TAFE SA appoints new Chief Executive

Feb 06, 2019

David-Coltman-2018 - final website

TAFE SA has appointed David Coltman to lead the organisation as its new Chief Executive, following an extensive international recruitment process.

Mr Coltman brings a wealth of experience from the vocational education and training sector and has an extensive history in the management and delivery of programs that increase participation in higher education.

He is currently the Deputy Vice-Chancellor for Pathways and Vocational Education at Swinburne University of Technology in Melbourne.

TAFE SA Chair Jacqui McGill said that Mr Coltman’s appointment marked an exciting new chapter for the organisation.

“David has extensive leadership experience in the higher education sector and we look forward to him joining TAFE SA and ensuring we continue to deliver high quality education and training across the state,” Ms McGill said.

“We were fortunate to have a really strong field of candidates apply for the role and we believe that David’s knowledge and experience will provide significant benefits to TAFE SA into the future.

“With the implementation of the State Government’s Fresh Start for TAFE SA, it is an exciting time for David to join the organisation as we focus on the delivery of innovative, flexible and accessible training to meet the needs of students and industry.”

Mr Coltman said that he was delighted to be joining TAFE SA and was looking forward to getting started.

“I am hugely excited about the future for TAFE SA and I am looking forward to the move to Adelaide,” Mr Coltman said. 

“The role of Chief Executive with TAFE SA comes with lots of expectations; it’s a great responsibility and I feel very privileged to be given the opportunity.” 

“I look forward to working with employers and community leaders, the South Australian Government and TAFE SA staff and students, to make sure we have the right people with the right skills to grow our economy, and to meet our social and cultural needs of South Australia.”

Ms McGill also acknowledged the work of Interim Chief Executive, Alex Reid, who has been in the role since December 2017.

“I would like to thank Alex Reid for her significant contribution to TAFE SA after stepping into the role at a challenging time for the organisation. Since then, a lot of positive change has been made, culminating in TAFE SA recently receiving a positive report from ASQA following its latest audit.”

Mr Coltman will commence in the role on 15 April 2019.


About David Coltman

David Coltman is currently Deputy Vice-Chancellor for Pathways and Vocational Education at Swinburne University of Technology. He joined Swinburne as the Executive Director of Pathways and Vocational Education in March 2015. He also became a director and then Board Chair of the National Institute of Circus Arts in March 2016.

David has an extensive history in the management and delivery of programs that increase participation in higher education of underrepresented communities. His work with Maori, Pacific and refugee communities in New Zealand is well recognised. He has been heavily involved in the governance of community organisations and has a strong commitment to the role of education in transforming lives through access to employment outcomes and economic parity.

David has spearheaded Swinburne’s award-winning Industry 4.0 higher apprenticeship program in partnership with Siemens and the Ai Group. This program has prepared students for work in highly digitised environments, and has been nationally recognised for its innovation and effectiveness. 

David holds a Master of Adult Education and a Master of Public Administration. He also completed the Institute of Educational Leadership Program at Harvard University and the Kellogg Foundation’s Institute of Developmental Education.