Meet the Planning Committee
Overall Conference Co-Chairs
Sinéad Collins began her career as a performing musician and teacher in London and Ireland before working for the Irish Arts Council, building audiences and philanthropic support for live music performances all over Ireland.
In 2003, she moved to China, where she worked in cross-cultural communications, supporting senior business professionals in making the transition to multi-cultural working environments.
Subsequently, Collins led strategic marketing and communications at UWC South East Asia, before being appointed as director of engagement and external relations, overseeing a fully integrated advancement team of 45 professionals, incorporating marketing, admissions, communications, fundraising, and alumni relations.
She is a graduate of Trinity College Dublin and the Institute of Education, University of London.
As chief communications officer at the National University of Singapore (NUS), Ovidia Lim-Rajaram heads an award-winning team that works on NUS reputation management, including strategic communications, branding and communications, digital communications, special events and protocol, issues management as well as crisis communications. She works with a diverse campus community of 50,000 spread across 17 schools and 30 university-level research institutes in Singapore, and in NUS locations overseas. Lim-Rajaram is the press secretary to the university president and university spokesperson. In her earlier life, she was a newspaper reporter, broadcast journalist, and a media studies lecturer.
Lim-Rajaram graduated from NUS with a bachelor's degree in political science and history, and holds a master’s degree in international communication from Macquarie University.
Advancement Services Track
Anneke Burlinson’s career as an Advancement professional began a decade ago when she was tasked with establishing the Prospect Development team at the University of Western Australia. She and her team were part of what was the largest capital campaign for Western Australia. In mid-2017, she moved to Murdoch University to help build its Advancement Operations unit, in the areas of Information Management, System Development and Support, Prospect Development and Gifts Stewardship.
Anneke brings her experience and expertise from her earlier roles and studies at Ludwig Maximilian University, University of Indonesia and California State University, Chico.
She currently serves on the Editorial Board for the CASE Support of Education Survey, Australia and New Zealand and the Murdoch University’s CRM Steering Committee, and recently co-initiated the Lean In Circle at Murdoch University.
Soha Hmaidan is the associate vice president for advancement services and university events at the American University of Beirut (AUB), with strategic responsibility for gifts, records and data, prospect research and management, stewardship, campaign reporting, advancement communications, budget, compliance, events, and protocol. With over 25 years of higher education experience, she has secured leadership gifts in support of AUB’s mission and vision and served as interim associate vice president for communications.
Hmaidan holds bachelor's and master’s degrees in business administration from AUB and is a certified professional in human resources and compensation. She has been actively engaged in the CASE Advancement Conference in Middle East and was chair of the 2020 conference. Hmaidan has spoken at various CASE conferences in Dubai, Hong Kong, and at the Association for Advancement Services Professionals.
Joanna Watts has over 25 years of experience in the higher education sector both in the United Kingdom and Australia. She joined the Advancement team at the University of Melbourne in 2017 to head up the Operations team and provide leadership in the areas of organisational development, HR, financial management, OHS, policy and governance. Watts is the Deputy Chair of the Board of TEAR Australia, an international NGO and is a fiction writer in her spare time. She has a bachelor’s degree (honours) from the University of Birmingham in russian language and literature and a postgraduate certificate in higher education administration from the Open University in the United Kingdom.
Alumni Relations Track
Joanne Nyland has 20 years of experience in higher education institutions in the United Kingdom and Australia. At Griffith University in Australia, she is responsible for the strategic leadership of a team of alumni relations, communications, event management, and campaign fundraising professionals. This team works to effectively engage with the university's alumni and build a culture of giving among alumni and community supporters, as well as the university staff through an active Staff Giving programme.
A strong believer in the transformative power of education, Nyland sees her role in advancement as a facilitator and enabler, connecting people with each other and the university, supporting research, and assisting students through scholarships, mentoring and allied programmes.
Wong Peng Meng
Peng Meng graduated from National University of Singapore (NUS) in 1982 with an Honours degree in Pure and Applied Physics. He was an alumni volunteer serving in the National University of Singapore Society (NUSS) from 2001 and stepped down in 2012 when he joined Office of Alumni Relations in NUS. He joined the Singapore University of Technology and Design (SUTD) to start up the Alumni Office in May 2015 to welcome the pioneer batch of SUTD graduands in September that year. Currently, he is the President and Honorary Secretary of his secondary school and junior college alumni associations, respectively. He is married to Karen. They have three adult children.
Jo Dowling was born in the United Kingdom and after what felt like a long career in marketing communications for IT companies, she joined Children 1st in Scotland in 2003 as its individual giving manager and found her calling. Since then, she has held roles in charities, schools, and universities, and was named Scotland’s Institute of Fundraising ‘Fundraiser of the Year’ in 2010. In 2014, Dowling and her family moved to New Zealand, where she took up the role of director, alumni & fundraising, leading a team that nurtures relationships with 140,000 alumni and supporters across the University of Canterbury. Fundraising includes individual, major and planned giving, grants, corporate donations, and sponsorships.
A qualified fundraising professional with over 20 years of experience in the non-profit sector, Margo Powell comes with an impressive background in fundraising across the arts, health, medical research, and higher education sectors. As executive director, advancement at Queensland University of Technology, she leads a large team that supports philanthropic and alumni engagement activities that align with the university’s education, research, and community initiatives.
Powell is active in the fundraising community – she enjoys her role as coach and mentor, and frequently presents to non-profit boards on fundraising and philanthropy. She does consulting independently for Board Connect and regularly hosts fundraising workshops and masterclasses. Powell's wealth of expertise, strong network of elite donors, and extensive fundraising skills have been helping a number of new and experienced fundraisers establish winning solutions in increasingly complex environments.
Marketing and Communications Track
Mikaeli Costello leads the alumni relations and engagement portfolio at The University of Queensland (UQ), overseeing alumni marketing and communications, programming and events, as well as UQ's annual fund and donor relations. Previous to this, Costello held a fundraising role at UQ's Queensland Brain Institute.
In addition to her roles at UQ, Costello has worked extensively in marketing, communications (internal and external), fundraising, and stakeholder engagement, within the public and private sectors nationally and internationally, including WorldSkills International, Dusseldorp Forum, and the United Kingdom Government.
Tere McGonagle-Daly is a seasoned marketing and international strategist, with experience in New Zealand, Australia, and the United Kingdom. McGonagle-Daly is currently the deputy vice-chancellor, students and global engagement at Massey University, and was previously pro-vice-chancellor, external relations at Solent University. McGonagle-Daly works with national and international agencies in marketing, student experience, public relations, and fundraising.
Carla Hardy is an experienced community relations professional focused on the integration of alumni and community engagement, volunteer management, and events to achieve institutional objectives.
Carla is currently Alumni and Community Relations Manager at Brisbane Grammar School, working closely with parent and Old Boy groups. Her previous roles include nearly ten years working in game development and event roles at the Australian Football League in Queensland (AFLQ).
A highlight of her career has been to manage key events for Brisbane Grammar School’s 150-year celebrations in 2018 - 2019.
Kathy Limmer, Ed.D.
Kathy Limmer, Ed.D. is a seasoned fundraising professional with experience in university and independent school advancement. At the university level, her work focussed on major gift fundraising during campaigns. At the independent school level, her leadership of Hockaday's US$100 million centennial celebration and campaign brought parent participation to 100%, notes the school's largest gift of US$20 million, and brought alumni giving to record levels. At Taipei American School, her work focusses on KA-12 communications, annual giving, and alumni engagement. Limmer has been a CASE volunteer for over a decade, and enjoys learning from and sharing with the CASE community.
Nasci Lobo has worked in international education communications and marketing since 2010, starting at Canadian International School of Hong Kong (CDNIS). He began his current role at Yokohama International School (YIS) in 2017, where his department covers internal and external communications and alumni relations, and supports the communications and operations of advancement initiatives. Lobo specialises in social media and community engagement. He started CDNIS' social media programme and has expanded YIS' social footprint. Canadian by upbringing, he has spent 18 years in Japan and 10 years in Hong Kong.
Following over 20 years working in communications for a range of organisations, including the British Government, an international NGO and businesses, Laura Tyson moved into an advancement role at Kellett, the British International School in Hong Kong in early 2018. As Director of Development and Community Relations, Laura oversees communications, fundraising and alumni relations. Most recently her work has focussed on handling communications during the political protests in Hong Kong followed by the pandemic, which resulted in school being suspended for the vast majority of the school year. In her first year in the role, she launched a new fund for Bursaries and Scholarships, remodelled the annual fund, established an alumni network, and helped develop the school’s first strategic plan, all during a time of change as the school transitioned from a Principal who retired after two decades leading the school.