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CISA National Conference 2016 aims to break down barriers and unite international education community

Samantha Chew

Thu May 26 2016

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LOOKING for a forum to speak out about international student issues or ideas? The Council of International Students Australia can provide you the opportunity to do exactly that at their 2016 CISA National Conference. Samantha Chew reports.

The Council of International Students Australia (CISA) will host its four-day annual national conference for the first time in Darwin this year at the Darwin Convention Centre.

Commencing on July 5, the CISA National Conference aims to provide communicative dialogue between students and government bodies and give a voice to issues experienced by the international student community in Australia.

The peak body for international students has previously attracted more than 2,000 delegates from industries and sectors across Australia to their annual National Conference in order create conversations about how to improve and develop international education in the country.

In continuing its mission, this year’s theme for the National Conference will be “Breaking down barriers, facing the future together as one”. CISA hopes that by establishing this theme, international students, education providers, government and businesses can band together to further advance towards the ideal international education standard in Australia.

The conference, in partnership with StudyNT and sponsored by Charles Darwin University, will welcome the first Australian Government Minister for International Education Richard Colbeck and the first National International Education Strategy. Amongst these firsts will also be new features to this year’s conference including an international student roundtable, an innovation competition and a networking night.

Hardworking international students who’ve greatly achieved will also be honoured at the National Conference as six nominees will receive an award. These awards include International Association of the Year, Best International Student Event of the Year, Most Active International Association of the Year, Postgraduate International Student of the Year, Undergraduate International Student of the Year and VET/TAFE/ELICOS International Student of the Year. Nominations are made by education institutions and all finalists will be presented with a certificate while winners will receive an additional plaque.

CISA Scholarship

As for students who are interested in participating and who want to advocate for international students, CISA will sponsor 13 students to attend the National Conference under its CISA Scholarship. The organisation hopes to sponsor eight students in any sector under its Equity Scholarship and a further five TAFE/VET students under its VET Advocates Scholarship. Nominations must be made by education institutions; self-nominations are not permitted. Flights, accommodation and a ticket to the National Conference will be covered by CISA for successful candidates.

If you can’t make it to the conference, students and industry delegates can still be heard through CISA’s #breakbarriers campaign. This campaign aims to empower students and start a forum on Twitter where students can share their stories and experiences in a bid to engage further within the local community.


The 2016 CISA National Conference will take place in Darwin at the Darwin Convention Centre. Student delegate ticket prices for full access to all four days of the National Conference amounts to $350 while industry delegate ticket prices come up to $950 (excluding flights and accommodation). However, discounted flights by Virgin Airlines are available, giving up to 10 per cent off on their domestic flexi, saver or business class fares.

To learn more about the 2016 CISA National Conference, visit the Council of International Students Australia’s official website. To learn more about the CISA Scholarship, visit its page on the website.