VERTO is a community owned not for profit organisation

Ron Maxwell

Ron Maxwell

B.Bus (Econ), Grad Cert. Innov Edu & T, GAICD

Chief Executive Officer

Ron Maxwell started with VERTO in 2014 as the Chief Executive Officer. Ron holds a Bachelor of Business (Economics) and has 20 years’ experience in the commercial sector. Ron has served on various boards and is currently Deputy Chair at the Independent Tertiary Education Council Australia (ITECA). He also serves as Director for the National Employment Services Association (NESA) and is the President of the National Australian Apprenticeships Association (NAAA). Ron is a member of the New South Wales Skills Board Reference Group as well as the New South Wales Smart and Skilled Reference Group.

Previously, Ron served as Chief Executive Officer of Western College, a regional training provider based in Dubbo, New South Wales. During his time as Chief Executive Officer, Ron reshaped the college to become a recognised and award winning organisation. Amongst some of his accomplishments, Ron was responsible for establishing the Australian Technical College in Central West New South Wales. He formerly served as a member of the ACPET National VET Committee and is a former Chamber of Commerce Senior Vice President and Austen Brown Boog Solicitors advisory board member. 

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Alyssa Bennett

Alyssa Bennett

B. Bus (HRM/Marketing), Grad Cert. Bus Admin

Chief Operating Officer

Alyssa has over 20 years’ experience in the employment services sector and well over a decade of experience as a Senior Manager. Alyssa values an ethical and transparent approach; whilst remaining commercially focussed and driven to achieve the best possible outcomes for individuals in the communities in which we operate. Alyssa’s previous experience has included roles specialising in Apprenticeships, Traineeships, Labour Hire, Disability Employment Services (DES) and Employment Services. Her previous roles have also afforded her the opportunity to travel abroad to provide staff training and consultation services in the UK and Timor Leste, along with involvement in software development and implementation and change management.

Alyssa joined VERTO in 2018 to oversee the Employment Services portfolio for the organisation, which included DES, ParentsNext, Career Transition Assistance (CTA) and the New Careers for Aboriginal People (NCAP) Program. In early 2020, Alyssa was promoted to the role of Chief Operating Officer which assumes responsibility for Training Services, Community Services and Employment Services.

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Diana Mudford

Diana Mudford

 B. Bus (Acc), CPA, JP

Chief Financial Officer

Diana joined VERTO in 2003 and has worked in a variety of roles including Business Services Coordinator before moving into a Finance Management role within the organisation. Diana is a qualified accountant and CPA who holds a Bachelor of Business (in Accounting and Business Management). She has 20 years’ experience working in a variety of finance related roles in small to medium sized businesses including three years working as a Field Advisor for the Australian Taxation Office supporting small business. 

Diana also holds a Diploma of Training and Assessment and has 13 years’ experience working in the training industry, including teaching Accounting at TAFE. Diana is responsible for all finance, payroll, fleet and Information Technology functions. 

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Gemma Gelling

Gemma Gelling

B.Arts (Media and Comms), LLB

Chief Communications Officer

Gemma is a communications and stakeholder management specialist who has worked in both the public and private sectors in Australia and the United Kingdom. She has worked in corporate communications, community relations and stakeholder management roles across a range of industries including aviation, construction, politics, property development and transport. Her experience includes working for major domestic and international organisations such as Transport for London, Qantas and Westfield.  

Gemma joined VERTO in 2014 as Communications Manager before becoming the Senior Manager, Communications and Business Development in 2017, and Chief Communications Officer in 2019. She holds a Bachelor of Arts (Media and Communications) and a Bachelor of Laws. 

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Jason Foster

Jason Foster

General Manager, Apprenticeships and New Business

Jason has been in the employment services industry for 25 years having started in the field with the Commonwealth Employment Service in 1993. In 1986, Jason was part of a group that were the very first trainees in Australia working for the Special Broadcasting Service (SBS).

Jason was the State Business Manager for NSW/ACT with Mission Australia before starting with VERTO in 2012 as an Apprenticeships Consultant. Jason has been the Manager, Australian Apprenticeships Centre since 2013 and holds a Certificate IV in Workplace Leadership.

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Sharna Banks

Sharna Banks

B.Bus (HR Mgt and Mkt)

Human Resources Manager

Sharna started with VERTO in 1999 and is now one of our longest serving employees. She has over 11 years of Human Resources (HR) experience and was appointed to the Manager, Human Resources role in 2015. 

Sharna has completed a Bachelor of Business with a double major in Human Resource Management and Marketing and is also trained in Workplace Health and Safety, Workers Compensation Management and Training and Assessment. 

In her current role, Sharna oversees HR Operations at VERTO. This involves working with the HR Team to develop and deliver innovative HR solutions in the areas of management and supervision, leadership, workforce development, performance, recruitment and selection, conflict management, team building, diversity and change management. 

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Darren Foster

Darren Foster

B. Hotel and Bus Mgt

Training Services Manager

Darren has worked with and managed both small and large Registered Training Organisations over the past 11 years and has a passion for the education and training industry. In addition to a Bachelor in Hotel and Business Management, with majors in Human Resources and Psychology, Darren has completed additional management and training related qualifications.

Prior to working in the VET industry, Darren was employed for more than ten years for an international five star hotel chain, in various capacities including sales, operations, human resources and senior management roles.

In his current role, Darren manages the Training Services division of VERTO, working to develop and deliver innovative ways to provide tailored training which supports and enhances the community and stakeholders connected with VERTO.

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Pamela Hunter

Pamela Hunter

M. Com, B.Bus & B.Arts (Public Relations & Org Comms)

Community Services Manager

Pamela joined the team at VERTO in 2011 working in the employment services team, having previous experience in the FMCG sector as a human resources specialist and a project officer in the transport industry. Since joining VERTO she has held roles in project management, quality assurance and community services. Pamela adopts an honest and ethical approach to her work whilst striving to support her fellow teammates and wider community at large.

During her time at VERTO Pamela has spearheaded many important initiatives including the project management of successful tenders for large government contracts, successful company-wide audits, and the implementation of new services areas.

In 2018 Pamela was appointed to VERTO’s Management Team overseeing our quality assurance team and community services contracts, including The Tenants' Advice and Advocacy Program, the Indigenous Advancement Strategy and the National Disability Coordination Officer program. A Bathurst local, Pamela is always looking for new opportunities to give back to her community.

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Luke Schuyler

Luke Schuyler

Communications Manager

Luke joined VERTO in 2020 as Communications Manager and has more than 21 years’ experience working in media, public relations, communication, community engagement and marketing.

As a fully-qualified, award-winning journalist, Luke has worked across a range of media, including newspaper, radio, television and digital.

Luke transitioned into public relations in 2013 where he worked in Federal Politics. Since 2015, Luke has found his passion, specialising in the promotion of the Vocational Education and Training (VET) sector, and is proud to work for VERTO - an organisation that genuinely cares about its local communities.

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Peta Skinner

Peta Skinner

Business Intelligence and Projects Manager

Peta Skinner is a passionate leader with a decade’s experience in Employment Services. She is responsible for data analysis and identifying business efficiency and continuous improvement opportunities across the organisation.

Peta joined VERTO in 2013. She has held consultant and management roles within VERTO’s Disability Employment Services and Employment Services teams, giving her an excellent understanding of the organisation and the clients and communities we serve.

She holds several diploma and certificate-level qualifications in business, employment services and community services. Peta is known for her highly ethical approach and ability to motivate her colleagues, staff and VERTO clients to achieve their potential.

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Matthew Eschler

Matthew Eschler

Skills and Customer Experience Manager

Matthew is a highly-experienced manager with a vocational education and training career spanning almost 25 years. He is responsible for overseeing VERTO’s customer experience and ensuring all clients have access to support from their first contact.

Joining VERTO in 2022, Matthew brings with him extensive experience in similar roles. He works across VERTO’s Self-Employment Assistance (SEA) program, community engagement and customer service areas.

Matthew holds qualifications in management and leadership as well as work health and safety. He is a firm believer in lifelong learning and supports his team to develop their skills at every opportunity to provide the best possible service for VERTO’s clients and communities.

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Candice Ryall

Candice Ryall

Senior Program Assurance Manager

Candice Ryall is an experienced community services leader with an extensive background in employment services and experience working with the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS). She has a passion for working within the community to help people access the services they need and realise the life-changing benefits of employment.

First joining VERTO in 2011, Candice held management and compliance roles before being appointed Senior Program Assurance Manager, Employment Services, in 2022. She has trained extensively in the space, holding diplomas in Community Services and Leadership and Management, and spent two years as a member of The NSW Police Force.

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Julie Burgmann

Julie Burgmann

Complementary Services Manager

Julie Burgmann is Complementary Services Manager, where she has oversight of partnerships and additional service offerings to ensure VERTO delivers holistic, relevant and compliant employment services to our community.

First joining VERTO in 2019 as a Program Assurance Auditor, Julie was promoted to Program Assurance Manager in 2020 before stepping up to her current role in 2022. Across her journey with VERTO, Julie has gained deep insight into VERTO’s quality and compliance landscape.

With a background in community pharmacy, allied health, workplace rehabilitation and disability employment services, Julie has a unique understanding of client needs across a wide spectrum. She is a passionate advocate for social justice and human rights and is committed to making a positive difference in people’s lives.

Find Julie on LinkedIn