Mr Tejas Deshmukh, a community planning and development student from India, was presented with the ‘International Student of the Year – Regional’ by Minister for Trade and Investment, The Hon. Philip Dalidakis at an awards ceremony last night at Deakin Edge, Federation Square.
Mr Deshmukh was one of two La Trobe Bendigo students in the running for the award, with the other finalist being Mr Huy Tran, an early childhood education student from Vietnam.
La Trobe Deputy Vice-Chancellor Academic, Professor Kerri-Lee Krause, said Tejas has played a significant role in connecting the University with the wider Bendigo community.
“We are extremely proud of Tejas and congratulate him on all that he has achieved since arriving in Bendigo,” said Professor Krause.
“Adjusting to a new country and new university would be a challenge for anyone, but Tejas has wholeheartedly embraced opportunities to make a positive difference, which aligns perfectly with La Trobe’s values,” she said.
As part of the award, Tejas won $10,000 towards the tuition fees for his Masters of Planning and Development, which he is due to complete this year.
Tejas has contributed considerable time to volunteering at La Trobe and in the local community, including taking on the role of President of the Bendigo International Student Club (BISC), working on the Multicultural Feast of Stories events, and volunteering with Loddon Campaspe Multicultural Services (LCMS).
“I’ve always been someone to get involved in activities at the university. I believe that every place that I go, I need to make a difference. I feel if I leave a place and have not made a difference, I have not played my role,” Mr Deshmukh said.
“As an international student, when you come to a new country, it’s important for you to be involved in such activities, because it gives you a chance to grow as a person and professionally as well,” he said.
The Victorian International Education Awards are an initiative of the Victorian Government to support the international education sector and raise the awareness of its benefits to the broader community.
The awards recognise the outstanding achievements of the students and providers that contribute to the state’s thriving international education sector.
Media contact: Kate O’Connor - 0436 189 629