International students named Brisbane ambassadors

Griffith students with Lord Mayor Graham Quirk at the 2014 Brisbane International Student Ambassador Appointment Ceremony

Four students from Griffith University have been named by Lord Mayor Graham Quirk as 2014 Brisbane International Student Ambassadors.

“International education is Brisbane’s biggest export industry with 75,000 student enrolments annually generating $3.77 billion in course fees and other spending,” said Cr Quirk at the City Hall Ceremony last week.

“We now have 36 enthusiastic new advocates from 34 countries. They will use social media to spread the word on why Brisbane is increasingly the city of choice for international students.

“Today’s appointments bring the total number of ambassadors appointed since the Brisbane Marketing-led program began in 2009 to 158.

“Their role will see them enjoying many quintessential Brisbane experiences as well as volunteer at multicultural events, and assist with the hosting of official visiting delegations, particularly from Brisbane’s Sister Cities.

“The 2013 ambassadors attended high profile events like the Asia Pacific Screen Awards and their combined social media reach exceeded 25,000 worldwide.

“With the G20 Leaders Summit on in Brisbane in November, the role of the 2014 ambassadors will be even more important in providing an insight about life in Australia’s new world city to visiting media.”

Cr Quirk said the 2014 ambassadors were chosen from a record number of almost 250 applicants and included students aged from 18 to 32 from countries including China, India, South Korea, Brazil, Italy, France, Germany, Malaysia, Singapore, Saudi Arabia, Japan, Vietnam and Colombia.

“Fifteen G20 member countries are represented and this year we welcome our first ever ambassadors from Afghanistan, Egypt, England, Haiti, Ireland, Jordan, Kenya, Myanmar, Russia, South Sudan and Sweden,” said Cr Quirk.

“In another first, the program now includes six domestic students with strong international ties. Two settled here as refugees from Afghanistan and South Sudan, two are here under their parents 457 skilled work visas, another has dual English/Australia citizenship and the sixth has returned from an exchange program in France.

“The student ambassadors from Griffith include Shabnam Ahmadzada who arrived as a refugee with her family from Afghanistan and is now an Australian citizen. She is studying forensic science and would like to join the Queensland Police Service as well as promote Afghan cuisine and culture in her new home.

“Another is Albin Johansson from Sweden who is studying international business and is planning to join a local sailing club so he can fully enjoy our beautiful MoretonBay.”

Cr Quirk said the honorary appointments were for one year.

“International students add so much to Brisbane; creating a cosmopolitan and vibrant city which makes it all the more inviting for other students as well as tourists, business investors and delegates to events like the G20 Leaders Summit,” Cr Quirk said.

“Students are drawn to the city’s world-class educational facilities but are also attracted to our friendly multicultural population mix, strong economy, affordability, lifestyle, beautiful weather and efficient transport system.”

The student ambassador program was established by Brisbane Marketing’s Study Brisbane ( program in 2009 and is open to both domestic and international students in Brisbane.

2014 Brisbane International Student Ambassadors from Griffith University:

  • Shabnam Ahmadzada, Bachelor of Accounting
  • Ka Po Lee, Master of International Business
  • Jorge Rosas, Bachelor of Commerce
  • Albin Johansson, Bachelor of International Business