International student recognised

International Student of the Year Berias Masseque with the Minister for Education, Adrian Piccoli, and NSW Premier, Barry O'Farrell.

A composer and performer from Mozambique, who mentors young Africans suffering mental illness, is the recipient of the 2012 International Student of the Year Award in the vocational education and training (VET) category.

Berias Masseque, who graduated with an Advanced Diploma of Sound Production from TAFE NSW's Hunter Institute, received his award from NSW Premier Barry O'Farrell at the International Students Festival, held at Victoria Park, Sydney, on Sunday, 4 March.

The prestigious award presentation was also attended by the Minister for Education Adrian Piccoli.

Mr Masseque was highly commended for his involvement with events such as Mental Health Day and Refugee Week, and his community work as a member of the Hunter African Community Council.

"I am so proud of winning this award," Mr Masseque said. "Music is such an important part of my life and working with people with mental illness is so important."

"I love living in Australia and believe that if I can make a change in my local community, I can make a change in my state and in this country. And if we can make these positive changes, we can influence the world."

The schools, VET and higher education award categories were announced at the festival. This is the second year in a row a TAFE NSW student has won the VET award.

Of the 20 finalists from 14 countries nominated for awards, eight students were from TAFE NSW institutes and NSW public schools.

The other DEC International finalists were:

  • Trung Hieu Bui(Vietnam), Cabramatta High School
  • Yuxuan (Kitty) Wang(Peoples Republic of China), Asquith Girls High School
  • Jianzhang (James) Wang(Peoples Republic of China), Killarney Heights High School
  • Alia Bakht Noor(Pakistan), TAFE NSW Western Sydney Institute, Nirimba College
  • Randy Reyes(The Philippines), TAFE NSW Northern Sydney Institute, Northern Beaches College
  • Tomomo Maeda(Japan), TAFE NSW Western Sydney Institute, Richmond College
  • Bikram Sherchan(Nepal), TAFE NSW Western Sydney Institute, The Hills College.

Thousands of students, along with family and friends, enjoyed the festival entertainment, which included young performers who featured in the 2011 Schools Spectacular.

Photo: International Student of the Year (VET category), Berias Masseque with the Minister for Education, Adrian Piccoli, and NSW Premier, Barry O'Farrell.

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