Current and former international students of Charles Darwin University (CDU) have been recognised at this year’s Northern Territory Volunteer of the Year Awards.
The prestigious awards promote the important contribution of volunteering to the social, cultural, economic and environmental wellbeing of the Territory, paying tribute to those who inspire and promote the spirit of volunteerism through exemplary endeavours.
There’s a bright future for a CDU staff member and former student recognised as the inaugural StudyNT International Student Volunteer of the Year.
Ms Zitan (Sunny) Liu shared the spotlight with several other recipients at the awards held in Darwin on Thursday November 11.
Originally from China, Ms Liu has been living in the Territory for the past two years and recently graduated from CDU with a Master of Teaching degree. She is an active volunteer with four organisations, including StudyNT, the Office of Youth Affairs, Kindness Shake and the Multicultural Council NT.
Ms Liu said international student volunteers made vital contributions to the economic, social and cultural fabric of the Territory.
“Volunteering is not just about winning an award, it’s about giving back to the community and making a positive impact on people around you,” Ms Liu said.
The Nepalese Association of the Northern Territory (NANT) were also honoured, picking up the NT Volunteer of the Year Award.
The CDU Nepalese Students’ Association President, Sujan Kafle, said his group was often involved in NANT’s activities.
“Our two groups have worked together across a range of community endeavours and we’re proud to have contributed to their recognition with this award,” Mr Kafle said.
CDU Global Director Joanne Chrystal said international student and alumni volunteers had made major contributions to the community, particularly during the many challenges presented by COVID-19.
“At CDU they’ve handed out free hot meals to students. At the hospital they’ve provided mental health support and hot tea and coffee,” Ms Chrystal said.
“It was fantastic to see our international students being valued for all the support they provide to Territorians, and being represented across multiple award categories on the evening.”
The Northern Territory Volunteer of the Year Awards were established in 2014 and are an initiative of Volunteering NT, with support from the NT Government.