About  >  Our Team

Executive leadership

IHEA’s executive team provides expert representation, support and service to our members.  All of our team are committed to building respect and recognition for independent higher education and supporting our members to be leaders in best practice and quality.  

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Dr Peter Hendy

IHEA Chief Executive Officer

Peter is an economist and public policy expert with extensive leadership experience in the private and public sectors. Peter served as an MP and Assistant Minister in the Commonwealth Government, and is a former CEO of the Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

Peter has experience in education, having been chief of staff to a federal education minister, and a senior adviser to the Prime Minister on training and skills development.

Peter has also been a member of the audit board for a major review of the Australian University Qualities Agency, the forerunner of the Tertiary Education Quality and Standards Agency (TEQSA). He was also a member of the CEOs committee of the former Australian National Training Authority; a member of a national review undertaken by the Training and Technical Education Advisory Committee; and a member of the Business and Industry Higher Education Council. He has also served on the advisory committee of the former Australian Education International.

Dr Jerry Nockles

IHEA Membership Services and Government Relations Manager

Jerry has extensive experience in membership engagement, stakeholder management, and government and public relations.

A military career, a doctorate in political science and international relations, service as a ministerial Chief of Staff, and senior managerial roles with Australia's largest NGO and within the United Nations organisation give him a critical edge in leadership, analysis, public policy formulation, communication, and advocacy.

A forthright thinker of mature judgment, Jerry is ideally placed to develop and advance IHEA’s member engagement and participation.

Michelle Muchatuta

IHEA Policy Director

Michelle brings a unique perspective to IHEA having worked in academia, as a senior higher education manager, and as a regulator at TEQSA. These experiences empower Michelle to clearly communicate complexities and nuances that underlie higher education administration, delivery, regulation, policy, and credibly develop potential solutions to sectoral challenges and issues.

Michelle is a lawyer and a higher education researcher with interest and extensive experience in policy matters as evidenced by her previous research roles, publications, and PhD research focus exploring higher education governance.

Within her career, Michelle has provided governance, policy, quality assurance, and enhancement leadership and advice to higher education providers in Australia, Ireland, and the UAE. Michelle’s background in tertiary education extends to university and independent higher education settings, VET and in pathways such as foundation, English, and high schools.

Scott Clayton

IHEA Operations Manager

Scott has extensive experience in business operations and has held roles in a number of industries including management consulting, IT, finance and HR.

Scott also understands the unique concerns of the independent higher education sector, having worked as Chief Operations Officer for an independent provider. Scott’s sound knowledge of HR policies and procedures, financial management and business administration has enabled him to bring innovative and efficient systems to IHEA’s operations.

Matthew Coote

IHEA Communications Manager

Matthew has extensive experience in media and communications management.

Matthew has worked for various clients including an independent higher education provider, a public university, an academic research centre, a think-tank, and a range of community organisations.