AVETRA's 25th Annual Conference
"VET + Challenging times, Challenges of our time and Challenges that lie ahead" 
will be held at the Citadines Hotel, Bourke Street, Melbourne, Victoria on
 27 & 28 April 2023 
Half day of pre-conference workshops and a welcome reception on April 26th 

The AVETRA 2023 Conference showcases scholarly and applied research of, for and from within vocational education. It is the leading annual gathering of researchers, VET practitioners and leaders, education policy makers and representatives from industry, unions and employers in Australia and
New Zealand.  


vocational education & training (VET)


In this theme, we will explore the impact of the recent and not so recent global economic and social disruptions on the VET and adult education systems.

This may include perspectives on the transformation of teaching and learning practices during times of lockdown, the role of VET in enabling labour market recovery, and the adaptability of VET in response to workforce development crises enhanced by economic disruption.  


In this theme, we will explore that social inclusion and identity challenges facing VET right now. 

This may include contributions that apply a diverse breadth of methodological approaches and intersectional theories to researching VET and adult education policy, practice and learner & teacher identities, including feminist, queer, decolonising and class-based lenses.



In this theme, we will explore the challenges facing VET over the next decade. 

This may include the role of VET in building capability for enabling the transition to a carbon neutral economy, VET’s role in enabling the growth of circular economy practices, wher e VET will contribute to expansion of digitalization of service design and delivery, and how national, regional and global shifts in credentialling systems will impact VET certification policies and practices.

KEynote speakers

Professor Peter Dawkins

Interim Director Jobs and Skills Australia

Professor Dawkins is a former Vice-Chancellor and President of the dual-sector Victoria University, and an Emeritus Professor of Economics with Victoria University’s Mitchell Institute for Education and Health Policy, with over 40 years of experience in economics and labour market research.

Professor Dawkins holds multiple qualifications, including a PhD in economics and labour market development, and has in-depth knowledge and experience in labour market analysis, and both the higher education and vocational education and training systems.

Professor Dawkins has also held senior positions in the Victorian Public Service, including Deputy Secretary of the Department of Treasury and Finance and Secretary of the Department of Education and Early Childhood Development. 

In 2017, Professor Dawkins received an Officer of the Order of Australia (AO) as part of the Queen’s Birthday Honours for distinguished service to tertiary education as an administrator and academic, particularly in the field of applied economic and social research, to professional organisations, and to public administration.

Dr Peter Hurley

Director of the Mitchell Institute at Victoria University

Dr Hurley has expertise in tertiary education policy and international education systems.

He has worked in various research and management roles in the vocational and higher education sectors. He has a particular interest in advocating for equitable policy solutions so that the benefits of education can be shared by all

Professor Pi-Shen Seet

Professor of Entrepreneurship and Innovation at Edith Cowan University School of Business and Law

A PPE (Philosophy, Politics & Economics) graduate from Oxford University, Pi-Shen completed his PhD at Judge Business School, University of Cambridge. He has published widely in aspects of entrepreneurship, innovation and management in the Asia-Pacific in major peer-reviewed journals like Technological Forecasting and Social Change, Journal of Technology Transfer, Business and Society, International Journal of Human Resource Management, Management Decision and Journal of Business and Industrial Marketing.  

The research has also appeared in government inquiries and has been featured in the media like The Conversation, The New Daily, The Australian and The West Australian newspapers, on ABC News and SBS News and in industry publications like CPA Australia’s In The Black magazine. He has led and secured competitive Australian Category 1, 2, 3 and 4 research grants as well as international research funding.  One of these was the project on “The Fourth Industrial Revolution - Technological Disruption Implications for Australian VET” which received funding from the National Vocational Education and Training Research (NVETR) Program.

Professor Rae Cooper

Professor of Gender, Work and Employment Relations Australian Research Council Future Fellow Work and Organisational Studies. The University of Sydney Business School, The University of Sydney.

Professor Rae Cooper, AO is Professor of Gender, Work and Employment Relations. She is based in the Discipline of Work and Organisational Studies (WOS) at the University of Sydney Business School. She is Director of the Gender Equality in Working Life (GEWL) Research Initiative, a member of the Executive Committee of the International Labor and Employment Relations Association and of the Australian Labour and Employment Relations Association.

In 2019 Professor Cooper was made an officer of the Order of Australia for her contributions to ‘higher education and to workplace policy and practice’.

Rae is a leading researcher on the world of work and is an Australian Research Council Future Fellow (2022-2025). She has a particular interest in gender and work, women’s careers and the future of work. She has received grants from the ARC, from state and federal governments and has worked in collaboration with leading organisations including the Australian Human Rights Commission, the Australian Institute of Company Directors and the Australian Council of Trade Unions.

Dr Geethani Nair

Chief Innovation Officer, Digital Skills Organisation

Dr. Geethani Nair currently works as the Chief Innovation Officer at the Digital Skills Organisation (DSO). Before joining the DSO, Dr. Nair had over twenty-five years of a varied and exciting professional career at TAFE NSW in leadership, education, technology, and training. 

Her current work at DSO focuses on identifying quick, efficient ways to provide digital skills to the Australian workforce to deal with the impending, severe shortage of digital skills. As the Head of Technology and Business Services SkillsPoint at TAFE NSW, she managed diverse and complex work programs in collaboration with the technology and business services industries. 

As a trusted advisor in vocational education and training, she has had the chance to impact local communities and have a national and international reach. She has developed innovative pedagogical models, empowered teachers to advance, and built strong connections between the working world and training providers to match skill provision to the needs of enterprises. She has worked in various fields, including engineering and information technology. She has managed education in various disciplines, including electrotechnology, telecommunications, computer technology, the built environment, primary industries, and service industries.

Her formal qualifications range from technology to education. She has completed a Doctor of Education at the University of Technology, a Master of Information Technology at Monash University, a Graduate Diploma of Vocational Education and Training at the University of Technology, and a Bachelor of Civil Engineering at the University of Moratuwa, Sri Lanka.

She is a researcher who has presented papers at numerous conferences on vocational education and training. In 2017, her conference paper won the AVETRA Conference Paper of the Year award.


Reach the leading researchers, VET practitioners and leaders, education policy makers and representatives from industry, unions and employers in Australia and New Zealand. Position your company as an advocate and thought leader in the sector.

Contact our Chair Kira Clarke for more information.


AVETRA 23 is organised by the Australasian Vocational Education and Training Research Association (AVETRA),  with the support of FineHaus


AVETRA Secretariat
+61 3  3 8658 6641


Conference Chair
Kira Clarke

Conference Administration

AVETRA Website