Students from the first International Student Leadership and Ambassador Program in Sydney have graduated to become fully-fledged City of Sydney student ambassadors.
This week’s graduation ceremony for the innovative program was attended by the student ambassadors, consulates of students’ countries and international education advocates, marking the end of six months of training.
Lord Mayor Clover Moore said students who graduated would now be invited to represent all international students studying in Sydney at high-profile city events.
“Our International Student Leadership and Ambassador Program – the first of its kind in Sydney – couldn’t have happened without great students, dedicated City staff, consulates and support from educational institutions,” the Lord Mayor said.
“The students have completed skills development, mentoring and volunteer community service, and they’re ready to be inducted as official City of Sydney ambassadors.
“They’ll have the chance to participate in events like next year’s Chinese New Year Twilight Parade, and help out with planning and implementing the City’s Living in Harmony Festival and Youth Week.”
The City received 126 student applications for the inaugural program, with 41 selected on criteria including their motivation for getting involved in the program and their record of community service.
The selected candidates reflect the diversity of the Sydney international student population with representatives from 18 countries including China, Vietnam, South Korea, Indonesia, Thailand, Sri Lanka, Russia, Pakistan, Venezuela, Bangladesh, India, Liberia, Malaysia, Mauritius, Philippines and Tanzania.
The group represents 11 City of Sydney-based educational institutions including the University of Sydney, University of New South Wales and TAFE, along with the City campuses of other institutions including the Australian Catholic University, University of Wollongong, Charles Sturt University and Central Queensland University.
Over the last six months, the students have participated in courses covering leadership, cultural awareness, writing and project management, and have conducted media interviews and translated material promoting the program in their native languages.
Volunteer work and community service included assisting the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander’s earthen cooking event for NAIDOC Week in July, and taking part in tourism focus groups and attending forums representing the program, such as the Council of International Students Conference and the Community Relations Commission Symposium.
International student Tina Tran, who was born and raised in Vietnam, said the program was an incredible experience that has boosted her personal growth. A tip she would share with other international students is to always have an open mind.
“There are so many opportunities for international students to grow and develop outside of academic study; it’s really up to us to take on these opportunities and make our time in Sydney memorable and valuable,” Ms Tran said.
Ishraque Chowdhury, an international student from Bangladesh, said he met an array of interesting people through the program.
“The journey so far has been amazing and I’m looking forward to the next stage of it,” Mr Chowdhury said.
For more information, contact City of Sydney Senior Media Adviser Keeley Irvin.
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For interviews with Lord Mayor Clover Moore, contact Jonathon Larkin.
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