Emeritus Associate Jan Fitz-Gerald, Founder and Chief Executive


Jan has more than 30 years experience in New Zealand public and private education at tertiary and secondary levels. She spent many years at AUT University in a senior executive and management role in University and International Relations including establishing the International Centre and more recently in business and international development. She was recognised for her outstanding contribution to the University with the Emeritus Associate award.

Jan is Founder and past Chief Executive of the award winning Queenstown Resort College.  QRC is a high quality tourism and hospitality management college (hotel school) designed to meet the needs of industry workplace skills, provision of quality graduates and executive training needs for tourism and hospitality senior managers.

Jan has been designing and delivering highly successful customised short courses to student and professional business groups for many years.  She is Founder and President of the China New Zealand Youth Leadership Summit concept for senior high school students. This is now recognised by the Qingdao  Municipal Government Education Bureau as lead hosts in China  and  awarded best youth project for 2018 by Sister Cities New Zealand.  Jan started her career as a high school teacher and new teacher adviser with the Ministry of Education and has a strong community spirit having been a member of Rotary for 15 years and serving on community and school trusts and boards.

 “Thank you for taking the time to organise this trip for us.  It has been an unforgettable experience. Kim.

Suzie Scott, Program Director

For 30 years Susie has been lucky enough to work in the education sector with students, staff, international delegates, business and institutions promoting experiential learning, forging relationships and sharing the merits of our fabulous New Zealand.  This has been and continues to be a real passion for Susie.    

As the former International Marketing Manager for Otago Polytechnic the second largest tertiary institution in the South Island she brings considerable experience and first-hand knowledge of New Zealand as an amazing educational study program destination.

Susie is a very proud South Island New Zealander and lives in a small town in Otago called Oamaru with husband John and adorable dog Max. 

Laurel Bright Program Director

Laurel is based in Brisbane and has a strong background in education and a keen passion for agriculture. She has spent 15 years in the International Directorates of several Australian Universities in various senior leadership roles with extensive country relationship responsibilities in study abroad with the USA, South East Asia, Japan, Europe and South America.    

Laurel was also Director, International Programs & Services Section within the Office of Higher Education in the Queensland State Government. She led the advancement of the internationalisation of education in Queensland. 

In 2010 Laurel purchased 350 acres of rural land in northern NSW. A combination of hardwood forest and luscious pastures which grass feeds 25 Black Angus steers annually.

“Thank you so much for travelling with us!  I really enjoyed your stories and adventurous spirit.”  Rachel G