Doors open for 2023 Mayor’s Student Ambassadors

Six of the 2023 Gold Coast Mayor's Student Ambassadors are ambitious Griffith students.

Six Griffith University students have secured a coveted spot in a team of 20 as the Gold Coast Mayor’s Student Ambassadors for 2023.

This year marks a decade for the program, which sees a select group of students from across the globe offered once-in-a-lifetime opportunities including industry networking and VIP experiences, as well as the chance to lead and facilitate major city-wide events.

Griffith’s International Student Experience Manager Kiri Bishop said the university is proud to partner with Study Gold Coast for its stellar promotion of student experiences across the education sector.

“We are grateful to have Study Gold Coast offering high value programs for students to gain networks, exposure to local businesses and opportunities to strengthen their personal and professional connections,” said Ms Bishop.

“Highlights in this year’s program include an indigenous experience through the Jellurgal Aboriginal Cultural Centre, a look into sustainable food practices through OzHarvest’s education and food rescue programs, as well as exclusive insights into how the city is run through the Mayor’s Office.”

Lydia Kek, Bachelor of Nutrition and Dietetics.

Bachelor of Nutrition and Dietetics student Lydia Kek is the first to represent Singapore in the history of Mayor’s student ambassadors.

“I have this dream of becoming a dietician and changing people’s lives through the power of food and nutrition — being part of something this big will enable me to gain behind-the-scenes experiences and build my professional networks,” she said.

Canadian student Ryan Churchill was inspired by his aunt, an emergency nurse, to volunteer in the emergency department of Winnipeg, Manitoba before deciding to pursue a Doctor of Medicine at Griffith.

Ryan Churchill, Doctor of Medicine.

“I chose Griffith for several reasons, including its strong reputation in health, impressive modern teaching facilities and the proximity of the campus to anything and everything you could need as a student — including the beach!” he said.

Also from Canada is Bachelor of Psychology (Honours) student Sarah Lelea, who fell in love with the city of the Gold Coast and its people during a visiting tour of Griffith campus.

Sarah Lelea, Bachelor of Psychology (Honours).

“I only dreamt of studying in Australia, but now I also get the privilege to partner with my fellow ambassadors who are already like a tiny family to me – we each support each other and share a common passion for excellence in serving the community,” she said.

Mercy Atukunda, Master of Civil Engineering and Engineering Project Management.

Mercy Atukunda is from the small town of Entebbe, Uganda and is completing a dual Master of Civil Engineering and Engineering Project Management with the goal to contribute to construction of sustainable infrastructure.

“I’m intentional about growth both personal and professional, getting involved in the local community and volunteering – this is an extension of that desire and commitment,” she said.

Master of IT student Sunwoo (Ellen) Nam was encouraged by her instructor in South Korea to embrace the fear and feel the reward of educational opportunities abroad.

Sunwoo (Ellen) Nam, Master of IT.

“Before moving here, I was concerned about studying in a completely new environment but from my first day on the Gold Coast, I have met numerous kind and supportive people, which makes me want to share these meaningful experiences with others who face similar difficulties,” she said.

Surbhi Rawat, Master of Social Work.

Surbhi Rawat from India, currently completing her Master of Social Work, has previously participated in the WACE Global Challenge and remains passionate about a sustainable future.

“It will facilitate me in becoming a member of the student cohort that promotes education as one of the fundamental economic pillars of the Gold Coast city and add depth to its social fabric,” she said.

This year’s intake for the Mayor’s Student Ambassador Program represents 13 nationalities from 10 different institutions.

Find out more about these star student’s stories and 2023 program here.