Denise has held senior positions in youth affairs, vocational education, adult/lifelong learning and higher education throughout her career. She has created many "firsts" in inaugurating or revitalising programs in formal education settings to community engagement, and has served on the executive councils of major professional associations and community NGOs.
Within the public sector she was the first female chosen as Assistant State Organiser - Rural Youth within a Youth Extension Service: in a two-person team charged to revive the personal development, community leadership and self reliance of participants. The reversal of a downward trend into the fastest growing young adult organisation in Australia was recognised through management case studies and the support of industry stakeholders. She developed a strong practice of experiential education.
In regional grass roots adult education through a TAFE Institute, Denise again was the first female to move into a former male domain. She extended the reach of service and quantum of outreach programs (formal and informal). Ensuring inclusiveness and equity were priorities, she initiated vocational, business, community and instructional workshops across a diverse region, as well as teaching and developing accredited programs. Again, she was strong in professional development across agencies, a commitment that has been prevalent throughout her career.
Selected for a significant 'start up' role for Queensland Adult Education, she capitalised on the resources of the Department to commence the infrastructure for off-shore teams and overseas aid bids while developing programs launching the first TAFE student recruitment mission to Japan. She later carried the responsibility for managing two key Queensland Government initiatives: viz. the Cabinet endorsed Adult Language, Literacy & Numeracy Policy and Implementation Strategy, and the Review of Adult and Community Education Delivery.
Post-graduate studies in the USA provided a first-hand foreign student experience with core studies in adult education and higher education administration, management and supervision. Active in campus international activities, her research PhD thesis focussed on International Education. Denise inaugurated and directed the Australian Studies Credit Abroad Program for the international studies consortium of Universities and Colleges managed by her alma mater. As a result of her initiatives and interaction with peak bodies, she was asked by the Embassy of Australia Congressional Liaison Minister to consult and convene their Partnership in the New International Environment Symposium on International Education at Harvard University.
Industry release opportunities to the higher education sector enabled Denise to embed the introduction of the Graduate Certificate of Tertiary Teaching program at The James Cook University of North Queensland, and later inaugurate the Manager - Learning Partnerships role, for The University of Queensland (Ipswich Campus). She secured the maximum and largest grant to the Campus through Community Training Partnerships and organised the Making Learning Communities Tick: Who does what and how public forum with visiting international speakers. On invitation, she profiled her work at the OECD Learning Cities and Regions International Conference and her initiatives were added to the Adult Learning Australia submission to the Higher Education Review.
Public sector vocational education accreditation/registration, policy and equity development, supporting the Export Education office bids, and preparing briefings to state and national VET regulatory/advisory bodies ensued before Denise joined Global Learning Services as a Director, partnering with her husband on a range of national educational consultancies from e-learning, mature age workers, learning communities, regional development to the most recent study to develop a local government integrated Learning Strategy for western Melbourne. Participant in the evolving role of the OECD inspired PASCAL (Place Management, Social Capital and Learning Regions) International Observatory provides a global forum for ideas development and exchange. She will be attending their Heritage Learning conference in Sweden this year.
She maintains her keen interest in holistic lifelong learning, continues to present at conferences, and researches especially in the fields of lifelong learning communities, international education, and active ageing. A key to all roles has been developing and maintaining stakeholder relations, creating purposeful and productive work-integrated learning, overseeing community links, strengthening international collegiality and engaging stakeholders through civic responsibility while broadening horizons for all.
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