Organising Committee


 Anne Louise Thorbecke

Project Manager and Board Member, Meld Community 

Anne Louise is psychologist, contemporary dancer, and a semi-full time baker since lockdown. This is her first year no longer being an international student, but rather embracing life as a international graduate. She has worked with international students in Victoria for seven years, and joined Meld as a project coordinator in 2017 to work on the Melbourne International Student Conference. Anne Louise is passionate about multiculturalism, gender equality, mental health, and LGBTIQA+ rights. Having lived in The Netherlands, Norway, eSwatini, and now Australia, Anne Louise loves to meet new people from all walks of life, and is a strong believer in the vital role international students and graduates play in making Melbourne the vibrant and culturally rich city it is.

Ritika Saxena

Secretary, Meld Community 

Ritika is a young stem cell scientist (@stemcellmum) and a PhD candidate at the University of Melbourne. She was born in India but has spent time studying in Australia, USA and China. Having lived in various cultures, Ritika developed a strong understanding of multiculturalism and built on her culturally sensitive style of communication and teamwork. This led her to become a well established student leader during her undergraduate studies and get involved in different experiences that uni life has to offer. Ritika is the founder of the social enterprise called floralrestrict that raised over $10,000 for the international student and Victorian community. She wants to build collaborative communities through her leadership, particularly in the international student sector. She is an inspiring role model to young women of colour who dream of a career in STEMM and coaches international students on how to fit in and stand out at the same time in a foreign land.

Aun Ngo

Treasurer, Meld Community 

Aun Ngo looks after the community aspect of StartSpace at State Library Victoria – a business support service for very early-stage founders & ideas. Born in Malaysia but migrating to Melbourne at an early age, he studied Commerce and Arts before working in the education sector managing international student welfare programs. Aun then spent some time working in Asia –  through AusAID at a social enterprise in Manila then at a non-profit in Singapore. More recently he launched and managed the FYA Hub, Australia’s first free coworking space for youth social entrepreneurs. He also co-founded Meld Community, a non-profit supporting international students studying in Melbourne in 2008

Don Doughty

Board Member, Meld Community

Originating from the land below the wind of Malaysia, Don is currently pursuing his degree in Business Management with Kaplan Business School. Since arriving in Melbourne in 2017, Don has developed a strong advocate interest in initiating programs and events that benefit international students’ welfare and well-being from institutional level to national peak representation body. With the initiation of the Victorian State Government’s priority response to multicultural communities program 2020, Don has joined the Huddle, the community organisation for North Melbourne Football Club as the International Student Liaison Officer to strengthen aid and connect essential local services to international students living in Wyndham municipality in particularly during pandemic.

 Gary Lee

International Education Project Coordinator, City of Melbourne  

Gary Lee is a passionate advocate for international education. Dynamic, creative and forward thinking, he specialises in the areas of high level strategic planning; policy development and advice; design and delivery of complex projects (including festivals and arts programming) and student wellbeing initiatives.

Gary is the International Education Project Coordinator at the City of Melbourne. Having earned a reputation as an affable and versatile collaborator, Gary has worked on many award-winning projects and programs including the EDGE International Student Leaders’ Program; which subsequently evolved to become the Melbourne International Student Conference (through a partnership with Meld Community); which he has been involved with since its inception.

In January 2016, Gary was recognised by the Australia Day Council as the ‘New Australian of the Year’ for his contributions in empowering culturally and linguistically diverse communities through dance, sport and volunteering.

In 2018, he was the recipient of the prestigious IEAA ‘Distinguished Contribution to International Education’ award.