2020 has been a challenging year for international students and professional staff working in the international education industry. This year in particular CISWA would like to acknowledge and celebrate achievements of students and staff in the past year. CISWA Awards have been delayed this year due to COVID-19 pandemic, but are now ready to launch.

The CISWA WA International Tertiary Student of the Year Award is about recognising the significant contribution that international students make to the Western Australian community.

CISWA seeks 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.


  • Any current international students living and studying in Western Australia
  • A student can be nominated by their institution. A student can also self-nominate but must provide an academic referee.


The Selection Panel will consider some or all of the following in the context of Western Australia:

  • Involvement in activities linking international students with local community
  • Involvement in activities promoting interaction between Australian and international students
  • Demonstrated academic excellence – at least Credit average
  • Voluntary work beyond paid employment


  • Nominees must currently hold a student visa and be enrolled in a university course in WA
  • Relatives of current CISWA Executives are not eligible for the award
  • Unsuccessful nominees may be re-nominated in subsequent years

2020 Key Dates:

  • 12 October – Applications Open
  • 6 November – Applications Close (5pm)
  • 26 November – Judging Completed
  • 10 December – Winners announced at StudyPerth AGM and Christmas Mixer


2019 WINNER: Audrey KimThe University of Western Australia

Audrey is a final year postgraduate Doctor of Medicine student at UWA. Throughout her seven years of undergraduate and postgraduate degree at UWA, she has demonstrated academic excellence, including a weighted GPA of 6.917 (out of 7) during her Bachelor of Science degree.

Audrey has been awarded three academic scholarships by Trinity Residential College between 2012-2014, the Golden Key Graduate Scholar Award by Golden Key International Honor Society in 2016 and the Student Vacation Research Scholarship by Cancer Council Western Australia in 2017. Audrey is currently the Vice President of the UWA Surgical Society (UWASS), leading a team of 20 committee members in surgical events organisation. She is also the current International Officer of the WA Medical Student Society. Previously, Audrey held the position of Academic Coordinator for the Perth 2018 Australia Medical Student Association Convention and was Chairperson of UWASS Women in Surgery.

Audrey is a firm believer of contributing back to the local community and volunteers with Teddy Bear Hospital and is involved with the “Lovin from the Oven” program at Ronald McDonald House organised by the volunteering and charity group Lookout. Audrey has been a UniMentor, a medical student camp leader and has volunteered with two medical mission trips to Cambodia and Indonesia.

2018 WINNER: Cendranata Wibawa Ongkowijoyo – The University of Western Australia

In 2017, Cendranata was awarded the Australia Awards Scholarship to study a Master of Dental Public and Primary Health at The University of Western Australia. Since beginning his studies Cendranata has volunteered his time to the Association of Indonesian Postgraduate Students and Scholars in Australia (WA) in the positions of Minister of Internal Affairs and President.

Cendranata is involved with the Australia Indonesia Youth Association as an executive committee member and has been an active member of the community since arriving in Perth. Cendranata has volunteered as a mentor through the UniMentor program at The University of Western Australia, has assisted in providing free dental treatment for poor people and refugees through the Tzu Chi International Medical Association, and has planted seeds to restore native plants for the habitat of cross equatorial migrating birds through the Swan Estuary Reserve Action Group.

Cendranata is a member of Australia Dental Association Western Australia Branch, the Australasian Osseointegration Society Western Australia Branch and The University of Western Australia Dental Students Society.

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 Photo

Sarah 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 Winner

In 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.

This award is proudly sponsored by: