13 November 2019

Wellington International Students Excellence Awards showcase the value of international education

Sixteen winners were honoured by WellingtonNZ for their outstanding contributions to academia, sport, the community and leadership.

rachel liao award web2
Eight-year-old Rachel Liao, the youngest winner, who received an award for her displays of manaakitanga and leadership in the classroom.

Established in 2016, the Wellington International Student Excellence Awards, held by WellingtonNZ, recognise high-achieving international students based in the Wellington region.

Awardees included Academic Excellence Award winner and Whitireia NZ/WelTec student Matthew Hitchener from England, who was honoured for his project introducing pelvic binders to paramedic services in Wellington. Pelvic binders are commonly used overseas to compress the pelvis to prevent bleeding in those with a pelvic fracture. After a successful trial on a LifeFlight helicopter, the binders will soon be launched on all Wellington Free Ambulances.

WellingtonNZ Workforce and Business Growth Manager, Matt Carrere, says the awards show both what the Wellington region can offer international students, as well as the vast contribution students make to the region in return.

“Wellington is an interconnected, social and diverse region where international students learn and thrive. It’s unsurprising that many choose to remain here after their studies to pursue a career.”

The awards also recognised individuals and organisations that work to welcome international students to the region.

PhD candidate at Victoria University of Wellington, Anna-Marie White, received the Internationalisation Award – Domestic Student for organising regular PhD writing workshops (or ‘bootcamps’) with international students.

She was nominated by a group of PhD candidates from around the world, who said: “Anna has expressed her manaakitanga to her international friends and has increased our feeling of home, our love of New Zealand, and our passion for our research. Bootcamp will always be the highlight of our PhD studies, and Anna is a member of the Wellington community that you can be incredibly proud of.”

This year’s Internationalisation Workplace Award went to Wellington tech company MarginFuel for offering employment and internships to 20 international students and graduates.

“MarginFuel offers the students opportunities to further their careers, and in return we have found the students are intelligent, hard-working and add a rich layer to our team culture,” CEO Andrew Pascoe says. “New hires especially comment on how culturally diverse we are, and how this adds so much to the organisation.”

For the full list of winners, visit the WellingtonNZ website.

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