UWS Advancement and Alumni

The Advancement and Alumni Team
The Advancement and Alumni team leads activity and strategy to develop fundraising revenue, engage with UWS alumni and foster relationships for the University. Here, find out more about the UWS Advancement and Alumni team.

Who works for UWS Advancement and Alumni?
We are fortunate to have an eclectic and diverse mix of talented and committed professionals who enjoy working for UWS, our donors and our alumni. We are all inspired by doing something that we believe matters and are delighted to be part of developing an even brighter future for UWS.

  • Dr Joe Collins – Executive Director
  • Rita Jaber-Youssef – Senior Executive Assistant
  • Tanya Rubin – Associate Director Advancement Services
  • Adrian Sellaro – Database Manager
  • Toan Ha – Data & Systems Officer
  • Jay Ramakrishnan – Data Assistant
  • Leanne Dobson – Advancement Operations Manager
  • Kelly Jones – Marketing & Communications Coordinator
  • Lauren Fowler – Advancement Officer, Communications
  • Victoria Coyne – Research Services Coordinator
  • Vanessa Smyth – Advancement Officer, Donor Relations
  • Michelle Everingham – Advancement Officer, Donor Relations
  • Ramya Acharya – Alumni Manager
  • Rosemary Sargeant – Alumni Coordinator
  • Tweety Nguyen – Advancement Officer, Alumni & Annual Giving
  • Deborah Carr – Associate Director Development
  • Stephanie Moran – Development Manager
  • Scott Lyall – Development Manager
  • Gayle Hannan – Bequest Manager
  • Christopher Levins – Development Coordinator, Trusts & Foundations
  • Carla Cruz – Development Officer

What does UWS Advancement and Alumni do?
The Advancement and Alumni team is focused on managing relationships with key stakeholders, ensuring that UWS successfully and purposefully engages with our alumni and donors.

We work closely with the Foundation Council to maintain an efficient and effective approach to fundraising and philanthropy, guided by the strategic priorities of the University.

Advancement and Alumni is focused on generating donations, both via staff giving and annual appeals, as well as major gifts for the University, its Schools and Institutes, and towards scholarships and prizes for students. This includes the process of researching prospects, soliciting gifts and managing those donors through the stewardship process.

The Alumni team aims to ensure all graduates remain connected and engaged with the University.

Where is UWS Advancement and Alumni located?
We are based on the Parramatta campus in Building ET, the Medical Superintendent's Cottage, near the Female Orphan School.

Who does UWS Advancement and Alumni work with?
Advancement and Alumni collaborates with various internal and external key stakeholders. However, we work first and foremost with donors and alumni. Advancement and Alumni has many internal clients including the Office of the Vice-Chancellor, Schools and Centres for Research, UWS International, Scholarships and Student Advancement, Marketing and Communications, and Finance. Advancement and Alumni also works with a large variety of donors, including private organisations, trusts and foundations, industry associations, local councils, non-government organisations and federal and state government departments.

What would be a good example of the work that you are involved in?
There are many exciting projects coming out of Advancement and Alumni. Just one example from the Development team is the work being done to build relationships with donor prospects in Australia and China in conjunction with UWS International. Housed within UWS, the National Institute of Complementary Medicine (NICM) has aspirations to build a $30 million Chinese-inspired building that will provide labs and teaching, clinical and treatment spaces. In partnership with NICM, the Development team is working hard to make this a reality, presenting to donors on the opportunity for them to be involved and what benefits this could have both for them and the students and staff at UWS.

Simultaneously, members from a number of teams within Advancement and Alumni are working closely to maintain relationships with Foundation Council members and to ensure donors are satisfied with the service they receive from the University. This encompasses anything from producing a personalised Impact Report on a donor's gift to networking with donor prospects and coordinating private lunches with high-profile prospects, complete with detailed profiles on each attendee all the way through to leading a UWS-wide major campaign to raise $30 million for scholarships.

In the Alumni space, the team is busy organising events for and maintaining communication with the various domestic and international alumni chapters, including Hawkesbury, Law, Hong Kong and Gold Alumni. They are also responsible for the Graduation Alumni campaign and the development and distribution of GradLife magazine, with a number of major projects in the pipeline.

What challenges does the team face?
The Advancement and Alumni team faces many of the same challenges that the rest of UWS is experiencing. We are operating in a complex environment of change, one in which our donors and alumni require exceptional service and to understand the value and impact of everything that we do. We will continue to strive to improve a philanthropic culture at UWS by focusing on areas throughout the University that have a distinct competitive advantage and help our donors and supporters see that UWS does have many exceptional research and other areas of excellence that do really make an impact on a regional, national and international stage. Our internal focus is on teamwork and remembering we are here to do an important job that really matters. If we get the simple things right, then ultimately this will help us overcome any and all challenges that we confront.

What will the team focus on in 2014?
Over the next three years, Advancement and Alumni will be focusing on:

  1. Fundraising and advancement: increasing revenue and improving donor engagement
  2. Alumni development: expanding connections, improving alumni engagement and increasing annual giving 
  3. Building a culture of giving and philanthropy at UWS
  4. Introducing a major capital campaign to raise funds for scholarships.