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Chief Executive Western Institute of Technology at Taranaki

Chief Executive of Western Institute of Technology at Taranaki Announced

26 July, 2013

Barbara George has been appointed chief executive of the Western Institute of Technology at Taranaki (WITT).

Ms George is currently the chief executive of the Adelaide Symphony Orchestra, one of Australia’s major performing arts companies, with a significant budget and more than 100 employees. She brings more than 20 years’ experience of the not-for-profit sector, spanning three continents, to the role.

WITT Chairman Mary Bourke said she was impressed by the high calibre of applicants for the chief executive position.

“We had a very impressive range of applicants which made it very difficult for the recruitment panel, however the final decision was unanimous based on the experience, passion and creativity Barbara will bring to the position, she said.

“With an excellent background of leading innovation and change, entrepreneurship and commitment to community-focused organisations, Barbara has worked with a wide range of stakeholders to improve the performance and impact of the businesses she has been a part of.

Ms Bourke said she was also impressed by Ms George's passion for the region and her strong desire to ensure WITT’s place in a global context.

A former Sacred Heart Girls’ College student, Ms George who is of Ngāti Rāhiri hapu o Te Atiawa descent, is a graduate of Victoria University, she holds a Post Graduate Diploma in Business and an MBA in Marketing Management.

Ms George said she was pleased to be appointed to the role and thrilled to be returning home to be able to put the many years of experience she had gained in New Zealand and abroad, to use supporting the community that she calls ‘home’.

“I was born and grew up in Taranaki, leaving when I was 20. At 49, my family and I are looking forward to returning to the region and once again being part of this vibrant and culturally significant community. My roots are Taranaki, but my vision for WITT is global and I look forward to working in partnership with all of our stakeholders, both within WITT and beyond.

“WITT has been a provider of quality training and education for more than 40 years and has made significant gains in recent years as a result of a strong team and leadership,” she said.

“I am looking forward to working with the WITT team and in partnership with our stakeholders to ensure WITT is having the impact in the region that continues to strengthen the community. I am particularly keen that our people, both young and not-so-young, can access exemplary learning and opportunities in the region and that WITT becomes the waka of choice for their journey.”

Ms Bourke wished to acknowledge the staff of WITT for their continued commitment through the transition to a new chief executive.

“I would like to take this opportunity to thank the senior management team and especially acting chief executive Jan Lockett-Kay for the hard work that has ensured WITT’s momentum has continued,” she said.

About WITT
The Western Institute of Technology at Taranaki (WITT) is a quality Government-owned tertiary education institution based in New Zealand's cultural and surfing hub. Taranaki is a beautiful region defined by its wonderful snow-capped mountain, extensive coastline, great surfing and many opportunities for outdoor activities.

WITT is the only state tertiary institution in Taranaki and offers courses from certificate to degree level across a wide range of areas, including Business, Nursing, Hospitality, Maori, Humanities, Media, Art, Electrical, Engineering, Automotive, Welding, Carpentry, Architecture, Computing, Hairdressing, Beauty Therapy, Early Childhood Education, Social Sciences and Agriculture.

WITT also specialises in English language tuition and foundation programmes for overseas students.

WITT's main campus is in New Plymouth, on the west coast of New Zealand's North Island. The campus contains a cafeteria, art blocks, computer labs, engineering workshops, hospitality facilities (including a training restaurant and cafe) and most recently, two student accommodation blocks offering modern and affordable living.

WITT focuses its courses particularly on vocational outcomes, and seeks to ensure that graduates are able to enter the workforce successfully or to advance their careers through further education or training.


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