Staff snapshot: Joe Collins

Joe CollinsDr Joe Collins was recently appointed as Executive Director, Office of Advancement & Alumni and is based on Parramatta South campus.

When did you start working at UWS and what was your first role?
I joined UWS in early December 2013 in my current role as Executive Director, UWS Office of Advancement & Alumni.

Describe your current job/role in 100 words or less:
Like all universities, UWS increasingly needs to tap into non-government sources of income to fund research and many of the “nice to have” features of a world-class university. My role is to make philanthropic support a priority for UWS, and to place a much greater focus on building productive relationships with our alumni now and for the future.

What’s the best thing about your job?
This job gives me the chance to make a real difference in people’s lives. I’m excited by the impact that philanthropy can have in providing opportunities for students through scholarships, for new areas of research, and for highlighting areas of excellence within the University. What makes this possible is the fantastic team that has been assembled at UWS and our collective belief in the transformative power of education, especially for the people of Western Sydney.

What do you love most about working at UWS?
I’m passionate about the power of education. That’s what drives me. I’ve spent 10 years helping to save the lives of sick kids through fundraising for cancer research, and now I want to spend the next 10 years improving the lives of people through education.

I don’t see this like a job. This is a place I go to because I love it. The people are great; the physical environment is terrific. I love the fantastic alignment between my own values and the values of our organisation.  I believe that every person deserves a chance to be the best they can be. And my job here is to help that happen in different ways for everyone. It’s evident to me that UWS is an organisation that values people and rewards those who try to make a difference.

What are you going to be working on in the next 12 months?
The Advancement and Alumni team has undergone rapid growth recently, and we have a relatively new Foundation Council, so initially I’ll be focussing on consolidating the new team and building strong working relationships with the Council members. I’ll also be getting to know every area of the University better. Then we’ll be ready to launch the first ever major capital campaign at UWS.