Your working rights as an international student in Australia

If you are an international student living in Australia, you either have a job (or several jobs) or know other foreign students who work. Very often, international students take on casual or part-time jobs in order to cover the high living expenses and to gain industrial experience. But first, it is to your advantage to ask this question:

Are you familiar with your obligations and minimum rights while working in Australia?

Here are a few things you ought to be aware of if you decide to work as an international student:

Continue reading Your working rights as an international student in Australia

Keep Calm & Enjoy Melbourne!

Keep Calm & Enjoy Melbourne!

I am from Kuala Lumpur, the capital city of Malaysia, also known as one of the hidden gems in Southeast Asia.

About two years ago, I took a leap of faith to move from Kuala Lumpur to Melbourne seeking a new overseas adventure, leaving behind a place of familiarity, influential leadership position, hectic yet comfortable lifestyle, as well as an established community.

It was certainly not an easy decision for me as I have to ‘reset’ everything and start anew. But deep down I knew that it was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made. This radical decision has marked a new and significant season for me to ‘upgrade’ myself intellectually, academically, professionally and experientially.

Change is never comfortable. It requires us to step out of our ‘comfort zone’ and venture into the ‘unknown’, to learn new cultures, embrace new seasons and face some new challenges. However, it also opens new doors of opportunities, explorations, growths, connections, and friendships.

I am very grateful that I am now here in this vibrant and beautiful city!

So, what do I love about Melbourne?

How is it different from my home country?

1.  The Weather

I love the weather in Australia. In Melbourne, we get to experience all four seasons in one day (I am sure you would agree… the weather here is pretty crazy! 😛 ), but still, I love it because the breeze is always fresh and chilly. And even though it is scorching hot during the summer and freezing cold during the winter, yet I love the beauty and colours of each season. I also enjoy brisk walking here every day, something I would not be able to do in Malaysia due to the hot weather and polluted air.


2.  The Lifestyle and Culture

I love the work-life balance here. I used to live a very fast-paced lifestyle back in Malaysia, I was a workaholic, the way I worked has to be ‘sharp, swift and effective ‘. It was mainly due to the nature of my work as well as the Asian societal and work culture. I love my job, but sometimes it has taken a toll on my health. But when I moved here, I realized that the work culture and lifestyle are quite different, though some people are still quite driven, generally, they are more relaxed and the locals truly know how to ‘enjoy’ life, I’ve learned so much from them. It is definitely the perfect environment for me to rest from my years of hard-working hurried life and ‘recalibrate’. Besides, there are many places to go and things to do here that could help to cultivate a healthier and stress-free lifestyle. I love the vibes and vibrancy of the city and the ‘coffee’ culture too!


Well, I’ve learned toslow down ever since I moved here and now embracing a contemplative living. I am glad that I could now enjoy a healthier lifestyle and live an unhurried life. It is definitely rewarding!


3. The Multicultural Diversity

I love the multi-cultural society here in this city and celebrate its diversity! It is truly a great experience to be able to connect with people from all walks of life and diverse cultures. I have made many great friends from different countries and cultural background since I moved here and I get to learn more about their traditions and cultures. 


My home country Malaysia is also a multiracial society and we have three main races: Malays, Chinese and Indians. Our multiracial cultural society is considered diverse in an Asian context, but still, it cannot be compared with the level of cultural diversity found in Melbourne.

(Photo Credits:
(Photo Credits:

I also enjoy the food, arts, and festivals from different cultures, the multicultural diversity in Melbourne have added beautiful and vibrant colours to the society and community. It has certainly enriched my life experience!

(Photo Credits: Shirley Boon)
(Photo credits: Sascha Wenninger. Source:
(Photo Credits: Sascha Wenninger. Source:

Oh! I must add that I also admire how the Aussies love their sports! As someone who enjoys sports, I truly love the strong sporting culture here (as well as the public holidays in Victoria during Melbourne cup or AFL Grand final!)

Well, there are heaps of other attractions in Melbourne that I’ve fallen in love with, and there is still a lot to explore! As an international student who is currently based in Melbourne, I would often remind myself that I am now living in the most livable city in the world, and should not take this opportunity for granted.

Very often we become too focused on the destination, we move so fast and failed to enjoy the journey…

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Therefore, it is important that we all stay excited (like the minions) and ‘savour’ every moment here in Australia. May we never lose the wonder! Cheers. 🙂



Finding accommodation in Australia

Finding accommodation

Finding a comfortable place to live is an essential part of a successful student life, and contributes to the overall study experience in Australia. Therefore, for you to make the best choice in ensuring that you can focus on your studies, enjoy your student life, and embrace this new and diverse cultural environment, it is vital that you understand all your options and are fully aware of your rights and responsibilities. 

Continue reading Finding accommodation in Australia

My Journey with “The Big Idea” 2016

Last July, I embarked on a new journey as a student at CQUniversity. When I first came to the Melbourne campus at the beginning of the new term, I saw a poster of The Big Idea competition on the campus announcement board, “Got the idea to create the next social enterprise?” It caught my attention. It was then that I first learned about The Big Issue and later discovered that it is Australia’s most successful social enterprise that develops solutions to help the homeless, marginalised and disadvantaged, positively changing their lives. Continue reading My Journey with “The Big Idea” 2016

My Experience @ Ashoka U Exchange 2017, Miami!

Hello, I am Shirley – the first graduate of our Graduate Certificate in Social Innovation course and now a Master of Project Management student. I am thankful to be given the recent scholarship to the Ashoka U Exchange 2017 conference in Miami, FL.

Here some highlights of the trip Continue reading My Experience @ Ashoka U Exchange 2017, Miami!

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