Category Archives: News

Thailand International Fellowship

As part of a Thailand International Fellowship scholarship (provided by DFAT and the University of Sydney), I spent six weeks interning in Bangkok at the Australian Embassy and Thailand’s largest English-speaking newspaper, Bangkok Post.

Press release for Australian Embassy

News articles published for Bangkok Post:

For more information about my journey in Thailand, read my official travel journal.

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Reality TV show Shark Tank is where entrepreneurs sink or swim

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An entrepreneur walks down a dimly lit corridor, alone and nervous, with nothing but a business proposal. The large wooden doors open. $1 billion stares back from leather seats.

Welcome to Shark Tank, Ten’s newest reality TV show where hopeful entrepreneurs ask five Aussie multimillionaires to invest hundreds of thousands, millions even, in their idea. In return, investing sharks get an ownership percentage. After contestants make their pitch, the sharks pick apart every fine detail in a swirl of facts and figures. It’s an impressive display of expertise. Contestants who withstand the firing line of questions are made an offer.

The concept originated in Japan’s Tiger of Money and has been recreated in America’s Shark Tank and the UK’s Dragon’s Den. In 2005, Network Seven attempted an Australian version of Dragon’s Den before discontinuing due to poor ratings. But Network Ten are hopeful given Shark Tank‘s success in America, nominated for an Emmy earlier this year.

Estimated by Ten to be collectively worth just under $1 billion, the sharks include Andrew Banks (of Talent2), Naomi Simson (RedBalloon), Janine Allis (Boost Juice Bars), Steve Baxter (entrepreneur and investor), and John McGrath (McGrath Estate Agents).

The Australian sharks are markedly kinder than their American counterparts. Shark Tank Executive Producer, Paul Leadon, says “it isn’t like blood in the water, which tends to be the US version. This is far more gentle.”

Shark Andrew Banks says this is because “Australians like to give people a go. They back the underdog.”

“For an Australian shark to say ‘I send my money out like soldiers and they come back each day’ (as Canadian entrepreneur Kevin O’Leary famously did in the US Shark Tank), I mean Australians will go ‘who is he kidding? He’s dreaming! Is this a comedy show?’ So I think we’re real, we’re a bit more grounded.”

That said the successful chairman of Talent still loves a metaphor. “The thing I love about sharks is they have to keep swimming or they die. So I’m definitely one of those. [I have] to keep moving,” Banks says. On the show, he is authoritative but rarely cruel.

Naomi Simson, who launched RedBalloon from home with a second-hand computer, opts for a straight-shooting attitude. “I did bring out my mummy voice a few times,” she says.

“Fourteen years ago, I would’ve been the one at the other side of the table, pitching an idea that nobody had ever heard of,” Simson says. “Probably the sharks would’ve said no to me. They would’ve said ‘You’re dreaming!’ But that’s what it takes to run a business: you’ve got to dream.”

The show is full of dreamers. Mums, scientists, university students and teenagers from across Australia dared to present their ideas, from apps to medical technology to the “hamdog” (hamburger hotdog).

Many have put a lot on the line to launch their businesses. The sharks themselves know a lot about taking risks. Banks borrowed $5000 he didn’t have for his first business, and $200,000 for his second.

So when does taking a risk turn into demise? “I think it’s going from the rational to the irrational,” Banks says. “Ninety per cent of small businesses fail because a lot of people have too much courage and passion and not enough planning.”

The sharks are kind, but they’re not afraid to devour an idea that won’t make money. “We’re not in business for the donations!” Simson says.

“We don’t have to be nice,” she says. “In fact often we do people a far greater service by challenging people to greatness.”

“This is not a ‘get rich quick, if you get on the show, everything’s going to be okay’. Business is hard. Business is tough. There’s never a silver bullet.”

Shark Tank, Ten, Sunday (Feb 8), 8pm.

Published in Sydney Morning Herald, 29 January 2015.

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Racing to save the Reef

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Nemo waited at the edge of the City2Surf starting line, desperate to save the Great Barrier Reef. Instead of a fish tank of friends, Nemo was accompanied by almost 40 Australian Youth Climate Coalition (AYCC) volunteers calling on Westpac to pre-emptively declare it will not fund the Abbot Point-X coal port expansion in the Great Barrier Reef.

“Nemo’s got nowhere else to run if the Great Barrier Reef is destroyed,” said Ella Weisbrot, NSW Co-Coordinator of AYCC. So, armed with flyers, 1,500 stickers and a large banner, the environmentalists spoke to thousands of people about the dangers facing the reef, collected 5,000 open letter signatures and even made a brief appearance on Sunrise.

Despite having their banner confiscated by security, the response they got was overwhelmingly supportive. “Australians just think it’s madness to risk something as special and as a beautiful as the Great Barrier Reef,” Ms Weisbrot said.

In addition to the City2Surf, which was sponsored by Westpac, AYCC volunteers have been visiting Westpac headquarters regularly and meeting with 275 branch managers across the east coast states. They have received support from many staff members with 100 branch managers committing to raise an internal question over Westpac’s stance on the AP-X project funding.

With international banks like Deutsche Bank, HSBC, RBS, Barclays and Credit Agricole all declaring their refusal to fund the project, the AYCC is hoping Australia’s big four banks will follow the same path. Early this year, Westpac was crowned the most sustainable company in the world; it is this company culture that AYCC is appealing to. “It’s in no way a smear campaign,” Ms Weisbrot said. “We’re really calling on Westpac to live up to their excellent sustainability reputation and be the first Australian bank to publicly make the declaration that they won’t fund coal ports on the reef.”

In February, the young activists claimed a huge victory when major property developer, Lend Lease, withdrew its bid from the AP-X expansion after a six-month AYCC campaign. This, along with earlier withdrawals from BHP Billiton and Rio Tinto, has left GVK Reddy and Gautam Adani as the last remaining major developers of the AP-X port.

Adani’s $16 billion Carmichael coal project in the Galilee Basin has already been rife with difficulties due to falling coal prices, lack of funding and the controversy surrounding plans to dredge three million cubic metres of sediment into the Great Barrier Reef. AYCC’s current appeal to Australian banks is a further attempt to block funding from a project that threatens to destroy the reef for future generations.

Ms Weisbrot said it would be “irresponsible” to sit back and hope companies will boycott the AP-X project without public pressure. “As young people, our future is really important to us so we really need to make sure that it’s at the forefront of the minds of decision-makers because nobody else is making that point for us right now.”

Published in South Sydney Herald, September.

 

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Georgian villa delays student housing development

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The discovery of historic architectural remains has halted construction on a student housing project, writes Ada Lee.

The remains of an 1859 Georgian villa have been discovered inside St Michael’s College, bringing student housing construction plans to a halt.

Owned by the Roman Catholic Church, St Michael’s College is an 80 year-old abandoned building on City Rd, with broken windows and graffiti on the greying walls.

Plans were underway by private contractor, Urbanest, to transform the decaying site into an 11-story accommodation building with 80 percent of beds promised to students.

Heritage architect, Otto Cserhalmi, discovered an 1859 Georgian-style villa known as Cyprus Hall encased within the college. His discoveries included an Archimedean spiral balustrade, a Georgian revival fireplace and mantelpiece, and a French door.

”Within 20 minutes we realised we had a building within a building,” Cserhalmi told the Sydney Morning Herald. ”[The Georgian building] would be considered of heritage significance.”

Project managers indicated that construction plans will be pushed back by almost a year with completion date predicted to be May 2015 instead of July this year.

Lack of affordable student housing has been an ongoing concern for students and the University of Sydney. Under its Student Accommodation Strategy, the University is aiming to deliver 4,000 affordable beds to students within the next three to five years. Difficulties with St Michael’s College construction apparently should not affect this target. A University spokesperson told Honi the college is a “separate project”.

Projects that are incorporated in the University’s strategy for affordable student housing include the Queen Mary Building and Abercrombie Precinct.

Published in Honi Soit, p. 6, 3 June 2014.

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A different kind of protest

AYCC-LendLease-GBR-AbbotTraditionally, the stereotype of social justice action portrays angry placard holders shouting slogans of condemnation at institutions. However, an Australian environmental youth organisation has taken a different approach and it has proven successful.

Walk past an Australian Youth Climate Coalition (AYCC) campaign and you are likely to find Nemo costumes, flowers being handed out on Valentine’s Day or a summer beach party.

These were the tactics used by around 40 Sydney campaigners and many more across Australia in AYCC’s latest four-month campaign calling on Lend Lease, Australia’s biggest listed property developer, to withdraw funding from the controversial Abbot Point X (AP-X) Terminal expansion on the Great Barrier Reef.

On January 31, the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority (GBRMPA) approved a proposal to dredge three million cubic metres of spoil from the Abbot Point coal terminal in the marine park. The port’s expansion is to make way for the transportation of millions of tonnes of coal from Queensland’s Galilee Basin via rail.

There have been several debates over the environmental impact this project will have. The GBRMPA has pointed to “47 stringent conditions” placed on the project to protect the reef but many environmentalists still fear the dredged sediment of sand, silt and clay will drift and smother corals, hindering coral regeneration.

Underlying AYCC’s fun snap actions was a serious message about protecting the Great Barrier Reef for future generations. Throughout the campaign, AYCC representatives attended Lend Lease’s shareholder meetings and together with petition website, SumOfUs, AYCC collected almost 170,000 signatures from individuals and 36 community groups who expressed concern for the reef’s future.

It worked. On February 26, Lend Lease announced it would withdraw its funding from the AP-X coal port project.

The journey

When AYCC first heard in October last year that Lend Lease agreed to participate in a joint bid with transport provider Aurizon Holdings to fund the AP-X terminal, they were “shocked” because it seemed to contradict Lend Lease’s reputation for sustainability, said Ella Weisbrot, AYCC NSW Co-Coordinator.

Lend Lease’s core principle was stated by Founder, Dick Dusseldorp, in 1973: “Companies must start justifying their worth to society, with greater emphasis placed on environmental and social impact rather than straight economics” (published on Lend Lease’s website).

Considering Lend Lease’s “really good reputation for sustainability”, AYCC decided to give them the benefit of the doubt, targeting shareholders at the Lend Lease AGM with a positive message.

“It’s giving people the opportunity to do the right thing rather than assuming that they’ve already done the wrong thing,” Weisbrot said. “Instead of just getting angry and waving a placard in their face, we had all these positive messages we could take to them and I don’t think it’s surprising that people respond better to positive messaging than to telling them that they’re awful human beings.”

Economic interests

However, not all companies interested in the AP-X coal port are also interested in environmental sustainability. For many, including Lend Lease, commercial interests are highly influential in decision-making.

In a call with analysts, Lend Lease CEO, Stephen McCann, said the withdrawal was partly due to “commercial drivers”. He also pointed to environmental considerations among “other aspects”.

With Rio Tinto pulling out of the AP-X project in 2012 and BHP Billiton pulling out in 2013, the recent withdrawal of Lend Lease has left campaigners optimistic that other companies will consider the project’s lack of economic viability. “There is starting to be this sort of domino effect where companies are looking at the global coal market and looking at the kind of money that would need to be put in to tap this coal in Queensland and saying ‘it’s just not economically viable’,” Weisbrot said.

Though coal prices are dropping, there are further concerns that this will push companies to compensate by extracting higher volumes, according to AYCC’s other NSW Co-Coordinator, Millie Anthony. “It’s like they can see the end point so they’re just going hell for leather in the last 10, 15 years of the industry just trying to make as much money as possible with completely no regard to the impact that’s going to have,” Anthony said.

AYCC looks to the future

The latest success with Lend Lease has boosted AYCC’s enthusiasm to fight for a safe climate future. “Sometimes a situation seems so vast. We’re campaigning against organisations full of power and money,” Weisbrot said. “But when things like this happen, it just shows you that we really do have power as young people and as a movement.”

The AYCC’s newest campaign, Safe Climate Roadmap, has just been launched to call on the government to not go backwards on climate change. Its three government policy goals are: moving away from coal and gas; moving to 100 per cent renewable energy within ten years; and reducing carbon pollution by 40 per cent by 2020.

“That’s what science has told us needs to happen for a safe climate future. There’s no point aiming for anything less because if what we’re trying to do is avoid catastrophic climate change, those are the things we need to do,” Weisbrot said.

For more information, go to: http://www.roadmap.org.au.

Published in the South Sydney Herald, April Issue 2014.

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Staff super funding detention centre contractors

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USyd staff unions have called for investment in detention centre contractors to cease, writes Ada Lee.

Last Wednesday, the University of Sydney branch of the National Tertiary Education Union (NTEU) unanimously passed a motion calling on UniSuper to withdraw its investments in companies linked to asylum seeker detention.

UniSuper are the superannuation fund for the majority of USyd’s 7500 staff. Staff super contributions are part of Australia’s detention supply chain, with UniSuper investing in companies such as Transfield services, Serco and Decmil Group Ltd, who build and operate Australia’s detention centres.

The NTEU’s USyd branch has asked the NTEU to pressure UniSuper to reveal any further connections to the detention network and to withdraw all investment.

Michael Thomson, NTEU USyd branch President, was adamant that UniSuper divest from these companies and that Manus Island be shut down.

“Transfield is playing a role in jailing people who are fleeing poverty and persecution and Transfield is making profits from it. As far as I’m concerned, we want to take as much social action as we can to stop them from doing this,” he said.

In February, Transfield Services entered a $1.22 billion contract with the federal government to operate both the Manus Island and Nauru offshore detention centres. UniSuper also has almost 780,000 shares in Decmil, a mining contractor awarded nearly $200 million worth of government contracts to build and expand the Manus Island detention facilities.

The motion, passed at the NTEU USyd general meeting of 50-80 people, calls mandatory detention “wrong and harmful”, and points to UniSuper’s investment profile as a “major point of influence for the NTEU”.

“A decision by UniSuper not to invest in firms that collaborate with the Australian Government in the mandatory detention regime can make a significant difference to the capacity and willingness of those firms to participate in this abusive regime, as well as the capacity of Government to find commercial partners through which to implement the policy,” the motion stated.

The union branch’s move comes after the Sydney Biennale severed ties with Transfield earlier this month due to pressure from artists pulling out. “We have listened to the artists who are the heart of the Biennale and have decided to end our partnership with Transfield effective immediately,” Biennale organisers said in a statement.

The NTEU has one representative on UniSuper’s board. The campaign is only in its early stages, with Michael Thomson holding discussions with NTEU members across NSW and Australia. As to the sway NTEU holds over UniSuper, Thomson says we will have to wait and see.

Published in Honi Soit, p. 4, 25 March 2014.

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Pork roll pandemonium after salmonella outbreak

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Ada Lee was at ground zero when shit hit the fan.

The Vietnamese roll section of Café Azzuri has been shut down after 21 customers received salmonella poisoning from its pâté.

Last month Honi Soit reported that a Wentworth-JFR food outlet was under investigation for allegedly causing salmonella infections with several hospitalised as a result.

Though authorities had not conclusively linked the infections with the food outlet, Honi Soit can now confirm that there were 21 confirmed cases and two suspected cases of salmonella, based on figures from the Sydney Local Health District.

Café Azzuri’s owner Nick Ana informed Honi Soit of the NSW Food Authority’s findings. The official report is yet to be finalised, but it can now be confirmed that one batch of chicken liver pâté made and served by Bun Me, a part of the cafe, caused the infections.

“The most likely cause is that we purchased contaminated chicken liver and failed to kill all the bacteria during the cooking process,” Ana said.

A couple of days after the contamination, the pork rolls were taken off the menu. Soon after, the entire section was shut down. However, this course of action was not enforced by the NSW Food Authority as a result of the findings.

Ana said Azzuri shut down Bun Me of its own accord, on 10 February. He plans for it to remain closed until Azzuri can source pâté from a supplier approved for food safety.

Following this decision, the USU officially asked the store to cease selling Vietnamese-style rolls until the investigation was finalised.

Azzuri’s other coffee and food services, however, remain open. University of Sydney Union CEO Andrew Woodward justified this on the basis that the contamination was limited to one aspect of the operation. The café has been a tenant of the USU for over 20 years, and the USU is not currently looking for a new business to replace it.

Ana described the incident as “most regrettable”.

“I offer my heartfelt apology to the people that fell ill. My overwhelming priority is to ensure this does not occur in my operation again.”

For the future, Ana has identified several critical risk areas of Azzuri’s food handling procedures. The final NSW Food Authority report is expected to be released within two weeks, and Azzuri is likely to be found on the Authority’s “name and shame” website.

Published in Honi Soit, pg. 5, 9 March 2014.

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Wentworth-JFR food outlet under investigation for Salmonella poisoning

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Allegations of food poisoning have been made against a food outlet in the Wentworth-Jane Foss Russell Building area, prompting an investigation by local authorities. Ada Lee reports.

In the last week of January during university holidays, professors, employees, and students have reportedly gotten stomach sicknesses after consuming meals from the same food outlet on campus.

The food outlet in question has now been reported to authorities. The Sydney Local Health District (LHD) and NSW Food Authority are currently investigating the “likely cause” of 12 confirmed cases and six suspected cases of Salmonella infection, according to a Sydney LHD spokesperson.

USU CEO, Andrew Woodward, informed Honi Soit that the investigation has found Salmonella bacteria in one of the ingredients used in food preparation at the store. “However, we are awaiting confirmation that the strain of salmonella found in the cases matches the salmonella found in the [ingredient name omitted] served by [shop name omitted].”

Salmonellosis is a form of gastroenteritis caused when Salmonella bacteria are ingested. Symptoms include diarrhoea (which may contain blood or mucous), fever, headache, stomach cramps, nausea, vomiting and dehydration.

Alex Mouzone, third-year, mature age, B. PESS student, spent almost a week in hospital suffering from salmonellosis. Mouzone believes his illness was caused by his lunch from the Wentworth-Jane Foss Russell area on Friday, 24 January. The next week, the outlet stopped selling the item Mouzone bought in response to requests from the USU.

After lunch, Mouzone returned to work. He had salad, a cheese wrap and chips for dinner before heading to Newtown to watch the Federer versus Nadal Australian Open semi-final. Around 8pm, he was drinking his second beer when he started to feel a stomach ache. Symptoms of salmonellosis usually occur six to 72 hours after ingesting the bacteria.

Mouzone went home, where he experienced “the worst stomach cramps I’ve ever had”. “Basically, when that match was going on, I was just getting progressively sicker”, he said.

Mouzone spent Friday night at Royal Prince Alfred Hospital. On Saturday, he stayed home and saw a home-visit doctor. “I couldn’t eat, I couldn’t drink”, he said.

From Sunday to Thursday, Mouzone was admitted into Concord Hospital where they discovered he had salmonella infection. They put him in an isolated room to contain the infection and fed him fluids through an IV drip.

The accused shop has been a USU tenant (distinct from a USU outlet) for 20 years. When assessing a store’s suitability for tenancy, an external, professional leasing agency looks at food safety history, business practice and customer service. “Based on the check, their 20 year association with the USU and their popularity with the campus community, [shop name omitted] was assessed as an appropriate tenant at each opportunity, i.e. at lease origination and lease renewal,” said Woodward.

“To our best knowledge this is the first time there has been a complaint made against [the shop].”

All tenants serving food are also subject to regular inspections by the NSW Food Authority.

If the store is found guilty in the current investigation, the Authority may choose from a range of enforcement policies to use against the offender such as verbal and written warnings, correction action requests, penalties, prosecution, publication of names and if serious, action against Food Authority licenses.

As the investigation is ongoing, the food outlet’s owner has declined to comment.

* The Sydney Local Health District spoke to Honi Soit on the condition that the food outlet remains unnamed until the allegations are confirmed.

Published in Honi Soit, 10 February 2014.

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New arrest laws legalise poor policing according to legal expert

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Two months before Barry O’Farrell announced the ‘one punch’ laws, he passed a different law that expands police powers to arrest without warrant. Like the ‘one punch’ laws, the arrest laws have been met with controversy, with some South Sydney community groups fearing the expanded arrest powers will reduce in-depth investigation and leave vulnerable people more exposed to abuse.

Passed November 27 last year, the amended section 99 of the Law Enforcement (Power and Responsibility) Act 2002 gives new legal justifications for arresting without a warrant: to stop a person from fleeing, to inquire about the identity of the person, to obtain property in possession of the person connected to the offence, to preserve the safety and welfare of any person and “because of the nature and seriousness of the offence.”

According to the Government, the new arrest laws work to clarify the law and prevent criminals from escaping conviction and suing police for false imprisonment.

Premier Barry O’Farrell said, “There is evidence criminals were using the lack of clarity around arrest powers as a loophole to escape conviction and in some instances sue police for large payouts.”

However, the amendment will encourage lower quality policing according to Redfern Legal Centre’s (RLC) Police Powers Solicitor, David Porter.

“Poor police work has become lawful”, said Mr Porter, who does not believe the change was necessary. He said that experienced police officers knew how to use existing laws to make necessary arrests – most problems came from inexperienced officers who needed better training. “Instead, what the Government’s doing here is creating a usual scenario where you don’t need that much evidence to arrest someone and so you don’t get into a daily habit of conducting investigation”, he said.

Now community members fear how the expanded powers and alleged potential for lower policing standards will impact on the most vulnerable, who may be unable to access legal aid.

RLC often assists people who have had “traumatic experiences” in police custody. “We regularly deal with people with mental health issues or intellectual disabilities who haven’t been believed that they have a condition”, Mr Porter said. He highlighted young people, Aboriginal people and people with mental health issues –all classified as “vulnerable persons” in the legislation – as those for whom custody is a particularly “bad experience”. “That’s why it has been so traditionally important for hundreds of years to use arrest as a power of last resort”. The increased powers instead “make the default position arrest then investigate”, he said.

With these wider police powers come heightened fears of police abuse. “And whilst the vast majority of police won’t abuse their position, it is well documented that there are those who do”, said Michael Shreenan, Executive Officer of the Factory Community Centre, an organisation that assists public housing tenants. “Often abuse occurs against the most vulnerable members of our community, who are seen as an easy target, have limited access to legal support and may not be in a position to defend themselves against wrongful arrests”. “There is a legitimate fear that the new powers could be used habitually”, he said.

Protection against racism may also suffer according to Ray Jackson, President of the Indigenous Social Justice Association. “The racism that is endemic in the police forces of Australia will only be enhanced by these lazy laws”, he said.

Mr Porter, Mr Shreenan and Mr Jackson all recognised the importance that police are adequately equipped to prevent crime, but said it must be achieved through better training and regular supervision from police commanders over their officers. The new law is “the easy and less costly way out” according to Mr Jackson.

It is now for the courts to construe the legislation, particularly the ground upon which a police officer may arrest without a warrant if the officer is “satisfied that the arrest is reasonably necessary” “because of the nature and seriousness of the offence”. RLC’s Mr Porter believes this basis of arrest is inadequately vague. “What on earth does that mean?” he said. “There’s no guidance given in the legislation”

“There will be argument over what the test actually now means and whether the police officer has become the only judge of what is reasonably necessary. That is in conflict with previous decisions of courts in Australia including the High Court”, Mr Porter said.

Published in the South Sydney Herald, February 2014.

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Local crowned International Student of the Year

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When 22 year-old Leticia Cabral Satiro Luiz first came to Australia from Brazil to study at the University of Sydney (USYD), she was excited to meet people of all different nations. It’s this enthusiasm that led to her being crowned the NSW International Student of 2013.

Leticia comes from a small rural town called Oliveira in Brazil. She left there when she was 16 years old to go to a selective school in the city before starting a mechanical engineering degree at Universidade Estadual de Campinas. In July 2012, she received a Science Without Borders scholarship and left Brazil to study engineering in Australia.

Upon arriving, language was the most difficult hurdle. “I used to be a good communicator but when I got here I couldn’t talk to people,” she said. “You can’t understand what a person is saying. It’s very frustrating.”

She also recalled reluctance and shyness among other international students to cross cultural boundaries. “Many people have a strong tendency to stay with other people from their own nationality,” she said. But she persisted in trying to bring different cultures together.

She began giving speeches and leading forums at the Centre for English Teaching USYD (CET), encouraging students to join extracurricular activities and meet people from different countries. “When you get to know people from other cultures, it’s adding to yourself because it’s something different, something that you don’t know,” she said. “You don’t know much about your own culture until you compare your culture with something else.”

In 2012, she helped organise a talent show for CET’s annual awards ceremony, showcasing acts like Chinese folk dancing and a pipa music performance. She also volunteered for Engineers Without Borders early 2013, assisting in an event that encouraged Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander high school students to consider a career in engineering.

She was rewarded for all her work on October 10 last year when StudyNSW and the NSW Department of Premier and Cabinet presented her with the NSW International Student of the Year Award in the English Language Intensive Courses for Overseas Students category.

USYD Pro-Vice-Chancellor, Professor Tyrone Carlin, says CET nominated Leticia for her ongoing commitment to building stronger student communities and her leadership skills in creating opportunities for international students to meet and integrate with Australian students.

Leticia said her experience in Australia has been “life changing”, enabling her to develop public speaking skills, empathy for other nationalities and a better understanding of worldwide education systems. Returning home late February, Leticia is now hoping to share what she’s learnt of Australia’s “good educational system” in order to improve Brazil’s own system.

 

Published in the South Sydney Herald, February 2014.

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