ISEAA - International Student Education Agents Association was officially launched in September 2018 at the education agent symposium SYMPLED2018, however, the organisation has existed for more than ten years! ISEAA was co-created by a group of education agents coming together to give education agents a presence in international education.
For many years international education has coped with changes and uncertainties brought about by government departments and the education agents have never had a voice or input into decisions that affect our business.
Government and education industry peak bodies need a single voice from education agents to represent the sector – single nationality agent associations are effective in their market only. ISEAA represents from smaller to larger agencies across all nationalities and our board and members are diverse.
Since then ISEAA has progressed with assisting the education agent industry with many meetings with governments bodies, associations, events and business related to our industry. There are many changes being aimed at education agents in the coming year and we aim to achieve much more in benefits for our members.
The association gives a voice and focus on the vital place that education agents hold in the international education market and it is ISEAA’s goal to be a peak body for all education agents working in Australia. Together we are stronger, help us to shape our industry!
Miguel Mudbidri was born in Lima, Peru and migrated with his family to Australia when he was 21 to continue his Education. He has completed degrees in Politics (Macquarie University), has a postgraduate degree in Marketing Management and in Migration Law and Practice (Australian National University). Miguel is also a Qualified Education Agent Counsellor. Travels regularly organising and conducting education and migration seminars and workshops in Latin America and Asia. The immediate past- President of the Australia Peru Chamber of Commerce in Australia (between 2013 and 2018) and in this role has successfully pursued bilateral projects involving key private and government stakeholders, he also helped convene and form the Australia Peru Chamber of Commerce in Lima Peru, which includes many Australian Companies that operate in Peru. Regularly is consulted by SBS- Spanish on migration and International Student matters and has also given interviews on Australian press on trade and other matters relating to Peru- Australia Bilateral relations. Agent (Registered Migration Agent Number 0745862)
REGINA DA SILVA
Regina da Silva was born and raised in Sao Paulo, Brazil. In 2001 she moved to Australia to study English and enrich her knowledge. She soon became interested in international education and opened her agency, ABC Australia Education Consultancy in 2002 which over the years has proudly helped countless students reach their educational and professional goals.
In parallel, Regina has been volunteering for the community in diverse non-for-profit organisations contributing with advice among board members and actively hands-on in executing projects approved by the boards.
Adviser at OOSH Child Care, Counsellor at CRBE Council of Representatives of Brazilians Abroad, Vice President of BRACCA Brazilian Community Council of Australia, Deputy-Chair of ISEAA and recently elected Co-Chair of ISEAA are some of the roles taken by Ms Da Silva.
Her main objective will be to work together with the new board to re-shape our industry and unite the international education sector.
Robert Parsonson (Executive Officer, ISEAA) has 28 years in education and education export services, working within Australia and internationally. He is an expert on the development and execution of international student marketing strategies and offshore market entry. With experience in ELICOS, VET and higher education institutions, Rob’s ability to take novice businesses on their first foray into international markets and guide their journey to build sustainable long-term international student businesses is widely recognised.
Rob’s previous clients include StudyNSW, helping develop the IET Strategy for StudyNT, an education agency strategy for Study Queensland, and a VET study with education agents for the IEO of the SA Government.
In 2017 (in Melbourne) Rob facilitated the first education agent symposium in Australia – The Symposium on Leading Education Recruitment (sympled.com.au) - that was repeated in Brisbane in 2018. The symposium encouraged the formation of the International Student Education Agents Association (ISEAA) in 2018. The International Student Education Agents Association (ISEAA) was started to provide a peak body for education agents to advocate to government, peak bodies, providers and change some of the perceptions around the role education agents. Since the formation of ISEAA, education agents have given evidence to the Migration Committee in Canberra, and are actively engaging with DoE, DHA, Austrade, the office of the Overseas Students Ombudsman, and other international education peak bodies
Akram Mardini has over 13 years of knowledge and experience in the education industry. His proven record of accomplishment is evident through the long standing ventures and relationships he maintains globally. Akram Currently is the General Manager of Student World and heads the companies expansion plans across global markets, with innovative thinking Akram removed the barriers across single market agencies and currently orchestrates recruitment across over 17 countries globally. Currently also a board member of ACA ( Arab Council Australia ) and has comprehensive understanding of the core of the issues facing the international education industry and is an active contributor to the enhancement of Australia’s reputation as a preferred destination for international students.
Michal Sestak is an education and migration consultant with over 28 years’ experience, founder of SIS Consulting migration and AustraliaOnline education.
Michal was born in the Czech Republic and when he was 18 and finish HSC he moved to Germany to pursue further study. He arrived in Australia as an international student in late 1993 and immediately became involved in the international education industry. As a student in Australia and later on as a permanent resident he completed degree in Management (CQU), Finance (UNSW) and Migration law (UTS), which lead to his registration as migration agent in 2002. His personal experience as an international student strongly influenced and shaped the culture of his company/agency.
SIS Consulting/AustraliaOnline under his leadership became highly focused boutique education and migration agency with 6 offices across the world (Aus, EU and Latam). Michal’s work with education providers, migration associations, international students, migration pro bono work for legal centres etc demonstrates his huge enthusiasm and passion for the industry. He actively advocates protection of international students’ rights in the context of their Australian education and is helping fellow agents to navigate the complex issues of Migration Regulations, ESOS Act, National Code etc. Michal also represents international student at the Administrative Appeal Tribunal (AAT) in case of a visa refusal.
Michal has an ingrained sense of duty of care towards all his clients and constantly provides them with professional, up-to-date and realistic advice for their future.
His work is best reflected with ISEAA, which he is a founding member of. ISEAA Michal is often invited to speak at forums, runs migration and education training sessions, attends international Expo and participates in discussion with various government departments.
Melanie Macfarlane is a registered and practising Migration Agent with over 17 years’ experience securing visas for migrants to live, work and study in Australia. She has worked with individuals, families and employers from small to large-scale businesses, all with the same common goal – to explore new opportunities and create a happy world, one migrant at a time.
Melanie founded MMMigration & Recruitment and VETA Education & Migration in 2007 and has since grown the company to offices across 3 states in Australia as well as Colombia, Chile and Mexico. She’s built a passionate, like-minded team who embody her positive values, setting them apart as leaders in the migration industry. From MMMigration’s and VETA’s vibrant offices to their professional service, the team reduces the stress and confusion from the migration process, ensuring peace of mind and positive outcomes. To date, MMMigration and VETA have helped over 10,000 people with a 99% success rate in helping migrants gain visas and permanent residence in Australia.
A migrant herself, Melanie was born in Freetown, West Africa and grew up in Vanuatu and Indonesia where her diverse circle of friends gave her a good understanding around equality and opportunities to succeed. Her experience as an English language teacher in Indonesia, an education consultant and a recruiter in bringing chefs over from Peru, has created for her a solid network, particularly in her focus areas of childcare, hospitality, aged care, IT, engineering and agriculture. Melanie's motivation to educate, unite and support a policy of attracting highly skilled workers to expand the Australian economy is integral in shaping Australia and bringing innovation and entrepreneurship, particularly at a time when around 50% of all current jobs will soon cease to exist. She aims to connect, collaborate and present Australia as part of a global village, where immigration has built its cities and communities and has always been an important stimulus for economic prosperity.
Julian F. Fonseca, arrived in Australia 12 Years ago, with the dreams and the determination of learning a second language. Originally from Colombia, and with a Degree in Advertising & Marketing, Julian has worked across different industries in Australia and back at home, which allowed him to gain experience in different fields related to management, marketing, customer service, project management and International Education.
In 2008, and after living the experience of an International student in Australia, he had the opportunity of working at what it is today one of the largest International Student Agencies in Australia; here, Julian started a passionate and interesting career, where he contributed with his knowledge and passion for customer service, to the mutual growth of the brand and the improvement of their services by managing one of their branches in Brisbane Queensland.
Thanks to the mentoring and guidance from who was at the time the Director, Julian learnt all the ins and outs of the industry, and gained extensive knowledge in Student visa processes, study programs and institutions in Australia.
2010 was an important year, since Julian decided to travel around the world and was during these travels, where he had also the opportunity of working in Colombia for a well-known agency in the role of head of sales for Australia. With his experience and after achieving a high level of English, thanks to his studies and time as an international student, Julian managed to implement processes and procedures within his role, to make the experience of travelling to study in Australia, unique for this company and its clients.
2011, back in Australia, was a remarkable year, since it was the beginning of Julian’s dream to create a company that not only offer to its clients and unforgettable experience, but to lead and help his team growth professionally within the organization. His appetite for professional growth and collaboration with other business, has led him to work parallel with companies in industries like entertainment and events, as a consultant. Since then Mate Education & Migration, has worked towards making Australia The Experience for hundreds of students, wanting to further their studies, while living and working overseas.
Julian is a strong believer that International Education is evolving, and new methods of delivery are attracting young minds. He is also confident that throughout mentoring, we learn efficiently and progressively. He is passionate in leading his team and clients, by having a problem-solving mindset. Adaptability, creativity, honesty and reliability are key in our industry. We should always look for change and challenging opportunities. Finding gaps in the market and seeking connections in order to improve the experience of studying overseas is vital.
His collaboration and participation with ISEAA, is fundamental to determine the quality of education agents in our industry, since this will endure growth and benchmarks for all future agents.
Originally from Colombia, Ana arrived in Australia in 2013. Based in Sydney, Ana has been a student counsellor for Australia and New Zealand studies since 2014, enjoying so much having the opportunity to help people fulfil their dreams. However, her counselling years started back in 1998, counselling young students wanting to travel overseas and opening their wings to the world, no matter where their dreams may take them. Ana is the founder and Director of "Oolloo Education". She engages many diverse and highly motivated colleagues to make the journey of her students, not only achievable, but a truely personal and enjoyable experience. Ana and her team specialise in guiding students with any perceived or actual feelings of exclusion. Whether they feel they have a difference, have privacy or medical issues or just need an extra hand.
Ana is also part of the commercial branch of "Flor a Fruto", which is a Colombian Specialty Coffee company dedicated to produce and export exquisite Colombian and Panamanian coffees to those that like a real good cuppa.
Mum of Mariana and Miguel, wife of Dooley. Ana is an Industrial Designer by profession with long experience in entrepreneurship, manufacturing, importing and exporting goods. Nowadays, she is again at Uni learning how to guide her students onto the correct path if they desire to have a longer experience in Australia. Ana is studying Australian Migration Law Practice at UTS in Sydney and is a Qualified Education Agent Counsellor.
David's expertise has been shaped by his recent roles, CEO of DET International, Director of City Services at the City of Sydney and Director TAFE NSW – Sydney Institute and Council Member on the Ministerial Council of International Education. In these roles, he managed complex local, state, and federal government relations.
David has been recognised for these achievements: the TAFE NSW Medal in recognition of service to students; the national winner of the Distinguished Contribution to International Education; leader of the winning team in the 2019 Leadership Awards for the City of Sydney and whilst Director of TAFE NSW Sydney Institute was awarded the inaugural International Training Provider of the Year award. I lived overseas for many years managing large VET projects in Europe, the Middle East and Asia as well as being the lead on four International Delegations with the Premier of NSW.
the interests of its members to:
Potential students overseas, and sources of these students
Australian and other Government agencies
Educational bodies in Australia and overseas
Media and other interested parties in Australia and internationally
Australian education services and society internationally with standards of ethical behaviour throughout its membership by:
Publication and distribution of a Code of Conduct
Development and distribution of training materials for agents
as a forum for the interchange of ideas and information within the membership and between members and other stakeholders
To organise and / or participate in events and other initiatives which jointly promote the interests of all members
To develop and distribute resources of interest and benefit to all members