Organising Committee


Karen Poh

Founder, Meld Community/Meld Magazine

Karen is the founder of Meld Community and its international student website Meld Magazine. A multi-disciplinary professional with a decade of experience and skills in print and online journalism, community engagement, entrepreneurship and organisational management, Karen has a special interest in international student engagement and the not-for-profit sector, and how media, especially in the digital age, can be used to improve the health of communities. She also helped pioneer a social journalism initiative through the Carlton Community Website, to empower members of a diverse and multicultural community to inform each other using digital mobile tools. In 2015, she received the Media Award at Victoria’s Multicultural Awards for Excellence, for highlighting issues of social importance and community awareness through Meld Magazine.


Gary Lee

International Student & Youth Project Officer, City of Melbourne 

Gary is the International Student & Youth Project Officer at the City of Melbourne. Dynamic, creative and forward thinking, he has over 15 years international education experience in the areas of high level strategic planning and design; policy development and advice; and the design and delivery of complex projects including festivals and arts programming, student wellbeing programs, community grants and youth consultation. Gary has an extensive network across industries and disciplines. Through partnerships and collaborations, he has championed numerous award-winning projects and programs including the Lord Mayor’s Student Welcome, EDGE International Student Leaders’ Program and the Essendon Football Club GLoBALL Program. In January 2016, Gary was announced as the Australia Day Council ‘New Australian of the Year 2016’ for his tireless work and success in empowering communities.


Anne Louise Thorbecke

Project Coordinator, Meld Community 

Anne Louise is passionate about all things multicultural and community development. She joined Meld as project coordinator in 2017 because of her combined love for project management and the inclusive values for the Melbourne International Student Conference. Originally from Norway, Anne Louise completed high school at a United World College in Swaziland, before moving to Melbourne to continue her studies in Psychology at the University of Melbourne. Outside of university, Anne Louise has a part-time role at an IT company in the area of marketing. She was also previously a volunteer with the Australian Federation of International Students and at the Melbourne International Student Conference 2016.  Despite a busy schedule, she has managed to maintain a H1 average in her studies, and has worked with university staff on psychological research on gender and objectification.




Caroline Serrao

Caroline was born and raised in the State of Kuwait where she completed her high school. Before coming to Melbourne, her love for fashion took her to India to do a year in fashion design where she also discovered her interest in fashion photography. But more than fashion, Caroline is passionate about art – and her love for art, together with her drive for perfection, was what won her many awards in various art competitions all through high school. She is currently undertaking a Bachelor of Business in Human Resources Management at La Trobe University, and has volunteered as an international student host at her university. She is looking forward for more volunteering opportunities where she can give back to the community.





Chihyu Chou

Originally from Taiwan, Chihyu is currently undertaking a communications and marketing internship at Meld Magazine. While studying for a Master of Global Media Communication at the University of Melbourne, she has been actively involved in community and the arts and gained skills in areas such as digital marketing and event management. She has worked and volunteered in organisations including The Couch (Salvation Army), the Immigration Museum, Abbotsford Convent, Melbourne Fringe and Melbourne Spring Fashion Week. A freelance writer, Chihyu contributes to Farrago magazine and maintains a personal blog.



Ersi Terolli

Ersi Terolli was born and raised in Albania where she not only excelled in her studies, but also participated in numerous competitions and television shows. She moved to Italy to pursue a degree in Business and Economics (CLaBE) at the University of Bologna, where graduated with honours and was awarded the ‘Prize for deserving Non-EU students’. While at the University of Bologna, Ersi also worked as a coordinator for the USAB student union, ran market research projects and served as an assistant at the university’s School of Economics, Management and Statistics. She is fluent in three languages and is a published translator, with a fifth book on the way. Currently, Ersi is a Postgraduate-Excellence-Scholarship Student at La Trobe University and a volunteer at the university’s international student service and student union. She also works in customer service at Solution Entertainment and serves as a CLaBE Ambassador.





Giulia Guasco

Giulia Guasco is a high distinction student who was granted a merit scholarship to undertake a Master of Business Administration (International) at Deakin University. In addition to working part-time as a coordinator at Deakin University English Language Institute ( DUELI), Giulia is also projects director at Deakin Graduate Business Society (DGBS) and projects officer at the Australian Federation of International Students. Before moving to Melbourne, Giulia worked in Sales for 4 years in Italy where she generated high volume leads and multi-benefits business opportunity, achieving oustanding customer service.






Ka Chun Ma

Originally from Hong Kong, Ka Chun’s first experience of Australia was as a backpacker two years ago. So fascinated by the Australia culture and way of life, he returned to Melbourne as an international student to pursue an undergraduate degree in IT  at Victoria University. To better understand the Australian culture and integrate into the local community, Ka Chun began joining different clubs and societies and volunteering his time on a range of initiatives. It’s helped him realise that he too can make a different in the community.




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. She’s also intensely involved with La Trobe Student Theatre – as writer, director and actor – and works as an adjudicator with the Debater’s Association of Victoria, training younger kids in the art of argument in her spare time.




Nimalan Alfred

With a background in business, Nimalan is a tech savvy individual currently pursuing a Master in IT Business Analysis at Swinburne University to keep himself updated with developments in data management, analytics and online marketing, and enhance his proficiency in the field. An active volunteer at Swinburne University, Nimalan has represented the International and Postgraduate Students of Swinburne at various levels. He is passionate about data sciences and business analytics, which he sees as the next step in his career progression. Over the years he has gained the skills to be a good leader, team member, problem solver and time management expert. His experiences in digital marketing and business analysis have made him look at everything statistically, make a proper consensus based on the facts rather than instincts to help a business take critical decisions. Punctuality and persistent hard-work are the two mantras that he follows on a day-to-day basis.




Ritika Saxena

Ritika Saxena is a third year biology student from India at Deakin University, with a keen interest in stem cell genetics. She received the Vice Chancellor’s scholarship and has maintained a high distinction record with extensive volunteering and leadership experience through student support programs at Deakin like Connect, Peer Assisted Study Sessions Leader, Peer Support Network Leader, DUSA Red Shirt volunteer and DUSA Student Representative. She has work experience both in the labs – at Deakin and Monash universities, and outside the labs as a Deakin casual staff member. Cultural exchange intrigues her and she has lived in India, China, Alaska and now Australia. A member of the Golden Key society, she hopes to make a difference to the world in the field of medical research.




Serena Lu

Serena has a background in finance, and is currently undertaking a Master of Professional Accounting and Master of Business Law at Monash University. Always one to embrace new ideas and challenges, she is on a constant lookout for opportunities to deepen her knowledge and experience in her chosen discpline. In addition to having a strong interest in business, she is passionate about not-for-profit organisations. Having witnessed Melbourne’s cultural diversity and the openess of its people, she is particularly interested in community development – helping Melbourne’s diverse international student population bridge the cultural gap and engage each other.  She is doing so as projects officer at the Australian Federation of International Students and through other volunteering activities.




Tessie Wang

Tessie is currently pursuing a Master of Business majoring in project management at Monash University. With an undergraduate degree in international business trade, Tessie has undertaken numerous internships relating to her field as well as in the area social media engagement, which has helped her develop practical marketing and communication skills.  Her ultimate aim is to integrate her project management skills with her interests in supply chain and logistics. Tessie is also project officer at the Australian Federation of International Students and has volunteered at other events including the Melbourne Marathon and Melbourne International Student Conference 2016.





Vishnu Visvanathan

After graduating from her high school in India, Vishnu was offered an International Merit scholarship to undertake a double degree in nursing and midwifery at Monash University. After attending a Monash Minds Leadership program in 2015, she realised education was so much more than books. This led her to volunteer with many university associations and clubs. Having notable experience mentoring and working with international students at Monash, she was elected as the International Student Officer of Monash Student Union (MONSU) Peninsula in 2017. She spends her free time playing her violin and cooking some south Indian curries.