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Victoria

Event Recap - Education Forum 2017 - Strengthening Links to Future Prosperity Through Education

13 July 2017

ACBC Victoria’s 2017 Education Forum, ‘Strengthening Links to Future Prosperity through Education’, took place on 13 July at Westpac in Melbourne. Over 120 ACBC Victoria members and friends attended the event to discuss how Victoria can build upon its successes in the field of international education.

Ms Amanda Pickrell, Director of International Education at the Department of Economic Development, Jobs, Transportation and Resources (DEDJTR), State Government of Victoria opened proceedings by outlining the high-quality education and rich student experiences that Victoria has become known for. Speaking of the added value for students’ immersion into Victoria, Ms Pickrell cited the government’s Buddy Program, LIVE internship program and Education Awards as successful initiatives that help integrate foreign students more deeply into Australian life.

Next, a panel moderated by Professor On Kit Tam, RMIT University and Chair of ACBC Victoria’s Education & Training Working Group, and comprised of Dr Jane Orton, Melbourne Graduate School of Education; Dr Celina Yu, Global Business Australia; Mr Edward Smith, Australia China Alumni Association; Dr Susan Su, Melbourne Airport; and Derek Scott, Haileybury, discussed the added contributions international students make to the Victorian economy and culture.  

Key takeaways from the panel discussion included:

  • Education providers must have a long-term strategy when developing campuses offshore but the rewards are there
  • International students who have gone on to become Chinese primary teachers are a great asset; however, learning Mandarin must be further encouraged at VCE level
  • Melbourne Airport’s bilingual strategy has been to provide visitors with a familiar face at the airport through its China Corner
  • Alumni associations are successful in maintaining engagement with students who have relocated back to China and whose children are more likely to study in Australia

The Right Honourable the Lord Mayor Robert Doyle AC concluded the forum with a galvanising speech on what the Chinese community has brought to Melbourne, dating back to the days of the Gold Rush and the establishment of Westpac Bank’s inaugural committee that had two Chinese-Australians. As the world’s most liveable city and second best rated city for students, he stressed that Melbourne’s greatest selling point lies in its multi-ethnic makeup, public safety and job security. The Lord Mayor concluded the day’s proceedings with a wish to have an international student one day rise to become Lord Mayor of Melbourne.

The formal proceedings were concluded and followed by further networking opportunities.

$5 from each ticket sold to the forum was donated to the Westpac Lifesaver Rescue Helicopter Service. 

ACBC Victoria warmly extends our thanks to Westpac for generously sponsoring the event. Kind thanks also goes to Celina Yu and the Global Business College of Australia for sponsoring the forum. We also would like to thank Brown Brothers for providing the gifts for speakers, and lastly, we thank our keynote speakers, panellists, and guests for joining our Education Forum for 2017.