Prominent businessman and higher education advocate Neville Sawyer AM has been appointed as the President of the Hunter TAFE Foundation.
Retired after 40+ years in private business, Neville has wide experience in electrical/electronic design and manufacturing plus service within Australia/New Zealand and the Asia/Pacific Regions. He is also highly regarded for his work in promoting business innovation and entrepreneurialism, as well as the role of education and training that has made him one of the Hunter’s most respected business leaders.
Neville is replacing Denis Nichols, a retired Fitter and Machinist and AWMU union organiser. He was president of the Newcastle Trades Hall Council for 14 years, Chairman of the Hunter Region WorldSkills for seven years, a member of the Hunter TAFE Institute Advisory Council for 11 years and a Newcastle City Councillor for nine years.
Neville commended Denis on his work as President.
“Under his leadership in the past 12 months, Hunter TAFE Foundation has grown partnerships with Hunter business, education and community leaders to provide more than 120 awards and more than $130,000 in scholarships to students of Hunter TAFE,” Neville said.
Established in 2000, the Hunter TAFE Foundation is a charitable organisation that supports Hunter TAFE students by providing financial support to those experiencing either personal or financial hardship to assist them in completing their qualifications.
“I am looking forward to stepping into the role and continuing to promote the support of student education, in a time of great change in the education and training sector and the region.”
“As President of the Foundation I am in a privileged position to work with the Board to engage sponsors and donors to meet the needs of students in a changing education climate.”
“Education develops pathways that encourage people to further their qualifications in higher education and in turn provides great benefits to those who they work for and the wider region. Investing in local education and training is really about ensuring the Hunter has the right skills in place to be competitive into the future.”
In 2014, the Foundation presented over 120 awards, scholarships and grants providing over $115,000 of financial assistance to students enrolled at Hunter TAFE in need of encouragement and support to complete their studies.