Vice-President, External Engagement

Fiona Docherty is responsible for UNSW’s Communications, Operations, Development and External Engagement (Faculties and Precincts) teams, created to advance the realisation of UNSW’s strategy through stronger engagement with donors, alumni, media and the broader community.

In her capacity as Vice President, External Engagement, Fiona is a member of UNSW’s Management Board and the Executive Team. Fiona is also Chair of the NSW Deputy & Pro Vice-Chancellor’s, International Group, Chair of UNSW’s Confucius Institute, Board member of the Australia India Institute, and Member of the Group of Eight’s International Steering Group, the International Policy Advisory Committee of the Association of Pacific Rim Universities and the U21 Student Experience Steering Group.

Graduating from the University of Glasgow in 1990, Fiona worked for arguably the UK’s most admired and progressive family business, Bettys & Taylors of Harrogate, becoming the company’s youngest director responsible for: corporate communications, sales, marketing and community outreach programs in the UK and in countries like Ethiopia, India and Brazil. Fiona was also a formative member of the UK’s Ethical Tea Partnership.

In 2004, Fiona took on the challenge of developing a commercial and customer service strategy for Historic Scotland’s network of properties, including World Heritage Sites Skara Brae and Edinburgh Castle; leading a major change strategy involving 600 staff in 100 different locations. Before joining UNSW, Fiona moved to her alma mater to shape a new portfolio at the University of Glasgow covering: local and international student recruitment (including widening access to low SES students), student mobility and strategic international partnerships.

In 2012, Fiona became Pro Vice-Chancellor, International at UNSW. Since then, UNSW has grown its international student community to 14,500; ranked first in Australia for graduating students with international experience; seen international student satisfaction rise above 90%; and joined two new international networks (GlobalTech Alliance and the Association of Pacific Rim Universities).

UNSW’s new 2025 Strategy has seen the university break new ground through its Torch initiative with the Chinese Government (to establish the first science and technology park outside of China); through the new PLuS Alliance’s aspiration to collaborate on the challenge of sustainability; and a new commitment to supporting disadvantaged communities by partnering with universities in the developing world.


Management of the Vice-President, External Engagement Unit

Executive Assistant
Kath Waples
Tel: +61 2 9065 7137


Vice-President, External Engagement Portfolio

Director Operations
Kristy Oberg
Tel: +61 4 0435 9061

Chief Development Officer
Lindsay Robinson
Tel: +61 2 9065 7137

Head of External Engagement (Faculties & Precincts)
Alison Avery
Tel: +61 4 1128 1184