Higher Education Finalists

2020 NSW International Student of the Year 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


Jami Emerson (United States)

Australian Catholic University, North Sydney

Jami is originally from Oregon City in the United States and is studying a Bachelor of Information Technology at the Australian Catholic University. She has a passion for personal and corporate social responsibility and is known for her relentless commitment and leadership skills.

Jami is the founder-in-residence for the UTS Techcelerator Female Founder Mentoring Program, developing insights into how social responsibility can benefit organisations, businesses and communities.

She also founded her own charity Chronic Hope (having endured the challenges of chronic fatigue syndrome), to help those in the community living with chronic illness achieve better health outcomes and find hope in their situations.

Being from the United States, Jami understood the need for international students to have opportunities to develop their skills for employment outside of university. As part of her charity, Jami offers volunteer opportunities to international students to help kick start their careers.

Jami is constantly looking for ways to contribute, share stories and foster a sense of camaraderie in her community.


Juliana Peloche (Brazil)

University of Wollongong, Wollongong

Juliana is a PhD candidate at the University of Wollongong, where her enthusiasm and dedication is well known in the community. Her work has had an immediate, positive and immeasurable impact on the community at large.

Juliana is a Student Leader in on-campus accommodation, where she provides support and knowledge around the clock for her residents. Her strong links within the Brazilian community and her cultural awareness and empathy for the international student experience, have served to strengthen inclusivity within the student community.

Juliana’s compassion has extended to supporting the community during the COVID-19 pandemic. She is a part of the Food+ with Care working group, which supports local international students with food assistance, and plays an integral role in linking the group with the wider community. She has also helped provide 200 meals per week for more than five months as part of her role as Wollongong Area Core Lead for the Shining Star Foundation. Her strong community ties have also allowed her to arrange additional support and donations for the community.

Juliana continues to inspire her fellow students and community members through her altruistic and overwhelmingly positive actions.


Ramesh Shrestha (Nepal)

TAFE NSW, Nirimba

Ramesh is a Nepalese student at TAFE NSW, studying a Bachelor of Early Childhood Education and Care, and has helped and inspired hundreds of students through his work.

Ramesh dedicates much of his time to volunteering for causes he believes in. He has worked tirelessly as the President of Vision for Motivation, a community organisation that works to motivate and assist international students in Australia. Through his role, Ramesh helped support international students in need in the aftermath of COVID-19 through ‘meal4mates’, a project to provide free grocery packages to more than 2,000 students. Ramesh also raised more than $1,000 for the NSW Rural Fire Service at a charity night attended by international students, the local MP and other community members.

Ramesh was recognised in ABC’s ‘The Little Things’ project as a role model and spokesperson for male early childhood educators. He was also recently awarded the Council of International Students Australia’s Student of the Year Award for his altruistic social work for fellow students.

Asked what motivates him in life, Ramesh’s reply is simple but speaks volumes – “Making others smile makes me happy”

Meet our 2020 finalists




Higher Education

Business Community

Education Provider