It’s Our People that Make AVTES Great
What really makes AVTES a great partner for your business is our people. Our experienced, skilled, and enthusiastic staff. All our Trainer Assessors are qualified in their trade area, and as a vocational teacher. And they attend regular professional development events. So their industry knowledge and their educational practices are up to date.
Please meet our team …
Chris Fitzgibbon started his career in hospitality at age 14 as an apprentice chef. He’s always been passionate about business, opening his first restaurant at just 22. Later moving into teaching, Chris launched the cookery apprenticeship at South West TAFE. He started AVTES in 1997 with his wife Louise to better meet the needs of small business and continues to be involved in its day to day running. He is a sought after consultant of industry associations and regularly provides advice on vocational education in the hospitality industry. His chocolate mousse is his most requested dish.
Louise Fitzgibbon, CEO
Louise studied fine arts at university before going into secondary school teaching, and later university lecturing. Also involved in hospitality from a young age, she has worked front of house and co-owned a restaurant. She co-founded AVTES in 1997 with Chris to meet small business needs with workplace based training. She is passionate about quality and manages AVTES as CEO. She is an expert silk painter.
Jasmin Barker, Hospitality Trainer
Jasmin is our front of house expert in Warrnambool and regional Victoria. She started her career in hospitality working for hospitality legends Wendy and Ian Robb in Warrnambool, before spreading her wings to Melbourne where she worked at The Stokehouse and others. She gained her Advanced Diploma of Hospitality Management and moved into hospitality training. She is also a qualified copywriter.
Sarah Fitzgibbon, Hospitality & Marketing Consultant
Sarah is the AVTES marketing maven. She loves helping hospitality business grow and solve problems. Sarah has a post-graduate qualification in marketing and worked in hospitality education since 2006. Her appreciation for fine food and wine developed during her first job at university where she worked in the deli at King and Godfree and ate lots of cheese.
Patrick Fitzgibbon, Executive Officer
Patrick Fitzgibbon began his career as an apprentice chef in Warrnambool at the age of 17. He has worked at various hospitality venues from pubs to hatted restaurants. Patrick later joined AVTES in 2009, working in administration before moving into a Trainer role. He was promoted to Executive Officer in 2013 where he manages training. He is a keen surfer and fisherman.
Eben Gane, Cookery Trainer
Eben began his apprenticeship under Chris Fitzgibbon’s tutelage back in 1994. He has travelled the world working in high end restaurants, mega stadiums, 5 star resorts and tropical islands but has settled back in country Victoria where he now trains the next generation of chefs. He loves helping hospitality business owners discover local producers and new ideas. He volunteers for local charity Standing Tall where he mentors disadvantaged youth.
Peter Hermans, Cookery Trainer
Peter is our travelling cookery trainer at AVTES. He services businesses all throughout Victoria from Horsham to the Great Ocean Road so even regional businesses can benefit from expert training. Peter is an experienced head chef and kitchen manager and has been training apprentices for over 15 years. Peter has played golf at 85 Victorian courses.
Peter Irvine, Hospitality Trainer
Peter is our front of house expert in Melbourne and regional Victoria. He comes from an extensive hospitality background, running front of house at Crown Casino, part of the opening supervisory team at the first Hyatt in Melbourne, and running his own successful restaurants. He has a passion for simplifying systems to improve business operations and is great at imparting practical leadership skills to managers and supervisors. His side projects in screen writing keep him entertained when he’s not at work.
English born Keith is your local cookery trainer in Melbourne. He is a hospitality industry all-rounder having managed clubs, hotels and operated two of his own restaurants across the UK and Australia. Career highlights include working at the home of Sir Elton John and studying in Florence, Italy. Keith is a passionate trainer and mentor and part-time vintage race car driver.
Oi Jittaphon, Administration Officer
You’ll likely speak to Jittaphon if you call our Melboutne office. He comes from a background in education administration. He came to Australia 10 years ago as an international student and is now a resident. His love of hospitality was sparked when he worked front of house in a Sydney restaurant years ago. He’s favourite person is his pet cat.
Connie Kyrgiakos, Finance Officer (currently on Maternity Leave)
Connie is our friendly finance person at AVTES. She has a Certificate IV in Bookkeeping and a Diploma in Business and has worked in finance for over 10 years. She can help you out with any finance or account questions. Her passion for hospitality began with her first job at Red Rooster and she makes a great mars bar cheese cake.
Richard Latham, Cookery Trainer
Richard is one of our Melbourne Cookery Trainers. He comes from the UK where he learnt to cook in his Nana’s kitchen at 12. He worked at various 5* establishments, including the Savoy and Ritz Hotels and Vue Group, as well as owning his own restaurant. He has his Professional Chefs Diploma and Certificate IV in Training and Assessment.
Margaret O’Connor, Student Records Coordinator (currently on Maternity Leave)
Margaret is our resident student records expert at AVTES. She hails from Ireland and makes sure all our students records are up to date and compliant so that we can provide the level of quality training that our customers expect. You’ll enjoy her Irish lilt if you call the Melbourne office. Her favorite food is nacho chips.
Linda Que, Finance Officer
Linda is your friendly finance person at AVTES. Linda worked as a waitress in a Chinese restaurant while completing her Masters of Professional Accounting and loves to help others with finance matters. She enjoys trying new food and brunch with friends every weekend.
Amanda Webb, Hospitality Trainer
Amanda has over 20 years experience in the hospitality industry. From cafes and restaurants to private clubs, functions at the London Science Museum, and wineries as Operations Manager at Domaine Chandon in the Yarra Valley. Although she started her education in Science and Nutrition, she discovered a passion for hospitality in her part-time work and completed a Diploma of Hospitality Management. She once ate a tarantula in Cambodia and tried guinea pig in Peru!