As they prepare to return home, our latest cohort of international scholarship graduates explain how they will use their experiences at Sydney to make social, economic and cultural changes in their countries.
This week, more than 70 international students from 27 countries will celebrate the completion of their studies at the University of Sydney at a farewell ceremony on campus, run by the International Sponsorships team.
Although the students came from diverse and far-flung countries – from Colombia, Indonesia and Pakistan, to Italy, Nigeria, Russia and more – they each came to Sydney with the same vision: to develop the skills and knowledge needed to influence positive change in their home nations.
The students' drive to make the world better was supported by programs between their countries and Australia. Many were recipients of Australia Awards scholarships, but others have been able to study at the University of Sydney thanks to Endeavour Awards scholarships, Australia's Defence Cooperation Program, and support from the government of Indonesia.
Now that they've finished their studies – how are they going to change the world? A few of the graduating students share their aspirations:
Evelyn Wasike, Kenya
"I will be the first Kenyan woman to hold a master’s degree in radiography! I look forward to using my newly-gained expertise at my workplace and assisting in the training of radiographers, as well as setting up curriculum to Australian standards."
Alfreda K. Senirewa Vakarewakobau, Fiji
"As a passionate indigenous woman of Fiji, I am determined to re-examine various state systemic processes and policies. I will continue to advocate for the recognition of professional and volunteer social and community workers, and engage in serving Fiji's disadvantaged communities."
Monirath (Winnie) Hav, Cambodia
"My course has improved my clinical research skills, which will be crucial in setting up a research team at Cambodia's National Cancer Center. In the past decade, cancer has become a huge healthcare burden in my homeland. I hope to bring back the knowledge and skills to successfully initiate cancer research in Cambodia, aiming to contribute to better cancer prevention, diagnosis and treatment."
Agus Kurniawan Lim, Indonesia
"I aspire to help businesses in Indonesia be more competitive in the world arena and improve the financing climate to attract investors to build their businesses in the country."
Jorybell Masallo, Philippines
"Before I came to Australia, I worked as a climatologist at the Philippines meteorological office. The Master's degree in Environmental Science deepened my knowledge not only of the atmosphere-ocean interaction, but also of other facets of the environment such as social, economic and ecological impacts. I have high hopes to be able to use this knowledge and experience for the betterment of my home country."
Thi Thuy Pham, Vietnam
"My Endeavour scholarship gave me an opportunity to develop research experience in life sciences, an area in which Australia is among the top ranking study groups in the world. I have been linking my home country researchers to current trending groups and will guide young graduates in pursuing high-level research."
Inri Denna, Indonesia
"I believe that delivering effective health messages is vital to the health of a nation. I learnt this in my course and I return home eager to give back."
Leah Margis, Papua New Guinea
"My Sydney experience has made me appreciate global collegiality more; if we are indeed committed, each one of us can translate our skills and competencies into meaningful contributions in our communities, societies and the world."