International students help build new world city

International Student Friendship Ceremony
International Student Friendship Ceremony at Nathan campus, Brisbane

By Hannah Sbeghen,

Brisbane’s Lord Mayor bestowed “friendship certificates” to international students who gathered at Griffith University’s Nathan Campus last Friday, showing his token of appreciation to those who chose Brisbane as their adopted city.

The certificates extended by the Lord Mayor at the International Student Friendship Ceremony were a Study Brisbane initiative run by Brisbane Marketing and supported by The Lord Mayor, who is grateful to all international students and offers them ongoing encouragement.

“We want to ensure through this friendship ceremony that your families understand that we appreciate the decision you have made to come and be a part of our city,” The Lord Mayor Quirk said.

International students are an integral part of the Brisbane 2022 New World City Action Plan which aims to implement key recommendations such as driving job creation, guiding city-shaping, maintaining and improving quality of life, and assisting research and education expansion.

Committing $15.5 million to the 2015-16 budget, The Lord Mayor says through the contribution of international students in innovation, economic and social advancement and understanding the environment Brisbane can be Australia’s new world city.

Australia’snew world city

“At Griffith University there is strong emphasis on the environment and upon Asian studies.” Cr Quirk said.

With Brisbane buzzing with more than 75,000 international students, The Lord Mayor Graham Quirk says this valued populous is integral to the plan in developing Brisbane into Australia’s new world city.

A vibrant international student Lyle Libuit, from the Philippine’s donning her certificate with a big smile.
A vibrant international student Lyle Libuit, from the Philippine’s donning her certificate with a big smile. Photo: Hannah Sbeghen, 14th August 2015.

“International students help build a cosmopolitan, vibrant city and strengthen Brisbane’s network with cities around the globe,” Cr Quirk said.

These students further our growing reputation as Australia’s new world city.” He said.

With international education creating more than 20,000 local jobs The Lord Mayor says he is connected to businesses who will support students with real world experience.

Shirely Kaupa with her partner Paul representing Paupa New Guinea with her hair piece
Shirely Kaupa with her partner Paul representing Paupa New Guinea with her hair piece. Photo: Hannah Sbeghen, 14th August 2015.

“I am continually talking to businesses about offering opportunities in this city, offering internships, trainee ships, opportunities to gain some of that real life experience in Australia.” Cr Quirk said.

As International education generates $5.1 billion dollars in course fees and other spending it makes Brisbane’s its biggest export market.

Brisbane Marketing Manager, Trish Hannan says the Study Brisbane program has been running since 2009 and reaches out to international students across more than 30 tertiary institutions, employing 30 ambassadors a year.

“The work the ambassadors do connects them with the potential for internships and then potential jobs later down the track, and that’s what it’s all about.” She said.

“Currently student ambassadors of Study Brisbane have up to 30,000 social media connections,” Ms Hannan said.

“They use those connections to tell people about life in the city and what students can do,” she said.

Through Facebook and other social media, The Brisbane Mayor wants to form a lifelong friendship with international students studying in Brisbane and urges them to stay in touch.

“For those of you who leave Brisbane to pursue careers — please stay in touch. We want to know how you’re progressing and how you’re making our world a better place,” The Lord Mayor said.

“We ask you that when you leave to take something of Brisbane in your heart.” Cr Quirk said.