Meld’s top stories of 2013

AS 2013 draws to a close, we take a look at the stories, people, and issues that mattered most to you this year. From politics to job prospects to leaving Melbourne to finding the best pho in town, your favourite reads spanned across a wide range of topics. 

News & issues

Politics once again caught our readers’ attentions, with our top story: Which political leader has the most fake followers on Twitter? Political activism remained high on our readers’ agendas as they read that Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak topped the list for having the largest proportion of fake followers.

Secondly, the new Post Study Work Visa garnered lots of interest from Meld’s readers as it affected students who applied for their first visa on or after November 5, 2011. Migration agents and students have lamented the strict deadline, saying that the visa should be made available to all students, regardless of when they commenced their studies.

Similarly, Hadi Ismanto’s story on international student graduates beating the odds to find jobs in Australia also attracted lots of interest. In a time where more international student graduates are looking for work in Australia upon graduation, despite inadequate work experience, Hadi spoke to four former international students who overcame the odds to land their dream jobs here.

Lastly, an unfortunate accident in Carlton outside a student apartment located on Pelham Street, also caught our readers’ attention. A dead body was found and the police were called. The suspected cause of death was “fall from a balcony”. Later on, Meld identified the victim as a 20-year-old Indian student from RMIT University.


For the second year running, the month of September SEXtember was all about informed sex issues – a collaboration with our friends at Red Aware. For an entire month, we churned out stories across news, lifestyle, entertainment, and even sports and tech – with the idea of starting conversations about safe sex. This year, we broached topics like how sex was taught in a household that was opposed to it, and on the flip side – we spoke with the guys at Red Aware and busted some myths on masturbation. Check out all the stories here.

Photo: Rachel Gan

Unsurprisingly, some of your favourite stories were about food. We compiled a list of Melbourne’s best cafes, went on a hunt for the best pho in town, and spoke to the brains behind LuxBite – both former international students who have made it big in Melbourne’s discerning dessert scene.

Romance was also in the air as Amrit Kaur’s story on date ideas around Melbourne proved popular, too.


From left: Jae Liew, Xander Lee, Michelle Chong, and Calvin Chen. Photo: Diane Leow

Korean popstar Xander Lee and Taiwanese singer Calvin Chen were in town earlier this year to film 3 Peas in a Pod, a coming-of-age movie about three friends who go on a roadtrip upon graduation – changing their lives forever. The cast filmed on-set at the University of Melbourne, and we heard there were more than a few excited squeals on campus.

We also had the privilege of meeting with award-winning director Anthony Chen, who was in town for the Australian premiere of his debut feature-length film Ilo Ilo. The heart-warming film about a young Singaporean boy who forges an unlikely bond with his domestic helper has gone on to win awards around the world, including Best Film at the prestigious Golden Horse Awards, touted as the Oscars of Asian cinema.

Joshua Tan – star of Singaporean film, Ah Boys to Men. Image supplied by Dasmond Koh.

Meld also had the opportunity to catch up with Joshua Tan, who starred in the beloved Singaporean film Ah Boys to Men. As an international student pursuing a Bachelor of Arts degree from Monash University, Joshua shed some light on balancing fame with student life.

Sports & Tech

Ultimate Frisbee at this year’s ASEAN Australia Games. Photo: Teck Chang

This year, Meld was once again proud to be a media partner for the ASEAN Games Australia, organised by the Malaysian Student’s Council of Australia (MASCA). With more than 900 players from 10 ASEAN nations, the event was a massive success all around. We hope you enjoyed our coverage, from photos to write-ups!

With more and more students using mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets, it is no wonder that our top tech story of the year was the Top five free study apps. We hope you managed to convince your parents that all the time spent on your iPhone or iPad isn’t just for fun and games!


Photo: Samantha Toh

Leaving home for overseas study is never easy, but what if leaving Melbourne is even harder? Meld reporter Samantha Toh echoed the sentiments of many former and current international students as she reminisced about her time in Melbourne studying, exploring the city, and learning to be herself – something many of you seemed to relate to.

What issues were most important to you in 2013? Which were your favourite stories? Share with us in the comments box below!

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