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CQUni Melbourne grad Shirley a star amongst international students

Published:14 August 2018

CQUni Melbourne recent graduate Shirley Boon has been named a finalist for International Student of the Year in the Victorian International Education Awards 2018.

She’s had plenty of highlights in her two years at CQUniversity Melbourne – and now recent Master of Project Management graduate Shirley Boon has another feather in her cap, as a finalist in the Victorian International Education Awards 2018.

One of more than 250 entrants, Shirley made the shortlist for International Student of the Year, and will attend the prestigious awards ceremony on Tuesday 25 September.

Her success as a finalist follows strong academic results, and a range of extra-curricular activities on campus, and away from university.

“The assessment criteria for this award were academic performance, community involvement, leadership skills and ability to represent Victoria – and they’re all things I’ve always been dedicated to pursue since I came to Melbourne and CQUni,” Shirley explained.

The enthusiastic Malaysian student said she was encouraged to apply by campus leaders, including Associate Vice-Chancellor (Victoria) Lara Carton.

"CQUniversity has provided me with many incredible opportunities to expand my leadership capacities and to further enhance my experience as a volunteer,” Shirley said.

“From the start, I’ve been passionate about getting involved with life on campus because I want to give back to the university, and also want to set an example to other students through my commitment and enthusiasm – because passion is contagious!"

Earlier this year, Shirley led a student team coordinate and host East Meets West Trivia, a first-time event for CQUni Melbourne which attracted 120 people.

The fun trivia night was designed to connect international students with local people and traditions, as well as helping the students to share their own.

In 2016, Shirley was also the first student to complete the new Graduate Certificate in Social Innovation, and she used her new skills to lead a CQUni team in The Big Idea competition, making the semi-finals in the national social enterprise design challenge.

Since Shirley completed her degree in Term 1, she's has been busy preparing for her Project Management professional certification exam, as well as starting a sole proprietorship, Prowise Impact.

She is also volunteering as a project consultant to social advocate Elvis Martin, an Ambassador for the National Youth Commission Australia and R U OK, a suicide prevention charity.

The Victorian International Education Awards are an initiative of the Victorian Government to support the international education sector, promote best practice, and raise awareness of its benefits to the broader community.

Ms Carton said Shirley’s honour was well-deserved, and rewarded her vibrant approach to campus life.

“We were thrilled to nominate Shirley for this award – she’s been a whirlwind of enthusiasm on campus, both in her studies and as a member of the campus life committee, and her passion for making a difference has always been impressive,” Ms Carton said.

As a finalist, Shirley has already been recognised as an advocate of CQUniversity Melbourne and the Study Melbourne initiative, which promotes Victoria as a leading destination for international students.