Arrivals & Departures: Changes at MDS

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AUCKLAND, Friday: Paul Brafield will replace Darryn Melrose as the new head of Media Design School Auckland. The change does not affect Kate Humphries’ role as Auckland-based programme leader for creative advertising across New Zealand and Australia.

From Friday 14 December, Brafield will assume the position of Australasian GM design & technology, which encompasses MDS in Auckland as well as Laureate ANZ’s design faculty in Australia.

Brafield has more than 23 years of industry, academic, business and leadership experience in the design and creative technology sectors.

He has been the director of product innovation at Laureate Australia and New Zealand for the past three years, responsible for implementing product strategy and driving best practice in the online/digital learning experience through product management, new programme development and enhancement, while ensuring connectivity and collaboration with the global Laureate network (of more than one million students studying at 60 higher institutions in 20 countries).

He has a deep connection to Laureate’s design faculty, having worked in a number of key roles, including programme director for digital media and head of learning & teaching.

He brings an abiding connection and understanding of New Zealand’s design, creative technology and higher education sectors. Prior to joining Laureate, Paul was Program Leader, Digital Media at AUT for nine years. His career in education also encompasses international experience, holding positions at The University of London and Birkbeck College in the UK.  

Within New Zealand, Brafield has worked as a broadcast graphic designer and art director for a range of major television networks, including TVNZ, CanWest and Sky, and as a freelance designer and consultant on broadcast, film and web projects.

“Kate has a superb international profile, and we’re proud of the outcomes she continues to achieve with and for our students.”

He said: “I am delighted to be joining MDS, which I have long admired for its amazing quality of student work resulting from a strong focus on industry immersion.

“I am looking forward to supporting the growth of that highly successful model as we expand our offering into exciting fields, like artificial intelligence and cloud computing, and exploring innovative new study options for students, such as micro-credentials.”

The outgoing ceo of MDS Darryn Melrose said: “Paul is a natural fit for the role. MDS is fortunate to have someone of Paul’s calibre to lead the school through the next era. His extensive experience and deep expertise in the fields of design and education as well as strategic business development make him the perfect choice.”

The Sydney release advising us of these changes makes it clear Humphries remains a key member of the team. “Kate has a superb national and international profile, and we’re proud of the outcomes she continues to achieve with and for our students,” said an unnamed MDS spokesperson, via the release.

“In addition to the general manager, we have an exceptional senior leadership team in place at MDS, and this team will continue to grow,” the release said.

Brafield says he’s excited to be spending more time in Auckland, with his family, and supporting the future growth of MDS.

About Media Design School
Media Design School (MDS) was established 20 years ago and is New Zealand’s most awarded private tertiary institution for digital and creative technology qualifications. MDS is an integral part of Laureate Australia and New Zealand. Our design faculty operates across Auckland, Melbourne, Sydney, Brisbane and Adelaide and the expectation is the General Manager will lead and work across all sites.

The school offers programmes in computer gaming, animation, creative advertising, interactive and graphic design and motion graphics. MDS will expand its offering in 2019 to include degrees and masters in artificial intelligence and cloud computing. In 2011, MDS became part of the global network of private higher education institutions, Laureate International Universities, which has more than one million students studying at 60 institutions in 20 countries. Laureate Australia and New Zealand’s Design faculty incorporates Auckland’s Media Design School as well as Torrens University in Australia.

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