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International students are Australia’s bridge to Asia Pacific, says MP

AUSTRALIAN MP Hong Lim highlighted the importance of foreign students to Australia’s bilateral ties at Victoria University’s International Students’ Association’s 10th anniversary celebrationsLeon Saw reports.

Labor MP Hong Lim. Stock photo: Samuel Eng

State Member of Parliament Hong Lim has addressed the importance of international students to Australia’s bilateral ties at a local university event last week.

“International students are Australia’s bridge to the Asia Pacific,” he said.

“As proud products of an Australian education, you will strengthen our relationship with the world and bring Australia into the 21st century.”

Mr Lim was delivering a speech at Victoria University’s International Students’ Association’s (ISA) 10th anniversary celebrations at the university’s City Flinders’ campus.

Those in attendance included club members, the Indonesian and Malaysian Consul-Generals, and university staff.

Mr Lim also touched on the lack of public transport concessions for international students in Victoria.

“I had a big fight with caucus over it,” he said.

“I will continue to fight for it.”

Aside from Lim, the university’s Pro Vice-Chancellor Professor Greg Baxter, ISA President William Zhao and International Student Support associate director Danielle Hartridge also addressed the crowd.

The celebration concluded with the presentation of the ISA International Student of the Year 2012 Academic Awards.

ISA’s future plans

After 10 years, ISA President William Zhao said the organisation is ready to up their game.

“We will think about how to represent the students better,” he said.

“We want to build the International Student Association to the utmost in the next decade, but it is quite insurmountable so we will take it step by step.”

Mr Zhao is also aiming for the ISA to be recognised beyond VU.

“We also want to build up the Association internally and make it more professional,” he said.

“But at the end of the day, we want the International Student Association to be a link between the students and Victoria University.”

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Meld Magazine was incorporated as an independent not-for-profit media outlet in September 2008 to reach out to international students in Melbourne, and provide students the opportunity to gain real work experience.

Many international students live in or around the city because of the proximity to their colleges and universities, and that was where we decided to focus our efforts first. Many of us live, work and study locally too. Our editorial team is made of both local and international students, and it has worked to our advantage in providing local content in every sense of the word.

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