Vocational Education and Training 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


Ligia Maria Andriolli Caseiro (Brazil)

Kirana Colleges Australia, Sydney

Ligia Maria is a dedicated student from Brazil and an active member of the local community in NSW. She recently completed a Diploma of Social Media Marketing and has started the Diploma of Community Services at Kirana Colleges Australia.

She worked as an educator for Waverley Council and as a Bilingual Student Learning Support Officer - for the NSW Department of Education at Central Sydney Intensive English High School. Her current position is as an Advanced Child Care Educator at KU Children’s Services. 

While in Brazil, Ligia Maria volunteered in social and environmental programs for approximately nine years. In NSW she worked as a coordinator and volunteer for BrazilianAid during the Bushfire season in 2019/2020 and the COVID-19 Pandemic. They mobilised more than 300 volunteers to work with Blaze Aid, Food Bank, Addison Road, and Our Big Kitchen.

She is now a volunteer for the Australian Chamber of Commerce,the Embassy of Brazil and has applied to volunteer with New South Wales State Emergency Service. She is always doing her best to support the local communities here in NSW.


Nicola Evans (United Kingdom)

Academy of Entrepreneurs, Pyrmont

Nicola (also known as Nikki) is an international student at the Academy of Entrepreneurs in Sydney. Originally from Manchester in the United Kingdom, Nikki is a qualified mindset coach and mentor, helping clients to reach their potential.

Nikki is a model of integrity, collaboration and positivity for her peers, empowering countless students through her work. She is an active member of the Academy of Entrepreneurs and broader community, proactively sharing her expertise to help peers with their business ventures.

Seeing the impact COVID-19 was having on student’s physical and mental health, Nikki is working hard to ensure students remain connected with their purpose and what brings them happiness. She has also recently launched a podcast and WhatsApp group to help people cope with quarantine, providing an avenue to encourage positive change despite the pandemic.


Elise Hyoin Lee (South Korea)

TAFE NSW, Ultimo

Elise is from South Korea and studying a Diploma of Beauty Therapy at TAFE NSW in Ultimo. Elise’s peers and teachers recognise her for her diligent client care, ability to apply herself to her studies and commitment to the wider community.

Her volunteer work continues to have a lasting impact on the lives of many in the community. She contributes both her time and expertise at charities including: Dress for Success, to empower women to re-enter the workforce by providing clothing and styling advice; the Exodus Foundation, to give back to those experiencing hardship and homelessness; and Randwick Children’s Hospital, where she provides pamper treatments for parents and carers of ill children.

Elise epitomises community spirit and is a role model among her peers. She continues to advocate for vocational education and strengthening education pathways between Australia and her home country.

Meet our 2020 finalists




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