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.


Business Systems

Dr Farai Manwa, has a PhD in International Economics from Southern Cross University. He conveys a passion for development work across a variety of industries. He brings over 10 years of experience and expertise in Business Research & Analysis, Institutional Restructuring, Policy Development and Economic Thought. Farai has worked for Connect ‘n’ Grow over the last 5 years in capacity building, systems and policies development and research-related roles.  


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.


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.


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.