Our People

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 …

our people AVTES Chris Fitzgibbon photo
Chris Fitzgibbon, Managing Director

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 taught cookery 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. His chocolate mousse is his most requested dish.

Our people AVTES Louise Fitzgibbon

Louise Fitzgibbon, CEO

Louise studied fine arts at university before going into secondary school teaching, and later university lecturing. Also involved in hospitality, 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 manages the quality of the organisation as CEO.

Margaret O’Connor, Student Records Coordinator

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. Her favorite food is nacho chips.

Oi Jittaphon

Oi Jittaphon, Administration Officer

You’ll likely speak to Jittaphon if you call our 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.


Connie Kyrgiakos, Finance Officer

Connie is our friendly finance person at AVTES. She has a Certificate IV in Bookkeeping a Diploma in Business and has worked in finance for over 10 years. Her passion for hospitality began with her first job at Red Rooster and she makes a great mars bar cheese cake.

Sarah Fitzgibbon, Marketing Manager

Sarah is the AVTES marketing wiz. She has a post-graduate qualification in marketing and has worked in education since 2004 at The University of Melbourne and AVTES. Her first job at university was working in the deli at King and Godfree in Carlton, Melbourne where she ate lots of cheese.

Our people AVTES Patrick Fitzgibbon

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.

Our people AVTES Keith Jackson
Keith Jackson, Cookery Trainer

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.

Our people AVTES Peter Hermans
Peter Hermans, Cookery Trainer

Peter is our travelling cookery trainer at AVTES. He services businesses all throughout Victoria from Horsham to the Mornington Peninsula so even regional businesses can benefit from expert training. Peter is an experienced head chef and kitchen manager with a great sense of humour.

Fabrizio Restelli, Cookery Trainer

Janis Bennett, Hospitality Trainer

Janis started our as an apprentice Chef with Australian Airlines, which became Qantas. She moved into front of house management, running pubs and cafes. She has a Certificate III in Commercial Cookery, Diploma of Hospitality Management, and a Certificate IV in Training and Assessment. Her favorite food memory is doing a one-on-one cooking class in Tuscany in a castle vineyard.

Peter Irvine, Hospitality Trainer

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!