NSW International Student of the Year Awards

11 October 2013

International student awards photo

Australia's most recognisable international landmark – the Sydney Opera House hosted the NSW Government's annual celebration of the State's most outstanding international students on Thursday 10 October 2013.

Deputy Premier and Minister for Trade and Investment Andrew Stoner announced the winners of the prestigious NSW International Student of the Year Awards on behalf of the Premier.

The awards celebrate the positive contribution and achievements of outstanding international students from across the full spectrum of the NSW educational sector - schools, English language colleges, vocational education and training institutions, and higher education.

The awards are highly valued by education providers and students. They enhance the experience of international students living and studying in NSW through activities that integrate them into the community.

The winners developed a range of initiatives, including encouraging Indigenous students to study engineering; an anti-bullying video campaign; promoting multiculturalism; sharing their skills with others; and helping to establish a national body to advocate for international students.

The awards ceremony, hosted by SBS news presenter Janice Petersen, featured musical performances and publicly recognised the contributions that international students make to their fellow students, their educational institutions and the wider community.

Celebrating the success of international students and enhancing their educational and social experiences raises the profile of Sydney and NSW as an international education destination.

The NSW Government is working with education industry partners to build the international education sector, which is worth $5.5 billion a year to the State, and ensure its long-term growth.

The Government established StudyNSW in partnership with the international education sector to build on the State's world class education industry and enrich the student experience here in NSW.

Winners of the NSW International Student of the Year Awards Higher Education

Mr Tong Sheng (Thomson) CH'NG, Malaysia – Curtin University, SydneyThomson has been an active international student representative since 2009. In2010, he was a founding delegate of the Council of International Students Australia (CISA), the peak representative body. 

In 2011, he was elected National Secretary of CISA and in 2013, National President. Thomson has provided valuable feedback from an international student's perspective at events such as the NSW Government's Roundtable on Safety Issues and the NSW Social Policy Committees Inquiry into the Accommodation for International Students. 

This year he instigated the 'My Study My Career Forum' which informed international students about ways to enhance their employability while studying in Australia. 

Thomson is active in the wider multicultural community. He facilitated a workshop for the Annual Youth Leaders Day, an initiative of the Community Relations Commission, which promoted leadership among young people in the multicultural community.

Vocational Education and Training (VET)

Mr Joseph PARK, South Korea – C3 College (Oxford Falls)

While studying full-time, Joseph plays an active role in his church and local Community. He is often up at 4am so he can travel from the west of Sydney by public transport to attend chapel before class. He works with the music team and runs a weekly Bible study group. 

He also runs his church media team. Joseph readily shares his media skills with others and is a valued team member. Joseph has contributed a great deal in a hands-on way to the building of his church's new facility. He works as a volunteer with others installing the new media system.


Mr Junxi (James) TIAN, China – Ashfield Boys High School

A senior prefect, James initiated two projects to encourage students at the school to participate in volunteer programs. 

He devised and ran an Anti-Bullying Video Competition for Year 7 students to help raise awareness of the issue at the school. 

He also established the 2013 Bush Care Volunteering program for more than 30 students. 

In addition to involvement on the Student Representative Council, James has assisted and liaised with the international student coordinator organising student meetings and afternoon teas. 

He has helped many new arrivals make a smooth transition to high school in Australia. 

James volunteers for the Salvation Army Red Shield Appeal and a Red Cross Australia retail outlet. James was the recipient of the NSW Premier's Black Opal Award for more than 150 hours of volunteering in March 2012.

Ms Yuhan (Wendy) YANG, China – Blakehurst High School

Since enrolling in 2012, Wendy joined the Student Representative Council and participated in fund raising activities, helped to promote multiculturalism and anti-bullying, as well as organising events. These activities assisted in Wendy being appointed as a senior prefect. 

Wendy is an active member of the wider community. She has participated in Relay for Life, and the Red Shield Appeal, volunteered at the Red Cross Blood Bank and at the Sydney Cats and Dogs home. She placed third in the 2013 Zonta International Young Women in Public Affairs Award.

English Language Intensive Courses for Overseas Students (ELICOS)

Ms Leticia Luiz, Brazil – University of Sydney Centre for English Teaching

Leticia began her studies in English in July 2012 as a Science Without Borders scholarship recipient. 

She led a group of seven students from six different nationalities over three months to perform a talent show in front of 600 students at an awards ceremony. The event was designed to encourage cross-cultural communication among international students. 

In January, Leticia helped run an event to encourage high school students of Aboriginal background to study engineering. She also mentored some of the students. 

Leticia regularly gives presentations to new students about how they can make the most of their overseas education experience.