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Stories by Victoria’s international students took centre stage at the 2016 Melbourne Writers Festival as part of the My Melbourne storytelling competition, held in partnership with Study Melbourne.
Parliamentary Secretary for Education Judith Graley gave the opening address at ACMI’s The Cube on Saturday 3 September where winners of the My Melbourne competition were announced. The event was a Festival first and asked students from around the world to reflect on their time and experience studying in Victoria by creating and sharing their stories in both written and visual forms.
Six students from Brazil, Colombia, China, Indonesia and Malaysia were announced as winners, alongside ten shortlisted entries at a special awards ceremony event hosted by New Australian of the Year Gary Lee and Melbourne-based writer and editor Jasmeet Sahi. Finalists and winners were decided by a Melbourne Writers Festival judging panel led by Festival Director Lisa Dempster. More than 1,500 Victorians voted for their favourite My Melbourne story, which was awarded to The University of Melbourne Master of Public Health student Sandra Frans, for her entry titled “His Name is Bob”.
The five category winners received a Victorian experience of their choice, courtesy of Bunyip Tours, and the People’s Choice winner received an exclusive, money-can’t-buy mentoring experience with a leading Victorian professional in her field. All shortlisted entries are now being turned into a limited edition published book, which will be shared with readers here in Victoria and around the world.
‘My Melbourne’ Storytelling Competition – finalists and winners
Visual Category: Stories told in visual form, open to all international students in Victoria.
- Cui Bijun (China) from RMIT University – Winner (Video)
- Marcela Mejia Ruiz (Colombia) from Universal Institute of Technology – Winner (Photography)
- Cindy Wang (China) from RMIT University – Finalist
- Iftikhar Arman Rashid (Bangladesh/Malaysia) from Monash University - Finalist
Higher Education Category: By international students studying at university.
- Esther Kuok May Yan (Malaysia) from The University of Melbourne - Winner
- Clarybelle Loi (Malaysia) from The University of Melbourne - Finalist
- Line Sethnita Vanna (Cambodia) from Deakin University - Finalist
- Mohammed Azhar Uddin (India) from Charles Sturt University - Finalist
- Sandra Frans (Indonesia) from The University of Melbourne - Finalist
- Temitope Adebowale (Nigeria) from RMIT University - Finalist
- Trinh Le (Vietnam) from The University of Melbourne - Finalist
Vocational Education and Training Category: By international students studying at a TAFE or private training college.
- Suellen Smosinski (Brazil) from Nova Institute of Technology - Winner
- Maria Guerrero (Mexico) from Australian College of Sport and Fitness - Finalist
English Language Training Category: By students studying to improve their English.
- Karlin Vahos (Colombia) from Impact English College - Winner
- Ting Miao (China) from Melbourne Training Associates - Finalist