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The team in the Communications Office has a wide variety of skills and experience in media relations, social media, and writing for all types of situations and audiences. We can provide expert knowledge and support across a range of communication initiatives.

Director of Communications


Megan McPherson

Director of Communications

Megan has worked in media and communications since 1993, and started at the University in 2008. Her previous roles have included the Medical Council of New Zealand, British Airways (London) and Presbyterian Support Otago. She has a Bachelor of Arts and a Bachelor of Commerce, majoring in Marketing, from the University of Otago. She also has certificates in journalism and public relations from the Wellington Polytechnic School of Journalism.

Tel +64 3 479 5452
Mob +64 21 279 5452

Jenny Shaw

Executive Assistant to Director Communications

Tel +64 3 556 5536

Media Engagement Team

Liane Topham Kindley image

Liane Topham-Kindley

Manager, Media Engagement

Liane is an experienced news journalist having worked for newspapers, magazines and news websites for 28 years.  She joined the External Engagement Communication team early in 2018 after several years working for the Health Media Limited, which produces the country's national newspapers and news websites for GPs and pharmacists, New Zealand Doctor and Pharmacy Today.  Liane has also worked as a freelance journalist for a variety of publications and as an independent contractor for the University of Otago writing the very first few issues of our e-newsletter, Otago Connection.  Liane began her journalism career as a Cadet Reporter at the Otago Daily Times in 1988 and later graduated with an Advanced Diploma in Journalism from Wellington Polytechnic.

Tel +64 3 479 9065
Mob +64 21 279 9065
Web University media releases

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Ellie Rowley

Communications Adviser

Ellie joined the University of Otago in 2017. She has a background in print journalism, having worked as a general reporter and advertising features writer at the Otago Daily Times. She has a Bachelor of Arts, majoring in Film and Media, from the University of Otago, and a Diploma in Journalism (Print) from Aoraki Polytechnic.

Tel +64 3 479 8200
Mob +64 21 278 8200

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Lydia Anderson

Communications Adviser

Lydia joined the University in 2019 as a Communications Adviser, coming from a background in journalism. Her past positions include Otago/Southland regional reporter for RNZ, and deputy website editor at 3 News (now Newshub). She has also worked for wire services New Zealand Newswire and APNZ. Lydia holds a Bachelor of Arts with First Class Honours in International Relations from the University of Canterbury, and a Graduate Diploma in Journalism from Massey University.

Tel +64 3 479 4728
Mob +64 21 279 4728

Lorelei Mason (2021)

Lorelei Mason

Communications Adviser (Christchurch)

Lorelei is an experienced journalist having worked in print, radio and television news for over 30 years. Her last position was as Health Reporter/Correspondent for TVNZ's 1News for 23 years. During this time she won more than a dozen national and international journalism awards. Her prior reporting experience extends to positions at both BBC Television and BBC World Service Radio in London, as a presenter for Sky Television and radio journalist for Newstalk ZB in Auckland, 3ZB and The Press in Christchurch. Since leaving TVNZ a few years ago Lorelei has managed her own Health Public Relations consultancy, representing Kiwi clients from the fields of health research, health charities, NGOs, corporates and health start-ups.

Tel +64 3 364 1199
Mob +64 21 279 2203

jessheadshotJessica Wilson

Communications Adviser

Jessica joined the University in 2022, after more than five years as a print journalist at The Star. She has experience as a general and sports reporter, as well as ad features writer. Jessica graduated from the University in 2015 with a Bachelor of Arts, majoring in Communication Studies. She then went on to gain a Diploma of Journalism from Otago Polytechnic in 2016.

Mob +64 21 279 5016

Communications Advisory Service

Margie Clark

Margie Clark

Communications Adviser (Development and Alumni Relations)

Margie has held a variety of journalism and communications roles in New Zealand and the UK.  She started her career as a reporter for The Press in Christchurch in 1985 and went on to work as a feature writer for magazines and the Greenpeace UK press office in London, then as communications director for Greenpeace NZ.  She has been editor of the Central Otago Mirror, worked as a contributing writer for North and South magazine and freelanced for a variety of publications.

She has a BA in English Literature from the University of Canterbury, studied journalism at polytech in Auckland, and completed a post-graduate honours programme in journalism at Carleton University in Ottawa, Canada.

Tel +64 3 479 4021
Mob +64 21 279 4021

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Kerry Dohig

Communications Adviser (Projects Office and Development and Alumni Relations)

Kerry joined the University in 2018. Since 1995 he has worked in various media and communications roles, including Radio Otago news editor, destination marketing officer for New Plymouth, seven years in Wellington in marketing and communications roles, and more than 13 years in local government communications. He has a degree in commerce and administration from Victoria University of Wellington, and a National Certificate in Journalism from SIT.

He currently works for the Enabling Excellence Programme, and the Otago Business School.

Mob +64 21 232 2047

Andrea Jones imageAndrea Jones

Team Leader, Divisional Communications

Andrea is a former print journalist and communications contractor. She worked for a decade in local government communications before joining the University in 2022. Andrea has a BA(Hons) in English Literature from the University of Canterbury and a journalism diploma from Aoraki Polytechnic. As well as supporting the divisional communications team, Andrea provides comms services for the Dunedin School of Medicine and Otago Medical School.

Mob +64 21 279 0526

Rosa Marden

Rosa Marden

Team Leader, Projects Communications

Rosa joined the University of Otago in 2021, coming from a background in internal communications and project communications roles. She has worked across both public and private sector, with her previous roles being based in the UK and New Zealand. An Otago alumna, she has graduated with a Bachelor of Arts majoring in Communication Studies as well as gaining a postgraduate diploma in Communication Studies.  Rosa currently works as Team Leader, Projects Communications on key projects at the University.

Mob +64 21 279 0392

Kelsey Schutte

Kelsey Schutte

Communications Adviser

Kelsey started her Communications journey by attaining a Bachelor’s degree, followed by a Master’s with First Class Honours, in Communications at Auckland University of Technology ( AUT ). Her thesis was on the topic of Public Relations and emerging technologies, both of which are areas of great interest to her. Prior to joining the Advisory team in 2021, she worked in communications roles at Fletcher Building, Whakarongorau Aotearoa ( NZ Telehealth Service), AUT and others.

Mob +64 21 279 1058

antonia web

Antonia Wallace

Communications Adviser (Humanities)

Antonia joined the University for her current role in 2021. She has experience in a range of communication and marketing roles. Her work has been largely in the public sector, including as the marketing officer for the University of Otago College of Education and communications manager for Te Aho o Te Kura Pounamu (The Correspondence School).  She has also worked as a senior communications advisor in local government. Antonia provides communication advice for Te Kete Aronui – Division of Humanities.

Mob +64 21 279 4144


Gail Goodger

Communications Adviser (Operations and Capital Projects)

Gail  worked for both newspaper and radio as a journalist and chief reporter  for more than 20 years, from 1989. She was also a communications adviser  for the Otago District Health Board. Gail has a Bachelor of Arts in  English and History from the University of Otago, and a National  Certificate in Journalism from Aoraki Polytechnic.

Gail is the key contact for media inquiries about major building projects, accommodation services, health and safety, sustainability, information technology, and student services including cafes and retail outlets. She also provides communications advice to the University's operational departments.

Tel +64 3 479 8946
Mob +64 21 279 8946

Cheryl Norrie

Cheryl Norrie

Communications Adviser (Wellington)

Cheryl is a highly experienced print media journalist who began her career at the Gore Ensign and the Otago Daily Times. Her work has been published in a wide range of newspapers and magazines including the Dominion Post, the science journal Nature Biotechnology and the Australian Journal of Pharmacy. More recently she has been writing for the Dominion Post's advertising supplements department and covering New Zealand affairs for the German Press Agency (DPA). She has a Bachelor of Arts in English Literature and a Postgraduate Diploma in Journalism from the University of Canterbury.

Cheryl works part-time providing communications for the University of Otago, Wellington, one of four component schools that make up the University of Otago Medical School.

Tel +64 4 918 6787
Mob +64 21 249 6787

Sally KnoxSally Knox

Communications Adviser

Sally joined the Communications Advisory Service in January 2023 and has a background in law, politics, education and communications.

Her most recent previous role was as Manager of Communications and External Relations at Presbyterian Support Otago.

She holds degrees in Arts (majoring in Philosophy) and Laws from Sydney University and a Graduate Diploma in Teaching from Otago University.

Sally works full time and is embedded with the Otago Business School and the School of Biomedical Sciences.

Mob +64 21 279 7757

Lisa DickLisa Dick

Publications Editor

Lisa Dick is a journalist and communications specialist who has worked in local and national news, across TV, radio, print and web.

Since 2022, she has been the University’s Publications Editor, responsible for Otago’s flagship publications including the Otago Magazine, He Kitenga and the University of Otago Annual Report. Prior to this, for 14 years, she was Editor of the University of Otago’s staff Bulletin.

Lisa has an honours degree in psychology and neuroscience from the University of Otago, and a postgraduate diploma in journalism from Canterbury University.

Alongside her official work, Lisa organises an annual creative writing competition for staff, students and alumni.

Mob  +64 21 036 1732

Keilah Fox

Keilah FoxCommunications Adviser (Pacific)

Keilah joined the University of Otago as its first Communications Adviser (Pacific) while completing her Honours in 2021, having previously graduated with a Psychology and Communications degree from Otago. For her first class Honours, she investigated how Pacific values, histories and contexts are showcased in Pacific cultural exports and integrated into indigenous filmmaking practices.

As well as her role within the Communications Team, Keilah is currently undertaking research with the Communications Department as an Associate Investigator to extend this work, and works as a tutor for the department. She also serves on the executive team for the Association for Pacific Staff in Tertiary Education as a communications representative. Keilah feels most fulfilled when celebrating and supporting the initiatives of Otago’s Pacific staff, students and communities.


Internal Communications and Channels

Lea JonesLea Jones

Manager, Internal Communications and Channels

Lea is a former print journalist and journalism lecturer with more than 22 years' experience. She joined the University in 2018, having spent the previous seven years as the lecturer and programme co-ordinator of the Otago Polytechnic Diploma in Journalism. Prior to that Lea had roles as a journalist, editor, sub-editor and copy-writer at daily and weekly newspapers and radio.

Tel +64 3 479 4969
Mob +64 21 279 0405

Jasmine Grey

Jasmine Grey

Social Media Co-ordinator

Jasmine joined the University in 2021 after moving to New Zealand from Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. She has a Bachelor of Science from Millersville University of Pennsylvania where she studied communications with a focus in public relations. She also has a background in film and previously worked in social media at Millersville University while completing her studies. Jasmine enjoys using her skills to maintain and produce content for the University's main social media channels.

Mob +64 21 279 1995

Koren AllpressKoren Allpress

Internal Communications Adviser

Koren joined the University in 2022 as an Internal Communications Adviser after finishing her BVA Hons in painting at the Dunedin School of Art. She has previously worked as a reporter for the Timaru Herald and The Westport News. Koren is from Dunedin originally and completed a BCApSc in Food Science at the University of Otago in 2011, and a Diploma in Journalism from Aoraki Polytechnic (Now Ara) in 2014. She looks forward to helping share the stories of postgraduate students here at Otago.

Mob +64 21 279 5479

Sandra French 2023 imageSandra French

Internal Communications Adviser

Sandra joined the University in 2023. An MBA specialising in marketing communications, she moved to New Zealand in 2012 to pursue further postgraduate studies. A professional with nearly two decades experience, she has worked across multiple industries, including tertiary education, in a variety of communication and marketing roles. She is passionate about the role of communication in enhancing organisational culture and in promoting collaboration, diversity, equity & inclusion, and wellbeing.

Tel +64 3 556 5814
Mob +64 21 279 5305

eugeneportraitEugene Yeo

Social Media Co-ordinator

Eugene joined the Communications Team in 2022, preceded by six years of other roles within the University. After moving to New Zealand from Malaysia, Eugene completed his Bachelor of Science at Otago where he majored in Psychology. Eugene was previously the editor of Antics (the Otago Tramping Club's Journal of Adventures), and he dabbles heavily in adventure photography and videography, contributing content to brands such as Discovery Channel & McDonald's. Eugene enjoys implementing his skills in visual storytelling and community engagement through the University's social media channels.

Mob +64 21 279 1742

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