About us

We believe that your success is our success. We are a team of education industry professionals and experts dedicated to world's best practice. All of us have worked both for education providers and/or within the surrounding education services sector.

We offer our experience, knowledge, passion and skills to education providers around the world. Depending on your needs and your location, we’ll put together the best team to help you achieve the results you need.
Core team

Mark Pettitt

Founder and CEO

+61 438 900 244

Mark has more than 20 years’ experience at a senior level within the education sector. He has worked in international offices in Australian universities and TAFEs - notably as Director of International Marketing and Admissions at RMIT University. He was also Company Director for over 10 years at OCA Group and its subsidiaries: BPO Intelligence, Object Next Software and Oceanic Consultants - companies dedicated to improving the performance of education providers around the world through the provision of innovative IT-enabled services.

His experience offers clients unique insights into the global range of solutions and services available to education providers. His deep understanding of how complex organisations can be led to function at their best, provides clients with quick and sustainable wins, cost-effectively.
His areas of expertise are EdTech, student acquisition and retention, admissions and agent management, brand building, automated marketing, large system implementation, campus safety and dramatic improvements in recruitment processes.

Mark is a regular presenter at education conferences around the world and a passionate advocate for lifelong education. He is a strong supporter of and catalyst for collaboration between education providers and industry.

Experience: Curtin University, Swinburne TAFE, RMIT University, Monash University, BPO Intelligence (global marketing, printing and logistics), Oceanic Consultants (education agent) and Object Next Software (software solutions for admissions, agents and marketing)

Sharyn Martin

Senior Partner

+61 402 993 466

Sharyn has more than 20 years’ experience at a senior level in international and domestic university marketing and recruitment offices, in government, in the private sector and as a private enterprise consultant. This gives her a unique and highly sought-after perspective on global education marketing strategy and the ability to deliver effective solutions to complex problems. Her areas of expertise are student acquisition and retention, marketing strategy, brand, lead generation and digital strategy.

Sharyn is a regular presenter at education conferences around the world and a keen mentor for up-and-coming talent.

Experience: Senior positions at Queensland University of Technology, Trade and Investment Queensland, Education Queensland International, Monash University and Social Garden (student acquisition agency). Consultant to Trade Victoria, Bond University, University of Queensland, University of Newcastle, Victoria University, Rockhampton Grammar School, ACPET-Business Mentor Services, IEAA, KENT Institute of Business and IT and Pragmatic Education Group.

Elissa Newall

Partner

+61 404 001 474

Elissa is a specialist in communications, digital and marketing with more than 17 years' experience in Australian international and higher education.  

As one of Australia's leaders in education marketing, she has a track record for solving the unique sorts of problems thrown up by change, innovation and increased competition. With 13+ years in leadership and senior marketing roles, Elissa is known for her love of digital, data and transparency, and her ability to integrate technical, strategic and human perspectives to cut through inertia and establish a clear way forward.

She has held responsibility for brand, marketing communications, student recruitment, CX and digital across education organisations, most recently as COO of edtech company StudyMe and CEO of corporate education provider Plato Project. Prior to that Elissa worked as Assistant Director, Customer Acquisition and Engagement at RMIT University and in a number of management roles in the International Education Office at Australian Catholic University.

As an international student mentor, past member of Austrade’s Digital Engagement Reference Group, former and inaugural Chair of the IEAA Victorian Young Professionals group, former Deputy Convener of the IEAA Marketing and Communications Network and regular presenter at education conferences around the world, Elissa is passionate about supporting ongoing development of the international education sector.

Experience: RMIT University (Melbourne), Australian Catholic University (Melbourne), Plato Project, StudyMe.

Hayley Shields

Partner

+64 21 616 791

Hayley is a recruitment and student experience expert, and has held leadership roles over two decades across Australia and New Zealand.  Prior to joining Edified in 2019, she was the first national Director International Student Experience for Education New Zealand, designing strategy, research, employability and digital innovation for international student experience nationally.  She has led international recruitment, communications, sales and marketing in a number of higher education institutions.

Her experience in large complex public and not-for-profit organisations has honed her client and stakeholder relationship management expertise, while developing her networks globally.  A creative thinker and problem solver, she is known for her ability to achieve cut through and results, whilst putting people first. A trained leadership coach and alumni of Leadership New Zealand, Hayley has a special interest in developing people, facilitating high levels of engagement and creating a positive and high performing workplace culture.

Hayley is a regular presenter at global education conferences, and a passionate advocate for education as an enabler of personal, economic, and social development and cultural understanding.

Experience:Education New Zealand (Govt), University of Auckland, CPA Australia (employability), University of Melbourne, UNSW.

Oliver Fortescue

Partner - Higher and International Education Expert

+61 414 536 625

Oliver has nearly 20 years of experience in international education having held positions in Japan, the UK and Australia.

For the past six years, he was the Director of International at CQUniversity Australia where he oversaw the reengineering of their international operations resulting in double digit annual growth in international student enrolments while lowering their risk rating to one of the lowest in the sector. He developed their learning abroad program from scratch and was the Lead on the New Colombo Plan funded Reimagining India programme – one of the largest ever government funded outbound mobility consortiums. Oliver was an Executive Board member of the Australian Universities International Directors’ Forum (AUIDF) for four years before being elected President and Chair in 2018.  

Oliver has significant experience working across marketing, recruitment and admissions, learning abroad, compliance, and international partnerships in a range of university and dual sector settings. He has also worked closely with language centers having started his career as an EFL teacher. He is a regular speaker at international education conferences and has been an active coach and mentor to emerging sector leaders. His professional interests include mindful leadership and organisational design, process optimisation, and the application and impact of technology and automation on our sector.

Experience: CQUniversity Australia; RMIT University, Melbourne; University of Westminster, London; Japanese Exchange & Teaching (JET) Program, Okinawa; Programme of International Education Exchange (PIEE), Tokyo

Chris Davis

Senior Consultant

+61 413 756 113

Chris is an international student recruitment specialist, working in the education sector for over 15 years. Chris is highly experienced in the fields of executive education, study abroad and exchange, international student recruitment & admissions, marketing, alumni strategies and partnership development.

Experienced working in the collaborative public-private sector space, Chris successfully led the integration of Bournemouth University’s first embedded pathway college. Working closely with government departments and peak bodies, he has also sourced and managed the delivery of sustainable, high-value commercial programmes on behalf of universities.

Chris has worked extensively in East and South East Asia and holds a keen interest in Latin America, having lived, worked and studied in the region. His professional interests include cross-cultural communication, international business culture and diversification strategies.

Experience: Bournemouth University (UK), University of Westminster (UK), London Business School (UK), London South Bank University (UK)

Jeremy Histon

Senior Consultant

+44 7748 701611

Jeremy has over 20 years’ experience working in senior positions in international education both in Europe and Asia, six of which were spent in Singapore where he was the founding Director of Marketing and Admissions at Curtin University’s Singapore campus. His roles have been across the areas of business development, partnership management, student recruitment, marketing and admissions.

His international experience in the higher education and international schools’ sectors has given Jeremy a deep and broad understanding of the dynamic and evolving trends impacting institutions and their students.  He has successfully helped to improve their international student recruitment strategies, partner development and management, Transnational Education (TNE) projects and business processes.

In 2019 Jeremy set up Hedu Consulting and has been focused on helping universities and international schools build strong partnerships in the UK and Ireland, improve business processes and student experience.  Additionally, Jeremy has a focus on sustainability for education institutions, helping them develop plans to reach Net Zero.

His areas of expertise include: TNE, partnership development, market launches, student experience, agent management, proposition reviews, sustainability and process improvements.

Experience:  Navitas, INTO University Partnerships, Study Group, University of West London, James Cook University Singapore, Curtin Singapore, and Hedu Consulting (UNSW Global, International Schools Partnership).

Nicola Bate

Senior Consultant

Nicola is a sales and marketing specialist with experience working in Australia, the UK, Europe and the USA. Nicola started her career in corporate IT and HR consulting but has spent the last 20 years in the international education environment.

She has held senior leadership roles leading high performing teams and revenue streams across multiple geographies, with responsibilities including new market entry strategies, agent review and development, product development, and recruitment and conversion. Nicola has led the design and build of a new international office from scratch, and the re-build of recruitment structures and functions including regional office set up and the creation of effective agent networks, compliance and commission structures.

Nicola is known for her engaging and positive style, and the ability to motivate and inspire through her high energy and outcome-oriented approach. This combination of experience, insight and relational skills have helped Nicola develop unique and practical insights across multiple operational functions, in particular, the nuances of sales and marketing. Her expertise in stakeholder relationship management and international operations has been applied directly to team development particularly in sales and communications, lead conversion and developing the student recruitment experience through authentic connection.

Nicola has a passion for bringing clarity and a human-centered approach to problem solving, crafting solutions for business development in complex and challenging environments.

Experience: Edified (Sydney), MyCareerMatch(Sydney), Macquarie University (Sydney), Bucks New University (Buckinghamshire/ London), Unisys Ltd (London), Internet Security Systems (Belgium), BostonNorth Eastern University (Research exchange USA)

Sara Sandford

Consultant

+44 7841 876 787

Sara is a UK-based international education specialist and strategic leader. She is highly experienced in the field of international student recruitment and admissions, marketing, alumni strategies, stakeholder engagement, study abroad and global partnerships. Sara has lived and worked extensively in Latin America and is fluent in Spanish and Portuguese.

During her time working for the University of Southampton she successfully created and led the University’s first overseas office in the Americas, in Mexico City, and under her leadership Southampton grew to have the largest number of Mexican students at a university in the UK. She also spearheaded a number of strategic partnerships, some of which generated over £1m+ funding for research, international collaboration and student employability.

Sara is passionate about international education and the opportunities it can bring for students and regularly presents at international conferences. Her professional interests include international student experience and partnership development.  

Experience: University of Southampton (UK), Universidad de Colima (Mexico)

Elyse Pipitone

Consultant

Elyse is a student success and support specialist with over a decade of higher education leadership and consultancy experience focused on the strategic design, development and delivery of evidence-based program and systems innovations. 

She has led projects with post-secondary institutions, government and technology providers to spearhead the launch of products and services that impact all stages of the student journey.
 
With a passion for student wellbeing, Elyse has held Board Director and Chair positions with community organisations and not-for-profits addressing student housing, food-security, mental health and career mentorship. She is known for bridging the gap between industry, post-secondary and municipality partners to find impactful and sustainable solutions to emerging needs.
 
Elyse is a certified Project Management Professional (PMP), and holds a Masters of Arts in Education from Central Michigan University specialising in leadership and innovation in higher education.

Tari Kufeni

Project Manager

Tari is a Certified Associate in Project Management with several years of experience in project coordination, business process improvement and stakeholder engagement. She has worked in variety of industries ranging from banking, facilities management and construction. Her strengths lie in her aptitude to adapt in challenging environments and her ability to use strong analytical and problem-solving skills to make sound judgements.

Tari holds a Bachelor of Commerce degree from Rhodes University in South Africa and a Master of Commerce degree specialising in Project Management and Information Systems from Deakin University. She is passionate about providing exceptional coordination support to assist in the successful delivery of projects and has a strong interest in the higher education sector.

Shweta Chandan

Marketing and Comms Manager

+61 403 073 292

Shweta has nearly 15 years of experience in the Indian media & communications industry and has extensive expertise in sales and marketing, advertising, campaign planning, business development, brand building, and innovation. She has worked 10+ years in leadership roles with some of the largest media houses in India across television, radio, print, and digital. Her passion and enthusiasm for constant learning and growth led her all the way to Australia to complete a Masters of Strategic Communications Management from Monash University where she has helped in guiding and shaping the international student experience as an executive global ambassador with the International Student Engagement Team, and as a Monash Arts graduate leader and peer mentor.

During her time in Australia, she has successfully completed a marketing and communications project with Practera, facilitating Stride Network’s international student mentoring and wellbeing program, and created a communication and engagement strategy for Multicultural Youth Advocacy Network (MYAN) to help them better reach and connect with Australia’s migrant and refugee youth. Shweta has also developed content and assisted with community management and performance monitoring for Monash University’s Marketing, Admissions and Communications ‘social media marketing division. Additionally, Shweta has been supporting Edified on various projects as a communications analyst and research assistant.

An analytical and positive thinker, she is known for her ability to navigate complex challenges with focus, clarity, and attention to detail, and her areas of specialisation include customer service and retention, stakeholder management, and strategic planning. Her own lived experience and her close work with other international students has provided her a unique perspective and insight on student journey, motivations, and expectations.

Experience: The Times Group (Bennett Coleman & Company Ltd), Disney Star Private Limited, Disney UTV, Red FM (Digital Radio (Delhi) Broadcasting Limited), Radio Mirchi (Entertainment Network India Ltd.)

Edified specialists

Sue Falkner

Web Content Expert

Sue has vast experience in web content, project management, media and communications, honed through more than 20 years working in the higher education and publishing industries.

As a skilled copywriter and editor, Sue delivers clear and effective web content that engages diverse audiences. From parents to alumni to students at all stages of the lifecycle, Sue knows how to make an impact.  

She is adept at working with geographically dispersed stakeholders and interfacing with teams across Customer Experience, Marketing, IT and Corporate Services.

Sue holds a degree in Media and Journalism from the University of Wolverhampton (UK). Her experience includes Australian Catholic University and Charles Sturt University.

Rob McDonald

Admissions and Enrolment Expert

Rob has over 15 years’ experience in Australian international education, having first started working in the sector in education agencies before he moved across to universities.

Specialising in international admissions and recruitment in high volume environments, Rob’s previous roles included Deputy Director International at CQUniversity Australia where he managed the international admissions and recruitment teams, sponsors, channel management and partnerships, managing overseas offices and staff across four Australian states, India, China, Vietnam, and Singapore. This role included overseeing major process re-engineering of admissions and recruitment, the streamlining of the agent network and packaging partners, with the achieved aim of reducing the university’s student visa risk rating while also meeting and exceeding university set targets of increasing the full-time international student enrolment load.

Rob’s most recent role was at Deakin University in the Faculty of Business and Law as International Manager, where he managed the inbound and outbound mobility and partnership team for the faculty.

Rob is also an award-winning author and has published two novels.

Experience: Deakin University, CQUniversity Australia, RMIT University; Lawand Education, AAET (Education agents).

Kate Wagstaff

Marketing and Comms Expert

Kate is an international education expert with nearly 20 years’ experience in the higher education sector. She specialises in marketing, communications, research, data analysis, student recruitment, strategic planning, stakeholder relations and systems enhancement.

Kate’s international education expertise is enriched by her wealth of experience in the not-for-profit sector where she manages strategic relationships within the mining, oil and gas, legal, governmental, commerce and finance sectors to create opportunities for higher education stakeholders.

Kate has lived and worked in Europe, Asia and the USA, and several cities within Australia. She has a deep understanding of cross-cultural issues and international relations, and thrives when tasked with solving unique challenges.

Experience: RMIT University Melbourne, RMIT Training, RMIT University Vietnam, Study Group. Consultant to: The University of Western Australia, The University of Sydney, Monash University, The University of Auckland, Charles Sturt University, Flinders University.

Dr Len Coote

Pricing Expert

Len advises in the areas of pricing and revenue management using the concepts and methods of microeconomics and micro-econometrics. He has advised a wide range of organisations from ASX-listed companies through to leading international professional service firms and education providers. Len has had a 20year academic career. He holds an appointment at a leading Australian business school, and he currently serves as the Academic Director of the Australian Consortium for Social and Political Research, Inc. (a non-profit consortium of Australian universities). His primary academic contribution is the development of new mathematics and statistical theory for studying decision making and choice. This new econometrics has wide application to the study of economic choices in education, health, marketing, and transport. The econometrics is useful to policymakers because it retrieves the aggregate preferences of decision makers and the structure of individual differences.

Len has conducted academic research on student and parent decision making and choice of higher education provider, including research on how students and their parents make joint decisions about choices of universities. He has conducted applied research on pricing and revenue optimisation of courses and programs at the university level.

Dr Edward Wei

Pricing Expert

Edward is an experienced marketing and management insights specialist and market research professional with advanced quantitative analytics and choice modelling skills. He has over twenty-five years of experience in various consultancy and research roles in leading research firms and research centres at Australian universities. Edward has made critical contributions to pricing and revenue maximisation decisions for many businesses and organisations across a range of sectors including automotive manufacturing, fast-moving consumer goods, government services, entertainment and media, quick service restaurants, and telecommunications. He has worked on many largescale projects and his expertise extends to government policymaking in transport, education, and government infrastructure planning and investment.

Edward has conducted many studies in the tertiary education sector, for example, advising senior university leaders on fee deregulation and its implications for student demand for courses and its revenue impacts. He has conducted projects on pricing and revenue optimisation of courses and programs for universities and other educational providers, fee optimisation and infrastructure planning for elite private schools, and teacher incentive programs for government departments.

Andrew Bartlett

Brand & Communications Strategy Expert

+61 412 162 368

As an awarded strategic writer and brand adviser, Andrew has produced ground-breaking socially-driven campaigns which have helped elevate education brands to market leader status and achieved record levels of audience engagement.

He’s been integral to significant projects for QUT, University of Sydney, Sydney College of the Arts, Victoria University Wellington, Australian Institute of Music, Bond University, University of Queensland, Griffith University, TAFE NSW, Swinburne and Monash University.

He has also developed strategies and campaigns for Austrade (international education), Study Queensland, seven of Queensland's regional study clusters, and the Federal Department of Education, Skills & Employment - among others.

As Creative Lead for QUT for than eight years, he created enormously successful brand campaigns and a multitude of social and digital campaigns.

In the words of QUT's Director of Marketing, he "helped QUT find and maintain its true brand voice". He has also worked extensively as an independent creative consultant for QUT International and QUT Alumni & Development, creating carefully weighted communications which speak to diverse international student audiences and to philanthropic prospects. Also for QUT, he recently produced one of the education sector’s most successful advancement campaigns, resulting in donations of $1.7 million and winning gold at the CASE Circle of Excellence awards, beating 82 international entries.

Andrew has handled above-the-line, digital and socially-based communications for many clients in the not-for profit sphere - including Surf Lifesaving Australia, Royal Flying Doctor Service, the Pennington Institute and Sunrise Children's Village Cambodia - as well as for major private sector brands in financial and professional services, tourism, telecommunications, retail and FMCG.

Marilyn Mason

Adviser

Marilyn Mason has over 35 years of experience in senior leadership roles in higher education in Canada. Beginning her career at McMaster University, Marilyn initiated a national recruitment program. Working with colleagues in admissions, scholarships, alumni and external relations, Marilyn soon recognized the importance of an institutional approach to recruitment as well as reputation management. Having been hired on a two- year contract, she became a permanent member of the team within six months having doubled out-of-province applications.


At the “green” age of 29, Marilyn was appointed Registrar at King’s University College at Western University. Leading a small shop at King’s, she became a “master of all trades” while having the opportunity to work with excellent specialists at Western University. Very quickly, Marilyn realized that King’s was the perfect fit and stayed. By the end of her career,  enrolment tripled. Marilyn took an active role in academic planning as well as the development of the campus and its services.


In 2001, Marilyn led the internationalization initiative. In the first decade, international enrolment grew from less than 1% to 10% and has since grown to more than 20%. In addition to recruitment, Marilyn also focussed on building partnerships with international universities and organizations to build exchanges (faculty and student), experiential learning opportunities and joint academic programs. With the reorganization of the administration in 2014, Marilyn was appointed Vice-President, Enrolment Services and Strategic Partnerships. Her portfolio was extended to include Alumni and Communications and Media Relations.


Marilyn has enjoyed a very satisfying career. She appreciates her Canadian colleagues who have willingly shared their ideas and experiences. Having travelled a minimum of two months each year for her work, Marilyn has learned  from educational experts across the world. Her work has brought invitations to speak or act as a panelist at conferences, numerous awards and the opportunity to serve in various roles with professional organizations.


Marilyn’s new  adventure is working with Edified. Having been a client, Marilyn knows first hand about the expertise of the Edified team. Marilyn argues that it is a huge advantage to know that a team is both talented and fun before you agree to join them!

Ben Martin

VET and Student Acquisition Expert

Ben has more than 20 years of experience working in international and domestic education with a strong focus on the VET/TAFE sector. Most recently, Ben has held regional and state-wide leadership roles with TAFE NSW working with complex and diverse teams across Marketing, Admissions and Student Services functions.

Ben is a strategic thinker with a keen focus on driving service enhancements and operational efficiencies through use of technology, streamlining processes and optimising organisational structures. Clients are often impressed by his impeccable attention to detail and nuance, and the clarity he provides on practical issues while simultaneously maintaining a solid view of the strategic imperatives.  

Ben’s areas of expertise include student acquisition, lead generation, enquiry management, admissions, change management and online learning.

Ben is passionate about driving customer experience across student recruitment and onboarding and has helped teams to successfully negotiate the complexities and challenges of large-scale organisational change.

Michael Wheelahan

Governance and Climate Change Expert

+61 409 968 737

Michael is a climate change and public sector governance expert. Michael has over twenty years’ experience in public policy design and delivery. He has held senior legal, governance and policy roles in the public sector in water and climate change, including most recently as Director, Climate Change Policy and Director, Water Sector Governance in the Victorian Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning (DELWP).

Michael is renowned for his ability to shape and work within policy, institutional and regulatory frameworks and to navigate government. Michael is sought out for his ability to contextualise complex policy and governance issues and articulate strategies to a wide range of audiences.

Michael’s qualifications are a BSc, LLB, and EMPA, and he is a Graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors. Michael is based in Melbourne.

Dr Rob Forage

Strategy and Management Expert

+61 403 254 802

Dr Rob Forage is a specialist advisor with Edified. He is the Chair and CEO of SBE Holdings, a private company developing new approaches to international education.

Prior to this role, he was a Director and CEO of UNSW Global, a wholly owned subsidiary of the University of New South Wales, a position he held for 10 years. During that time, Rob crafted a strong business platform focused on pre-university education and school assessments, leading it into a premier position in the industry. Together with an experienced executive team, Rob ingrained a collegiate corporate culture ethic and a personalised, high quality learning environment for students.

Rob started his career as a botanist and biochemist in Tasmania which took him to Oxford to complete a doctorate as a Rhodes Scholar, and from there to Harvard Medical School on a Postdoctoral Fellowship undertaking research. Returning to Australia, Rob commenced his career in the biotechnology industry, commercializing innovative research and introducing new products to market.

Rob has over 60 scientific and business publications, grants and patents. He was previously a Director of UNSW Press and received the prestigious 2015 Universitas 21 award for Sustained Excellence in International Education.

Nicola Pringle

Insights and Research Expert

Nicola is a research professional with more than 30 years’ global experience. A research leader with strong skills across all qualitative and quantitative methodologies. She has a grounding in social and behavioural psychology and retains a hands-on approach to research, driven by curiosity and a desire to achieve success for clients and participants.

Nicola has worked for some of the world’s largest research agencies, including Millward Brown (Kantar) and ACNielsen (Nielsen Corporation) covering markets in the UK, Europe, Asia and Pacific.

Her passion is to bring the voice of the consumer into organisational decision-making, through facilitation skills to uncover truths and statistical analysis to find trends and meaning. Training under Wendy Gordon in the UK, Nicola is a Qualified Professional Researcher (QPR) and holds a Masters in Psychology.

Nicola has worked across the education sector for more than 20 years, from early childhood and high school settings to tertiary institutions. She has been instrumental in informing and evaluating QUT’s real-world campaign across domestic and international markets, at the brand, faculty and course level.

Experience: Research work for Queensland University of Technology, Griffith University, Study Queensland, DEEWR, Australian Trade College and Allianz Worldwide (international student health and insurance products).

Gain ground quickly

Get in touch
By clicking “Accept All Cookies”, you agree to the storing of cookies on your device to enhance site navigation, analyze site usage, and assist in our marketing efforts. View our Privacy Policy for more information.