2018 Study Queensland Excellence Awards winners

2018 Study Queensland Excellence Awards

Liz Day News

The Study Queensland Excellence Awards was a successful celebration of the State’s international education and training (IET) sector.

Held on Wednesday 5 December 2018 at 1 William Street in Brisbane, the event saw educators, graduates, current students, and the broader Queensland international training and education sector come together.

Opened by Trade and Investment Queensland (TIQ) CEO Virginia Greville, the event celebrated and acknowledged students and professionals who exemplify excellence in the IET sector not only in the classroom but also in the community.

Executive Director of Study Queensland, Shannon Willoughby, said the winners have all worked hard and implemented innovative approaches to support Queensland’s world class international education industry.

“We want to shine a light on what matters most to our state as we continue to evolve as a study destination,” Ms Willoughby said.

“This event highlights what can be achieved through the tireless efforts of the students, educators, universities and community organisations which make Queensland’s IET industry diverse and unique.”

The 2018 Study Queensland Excellence Award winners are:

  • Alumni Student Champion of the Year: Hector Barrios-Garrido (Venezuela), PhD in Philosophy Research Thesis (Environmental Science and Management) at James Cook University (JCU). Awarded for his innovative approach to sustaining North Queensland’s cultural heritage and ecosystems, including assisting with marine conservation projects from Raine Island to Moreton Bay and developing new conservation practices and monitoring programs to protect marine turtles and dugongs.
  • Industry Champion of the Year: Donna Cook, member of the English Australia Board and long-time champion of Queensland’s unique and diverse IET student population. Ms Cook’s many community and industry efforts include establishing teacher training projects across Asia and organising the Raise Your Voice Choir Festival.
  • Higher Education Student Champion of the Year: Kasun Kalhara (Sri Lanka), Bachelor of Engineering (Hons) at Queensland University of Technology. Mr Kalhara helps regional Indigenous students and small student communities with academic improvement and computer literacy, as well as organising community events.
  • Vocational Education Training Student Champion of the Year: Grant Volrath (United Kingdom) Cert IV in Automotive Mechanical Overhauling at TAFE Queensland. Mr Volrath shares his mechanical knowledge with fellow students at TAFE Queensland’s Bundaberg campus, where he leads and mentor small groups. He also helps international students settle into Bundaberg.
  • Schools Student Champion of the Year: Tatu Jentze (Finland), high school at Varsity College, Gold Coast. He is making exceptional contributions through a wide range of volunteering and fundraising activities.
  • Research Student Champion of the Year: Makund Madhav (India), PhD in Agricultural Science at the University of Queensland. Mr Madhav combines his work with a community-focused mindset including arranging regular meetups where international and Australian students converse over culture, science, community, and innovation.
  • ELICOS Student Champion of the Year: Willian Donadon Siqueira (Brazil), English (ELICOS) at Langports English Language School. Mr Donadon raises awareness and provides community engagement for ELICOS and LQBTQI students in Brisbane through the Rainbow Hub.
  • Regional Student Champion of the Year: Alana Boyles (USA), Masters in Marine Biology at JCU. Ms Boyles founded JCU’s first International Student Association and provides support to new international students and organises cultural event.
  • Queensland International Engagement Champion of the Year: Caitlene Hillman (Brisbane), Griffith Honours College. Ms Hillman is a volunteer tutor for the Multicultural Families Organisation, which helps students from diverse backgrounds achieve academically. She also provides professional development opportunities for local and international students as a Griffith Business School Student Leader.
  • International Student Employability Champion of the Year: Griffith University Community Internship Course, coordinated by Griffith University Director of Service Learning, Faith Valencia-Forrester. The course helps domestic and international students develop their employability and on-going civic engagement commitments with local and international charities.

Congratulations to all our winners and your fantastic support of Queensland’s IET sector throughout 2018.