INTERNATIONAL students from Indonesia, Columbia, Brazil, China and Malaysia have just picked up awards at the recent ‘My Melbourne’ storytelling competition. Lunnie Gan has more.
Six international students have been awarded for their outstanding contributions to the ‘My Melbourne’ storytelling competition – a competition celebrating international students’ stories and experiences in Melbourne, hosted by Study Melbourne and Melbourne Writers Festival.
The six winners were announced on Saturday, September 3 at The Cube in ACMI and were selected from a shortlist which included 15 of the competition’s stories. Entries included written and visual stories, all of which will be published in the limited edition My Melbourne Anthology book.
The full list of the ‘My Melbourne’ storytelling competition award winners included:
- PEOPLE’S CHOICE: Sandra Frans (Indonesia)
- VISUAL CATEGORY: Video – Cui Bijun (China) | Photography – Marcela Mejia Ruiz (Colombia)
- HIGHER EDUCATION CATEGORY: Esther Kuok May Yan (Malaysia)
- VOCATIONAL EDUCATION AND TRAINING CATEGORY: Suellen Smosinski (Brazil)
- ENGLISH LANGUAGE TRAINING CATEGORY: Karlin Vahos (Colombia)
Parliamentary Secretary for Education, Judith Graley, opened the awards ceremony and complimented the talents and interesting stories of international students overseas.
Visual Category (Video) winner, Cui Bijun was excited for her victory on the day when she jumped in excitement as her video submission was announced as the winner.
“It’s unbelievable! Because this is the first time I am a director by myself, and [this award] encouraged me to never give up on my dream,” Bijun said.
In the highly competitive ‘Higher Education Category’, Malaysia’s Esther Kuok emerged victorious with her story ‘Lest We Forget’. For Esther, she “wanted to go to a land where there [were] opportunities to grow”. Acknowledging the lack of opportunities to get work published back home, Esther spoke fondly fondly about the competition’s great recognition for students’’ writings in Melbourne.
Meanwhile, Brazillian award winner in the Vocational Education and Training Category, Suellen Smosinski, expressed her gratitude over the vast opportunities that this competition had provided. Despite her fears to write in English, Suellen’s simple advice to keep going was inspiring.
“Just say yes, it’s not easy but just try, since [you] have nothing to lose anyway,” she said.