Capacity building as a pathway to student wellbeing

Kathryn Lysons1, Chris Lee1

1Study Melbourne Student Centre, Victorian Government, Melbourne, Australia

International students are now 1 in 8 of Victoria’s youth population.  This session will focus on how the Victorian Government’s work is evolving to focus on student empowerment and capacity building.  The session will include a discussion on how we can prepare and enable students to navigate government and systems, improve their everyday engagement and networks in communities and policy processes.  The session will also review the evolution of the Study Melbourne Student Centre as an events, colocation and connection point for students, the sector, business and the wider Victorian community.  The Centre is a leading example of connectivity and enabling student success in Australia, winning the 2006 IEAA Excellence Award.


Mr Chris Lee is a Senior Project Officer in Student Initiatives, International Education, Global Victoria, Victorian Department of Jobs, Precincts and Regions. Chris is the program lead on employability and entrepreneurship initiatives, industry partnerships and connections, and is responsible for overseeing the delivery of the Lead, Intern, Volunteer, Experience (LIVE) initiative.

Chris is seconded from the Equality and Youth portfolio in Fairer Victoria, Department of Premier and Cabinet, and has held senior roles in the in Multicultural Affairs, Regional Development Victoria, and has managed economic and social inclusion initiatives such as the Community Revitalisation program. Chris has extensive experience in arts, education and tourism working in the Commonwealth and Queensland Governments and has a strong interest in the social enterprise and start-up sector and is a mentor with the LGBTIQ not-for-profit The Pinnacle Foundation.

Kathryn is the Manager of the Study Melbourne Student Centre, responsible for the Centre operations and events delivery in partnership with leading Victorian organisations and international student groups.  With over 12 years-experience working in the not-for profit and employment and training sector, she has managed Mentor Employment Programs, delivered training to international students and was the Operations Manager of the Brotherhood of St Laurence’s Work and Learning Centres.  An experienced project manager, she is passionate about delivering capacity building initiatives to vulnerable Victorians.

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