Accessibility Skip to Global Navigation Skip to Local Navigation Skip to Content Skip to Search Skip to Site Map Menu

Our people in Communications

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 O’Docherty

Executive Assistant to Director Communications

Tel +64 3 479 5730

^ Top of Page

Communications Advisory Service

Fiona Clarkson image

Fiona Clarkson

Manager, Communications Advisory Service

Fiona is a former print journalist and communications specialist with almost 30 years of experience. She joined the University in 2012 as the Postgraduate Communications and Marketing Co-ordinator, moved into marketing as a Marketing Specialist and now heads the Communications Advisory Services unit. Fiona’s passion is organisational communication, particularly internal communications and external reputation-building and she is proud to lead a team of experienced advisers with the aim of adding value to the University.

Tel +64 3 471 6272
Mob +64 21 279 6272

Margie Clark image

Margie Clark

Communications Adviser (150th Anniversary)

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

Kerry Dohig image

Kerry Dohig

Communications Adviser (Shared Services)

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 Shared Services Division, and the Alumni Office.

Tel +64 3 479 8336
Mob +64 21 232 2047

Guy Frederick image

Guy Frederick

Communications Adviser (Sciences)

For the last decade Guy has worked as an editorial photographer and writer primarily for the magazine market. During this time he was awarded the NZ Mental Health Media Grant for a project exploring personal mental health stories as a result of the Christchurch earthquakes, and more recently visited Scott Base on the Antarctica NZ’s Community Engagement Programme. The visit to the great white continent was perfectly timed at the end of completing Otago University’s Masters in Science Communication, where he further developed story-telling skills across various mediums. Guy’s research and interest in place based experience has recently been published in The Polar Journal.

Tel +64 3 479 7688
Mob +64 21 279 7688


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

Maureen Lloyd image

Maureen Lloyd

Communications Adviser (Health Sciences)

Maureen has an extensive background in journalism and communications, here and abroad. She spent most of her journalism career with Radio New Zealand as a general news reporter with a particular interest in court reporting, health and industrial news. She has held the positions of Chief Reporter and News Editor at various times and has worked in the print media, local television and communications management. She has a journalism qualification from Wellington Polytechnic (now Massey University).

Her first position at the University of Otago was with the Otago MBA and she later moved to the Department of Media, Film and Communications. She is now based in the Division of Health Sciences.

Tel +64 3 479 4144
Mob +64 21 279 4144

Cheryl Norrie image

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 4 385 5999 ext 6787
Mob +64 21 249 6787


Sam Stevens

Communications Adviser (Humanities)

Sam is a University of Otago alumnus, with a BA and postgraduate diploma in Religion. He also has a journalism qualification and has worked as a reporter on a daily newspaper and as a freelance magazine writer. Before joining the Communications Office, Sam was a Marketing and Communications Officer in Otago’s Division of Humanities.

Tel +64 3 479 8143
Mob +64 21 279 8143

Kim Thomas

Kim Thomas

Communications Adviser (Christchurch)

Profile to come.

Mob +64 27 222 6016

^ Top of Page

Media Engagement Team


Jo Galer

Team Leader Media Engagement

Jo has been with the University since 2009 in a media liaison, communications advisory and writing role. Her background is in journalism and public relations, starting as a newspaper reporter in 1989. Her past positions have included media liaison and adviser for the New Zealand Police, and journalist for publications including the Otago Daily Times, the West Australian and the Taieri Herald. An Otago alumna, Jo has a First Class Honours degree in History, and a Certificate in Journalism from the Wellington Polytechnic School of Journalism.

Tel +64 3 479 8263
Mob +64 21 279 8263
Web University media releases

Liane Topham Kindley image

Liane Topham-Kindley

Senior Communications Adviser

Liane is an experienced news journalist having worked for newspapers, magazines and news websites for more than 25 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 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

Mark Hathaway image

Mark Hathaway

Senior Communications Adviser

Mark joined the University in 2018 as a Communications Adviser, coming from TVNZ where he was the Dunedin-based reporter for One News. Mark has 15 years media experience behind him, ranging from a student TV presenter in Dunedin, radio copywriter in Auckland, sports reporter for TVNZ in Wellington plus various freelance roles across the media spectrum. He holds a National Certificate in TV, Theatre and Radio from Aoraki Polytechnic.

Tel +64 3 479 5016
Mob +64 21 279 5016
Web University media releases

Matiu Workman image

Matiu Workman

Kōrero Kaitohutohu Māori | Māori Communications Adviser

He aha te mea nui o te ao? He tāngata, he tāngata, he tāngata!
What is the most important thing in the world? It is the people, it is the people, it is the people!

Of Ngāti Kahungunu ki Wairarapa descent, Matiu has spent seven years working as a reporter across a number of print, radio and online platforms. He was previously a radio and video journalist with Newstalk ZB and the New Zealand Herald, and spent time in Rarotonga at Cook Islands News. He has also spent five years as a sports writer. An Otago alumna, he graduated with a Masters in Peace and Conflict Studies (Distinction) from the University in 2016. He also holds a Bachelor of Communications (Journalism) from AUT University.

Tel +64 3 479 9139
Mob +64 21 279 9139

Ellie Rowley image

Ellie Rowley

Communications Adviser (part-time)

Ellie has a background in print journalism, having worked four years as a general reporter at the Otago Daily Times and two as an advertising features writer. 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

Samuel White image

Samuel White

Social Media Adviser

Samuel comes from a background in journalism, photography and digital media. Before joining the communications team, he worked at the Otago Daily Times as a regional reporter. He has a Bachelor of Digital Media, Graduate Diploma in Dramatic Arts and a Postgraduate Diploma in Journalism. Samuel maintains the University’s main social media accounts and monitors online activity for it.

Tel +64 3 479 5479
Mob +64 21 279 5479

^ Top of Page

Online and print publications


Lisa Dick

Otago Bulletin Board Editor

Lisa is an experienced journalist, with a background in television, radio and print. She has worked as a reporter for TV3, Radio New Zealand, Dunedin's Channel 39 and the Otago Daily Times. She has an honours degree in neuroscience and psychology from Otago and a postgraduate diploma in journalism from Canterbury University.

Lisa works part-time, writing stories for and editing the Otago Bulletin Board.

Tel +64 3 479 4378
Mob +64 21 279 4378
Web Otago Bulletin Board


Karen Hogg

Editorial Manager

Karen’s journalism career spans a variety of newspaper news editing and feature-writing roles, as well as freelance magazine work. An Otago alumna, she has an Honours degree in Political Studies. She has been working in marketing and communications at the University since 2003.

Karen is responsible for editing key corporate publications, including the Otago Magazine, the multi-award-winning He Kitenga research highlights book and the University’s Annual Report.

Tel +64 3 479 8679
Web Otago Magazine, He Kitenga and Annual Report

^ Top of Pag