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Our Team

Navtej Bal

Chief Executive Officer

Navtej Bal is the CEO and Managing Director of Ironwood Institute. He is a dynamic and focused individual who believes in” Impossible is nothing”. Apart from his post-graduation from RMIT University, Melbourne, and over 12 years of extensive experience in the management of international colleges, Navtej brings on board his personal success story as an international student who arrived in Australia 20 years ago.

Navtej believes in seizing opportunities from the challenges and embracing positivity and innovation. He is passionate about helping students to become employment ready in a rapidly changing world and students look upon him to be a great guide, helpful and trustworthy through all times of their study journey with Ironwood.

In addition, Navtej is the first person representing vocational international education in Australia to receive an Industry Future Leaders award from the Premier of South Australia. This award is given to individuals who have demonstrated their leadership potential, interest, and abilities through a history of roles at work and/or in the broader community and show an interest in sharing the benefit of their talents, knowledge, and achievements with the industry in which they work and the community in which they live.

Navtej is also is a Certified Education Manager endorsed by Independent Terteriary Education Council of Australia (ITECA).

Dr. Hank Duyverman

Deputy Director

With more than 45 years’ contribution to education and education management across primary, secondary, and tertiary education including adult education and education online in Australia and overseas, Hank brings a wealth of experience to the Ironwood management team. He has been a Senior Education Manager and Academic Board Chair for TAFE SA, and Academic Board Member of Le Cordon Bleu and the International College of Hotel Management in Adelaide. For 6 years he was a member of the Flinders University Senate.

Among his many qualifications, he holds a Master’s in marine ecophysiology, a Doctorate in Education and a Diploma in TESOL. At Ironwood, Hank’s role is to provide oversight of the operations of the Institute and ensuring that the Institute meets all the regulatory requirements of the National Regulator, ASQA, as well as any regulatory requirements of South Australian regulators.

Victoria Pearce

Partnerships Manager

With more than 20 years working in the international education sector Victoria’s knowledge of the marketplace is extensive. She works with the Institute partners to ensure students get the best opportunities possible to develop their skills and create their careers. With a focus on acquisitions of new organisations and funding opportunities her role is to establish sustainable long term agreements to deliver mutually beneficial outcomes for Ironwood and its partners.

Niranjan Phuyal

Business Development Manager

Niranjan can answer the various questions asked by students and agents about what courses Ironwood offers, which one may meet their needs and how to become a student with the Institute. Niranjan is also the first port of call for agents, looking after marketing material, training and the compliance needs of agents.
With diverse expertise spanning agriculture, natural resources, and international education, Nirajan holds a master’s degree in physical land resources from Ghent University, Belgium, and has a profound passion for maing significant contributions to the field of agricultural education. 

Surajit Biswas

In-County Representative – South Asia

Surajit Biswas is the In-Country Representative for South Aisa. With a background in agriculture science and software development he has over two decades of professional experience in project management, marketing, and international education. Surajit is available to support our students, agents, and University partners with their enquiries.

Camilo Esparza

Agribusiness Educator & Training Co-ordinator

Camilo holds a Master of Global Food and Agricultural Business from the University of Adelaide, and a Bachelor of Animal Husbandry from the National University of Colombia (South America) where he is originally from. Camilo has participated in research across 6 countries in the Pacific and in Indonesia, focusing in livelihood benefits of smallholder farmers.

Some of his areas of expertise include understanding market and consumer drivers and implementing value chain analysis across industry sectors. His new role as a trainer at Ironwood will allow him to prepare students for a fast growing agribusiness sector. Camilo aims to deliver high quality training in a dynamic way, bringing key elements from innovation and systems theory.

Dr Kalyan Dhanagopalan

Head of Horticulture

Dr Kalyan is the Diploma of Horticulture Educator. With a specialty in plant nutrition and protection, he offers our students a fantastic insight into the successful development of crops from propagation to harvesting. Dr Kalyan has taught at all levels of students, from hands-on vocational education through to Ph.D. supervision. In addition, he has undertaken extensive research into the management of crops and resource conservation for sustainability.

Chris Wood

Horticulture Educator

Chris is the educator for the Certificate III in Horticulture course. With over seven years of experience teaching and qualifications in horticulture and permaculture, Chris has expertise in landscaping, nurseries, revegetation, production horticulture, and garden design. Having run his own gardening business in a diverse range of environments throughout Australia he can bring this hands-on business experience to our students.

Tony O’Rielly

Horticulture Educator

Tony is the educator for the Certificate III in Horticulture course. He has played an integral role in Australian horticulture education for over 20 years with experience in delivery both on job and in the classroom. Proficient at academic resource management and training tony is well-versed with construction management and tools apprentice mentoring with an emphasis on training students from indigenous communities.

Phil Allan

Horticulture Educator

Phil is an educator for the Certificate III of Horticulture course. With expertise in natives and revegetation, Phil has worked all over Australia and is familiar with plants for the tropics, dry topics and temperate climates. His passion for revegetation and propagation gives Ironwood students access to great practical knowledge and support.

Komal Sodhi

Advanced Diploma of Leadership and Management and Advanced Diploma of Marketing and Communication Educator

Komal has over 15 years of international education and training experience, specialising in business, leadership, management, marketing and accounting. She also has industry experience as an accountant. With Masters in both Education and Commerce/Management, Komal is our Advanced Diploma educator in both the Marketing and Management streams.

Junyi He

Student Admissions and Administration

Junyi manages Ironwood’s International student admissions.  He is available to guide everyone through initial applications, the admission paperwork and visa processing stages.  With a Masters of Commerce in Business Analytics from the University of New South Wales, he understands the complexity of the application process and works to ensure that applications are successfully processed in a timely manner.  Junyi’s personal journey as an international student from China enables him to support our students and agents in joining Ironwood Institute.

Kshitija Ajit Kanbur

Student Services Officer & Quality Assurance Co-ordinator

Kshitija is the first person people meet at Ironwood’s campus.  With strengths in people, communication, and team management, she can give full support to our students and agents. Kshitija also works with the team in managing the quality of the Institute’s operation and oversees the students’ education experience.

Trinh To Thi Tran

In-County Representative – Vietnam

Trinh is the In-Country Representative for Ironwood Institute for Vietnam.  With a background in marketing, she is also an ESL Teacher and a part-time English language lecture. in Danang.  Trinh is available to assist agents and students in Vietnam to study at Ironwood Institute.

Jennifer Bourne

Student Support and Administration Officer

Jennifer has extensive know-how in management, with over 5 years’ experience in the international education sector. With strengths in people, communication and team management, she has the ability to give full support to our team and agents.

She looks after all the Admissions for Ironwood to make sure the Letters of Offer, Confirmations of Enrolment and any other documents are issued in a perfect and timely manner.

Jennifer’s other roles include Quality Administration and ensuring that our administrative areas of the institute are to the highest quality and meets all the requirements that relate to a Registered Training Organisation (RTO).

Yennifer Moreno

Agent Engagement Officer

Yennifer can answer the various questions asked by students and agents about what courses Ironwood offers, which one may meet your needs and how you can become a student with the Institute. With extensive experience working with education providers and agents she has a good knowledge of the various needs of students, their families, student visas and admission level required. Yennifer is also the first port of call for agents, looking after marketing material, training and compliance needs of agents.

Soon Teik Oon

Diploma of Leadership and Management Educator

Soon Teik has 20 years of education/training experiences in institutions in Australia, Malaysia and China including the University of Nottingham, the University of Adelaide and Kaplan Business School. His experiences include working with both public and international universities in China, lecturing and developing course structure and syllabus for their International Business course module.

Apart from teaching, he was involved in coordinating work, formulating lesson plans and methods of delivery to non-English speaking students, providing students with academic advice and support to prepare them for their continuing studies and cultural change in Australia.

In addition to that, Soon has over 15 years’ experience in the corporate sector. He has held position such as Principal Consultant, engaging in international consulting and development in the Asian region, particularly Australia, China, Indonesia and Malaysia. His work includes working in high level cross cultural understanding of small/medium sized businesses. SoonTeik was also Branch Manager with a Fortune 500 company, before venturing into consultancy.

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