Elizabeth Baxter's Pioneering Leadership in Promoting Inclusivity at ASQA

Elizabeth Baxter's Pioneering Leadership in Promoting Inclusivity at ASQA

Elizabeth Baxter, a distinguished figure in the public sector for over 17 years, has been a driving force behind fostering an inclusive organisational culture at the Australian Skills Quality Authority (ASQA). Her commitment to diversity, particularly regarding the LGBTIQ+ community, has not only reshaped ASQA’s internal culture but also set a benchmark in public sector inclusivity.

Award-Winning Inclusive Leadership

Baxter's outstanding public service in enhancing organisational capability and culture at ASQA earned her the prestigious public service medal. Her efforts at ASQA are characterised by her dedication to making a tangible and positive impact on the agency's culture, emphasising inclusivity and respect.

Innovative Measures for LGBTIQ+ Inclusivity

Under Baxter’s guidance, ASQA has implemented several innovative measures to support the LGBTIQ+ community. These initiatives include introducing affirmation guides and a commitment to a more visible leadership presence in this area, demonstrating ASQA’s dedication to practical support and inclusivity.

Accessible and Fair Leadership

Baxter's leadership style is defined by her approachability and fairness, creating an environment where every ASQA team member feels valued and heard. Her open-door policy ensures that everyone is treated with equal respect and consideration, reinforcing a culture of fairness and support.

Championing Diversity and Visible Allyship

Recognising the value of diversity, Baxter places high importance on each team member's unique strengths and contributions. As a visible leader and ally who identifies as part of the LGBTIQ+ community, she actively advocates for inclusivity and is a positive role model. Her actions, such as implementing a gender affirmation guide, align with the agency's values, demonstrating her commitment to inclusivity in practice.

Creating a Culture of Authenticity and Celebration

Baxter’s efforts have led to a culture at ASQA where authenticity is accepted and celebrated. This atmosphere allows individuals to bring their whole selves to work, promoting an environment of authenticity and active celebration of diversity.

ASQA’s Role in Public Sector Diversity

Baxter acknowledges ASQA’s leadership role in championing diversity within the public sector. She emphasises the need for continuous adaptation to societal shifts and unwavering support for workplace inclusivity.

Continual Evolution and Societal Engagement

Baxter believes in evolving with societal changes and maintaining consistent support for all workplace members. Her leadership at ASQA highlights the significance of understanding and adapting to what is essential to people, ensuring that the journey towards inclusivity and support continually responds to societal dynamics.


Elizabeth Baxter's leadership at ASQA exemplifies how inclusive and empathetic leadership can transform an organisation, setting a standard for public sector bodies. Her commitment to diversity, accessibility, and fairness serves as an inspiration, demonstrating the profound impact that inclusive leadership can have in fostering a supportive, respectful, and authentic workplace environment.

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Sukh Sandhu

Executive Director

Sukh has been working in the VET and Higher Education Industry for over 25 years. In this time, he has held several roles with RTO's and Higher Education Providers (HEP) including CEO roles for International Colleges and National Compliance and Quality Assurance Manager roles for several RTO's, TAFE's and Universities. Sukh has also worked for the Australian Skills Quality Authority (ASQA) as a Business Systems Project Official. Sukh is a Canadian permanent resident and Australian citizen.

Sukh has had extensive project management experience in risk management, compliance, administration and as a training consultant. He has extensive knowledge in government compliance standards and has participated in nearly one hundred audits across Australia and provided consultancy advice regarding ASQA/VRQA, TEQSA, ACPET, DET-HESG, VQF/Higher Education, ELICOS, NEAS, ANMAC, AHPRA, CRICOS, ESOS and ISO.

Sukh is a member of several independent professional organisations and government bodies including, ACPET, VELG, ACS, AITD, MARA, MIA, ISANA, APEX, IEEE, The Internet Society (Global Member), AISIP, IAMOT, ACM, OISV, APACALL, IWA, Eta Kappa Nu, EDSIG and several others.

Sukh's qualifications include two MBAs, three masters in IT and systems, a Graduate diploma of management learning, Diploma in training design and development, Diploma in vocational education training, Diploma of work, health and safety, Diploma of Quality Auditing, Advanced diploma of management, Advanced diploma in marketing, human resources, information technology, and a number of other courses and qualifications. He has been working as a lecturer and as a trainer and assessor since 1998, Sukh has been a vocal advocate of audit reforms and system centred auditing practices rather than auditor centred auditing practices for many years.