Project Team

PROJECT LEADER – Donna Hensley
Donna has been employed in adult education, policy and research at local, state, and national levels within the Australian Vocational Education and Training (VET) system for over 20 years.

In 1999 she was awarded the NSW Education Minister’s Award for Excellence in Teaching and Outstanding Contribution to the Profession of Teaching for her work in establishing an industry workplace training and assessment program. In 2001 she received an Australian National Training Authority (ANTA) Flexible Learning Leaders scholarship to research and implement professional development and organisational reform models for a large VET organisation. Donna visited South Africa as part of her scholarship.

Her previous positions include Manager of the Institute Teaching and Learning Innovation Centre (TAFE NSW – Hunter Institute) which focussed on professional development models for VET teachers. Donna was then employed with state-wide responsibilities as Manager of the NSW TAFE-Schools Partnership Unit (TAFE NSW)

During 2006, Donna worked as a lecturer in the School of Education at the University of Newcastle and also worked as a consultant for various educational projects including health and international project work. She has been involved in VET projects in Papua New Guinea, Fiji, South Africa, Botswana and Lesotho.
Donna has a Masters in Leadership & Management in Education, Graduate Diploma in TESOL, BA  Dip Ed and VET qualifications in workplace training and assessment and project management. Currently Donna works as Special Advisor, Technical Vocational Education and Training (TVET) to the Pro Vice Chancellor, Faculty of Education & Arts, at the University of Newcastle and is currently the national Innovation Program Manager for the Australian Flexible Learning Framework which is the Australian national VET system’s e-learning strategy.


Joanne (“Jo”) is the international Partnerships Officer for the Faculty of Education & Arts and has been employed by the University of Newcastle for the past 4 years. Jo is responsible for organising programs for visiting academics, as well as looking after international students needs i.e. travel, stipends, temporary accommodation, bank account, tours etc. and assisting the Partnerships & International Coordinator with all administrative needs and travel. In 2006 Jo organised the first Graduation Recognition Ceremony in Botswana via email, courier and telephone and this year arranged and attended two Graduation Recognition Ceremonies in Botswana and Pretoria, which were officiated by our Vice Chancellor, Prof Nicholas Saunders. Jo also organised the whole program for the Senior Delegations visit to South Africa along with their accommodation, flights and transfers.

This year alone Jo has looked after a number of visiting Senior Delegations from Beijing Municipal Education Commission, Walter Sisulu University and University of Fort Hare, East London (South Africa), Polytechnic of Namibia, Lesotho College of Education, Cape Town University, Can Tho University in Vietnam, Nanjing Normal University in China, University of Pretoria, Hasanuddin University, Indonesia and Sorong Islamic State University from West Papua.

In 2008 Jo was also very instrumental in helping organise the First Pan African TVET Conference in Cape Town, South Africa.

She is known and has developed a reputation within the University, as being one of the best Senior Tour Guides for International visitors.

To contact Donna or Jo please click here 


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