The Raffles Family
Be Inspired by the best
Our courses are much more than just curriculum, they're also about people. If you're looking for a place we're you'll be challenged, inspired and driven to do better than you thought possible, then you've found it.
Our lecturers are made up of professional practitioners in their respective fields and education professionals with an industry background who all bring with them a wealth of knowledge and experience. Our learning environment benefits from their commitment to quality and creativity and their focus in helping students become accomplished professionals.
Program Coordinator Interior Design
Aileen Sanjoto has been working in the interior design industry for the past ten years. As a practicing interior designer and lecturer, she believed that design is a versatile subject that could be taught across many platforms to engage and stimulate the creative minds.
As an educator, Aileen strives to deliver quality teaching and learning experience by supporting students in providing both conceptual and theoretical knowledge in design.
Industry and Community Manager
Crystal Tsoi has over 10 years of experience working in the fashion industry.
Crystal’s career in fashion started with the launch of her debut collection at the Rosemount Australian Fashion Week and Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Australia in In 2014, Crystal founded an initiative to support Australian emerging designers, to gain exposures and representation overseas, especially in China, Japan and Korea . She is appointed as the Australia-China Fashion Ambassador by China Fashion Association in recognition of her support for emerging fashion designers in 2016.
Crystal has played a central role in building the industry partnerships, the production of the Raffles International Showcase at the Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week, as well as the liaison for the cultural projects overseas since 2012.
Crystal believes that a student career in fashion started on the day they enrolled in college as a designer. Her mantra as Industry and Community Manager is to provide the students with all the opportunity to be connected to the industry and prepared them with the industry resources; empowering the students with rich cultural experiences through the overseas program; promotions of interdisciplinary collaborations, are what makes a successful and competitive design education experience.
Program Coordinator Photography
I have been working in the creative and digital content production industry for more than five years across Australia and Europe on local and global projects. I have a wide range of skills in video and photography production and an extensive experience shooting and directing. My work with digital and creative agencies has allowed me to explore my creativity and taught me how to handle the stress of working with high profile clients.
I am a passionate 35mm film photographer and I especially love to build my own camera. In 2012 I had the opportunity to be selected to attend the Kodak Masterclass in Sydney, NSW and in 2015 I hosted my first exhibition showing my work on self portrait, reflexion that I started in 2009 in my thesis on the Self-portrait for my Master in Visual Communication.
As a teacher I always push my student to express their particularities and encourage them to explore the different options photography can offer to them. I am always seeking to push them to excellency and will always share with my students my experiences and connections I have in the Australian and European industry.
MDes (Graphic Design) Senior Lecturer / Program Director Graphic Design and Visual Communications
A seasoned professional, Edward has spent 15 years working in leading design studios in NZ and Australia. In his diverse career as an award-winning graphic designer and art director, photographic designer, lecturer and mentor, he has explored many dimensions of design. His in-depth experience in the creative industry and relentless passion for design provide a strong foundation for a productive and creative environment.
He has the drive and edge to push students creatively - in strong partnership with his academic staff. As an active member of AGDA (Australian Graphic Design Association), Edward has maintain a strong presence within the design and art community, which ensures students are gaining all relevant skills they need to be industry-ready graduates.
Program Director Fashion Design & Fashion Marketing
Nicholas Comino MFA is a practising visual artist and designer with over twenty years of lecturing experience both in Australia and abroad. His professional design and teaching knowledge extends over a diverse field of artistic and design practices, and his personal projects are represented in both national and international collections.
His extensive educational background includes Architecture and Industrial Design (Queensland University of Technology), Fine Arts, Fine-Arts History, Classical Studies (Reading University UK). And Masters of Fine Arts (QUT).
His appointment in 2012 as Program Director of Fashion Design and Fashion Marketing at Raffles College of Design and Commerce, Sydney, marks an innovative approach towards traditional systems of Fashion Design education, and reflects contemporary fashion trends towards interdisciplinary design awareness and skills. His commitment as the Program Director is for the development of the Fashion Design and Fashion Marketing degree courses to reflect further the connections between Design, Fashion, and Visual Communication.
Program Coordinator Fashion Marketing and Lecturer Fashion Buying, and Marketing.
After many years as a senior fashion buyer, product developer and branding manager for large retailers, Paula Punch brings her extensive experience to Raffles College.
After Graduating from the University of New South Wales in Bachelor of Science, Paula decided on a career in fashion after studying evening courses in fashion design at East Sydney TAFE. This has been helpful of late with the fast pace of change in natural textile developments, and sustainable fashion discussions.
Starting at Grace Bros (now Myer),she managed buyerships in Swimwear, Contemporary Designer, Import Designer and was instrumental in the growth of concept shops within the stores with and the introduction of iconic brands such as Ken Done. She introduced key lifestyle categories, such as activewear, and managed the tremendous department store growth period of the Country Road brand in it’s early phase in Grace Bros.
As Womens Upmarket Category Divisional Manager she was also able to mentor many young buyers, and was a Judge in the Fashion Industry Awards.
Starting a consultancy business in the mid 1990's, Paula assisted many start up and established businesses including, Esprit, Qualspec International and Von Troska in product ranging, store management, merchandising, and quality control.
Her other senior buying positions included Rockmans, Big W and Speciality Fashion Group, and more recently David Jones, where as Private Label Manager, she was responsible for the branding, product development and sourcing for the womens, mens and childrens apparel, accessories, and shoes for all the store's Private Label merchandise. These roles gave her exposure in different fashion markets and wide experience in product development.
Paula began lecturing for Raffles College in 2016, and has been the Fashion Marketing Co-ordinator at Raffles since mid-2017 where she aims to inspire and educate her marketing students for the dynamic ever-changing global fashion industry.
DR SOHEIL ASHRAFI
Senior Lecturer Program Director - Culture & Communication
Soheil Ashrafi is the Program Director of Culture & Communication Program. In his broad cultural and academic experience, he has been afforded a rounded spectrum of knowledge in design theory and history. His research interests lie at the intersection of design, the humanities and science with particular focus on theory of cross-cultural dialogue, social justice and Inclusive Design.
In 2015, his PhD thesis was nominated by the Higher Degree Committee for the Dean’s Award for Research Excellence at UNSW Art & Design. As a researcher, he has been invited to various national and international conferences including the 6th Global Conference of Visual Literacies at the University of Oxford, and has published with prestigious journals. Being an active member of International Society of Typographic Designers (ISTD), he has also exhibited his experimental design models within and outside Australia.
Principal & CEO
Trent Pohlmann is an Australian national with expertise in the management and leadership of higher education institutions. He has worked for both public universities and private education companies, with responsibilities for the management of both academic and non-academic operations.
After a short time lecturing and researching, Trent transitioned into education management where his responsibilities have included oversight of strategic and operational planning, multimillion dollar budgets, academia, marketing, physical and human resources, student services and administration, regulatory compliance, quality assurance, governance and international.
In addition to his management background, Trent has held a number of governance roles. He was a member of the Council, and member of the Council Membership Committee, of Central Queensland University; a member of the Academic Board of the S P Jain School of Global Management; and is a current ex-officio member of the College’s Council and Academic Board.
He has previously been engaged for consulting in the review of university department operations, and as an external member for university senior executive recruitments. He is a recognised expert in higher education, and presents and writes particularly in the field of international and transnational education.
Trent holds a Bachelor of Science (First class honours) from Central Queensland University Australia, and a Master of Business Administration (with Distinction) from Curtin University Australia.
Trent joined Raffles in 2016 as the Director of Transnational Education, a role focusing on the growth and development of international sites delivering Raffles Australian qualifications. In late 2016, he assumed the Principal role at Raffles College of Design and Commerce. The Principal is the Chief Executive Officer of the company, and member of the Academic Board and Council, with overall responsibility for all academic and non-academic operations, and implementation of the strategic vision.
DR PAUL ADAMS
Deputy Principal and Dean
Dr Paul Adams is Deputy Principal and Dean at Raffles College of Design and Commerce, a role which includes academic and scholarly leadership of the teaching staff, professional development, and course quality assurance, review and development. Dr Adams held similar responsibilities at Polytechnic Institute Australia where he was Academic Director and project managed the creation of the institution, including the TEQSA registration and the course accreditations. At Asia Pacific International College, he was Manager, Governance, QA and Compliance and prior to that he held lecturing positions, including at the University of New England, and conducted research for the New South Wales Parliament. Dr Adams’ PhD is in Communications and was awarded by the University of Sydney.