Rod McDonald

Principal and Managing Director

Before establishing Ithaca Group in 2001, Rod was a Special Advisor to the Australian National Training Authority, with a specific responsibility for initiating ‘blue sky’ thinking about vocational education and training.

In taking up that role, he left behind a distinguished academic career in adult education which included twenty-five years’ experience in leadership positions in universities.

Over that period, he was Australia’s first Professor of Adult Education, and occupied positions of Foundation Dean of the Faculty of Education at the University of Technology, Sydney; Deputy Principal of Sydney College of Advanced Education; and Director of a national Key Research Centre in vocational education. He has also had the title of Emeritus Professor bestowed on him by the University of Technology, Sydney.

It is this significant leadership and policy experience, combined with an extensive understanding of the vocational education and training sector that Rod brings to Ithaca Group.

Rod is renowned for his capacity to clearly analyse complex issues and to think strategically. In the words of one client, he has a unique capacity to ‘make complex things simple.’ He is also a highly skilled facilitator and is regularly asked to facilitate high level meetings. He is skilled at consulting with people at all levels and regularly draws on the strong connections he has with people at the highest levels in business and government.

Robin Francis
An accomplished leader and builder of high-performance teams with experience in government and not-for-profit sectors.
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Maria Tarrant
A strategic thinker with strong expertise in policy development and advocacy in all education sectors.
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Peter Skippington
A committed educator with expertise in the policy and practice of teaching, learning and assessment.
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Laura Price
Project Assistant
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Neil Edwards
A shrewd thought leader with a passion for governance and responsible public policy developed through chairman and CEO roles in government and industry.
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Mary Dickie
An experienced and creative researcher skilled in developing strategies for social and environmental change .
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Jacqui Fyffe
An insightful researcher and writer who can rapidly analyse and illuminate complex topics.
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Katy O'Callaghan
A talented social policy analyst and researcher who brings insight and creative thinking to the education and training, health and community sectors.
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Margo Couldrey
A perceptive policy analyst and facilitator specialising in the development, analysis and evaluation of policy and programs.
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Anita Roberts
An astute project leader with a knack for producing candid and compelling reports from focused research and consultation.
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