Britchford

Executive Director, Finance and Infrastructure

Greg Madigan

Executive Director, Industry and School Engagement

Karina Davis

Executive Director, Programs and Educational Leadership

Joanna Brown

Executive Director, People, Culture and Organisational Development

Cathy Frazer

Executive Director, Student Experience

Nicole Amsing

Strategic Advisor, Planning, Strategy and Performance

Marc Blanks

Executive Director, Tech Schools

Howard Kelly

Strategic Advisor, Office of the Chief Executive – Schools, Government and Community Engagement

Senior Executive biographies.


The Education and Training Reform Act 2006 reforms the law relating to education and training in Victoria by providing for a high standard of education and training for all Victorians.

TAFE institute Boards are considered to be public entitles under Part 5 of the Public Administration Act 2004 and are subject to the requirements of a public entity set out in Part 5 of the Act. 

The Constitution of Melbourne Polytechnic Order 2016 includes provisions regarding governance arrangements and the objectives, functions and powers of the institute.  This came into operation on 1 July 2016.  The Constitution is made under the powers conferred by section 3.1.11 of the Education and Training Reform Act 2006 and all other enabling powers.

The Education and Training Reform Act 2006 and Public Administration Act 2004can be obtained from the Victorian Legislation and Parliamentary Documents Library.  http://www.legislation.vic.gov.au/

Melbourne Polytechnic Gifts, Benefits and Hospitality Policy and Register

Melbourne Polytechnic’s Gifts, Benefits and Hospitality Policy and Register are available here.

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Last Modified: 15th April 2019