At the 2019 NSW International Student Awards we asked our VET finalists "What advice do you have for other international students?" Here's what they said...
Kelly Galesi (Brazil)
Laneway Education, Sydney
Kelly has been involved, since the beginning of her journey as an international student at Laneway Education, in an initiative with Settlement Services International (SSI), a Laneway partner.
SSI runs a program called Young Entrepreneurs Program to support refugees and unemployed young people to overcome barriers and start their professional lives in Australia. Kelly has been helping them build the structure of the program and leading the first participants through their journey.
Her experience working as an entrepreneur and helping people start new businesses has helped shape a unique approach to the program that has connected with these young participants. Importantly, more than 50 per cent of participants received new job opportunities after completing the Young Entrepreneurs Program.
Many participants still communicate with Kelly for her advice. This is a great example of how Kelly has assisted refugee participants both professionally and personally.
Janet Leticia Herrera (Germany)
TAFE NSW, Northern Beaches, Sydney
Janet is an inspirational role-model who has touched the lives of many students through her fundraising activities and as a student volunteer on placement. Janet planned and organised a fundraising event to raise money for the Caritas “Women for the World” program. She came up with the idea, negotiated with relevant TAFE staff and ran a successful event that raised much-needed funds for a worthy charity.
As a student, Janet did her placement at Rough Edges, working with homeless and disadvantaged people in Kings Cross. On top of her student duties, Janet once again organised a fundraiser and ran a cake stall at TAFE as a way to engage the TAFE community and to let them know about the work of Rough Edges.
To complement this event, Janet also asked the TAFE community to donate toiletries and other small items that could be given to Rough Edges clients for Christmas. As the sole international student in her course, Janet connected well with local students and helped to create a culture of inclusion in the class.
Janet has recently been employed as a TAFE Ambassador as she epitomises the value of the International Student program while her passion for creating an inclusive community is reflected in all that she does.
Gustavo C. M. Martins (Brazil)
TAFE NSW, Albury
Gustavo was dedicated to community development in Brazil before his passion for sustainable farming practices, environmental protection and permaculture won him an Australian Endeavour Scholarship to study Permaculture at the National Environment Centre at TAFE NSW.
Gustavo’s dedication during his course touched the lives of two local farmers he was working with growing food. Gustavo also played an important role in creating a Participatory Guarantee Scheme for small-scale permaculture and organic farmers. This provided a way for them to be certified locally as organic, while also helping them develop resilient farms and strengthen local food economies by providing peer-learning opportunities.
He is currently researching a perennial agroforestry system which can overcome the impact of droughts on our regional communities.