Staff Profiles

Our People

Board Members

Nicky Firth

Director, Human Aspect Pty Ltd

Nicky is a strategic, innovative and practically minded HR Executive with a proven track record for leading and delivering people and organisational change in complex and challenging business environments. Nicky previously held the position of Vice President Human Resources Rio Tinto Iron Ore.  Nicky is based in Perth.

Christine Gibbs Stewart

Chief Executive Officer, Austmine Limited

Chris is the CEO of Austmine, the leading industry body representing the Australian Mining Equipment, Technology and Services (METS) sector. She has some 30 years of experience in international business, industry development and general management. Chris is based in Sydney.

Sid Marris

MCA Deputy Chief Executive Officer, Minerals Council of Australia

Sid has over a decade of experience working with the Minerals Council of Australia. He has held various roles in the media and public affairs, as well as an advisory role with the Office of the Prime Minister of Australia. Sid is based in Canberra.

Tony Maher

General President, Mining & Energy Union, CFMEU

Tony started work in the resources industry in 1979 at Rio Tinto’s silver, lead and zinc mine in Broken Hill. He has been General President of the Mining and Energy Division of the CFMEU since August 1998. He has led the union’s work on climate change since 2006.

Brad Gandy

State Secretary, Australian Workers’ Union, WA Branch

Brad has represented workers for more than two decades, from the shop floor to organiser to Secretariat. Brad has a strong belief in fairness and safety in the workplace and proudly represents the AWU in WA which has a strong history of representing workers across a wide range of industries for more than 135 years.

Vincent Cosgrove

General Manager, Culture & External Affairs, Sime Darby Industrial

As part of the Sime Darby Industrial Executive Leadership Team, Vincent is responsible for leading Industrial’s human resources management, talent retention, attraction and development, employee experience and external affairs spanning 17 countries, 11,000 employees, five Caterpillar Dealerships and various allied brands. Vincent has more than 30 years of experience in the resources and industrial sectors. Before joining Sime Darby, he served in senior global leadership roles with BHP and Shell in Australia, the UK, and Singapore.

Our People


Dr Gavin Lind


Gavin is an accomplished academic and minerals industry executive.

Prior to his appointment as CEO, Gavin spent more than a decade in a leadership role in minerals policy and advocacy with the Minerals Council of Australia.

Gavin has worked professionally for industry, government, and academia in both South Africa and Australia.

In 2013, Gavin received the LH Martin Award for Excellence in Higher Education Leadership for his work promoting minerals education in Australia.

Gavin is based in Melbourne.

Helen Tinney

General Manager Policy & Training Products

Helen is an experienced executive and has extensive knowledge and understanding of the vocational education and training sector gathered while working in TAFE NSW and within the TAFE sector in Victoria.

Helen is driven to create innovative, student-centred learning that delivers high-quality education and training programs and products that make a difference to learners and an empowered workforce.

Sarah Owen

General Manager Operations & Member Services

Sarah is an accomplished operational leader with extensive leadership and management experience in data, finance, and IT across the public and private sectors, including in large VET and Higher Education training providers.

Emily Flores

General Manager External Relations & Communications

A results-driven, award-winning Marketing & Communications leader with over 25 years of experience in the public and private sector, Emily heads up AUSMESA’s External Relations and Communications functions.

Before this, she led Marketing & Communications for Chisholm, Victoria’s premier public vocational education and training provider, and a National Finalist in the 2019 Australian Marketing Institute Award for Customer Acquisition Marketing, and State Winner in the 2018 Australian Marketing Institute Award for Marketing Excellence in Education.

General Manager Collaboration & Partnerships

Our GM has extensive experience in training and development working around the world in industry including mining and services organisations, and for Registered Training Providers (RTOs) as a trade teacher and as a TAFE executive.

Our GM is a member of a variety of minerals industry advisory groups nationally, is an innovator, and has been awarded for establishing and delivering training and development programs providing excellent outcomes for organisations and learners alike.

Donna Dejkovski

Manager Training Products

Donna has worked across the national Vocational Education and Training (VET) sector with Registered Training Organisations (RTOs), TAFEs, industry and regulators, to develop vocationally oriented training packages and related training products.

An advocate for education that leads to personal and professional fulfilment, Donna understands the impact high-quality training products play in supporting positive vocational learning outcomes.

Kathy Uhlik

Manager Organisational Development, Executive Assistant to the CEO & Board

Kathy has worked across different industries and sectors, including member associations, engineering consultancies, not-for-profit organisations, print media, government bodies and finance.

Kathy has operated at the C-Suite level for two decades supporting Chief Executives, Chairs, and Board and Managing Directors, and working closely with both state and federal governments including at the Ministerial level. Kathy is experienced in major organisational change and the facilitation of high-performing teams.

Jane Grljusich

Manager Communications & Partnerships

With an extensive career as a journalist across print, radio and television news, as well as in public relations and corporate affairs, Jane is an experienced, innovative and results-driven communications and engagement specialist.

For more than two decades Jane has worked across the country in media, in federal and state government departments including at the Ministerial level, and for a wide variety of organisations, industries and sectors, developing and delivering high-level media and communications strategy, advice and content.

Andres Lopez

Project Administrator

Andres has worked across the construction, landscaping and land management sectors; with extensive experience in projects with the ability to provide daily support to Project Managers and stakeholders.

Jo Lea

Administration Assistant

Jo is a talented young Administration Assistant with a Diploma of Media and Communications and a Certificate III in Business.

Her contributions extend across the AUSMESA team with a focus on Organisational Development and Communications and Partnerships.

Jillian Carney

Project Manager 

Jillian has extensive experience in operations and project management across property, construction, engineering and not-for-profit organisations.

Over a 20-year career she has demonstrated success in strategy and implementation, client relations, policy and legislation, and project delivery.

Michael Rose

Manager Industry Engagement – Automotive

Michael has decades of experience in the automotive and learning and development spaces where he has developed skills in mentoring, regulation, and training in a range of complex environments including on shop or trade floor, and at corporate and community levels including in remote indigenous communities.

Michael plays a key role at AUSMESA in aligning efforts within and across industries to improve system responsiveness, build stakeholder confidence, and drive high-quality outcomes for the Vocational Education and Training sector for the benefit of learners, businesses, and governments.