Organising Committee

 


Anne Louise Thorbecke

Project Coordinator, Meld Community 

Anne Louise is passionate about all things multicultural and community development. She has worked with international students in Victoria for five years, and joined Meld as a project coordinator in 2017 to work on the Melbourne International Student Conference. Originally from Norway, Anne Louise completed high school at a United World College in Swaziland, and is now completing her Masters in clinical psychology at the University of Melbourne. Throughout her studies and work she has maintained a strong focus on encouraging inclusive leadership through building awareness around mental health, sexuality and culture.  Outside of university, Anne Louise is active in Melbourne’s contemporary dance scene, and enjoys a good cup of tea with friends.

 


 

Yifan Wang

Yifan is a strong advocate for gender equality, cultural intelligence and leadership. While studying her bachelor’s degree at the University of Newcastle, Yifan found her passion in helping international students engage in the local community. Her community achievements were proudly recognised as the first ever Global Citizen Award Winner in 2016.

Seeing herself as the beneficiary of international education, she aspires to support more female students to develop their skills and raise their voice. This motivated her to co-found the Women’s Network, a launching pad for women to grow, lead and empower each other, while completing her master’s at Melbourne Business School.

Apart from being the National Treasurer for Australia China Youth Association in 2018, Yifan’s study and work experience in five countries has strengthened her cross-cultural communication skills and made her understand the active role that youth can play to make the world a better place. In her spare time, she enjoys multicultural lifestyle that Melbourne offers.


 

Ritika Saxena

Ritika is a recent Deakin University science graduate and completed Honours at St. Vincent’s Institute of Medical Research, working on cardiac stem cells. Originally from India, she moved to Melbourne in 2014 and quickly involved herself in the community she was a part of, taking up multiple leadership roles across the university and in Melbourne. She was awarded the Vice Chancellor’s medal for Outstanding Contribution to University Life in 2017 for her involvement at Deakin. She went on to receive the Australasian Senior Peer Leader Award for her role as a PASS Leader and a student mentor. Ritika is passionate about cultural exchange and has also spent time working at a hospital in China and as an exchange student in America. She loves being an active member of multicultural communities and empowering people to build their confidence. Currently working as a Teaching Assistant at Deakin, Ritika plans on undertaking a PhD in Medical Biology. She hopes her contributions can make this world a better place by contributing to novel treatment options for devastating diseases.

 

 


 Sunny Huang

Sunny believes that every young person deserves to grow up in an encouraging environment with sufficient educational resources. During her Bachelor of Arts degree, she was an exchange student at the University of Hong Kong as a Melbourne Global Scholar to learn more about education systems in Asia. Sunny was selected as the only international student in her cohort to volunteer in Banjaroya, Indonesia, focusing on ‘Food Diversity’ and ‘Child Development’. Here she founded the first book collection and purchased musical instruments for the Banjaroya youth group with support from family and friends. Sunny is now in her final year of Master of Teaching (Secondary) at the University of Melbourne to experience and learn about the Australian curriculum and schooling systems. As the current National Education Director of Australia-China Youth Association (ACYA), Sunny hopes to create more meaningful discussions in the Australia-China space and empower young people in her home country China to make real changes. She plays the ukulele, loves reading, dancing and enjoys Chinese calligraphy.

 


Meghalee Bose

Meghalee Bose is a writer first, an international student second. From representing her state at national science exhibitions to winning Best Speaker in national debates – her love of dabbling in multiple fields has led her to her current path: a double Bachelors in Creative Writing and Computer Science, a combination she hopes will uniquely equip her for the challenges of tomorrow’s working world. Similarly, her work experience spans the gamut – from interning with Study Melbourne to formulate an Victorian alumni engagement plan, to her current role in La Trobe University’s international department as a Business Services Administration Officer. She’s also involved with the La Trobe Student Theatre – having won a summer grant for her contributions as writer, director and actor. In her spare time, she works as an adjudicator with the Debater’s Association of Victoria, training younger kids in the art of argument.

 

 

 


 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.