Consumer protection and the National Code: How ESOS for students aims to empower international students during their student journey in Australia

Ms Danielle Hartridge1, Ms Molly Bonnefin2

1Independent, Melbourne, Australia, 2ISANA, Melbourne, Australia

The ESOS legislation protects and enhances the experiences of international students studying in Australia. The National Code (Standard 2) states that information about ESOS must be available to international students. Despite this requirement for students to know about the ESOS framework, they actually have no knowledge. The challenge is making international students aware of their rights and responsibilities under the ESOS framework.

How to resolve this? ISANA saw this issue as a good fit with the International Student Welfare Program that funds projects aimed at enhancing the experience of overseas students studying in Victoria. ISANA applied for and was successful in gaining funding from Study Melbourne for its Consumer Protection: Empowering International Students project.

ISANA recruited a group of international students with no prior knowledge of ESOS legislation to contribute to the development of products and platforms for raising awareness to their fellow international students. These students participated in workshops and presented their ideas on how best to develop resources that would be effective in communicating with their peers. The result has been Fact Sheets, videos and posters highlighting key elements of the National Code in readily accessible formats.

ISANA anticipates the education sector will benefit by using these resources when promoting an understanding of the ESOS legislation to international students at critical times during their student journey from pre-arrival to maintaining their visa in Australia.


Molly’s special interests are in the fields of under age students, accommodation and assisting international students to integrate into life and study in Australia.  In her 17 years at Monash College, she led teams of advisers who provided student engagement, wellbeing activities and accommodation support to all students as well as guardianship services to under age students.  Her background includes 13 years of administrative and international student recruitment experience at Chisholm Institute.  From 2009 to 2014 Molly chaired the ISANA Special Interest Group in Pre-Tertiary Students and Accommodation and since 2016 has been ISANA National Treasurer.  In 2014 English Australia awarded the John Gallagher Memorial Bursary to Molly and in 2019 she received the ISANA Council Award for an Outstanding Individual Contribution to ISANA. 

Danielle is a leading expert in international education with 30 years’ experience. Danielle began her career at Monash University, where she held the position of Manager International Student Support. In 2005, she was appointed to the position of Associate Director International Student Experience at Victoria University (VU). Since leaving VU in 2016, Danielle has worked closely with education providers, offering consultation and advice on international education matters related to the international student experience and ESOS compliance. She has a deep understanding of the international education landscape and is passionate advocate for international students.

Danielle is a Senior Fellow of the International Education Association of Australia (IEAA) and was recently  appointed to the IEAA Board. Danielle is the recipient of the prestigious IEAA Distinguished Contribution to International Education Award, Victorian Multicultural Award for Service Delivery to a Multicultural Victoria and is a past president and Life Member of ISANA: International Education Association of Australia.

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