At the centre of all our operations, policies and systems lie our people.

Collectively this core group of experts is responsible for the outside-the-box and visionary thinking that is required to unlock the true potential in humankind through education. We operate in a very diverse working environment making it only natural that our inner tribe reflects this level of diversity. Our redesigning of training and education pathways for Australia’s youth draws on expertise in Education, Human Resources, Business, Economics and I.T. to name a few. This diversity of experience and expertise is better highlighted in the individual profiles below.



Chief Executive Officer

Mr Michael Gleadow, the founder of Connect ‘n’ Grow, has a Bachelor of Education from James Cook University. He conveys a passion for finding business solutions in the training, education and social service sectors. He brings over 10 years of experience and expertise in Education, Training, Indigenous Healthcare and Project Management. This is evidenced through his work and close relationships with government departments, educational institutions and a range of other industries.  Michael has in the past been a Secondary School VET Coordinator and has spent the last 5 years as the CEO of an ASQA Registered Training Organisation.




Dr Naomi Gleadow is a Director of Connect ‘n’ Grow and has been involved with the RTO from its inception. Dr Gleadow was instrumental in the set up and development of the Connect ‘n’ Grow and the training programs that our students complete. Dr Gleadow has experience in numerous roles including Indigenous Health, Child and Maternal Health and Women’s Health. This experience has culminated in the recent establishment of a Well Women’s Clinic at a local General Practice in Queensland. Dr Gleadow is involved in the development of training and assessment materials, trainer support as well as the strategic direction of Connect ‘n’ Grow.


National Operations

Gary Birmingham heads up Connect ‘n’ Grow’s National Operations. Gary has a long and successful career working in Senior Management and Leadership roles for a number of large corporates. Gary has experience in the Private Tertiary Education sector working for a large international RTO as well as working as Program Manager and Mentor for a Not for Profit GTO, specialising in supporting Australia’s First People in traineeships with some of Australia’s leading Banks, Airlines, Health and Personal Services businesses.

Gary has a clear passion for people and helping them reach their full potential. His role with Connect ’n’ Grow will see him work with partner schools to ensure the highest levels of support and excellence in program delivery.


Training and Quality

Ms Nikki Bowes has over 15 years experience in the government and university sectors in executive support and project management roles. Nikki commenced with Connect 'n' Grow in September 2015 and oversees all Training and Quality functions of the RTO. She is the first point of contact for all schools and ensures that all rules and regulations are carried out accurately. Nikki has also completed her Certificate IV in Training and Assessment.

Nikki is passionate about health and wellbeing and enjoys the challenge of learning new things and applying her skills and knowledge to assist others.


Corporate Services

Tamara Hussey, joined Connect ‘n’ Grow in December 2017. Her ability to be thorough and patient drives an affirmative culture and environment for the CNG Team.

Tamara’s highly-principled characteristics and profound organisational skills help not only herself but all to cess any challenge put in front. Her passion for Health and Wellbeing of all characters’, human and non, drives her motivation within the field of work to raise to all tasks and doing it in her best deliverance.


Corporate Services

Ms Rachel Knight has a Bachelor of Business, majoring in Human Resource and Sports and Events Management. She brings over seven years of experience in human resource management, recruitment, project management and executive support to the team.

Rachel joined Connect 'n' Grow in September 2016. She is passionate about health and is looking forward to utilising her skills and experience within this dynamic and exciting ecosphere.


Vocational Education and Training Projects

Sandra Harrington has been a teacher in Tasmania, ACT and Queensland in high schools, TAFE colleges and Universities since 1966. She was Head of Vocational Education Curriculum at Nudgee College from 1996-2002. From 2002 until 2008 she was a casual lecturer to post-graduate education students at the Australian Catholic University. Sandra has also been involved in writing training materials for Certificate II and III Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders in Primary Health Care, Certificate I in Conservation and Land Management, Certificate III in Indigenous Land Management, Certificate IV and Diploma in Music, Certificate I and II from the Foundation Skills Training Package, Certificate II in Information, Digital Media and Technology and a recognised course in Independent Living Skills. Sandra is also the author of two textbooks related to vocational education as well as a life member of VETnetwork Australia and an industry advisory member for the Community Services and Health Industry Skill Council.


Program Development - Northern Territory

Sarita is of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Island and English heritage and is a descendant of Waiben and the Wuthathi people, who was born and raised in Darwin on Larrakia country. As a Secondary School Teacher with a passion for Health Education, Sarita has been involved in the delivery and ongoing improvement of Connect ‘n’ Grow health and community services training programs over several years. She has travelled extensively and has taught in city, urban, rural and remote schools in the Northern Territory, Queensland and London.

Sarita loves spending time with her young children and enjoying the simple things in life. Her dream is to be able to become more involved in improving the Health Education, Health Promotion and overall health and well-being of her fellow Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians.

Sarita establishes and supports schools deliver the Connect ‘n’ Grow programs in the Northern Territory.


Program Development - CNG Hub

Tania has spent the last 10 years in the Education and Training sector. Tania has experience in Senior Management roles in Schools and in RTOs. Tania has a passion for Education, Training and Technology. Over the past few years, Tania has honed her skills in the Edutech and systems side of Education and is thrilled to be able to assist Connect ‘n’ Grow with instructional design, development and ongoing support of the CNG Hub.


Corporate Services - Accounts

Ayla is currently studying a Bachelor of Commerce majoring in Accounting at the University of Southern Queensland, and is set to graduate in 2019.

After a stint in the insurance industry, Ayla found her passion for accounting and has been working in the industry for the past 3 years. A reliable member of the Connect ‘n’ Grow team, she is helpful and quick to respond to all account enquiries.
Recently married, Ayla loves to travel and go snowboarding with her husband Tom.