Thursday, 14 October 2021

Presentation of the 2021 StudyAdelaide International Student Awards

Good afternoon everyone, and a special hello and welcome to those students, parents and friends who are joining us by live link.

It’s good to be with you all to celebrate your hard work and achievements.

For people the world over, the past eighteen months have been full of challenges as we have grappled with the COVID-19 pandemic.

For students, these have included finding new ways to study without necessarily being physically on campus.

For those who were here before the pandemic struck, you have had to deal with uncertainly about the situation in your own countries and worries about how your families were coping

All of you have had to draw on your ingenuity, resilience and motivation to study hard, do well and cope with uncertainties.

At the same time you have all shown a commitment to being part of our community.

Thank you. We have been enriched by this.

Studying overseas is a bold step.

In my late teens, I was an International Exchange student, and spent a year in the Netherlands.

It was an exciting time and, in many respects, a positive, transformational experience.

Yet, I was far away from home and had to learn how to adjust to fit into a different culture and become proficient in a new language.

There were times I felt lonely and missed family and friends. There was no live video calls or instant messaging, just weekly letters and phone calls on birthdays and other special occasions.

But I learned to embrace new friendships, and new customs. I became more self-reliant and self-confident and at the end of the year, shaped by new experiences, I saw the world a little differently.

It was an invaluable opportunity.

In my more recent role as a diplomat, I have witnessed how returning students have thrived in their home countries; how their experiences in Australia have provided social and cultural confidence as well as skills, learning and new career pathways.

I am pleased that you and your parents chose Adelaide to provide such education and life experience.

I’m sure in many cases that choice was informed by StudyAdelaide’s promotion, over the past twenty years, of Adelaide as destination and their commitment to ensuring students are welcomed, valued and enriched by their experience.

I know that parents make many sacrifices to enable their children to reap the benefits of an overseas education.

To you I say: Thank you for entrusting your children to our educational institutions.

We are proud that you have done so.

Please rest assured that ours is a community which cares about your sons and daughters. They are in safe hands.

To the students, I say thank you for not only studying with us, but for being part of our community, which we acknowledge through the awards.

Congratulations to those who are receiving awards and congratulations to all students.

Today we celebrate academic excellence, community engagement and the student of the year, as well as those who have provided mentoring or been student Ambassadors.

For all this, we thank you.

I hope that for the rest of your time undertaking your studies, and indeed into the future, you will always cherish your time in Adelaide, indeed that you will think of yourselves, at least in part, as Adelaideans.

And springing from that, I hope you will continue to maintain the connections you have made with each other and with our city and State well into the future.

Again, congratulations.

Her Excellency the Honourable Frances Adamson AC


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