English Australia unveils new CEO

11 June, 2015

Language sector peak body English Australia has announced Brett Blacker as the successor to Sue Blundell, who is standing down as Executive Director this year after 13 years at the helm. Meanwhile, Blundell is among the appointees to Australia’s new Coordinating Council for International Education.

Blacker, who will become Chief Executive Officer of English Australia from August, is the current President of the International Education Association of Australia (IEAA).

“This role and his previous work with Perth Education City have provided him with a depth of experience in the leadership of membership-based organisations with an international education focus,” said Marc Weedon-Newstead, Chair of English Australia.

“Brett also brings with him the insights and knowledge of the industry gained through his leadership of the international offices of Newcastle and Murdoch Universities, and through his work across all education sectors as a senior manager with OHSC Worldcare, Mondial Assistance (Allianz Global Assistance).”

Weedon-Newstead said he looked forward to welcoming Blacker into the role and added, “The Board and I are confident that Brett brings with him the breadth of experience, the skills and the personal qualities that will enable him to effectively advance the interests of the members of English Australia.”

He also praised Blundell’s contribution to the association and the sector. “I would like to take this opportunity to acknowledge the excellent work that Sue has done over 13 years as Executive Director of English Australia. Her dedication and commitment to the mission of English Australia have benefited not only the members of the association but the industry more broadly, and her presence will be greatly missed.”

Blacker will take up the position in mid-August, allowing a transitional handover period before Blundell retires at the end of September.

Meanwhile, Blundell has recently been appointed as a member of Australia’s Coordinating Council for International Education, which will bring together industry experts and key ministers responsible for policies that impact on the sector to finalise the country’s first national strategy for international education.

“This is a vision that requires a coordinated and consistent approach across all levels of government,” said Minister for Education and Training, Christopher Pyne. “The work the Council does to finalise a national strategy for international education will deliver enormous benefits to the Australian community.”

“I am delighted to be given the opportunity to contribute as a member of the Coordinating Council,” said Blundell. “There is important work to be done in ensuring we deliver a strategy that reflects a coordinated approach across all levels of government and is developed in partnership with education providers, industry and the wider community.”

Along with Blundell, the other five industry experts appointed to the council are: Phil Honeywood, CEO of IEAA; Kate Carnell, CEO of the Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry; Belinda Robinson, Chief Executive of Universities Australia; Bill Spurr, Chair of Education Adelaide; and Malcom White, Acting CEO of TAFE Directors Australia.

The council, chaired by Minister Pyne, will also be comprised of ministers representing Foreign Affairs, Trade and Investment, Industry and Science, Immigration and Border Protection and Education and Training. The council will convene for two roundtables in June and August.

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