Dr. Paula Durance

Dr Paula Durance is a highly qualified and experienced international education professional delivering programs, resources and peer reviewed articles.

Email: paula@ieknow.com.au

Mobile: 0412 958 887

I provide consultancy services to international education providers, especially in the field of international student management, organisational reviews, professional development and international student support. I develop and deliver training and professional development for people working with international students, in international education workplaces and community environments. I am the founder and  Director of International Education Knowledgebase. I mentor international education professionaIs. I research and I write.

I have been working in the field of international education since 1992. My experience includes teaching, research, curriculum development, developing and delivering international student support programs, international education project management, educational administration, writing policy and submissions, and professional development.

Between 2004 and 2012 I led the development and delivery of formal training programs including the Diploma of International Education Services, the Education Agent Training Course, the International Student Leadership Program and other professional development programs. Later, I was the Project Manager for the Council of International Students in Australia, leading the Australian Government funded project: “I’m not Australian but I have an Australian Story”.

I have a particular interest in the history and development of international education in Australia, specifically the experience of international students. In 2016 I completed Doctoral studies at the University of Queensland, researching the impact of international students on the city of Melbourne. I am also a life member of ISANA: International Education Association, and was its National President from 2003-2006.

My goals are to:

  • contribute to the improvement of international student experience in Australia through sound policy and practice
  • support professional development for those working in international education, and
  • engage in the networks, development and discourse relating to international education.

I have:

  • led the development of the first formally accredited online training programs for international education workforces such as education agents, international students and a range of professional staff across education sectors
  • managed and participated in a number of programs and activities which enhance the experience and welfare of international students in Australia
  • managed government funded projects which improve professional practice and the experience of international students
  • contributed to a number of projects, including the development of ISANA workshops in collaboration with the Australian Government, the ISANA National Code Tutorial, the ISANA–DEEWR International Student Experience Project and ESOS reviews.
  • delivered workshops and papers at a number of conferences in Australia and overseas.

Academic Qualifications

  • PhD, University of Queensland, 2016. Thesis: Bringing the World to Melbourne: Transnationalism, Agency and Contributions of International Students to Making a City, 2000-2010
  • Master of Education, Monash University, 2000. Thesis: Friendship: its contribution to identity formation of international students.
  • Bachelor of Education, La Trobe University, 1979.
  • Bachelor of Arts, Monash University, 1970.
  • Graduate Diploma of Teaching, Kedron Park Teachers College, Queensland, 1973.
  • Certificate IV in Workplace Assessment and Training, International Education Services Ltd, Queensland, 2005.

Employment History

  • 2021, Content Designer (Innovative Leadership in International Education), Capability Protect Programme, ISANA NZ.
  • 2020, Oxford University Press: Lead Advisor for the International Student Success programme First Edition, Australian Version.
  • 2019, English Australia: Consultant and content developer for the International Student Safety Best Practice Guide.
  • 2017- Deakin University: International Student Adviser on a casual basis.
  • 2018-2019, ISANA: International Education Association: Consultant and content developer for the  National Code 2018 Online Tutorial, funded by the Australian Government.
  • June 2018, Trade and Investment Queensland: Masterclass Facilitator, International Education and Training Summit, Delivering on Diversity.
  • February 2017, Staff development consultant, LaTrobe University.
  • February-April 2018, Consultant to International Education Services, Brisbane, leading a review and content update of the Education Agent Training Course (EATC).
  • 2015, LaTrobe University, Consultant, Student Retention Project.
  • 2013, Project Manager, Council of International Students in Australia, “I’m not Australian but I have an Australian Story”.
  • 2004-2011, Manager, Professional International Education Resources, International Education Services, Ltd, Spring Hill, Queensland; from 2011, Academic Manager, PIER (Melbourne office).
  • 2002-2004, Director, International Student Program, Korowa Anglican Girls’ School, Glen Iris, Victoria.
  • 2000-2002, Manager, Caulfield Campus International Office, Monash University.
  • 1998-2000, Manager, Centre for International Student and Scholars, RMIT University Office of International Programs.
  • May 1996-1998, Senior International Student Advisor, Centre for International Student and Scholars, RMIT University Office of International Programs.
  • 1993-May 1996, International Student Advisor, Faculty of Art, Design and Communication, RMIT University.
  • Prior to 1993, Teacher, secondary schools Melbourne. Lecturer, RMIT Melbourne.


  • Paula Durance (2018) ‘The High Cost of Cuts’, Campus Review, 25 September.
  • Paula Dunstan (2011) ‘Beyond the campus: student engagement and community responses’, in Davis, D. and Macintosh, B. (eds), Making a difference: Australia International Education, UNSW Press.
  • Paula Dunstan (2011) Review: Transnational and temporary: students, community and place-making in central Melbourne’, Discourse: Studies in the Cultural Politics of Education Volume 32, Issue 2, May 2011, pp. 285-291.
  • Paula Dunstan (2009) ‘Social inclusion and integration’, Campus Review, 9 February.
  • Paula Dunstan & Peter Spolc (2006) ‘International Education in the Australian context’, World Views, UKCOSA, Autumn, issue 21.
  • Paula Dunstan (2003) ‘Cultural Diversity for Life: a case study from Australia’, Journal of Studies in International Education, Sage Publications, Spring.
  • Paula Dunstan (2002) ‘Foreign students: who cares? The Australian, November 6.
  • Paula Dunstan (2001) Internationalizing the Student Experience: How Serious Are We?’ International Educator, NAFSA, no. 34, Winter.

Selected Conference Papers and Presentations

  • Student development: interactions and inclusion, presentation to the LaTrobe University International Student Advisory Network, February 2017.
  • Bringing international students into the centre: transnationalism, agency and the city (refereed paper) ISANA International Conference, Melbourne, December 2015.
  • Engaging with Education Agents in International Student Support, Australian International Education Conference, Adelaide, October 2011.
  • Issues paper: Education Agents in International Student Support, TAFE Directors’ Association conference, Gold Coast, September, 2009.
  • International education: changing Australia, British Australian Studies Association Conference, Royal Holloway,University of London, September 2008.
  • Setting Standards for International Student Support, 2007 ISANA International Conference, Adelaide, December 2007.
  • Measuring the marigolds: International student services, resources, staff responsibilities and the National Code 2007, Australian International Education Conference, Melbourne, October 2007.
  • The Cost of VSU: Ensuring a voice for international students, Australian International Education Conference, Perth, October 2006.
  • International education in the Australian context: a narrative, UKCOSA Annual Conference, University of Wales, Swansea, July 2006 (with Peter Spolc).
  • Keynote speaker, Victorian State Conferences, National Liaison Committee for International Students, Melbourne 1999, 2003, 2004.
  • Keynote speaker, National Conference, National Liaison Committee for International Students, Adelaide, 2003, Newcastle, 2004.
  • Towards Best Practice in International Education: Staff Training and Professional Development, IDP 17th International Education Conference, Melbourne, October 2003.
  • The Impact of Internationalisation: a reflection on workplace change, Association of Tertiary Education Management, Victorian State Conference, Melbourne, May 2002.
  • Internationalisation: How Serious Are We? ISANA National Conference, Sydney, December 2000.
  • Internationalisation at Home: An Australian Perspective, Association for European International Educators, Tampere, Finland, December 2001. (with Jan Drew).
  • Rights Responsibilities and Resources, Council of Post-Graduate Associations (CAPA), South Eastern Region, Annual Conference RMIT, Melbourne, July 1998.
  • Orientation: not just a safety net, presentation to the Victorian Universities International (VUI) group, University of Melbourne, September 1998.
  • Building Bridges to Success, RMIT International Division presentation to the University, October 1998.
  • International Student Advisors: Agents of Change? International Student Advisors Network of Australia (ISANA) National Conference, Melbourne December 1997.

Workshops (selected)

  • What makes a good leader? International Student Leadership. Masterclass, Unilodge Residential Life Program, Melbourne, 22 August 2018.
  • Identifying and managing risk to improve the international student experience. Masterclass , International Education and Training Queensland, Cairns 29 June 2018
  • Customer service in international education, ISANA: International Education Association, Queensland branch, 2015.
  •  Working with Student Representatives and Student Groups. ISANA: International Education Association, 2013 Annual Conference, Brisbane.
  • International student leadership (with Hon. Phil Honeywood). Council for International Students in Australia (CISA) Annual Conference Brisbane, July 2012.
  • Pre-conference workshops delivered for ISANA: International Education Association: New Advisors Workshop; Foundations of International Education; Internationalising Schools; Working with Under 18 Students; Dealing with Critical Incidents; Fundamentals of international student advising; Working with International Student Groups, 1998-2013.
  • Client Service in international education, West Australian Department of Education and Training, June 2010.
  • Education agent workshops developed and/or delivered for the Australian Government in India, Malaysia, China, Japan, Korea, Indonesia, 2009, 2010.
  • Homestay workshops delivered for Queensland Education and Training International, 2007.
  • International student organisations – leadership training, National Liaison Committee of International Students, Annual Queensland State Conferences, University of Queensland, 2006, 2007.

Memberships, committees and offices held (selected)

  • Vice-president, Planning and Development, ISANA: International Education Association, 2016-2017
  • Member, selection panel for the CISA International Student of the Year award
  • Member, Executive Group, International Education Services Ltd, 2004-2012
  • Convenor, Course Development Advisory Committee, International Education Services Ltd, 2005-2006
  • Member, National Project Reference Group – development of Business Services Training Package, 2006-2007
  • ISANA National President, 2003-2006
  • Member, Australian Government (AEI) International Education working group (GISC), 2004-2006
  • Vice-president, ISANA: International Education Association, 2002-2003
  • Vice-president, Professional Development, ISANA: International Education Association, 1999-2001
  • Member, Korowa AGS Pastoral Care Committee, 2002-2004
  • Convenor, Monash University Advisory Committee for People with Disabilities, 2000-2002
  • Convenor, Monash University International Student Support Network (Caulfield campus), 2000-2002
  • Coordinator, RMIT International Scholarship Committee Special Financial Assistance Fund, 1995-1996
  • Member, RMIT Course Advisory Committee for the B.A. (Professional Communication), 1993-1995
  • Member, CSDF/RMIT Internationalisation Project, 1996