Last week, hundreds of inquisitive students gathered at the Indian Consulate office in Sydney to learn about their rights, opportunities and ways to enhance their academic experience in Australia. A special treat was a meet and greet with Simon Taufel, one of cricketing world's most respected umpires.
‘Helping you make most of your international student experience’ was the focus of the meeting between Indian students and government representatives in Sydney, a city which has emerged as a preferred destination for foreign students across the globe.
The gathering on Tuesday was facilitated by the Australian Indian Sports Educational and Cultural Society (AISECS), a non-profit organisation which assisted the consulate and Study NSW to reach out to the group of students, seeking ways to translate opportunities into stable careers.
The highlight of the event was guest speaker Simon Taufel, a former Australian cricket umpire who entertained and educated the students with his wit and wisdom.
Mr Taufel spoke at length about the importance of soft skills, which he said students often tend to ignore as they mainly focus on academic achievements.
Taking the conversation further, Consular General Manish Gupta reminded the students of the role of the consulate and encouraged them to reach out to the relevant authorities in times of need.
He also advised students to use social media platforms to reach out to the consulate with their problems be it a case of a lost passport or any significant issue related to their well-being.
Other presenters included Peter Mackey, Director – Trade, International Education and Small Business Operations who talked about the role of their organisation and how they assist International students in Sydney.
Students were also able to chat and network with Rachelle Loosen, Assistant Director Fair Work Ombudsman who discussed work rights and warned them about the rampant exploitation in the job market.
In addition, NSW Police Superintendent Paul Carrett also addressed the issue of safety and wellbeing of the students and discussed ways to ensure they know where and how to get help.
AISECS was founded by Gurnam Singh, who among other things, has been appointed as a Community Ambassador by Cricket Australia. Assisted by a team of volunteers, they hosted hundreds of international students at this event.
Mumbai-based Sharon Roy, who is currently pursuing a postgraduate degree from Western Sydney University, said the event was an “extraordinary” opportunity that allowed him to interact with government stakeholders and the international student community under the same roof.
“This event increased my social and professional connections where I had the opportunity to network with not only some very passionate international students willing to contribute to the community we live in but also great leaders from the consulate and AISECS team who are highly driven to bring best experiences for the community on whole,” said Ms Roy.