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
  • Provide best-of-class learning and development programs for company workforces. 

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

Megan is Executive Director of the Centre for Education and Training and has had an enduring commitment to research, policy and advocacy in education and training.

Over her 30-year career, Megan has been consistent in the belief of the capacity of education and training to transform lives.

Megan is currently a member of the Australian Industry Skills Committee, board member of National Apprentice Employment Network, Deputy Chair – Worldskills Australia, member of the Australian College of Educators, and the Australia Pacific Training Coalition. Megan was also on the AQF Review Panel.

She has been a member of the Australia India Education Council, including Chairing the Skills Working Group, Australian Qualifications Framework Council, Queensland Ministerial Commission, Victorian Skills Commission and was a member of the National Skills Standards Council, and the National Quality Council.

Megan regularly presents at national and international conferences. She has a Masters in Educational Policy and Administration.

Anne Younger - General Manager, Policy and Projects

Anne commenced with Ai Group in 2006 working in a variety of roles, most recently as General Manager, Education and Training, responsible for policy development addressing education and training issues for members and other companies.

At Ai Group Anne previously worked as an economist, managed a team of skills advisers to assist workforce development in companies, and a team of business advisers charged with helping SMEs to improve productivity.

Before joining Ai Group, Anne worked for over 25 years within the vocational education and training sector in roles involving project management, planning, research and continuous improvement.

Anne is a Board member of Innovation and Business Skills Australia (IBSA). She holds a Master of Education (RMIT University), and a Bachelor of Economics (Monash University).

Peter Canavan - Senior Policy Officer, Education and Training
Peter Canavan is a Senior Policy Officer at Ai Group, contributing to education and training policy and managing projects such as state industry skills advisory projects and apprenticeship and traineeship projects. Peter has over 25 years' experience in the vocational training sector, and has also managed projects for the Victorian Government, including apprenticeship projects and projects supporting workers retrenched from the automotive manufacturing sector.
Paolo Damante - Senior Policy Officer, Education and Training
Paolo Damante is a Senior Policy Officer at Ai Group, contributing to education and training policy and project management. He has over a decade's experience in public policy, with a particular focus on education and training. Prior to joining Ai Group, Paolo worked as an adviser to a number of federal and state parliamentarians, and also had a career in banking and finance. He also holds a Master of Diplomacy and Trade.
Wayne Lee - Queensland Industry Skills Adviser - Manufacturing
Wayne Lee is a VET generalist with specialist skills in Workplace Learning and Development acquired through 20 years in a wide area of industry sectors, particularly manufacturing. He has extensive experience in most aspects of the skills acquisition cycle including; the attraction and recruitment of talent, development mentoring, training and skilling and retention. He has conducted numerous skills audits, constructed workforce development plans, and implemented skilling solutions by engaging suitable providers and monitoring their performance. Wayne is currently the Queensland Manufacturing Industry Skills Adviser where he provides advice to the Queensland Government on the VET needs of the manufacturing industry as well as enabling industry to contribute to priorities and provide input on their skills needs and the challenges in meeting them.
Lisa Gilbert - Queensland Policy Officer and Projects Leader
Lisa is a Queensland Manufacturing Industry Skills Advisor, providing advice to the Queensland Government on the VET needs of the manufacturing industry as well as enabling industry to contribute to priorities and provide input on their skills needs and the challenges in meeting them. Lisa has considerable experience in not only the manufacturing industry but also the VET sector. She was Executive Officer of Service Skills NSW, Industry Training Advisory Body (ITAB) for the NSW Tourism & Hospitality, the Wholesale, Retail & Personal Services and the Sport & Recreation industries. Besides what Lisa brings to the role with her experience, she has a strong sporting background, having held a full scholarship with the NSW Institute of Sport in Women’s Football for ten years, being Captain of Sydney FC in the Westfield’s W-League inaugural season in 2008/2009 and representing Australia at Futsal and a junior team level.
    Mel Ireland - Queensland Policy Officer and Projects Leader
    Mel has over 10 years’ experience in both Sales and Operational Management as well as compliance and Environmental Management. Mel has a passion for connecting businesses, Government and Research Institutes to find solutions to enhance business capabilities. She is a strong advocate for the effective adoption of Industry 4.0 Principles and Circular Economy practices within business. Mel actively promotes the need for identifying and developing skills to increase productivity and diversification in the workforce. Prior to joining Ai Group in 2016 Mel worked in both State based and Global companies.
    Andrew Elsbury
    Andrew is a Project Officer for the Centre of Education & Training and is coordinating the Defence Science Institute’s Defence Industry Scholarships Program. Andrew has two decades of experience in communications roles in State and Federal Government. More recently Andrew has used his knowledge of government and communications as a Government Relations Consultant in the private sector. As part of the new Victorian scholarships program, Andrew will be supporting small and medium sized businesses in Victoria’s defence industry with hosting final-year higher education students in industry placements and bolstering their higher skills workforce needs.
    Terrie Muller - Executive Assistant
    With 10+ years administrative experience, Terrie is the glue for this incredible and well esteemed team. She brings a wealth of knowledge and experience from previous roles including Legal Secretary, Project Manager and Executive Assistant. With a Bachelor of Behavioural Science, Terrie is well rounded, a strong team advocate and quiet achiever. Terrie relishes any opportunity to develop her skills and is passionate in assisting her team to maximise their success.
    Brett Crossley

    Brett is a Graduate Research and Policy Officer and contributes to the ongoing research and policy development projects in the Centre.

    Prior to joining the team, Brett had various roles assisting clients with business processes, strategy research, market analysis and digital marketing. He is very passionate about praxis and is motivated to ensure that research insights are operationalised in policy or business operations.

    Brett holds a Bachelor of Commerce and Master of Environment and wrote his thesis about the influence of global private regulatory schemes on the Australian coffee market.

      Sarah Pilcher

      Sarah is Research and Policy Manager at the Centre, and comes to the role with a depth of experience in education and skills policy and research.

      She has worked in education and skills policy in a range of settings - always with a focus on bringing research and evidence to the policy debate. Her career has seen her work across education, economic and industry policy in the Victorian and New South Wales Governments, and at Commonwealth skills advisory body the Australian Workforce and Productivity Agency. Prior to joining Ai Group she was a Policy Fellow at education policy think tank the Mitchell Institute at Victoria University, with a particular focus on tertiary education, skills and the labour market.

      She holds Bachelor degrees in Law (Honours) and Arts (Honours) (University of Melbourne) and a Masters in Public Policy (Sydney University).

      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 2, 441 St Kilda Rd Melbourne VIC 3004 Australia

      Phone: +61 3 9867 0202


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