Te kāhui Manukura
Our General Manager
General Manager of Ara Institute of Canterbury
Darren Mitchell is a skilled and experienced executive with a long and successful track record in education management and leadership. He has been with Ara for the past 20 years.
Darren has been a member of Ara’s executive leadership team for 16 years. Before being appointed Ara’s Acting Chief Executive, he was the institute’s Deputy Chief Executive - Chief Operating Officer. In this role he had executive-level responsibility for the portfolios of finance, facilities management, ICT, organisational performance, strategic and operational planning, capital works and sustainability, and provided oversight across the total institutional budget of $116m with approximately 1000 full-time equivalent staff.
At its fundamental core, Ara’s purpose is to transform people’s lives through education. This is something that Darren feels very passionately about and why he has committed a considerable amount of his working life to Ara. “My personal vision for Ara is to see it flourish in the new vocational education system and to be recognised as being at the forefront of provisioning contemporary vocational learning and teaching to the Canterbury region.”
After gaining a degree in accounting from Otago University, Darren spent the first decade of his career at a national chartered accounting firm where he provided advisory services to a wide range of clients and industries. Darren is a Chartered Accountant with Chartered Accountants Australia and New Zealand and has been the Chair of its public sector consultation committee. He is a trustee of the Ōtautahi Education Development Trust, Deputy Chair of World Skills New Zealand, and a Director of ECampus Limited. He also has strong relationships with key Government agencies and a proven track record in working collaboratively with stakeholders to deliver beneficial outcomes.