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There are currently 12 people employed at Preferred Training Networks and 30 referred trainers in the network.

Management Team

Niall Kennedy (Creative Director – Programs and Strategies)

Niall has a Masters degree in Marketing degree from Monash University and a Civil Engineering Certificate from Ireland. Niall arrived in Australia in 1995 and fell in love with the Professional Development Industry. Niall and his partner have 3 children and Australia is now considered home. Niall has worked in the Professional Development Industry for 20 years with Melinda Kavanagh.

Niall is our creative thinker. He helps the clients build the framework of their Professional Development and will give them plenty of different ideas to consider. As Niall remarks “once the outcomes are agreed, then it’s just a matter of putting together the right ingredients to achieve the behavioral change, that will lead to delivery of the outcomes”.

Niall has written 4 business books: “All Aboard the Brain Train,” “Healthy Leadership,” “Errant Workplace Behaviors,” and “Hidden Observations”

Niall works across a number of sectors. Some of his clients include BHP Billiton, Parmalat, Dept of Communities, Child Safety & Disability Services, Rockhampton City Council, ATO, SA Ambulance, WA Fire and Emergency Services Academy, Western Hospital, IFM Investors, Tenex, Bank Australia, Yarra Valley Water, Multiplex, EY, Dept of Justice, Capgemini, Monash University…

Niall’s interests include soccer, playing with his children, tennis, camping, comedy, chess and cricket. Golf is his latest passion; Current handicap is 26 so lots of room for improvement

Melinda Kavanagh (Relationship Marketing Manager)

Melinda has a Bachelors degree in Business Management and a Masters degree in Marketing from Monash University. Married to Marc, Melinda is juggling the joys of being a mum to their two children and working with the team at Preftrain.

Melinda has worked in the Professional Development Industry for over 20years years with Niall Kennedy. Melinda’s strength is making sure we meet the expectations of our clients. Melinda liaises between all project stakeholders to reach consensus on the agreed professional development outcomes. Melinda remarks that “it’s a juggling act since different project stakeholders have different needs and unless we reach consensus on project outcomes the project can become problematic”.

Melinda can design and tailor the perfect course because she is a brilliant listener and has a high attention to detail. Her clients include; QMS Media, Scentre Group, City of Greater Geelong, Dept of Parliamentary Services, Monash University, Monash Health, Bayside City Council, Pitcher Partners, Newcrest Mining, QLD Health, Stonnington City Council

Melinda’s interests include gym, sport, reading, soap making, painting and socializing with friends and family. Melinda loves holidays.

Deborah Dear (Capability Advisor)

Deborah has a Diploma in Business Administration. Deborah has worked at Preferred Training Networks for 9 years. When Deborah joined the organization, we only had 28 capability development courses. Deborah has helped expand these courses to over 150. A co-author in leadership capability, Deborah can help any organization optimize their capability development.

Deborah’s strength is her questioning skills. “By listening to the client and asking pertinent questions, I can dig down to find the root cause. Then I just need to develop the capability to help the organization work through the challenge”.

Deb’s clients include; Dept of Defence, Maroondah City Council, Corpus Christi High, University of Qld, State Library, St Vincent de Paul Melbourne Assessment Prison, Catholic Church Insurance, City of Bunbury, Northern Beaches Shire, Koch Fertilizers, NSW Aboriginal Health and Medical Research Council, SA Water, Frankston City Council…

Deborah is just back from a trip to the USA and is planning another trip to swim with humpback whales in Tonga. Swimming within a few meters of giant whales was exhilarating and she can’t wait to do it again next year. Her hobbies include gym, shopping, cooking and gardening.

David Souter (Professional Development Consultant)

David has a Bachelor of Commerce degree in Economics from South Africa. He is married to Kathy and has four children who he is very proud of. After emigrating to Australia in 1984 David spent many years working for a USA Fortune 500 Organization where he held roles as both National Sales Director as well as Asia Pacific Director (Postal Relations)

Since joining Preferred Training Network in 2008 as a Consultant, he has been able to add and diversify his expertise and expand his passion to now assist Organizations develop and grow through the Professional Development of their Staff. David drives our international operations and has been the main player in our recent work in PNG, Fiji, USA, UK and Vanuatu.

David’s clients include NEC, Hastings Deering, Bankstown City Council Central Cost Council, Hobsons Bay Council, Queensland Rail, WesTrac, PwC, Dr Jones and Partners, Urbis, Bendigo and Adelaide Bank, Bank of Qld, HCF, Penrith City Council,

He has been able to combine nearly 30 years of experience in the Corporate arena with his passion in the Learning and Development space. David’s interests apart from his family include music, reading, travel, cycling, bush walking.

Nicola O Boyle (HR Professional)

Nicola has a Bachelor of Commerce Degree, majoring in Human Resources from Deakin University. She has worked as a Human Resources Generalist prior to joining Preferred Training Networks in 2017. Nicola has been with her partner for many years and recently got engaged. Nicola regularly travels across Australia and enjoys meeting clients.

Nicola has been an important asset as her HR skills give us insights into the mechanics of the modern workplace. Nicola can give us the HR perspective on an organizational challenge. This helps our design team discover how an organizational issue that seems straightforward can actually be quite complex.

Nicola’s clients include The Grace Hotel, The Lost Dogs Home, Legal Services Commission of SA, Coroners Court, Narrabri Shire Council, Guide Dogs Victoria, Yarra Plenty Regional Library

Nicolas interests include travel, gym, shopping and eating out.