Our Team

Paul Jones Chief Executive Officer (CEO)

Paul has been based in the fire protection, fire fighting and safety industry for more than twenty five years and is qualified as a fire protection engineer. Paul has also undertaken studies in human behaviour, business management.

Prior to establishing Thurgoona Training Academy in 1994, Paul was actively engaged in and conducted fire drills, rescue and emergency procedures on oil rigs in Bass Strait.
Furthermore, Paul was actively engaged in extensive training for many major organisations and the following lists just a few of these: Esso, Shell Refinery, Pilkington ICI, Alcoa, Australian Defence Force, State Electricity Commission of Victoria, G.M.H, Ford Motor Company, Major Hospitals in Melbourne & Tasmania.

Paul acted in the capacity of consultant to the Victorian Police Arson Squad and the National Safety Council for several years. Paul is an associate plus member for the Australian Fire Protection Association.

Rita Jones Financial Manager

Rita is the Financial Officer and ensures fluidity of the Academy. As well as taking care of invoicing and accounts she is also responsible for wages, purchasing, accommodation, course resources, cleaning and catering.

Rita is a Technical Draftswoman by trade creating the technical drawings for landmarks like the Melbourne Exhibition Centre.

Prior to starting the Academy with Husband Paul she worked in the field of fire suppression and protection for Wormald

She enjoys family, creativity and makes it her business to ensure the day to day operations of the Academy run smoothly.

Shawn Jones RTO Manager / Instructor

Shawn has been based in the fire and safety industry for the past 23 years, he has worked with numerous industries and organisations developing Confined Space Procedures, Risk Management Systems, conducting site audits and developing individual site specific training programs for organisations such as: VISY, Mars PetCare, AGL, Snowy Hydro, CHH, DeBortoli Wines etc.

Shawn is the RTO Manager at Thurgoona Training Academy and Trainer / Assessor.

RTO Manager / Instructor / Assessor

Chris Johnson Instructor / Consultant

Chris joined Thurgoona Training Academy in 2018 after serving 20 years in the Royal Australian Navy as a Marine Technician. After his postings at sea Chris worked as a Trainer and Assessor for Navy’s Damage Control school involving flooding, firefighting and CBRN defence.

He has a mechanical background with experience as a WHS advisor, maintenance supervisor and Hazardous chemical safety advisor.

The work experiences and job roles he has fulfilled give him a wide breadth of knowledge enhancing the training he delivers here at TTA.

Andrew Davis Instructor / Consultant

Andrew started his training and assessing career delivering trade training for the Australian Defence Force at Latchford Barracks in Victoria.

He was involved in the delivery of “Dogging” as a High-Risk Work Licence and more recently the introduction to service of the army’s new trailer fleet.

He is an active member of the NSW Rural Fire Service (RFS) clocking up 23 years. This has seen him complete a long list of qualifications with the service including: – Wildfire and structural firefighting, communications and recently undertook training as an Air Observer.

Adam Elliott Instructor / Consultant

Adam has worked in the Manufacturing industry for over 20 years and the Arts industry as a technician for 15 years.

He has been a member of several Safety Committees aimed at improving working conditions for all employees through innovation and consultation.

Adam is also an active member of the NSW Rural Fire Service.

Stanley Zawora Instructor / Consultant

Stan recently brings a wealth of experience with his background in Policing, Security and Transport.

He has extensive experience in dealing with emergency incidents and training personnel, having been a member of the Carrum CFA, Frankston SES, Albury SES ending up as the SES Operations Controller Southern NSW Region.

Prior to joining TTA , he was the National Security, Risk and Compliance Manager with COPE Sensitive Freight where he conducted internal training sessions in National Heavy Vehicle Laws, Security, he was also the Lead Internal Auditor for COPE.

Jesse Leayr Instructor / Assessor

Jesse is one of the newest members of the Thurgoona Training Academy team, having come from training on the Snowy Hydro 2.0 project. Jesse has worked in education and disability support for the last 10 years and has experience with providing assistance to people who struggle with Literacy and Numeracy Issues. Jesse completed his Certificate IV in Training and Assessment earlier this year.

Alex Peak Instructor / Assessor

Alex is an internationally registered critical care EMT, with experience in major trauma medical response in motorsport events.
Alex is an operational and experienced CFA member. His association with district 12 has provided him with valuable firefighting skills, knowledge and experience. in 2022 he completed his TEA40116 Certificate IV training and assessment and has been delivering Nationally Accredited training ever since. Alex’s eagerness to learn and develop extra skills and competencies has been warmly welcomed by our team.

Trish Newey Office Administration

Trish is the newest member of our team. She is a mum of 2 and loves her AFL.
Trish is our receptionist, liaising with clients and customers over the phone, email and face to face. She helps in the invoicing department and food prepping.

Claire Darmody

Claire has joined the team at TTA and will be one of the first points of contact. Her role includes administration and reception as well as managing the student management system.

Kalyia Jones Office administration

Kalyia is responsible for awarding students with their Statement of Attainment and Tickets, as well as liaising with clients and learners.