cesa logo

Commercial Education Society of Australia

Kathleen McKenzie

Kathleen is a VET teacher and academic and a doctoral candidate. She has been involved in private provider VET and higher education for over 25 years. She has first-hand experience and understands the difficulties of VET teachers with the ever changing VET language, diversity of student cohort and expectations.

She is a qualified teacher of VET, TEFL, TESOL, language and literacy, a skilled marketer of VET who has negotiated with local and international education agents, an industry representative for numerous State and Commonwealth government steering committees, industry panels, salary award working groups, Training Package projects and former Board member of NSW VETAB and has led inspections and compliance audits for her college with CESA, ACIBC/ACIVC, ACPET, EA, NEAS, DEETYA, DETYA, NSW VETAB, DEEWR, DIMIA and DEST. She is now a consultant for Educational Planning.

Kathleen is the third generation of the McKenzie family to be actively involved in the Commercial Education Society of Australia. Gordon A McKenzie was the President for 48 years and Arthur H McKenzie was the General Secretary and Registrar for 18 years. The McKenzie family had an innate belief of the value of VET/commercial education and the benefits that it could bring as a starting point for many who could not afford higher education, for those who did not have the opportunity to complete their school studies, the status of moving from one level of work to another, and the opportunities and career options it offered. The Society believed that the practical aspect of vocational education would encourage not just improvement in work skills, but logical thinking, the work ethic, and a commitment to a better community.

From the President
Kathleen McKenzie

We hope that you find the articles interesting. We want to cover all areas of vocational education and training and business. Most of you have been Members and Fellows of the Society for a long time and you have not only seen, but experienced first-hand the changes to vocational education and training, including legislation, regulations and policies. You have seen, too, the changing nature of students both local and international that have affected the way that we teach/facilitate/instruct/train. So many words for a lot of you who simply want to get the best out of your students and see them on their way to employment and successful career paths.

Business, too, has changed. The globalization of business, the digital revolution, the way we do business, re-structuring our workforce to accommodate business, the rapidity of emerging markets, the influence of cultural diversity of both the consumer and the seller, the extra paper trails and paperwork burden that seems to be never ending, the rapid rise and speed of technology and social media. Just as Amazon changed the 'read transformation', Groupon, Living Social, Dealfind, etc, are changing the 'talk transformation'. How are we dealing with change?

As Friedman (2007) so clearly notes in his book, The world is flat—"we have a world now where the differences of distance, culture and language are of less and less importance".

You may want to talk about your philosophy of vocational (commercial) education. What does it mean to you? How do you implement your philosophy? As far back as 1933, Frederick Nichols wrote that,

Ability to earn is not enough. Ability to save is quite important. Wise investing is essential to individual security and social well-being from an economic point of view. People must become more competent in personal, family and community finance if abiding economic stability is to be achieved. There is no conflict between these two aims—preparation for efficient participation in productive activities and for wise use of resulting financial rewards.

(Commercial education in the High School, NY, Appleton-Century)

Could Nichols' view in 1933 expressing a belief that there is a broadened purpose for vocational education and training define the direction of VET today?

Enjoy reading the first Commercial Education Society of Australia's e-newsletter. We look forward to your feedback.

Kathleen McKenzie MAA FCES FRSA FIPS
June 2012

© Copyright CESA March 2010