WA International Student of the Year Award


Congratulations to the outstanding WA international students who were nominated for the award. The winner will be announced at the CISWA 25th Annual Winter Conference on Thursday 5th July 2018.

Proudly sponsored by City of Perth the CISWA WA International Student of the Year Award is about recognising the significant contribution international students make to the Western Australian community.

CISWA is looking to acknowledge an international student, who has demonstrated academic excellence and has contributed to enhancing the student experience both on and off campus.

In selecting the recipient of this award, the student’s achievements and contributions during their time as an international student in Australia will be taken into consideration. Additional weight will be given to any activities which promote interaction with Australian students and with the local community.

The achievements and contributions of the winning student will be promoted through the education sector’s peak bodies, higher education media and the CISWA website.


2017 Winner: WA International Student of the Year – Zhibo Zhang (UWA)

Who Can Apply?

  • Any current international students living and studying in Western Australia
  • CISWA accepts nomination by an institution, colleague or friend

Eligibility Criteria

  • Nominees must currently hold a student visa
  • Current CISWA Executives are not eligible to apply or nominate for the award
  • Unsuccessful nominees may be re-nominated in subsequent years

The following criteria will add to the value to the nominee’s application:

  • Personal interests and community involvement
  • Degree of difficulty of the achievement
  • Previous awards and recognition
  • Voluntary work beyond paid employment
  • Achievements as an individual or as part of a group or organization

2018 Key Dates

  • 11 April – Applications Open
  • 18 May – Applications Close (5pm)
  • 8 June – Judging Completed
  • 5 July – Winner announced at the CISWA 25th Annual Winter Conference


2017 WINNER- Zhibo Zhang – The University of Western Australia

Zhibo is an excellent engineering student academic wise with a GPA of 6.8 out of 7 for three years of fulltime study towards a Bachelor’s degree at the University of Western Australia. She was awarded two scholarships to study abroad and nominated as Student of the Year by Professionals Australia. She loves connecting with people, cares about the community, the environment, education and making resources available to people such as cool technologies like 3D printing. She is also vibrant and care about professional development and assists with professional information exchange by volunteering at professional conferences such as Mill Operators’ Conference.


2016 WINNER– Sarah Koelsch- The University of Notre Dame

Sarah Maria Koelsch PhotoSarah was rewarded with the Archbishop Foley Award in 2014 and the Bupa International Student Award in 2015 for outstanding contribution to service and community. Sarah has been a member of the Students’ Affairs Committee at Notre Dame representing ‘Arts & Sciences’ and is involved in welcoming international students and mentoring new commencing students.

Sarah has been a volunteer for AIME (Australian Indigenous Mentoring Experience) where she participated as a mentor in 2013, 2014 and was then employed as the Program Assistant in 2015. Sarah has also been involved with the Red Cross since 2012, where she started as an Emergency Services volunteer and then became part of the Migration Support Services. As part of her education at Notre Dame, Sarah completed an unpaid internship at CARAD (Centre for Asylum seekers, Refugees and Detainees) and continued being involved with the organisation until today. Furthermore, Sarah is a committee member of the ‘Higher Education Working Group’ which is a subcommittee of CARAD that supports refugees’ participation in tertiary education.


2015 WINNER- Thomas Remont- Central Institute of Technology

Thomas WinnerIn 2015, Thomas was awarded the ‘Outstanding Achievement in the Commerce Portfolio’ and the ‘Accounting Student of the Year’ and is Central Institute of Technology’s ‘2015 International Student of the Year’.

In 2014, Thomas was elected as an International Student Ambassador to help international students settle in to their studies and lives in Perth, and act as a conduit between international students and Central staff.

Thomas’ natural leadership was recognised by Navitas who appointed him to a part time position as an Activities Coordinator in November 2014.Thomas has been volunteering at the WA Aids Council for the past two years and earlier this year joined the Cross Campus Queer Network which is a student organisation that aims to make educational campuses welcoming and safe for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transsexual students.