Conference Committees

Steering Committee

The Steering Committee (SC)'s primary role is to provide strategic direction and oversee all other conference committees and working groups and use its reasonable endeavours to further the prosperity, reputation and business interests of AIEC.

The Steering Committee ensures the conference meets professional development, networking and business needs of the international education sector, especially the needs of the conference hosts’ stakeholders, namely IEAA members and IDP clients.

James Bennett

Head of Client Success, IDP Connect

As part of the IDP Connect APAC unit, James is responsible for leading the team supporting the Client Managers' engagement with IDP Connect clients. He also works across the IDP Connect global teams to help evolve, shape and develop new products and services for clients through co-creation and co-design. James joined IDP Education in 2009 and before that was in the international recruitment team at Monash University.

Honourable Phil Honeywood

Chief Executive Officer, IEAA

Phil has been IEAA's Chief Executive Officer since November 2011. Previously, he was a Member of the Victorian State Parliament (1988–2006), Minister for Tertiary Education, Training and Multicultural Affairs (1996–1999) and Deputy Leader of the Opposition (2002–2006). Since retiring from politics, Phil worked at Stott's Business College and Cambridge International College.

Jana Perera

Director, Commercial & Business Development, Future Skills division at Monash College

Board Member, IEAA 

Jana is a seasoned executive who has a strong track record of success in complex organisations across the TAFE, Higher education and private sectors, leading teams across functional areas while leveraging cross-functional capability through focussed collaboration.

As the Director-Commercial & Business Development, in the newly-formed Future Skills division at Monash College, Jana leads strategic business initiatives, driving external engagement, and building partnerships. Her role encompasses strategic and operational leadership of the business development, commercial projects and marketing areas on both domestic and international fronts, with a primary focus on fostering and expanding strategic partnerships.

Jana holds a Master’s degree in Advertising along with qualifications in Business and Project management. She undertakes continuous professional development and recently completed a Leadership program through the Committee for Geelong.

Brian Smith

Stakeholder Engagement Manager, IDP Education

Brian Smith is Stakeholder Engagement Manager at IDP Education based in Melbourne Australia. Brian's work focuses on key stakeholders such as Government policymakers, national and international peak bodies, and education providers worldwide.

 

 

Shamielah Toefy

Program Manager, Partnerships and Events – IDP Education

AIEC Conference Manager

Shamielah joined IDP in 2022 as the Program and Events Coordinator, bringing over 20 years of operations, events, administrative, projects, continuous improvement and customer service experience. As the recently appointed Program Manager – Partnerships and Events, Sham works within the AIEC team and closely with the APAC client team and manages the events team that oversees the delivery of the annual Australian International Education Conference (AIEC) and other partnership events.

Prior to joining IDP, Shamielah worked at the University of Sydney in varying roles from high volume event operations to her recent former role as Director of Operations in the Indigenous Strategy and Services portfolio. Sham enjoys exploring new challenges that enables her to add value to any organisation. Sham completed a Master of Commerce degree specialising in People, Management and Organisations at the University of Sydney in 2016

Professor Ren Yi

Pro-Vice-Chancellor (International), University of Southern Queensland

Vice President, IEAA

Professor Yi provides leadership and strategic guidance across the University of Southern Queensland for internationalisation and global engagement. He worked in the higher education sector for over 20 years and has previously held positions at the University of Melbourne, University of Queensland, Victoria University, and Macquarie University. Professor Ren is currently Vice President of the International Education Association of Australia (IEAA), having previously served as a board member and the Chair of the Research Committee. He obtained his doctorate from the University of Melbourne in economic geography and international business. He is currently a reviewer for the Academy of International Business and Australian Research Council, as well as Horizon Europe and Erasmus for the European Commission. He is an experienced international education executive and is an expert on international matters in the higher education sector.

 

 

Alek Voninski
Head of External Relations (APAC), IDP Education

Alek has worked across the Australian international education sector for over 20 years. He was most recently the Director of Client Relations (Australasia) for ETS TOEFL and in parallel was Senior Partner at Edified, an Australian based international education sector strategic consulting firm.

Alek has also held a variety of senior positions at UNSW, with most of his decade-long tenure there as Executive Director (International), where he led the international student recruitment, marketing and compliance teams. He also has experience working for both UTS and CSU student administration teams.

Alek is a member of the IEAA Research Committee, an IEAA Fellow (IEAA-F), and has been a member of various education sector advisory boards. He holds a Doctor of Education from the University of Southern California (USC) and is a graduate of the University of Sydney Law School.

Program Committee

The Program Committee’s purpose is to plan, develop, manage and deliver a world-class conference program that meets the needs of the Australian international education sector. Members of the Program Committee include subject matter experts in all key interest areas of the conference.

 

Christina Del Medico

Director of Learning & Teaching Services, Navitas University Partnerships Australasia (UPA)

Convenor, IEAA Learning and Teaching Network

AIEC Track Chair, Teaching and Learning (T&L)

With more than 15 years expertise in education, Christina is a highly effective and experienced learning and teaching expert with a strong practice in strategic leadership in International Higher Education. Christina is committed to delivering results and adopting innovative and responsive teaching approaches rooted in sound philosophical and pedagogical foundations. Christina’s expertise includes building teacher capability, curriculum and digital transformation, innovation and strategic leadership. Christina is passionate about the student experience and successful outcomes for students. 

Andrew Foley

Director and Principal, Flinders University Academy

Convener, IEAA Pathways Network

AIEC Track Chair, Pathways (PATH)

Andrew Foley is Director and Principal of Flinders University Academy, and the Convenor of the IEAA Pathways Network. He has been involved in international education for more than two decades, in teaching, facilitating and school leadership, including working overseas in the UK, Spain and Cambodia. Andrew has undertaken postgraduate studies in linguistics and business administration. His interests are in critical discourse analysis, professional ethics, and the use of analytics in educational decision making.

Christine Fyfe

General Manager, International Education Association of Australia (IEAA)

Chris brings 20+ years’ experience working across international markets in the VET, Pathways and University sectors to her role at IEAA. Chris’ most recent international education responsibilities have included, but have not been limited to, building up a network of international offices for the University of Melbourne to international program building for Trinity College, The University of Melbourne. Chris is an experienced stakeholder relationship and business network manager and is looking forward to working with the international education community.

Louise Goold

Director, Murray-Goold International

Director, Development and External Relations, Faculty of Education, Monash University

AIEC Program Chair

AIEC Track Chair, Business development and strategy (BD&S)

Louise Goold is Director Development and External Relations at the Faculty of Education at Monash University, a role that encompasses national and global engagement responsibilities. Louise has been an international education professional for more than 25 years and has been at the forefront of change as our profession has grown and developed. She has extensive experience in the field within the public and private sectors. She has held several senior positions including with AusAID, almost 10 years as International Director at Flinders University, two years as Education Manager with the British Council in Australia, and three years as Director of the Centre for Global Programs at Swinburne University. Louise has also consulted privately in international education for more than 18 years via her company, Murray-Goold International. For the past 15 years, she has been the Program Chair for the Australian International Education Conference (AIEC).

Peter Harris

Chief Officer Partnerships and Growth, UTS College

Convener, IEAA Transnational Education Network

AIEC Track Chair, Transnational education (TNE)

Peter leads UTS College market and business development strategy as part of the Executive. As Chief Officer Partnerships and Growth, he is responsible for all marketing, student recruitment, transnational education (TNE) partnerships and product and business development. He is supported by Sydney staff and teams in China, Vietnam, Dubai, Sri Lanka, Indonesia, India, Thailand and Malaysia. He has overseen the expansion of the TNE program and established partnerships and wholly-owned colleges in countries throughout Asia delivering pathway programs to build capability and increase access for students in their home country.

Peter has been a Deputy Convenor of the TNE Network of the International Education Association of Australia (IEAA) since 2017 facilitating the annual forum, webinars and sector research.

Peter sits on the Board of UTS College subsidiaries in Australia, China and Sri Lanka and management boards of all TNE partnerships.

Dr Kirrilee Hughes

Research Manager, IEAA

Kirrilee is an international education consultant and IEAA's Research Manager. She has 15 years of experience in the higher education and schools' sectors and held leadership and strategy roles for global education organisations as well as sessional teaching and research positions at four leading Australian universities. Kirrilee is an IEAA Senior Fellow and has special expertise in Indonesia and broader Southeast Asia.

Charlotte Long

Head of Student Success, UNSW

Convenor, IEAA Student LIfe Network

AIEC Track Chair, Students (STU)

Charlotte has over 20 years of experience in international education, advocating for and supporting the diverse international student experiences in ELICOS, pathway courses and universities. Charlotte is committed to listening to and working with students and placing them at the centre and partnering with them to empower the student experience. Charlotte focuses on strategically connecting people and communities to have meaningful impact. Charlotte is a collaborator and continual learner who values working with professional and academic colleagues, government and community. Charlotte is excited about a vibrant student theme at #aiec2023 and meeting with excited and passionate delegates.

Jana Perera

Director, Commercial & Business Development, Future Skills division at Monash College

Board Member, IEAA 

AIEC Track Chair, Vocational education and training (VET)

Jana is a seasoned executive who has a strong track record of success in complex organisations across the TAFE, Higher education and private sectors, leading teams across functional areas while leveraging cross-functional capability through focussed collaboration.

As the Director-Commercial & Business Development, in the newly-formed Future Skills division at Monash College, Jana leads strategic business initiatives, driving external engagement, and building partnerships. Her role encompasses strategic and operational leadership of the business development, commercial projects and marketing areas on both domestic and international fronts, with a primary focus on fostering and expanding strategic partnerships.

Jana holds a Master’s degree in Advertising along with qualifications in Business and Project management. She undertakes continuous professional development and recently completed a Leadership program through the Committee for Geelong.

Kate Pretty

Manager - Admissions and Enrolment, Kaplan International Pathways (Australia & New Zealand)

Convener, IEAA Admissions and Compliance Network

AIEC Track Chair, Admissions and Compliance (A&C)

Kate is responsible for managing the admissions and enrolment functions for Kaplan’s pathway colleges, The University of Adelaide College, The University of Newcastle College of International Education, Murdoch College and Massey University College (NZ), determining strategies, providing leadership, contributing to the development of policies and procedure and ensuring compliance with legislation and regulatory bodies.

Kate has worked in international education since 2002 in the areas of marketing and recruitment, admissions management, agent management and student mobility. Kate has over 20 years' experience in tertiary administration at a range of institutions.

Caroline Rueckert

Dean, Career Readiness at Griffith University

AIEC Track Chair, Employability (EMP)

Caroline was Director, Student Success (2018-2022) at QUT and the inaugural Program Director for First Year Initiatives at the University of British Columbia, Canada.  She has 20 years of experience in student engagement, employability, and international education, with expertise in forging whole-of-university transformational solutions to the complex challenges of 21st century learning and teaching.  Inclusive partnership has always been at the core of Caroline’s practice, and she is particularly passionate about developing equitable and accessible learner-centred pedagogies that engage students and staff as partners in career development and employability.  Her research focuses on conceptions of care in higher education and on how universities might adopt more integrated, relational approaches to supporting graduate pathways. She is also a member of the Advisory Group for the International Journal of Students as Partners.

Brian Smith

Stakeholder Engagement Manager, IDP Education

AIEC Track Chair, English language (EL)

Brian Smith is Stakeholder Engagement Manager at IDP Education based in Melbourne Australia. Brian's work focuses on key stakeholders such as Government policymakers, national and international peak bodies, and education providers worldwide.

Peline Tan

Associate Director (Segment Marketing & Planning), Australian National University

Convener, IEAA Marketing & Recruitment Network

AIEC Track Chair, Marketing (MKT)

In her current role, Peline has steered towards managing multi-channel marketing, optimizing conversions and digital journeys. Her team continues to support recruitment of both international and domestic students through audience behavioural studies, cohort and strategic planning to establish the best integrated marketing campaigns. An active IEAA volunteer for 3 years, she started as Co-Chair for IEAA Young Professionals (ACT), then Deputy Convener of the IEAA Marketing & Recruitment Network. She has recently been elected as Convener of the IEAA Marketing & Recruitment Network.

Having worked in the sector for 10 years across 5 institutions and 4 states, Peline’s passion transcends beyond the day-to-day duties of her role. She aspires to making a difference to the lives the industry sets out to inspire and change. Her experience includes the opportunity to be part of students’ journey, from first touch points, right through to graduation.
 

Shamielah Toefy

Program Manager, Partnerships and Events – IDP Education

AIEC Conference Manager

Shamielah joined IDP in 2022 as the Program and Events Coordinator, bringing over 20 years of operations, events, administrative, projects, continuous improvement and customer service experience. As the recently appointed Program Manager – Partnerships and Events, Sham works within the AIEC team and closely with the APAC client team and manages the events team that oversees the delivery of the annual Australian International Education Conference (AIEC) and other partnership events.

Prior to joining IDP, Shamielah worked at the University of Sydney in varying roles from high volume event operations to her recent former role as Director of Operations in the Indigenous Strategy and Services portfolio. Sham enjoys exploring new challenges that enables her to add value to any organisation. Sham completed a Master of Commerce degree specialising in People, Management and Organisations at the University of Sydney in 2016

Linda Vaughan

Executive Director – International Education Division, Department of Education and Training, Victorian Government

AIEC Track Chair, Schools (SCH)

In her role as Executive Director, the division is responsible for leading the internationalisation of education in Victorian government schools and facilitating education-related, government to government linkages and cooperation between Victoria and other countries. Linda has over 13 years of experience in the public service and has held a variety of roles during this time. She has also managed employment programs and held executive positions in the Department of Jobs, Precincts and Regions in industry development and participation with a particular focus on the manufacturing, food and construction sectors. Linda has an extensive international education background with her first role in the public service being in the International Education Division and prior to that, Linda worked at Deakin University for over 6 years in international focussed roles.

Linda holds a Master of Arts (Aberdeen University) and is originally from Scotland. In her spare time Linda is a St Kilda FC tragic and enjoys the rare wins and occasional finals appearances.

Simon Watson

Senior Manager, International Mobility Programs, University of Technology Sydney

Convener, IEAA Learning Abroad Network

AIEC Track Chair, Learning abroad (LA)

Simon has over 20 years' experience in international education spanning learning abroad, recruitment, business development, sponsor and government relations (Middle East) and in US and other financial aid programs. At UTS for 12 years, he leads a team of professional learning abroad staff, managing exchanges and short programs, and a successful inbound study abroad program. Key to the implementation of the UTS strategy that extended learning abroad to 30% of the student body pre-pandemic, he has fostered more than 100 new institutional partnerships and innovated programming, including the 'Think Global' initiative and virtual programs.

Simon has been the IEAA Learning Abroad Network Convener since 2020, previously organising the 2016 and 2019 IEAA LA Forums, and presents regularly at university, national and international forums such as AIEC, APAIE and EAIE. As the NCP ILO he has secured more than $4 million in funding for UTS as well as securing over 13 Erasmus+ grants. He is a member of DFAT's national advisory New Colombo Plan Roundtable.

Alison White

Associate Director (International Education), Tetra Tech International Development

Convener, IEAA Scholarships and Fellowships Network

AIEC Track Chair, Scholarships and fellowships (S&F)

Alison White has more than 20 years of experience in higher education, focusing on international education and scholarships. Alison is an IEAA Fellow, and is currently Associate Director International Education at Tetra Tech International Development. Alison held several roles in international education/scholarship management at the University of Adelaide (2001-2011 and 2019-2021) and was Program Manager of the Defence Cooperation Scholarship Program at Scope Global for 8 years. Contracted through Successful Graduate, Alison wrote the course content for Study Australia’s Academic Readiness Micro-credential. In 2022, Alison was Participant Experience Manager at International Internships.

Andrew Whyte

Professional Learning and Events Coordinator, IEAA

Andrew has more than a decade of experience in managing major events. Starting his career in Canberra, he graduated with a diploma in Event Management from the Canberra Institute of Technology in 2011. The following year he worked as a Venue & Event Coordinator at Old Parliament House. Moving to Melbourne in 2015, he worked as an Event Coordinator at the Australian HR Institute, successfully delivering virtual, hybrid and in-person conferences for thousands of attendees over five years.

 

Suyi Xie 

Manager, Partnerships and Development – Monash College

Co-chair, IEAA Young Professionals Network 

With a decade of experience in market and business development, including seven years in international education, Suyi currently is the Partnerships and Development Manager at Monash College. In her role, she focuses on partnership development and oversees all transnational education initiatives across six countries. Suyi's personal education journey as an international student, navigating academic landscapes across four countries and obtaining a postgraduate qualification in international business, fueled her passion for the field. Suyi has also been the Co-chair of the IEAA Young Professional Network in Victoria since 2023.


Organising Committee 

The Organising Committee's primary purpose is to oversee the conference's operations, develop and improve standard operating procedures (SOPs), coordinate logistics, oversee the working groups, and ensure IDP and IEAA's schedule of activities are carried out as per the plan.

Christine Fyfe

General Manager, International Education Association of Australia (IEAA)

Chris brings 20+ years’ experience working across international markets in the VET, Pathways and University sectors to her role at IEAA. Chris’ most recent international education responsibilities have included, but have not been limited to, building up a network of international offices for the University of Melbourne to international program building for Trinity College, The University of Melbourne. Chris is an experienced stakeholder relationship and business network manager and is looking forward to working with the international education community.

Kim Stevenson

Director, Think Business Events 

It's the challenge of achieving individual conference success that keeps Kim motivated even after 26 years of industry experience. With an attention to detail that sets her apart from her peers, Kim is skilled at ensuring each part of the conference puzzle is carefully considered to realise optimal outcomes. With an honest and practical approach, she is skilful at building trusting and open relationships with committees and staff alike.

 

Shamielah Toefy

Program Manager, Partnerships and Events – IDP Education

AIEC Conference Manager

Shamielah joined IDP in 2022 as the Program and Events Coordinator, bringing over 20 years of operations, events, administrative, projects, continuous improvement and customer service experience. As the recently appointed Program Manager – Partnerships and Events, Sham works within the AIEC team and closely with the APAC client team and manages the events team that oversees the delivery of the annual Australian International Education Conference (AIEC) and other partnership events.

Prior to joining IDP, Shamielah worked at the University of Sydney in varying roles from high volume event operations to her recent former role as Director of Operations in the Indigenous Strategy and Services portfolio. Sham enjoys exploring new challenges that enables her to add value to any organisation. Sham completed a Master of Commerce degree specialising in People, Management and Organisations at the University of Sydney in 2016.