Dear readers, friends and supporters of Meld,
There’s nothing like Christmas, and the approach of a new year that makes one pause and reflect on the year that has been. And what a year it has been.
In 2013, we crossed the five year mark, and sometimes I look back and think, “Geez. Has it really been that long?”
For those don’t know the back story, Meld was birthed out of a university assignment at RMIT. The brief was to come up with a sustainable model for a new media outlet that would meet a need in the community.
There were two gaps in the community that I hoped to fill at once: First, to provide a much-needed informational resource for international students, a space whereby students can share their experiences and discuss the things that mattered to them; and second, to create opportunities for students to apply their knowledge and skills meaningfully and make a difference to the community.
Since then, the organisation, and our work, has evolved into something more than what you would expect of a traditional news provider. Today, we are a community organisation, in the business of facilitating a healthier, more vibrant, more connected and more informed international student community.
We have worked hard to give the public a glimpse into the lives of international students here in Australia, both good and bad. Mainstream media has tended to focus on the negative. Don’t get me wrong, there are problems and issues that deserve attention and should not be swept under the carpet, but there are equally as many positive stories deserving of publicity that don’t get attention, yet are important in helping the international student community find a respectful place in the wider context of Australian life and society.
On providing work experience opportunities for students across various disciplines, we have sought to nurture people, not talent. Our volunteer base is diverse, comprising a mix of Australian and international students from China, Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia, Thailand, Vietnam, the UK, US and France. We have strived to hold high the bar for good quality journalism, adhere to best practice for business, and to be transparent and honest when mistakes are inevitably made.
I’d like to think our efforts have paid off some dividends, albeit not monetary.
Visitors to our site have increased by some 60 per cent this year, exceeding more than half a million impressions. But more than a chasing after numbers as a measurement of our performance, the most rewarding part of our work has been the students we have been able to support in their early career development. Among them, media and business students who have now found jobs in local government and companies like Private Media, Malaysiakini, The Star Online, The Edge Malaysia and PwC, and in one case, to found his own digital start-up in Jakarta.
To those who have believed in us and supported and shared the journey with us – the City of Melbourne, The Couch, Chai Junction, the Arrow Neighbourhood, ID Live, Red Aware, DSDBI, AFIS, CISA – and more than there’s space to list here, thank you. We look forward to more collaborations and partnerships in the year to come.
To our business advisors and other busy working people who have supervised on various projects, I can’t thank you enough for investing your time and lending your expertise to the organisation, and teaching our students.
To our volunteers who have given so much, thank you, for the time and heart you have given, helping us go from strength to strength each year for the past five years.
To all our readers – thank you for your support. You’re the reason why we’re here to do what we do.
And finally, in the spirit of gift-giving this Christmas, a thank you in advance to those who wish to support our work as a not-for-profit organisation. Your donations will go a long way in sustaining this labour of love.
Have a blessed Christmas and may the New Year be filled with new adventures, wonderment and stories worth telling.
Founder and editor-in-chief