Leaders and ambassadors

Leaders and ambassadors

International student of the year

Zaki Haidari, one of our international student ambassadors since February, won the 2015 NSW International Student of the Year Award (vocational education and training) in a presentation at the Sydney Opera House on Tuesday 13 October.

Zaki was a refugee from Afghanistan. After his father disappeared the Taliban then targeted Zaki to be killed. At 16, he escaped from Afghanistan and came to Australia by boat.

Since arriving, Zaki has studied English and obtained qualifications in business and IT. He's now doing a diploma in graphic design and is a passionate human rights advocate who shares his refugee experience with schools and wider communities.

"My father always dreamed of seeing one of his kids graduate one day. I don't know if he's still alive but I'm sure he would be proud of me for what I have achieved here," Zaki said. 

Another City ambassador, Sophia Andres, was a finalist in this year's awards.

You can read more about Zaki's story on Facebook.

See caption

Zaki Haidari receives his award from NSW Minister for Trade, Tourism, Major Events and Sport at the Sydney Opera House.
Image courtesy of StudyNSW.

NSW International Student Awards 2014


Award-winning program

Our international student leadership and ambassador (ISLA) program won first prize at the 2014 NSW International Student Awards on 15 September.

The program creates opportunities for students to better integrate and learn about local culture, and to break down language barriers and social isolation.

The City of Sydney is committed to providing support to the international student community, to help them make the most of their experience in Sydney. 

Participants said the key benefits of the program were being able to develop connections with other international students (84%) and build networks and make friends locally (79%).

More than half of all students said the program helped them find work in Sydney. 

The City's Susana Ng with several international student leaders and ambassadors celebrating their award 

The NSW International Student Awards were presented by StudyNSW and the NSW Department of Premier and Cabinet to celebrate the contribution international students make to the community.

Last updated: Friday, 16 October 2015