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 overseas staff, 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 on-site 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, Puerto Rico, Mexico, Belize, Peru, Costa Rica, Chile, India, Laos, Pakistan, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Vietnam, Singapore, South Korea, Japan, Malaysia, Brunei, Myanmar, Peoples Republic of China, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Macau, Indonesia, Philippines, Fiji, New Caledonia, 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, Republic of Maldives, Holy See (Vatican City), New Zealand and Papua New Guinea.
Brad has been involved in international education for 30+ 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 attended the Australian Institute of Company Directors (AICD) Course and is an active AICD member, 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.
Marketing, Communications, and University Relations Department
Jane O’Keeffe – Senior Manager, University Relations and Business Development
Jane is New Zealand born, but raised in South East Queensland. After completing high school she served 5 years in the Royal Australian Air Force working in Logistics. During this time she served on deployments to provide logistical support in Indonesia (after the 2004 Boxing Day Tsunami) and in the Middle East. Following this, Jane’s passion for international travel led her to a career in the travel industry, including 5 years as an International Travel Consultant for Flight Centre Ltd. In December 2023 she completed a Graduate Certificate in International Relations at Griffith University.
Jane joined CISaustralia in March 2016, and has been an On-site Program Coordinator for Customised Programs in France, Singapore, Malaysia and the UAE.
In her spare time Jane enjoys working outside in the garden, exercising, travelling locally with her husband and 3 children and enjoying a glass of wine with friends. Jane has travelled to over 25 countries. Her most memorable moments overseas have been: ANZAC day dawn service in Gallipoli, hiking with the gorillas in Rwanda, camping in the desert in Oman and being stung by a swarm of bees whilst hiking on an unrestored part of the Great Wall of China.
Megan Banks – Coordinator, Marketing and Communications
Megan was born and raised in Colorado, USA, and recently joined the team with a passion for international education and marketing. She graduated from the University of Denver with a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration (Marketing) with secondary specializations in Data Analytics and Spanish.
Megan has had many opportunities to travel and explore the USA, the Caribbean, and beyond. Some of her favorite destinations include Costa Rica, Spain, Austria, and Iceland. In total Megan has visited 19 countries with hopes to add more to her list.
Having recently relocated to the Gold Coast, she is excited to be a part of the CISaustralia team. In her spare time, Megan enjoys cooking & baking (particularly cupcakes), spending time with her family/friends, exploring the beautiful outdoors, and of course, travel!
Customised Programs Department
Becca Hancock – Manager, Customised Programs
Born and raised in the USA, Becca joined our team after moving to Australia with her family in 2018. As a child Becca grew up in a military family and spent her childhood living on military bases worldwide until high school. As an NCAA swimmer in the US college system, Becca trained with teammates who hailed from over ten different countries, and it was through their shared experiences that she developed a keen interest in different cultures and lifelong friendships. Prior to CISaustralia, Becca worked at the University of West Florida planning and marketing study abroad programs, while providing comprehensive support to the University’s 500+ international students.
In her spare time, Becca enjoys shopping at her local farmer’s markets, hiking and swimming, watching environmental documentaries, cooking, and spending as much time as possible with her husband and three kids.
Joanne Newsome – Senior Coordinator, Customised Programs
Joanne’s background is in travel, tourism and hospitality. She has worked in the youth travel market for many years including managing branches of STA Travel, as well as managing an arrival and support program for international working holiday visa holders coming to Australia.
Joanne has travelled to over 20 countries covering 5 continents with favourite destinations including: Alaska, Mexico, China, France and New Zealand.
Joanne has been with CISaustralia since August 2017 coordinating Customised Programs to destinations worldwide, and has been an On-site Program Coordinator for programs in China.
Joanne is passionate about travel and learning about new cultures. She believes every young person should have the opportunity to study, work and travel internationally. Having lived in Canberra and Sydney, Joanne now calls the Gold Coast home and is loving the relaxed lifestyle, endless beaches and sunshine.
Dorothy Chan – Coordinator, Customised Programs
Originally from Hong Kong, Dorothy has always had a passion for travel which led her to study travel & tourism after high school resulting in more than 10 years working various roles in the travel industry. Dorothy relocated to the Gold Coast 3 years ago where she shifted career paths, applying her strong travel background and logistical skills to international education. Dorothy has travelled extensively in Asia and Australia, and believes that traveling is imperative to our personal growth.
In her spare time, Dorothy enjoys cooking and watching movies, though her main priority is her family, friends and of course, travel!
Admissions and Enrolments Department
Jackie Chapman – Manager, Admissions and Enrolments
Jackie has a passion for travel and international education having lived, travelled, worked and studied overseas. As an Australian undergraduate 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 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 several 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!
Emma Edwards – Senior Coordinator, Admissions and Enrolments – On Maternity Leave in 2024
Emma holds a Bachelor of Communication (Journalism & Public Relations) from Bond University on the Gold Coast and joined CISaustralia in April 2016 as Manager of the Admissions & Enrolments Department. Prior to CISaustralia, Emma spent many years working in Event Management and Destination & 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 has visited over 30+ countries. Some of her favourite destinations include Italy, Slovenia, Czech Republic, Oman, South Africa, Zanzibar and Zambia. Emma currently lives on the Southern Gold Coast and loves to surf whenever possible. 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.
Lauren Coughlan – Coordinator, Admissions and Enrolment
Lauren grew up in Sydney Australia and originally pursued a career in the Performing Arts, working within Australia and touring internationally as a dancer, singer and actress. After an injury altered her career path, Lauren began working behind the scenes in Performing Arts at ED5INTERNATIONAL. She has also worked within the tourism industry at Bridge Climb Sydney, and as a dance and Pilates teacher. Lauren holds a Diploma in Performing Arts, a Certificate IV in Pilates, and is currently working towards a Bachelor of Nutrition.
Lauren loves travel and has visited 13 countries so far, with many more on her bucket list! Her favourite travel experiences to date include cycling around Japan’s Mount Fuji Lakes during cherry blossom season, seeing ‘Hamilton’ on Broadway in New York City, traversing rural parts of The Great Wall of China, and seeing wild orangutans on a jungle trek in Sumatra.
Lauren recently relocated to the beautiful Gold Coast and is thrilled to be part of the team at CISaustralia. In her spare time she enjoys exploring new bars and restaurants, reading, baking, swimming, dancing, singing and spending time with friends, family and her partner.
Laura Dolan – Coordinator, Admissions and Enrolment
Born in Hungary and raised in the UK, Laura developed a passion for travel and learning about new cultures at a young age, traveling extensively to over 15+ countries with her family. In 2015 Laura and her husband moved their family to Australia and now call the Gold Coast home. In addition to her travel experience Laura has a strong background in communications, marketing and project management. In her recent position at Bond University Laura played an essential role in launching the University’s new website. Prior to Bond Laura spent over 7 years coordinating internal and external communications at the London Fire Brigade.
Laura enjoys the simple things in life; cooking, reading, spending time with her family and drinking a nice tea to the end!
Ayumi Bellotti–Coordinator, Admissions and Enrolment
Ayumi’s journey from Japan to the USA as a child marked the beginning of a transformative experience that shaped her life. The exposure to a new culture ignited her passion for learning English and sparked a lifelong interest in travel and exploring different ways of life. Believing in the transformative power of overseas experiences, Ayumi has dedicated her career to international education. With 13 years of experience, she has contributed to various agencies in Australia and abroad, including Navitas University of Newcastle.
Ayumi’s travels have taken her to England, Canada, America, Hawaii, France, and Ireland. Eager to continue expanding her horizons, she looks forward to exploring more new places and cuisines in the future. In her spare time, Ayumi finds joy in spending quality moments with her family and indulging in the art of pottery. Travel remains a consistent source of pleasure for Ayumi, reflecting her enduring love for discovering new destinations and immersing herself in different cultures.
Finance and Administration Department
Tracy Wicks – Finance Officer
Tracy grew up on the beautiful North Coast of NSW and holds a Bachelor of Business (Accounting) from the University of New England (Northern Rivers) and attained her CPA qualification in 2011. She has gained many years’ experience in finance, accounting and bookkeeping roles both in Australia and London including Wyndham Vacation Group, Tourism Queensland, Gold Coast City Council, and more recently in the finance and hospitality industries.
Tracy’s favourite travel destination is New York City where she has been many times (and hopefully many more!). In addition to driving across the USA with her husband she has also travelled to the United Kingdom, France, Italy, Germany, Spain, Austria, Switzerland, Belgium and Canada.
In her spare time she enjoys playing golf, going to live concerts/theatre and holidaying at Lennox Head with her family.
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.