Rowan Courtney-O’Connor

President & Managing Director

Board of Directors

Executive Management Group & Academic Board Member


Rowan Courtney-O’Connor is a seasoned leader in both the Higher Education and Business sectors, currently serving as the President and Managing Director of the International College of Management, Sydney (ICMS). Taking on this pivotal role in 2024, alongside the Board of Directors, Rowan has been instrumental in reshaping the institution’s strategy and vision.

In 2023, a transformative journey was embarked upon, resulting in the reconstruction of the ICMS Strategic Plan for the fiscal years 2024 to 2026. The vision, aptly articulated as ‘Australia’s Leading Industry Focused University College’, reflects ICMS’s commitment to fostering excellence in education with a distinct industry focus.

The strategic objectives encompass Educational Excellence, Scholarship, Civic Leadership, Student Outcomes, Institutional Experience and Development, Financial Strength, and Global Engagement. At the foundation of this strategic framework lies the overarching purpose of ICMS: Educating students for personal success in their professional lives.

Rowan’s professional journey spans over two decades, marked by diverse leadership roles in operational management within the hospitality industry and strategic development initiatives through management agreements, buyouts, franchising, and asset leasing. His tenure with Colliers International and Australian Pharmaceutical Industries broadened his horizons in property development, including site selection, project management, feasibility studies, regulatory approvals, and land and building acquisitions.

Transitioning to the Higher Education sector over 12 years ago, Rowan’s expertise expanded to encompass strategic planning, marketing and recruitment, international development, campus operations, administration, and facilities development. His ascent within ICMS saw him become a member of the Executive Management Group in 2011, joining the Academic Board in 2016, and attaining a seat on the ICMS Board of Directors in 2024.

A proud alumnus of ICMS, Rowan holds a Diploma in Hospitality Management. His academic journey continued at Macquarie University, where he earned a Bachelor of Business Administration, and culminated at Sydney University with an Executive Master of Business Administration. Throughout his educational pursuits, Rowan reinforced the importance of belief in the vision—a principle at the core of ICMS.

In addition to his academic accomplishments, Rowan brings a global perspective through international development, having extensively traveled through South East Asia, China, Europe, Russia, and the United States. His keen insights into the needs of international students led to the creation and launch of Aspire Institute and Aspire English in 2013. This initiative reflects ICMS’s commitment to providing students with diverse opportunities and pathways, aligning with the institution’s overarching vision.

As Rowan reflects on his extensive professional journey, he emphasises the enduring importance of a constructive culture. ICMS prioritises the continuous measurement of its culture, ensuring the institution upholds its values and evolves a constructive culture that propels it towards sustained excellence and to achieve its vision as ‘Australia’s Leading Industry Focused University College’.

Rowan Courtney-O’Connor​

Linda Karlsson 

Head of English Language Programs and Foundation Programs 

Senior Academic Team, Executive Management Group

Aspire English and Aspire Institute 


Linda Karlsson is Head of English Language and Foundation Programs at Aspire English, Aspire Institute and the International College of Management, Sydney (ICMS). Aspire Institute is the pathway provider for ICMS, as well as other partner universities with which Aspire has an agreement.  

Linda is a highly qualified and experienced English language teacher. She has been in the field of international education for over sixteen years. She has a Master’s Degree in (Higher) Education, and a Post Graduate Diploma in Applied Linguistics (TESOL), from Macquarie University. 

Linda has worked as an IELTS examiner and has vast experience in teaching a range of ESL courses from elementary to advanced levels. In Linda’s current role she oversees an intensive English language program which focuses on developing the English language skills of international students through creative and interactive course activities. 

Linda is the Principal Administrator for Aspire’s membership with NEAS and English Australia. 


Trancy Vo

Student Centre Coordinator

Aspire English, Aspire Institute and ICMS

Trancy Vo is the Student Centre Coordinator at Aspire Institute and Aspire English.


Trancy has a Master’s Degree in Management and Organisations from ICMS, and a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Management from University of Sunderland (UK).

Trancy has over four years of experience in Student Services. Her current role involves key administration and leadership, accountability for improving the overall student experience through the delivery of exceptional support services both administrative and customer focused.

Trancy is also part of the Aspire Wellness Team where students can seek informal personal guidance and support if they have any physical or emotional issues that affect their academic progression.