Panels

COVID – 19 ON INTERNATIONAL STUDENTS PANEL

Assistant Secretary, Unions NSW
Thomas is the Assistant Secretary of Unions NSW, where his responsibilities include managing the NSW peak union’s communications and digital team and also its research and industrial strategy. Thomas is also responsible for the coordination of Unions NSW’s Visa Assist Project. A partnership with the Immigration Advice and Rights Centre (IARC), Visa Assist was launched last year to assist unions in representing and advocating for migrants and in particular the project provides free immigration legal support and advice to migrants who are union members. Prior to his role at Unions NSW, Thomas worked as an industrial officer and lawyer with the national offices of the Australian Rail, Tram and Bus Industry Union and the Australian Workers’ Union, he has also worked as a solicitor for Slater & Gordon Lawyers and the HIV Aids Legal Centre (HALC).
Associate Professor, UNSW Law
Bassina Farbenblum is an Associate Professor at UNSW Law and Co-Director of the global Migrant Worker Justice Initiative. Bassina has led numerous national and global research teams on migrant workers in Australia, the US and Asia, and frequently advises governments, education providers, UN agencies and civil society organisations globally. Bassina’s current research focuses on exploitation of international students and other temporary migrants, and the impact of COVID on this group. Bassina is a member of the New York Bar and a solicitor in NSW and previously worked as a human rights lawyer for the American Civil Liberties Union in New York, the Public Interest Advocacy Centre in Sydney, the Australian Human Rights Commission, and top tier law firms in Sydney and New York. 
Education Analyst, The Lygon Group
Angela is a sociologist (PhD, ANU) and a higher education analyst with expertise in migration and higher education within the Asia Pacific. She joined The Lygon Group in early 2020 after working as a Leader of Major Research projects at The Regional Australia Institute and two years working as a policy analyst international at Universities Australia. Angela has spent ten years as an academic in China where she conducted research into international migration into China and taught undergraduate and postgraduate sociology. Angela has published two books with Palgrave MacMillan about mobility in the Asia Pacific region and has published numerous articles in academic journals and the mainstream media. Angela holds honorary positions at both The College of Arts and Social Sciences, The Australian National University and The Department of Sociology and Social Work, The University of Xiamen, China.
National Secretary, Council of International Students Australia
Kevin is the National Secretary for the Council of International Students Australia. An international student from Indonesia, he is currently studying for a Bachelor of Laws and Bachelor of Politics, Philosophy and Economics at the Australian National University. He is also the designated International Students Director for the ANU Law Students Society for 2021.

Student Panel

3rd Year James Cook University Medical Student
Alistair Lau – is from Hong Kong and a member of Study Queensland’s Queensland Student Advisory Panel for 2020. He is currently studying a Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery at James Cook University in Townsville, and is also former Vice President of JCU International Student Association. He is also a violist at the Barrier Reef Orchestra and has lifelong passion for mental health, humanitarian response, and medical research.
National Treasurer, Council of International Students Australia
Prajuli Maharjan is the National Treasurer at the Council of International Students Australia (CISA). She is a champion of cultural diversity representing South Asian Student voices at the campus and in Australia. As an international student from Nepal, she knows what it’s like to go from a majority culture group to a minority group in Australia. After realizing the difference is even larger in the corporate world, she exposed herself to opportunities such as serving as an accountant intern at a large organization - Cancer Council Victoria and volunteered as a CPA Ambassador making sure international students are on the employer’s radars. Prajuli was also a steering committee member for the Future Female Conference 2020 and 2019. She continues to learn about corporate diversity and actual inclusion in the workplace whilst making international student voices heard.
Student, Charles Darwin University
Coming from Estonia with and holding qualifications in Business Management and Accounting. Manfred has a passion for education and has been dynamically involved with the international education community for the past four years. Manfred has become a representative voice and advocate for the education, health and wellbeing of international students connecting with the decision-makers in Canberra. Appointed as the StudyNT Student Ambassador for three consecutive years and held offices as the VET/TAFE and Undergraduate Officer with the Council of International Students Australia. He was the Public Relations Officer with CISA which gave him opportunities to collaborate with Technical and Further Education (TAFE) Directors Australia, Independent Tertiary Education Council Australia (ITECA) and the Department of Home Affairs and the Department of Education and Training. Manfred has expertise in branding and business set up as well he manages a small accounting firm day to day. Manfred calls the Northern Territory is a second home.
Student, Glenunga International High School
My name is Amy who come from China and now is studying in Glenunga International High School in Australia. I was born in Brunei, raised in Shanghai, Tokyo, and Australia, so I can speak four languages, Malaysian, Chinese, Japanese and English. I just completed my IB diploma and is a student president for three years and enjoy participating in various leadership activities. To extend my community service outside of my school, I have organized 3km colour run – a fundraising event to raise awareness for people to respect different cultures and received signups for more than 3000 people. The funding received was directed to different Aboriginal shelters. It was the turning point of my life that I realized the importance of cultures and developed my passion for Oriental studies. Throughout the high school, I become the founder of a non-profit organization called “charity for children, language and life” offering free language sessions to children who have limited access to education. Besides, I have been selected as the youngest and only 17-year-old Chinese who become the representative for the United Nations to represent entrepreneurship with regards to the Sustainable Development Goals. In 2019, I have created a sustainable soap-making company in Bang Sa Kae, a rural part of Thailand, to address the sustainable development goal 8. These community services have then qualified me to be the first three-time-winner for international student awards including academic excellence and community engagement upon my departure from Australia and is the youngest International Student of the Year which is given by the government to celebrate the one who made most outstanding contribution to South Australia in 2020. I hope that I can contribute my role to spread out positivity and energy into the society.
CISA National VET/TAFE Officer.
A Certificate 4 - Commercial Cookery student at the International College of Advanced Education in Darwin, Northern Territory. He is a StudyNT Ambassador for 2 consecutive years and the current CISA National VET/TAFE Officer.

Overseas Panel

ISANA NZ
Chris is the Executive Officer for ISANA NZ based in Wellington. In this role he liaises with government agencies, education providers and stake-holders on ISANA NZ’s behalf. For 25 years he has worked closely with international students in a teaching or pastoral capacity. He helped establish New Zealand’s first postgraduate course in International Education, which is delivered by Victoria University of Wellington’s Master of Education programme, and is the course coordinator for ISANA NZ’s International Student Experience online course.
Chief Executive, UKCISA
Anne Marie joined UKCISA in 2019 from the Association of Commonwealth Universities, where she was Director of Chevening, the Foreign & Commonwealth Office’s flagship global scholarship scheme. Prior to that, Anne Marie has led on a range of educational programmes and projects promoting international mobility and intercultural exchange. At Universities UK International, she developed the first government-funded UK Strategy for Outward Mobility, and established the Go International programme to build capacity and influence institutional change in UK universities to increase the proportion of UK- domiciled students with international experience. Before moving into the education sector, Anne Marie spent several years in the language services industry managing high profile accounts with multinational engineering and pharmaceutical companies. Anne Marie is a linguist, with a first degree in Modern Languages from Anglia Ruskin University and a postgraduate translation qualification from University of Westminster.
ISANA Australia
Having worked in Higher Education for the majority of her career, Bronwyn has been respectively the Manager of International Services and the Manager of International Compliance at the University of New England for the past 13 years. Her passion lies with ensuring international students have the best possible experience during their time in Australia and that those who support them have access to appropriate training and networking to build and share their skills in the industry. Having been a long time member Bronwyn took on the role as President of ISANA in December 2017.
Assistant Dean, University of Minnesota, USA
My entry into international education came through hands-on experiences in two study abroad programs and upon return, an interest in intercultural training. My master’s and Ph.D. coursework and practice focused on intercultural perspective taking and ways to achieve intercultural learning. My professional work has now focused on international student and scholar experiences in the United States. My writing continues to focus on intercultural learning, with special interest in facilitating, communication styles, and pedagogy. I am a member of the graduate faculty in the College of Education and Human Development Program at the University of Minnesota and assistant dean of International Student & Scholar Services with Global Programs and Strategy Alliance.
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