Sonya McGuire is an astute business woman, philanthropist and educator
Sonya McGuire lives on the Gold Coast with her husband and three sons. She is the founder and CEO of two highly successful vocational training colleges, the Australian College of Information Technology and Institute of Film and Television (ACIT & IFTV). In 2017, she established a new production house on the Gold Coast – IFTV Studios.
A strong belief in the power of education to bring about change and a personal zest for knowledge has guided Sonya throughout her own academic journey. Always looking to enhance her skill set, she is close to completing her Masters in Legal Administration at the level of Juris Doctor, majoring in International Business and Finance Law and Corporations Law through Bond University.
In 2018 Sonya was the recipient of a Certificate of Excellence from Bond University for achieving first in class for Global Investment Banking Law.
An enduring commitment to community and to enhancing the lives of others has underpinned Sonya’s work for over two decades. For the past 25 years Sonya has played a pivotal role in advancing the Gold Coast’s reputation as one of the world’s leaders in vocational training.
As an advocate for women in business and a staunch believer in the role education can play in enhancing the lives of women, Sonya is committed to her new project – IFTV Studios – as a vehicle for change.
Sonya is a member of the American association, AMEC; the Association of Media and Entertainment Counsel and a member of Wildlife Tourism.
Early Career leads to Ongoing Vocation
Alongside 25 years of business acumen, as founder and CEO of two vocational training schools, Sonya McGuire has a personal career marked with employment, education and self-development.
Sonya studied for a Bachelor of Business Computing at Charles Darwin University in the late 1980s. She worked as a systems analyst programmer for the Northern Territory government, Department of Transport and Works, and as a consultant for the database design, development and implementation of management systems for ship maintenance at the Frances Bay Slipway.
Seven years in Darwin provided a range of opportunities for Sonya who demonstrated from the beginning of her career that she was imaginative and multi-talented. She worked as a model, studied acting and practised as a trainee consultant for the Charles Darwin University in systems analysis. When she moved to the Gold Coast in 1992, Sonya worked as a guest lecturer for Bond University and Gold Coast TAFE, training students in new technologies, software and database management.
Perceiving a gap in the educational market, Sonya made the decision to set up ACIT on the Gold Coast in 1999, providing education opportunities in IT and digital communications. Astute insight is a talent that has accompanied Sonya McGuire throughout her career. ACIT’s success led to the IFTV being established 5 years later. Understanding the interrelatedness of digital communications and film and television has created a vibrant institution that reaches thousands of students from over 20 countries.
What comes next? In 2017, Sonya established IFTV Studios. In 2019 she will complete her Masters in Legal Administration at the level of Juris Doctor, majoring in International Business and Finance Law and Corporations Law through Bond University.
This visionary, next step sees the creation of online education through cutting-edge documentary making aimed at enhancing and empowering the lives of women around the world. Stay tuned!
Construction & Development
Sonya has worked on several real estate projects including commercial and residential design and development
Project management – whatever the project – means professional oversight, intricate planning, a good eye for design and an ability to see the big picture.
Over the past 25 years, Sonya McGuire has managed a range of commercial and residential design and development projects. In 1997, she was engaged as managing director for a Malaysian developer, overseeing the construction and management of a multi-storey, high-rise project. This work involved construction design, marketing and management planning and the coordination of architects, real estate agencies and construction crews.
Sonya brought this experience and invaluable skill-set to the project management of various commercial locations, including the premises for ACIT & IFTV college. With a history of overseeing construction and fit-out, she is well placed to handle the planning and negotiation of commercial leasing for her own portfolio of businesses.
Drawing on her significant experience in IT, Sonya founded the Australian College of Information Technology (ACIT) on the Gold Coast in 1995 – a vocational educational institution providing courses in digital technologies and multimedia to international and Australian students. The college partners with technology giants that define the digital industries including Microsoft, Cisco Systems, Juniper Networks and VMware. Learn more about the colleges here.
In 1999, Sonya acquired the OPTUS Vision Studios in Brisbane to use as a hands on learning facility and founded a sister college to ACIT – the Institute of Film and Television (IFTV). IFTV provides a professional and creative approach to the study of film and television covering subjects including screenwriting, cinematography, visual effects, editing and unit production management.
Sonya is passionate about providing quality education and employment outcomes and ACIT & IFTV is recognised as a world leader in vocational training. Through her colleges, she has played an important role in shaping modernised, state-of-the-art technology education which encompasses security, networking, engineering, digital media and film and television.
Unlike any other training colleges in Australia, ACIT & IFTV partner with industry leaders to provide highly sought after internship programs designed to give students real world experience. The result is 100% graduate employment over 25 years of operation. The prestigious college is a government registered training organisation that delivers industry approved education to local students and international students from 17 countries.
With 25 years as an education provider, Sonya is highly regarded for her education enterprise and has gained considerable expertise in international export marketing. Since 2012 she has travelled all over the world with state and federal politicians on trade and education export missions. She regularly presents to international delegations on topics around education systems, technology and media. In 2014 she was invited to speak at the World Federation of Colleges and Polytechnics World Congress in Beijing about education and employment of behalf of the Brazilian government organisation, the National Council for the Federal Network of Vocational Institutions (CONIF). She travels constantly to network and collaborate with international agencies, high levels of government, law, telecom companies and representatives of international education and film industries.
In 2017 Sonya founded her production company, IFTV Studios
In 2017 Sonya founded her production company, IFTV Studios, and has begun production development a women’s empowerment project and an adventure documentary series. (See www.iftvsutdios.com for more information).
The Empowering Women project came about when she was travelling in India and speaking with government and industry bodies, including members of the Bollywood film industry, about education reform, exports, production investment and distribution.
She is collaborating with producers in Hollywood and Australia to create an online portal to educate socially disadvantaged women. The content will combine learning with entertainment and be accessible world-wide to anyone with a smart phone.