Christian Nnanyelugo Mbonu was inducted as a City of Sydney student leader with 31 of his peers from around the world in formal ceremony held in mid-March at the Sydney Town Hall.
Christian is studying for his Master of Social Work (Qualifying) at ACAP Hyde Park campus. He is one of two Nigerian students to join the local government’s International Student Leadership and Ambassador program (ISLA), which began in 2013. Christian is among the 2016-2018 cohort of volunteers representing the estimated 35,000 international students who have chosen Sydney as the location for their tertiary education.
ISLA ambassadors improve the experiences of visiting students by ensuring they have a voice in the community. Christian’s duties will also include promoting the city’s local services, helping to run student events, education forums, orientation weeks and festivals related to cultural diversity.
“I hope to make a positive impact on the lives of my colleagues in the course of the program,” said Christian.
“I chose Sydney as a destination for my studies because it was the best place to experience the multicultural diversity of Australia. Sydney is the most desired and first stop for most international students and migrants in Australia. Also, Sydney has the best in terms of state-of-the-art facilities. It has really been an awesome experience because I have had the opportunity to learn the Australian way of life and meet nice people.”
Christian is the second ACAP student to take an active role in the civic affairs of his host city recently.
A Master of Social Work (Qualifying) graduate, Frankie Zheng, undertook her work placement at the City of Sydney within the ISLA program during 2016. She later successfully applied for a part-time position on the project as a Community Programs Support Officer.
Professor Sharon Moore from ACAP’s School of Social Work (pictured above with Christian and Frankie at the Sydney Town Hall ceremony) supported Christian at the ISLA induction ceremony and caught up with Frankie at the event.
"ACAP's international student leadership began with ACAP's support of Frankie Zheng and Anil Shrestha when they were Master of Social Work (Qualifying) students who attended the Council of International Students Australia Conference in Darwin in 2016," said Sharon.
“At this inaugural national event, our ACAP students raised the social, economic issues and cultural challenges, including racism, facing international students. Their involvement in the ISLA project has originated from there.”
Professor Moore acknowledged the personal qualities and commitment alongside a busy study schedule that is required to take on the prestigious role of City of Sydney volunteer ambassador.
“Christian Mbonu is another excellent student leader and champion for ACAP. He is a philosophy graduate and plans to make his career in community advocacy. He was selected for the ISLA program after passing several qualifying tests to establish his leadership expertise,” said Sharon.
ACAP offers a comprehensive range of undergraduate and postgraduate courses to international students interested in pursuing careers in Psychology, Counselling, Coaching, Social Science and Social Work. You can find out more about the City of Sydney ISLA program here.
Photo credits: City of Sydney