Staff Spotlight: Rohan McCarthy-Gill

Manager, International Mobility


Tell us about yourself, Rohan.

I have worked in the international education sector for 15 years in roles covering learning abroad, student recruitment, marketing and transnational education, and student services and advising. I am currently the learning abroad manager at Western Sydney University, where I oversee the inbound and outbound exchange and study abroad program.

Some of my areas of passion include the development of first-year learning abroad opportunities, removing barriers to participation for students, establishing student-centered programming and the development of improved systems and procedures to enhance the student experience.

I am a graduate of The Australian National University with a Bachelor of Asian Studies focusing on Asian politics, history, and religion, and Arabic. During my bachelor studies, I received a Kuwait Government scholarship to participate in a semester-based, immersive in-country Arabic language learning abroad program at Kuwait University.

What is your favorite travel memory?

It's especially hard to pick just one! But a favorite travel memory that comes to my mind is taking almost three months of long service leave from my job and traveling around Canada during the hot summer of 2014!

I visited dozens of towns and cities along the way, from Vancouver Island in the west to Prince Edward Island in the east. I loved this trip especially since I got to experience the many 'cultures within cultures' that Canada has to offer, catch up with old friends and meet new friends on what was one of the few extended vacations in my life.

Experiencing this time in Canada shaped a lot about how I feel we should be designing our own study abroad programs for students.

How have you changed/grown since working for your current company?

After a number of years at my previous university, I was eager for a change to a new and different environment, but one I could feel sure I would feel comfortable working within.

Working at Western has fuelled my passion for removing barriers to study abroad - and working to ensure that any students who want to go abroad CAN go abroad as part of their studies, whether this is our students going out or students from abroad coming to Western!

I think working here - and working in the field generally - has made me more creative, able to explore out of the box solutions more, and remember to always put the student first and at the center of everything we do. We're that kind of university and now I'm that kind of person!

What is the best story you've heard from a return student?

A former student who returned from the program to his home in the United Kingdom wrote to me a couple of years down the track to say that, while he didn't have an appreciation for it necessarily at the time, he is blown away by what the opportunity of going on exchange to Australia did for him - academically, socially/personally and for his employability.

He said that now he can't help but divide his life into 'before exchange' and 'after exchange' - and he's become a zealot for global study among his friends and family members! I really loved this story because in its simplicity it embodies everything we know to be true about studying abroad.

What makes your company unique? When were you especially proud of your team?

Western Sydney University is unique in that it offers students an authentic Australian experience they can't find in many other places. We are the heart of multi-cultural Australia, with over 140 national and cultural backgrounds represented in Greater Western Sydney.

I am especially proud of my team-members' multicultural heritage - which includes team members from Cantonese, Brazilian and Australian Aboriginal backgrounds - and how global we are in our outlook!