QLD Chapter Professional Development Session

The QLD Chapter would like to invite you to a day of Professional Development in Toowoomba

Toowoomba School / Tertiary Education Professionals – this is your day.  Educate Plus is coming to town! This special event is for advancement team members working in leadership; principals, directors and managers. Support staff will also benefit from the day, including those working specifically in admissions and enrolments, alumni and community relations, community engagement and marketing. 

Date: Friday 28 May
Time: 9:30am – 2.00pm
Venue: MICAH Centre, Diocese of Toowoomba Catholic Schools Office, 29-33 Lawrence Street, Toowoomba Qld 4350
Cost:  FREE to members, $30 (+gst) for non-members

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9.15am – Welcome, registration, coffee and tea 

9.30am – Welcome and introductions by Educate Plus Chapter President and Introduction to the day – Sue Russell 

9.35am – A regional perspective on Educate Plus membership and membership services including professional development opportunities, state and international conferences, scholarships and the benefits of being an Educate Plus member. Regional Membership Opportunities and International Conference bursary information. 

9.45am – Session 1: Tracey Kessels, Development Officer, Marketing, The Glennie School

Tracey’s team won the Alumni and Community Relations Excellence Award at the 2019 Queensland Chapter Conference for their “Glennie Poppy Project” submission. The community engagement project celebrated 100 years of their Old Girls organisation and the end of WWI. The concept came to fruition in 2018 and complemented Archbishop Phillip Aspinall’s challenge for Schools to connect across the generations. In this session, you’ll see behind the scenes of the project that connected the community to the School and enlivened generations of alumni and strengthened relationships past, present and future. The poppy panels continue to be a vibrant reminder at ANZAC Day and Remembrance Day events each year.

10.30am - Session 2: Suzie Hancock Education and Training Management Consultant

The Admissions Office – Chaos or Calm – Do you have days where you have worked all day without a break and feel like you haven’t made a dent into the workload?  You may have heard the expression “Work smarter, not harder” but this is just a tag line without the tools to put it into practice.  In this session we will look at common work practices in the enrolments/admissions office and share ideas and techniques that you can use to manage your workload, improve productivity, deliver greater job satisfaction and maintaining work / life balance. 

11.30am – Morning Tea 

11.45pm – Session 3: Lara Pickering, Director of Advancement and Stakeholder Engagement, St Margaret’s Anglican Girls School

St Margaret’s Foundation ‘Going for Bold’ Capital Campaign was run to support the development of the school’s new sports precinct and was the most significant and comprehensive philanthropic campaign delivered to date with $1.3m raised. St Margaret’s will present on this extensive Capital Campaign, which also included the school’s first ever and highly successful Giving Day. 

12.30pm – Session 4:  Kamyra Laurenson, Director of Advancement, Institute of Molecular Bioscience, The University of Queensland

Guerrilla engagement grounded in science

Problem 1: You are the number one life sciences research institute in Australia, but seem to be a well-kept secret…how can you bring people to the party to champion, support or become involved in globally relevant health research at your institute?

Problem 2:  Solutions to the some of the biggest health challenges of our century to drive lifesaving drug discovery and new therapies is actually be right under our feet. Yet, Queensland alone has 1.7 million square kilometres, let alone the rest of Australia – we are looking for a penicillin in a haystack.

Solution: Ignite a citizen science program, Soils for Science, to harness people power and engage the broad community as ‘backyard scientists’ to help discover the potential in the soils around us.

Through engaging with schools, the agricultural sector and gardening enthusiasts, UQ has increased the research sample sites, and launched a ‘guerrilla engagement’ campaign of the wide community. The program is sparking passionate interest in youth, parents and the broad community for the power of scientific research in Queensland, while empowering UQ’s Institute for Molecular Bioscience research capabilities by sharing their story without deploying a costly brand campaign. In this session, hear the learnings of this inclusive and cost-effective engagement approach that is catching the attention of governments, business, philanthropists, alumni and the general public like never before.

1.15pm – Lunch and Networking 

2.00pm Close 


About the Presenters

Tracey Kessels M.EdPlus, Development Officer in Marketing, The Glennie School

Tracey is the Development Officer in Marketing at The Glennie School with six years of service now under her belt and over 25 years of experience in administration, customer service, events management, marketing and communications roles in the education, banking, accounting and commerce industries. Her current role allows her to relive her school years through the experiences of those now much younger.  It does make her wonder where she would be today if she had embraced half of the opportunities she see’s inside and outside of the classrooms today.  Tracey is thankful for the variety of tasks she completes in her role eg. photography, videography and content creation.  If Tracey had advice for anyone else pursuing a career in marketing, it would be to be prepared to step outside your comfort zone to pursue a superb story. Tracey has done everything from wearing the school mascot costume to taking photos in a cherry picker at ridiculous heights.  


Suzie Hancock M.EdPlus, Committee Member/Admissions (Joint Chair), Education and Training Management Consultant 

Suzie has broad experience with over thirty years in training and education management across multiple sectors. Initially delivering vocational and corporate training for government and private industry, including research and curriculum design for disability workplace training programs. Transitioning into the tertiary sector she worked extensively on international business development and engagement with offshore universities. Suzie has worked on a range of international projects encompassing strategy, policy, international relations and marketing and recruitment. She has engaged broadly with international governments and organisations managing international scholarship programs. More recently Suzie worked in the private school sector gaining extensive knowledge and experience in enrolment strategies and associated policies and procedures. She currently works independently with universities and schools. 


Lara Pickering, Committee Member/Fundraising (Chair), Director of Philanthropy & Stakeholder Engagement, St Margaret’s Anglican Girls’ School

Lara is an external engagement and philanthropy professional with experience in tertiary and secondary education sectors. She is skilled in educational fundraising and building mutually beneficial corporate, alumni, community and institutional programs and partnerships.



Kamyra Laurenson, Committee Member/Tertiary (Chair) Fundraising (Shared), Director of Advancement (Institute for Molecular Bioscience), University of Queensland

With over twenty years’ experience in marketing, philanthropy development, events and sales, and an unflappable can-do nature, Kamyra has impressed throughout her career – achieving some big wins along the way.

Her experience is grounded in direct marketing campaign management, pipeline development and stewardship for major giving and bequests, major events management, corporate affairs and managing teams towards great outcomes. Kamyra is highly capable and can reliably get the job done, yet warm, authentic and passionate in her approach.