The Australian Institute of Fitness is proud to have established Australia's largest faculty of experts dedicated to training professionals for the fitness industry. As a Registered Training Organisation it is a requirement that all of our Course Coaches are qualified in the subjects taught. However, the Institute goes one step further by ensuring Course Coaches also have current and relevant experience in the fitness industry so you can be sure you are learning from someone who is walking the talk.
Nationally, the Institute's faculty is governed by the National Training Team. The National Training Team Committee ensures that the delivery and assessment strategies for all programs are updated and compliant with the industry endorsed training packages. Committee representatives have the expertise to combine curriculum design with industry commonsense. The committee members are:
Vicki Tuchtan - National Training Team Captain
Name: Vicki Tuchtan
Qualifications: holds both undergraduate and postgraduate qualifications in education from RMIT, currently completing a PhD
Experience: Over 20 years in education and fitness instruction
Favourite Fitness Activity: Anything to do with water
Favourite Play Away: Relaxing at beach house
Favourite Food: Strawberries
Favourite Movie: The Devil Wears Prada
Tip for Institute Friends: In life we are surrounded by learning opportunities so be sure to make the most of them wherever you go
Lisa Chivers - National Master Coach (Fitness)
Name: Lisa Chivers (Nickname: CMT - Chivers me timbers)
Qualifications: Master of Education (Exercise Physiology), Bachelor of Human Movement with Honours (Biomechanics), University of Western Australia
Experience: Over 27 years as a fitness educator and presenter in the health/fitness industry (started when she was 5 years of age!); International Fitness Presenter and Education Manager for FitPro (UK) 1992-98, Education Manager, presenter and FILEX presenter for Australian Fitness Network 1998-2004; formerly Master Coach for NSW.
Favourite Fitness Activity: Run, swim, body weight and free weight training
Favourite Play Away: Boating, skiing, bookworm for downtime
Favourite Food: Is champagne a food? Seafood and savouries.
Favourite Movie: Happy Gilmore
Tip for Institute Friends: Change is inevitable, growth is optional - choose to grow!
Chris Bennett - National Master Coach (Massage)
Name: Chris Bennett (Nickname: Cool Hand Chris)
Qualifications: Bachelor of Health Science (Musculoskeletal Therapy), Australian College of Natural Medicine; Diploma of Remedial Massage Therapy, Australian Institute of Fitness; Feldenkrais Practitioner Certificate, Cumberland College of Health Sciences University of Sydney.
Experience: Private massage practice since 1982, teaching massage since 1983 at Institutions such as TAFE, University Extension (UWA), Australian College of Natural Health Sciences, Australian College of Natural Medicine and Australian Institute of Fitness.
Favourite Fitness Activity: Weight training (body building).
Favourite Play Away: Malt whisky appreciation.
Favourite Food: Chicken Curry.
Favourite Book: The Way of the Peaceful Warrior by Dan Millman.
Tip for Institute Friends: Believe in yourself, "you can do it!"
Mark Davis - Regional Master Coach (Fitness), NSW/ACT
Name: Mark William Davis (Nickname: Darwus Robustus)
Qualifications: Bachelor of Applied Science (Physiotherapy), Bachelor of Physical Education
Experience: Over 18 years as a physiotherapist, over 25 years in fitness industry, FILEX presenter and fitness presenter since 1990 including lecturing with the Institute, Australian Fitness Network. Australian Catholic University, University of NSW, Wollongong University and CHISM
Favourite Fitness Activity: Chucking heavy stuff around
Favourite Play Away: Surfing
Favourite Food: Chocolate
Favourite Movie: Napoleon Dynamite
Tip for Institute Friends: "Always try your hardest and behave!"
Kate Kraschnefski - Regional Training Team Captain, QLD
Name: Kate Kraschnefski (Nickname: Katey Krasch)
Qualifications: Bachelor of Applied Science, Certified Kettlebell Instructor - Level 1 (International Kettlebell & Fitness Federation)
Experience: Personal Trainer, Personal Training Manager, Group Exercise Instructor, Fitness Business Owner, Fitness Sales & Marketing Manager
Favourite Fitness Activity: Russian Kettlebell training & Indoor cycling
Favourite Play Away: Movies & music, as well as heading into the wilderness!
Favourite Food: Chocolate... if only I could live on it!
Favourite Quote: "The only way to move up from a place of mere survival to stability, and from stability to success, and from success to significance, is to engage in an inspired field of endeavour that will enable you to bring significant benefits to others." - Zig Ziglar
Tip for Institute Friends: "Be passionate about your career path and always open to learning."
Joshua Pullman - Regional Master Coach (Fitness), QLD
Name: Josh Pullman (Nickname: J-Pull)
Qualifications: Bachelor of Health & Exercise Science, University of Western Australia
Experience: Over five years in the sport and recreation industry, plus over three years in the fitness industry as a Personal Trainer and Australian Institute of Fitness Coach/eCoach. Senior WAFL and AFLQ player since 2008.
Favourite Fitness Activity: Short-medium interval running
Favourite Play Away: Snorkelling in the Whitsundays
Favourite Food: Pasta
Favourite Quote: "Fate loves the fearless"
Tip for Institute Friends: Work, rest and play hard. Explore all resources and opportunities around you and the doors will open themselves.
Mark Matthews - Regional Training Team Captain, VIC/TAS
Name: Mark Matthews (Nickname: Marky Mark)
Qualifications: Cert 3 and 4 in Fitness, Cert 3 in Group Exercise, Senior First Aid, Cert 4 in Small Business Management, Cert 4 in Business Sales, Diploma in Life Coaching, Diploma in Business (Management), Cert 4 in TAE, Diploma in TAE, Diploma in VET, (currently studying graduate certificate in Management – post grad)
Experience: 12 years working as a Personal Trainer, Group Ex Instructor, Spin Instructor, and Circuit Instructor, and 5 years teaching Cert 3 and 4 in Fitness, Diploma of Business, and Senior First Aid. Punch Boxing Instructor.
Favourite Fitness Activity: Weight training in circuit interval style – similar to CrossFit
Favourite Play Away: Thailand Koh Samui, relaxing in five star comfort, swimming in the pool, great food and good friends to have fun with
Favourite Food: Italian (my mother and my mother in law’s cooking)
Favourite Movie: Fried Green Tomatoes
Tip for Institute Friends: Learn to be as professional as you can, and hire the best Personal Trainer that you can afford to help you progress to being the best
Andre Sammut - Regional Master Coach (Fitness), VIC/TAS
Name: Andre Sammut (Nickname: Doc)
Qualifications: Graduate Diploma in Recreation and Sports Management, Bachelor of Applied Science (Physical Education), Cert III and IV in Fitness, Cert IV In TAE
Experience: Physical Education teacher; over 12 years experience in sports and fitness industry including roles as a Fitness Educator, Personal Trainer, Group Outdoor Fitness Instructor, Gym Instructor, Coach Development Manager, and Facility and Program Manager, with organisations such as Australian Institute of Fitness, Fire Up Fitness, Basketball Victoria, Netball Victoria, and Life. Be In It; over 20 years of basketball coaching experience including State Representative Teams and semi professional Mens Teams; 10 years experience in Vocational Education and Training including roles as a State Manager and current position as Master Coach at the Australian Institute of Fitness
Favourite Fitness Activity: Running, hitting the gym, and recently taken up road cycling
Favourite Play Away: Cinque Terra, Barcelona
Favourite Food: Chicken
Favourite Movie: Avatar
Tip for Institute Friends: Train as hard as you can in the time that you’ve got!
Darren Fidge - Regional Training Team Captain, SA/ NT
Name: Darren Fidge (Nickname: Fidgey)
Qualifications: Diploma in 'Quick Wit', TAA
Experience: Over 10 years as a Personal Trainer for 10 years and over 20 years as a Pro-Baseball in Australia and USA; plus Health Club Manager Perfect and Pool Operator
Favourite Fitness Activity: Lifting heavy things
Favourite Play Away: Fishing with the kiddies
Favourite Food: Chips and beer
Favourite Quote: Good things come to those who work hard
Tip for Institute Friends: "You'll never know it all, always strive to learn more!"
Thamsin Dunn - Regional Master Coach (Fitness), SA/NT
Name: Thamsin Dunn (Nickname: Tenacious T)
Qualifications: Bachelor of Applied Science (Human Movement), University of South Australia, ISAK Level 1 Pre-Hospital Emergency Care
Experience: Over 7 years as a Personal Trainer specialising in Active Ageing; over 4 years Exercise Scientist specialising in physical rehabilitation
Favourite Fitness Activity: Any competitive sport!
Favourite Play Away: Riding fabulous horses and skiing
Favourite Food: Beetroot
Favourite Quote: There are no shortcuts to any place worth going
Tip for Institute Friends: There are no stupid questions- ask away!
Tallan Ames - Regional Training Team Captain, WA
Name: Tallan Ames (Nickname: Amesy)
Qualifications: Bachelor of Sports Science, Graduate Diploma in Physical Education, Edith Cowan University
Experience: Over 8 years in the fitness industry, progressed from Course Coach to Training Team Captain, 150+ senior WAFL games
Favourite Fitness Activity: Olympic lifting
Favourite Play Away: Adventure and extreme activities e.g. scuba diving deep
Favourite Food: Steak and anything that you can throw on the BBQ
Favourite Movie: Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgandy
Tip for Institute Friends: "You gotta grip it 'n' rip it"
Joanna Nicholas - Regional Master Coach (Fitness), WA
Name: Joanna Nicholas (Nickname: Jeté)
Qualifications: Bachelor of Health & Exercise Science, University of Western Australia
Experience: Entered the industry in 2003 as a Group Exercise Instructor and Personal Trainer (including a period in London) plus years experience as a consultant in program/course development, and magazine health and fitness editor. Since 2007, has competed nationally and internationally in fitness/sports modeling.
Favourite Fitness Activity: Variety! Running, dancing, boxing, weight training and yoga
Favourite Play Away: Training or getting out in the fresh air!
Favourite Food: Quinoa (only because coffee isn't a food)
Favourite Quote: Live Your Bliss
Tip for Institute Friends: "Practice what you preach"
The Institute has three schools to cover the three major disciplines. Each School has a National Master Coach, empowered to drive continual improvement and the highest standards of delivery. The National Master Coaches are:
- Lisa Chivers - School of Fitness
- Chris Bennett - School of Massage
- Vicki Tuchtan - School of Business
The National Master Coach works with a team of Regional Master Coaches to ensure national consistency.Next › To get started - Request your Free DVD - Click here