Meet our Team
From your first contact with CISaustralia you will find someone truly interested in assisting you, it’s what we are here for and what we believe in.
Our management team and Australian based staff will work with you until you depart on your adventure. Our offshore teams, based in our host destinations throughout the world, offer a personal and supportive 'on the ground' contact. No matter the issue, you will have someone available to talk to – our support staff are there to help you with emergencies, issues or concerns around your program. Even if you’re simply looking for an activity or dining recommendation, they are always eager to share their advice and opinions!
Brad Dorahy – Founder and Executive Director
Brad is passionate about international education and travel. After graduating from the University of Newcastle, where he was also awarded a cultural scholarship and coordinated the second ‘Cultural Awakenings Festival’, Brad travelled the world and has since visited 60+ countries, including;
United States of America (all fifty states), Canada, Mexico, Belize, Peru, Costa Rica, Chile, India, Pakistan, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Vietnam, Singapore, South Korea, Japan, Malaysia, Brunei, Myanmar, Peoples Republic of China, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Macau, Indonesia, Philippines, Cambodia, UAE, Oman, Bahrain, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Mauritius, South Africa, Tanzania, Kenya, Reunion, Russia, Turkey, Norway, Sweden, Finland, Denmark, Germany, France, Spain, England, Italy, Czech Republic, Ireland, Netherlands, Luxembourg, Belgium, Portugal, Scotland, Andorra, Gibraltar, Vatican City, New Zealand and PNG.
Brad has been involved in international education for 25 years, and has lived, studied, volunteered and worked abroad. Brad has worked at a number of Australian Universities (The University of Newcastle, Bond University and Navitas at Griffith University), and for international companies in Korea, China and the US. Brad studied abroad at the University of Canterbury - NZ and Harvard University - USA, has volunteered in the Philippines and has been an active volunteer with Surf Life Saving Queensland for 8+ years. He loves the outdoors and hiking, has completed the Australian Ironman, hiked Kokoda and to Base Camp Mt. Everest. Brad is on the reference group for the EPITOME Research Project (Enhancing Programmes Integrating Tertiary Outbound Mobility Experiences) and has presented at international conferences such as NAFSA, ISANA, the Mobility Forum, AIEC and CCIS and now lives on the Gold Coast, Australia. LinkedIn profile available here.
Jeff Palm – Co-Founder
Jeff holds a BA degree in Biology from the College of Saint Scholastica (MN) and an MA in Management from Hawaii Pacific University. Jeff's international experiences include working in Europe, Asia and Africa during his tenure as Associate Director of International Admissions at Hawaii Pacific University, specifically within international program development in Europe and Australasia. In business and "pleasure" Jeff has traveled to more than 30 countries. Jeff established CIS in the US in 1999 and has co-founded CIS in Australia with Brad. Jeff and Brad have been colleagues and good friends since the late 90s. Jeff is primarily responsible for managing the strategic direction of CIS in the US. CIS USA sends approx. 2,000 students overseas a year and sends American students to many of the same programs as CIS in Australia. Outside of the office, Jeff keeps busy hiking, snowshoeing, playing basketball, surfing (only in warm water) and spending as much time as he can with his wife, sons and dog.
Emma Cao – Admissions and Enrolment Manager
Emma holds a Bachelor of Communication (Journalism & Public Relations) from Bond University on the Gold Coast and joined CISaustralia in April 2016 as Admissions and Enrolment Manager. Prior to CISaustralia, Emma spent many years working in Destination and Tourism Marketing. During her time in the tourism industry, Emma was awarded Young Achiever in Tourism and was a finalist in the NSW State Tourism Awards for Destination Marketing.
Emma loves travel and has visited over 30+ countries. Some of her favourite destinations include Italy, Slovenia, Czech Republic, South Africa, Tanzania/Zanzibar and Zambia. Emma is the CIS African Program Specialist, so you are interested in participating in a volunteer program or internship in Africa give CIS a call and have a chat with Emma!
Emma lives on the Southern Gold Coast and loves to surf any possible chance she can get. She is an active volunteer with Surf Life Saving Queensland and enjoys hiking the World Heritage national parks of the Tweed Valley and Gold Coast Hinterland. Emma is also a qualified yoga teacher, completing her 200-Hour RYT in Bali, Indonesia.
Jane O'Keeffe – Customised Programs Manager
Jane is CISaustralia's Customised Faculty-Led Program Manager assisting University Central Administrators and Academic staff design, plan and manage their customised faculty led programs (study tours) – to incredible global destinations. Jane has a wealth of experience with over ten year’s in customer service, logistics and travel related industries. Jane has travelled to over twenty countries on five continents, her favourite destinations being Dubai, Rwanda, Turkey, India and Scotland.
Jane gained her logistical experience as a serving member of the Royal Australian Air Force. During this time Jane served on deployments to provide logistical support in Indonesia (after the 2004 Boxing Day Tsunami) and in the Middle East Area. Jane’s passion for international travel led her to a career in the travel industry, including several years as an International Travel Consultant for Flight Centre Ltd.
Joanne Newsome – Customised Programs Coordinator
Joanne has over 20 years’ experience in customer service industries including travel, tourism, hospitality and retail. Joanne has varied experience working with the youth travel market including managing university branches of STA Travel, managing an arrival and support program for international working holiday visa holders coming to Australia as well as sending young Australians to either summer camp in the USA or working in the North American ski fields.
Her international adventures began many years ago with a working holiday to the UK followed by a 6-month trip through 42 states in the USA. Joanne has made many trips around the globe to amazing destinations covering over 20 countries on 5 continents. Favourite places include: Alaska, Mexico, China, Zimbabwe, France and Italy.
Joanne’s passion for learning about new countries and cultures continues and she believes every young person should have the opportunity to study, work and travel internationally. She has relocated to the Gold Coast from Sydney and is enjoying walking/hiking and exploring the many trails in the Southern Gold Coast region.
Kellie McLaughlin – Customised Programs Coordinator
Kellie has studied Business, Child Care, Disability and Sign Language. More recently she has worked independently alongside Government Departments of Immigration, Embassies and Consulates to gain a better understanding of regulations between countries who offer reciprocal work and travel agreements.
After 10 years working in the field of Outbound Working Holidays, she sees herself as a catalyst for seamless transitions and positive, life changing experiences abroad. She has extensive programming experience through working with overseas agencies and employers and loves bridging the gap between Australia and overseas destinations.
Kellie spent 2 years living and working in Ireland and the UK. She has visited over 25 countries across 5 continents – her favourite place to be is “On Safari in Africa”. She believes everyone should have the opportunity to explore another country, culture, language and way of life for the good of personal growth and humanity.
Cindy Curtis – Program Coordinator
Cindy holds a Bachelor of Business (Marketing and Human Resource Management) from the University of Southern Queensland and a Diploma of Events Management from North Coast Institute of TAFE, Coffs Harbour.
She has extensive experience as an Executive Assistant having spent over 10 years as a Legal Secretary in Sydney together with other administrative positions and event supervisor roles throughout her career. Cindy's most recent position as an Executive Assistant was for the School of Medicine at The University of Queensland wherein she provided support to two Professors and a Chief Executive Officer.
Cindy has travelled to Italy, Turkey, Greece and Thailand and thoroughly enjoyed the experiences of meeting new people, being entrenched in their culture and sampling their rich history (and food!). Cindy enjoys Bikram yoga, the beach and bodysurfing, time with family and friends and looks forward to future travel.
Hannah Chong – Admissions and Enrolment Services Officer
Born and raised on the Gold Coast, Australia, Hannah graduated from the Queensland University of Technology with a Bachelor of Fine Arts (Creative and Professional Writing). During her studies at university, her passion for travel reached an all-time high when she studied abroad in Québec, Canada for a semester at Bishop’s University. She’s been lucky enough to travel extensively through the US, Canada, southeast Asia, and New Zealand, and is continuously adding to that list!
Through her travels, Hannah has made friends in many different countries, which makes for a perfect excuse to go abroad! Next up: hopefully the UK and Europe for the first time, and more of the Americas (and Walt Disney World and the Wizarding World of Harry Potter for the nth time, of course!). Her personal Big 3 she hopes to get to soon are Iceland, Norway and Austria. Beyond overseas travel, Hannah enjoys reading, pilates, hiking, going to the cinema, musical theatre, spending time with friends and family, taking naps, and playing with her dog. She is excited to be a part of the CISaustralia team and loves to help students travel the world.
Emelie Allerbrand – Admissions and Enrolment Services Officer
Emelie comes from a Viking background and grew up in Stockholm, Sweden. At 20 years of age she packed her bags and set out on an adventure that would forever change her life, the adventure started in Sydney, Australia. Emelie has a Bachelor in Hotel and Resort Management from the Blue Mountains International Hotel Management School which included a six-month internship placement with Princess Cruises. The cruise ship took her to the most amazing destinations such as the United States, Canada, Alaska, Aruba, Cayman Islands, Jamaica, Cartagena, Costa Rica and Panama Canal. After graduating, Emelie pursued the international study sector as a Study Advisor for an international studies organisation in Sweden. To work closely with people, and to make them feel comfortable and achieve their goals, is a big passion of hers which brought her back to Brisbane, Australia, where she graduated with a Master of Business in Human Resource Management from QUT. Emelie is now a permanent resident here in Australia living in Brisbane with her partner and son. Other major passion’s in Emelie’s life are her family, friends, travels, fitness and her love for music. “Hitting those high notes makes me feel alive!”
Kristin Eberman – Marketing and Communications Officer
Kristin is a native of Portland, Oregon, USA although has spent a majority of her adult years living overseas. Her passion for international travel began at 16 years old when she first spent a summer in France on a language and culture program, followed by a six-month study program in Ghana at the age of 17. She has since travelled to 41 countries on five continents. Kristin loves meeting people from all over the globe while experiencing new cultures and learning from other ways of life. She has also studied abroad in Prague, Czech Republic, volunteered in Moscow, Russia, and worked in Morocco (Peace Corps) and England (university student support services) before coming to Australia. She holds a Master of Arts degree in International Education and her favourite part of working in the field is getting to know students and helping them discover the joys of travel and the personal growth it brings.
Kristin’s favourite countries include: Scotland, Portugal, Switzerland, Czech Republic, Ghana, Turkey and Malta. Besides travelling, Kristin also enjoys spending time outdoors, rowing, playing soccer, cooking, photography, and doing arts and crafts.
Jackie Chapman – Administrative Services Manager
Jackie has a passion for travel and international education having lived, travelled, worked and studied overseas. As an Australian undergraduate uni student, Jackie studied abroad at the University of North Carolina, Wilmington. Upon her return from the US, Jackie kicked off her career in international education working at the International Office - the University of Newcastle. Since this time Jackie’s 16-year career has been predominantly based in international education, including a two year position in Denver, Colorado working for a leading study abroad provider then as their Australian on-site resident director for another three years. Jackie has worked in various marketing and management roles focused primarily on project management, large scale event organisation, sponsorship, new business launches and strategic planning.
Jackie holds a Masters in Communication (Corporate Communication) from Bond University, QLD and a Bachelor of Social Science (Recreation and Tourism) from Newcastle University, NSW. Her favourite countries include Finland, Vietnam, Japan, Nepal, New Zealand, USA, Malaysia and Norway. Jackie holds an Open Water Scuba certificate and enjoys yoga, running, hiking, family adventures and of course – travel!
If you are interested in working or interning with us, please check out Careers at CISaustralia for open positions and how to register your interest.