FORMER Bass Coast Shire Council chief executive Paul Buckley has been appointed chair of TAFE Gippsland’s board of directors.

Mr Buckley PSM, the chief executive at Latrobe City Council before taking on the top job at Bass Coast, will take over from retiring board chair Mr Des Powell AM from July 1.

Mr Powell advised the appointment of Mr Buckley this week to steer the board as it oversees and manages TAFE Gippsland’s current and future strategic direction.

The TAFE Gippsland Board also collectively paid tribute to Mr Powell for his “enormous and professional contribution to the institute over the past five years”.

“This is a significant moment in our history, and we are all deeply indebted to Des for his vision, his leadership and passion for vocational training which has seen a remarkable transformation of our institute over the past five years,” a board spokesperson said.

“Des has overseen a very significant period of change and, as we watch major new training infrastructure being built, we are grateful for the role Des has played in restoring community confidence in TAFE as the vocational training provider of choice in Gippsland.

“Equally, we are excited for what the future holds under Paul’s leadership as he brings a wealth of leadership experience to guide our new four-year strategic vision for TAFE Gippsland.”

Mr Powell also commended the appointment of Mr Buckley to lead the board, saying Mr Buckley, who was appointed to the position of co-opted board member in June 2020, will serve a two-year term as board chair from July 1.

“I’m very confident Paul will bring his extensive public leadership and Gippsland community experience to the role of board chair and continue the legacy and talent we have established in our TAFE Gippsland Board,” Mr Powell said.

“I wish Paul, the board members and all the staff and students the very best for this next exciting development phase for TAFE Gippsland – a truly local TAFE and a provider of high-quality vocational education and training.”