Ai Group’s Centre for Education and Training drives bold new thinking on education and training in the context of work. It explores new ways to build skills and capabilities for companies to succeed now and into the future.

Its proactive research, policy and advocacy agenda strives to ensure Australia’s skill development outcomes are in line with current and emerging economic needs, at the same time linking the real needs of industry with the training, education and career aspirations of individuals. 

To enable this the Centre:  

  • Provides thought leadership on human capital requirements and the policies needed to support them
  • Undertakes high quality evidence-based research that informs improvements in workforce capability
  • Champions and pilots fresh education and training ideas and concepts 
  • Assists companies to address their current and future workforce needs through advice and information on skills and training issues
  • Hosts member networks and events that bring together the education and training community and employers
  • Guides company workforces on quality learning and development frameworks and programs. 

Get in touch with us to discuss your company’s skills issues and plans, our research and reports, or the members’ network.

Meet the Team

Megan Lilly

Head of Education & Training

Megan has an enduring commitment to research, policy and advocacy in education and training, especially in relation to work.  In leading the work of the Centre, Megan represents members on a diverse number of international, national, and state based committees, councils and boards. Megan is a strong advocate for reform and has been involved in key national reforms over many years. Megan is firm in the belief the capacity of education and training to transform lives.

Sarah Pilcher - Research and Policy Manager

Sarah leads the Centre’s research program, and comes to Ai Group with considerable experience in creating a targeted, policy-focused research agenda. She works to combine member data with broader research insights to create a rich evidence base to underpin the Centre’s policy and advocacy work.

Peter Canavan - Senior Policy Officer, Education and Training

Peter contributes to education and training policy and manages Centre projects including state industry skills advisory projects and apprenticeship and traineeship projects that often explore new models. Peter has many years' experience in the vocational training sector, and has managed projects for the Victorian Government relating to education and training.

Paolo Damante - Senior Policy Officer, Education and Training

Paolo contributes to the Ai Group Centre for Education & Training's policies and is a member on a number of national and state secondary and tertiary education industry advisory bodies. Paolo project manages state government-funded projects centred on education-industry partnerships in the defence industry. He also administers the CET’s Member Network.

Brett Crossley - Research and Policy Officer

Brett contributes to the Centre’s ongoing research and policy development projects. As the Centre’s main data collector and analyst, he is interested in finding and drawing links between various datasets and developing evidence-based policy that can lead to improved system performance and productivity growth.

    Andrew Elsbury

    Andrew coordinates the Defence Science Institute’s Defence Industry Scholarships Program for the Centre which involves supporting SMEs in Victoria’s defence industry with hosting final-year higher education students in industry placements and bolstering their higher skills workforce needs. Andrew has two decades of experience in communications roles in State and Federal Government, most recently as a Government Relations Consultant in the private sector.

    Caroline Smith, General Manager, Research and Projects

    As a senior leader specialising in future skills, employment and economic policy, Caroline has had a distinguished career dedicated to empowering individuals and businesses. Her focus includes economic and skills development, labour markets, workforce planning and the future of work. 

    With extensive expertise in federal and state government and peak bodies, Caroline brings strategic insights on workforce development policy and innovation. Caroline’s experience includes being the inaugural Executive Director of Jobs Queensland, Deputy Chief Executive of the National Employment Services Association and Executive Director, Economic and Policy Futures in Queensland government.

      Patricia Zoltan, Project Officer

      Patricia runs the South Australian Defence Industry Scholarships Program in Adelaide and assists SMEs and Primes in the South Australian defence industry with hosting final year university students through internships.


      Patricia is an experienced academic having worked at various universities in Adelaide and also overseas in the past three decades contributing to curriculum development and delivery in undergraduate and postgraduate programs specialising in academic literacy and business communication.

        Rosemary Potter, Project Lead

        With over 40 years’ experience in the education and training industry, Rosemary has developed extensive knowledge and a wide range of skills from teaching, training, strategic planning, policy advocacy, managing business development teams, and most recently a focus on project management. Rosemary is working on the Ai Group Degree Apprenticeship project 3 days per week while still managing 2 projects for TAFE Queensland 2 days per week.

          Ross Kelly, Project Manager

          Ross has extensive experience in the mining, equipment supply and training sectors. He has managed Registered Training Organisations for the Victorian/Tasmanian Caterpillar dealership and the Civil Contractors Federation (Victoria). Ross has been providing consulting and contract services in the fields of business operations, RTO management and compliance, people development and project management. He is uniquely positioned to understand the issues faced by both technical people in the field, and the staff and management team in the office.  He has a strong interest in developing and mentoring staff and in the future skills and knowledge that will be required by industry in an evolving technological world.

          Ross is currently contracted with Ai Group as Project Manager for the exciting Dual Electrical Qualification pilot project. The pilot is an amazing opportunity to provide industry with the advanced and broader skill sets required for current and future technology.

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            Contact Us

            Get in touch with the Centre for Education & Training to discuss your company’s skills issues and plans, our research and reports, or the members’ network.

            Address: Level 5, 441 St Kilda Rd Melbourne VIC 3004 Australia

            Phone: +61 3 9867 0202


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