31 March 2022 | Melbourne Convention & Exhibition Centre

School to Work Summit

Event Overview

The 2022 Victorian School to Work Summit will bring together experts, innovators and leaders from education, industry, government and community to step up to the challenge facing Victoria over the next decade:

How do we connect our education system with future workforce opportunities so that every student has a great pathway from school to work?

The summit will tackle challenges such as economic disruption, equity and inclusion, in-demand skills and the role of technology. Limited tickets are available.



Professor Damian Blake

Head of School (Education), Deakin University

Former CEO, Victorian Curriculum & Assessment Authority

The Hon Fiona Nash

Australia’s first Regional Education Commissioner

Candy Bowers

Award-winning Writer, Actor, Comedian, Producer & Radical Mischief-Maker

Professor of Education, University of Melbourne

Former Telstra Business Woman of the Year | CEO, Food & Fibre Great South Coast

Professor Kitty te Riele

Deputy Director Research, University of Tasmania

Former Director, Kirby Review | Director TAFE & Industry Partnerships, Parkville College

+ over 30 more.


Welcome to Country – Aunty Joy Murphy AO
Tim Richardson MP – Parliamentary Secretary for School
10:30 AM – 12:40 PM SESSION 1 – THE EXPERTS
Our first session will feature powerful insights from experts, initiators and agitators on the school to work journey. Hear about the latest research into what connects students and employer

How do we connect our education system with future workforce opportunities? What can we learn from the past 20 years of education reform?

The Hon Steve Bracks AC – Former Premier of Victoria (Video Address)

Ro Allen – Victorian Equal Opportunity & Human Rights Commissioner

Howard Kelly – Director, TAFE & Industry Partnerships, Parkville College | Former Director, Kirby Review

John Firth – Former CEO, Victorian Curriculum & Assessment Authority

Helene Rooks – CEO, Victorian Applied Learning Association

Trent McCarthy – Chair, VicLLENs | CEO, Central Ranges LLEN (Panel Facilitator)

What does the latest research tell us about employers, students and the journey from school to work?
Jeanette Pope – Freelance Strategy, Policy, Research

How do we ensure that every student has a great pathway from school to work?
Emeritus Professor John Polesel – Professor of Education, University of Melbourne

Professor Damian Blake – Head of School (Education), Deakin University
Professor Kitty te Riele – Deputy Director Research, University of Tasmania

Two talented teams will debate whether the role of a school is to create the workers of the future.

Simon Pampena – Comedian, Presenter, National Numeracy Ambassador
Mariam Koslay – Communications Manager, Parkville College

Audrey Flannery – Host, ‘Come To Work With Me’
Natalie Collard – CEO, Food & Fibre Great South Coast, Former Telstra Business Woman of the Year
Candy Bowers – Award-winning Writer, Actor, Comedian, Producer & Radical Mischief-Maker
David Gallagher – Casual Academic, Deakin University

Dylan Broomfield – General Manager (Policy & Advocacy), Victorian Chamber of Commerce & Industry
Evonne Lu – Student Executive Committee Member, Victorian Student Representative Council

12:40 PM – 1:30 PM  LUNCH
How do you do that? Our second session includes 6 mini-masterclasses by innovators and educators, exploring gender equality in trades, early engagement, ed-tech, neurodiversity, entrepreneurship and school industry partnerships.

David Williamson – CEO, Melbourne Innovation Centre

Alex Tsenalidis – VCAL Learning Specialist, Northern College of the Arts & Technology

Louise Speirs-Bridge  – Applied Learning Leader, Fitzroy High School

Julie Aldous – Founder, Mansfield Model, Former Victorian Rural Woman of the Year
Dave Burton – CEO, Goldfields LLEN
Lena Mitchell – Manager, Passions & Pathways

Brizayah Clifford – Youth Intern, Women in Trades Report
Brea Dorsett – Youth Intern, Women in Trades Report
Katie Yates – Program Manager, Tradeswomen Australia

Lena Way – Director Engagement, Central Ranges LLEN
Emily Lee-Ack – CEO, South West LLEN
Ella Hughes – Director, Youth Take Over Loddon Campaspe
Graeme Wiggins – CEO, Bendigo Tech School

Dr Alice Ames – Project Design & Implementation Officer (Human Centred Design), Future Connect

Bec Costa-Lowe – GMVICE, Goulburn Murray LLEN
Michael Lyons – Visual Media Studio Manager, Spiire


How do we lead change in schools and beyond?
The Hon Fiona Nash – Regional Education Commissioner for Australia
Jen Buchanan – Convenor, Future Schools Alliance

Dianne Semmens – Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Victoria University  

Dr Yasmin Chalmers – Head of Centre for Science & Technology, The Gordon

David Caughey – Principal, Cranbourne Secondary College

Meet Victoria’s VET Champions and find out how we can support all students to engage with vocational pathways on their journey from school to work.
Scott Widmer – Assistant Deputy Secretary, Department of Education & Training

Ashley Beeby – Diesel Mechanic, BHP

Lewis Brown –  Reconciliation Advisor, RMIT University 

Benjamin Gregory – Director, BG Group

Jack Trewick – Farmer, Cramlington Park

Christine Basco – Registered Nurse

What do we want to do next? What can we do together? Discover new networks and opportunities to stay connected.
*Program may be subject to minor adjustments


Full School to Work Summit (‘Summit’) registration fee (all registration categories except virtual registration) includes access to all Summit sessions, official Summit documents, morning/afternoon tea, lunch and coffee breaks. Virtual registration fee includes access to all Summit sessions, official summit documents and access to recording post-event. Early bird ticket sales close on 25 February 2022. Please note that from the 10 March, all tickets must be paid using a credit or debit card and invoices will no longer be able to be issued.


Early Bird


General Admission

 $ 445.00

 $ 495.00

Education & Training Sector

 $ 395.00

 $ 445.00 

LLEN Staff & Board Members – VALA Members

 $ 315.00

 $ 365.00


 $ 315.00

 $ 365.00


 $ 275.00

Students (In person or virtually)

 $ 155.00

Group In Person Registration x 10


Includes summit talks, program and materials, arrival morning tea, lunch and coffee breaks.
The Education & Training Sector rate applies to staff from any Australian school, TAFE, university or RTO. Staff must use their work email address upon registration.
This rate applies to LLEN Staff & Board Members and VALA Financial Members.
If you are a sponsor of the Summit and would like to purchase registrations in addition to any complimentary registrations included in your sponsorship package, you can do so at this discounted rate.
Unable to join us in person at the event? Participate in the event virtually from wherever you are. Includes summit talks, presented live in an interactive and robust platform, with access to recordings post-event.
The student rate applies to full-time domestic or international students. Students may be asked to provide proof of student status via email. Must use education provider email address upon registering at proof of student status.
We are offering organisations/schools the opportunity to register a group of 10 delegates at a reduced price. The package is designed for a group of 10 new registrations. We can’t apply the package rate retrospectively. If you have already purchased an individual registration or multiple registrations, we cannot refund or discount the registration/s to form a group package. This is a great opportunity for learning and professional development for your staff.
Registration cancellations received up to Thursday, 10th March 2022 will receive a full refund, less a $150.00 administration fee. No refunds will be given for cancellations received after Thursday, 17th March 2022. As an alternative to cancellation, registrations may be transferred to another person (for the same registration category) before Thursday, 24th March 2022 at no cost. Credit card surcharges associated with registration will not be refunded in the case of cancellation.
Please note there is no entry to the venue without registration for the conference. CHANGES TO REGISTRATION In the event that the Summit is unable to proceed as an in person event, all in person registrations will be transferred to virtual registrations in the same category. No administration fee will apply to any such changes, and delegates will be refunded the difference in registration fees. Where a registered delegate is unable to attend for reasons related to COVID19, including border closures or the compulsory requirement to isolate or quarantine, their registration may be transferred to a virtual registration at no cost. Where an in person registration is converted to a virtual registration, delegates will be allocated the equivalent virtual registration based cost on the date registered. For example, delegates registered to attend in-person at the early bird rate, will be allocated an early bird virtual registration. EVENT CANCELLATION In the event of the Summit being cancelled for any reason beyond the reasonable control of the organiser, Central Ranges LLEN, VicLLENS, or The Production House Events, no refunds will be issued. All registrations will be credited towards a future Summit held by VicLLENs to be held within a reasonable time. VicLLENs, Central Ranges LLEN, its member organisations and The Production House Events do not accept any liability for any losses incurred pre, post or during the Summit due to unforeseen cancellation or postponement of the Summit. COVID19 VACCINATION POLICY It is a strict condition of entry into the in person Summit that delegates be fully vaccinated, or hold a valid exemption. In accordance with the Open Premises Direction (No 7) issued in accordance with the Public Health and Wellbeing Act 2008 (Vic), all visitors, customers and contractors attending any MCEC event space must provide evidence of their vaccination status or exemption prior to entry to the premises. All people aged over 12 years and 2 months must be fully vaccinated to attend any on-site events at MCEC. No refunds will be provided to any in person registered delegate refused entry to the Summit for any reason related to their vaccination status, or ability to provide evidence of their vaccination status.



On sale now

This is the leading event in Victoria for government, education, industry and community working to better connect education with future workforce opportunities. Limited tickets on sale now. Discounted rate for registering 10 tickets for $3,150

John Firth

Former CEO, Victorian Curriculum and Assessment Authority
John Firth led the review into vocational and applied learning pathways in senior secondary schooling

Professor John Polesel

Professor of Education, University of Melbourne
Melbourne Graduate School of EducationMelbourne Graduate School of Education Teaching and research. Focus on comparative education, school-based vocational education and high stakes testing

Natalie Collard

Former Telstra Business Woman of the Year | CEO, Food & Fibre Great South Coast
Natalie Collard is the Executive Officer for FFGSC, a leadership coach, for which she was awarded one of the 10 most successful CEOs of 2021 by Industry Era magazine, and a Non-Executive Director. She is a highly-regarded advocate for regional Australia, agriculture, renewable energy, innovation and women’s leadership.

Howard Kelly

Former Director, Kirby Review | Director TAFE & Industry Partnerships,Parkville College
Howard Kelly has a distinguished career in education and training. He was a Principal for 12 years in two inner suburban schools and has been the Curriculum Director in state and national projects for four years, Chair of two statutory authorities for 8 years, overseeing the introduction of the VCE and the P-10 curriculum reform. Howard was the Director of the Kirby Ministerial review into post compulsory education, leading to the development of the LLEN and the introduction of VCAL.