Release type: Media Release


New ASQA Commissioner and Deputy Chief Commissioner

Assistant Minister for Vocational Education and Skills Karen Andrews has today announced the appointment of a new Commissioner to the independent vocational education and training (VET) regulator.

Ms Saxon Rice, a respected leader with experience in VET, government and management, has been appointed as the Deputy Chief Commissioner of the Australian Skills Quality Authority (ASQA).

Minister Andrews said ASQA played a vital role in safeguarding the reputation and integrity of the VET sector.

“Through its effective regulation, ASQA is an essential pillar of the Government’s commitment to a quality VET sector that enhances student outcomes,” Minister Andrews said.

“Ms Rice is an experienced leader who brings a thorough understanding of the operational VET environment, Commonwealth and state legal frameworks, and a strong background in stakeholder management to the role.

“She will further develop ASQA’s risk based approach to regulation that effectively ensures students, employers and the economy can have confidence in a high quality VET sector by targeting providers and areas of greatest risk.”

Ms Rice was Assistant Minister for Technical and Further Education in the former Queensland Government from 2012 to 2015, and has since held senior management roles and been a member of the Administrative Appeals Tribunal since 2016.

Minister Andrews said Ms Rice will join Chief Commissioner Mr Mark Paterson AO and Commissioner Dr Irene Ioannakis on 16 April 2018.

“Ms Rice replaces Professor the Hon Michael Lavarch AO who has served as Deputy Chief Commissioner and Commissioner for ASQA since 2012,” Minister Andrews said.

“I thank Professor Lavarch for his service and congratulate him on his leadership, commitment and contribution to the VET sector.”