In January this year DeakinPrime staff farewelled one of their most loved and valued colleagues. After 27 years and an immense contribution to corporate education DeakinPrime's Head of Commercial Liz Vinning walked through the doors of 550 Bourke Street one last time into her well-earned retirement.
To her colleagues Liz was more than a fellow staff member. Her legendary warmth and grace were not only widely appreciated, but they played an important role in the wider office culture. Part of her legacy is the respect, tolerance and flexibility DeakinPrime is so well known for today.
Liz is as brilliant as she is charming. She began her career by earning a Bachelor of Science (Education) at the University of Melbourne, and then completed a Bachelor of Science (Honours) at the same university. In 2002 she completed her Graduate Certificate of Corporate Management at Deakin University, and by then was well and truly within the walls of a workplace that would hold her interest for the remainder of her career. In 2006 she added to her already significant corporate expertise by graduating from the Australian Institute of Company Directors.
At DeakinPrime Liz became account manager for ANZ from 1998–99. She managed the ANZ High Performance Leadership Program design, development and delivery contract—a program that continued over several years.
Liz established DeakinPrime's partnership with Coles Supermarkets, which led to Australia’s first corporate university, the Coles Institute in 1999. This was followed in 2002 by the Coles Myer Institute, which met the undergraduate and postgraduate education needs of Australia’s largest private employer. Liz nurtured and developed this partnership and it led to several significant awards.
As Alliance Director, Personal Injury from 2008–12, Liz worked closely with the Personal Injury Education Foundation to establish the first postgraduate program for personal injury senior managers. She liaised with WorkSafe Victoria and its NSW and South Australian counterparts to develop a full suite of VET programs for the sector. Liz was key to several other initiatives, including a series of summit conferences, and she built lasting relationships with Australia's most prominent companies and organisations.
In 2014, Liz became DeakinPrime's Director of Client Services and Finance, and Head of Learning Delivery—a position she held for two years. Next, as Head of Commercial, Liz oversaw the continuation of the Defence Capability Acquisition and Sustainment Group contract, and did other vital work for DeakinPrime—a workplace she has played a significant role in becoming the leading corporate education provider in Australia.
DeakinPrime's CEO Simon Hann, who worked closely with Liz and who was there on 28 January to sadly farewell her, said "I only had the good fortune of working with Liz for almost four of her 27 years at Deakin. I will be forever grateful for the help she provided me through her deep and long (and documented!) corporate memory. Liz has an enormous passion for DeakinPrime and its people and will be greatly missed.”