Business and Community Finalists

2020 NSW International Student Community Engagement Award

The winners of the 2020 NSW International Student Awards were announced at Government House, Sydney on Tuesday 8 December.

Meet the winners Watch the ceremony


Communities in Cultural Transition (CiCT) Project

NSW Service for the Treatment and Rehabilitation of Torture and Trauma Survivors (STARTTS), NSW

Jorge Aroche

The Communities in Cultural Transition (CiCT) project is an initiative within the NSW Service for the Treatment and Rehabilitation of Torture and Trauma Survivors.

CiCT provides free services to assist non-funded associations and groups from newly arrived, small and emerging refugee communities to develop governance and leadership capacity. The aim of the program is to empower independence and self-reliance while building on the existing strengths of those groups and organisations.

Postgraduate international students have become the lifeblood of the program, contributing more than 5,500 hours of work to communities in need – and developing key skills in turn which have helped them to gain employment after studies. They have truly built the foundations of CiCT’s success, enabling the facilitation of leadership and suicide prevention training programs since 2019. They also coordinated a forum in 2019 which was attended by more than 230 people.

The students gained a real understanding of and empathy for the struggles of refugee communities. They are given responsibility to complete meaningful work and have a direct community impact.” Three students stayed on at STARTTS as employees.

STARTTS Learn more


DE International & Medibank Student Wellbeing Support Program


Dr Rebecca Tinning

DE International and Medibank responded rapidly to support international students during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The organisations created a sense of community among international students who shifted unexpectedly to remote learning in 2020. Their focus went beyond just a single student, by also providing support to students’ families outside Australia.

DE International and Medibank developed a four-pillared response to the impacts of the pandemic:  support students with mental health needs; create a student community able to share positive experiences while practising social distancing; support those who support international students; and ensure those who needed further help would receive it.

Their readiness to deploy resources and expertise has had an overwhelming impact on the community and brought comfort to international students and their families.

NSW Government

Medibank Learn more


Food+ with Care

University of Wollongong and Community Partners, Wollongong

Pictured representatives: Erin Snape, Kylee Bentham and Amar Singh

Food+ with Care is an exemplar of a collaborative working group, consisting of University of Wollongong Staff, UOW Pulse Staff, Shining Stars Foundation Street Outreach Service; Turbans 4 Australia; International Christian Church; Corrimal & West Wollongong Rotary, Shellharbour Community Church, the Indian Australian Cultural Association - Illawarra Incorporated and BUPA (OHSC partner). With dedication and innovation, they worked together to support UOW students based across Wollongong and Sydney in the wake of COVID-19.

Formed with staff and students from across campuses, faculties and divisions, as well as eight community organisations, Food+ with Care has been a lifeline for many struggling students and community members. The group continues to provide a connection as well as free grocery packages and toiletry items to people acutely impacted by the global pandemic.

Originally set up as a weekly support service, the scope of support rapidly developed due to overwhelming demand. The group quickly increased capacity to ensure no one slipped through the cracks – delivering donations of food support and essential items to more than 4,000 students to date.

The Food+ with Care group continues to provide unwavering support so that students can focus on their studies. Beneficiaries of the support speak to the warm welcome, care and kindness they receive from volunteers

University of Wollongong Learn more

Meet our 2020 finalists




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