RMIT Training Team and Board

RMIT Training Executive Leadership Team

Jake Heinrich

Chief Executive Officer, RMIT Training

Jake holds a Bachelor of Arts, a Master of Education (TESOL) and a Master of Business Administration.  

He has extensive experience in the education sector, working as a lecturer in China, Vietnam and Australia, and as an ESL teacher in Australia, Japan, Taiwan, China, Mexico, Cambodia and Vietnam. He has also held executive positions in higher education and pathways institutions, as well as time at the Australian Broadcasting Corporation, where he was responsible for a range of international education products.  

Jake joined RMIT Vietnam in 2016 as Director of the School of English and University Pathways (SEUP). He commenced at RMIT Training in 2018, leading the Commercial, Operations and Finance department before becoming CEO in September 2021.  

Jake is committed to his vision for the international education sector, striving to always offer the best of pedagogy enhanced with a rich and diverse student experience. 

Maxine Sahhar

Executive Director, Pathways

Maxine holds a Masters of TESOL from Monash University, and a Bachelor of Arts and Diploma of Education from the University of Sydney.

She has extensive senior management experience in international education in both the university and TAFE sectors. She has managed the implementation of English language and Foundation Studies programs in China, Malaysia, Indonesia and Saudi Arabia.

Maxine joined RMIT Training in September 2018 as Director, Pathways.

Mitun Chakravarty

Director, IT

Mitun Chakravarty is RMIT Training’s Director of IT. She has the strong lateral thinking, technical expertise and stakeholder influencing skills needed to drive meaningful and sustainable technical change, and is a skilled leader of IT teams, integrated technical strategies and technical programs of work. Mitun has a Master’s Degree in Computer Application (MCA) and over 20 years’ experience in IT across three countries. Over the past 4 years she has driven RMIT Training’s cloud first technology strategy from concept to reality. 

Mitun values three core elements of leadership: Concentration, the ability to access in depth knowledge; Informed Decision Making that allows one to make effective decisions; and Empathy to drive high performance and people success.

Margaret Dawson

Associate Director, Quality Assurance & Standards

Margaret is the Associate Director, Quality Assurance and Standards at RMIT Training. She has extensive executive leadership and management experience across a range of education sectors and institutions, including senior secondary colleges and public and private higher education providers. Margaret is passionate about International Education and has held positions of President of ISANA (Vic/Tas) and Director and Chair of  Mount St Joseph Girls College Board. Margaret provides expertise in the regulatory and operational requirements for developing quality assured international pathway programs for onshore and offshore delivery.

Josh Edwards

Associate Director, Finance
Josh Edwards

With 25 years’ experience across start-ups and medium to large companies, including complex international organisations, Josh has earnt a strong reputation for providing commercially and values-focused leadership with the ability to impact business culture.  

His career has included executive and senior level positions at The Coles Group, Lonely Planet, Momentum Energy, Enett International and RMIT Online. A Certified Practising Accountant, Josh has a passion for purpose driven companies that can impact lives. 

Kate Fennessy

Associate Director, Communications

Kate graduated with Arts, Honours in Japanese Studies, completing her Honours year at Saitama University after studying as an undergraduate at Osaka Gaikokugo Daigaku. 

Her early career was in the TAFE and local government sectors, working with ‘at risk’ youth and in program management before taking the leap into advertising, following a stint writing for the women’s website Mamamia. Kate ran her own social media and digital marketing business for four years before joining RMIT Training in late 2021.    

Kate is passionate about clear, personalised communication, and believes in the power of words and storytelling.

Elise Fraser

Director, Wellbeing & Student Experience

Elise Fraser is RMIT Training’s Director Wellbeing and Student Experience. She has a Masters degree in Counselling & Psychotherapy, a Graduate Diploma in Education, a Graduate Diploma in Counselling, and a Diploma in Fine Art. 

Elise has been leading Student Experience and Wellbeing programs for international students for more than 18 years. Her background in fine art and education allows her to bring various creative threads together in her research-informed wellbeing and student experience programming. Elise leads a number of discrete teams: Wellbeing, Student Experience and Academic Support, all of which are focused on student success and wellbeing, but each with a specific and divergent focus.

Emma Juniper

Director, Informit

Emma Juniper holds a Master of Laws from Monash University, and a Bachelor of Arts from Deakin University.

Emma joined Informit in 2015, bringing with her decades of experience working in the Australian publishing industry. She held leadership positions in both the sales and product teams before becoming the Director in 2021. She has a key focus to deliver a platform experience Informit's customers demand, while committed to promoting biblio-diversity, intellectual freedom and critical thinking. She’s passionate about implementing Informit's vision of being the hub of the publishing, research and library communities in Australia and beyond.

Kathy Prince

Associate Director, People & Culture

Kathy has extensive Human Resources leadership and management experience across a range of education sectors and institutions, including primary and secondary schools, and now higher education. Kathy is focused on enabling individuals and teams to thrive and excel and has a proven track record in designing and delivering fit for purpose people plans linked to business objectives.  

Kathy firmly believes that education is the cornerstone to a thriving society, and she is passionate about making a difference in higher education. 

Ben Stubbs

Associate Director, ELICOS Marketing, Sales & Conversions

Prior to working at RMIT, Ben was the Director of Deakin University English Language Institute and Global Student Mobility at Deakin University and the Principal of the University of Melbourne’s English Language Centre at Hawthorn. 

Ben has been on the Board of EA, UECA, the Victorian Universities International Directors Forum (VUIF) and the Australian Universities International Directors Forum (AUIDF). He is also a registered Expert for English language and Foundation programs for TEQSA. 

Prior to taking up leadership roles, Ben taught in Universities and High schools in Australia and Japan. 

RMIT Training Board

Mish Eastman (Chair)

RMIT University Deputy Vice-Chancellor Vocational Education and Vice President.
Wish 2

Mish Eastman was appointed to the role of RMIT Training Board Chair in July 2023 after serving as a Board Director since 2020.

As RMIT Deputy Vice-Chancellor Vocational Education Mish Eastman is responsible for developing and leading a renewed vision and strategic direction for Vocational Education. Since joining RMIT, this has included establishing the new College of Vocational Education and the development of a 5-year strategic roadmap for vocational and applied learning.

She is passionate about gender diversity in all aspects of education and creating space for women in non-traditional roles, continuously providing diverse opportunities and support as part of her leadership style. An advocate for creating a safe and respectful community, Mish is also co-chair of RMIT’s Vice-Chancellor's Advisory Group on Gender-based Violence Prevention.

An experienced education and health leader, Mish has strong expertise in identifying and creating new models of education and training in collaboration with industry, enhancing tertiary pathways, and understanding how to create educational and employment success for learners. Beginning her career as a Registered Nurse before moving into educational leadership roles, has given Mish a deep knowledge and passion for Vocational Education.

She has previously held positions with TAFE Tasmania, Tasmanian Polytechnic and Swinburne University of Technology, providing strategic and operational leadership of teaching and learning programs in pathways and Vocational Education. 

Professor Ian Burnett

RMIT University Deputy Vice-Chancellor STEM College and Vice-President
 Ian Burnett

Professor Ian Burnett was appointed Deputy Vice Chancellor, STEM College and Vice President in January 2023. 

Prior to joining RMIT, Ian was Dean, Faculty of Engineering and IT at the University of Technology Sydney (UTS) where he significantly grew the Faculty, pushing the rankings to #1 in Australia and the top 20 worldwide.  

Ian is an active researcher in the Audio and Multimedia Signal Processing space and has more than 220 publications, as well as US patents and international standards contributions. 

Before his tenure at UTS, Ian was the Head of School of Electrical and Computer Engineering at RMIT University. During his time in this role, the school saw significant growth and expansion internationally with programs in Vietnam and Hong Kong, as well as significant research performance. 

Elizabeth Compton

‪RMIT Training Board Director
Elizabeth Compton

Elizabeth Compton was appointed to the RMIT Training Board in July 2023 as an independent Non-Executive Director (NED).  She is an experienced NED with other board roles including Chair of the Continence Foundation of Australia and NED of one of Australia's largest NFP aged care and retirement living organisations, Southern Cross Care (SA, NT and Vic).  

Prior to this Elizabeth was the CEO of LanguageLoop (2016 - 2021) a multilingual communications organisation delivering interpreting and translations solutions to government and large corporates across 190 languages. She spent almost a decade living and working overseas working for Goldman Sacs (London and New York), Yamaha Motors Europe (Amsterdam) and the Department of Trade and Industry (London).  

Briony Lewis

RMIT University Executive Director, Governance, Legal and Strategic Operations 
Briony Lewis

Briony Lewis was appointed General Counsel in November 2017 and subsequently took on the role of University Secretary in 2018. In April 2022, Briony was appointed Executive Director, Governance, Legal and Strategic Operations. She is also Company Secretary for the controlled entities of RMIT University. 

Briony joined RMIT following a career in various in-house legal environments where she has acted in the capacity of General Counsel and Company Secretary. Briony also practised as a corporate lawyer at the global firm now known as Norton Rose Fulbright. She is passionate about the opportunity that education brings and combines her people and legal skills to lift legal literacy and heighten the value of legal services in the workplace. 

Clare Lezaja

RMIT University Chief Financial Officer 
Clare Lezaha

Clare Lezaja joined RMIT in 2021 as interim Deputy CFO Strategic Finance before taking on the role of Interim Chief Financial Officer in May 2021 and was appointed in November 2021.

Clare brings to the role a wealth of experience, including a 25-year career with Telstra where she held several Divisional CFO roles across a broad range of complex business operations, delivering revenue and operational improvements.

In addition to more traditional Finance roles, she also has a breadth of experience in leading strategic planning, risk management and governance and system implementations .She is described as an authentic and highly collaborative leader who creates strong and trusted relationships and thrives in leading and collaborating in teams of diverse talent and skills.

Clare has been an active contributor to the Finance and Accounting profession and has previously held positions as a member of the CPA Victorian Divisional Council (2014 to 2019), President of Victorian Divisional Council (2018, 2019), Chair of Council of Presidents at CPA Australia (2019).

She is a graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors and has experience as a Board member holding positions on External and Industry Advisory Boards.

Dr Simon Livingstone

‪RMIT Training Board Director
Dr Simon Livingstone

Dr Livingstone has worked for 28 years in the vocational and higher education sectors. His most recent executive role was 19 years as Chief Executive Officer of a tertiary agribusiness College based in Geelong. Dr Livingstone’s PhD is in higher education, and he holds tertiary qualifications in School Management, Further Education and Training, Business and Agriculture. In addition to his board position with RMIT Training, he is a Director and Deputy Chairman of the Primary Industries Education Foundation Australia and is an active member of the Audit and Risk and the Human Resource and Governance Committees. Dr Livingstone has served on the Victorian Government Higher Education Advisory Committee and is a past Board Member of Independent Higher Education Australia and the Council of Private Higher Education.

Professor Julie Cogin (former Chair)

Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Business and Law) and Vice-President
Julie Cogin

Professor Julie Cogin is the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Business and Law) and Vice-President at RMIT University. She was the Board Chair of RMIT Training Pty Ltd from 2019-2023. She currently serves as a Non-Executive Director on the board of an ASX200 listed company, and is a Non-Executive Director on the board of the Digital Finance Cooperative Research Centre.

Prior to joining RMIT University, Professor Cogin held a number of senior academic leadership positions over the last two decades, including Dean and Head of UQ Business School at the University of Queensland where she was the first female Business School Dean at a Go8 university and Director of the Australian Graduate School of Management, University of New South Wales. 

Professor Cogin is a recognised thought leader in high-performing workplaces and corporate culture; having authored books and academic papers, including those in world-leading journals. She has also secured substantial competitive grant funding from the Australian Government and industry, and has been engaged as an expert witness in several tribunals and courts of Australia.

Professor Cogin has received education awards at University, National and International levels.  


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Acknowledgement of Country

RMIT University acknowledges the people of the Woi wurrung and Boon wurrung language groups of the eastern Kulin Nation on whose unceded lands we conduct the business of the University. RMIT University respectfully acknowledges their Ancestors and Elders, past and present. RMIT also acknowledges the Traditional Custodians and their Ancestors of the lands and waters across Australia where we conduct our business - Artwork 'Luwaytini' by Mark Cleaver, Palawa.