Presenters 2024

Kathryn has a wealth of experience across sectors such as IT&T, construction, wine, hospitality and vocational education, in both NZ and UK. Most recently she was working with industry on micro-credentials and developing the online learning platform Learning Engine for eCampus. She is a problem-solver – using analytics, market research and strategic thinking to build solid recommendations for future focused products and services. In addition, her project management and organised approach ensures efficient delivery of milestones. She is based in Nelson with her partner, Peter, and black labrador, Tana. 

Kathryn Koopmanschap

Boost Business Services

Adam founded Scarlatti in 2004 and is still very much hands-on and at the wheel. His work for clients spans most of the areas that Scarlatti operates in including extension programme design, market research, workforce research, impact modelling and operations research. Over the past decade Adam has led a range of people and skills-related projects for organisations in the food and fibre sector. Many of those have focused on measuring how effective programmes have been at attracting, growing and retaining people. 

Adam Barker

Director – Scarlatti

Julie is a Research Manager with Scarlatti, a research and evaluation firm supporting organisations to drive practice change. Originally from France, Julie came to Aotearoa in 2013 after a decade in Canada. She holds a Bachelor of Commerce from the University of Ottawa, Canada, and a Masters of Tourism Management (First Class Honours) from Victoria University of Wellington. Julie’s work with Food and Fibre CoVE includes leading the Non-formal and informal project. She has also been involved in other VET research projects with Te Pūkenga. Her strength is using mixed methodologies and qualitative research to investigate consumer attitudes and behaviour change.

Julie Moularde

Research Manager – Scarlatti

Ko Tainui tōku iwi, Ko Ngati Amaru tōku hapū,

Ko Te Awamarahi tōku marae, Nō Pukekohe ahau.


Ben, a finalist in the Ahuwhenua Young Māori Farmer and the NZ Dairy Industry Awards in 2021, has completed his Agriculture Apprenticeship and is currently a Dairy Farm Manager. Ben’s passion for farming started in challenging circumstances during his youth, which led him through youth justice facilities and eventually prison where he was given the opportunity to work on a farm. Dedicated to helping others overcome adversity. Ben works with various community organisations and shares his transformative journey, inspiring young individuals to explore careers in agriculture. 

Ben Purua

Council Member – Food & Fibre Youth Network -He Tātai Rangahua

Based in the Bay of Plenty, Alex is working as Project Development Support at Trevelyan’s Pack & Cool Ltd, a kiwifruit and avocado packhouse in Te Puke. Her role involves working on a range of strategic projects across the business. Originally from Wellington Ales grew up living in Southeast Asia (Thailand and Singapore) for six years during her schooling years. Seeing New Zealand agri-food in market sparked her interest in the primary sector. Subsequently, Alex studied a Bachelor of Agri Commerce (International Agribusiness) at Massey University. She is one of eight councillors on the Food & Fibre Youth Network (He Tātai Rangahua) Council.

Alex Reid

Council Member – Food & Fibre Youth Network -He Tātai Rangahua

Ella is currently working as a Food Technologist at Silver Fern Farms; her role involves developing new products and supporting the ongoing improvement of current products. Ella grew up on a Dairy Farm in Southland, so she has always been connected to agriculture, she developed more of an interest in the production of food and food processing post the farm gate when she left school and spent a summer working at a red meat processing site. Ella studied Food Science and Human Nutrition at Otago University and is currently completing her Masters in Sustainable Business outside of work. Ella is also a council member for the Food and Fibre Youth Network.

Ella Zwagerman

Council Member – Food & Fibre Youth Network -He Tātai Rangahua

Josh has been at the leading edge of critical developments in the NZ education system over the last 20+ years. He brings fresh thinking and real solutions to school-to-work transitions, curriculum, qualifications, assessment and quality assurance issues.  A former CE of the Industry Training Federation, Josh was also a senior policy manager at the NZ Ministry of Education, where he led policy for foundational and vocational education.  Josh was one of the architects of New Zealand’s system of Vocational Pathways. Principal Consultant for Skills Consulting Group, Josh has a keen desire to work with organisations globally to improve vocational outcomes.

Josh Williams

Principal Consultant – Skills Consulting Group

Taryn Eparaima (Ngāti Kahungunu) is a Vocational Education Consultant at Skills Consulting Group. While based in the Hawkes Bay, Taryn works with clients all over New Zealand to support workforce development and raise industry capability. Her role includes undertaking research and analysis, and partnering with clients to develop vocational education solutions to support their success and growth. Taryn has spent her career working in tertiary education with roles in government and the former ITOs. Her previous roles include Investment Manager for TEC, International Policy Analyst at the Minister of Education, and as a Key Account Manager with the former Skills Organisation ITO.

Taryn Eparaima

Vocational Education Consultant – Skills Consulting Group

Arthur Graves has had a long and respected career as a secondary and tertiary sector leader.  Formerly Principal of Greymouth High School, Deputy Chief Executive of Whitireia Polytechnic, Chief Executive of Taratahi Agricultural Training Centre, as well as the Chair of the Secondary Principals’ Association and Careers NZ. Arthur is well known as a systems thinker and strategist, including as Youth Guarantee implementation manager, where he led and managed the cross-agency implementation programme to operationalise secondary-tertiary interface initiatives. As a consultant Arthur now works extensively with industry partners and government, including the development of the National Education Learning Priorities and Tertiary Education Strategy.

Arthur Graves

Consultant – Edu Based Solutions

Mel is a Research Manager at Scarlatti. She holds a Bachelor of Commerce majoring in Marketing, and a Bachelor of Arts majoring in Statistics and Psychology from the University of Auckland and has over a decade of research experience in both New Zealand and Singapore. During Mel’s six years at Scarlatti, her work has been focused on projects in the primary industries and tertiary education sector. She enjoys all aspects of the project life cycle – from the initial gathering of information to inform the project design, right through to evaluating the impact of projects. Her work with Food and Fibre CoVE has involved managing the System for Micro-credentials and Excellence Framework projects, as well as contributing to the Non-formal and Informal learning work.

Mel Escott

Research Manager – Scarlatti

Lester has worked in the Vocational Education and Training system in Aotearoa for the past 23 years and has held roles with an Industry Training Provider and a number of ITOs. He started his career as an automotive mechanic and later mechanical engineer before moving into vocational education in the UK. Lester has a proven track record in building quality systems and working with teams and stakeholders to meet business needs, he is passionate about helping others achieve and getting the very best skill outcomes for employers and ākonga. Lester has enjoyed working with the Food and Fibre CoVE on a number of projects over the last couple of years that have supported the food and fibre sector, and Muka Tangata’s mahi in meeting industry skill needs

Lester Hoare

GM Quality Assurance and Enhancement – Muka Tangata

Viv’s expertise spans vocational training, program management, quality assurance and project management. With a dynamic career, she has cultivated training programs to excellence, adeptly managed projects, and set high standards for quality assurance. Her exceptional relationship management skills have forged vital connections, driving success in every endeavor. Viv joined the Food and Fibre CoVE team in September 2023 with a role largely centered on managing the Residential Group Training Scheme Project.

Viv Bruin

Portfolio Manager – Food and Fibre CoVE

Born and raised in Canterbury, Canty University Alum. Lisa has had a busy career for 30 years and the common thread throughout has been leadership. A background in Policy, Finance, event management and programme design and delivery, things have always been kept varied and interesting. Some roles have been supported by formal qualifications- others learnt on the job, she doesn’t see formal tertiary education as a prerequisite or a barrier. Lisa’a passion is seeing people develop towards their true potential – it might not be all at once -as long as they are moving in the right direction. Other than her role at Rural Leaders, she enjoys golf, skiing, catching up with friends, and being part of a busy family. Lisa is also (slowly) learning to fly helicopters as a passion project on the side.

Lisa Rogers

CEO – Rural Leaders

Bio to come

Dr Megan Gibbons

DCE Academic Centre and Learning – Te Pῡkenga

Bio to come

Muka Tangata

Shared Data Platform