Australian Qualifications Institute drives a social agenda to provide affordable education and qualifications

This social agenda is built on the foundation of a profitable enterprise which leads in developing and delivering engaging online Australian qualifications – through both scholarships and low cost online training.

Australian Qualifications Institute offers Nationally Recognised Training

Nationally Recognised Training

  • We provide affordable education and nationally recognised Australian qualifications
  • We develop and deliver education with engaging material
  • We recognise existing skills with qualifications
  • We give scholarships to those to whom a little makes a large difference

Our story – so far!

The Australian Qualifications Institute was set up following the accidental death of my beautiful daughter Jarrah. Jarrah had been making a full contribution to humanity working as a vet in Africa.

I had been retired for a few years after 20 plus years of working in the education and training sectors as a teacher and in management. I was enjoying the garden, sport and lots of coffee but with Jarrah’s death felt I still had skills I should be using – contributing to society. I also needed a focus to keep me going.

I looked at doing volunteer work with help from my eldest daughter Tarli who is in the international aid field but decided that the frustration of working with corrupt or inept systems, which is often the case in the developing world, would not – to put it mildly – suit me. So instead I decided to set my skills to a profitable and worthwhile enterprise which could of itself sustain the funding of aid in the form of scholarships.

I had just read a book Jarrah had recommended ‘Half the Sky’ and the overwhelming message I got from this and other readings was that the major contributor to the health and well-being of those in the developing world was education and in particular the education of women.

So the bringing together of all these strings: my experience and skills in education and training; a social agenda of education for women in the developing world; and a need to fund this has led to the social enterprise the ‘Australian Qualifications Institute’ (AQI).


Meet Our Team

Andrea Harris

Andrea Harris

B Ag Sci, M Applied Sci, MBA – Founding Director and CEO

Marilyn Sorbello

Marilyn Sorbello

MBA, GradDip ACG – Director of Operations

Tarli Young

Tarli Young

Director of Marketing


Online training

I have developed AQI in combination with Marilyn Sorbello, and a large team of support, including my daughters Kirra and Tarli, and partner Mike, and my son Joel. Together Marilyn and I have a combined 30 plus years in education and training.

Initially AQI’s primary focus is to provide affordable training. To keep it affordable the training is focused on online training. However when we started looking at online training in VET we found it to be very unimaginative – largely notes converted to notes online, with some formative activities. We are making our online training much more engaging than this.


The focus of all our operations – the social agenda

The primary intent for AQI is to provide a sustainable foundation to award scholarships to students in developing countries – particularly girls and women. Initially 30% of profits and all donations will go into a scholarship fund, held separate from the company finances. This percentage will increase as the company becomes stronger.
The allocation of scholarships will focus on where these will be most effective. Scholarships can be used for courses outside of our own, whatever is deemed most effective. Initially we will work with a scholarship organisation in Nepal, specializing in identifying candidates from lower castes. Tarli has seen first-hand the benefits these scholarships have had on individuals and the community.
Those on scholarships will be supported through ongoing relationships with AQI as well as through finance.
To provide a scholarship to pay university fees would cost less than $400 per year. Just $100 per year will make a big difference in helping students stay at school.

The social agenda for AQI is its driving force. However to support our social agenda we need to be seen as giving something more than the rest of the online market. This we are ensuring with the engaging use of technology in our training of training.

AQI is a Registered Training Organisation offering training that is recognised throughout Australia. We are registered to deliver qualifications under our scope of registration as shown on the national register at www.training.gov.au. We are regulated by the Australian Government through the Australian Skills Quality Authority (ASQA) and we comply with the requirements of the Vocational Education and Training Quality Framework that provides the basis for Australia’s nationally consistent, high quality vocational education and training system. We are audited by ASQA to ensure our qualifications are delivered to these high standards and that you receive a quality education experience.

Both Marilyn and I have great deal of experience in the field of education and training and are fortunate to have the same set of values which will keep the social agenda at the forefront of our minds. It has taken a massive amount of work and determination to get us this far. It is that determination which will make Australian Qualifications Institute the institution it is intended to be and lead to the realisation of its full social agenda.

Andrea