When moving to a new country, learning a new language and a new education system can be challenging. The 2017 winners in the undergraduate category have overcome this, excelling in their studies and immersing themselves in the opportunities that life in Adelaide provides. We invited them to share their stories.
Winner: Santhni Subramaniam from Malaysia
High achievements in study and life
During her time studying in Adelaide, Santhni has dedicated herself to academic excellence, and to giving back to her community through volunteering.
In her academic studies, Santhni has established an excellent academic record, winning several awards and taking up opportunities to work with researchers in Adelaide and overseas.
Santhni has also dedicated significant time and effort to volunteering. She has given service to her university and to many community organisations and events, with a particular interest in helping to overcome homelessness in Australia and Malaysia.
With a heart filled with compassion and a mind dedicated to research, Santhni’s bright future is sure to create an even brighter future for the world.
What inspires you to juggle your studies and volunteering?
I believe that we are meant to do something in this world, not just to fulfil our dreams, but to help others fulfil theirs. I feel like I am in my full-form if I am helping others. It can be hard to juggle so much, but when it’s your passion, you make the time.
What sort of activities have you volunteered in?
I am an ambassador for my university and was a representative at the Students for Students National Leadership Conference. I’ve also volunteered with AIESEC, the world’s largest not-for-profit youth organisation.
In the community, I’ve volunteered at many events including the Adelaide Festival of Ideas, which I loved being involved in.
Describe what receiving this award means to you
I share this with my teachers and educators as they are the main reason that I am getting this award. I wouldn’t be here without them.
What’s your favourite thing to do in Adelaide?
I love coffee tasting around the city! My friend and I visit a new café every week to try their coffee and relax with a good book. There’s a lot of great cafes in Adelaide, but Bar 9 at Adelaide Central Plaza is one of my favourites!
Highly Commended: Abdul Mohsi from Pakistan
Abdul’s desire to pursue a career in computer science academia brought him to study in Adelaide. Here, he has maintained an exemplary academic record, achieving a perfect GPA in his first year and winning prestigious awards from his university.
Coming to Adelaide was initially overwhelming. Like many international students, Abdul wasn’t used to being on his own in a new country. However, he found people to be very welcoming and participated in many extracurricular activities to make new friends.
Abdul has also taken up cycling in Adelaide, something he had never done before. He loves riding his bike to university and taking the long way home to wind down after a long day.
Highly Commended: Su Jen Chua from Malaysia
Su Jen spent much of her childhood in her parents clinics seeing a doctor’s life. After six long years of dedication, Su Jen is about to graduate from her Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery.
During her studies, Su Jen was selected to participate in several research projects, resulting in significant findings and giving her national and international acclaim in her field. Her research in cardiology resulted in findings that could potentially save millions in healthcare costs.
Outside of medicine, Su Jen found many opportunities to immerse herself in the local community, including singing in the Intervarsity Choral Festival. She also tried something entirely new, performing in local theatre productions.
Su Jen has accepted a role at the Royal Perth Hospital and aims to specialise in obstetric medicine. Her long-term goal is to be a clinician-scientist, committed to protect and restore the health of her patients.