Study Melbourne’s Victorian International Education Awards identify and distinguish the best champions of international education in Victoria. They recognise the contribution international students make to Victoria, as well as acknowledging those who help make life a little easier for international students studying here.
The 2019 awards saw La Trobe student Susan Saldanha take out the VIEA Higher Education category, revealing the recognition made her feel as though her perseverance had paid off.
This year, two La Trobe students, Laurence Cashin and Justin See, were nominated for awards. They’re change-makers who’ve stepped up to support their communities in albeit different, yet powerful, ways.
Both students ultimately took home the win in their respective categories.
Let’s get to know them both Laurence and Justin below.
Winner of Victorian Student of the Year – Internationalisation Award
President of La Trobe club Two Birds One Scone, Laurence Cashin, has been shortlisted for an award in recognition of his work to support international student’s food security during COVID-19.
Laurence led the launch of a new initiative by Two Birds One Scone to distribute thousands of free frozen meals to La Trobe students in need during the pandemic at Melbourne Campus. This included providing international students with as many meals as they required on a weekly basis for free.
“During the pandemic lock-down, I was conscious that students and their parents, particularly international ones, were struggling to secure good quality food because they’d lost their jobs,” he said.
The initiative also tackled food wastage, partnering with SecondBite, an organisation that rescues surplus food from retailers for redistribution to charities running food programs.
Laurence and his fellow Two Birds One Scone club members did all this whilst preparing for final assessments and completing medical school applications.
“Knowing I’d be helping people gave me the drive and energy I needed to keep going,” he said.
Winner of International Student of the Year – Regional Award
Bendigo Campus PhD student Justin See has been shortlisted for his community involvement, leadership skills and academic achievement.
Justin’s research looks into how communities in the Philippines adapt to the impacts of climate change. It’s an issue close to Justin’s heart, as he is himself from the Philippines.
Justin an outstanding scholar and an active volunteer and community member both on and off campus. He has won a number of awards for his research, including a merit-based full fee scholarship for his excellent academic credentials. He has recently published his research in the climate change journal ‘Global Environmental Change’, one of the leading academic journals in his field.
Though his research undoubtedly keeps Justin busy, he still finds time to get involved in the Bendigo community. His impressive list of commitments include being a current board member of Loddon Campaspe Multicultural Services, an intercultural Ambassador for the City of Greater Bendigo, a member of the Committee of Management for regional radio station Phoenix FM and a co-presenter the Filipino Radio Show and the Multicultural Show. He also volunteered as team leader in the organisation of Bendigo Gala Parade.
In his studies, Justin is an active student representative. He has been a member of the Higher Degree Research Conference Committee in 2018 and 2019, a postgraduate representative for the Department of Social Inquiry, a member of the steering committee for the “Working in Australia Mentoring Program”, and a volunteer host to welcome and support new international students at the Bendigo campus.
Watch the below video to get to know Justin a little better.
Good luck Laurence and Justin!