Fulbright Team

Fulbright Commission Team

The Australian-American Fulbright Commission office is based in Canberra and is run by a small but dedicated team. Please contact us if you have any queries about the scholarship program, eligibility, application advice, Fulbright alumni network, or to find out how you can support the Commission.

Shipra Gera-Arora

Chief Operating Officer
Email: Shipra.Gera-Arora@fulbright.org.au

Shipra joined the Australian-American Fulbright Commission in March 2020 as the Chief Operating Officer.  Shipra is a qualified Chartered Accountant with over ten years’ experience working in the private sector and at Commonwealth Government departments.  She brings with her expertise in financial management, various corporate functions and project management. 

She is outcomes focused, motivated and enjoys working with others whilst supporting their professional development.  Shipra is excited to contribute her expertise to support the ongoing successful operations of the Fulbright Commission.

Tara Hawley Whitfield

Partnerships and U.S. Scholarships Manager
Email: Tara.Whitfield@fulbright.org.au


Tara re-joined the Australian-American Fulbright Commission in 2021 as Partnerships and U.S. Scholarships Manager. Between 2014-19 she managed the Commission’s scholarship program. In her new role she has oversight over the program’s partnerships, events, and fundraising activities, as well as the U.S. Scholarship program.

Tara has over 10 years’ experience working across business development, program management, partnerships, events, and facilitation in the higher education sector.

She is also currently completing a Master of Business (Philanthropy and Non-Profit Studies) through QUT. She has previously completed degrees in Social Impact Assessment and Development and Culture Change through Macquarie University, and holds a Diploma in Management and Leadership.

Tara is passionate about developing innovative, sustainable programs that have a significant global and social impact.

Meggan Fitzgerald

Scholarships Manager
Email: Meggan.Fitzgerald@fulbright.org.au

Meggan joined the Australian-American Fulbright Commission in November 2019, and took up the Scholarships Manager role in mid 2020.

Meggan brings to the Fulbright team considerable administrative, project management, and volunteer resource management skills developed over ten years in the not-for-profit sector in Sydney, New Orleans, and Washington D.C. Meggan holds a Bachelor of Arts with a double major in History and Political Science with a specialisation in International Relations.

As a dual Australian-American citizen, Meggan is excited to use her experience and expertise to facilitate cultural and educational exchange between her adopted and birth countries.

Ian Smith 

Scholarships Officer
Photo of Ian SmithEmail: Ian.Smith@fulbright.org.au

Ian joined the Australian-American Fulbright Commission as a Scholarships Officer in May 2021.

Ian comes to the Fulbright Commission from an undergraduate degree in International Studies at Deakin University and a Master of Diplomacy at the Australian National University with a focus of Australia’s role in the Asia-Pacific. During Ian’s undergraduate degree he undertook a study tour to the United States which sparked his interest in understanding the U.S. and Australia’s shared values. Ian also interned at the Embassy of Islamic Republic of Afghanistan in Canberra.

Ian comes from regional South Australia and is passionate about closing the urban-rural divide and understands the importance of education and the life shaping opportunity academic exchange can have on students. Ian looks forward to assisting Fulbright scholars to make the most of their opportunities.

Riahta Ranford

Scholarships Officer
Photo of Riahta RanfordEmail: Riahta.Ranford@fulbright.org.au

Riahta joined the Australian-American Fulbright Commission as a Program Officer in May 2021.

Riahta comes to the Australian-American Fulbright Commission from an undergraduate degree in Cultural Theory and Critical Thinking at Macquarie University with an emphasis in social and cultural identity. Born in London to parents from two different cultures, Riahta has navigated life and countries through a Western and Eastern lens. She has lived in Singapore, Indonesia and for a small time in the United States. She has a deep interest in cross-cultural identity and the importance of empathy, collaboration and education of different cultures to build understanding.

Having worked on the Australian of the Year Awards, Riahta brings a sunny enthusiasm to her work and is excited to support Fulbright Scholars on their journey.

Anne Macafee

Finance Officer
Email: Anne.Macafee@fulbright.org.au

Photo of Anne Macafee

Anne commenced with the Fulbright Commission in August 2020 to provide assistance to the COO with the Commissions financial management information system on a short-term basis.  Anne re-joined the team in August 2021.

Anne brings with her a warm, happy and enthusiastic approach to work with extensive experience in finance, bookkeeping and financial systems.  Through her work with other clients, Anne has worked in a multitude of industries including legal, IT, hospitality, commercial property, retail and financial services to name a few.  Anne is looking forward to continuing her work with the Fulbright Commission and supporting the operations of the program.

Claudine Page-Allen 

Administration and U.S. Scholarships Officer 

Photo of Claudine Page-AllenEmail: Claudine.Page-Allen@fulbright.org.au

Claudine commenced with the Australian-American Fulbright Commission in May 2021 and supports the U.S. Scholarship program and COO in running the office.

Claudine is currently undertaking a Bachelor of International Security Studies at the Australian National University, where she plans to focus on Sustainable Development, and Peace and Conflict Studies. With a long-held interest in international relations, she is excited to see the Fulbright Commission’s efforts to strengthen bilateral relationships through close person-to-person links and the exchange of cultural ideas and academic knowledge.

Claudine brings with her 5 years of experience in administration and customer service in Canberra and Melbourne. Her study of languages from a young age and participation in two educational exchanges to Italy have left her with a passion for promoting educational and cultural exchange.