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AAGE Board of Directors

Steven Nield - Connect on LinkedIn
Chair and Director, AAGE
Emerging Talent Recruitment Manager, Australia & New Zealand, Aurecon

Steven is the leader of recruitment for Emerging Talent across Australia and New Zealand for Aurecon, a multinational Engineering & Infrastructure Advisory organisation. As an extension to his ANZ role, he also provides strategic advice to his peers in South Africa & Asia. Steven is also part of Aurecon’s i40+ cohort, a team of facilitators and innovators helping to drive Aurecon’s Design to Innovate philosophy. Working on recruitment for Emerging Talent since 2010, Steven has overseen campaign redesigns, rebranding initiatives and recruitment systems design and implementation in Workday.

Outside of Steven’s Recruitment role, he is an Ally on Aurecon’s PRIDE network supporting inclusion for LGBTIQ+ staff, supports and drives gender inclusion initiatives through Aurecon’s Emerging Talent programmes and sits on an academic Advisory Board with Deakin University. Steven has a real passion for mentoring and broadly discussing all things graduates and interns and sees this as his “giving back” piece to those who have helped him in a similar fashion over the years.

Robert Blaze - Connect on LinkedIn
Director, AAGE

Training and Development Lead, Monadelphous Group

Based in Perth WA, Robert is the Training and Development Lead for the Maintenance and Industrial Services Division for Monadelphous Group and the Development Advisor to the Graduate Recruitment and Development Team. Robert is currently responsible for a large portfolio of professional development strategies and activities for all areas of the Maintenance and Industrial Services team from Safety led training to leadership development. As part of the Graduate support team, Robert is responsible for ensuring all Monadelphous graduates are provided with real development and career guidance to set them up for success.

Originally from a hospitality background as a restaurateur, Robert's passion for development has taken his career into various learning and development roles including hospitality, telecommunications, business management and now Engineering, Maintenance and Construction. Robert has over 15 years’ experience in the learning and development space, with 7 of those years directly engaged in Graduate Development.


Simon Gibson - Connect on LinkedIn
Director, AAGE

Talent Acquisition Specialist, BHP

Based in Brisbane, Simon has worked within the Gradate Recruitment industry since 2012 with roles ranging across Professional Services, Engineering and Mining. With a focus on attraction and selection methodologies, Simon has extensive experience in the operational management of large scale graduate recruitment campaigns and team management across Oceania. Most recently with BHP in a Talent Acquisition Specialist function, Simon is able to provide leadership on stakeholder engagement, building external relationships and networks and a strong candidate focus. Simon has been part of the AAGE Committee since early 2015.


Dara McCallion - Connect on LinkedIn
Director, AAGE
Graduate Programs Manager, Westpac Group

As Graduate Programs Manager at Westpac Group, Dara is responsible for the strategy, attraction, recruitment and development of the emerging talent programs enterprise wide. Dara has experience in branding and attraction redesign, large volume recruitment methodology design and professional development strategies. With a background in HR, supported by an honours degree in HRM, Dara supported graduate program management within law firm Allen & Overy prior to joining Westpac Group in 2014. She is passionate about launching early talent careers and nurturing thought leaders and contributors to experience challenging and rewarding careers at Westpac Group. Dara has been part of the AAGE Committee since 2014.


Thomasin Schmidt - Connect on LinkedIn
Director, AAGE
Talent Consultant, AMP

As a Talent Consultant at AMP, Thomasin is responsible for the management of the Enterprise wide graduate program. She leads the design of the overall program structure and the talent management processes to support the graduates throughout the program. She is also responsible for managing the central graduate development program which focuses on building the professional and personal skills to provide a solid foundation as graduates start their careers. She is passionate about the experience that both the graduates and business have through their involvement with the program. Thomasin has been in the graduate and Learning & Development industry for 18 years. She has been an AAGE member since 2014, joining the AAGE committee in 2016. 


Chris Grier - Connect on LinkedIn
Co-Opted Director, AAGE
Head of Legal and Risk, Abt Associates

Based in Brisbane, Chris is the Head of Legal and Risk for Abt Australia and Abt Britain. He leads the legal, procurement, risk management, compliance, audit and privacy functions supporting Abt's corporate and program offices in Asia Pacific (including Australia, Indonesia, Papua New Guinea, Philippines and Timor-Leste) and the United Kingdom. He is also the Company Secretary of Abt Australia and its subsidiaries. Chris is a senior lawyer with extensive experience in Australia and London. His areas of expertise include corporate law and governance. His previous experience includes advising government, financial institution, corporate and not-for-profit clients at leading international law firms Ashurst in Brisbane and Norton Rose Fulbright in London. His experience also includes the recruitment, mentoring and training of graduates and lawyers, and senior mentoring roles for the University of Queensland and Association of Corporate Counsel. Chris is an admitted solicitor of the Supreme Court of Queensland and High Court of Australia and a member of the Queensland Law Society and Australian Institute of Company Directors. He has a Bachelor of Laws and a Bachelor of Arts majoring in International Relations.

David Lane - Connect on LinkedIn
Co-Opted Director, AAGE
Director / Senior Advisor, Pitcher Partners Wealth Management

David provides the AAGE with skills in financial analysis, reporting, risk management and governance. David is Director and founder of Pitcher Partners Wealth Management, an independent investment advisory practice, through which he provides strategic investment advice and portfolio management to a range of clients including private clients, family groups, superannuation funds, business owners, not-for-profits and institutions. He has been recognised as one of Australia’s leading Financial Advisors, including being ranked in the Barron’s Australian Top 100 Financial Advisers of 2020. In addition to recruiting, mentoring and training graduates throughout his career, he takes an active role in mentoring through basketball coaching and team management. He is Director and Treasurer of Southern Districts Basketball Association Ltd (Spartans!) and is a member of the Investment Committees of Pitcher Partners Wealth Management, Pitcher Partners Investment Services and QIMR Berghofer Medical Research Institute.

Amita Laroiya- Connect on LinkedIn
Company Secretary, AAGE
Senior Lawyer, WorkCover Queensland

Amita joined the AAGE as Company Secretary in November 2017. Amita is a Senior Lawyer at WorkCover Queensland. Prior to joining WorkCover Queensland, Amita spent 8 years in the financial services sector and 8 years in the legal profession – in both private practice and in-house roles. Amita is a committee member on the Central Queensland University Human Research Ethics Committee. She has a Bachelor of Laws and a Bachelor of Justice Studies and is a Fellow of both the Governance Institute of Australia and the Institute of Chartered Secretaries and Administrators.

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