Editor’s Picks

My First Ever “Breaking Away” in Australia

Written by Editor’s Picks, Student Life

It’s hard to define “home” when you don’t stay in one place for an entire year.

In my case, during the first half of the year, I lived in a homestay. During the winter break, I went back to my home country, Malaysia, to visit my family before coming back to Australia. Just recently, I moved out of homestay into a shared house with friends.


Living in different places brought out different aspects of my personality. While I was at the home stay, it seemed imperative for me always to show my best behaviour because it was like I was representing my own country. I would consistently wake up early, get myself ready for classes and get my laundry done on time. If I didn’t, I felt it would reflect poorly on my parents and how they have raised me. At the same time, it was the right kind of pressure, the kind that makes you a better person. I felt much more productive, and I certainly got a lot of things done, and I was also able to enjoy what Sydney had to offer in the spare time that I had.

Ice skating with the ladies

Ice skating with the ladies

But now that I’m living in a shared house, it feels like the pressure is gone. I don’t have to put myself on a pedestal and demand myself to be the best example of a Malaysian girl because I’m in a house full of Malaysian girls. There’s no reason to try to stand out because I belong. Of course, at times I do feel left out and awkward, but it happens to everyone. These kinds of awkward moments only last for a split second…then life resumes its course. I’m slowly learning to work through them because if I think about it, in the long run, this is where I can learn more about who I am and establish a closer connection to people from my culture.

Im Ready yo

It may not seem like much but living in a shared house tests my independence and maturity. I am even more in charge of my survival than before, especially when it comes to food. I now have to decide what to eat every day! That’s super stressful! If it were up to me, I’d just eat instant noodles, but I hear that’s not exactly healthy. Really, I have the utmost respect for mothers and fathers that always know what to cook for their families (y’all got it figured out). Also being in university, I am wholly in charge of my studies. There’s a lot of gap time in between classes and what I do in those hours could either really help me or hurt me. Of course, the first few weeks of uni I messed around and slept in my free time. But I’ve grown to realise the importance of setting a routine early on in the semester when it comes to studying. That is certainly something I will work on next semester.

The ladies from Brisbane, Melbourne, and Sydney


Being able to live in a shared house with different people has also allowed me to meet more people and more friends! It was something I was not able to do back in the homestay as I was living with one family. I recently met my housemates’ friends when we went on a trip to the Blue Mountains together. We hadn’t met before, but during that journey I found that I really connected with them and felt at ease. We have since become friends, and it’s helped me feel that I won’t go through life alone.

The Malaysian sensations from the recent Blue Mountains trip


My parents have told me stories from their university years about finding a close-knit group of friends, and I have always wanted to experience something similar. I wanted to find people I could seriously consider my brothers and sisters in this new city. By deciding to move to this shared house, I feel as though I have done just that.

It feels like home away from home.

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Food does not lie: Malaysia Festival 2016

Written by Editor’s Picks, Entertainment, Student Life


Malaysians and various locals attended the annual Malaysia Festival at Tumbalong Park on September 4th this year. The Malaysia Festival is an annual cultural not-for-profit festival organized by Malaysian Student Committee of Sydney with the support of Ministry of Agriculture, Tourism Malaysia, and Education Malaysia. The organizing committee is made up of Malaysian students in universities all across Sydney and they affiliate with the Malaysian student associations in those universities. The Festival is a great way to connect with locals and educate them about the peninsula of Malaysia.


Credit: Malaysia Festival Facebook page

It was a sunny day, merging into the beginning of spring. The park was filled with people, particularly in the food stalls. The Festival was larger this year but just as popular. The various stalls formed a U around the main stage with scores of people lining up, especially at the juice stands.


The sugar cane thirst quencher

Some of the notable food stalls were Papparich and Mamak, both of which had never-ending visits by hungry Sydney-siders and Malaysians alike.

(Credit: Malaysia Festival Facebook page)

(Credit: Malaysia Festival Facebook page)

Some of the delicious food sold at the stalls at Malaysia Festival (Credit: Malaysia Festival Facebook page)

Besides food, there were some cultural stalls as well. The Ministry of Agriculture dedicated a booth for people to experience durian, the thorny and strong smelling fruit that’s become representative of Malaysia.

A cultural booth stood between food stalls. Inside, Malaysian student volunteers manned the booth with cultural games, cultural artefacts, traditional clothes, and traditional processions like a traditional Indian wedding.


Harimau and Monyet, the Festival’s mascots wandered around the venue, taking photos with kids and adults alike. The atmosphere was jovial and carefree, with laughter and conversations buzzing all around.

Harimau posing with Malaysian students on the eve of the Festival (Credit: Malaysia Festival Facebook page)

All the while, there were various performances up on stage. There were performances by famous Malaysian artists, instrumental performances, cultural performances, and contests. Young children from the MAAN Malay school performed dikir barat, which is a traditional musical form popular in the state of Kelantan. Malaysian students from Sydney universities also performed the bamboo dance, which is traditional in Sabah.


The MAAN Malay school performing a medley of famous dikir barat songs for the attentive crowd


Malaysian students performing the bamboo dance, a traditional dance from Sabah

The notable and much-awaited performer was by Amy Search, a famous Malaysian rockstar. But before the legend, an equally amazing artist took the stage: Cassidy Anderson (a.k.a. CassidyBoleh). She’s an Australian singer who makes Malay covers of various songs. She first rose to fame through her Malay rendition of Let It Go by Idina Menzel. Cassidy was super popular with the crowd, with young and older men gifting her flowers (and one even gave her satay, now that’s #goals).


The only way to profess your love is through food

Visitors didn’t some coming until the very end of the Festival. Every year, the reception has been positive and just as festive as the last year. MFest will be back next year, so don’t forget to check out their Facebook page or website to receive updates! Hope to see you next year to enjoy the delicacies that Malaysia offers.

If you would like to see the goings-on at MFest this year, check out this video montage by Cassidy. (You’ll also get to see her receive the satay mini-bouquet at 5:56.)

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4 Best Mooncake Flavours in Sydney

Written by Editor’s Picks, Entertainment

What is your favourite type of mooncake?

Mooncakes are eaten during the annual Mid-Autumn Festival, or Moon Festival on the 15th August of Chinese Lunar calendar. Originally, this festival celebrated the moon. The moon is seen as a symbol for family unity and harmony as well as an abundance of harvest. Since it is a very popular festival, mooncakes are sold in almost every Asian food shop.

Cre: Purple Cane Malaysia

There are various types of fillings based on the culture or the region’s tradition. In Australia, since it is a very popular festival, mooncakes are sold in almost every Asian food shop or bakery. One of the most common places that have the most types of Chinese mooncakes is Breadtop or Market City. In Breadtop, besides the traditional flavors, there are a few more special fillings such as white lotus seed paste with triple yolks, lava custard, low sugar white lotus seed paste and macadamia nuts, mixed nuts with ham and so on.

Lava custard mooncake (Cre: Miss Tam Chiak)

Cre: Purple Cane Malaysia

Interestingly, new generations of mooncakes can have transformations in taste and dietary needs, since people are more conscious about maintaining a healthy lifestyle. Therefore, bakers created low-fat, low-sugar mooncakes with ingredients such as yogurt, jelly, and fat-free ice cream. They also offer a healthier choice of filling like green tea, ginger, fruits or veggies. According to some brands, one baked lotus seed paste mooncake with one egg yolk weighs about 180g, has 790 calories, and contains 45g of fat.

Jelly Mooncake (Cre: http://kay.vn)

Here are more types of mooncakes around the world:

1/Vietnamese Mooncakes

Mooncakes in Vietnam are widely known as ‘Banh Trung Thu’ with two common kinds: Baked sticky rice cake and plain sticky rice cake. Both are prepared from cooked glutinous rice. The mooncakes have a crust consisting of cooked glutinous rice powder, sugar and water. The filling consists of delicious ingredients like jam, mung beans, eggs, lotus seed and watermelon seed.

Banh Nuong (Baked Mooncake) (Cre: thegioiphunu.net)

Homemade Vietnamese mixed fruits and nuts mooncake (Cre: Savourydays.com)

Colorful Banh Deo (Colorful Sticky Rice Mooncake) Credit: http://kenh14.vn/

2/Green Tea Mooncakes

Mooncakes and tea are a traditional combination of Chinese food and together they create a new flavour. The green tea mooncakes are made by adding green tea powder to the other fillings and some lotus paste.

                         Mövenpick Green tea Mooncake and Tiramisu with Cheese Mooncake (Cre: Mövenpick)

3/Geppei (Japanese Mooncakes)

Mooncakes in Japan are known as Geppei. The red bean paste (Azuki) is the most popular filling, followed by chestnuts and beans. Unlike other mooncakes, Geppei does not make use of egg yolks as it is not preferred by many Japanese people.

Rabbit Wagashi Mooncakes (Cre: Little Miss Bento)

4/Ice Cream Mooncake

Sounds exciting, right? The ice cream mooncakes are usually square or round in shape. The crust is made from dark or white chocolate and the fillings can be an ice cream flavour of your choice. It also consists of egg yolk and is popular among youths.

Häagen-Dazs Ice Cream Mooncakes open yolk (Cre: Häagen-Dazs)

***Tip: Buying a box will be cheaper! Have a wonderful evening tasting mooncakes with friends or family with cups of hot tea!!!

What are your favourite flavours?

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De-stressing during stressful times: How and why its good for you.

Written by Editor’s Picks, Student Life

Do you have those days in which you are at your lowest moods? Sure you do. We all do. The workload and the stress are enough to drive us insane. However, we should not let it get to us. Because firstly, you are like a fire-breathing dragon whose on top of their game. However, once in a while, it is good to calm down and recharge your battery. You know so that you could breathe out fire better. So not metaphorically speaking, it is crucial to know when to give yourself a break and de-stress. De-stressing can help you rejuvenate and help you get right back into the plan. It is something you can do after stressful periods are over. e.g. after exams or in between breaks of stressful days, just don’t overdo it in short breaks, or you will get too relaxed to get back to work.

Small walk

Find a nice little place like a garden or a park and just pace back and forth or in circles. Anything that changes the view for you. It is annoying to remain crammed in the same place with study notes that hit your nerves. So do go out for a walk but keep it short or you will tire yourself and might take more time than necessary.



This one the fun one. Visualizing basically, is like day dreaming. Literally. Close your eyes and imagine yours on a beach, a fantasy land or a cute little date with your favourite celebrity. The point of this exercise is that it sets a positive mood and lifts up your spirits. Who would not feel above the clouds after having a coffee with Ryan Reynolds?


Listen to music

No this ones the fun one. It can be any music. Uplifting, upbeat or slow and relaxing. With music, you can either get your heart beating or calm yourself. Both whats are great to de-stress.


Jam to your favourite beats

This one is the most fun one. Period. Put on some of your favourite beats and dance to it like you it is the best clubbing of your life! At home….by yourself….with juice instead of drinks. Nothing to be ashamed of, we have all done it. Moreover, if you have not…..what, the hell do you do when your home alone?! It is the best feeling in the world, do it.


Have a snack(healthy snack)

I could tell you to have an avocado or plain fruits but ew who does that right? So instead mix them up to create weird and wacky meals. It makes a difference. Yes, it does. So my personal example would be to take lettuce, apples, corn and kidney beans (I am so healthy eh?) and mix them all together to make this weird salad. It tastes great, though, trust me. You can completely randomise and make your snacks. However, make sure they are something portable and easy to just much on or you might end up going on a master chef quest. (It happened to me, sadly enough)


Play with animals

If you have a pet, aside from being super lucky, you can have some time out for your furry friend. It is not an unknown fact that playing with animals decreases stress. So go over to the pet store take your dog for a walk, cuddle with your cat or talk to your parrot, bond with them and in the process help yourself too!

Please play with me?

Please play with me?

Warm shower

In a cold day, warm showers are the best. Even in hot days too actually. No one likes to have an ice cold feeling pulverising them. If you do, that is fine. You do you.

Exercise(ones that you enjoy)

Exercising means endorphin, and endorphin equals to a triumphal you! Then again if you do not want to work out just dance to your favourite music. Nothing is more happiness-inducing than letting yourself free and moving to a musical rhythm that makes you want to work those moves! Do the whip! Do the nae nae and dab so hard you get a headache(Don’t).


When exam periods or other testing times are over, you deserve this me-time. So take some time out for yourself to relax and calm down after such adrenaline inducing times.

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Is Australia a land of opportunity for international students?

Written by Editor’s Picks, Student Life

An international education in Australia continuously attracts thousands and thousands of students every year from overseas, especially from Asian countries. Australia is one of the top 10 countries with a high standard of living and worth to live. Because of that, it is a land of hope and a land of opportunities for overseas students to explore themselves. There are several of international students, who have been successfully obtaining PR or citizenship and have already called Australia as their second home. However, the dark corners of international education are still being ignored.


Some students are still living in cramped and crowded illegally shared houses, where there are more than 15 tenants in a three-bedroom apartment in the city centre. Transforming bathrooms or study rooms into a 150-180 dollar single room per week or sharing 150 each for four in a tiny and stuffed room is still happening, to lessen their costs when studying in large cities. So simply a bed, a toilet, a kitchen and a washing machine could be enough to live for the rest of the 3-to-4-year-degree course.


Working underpaid sadly seems like a common fact for some international students, who lack confidence and lacking proficient speaking skills in English. They work completely hard in restaurants or fruit shops or farms just to save a penny to pay for expensive living lifestyle and also their institution fees. SO, HAVE YOU EVER ASKED YOURSELF, HOW MUCH THEY GET PAID, WHEN DROPPING BY ANY DINE-IN RESTAURANTS?

giphy (1)

Cultural differences make it hard for international students could to adopt and get close to local friends. A simple, funny childhood cartoon or the name of the local footy club could be a brand new thing for an international student since these are not a part of their understanding. Local students living and studying within their neighbourhood tend to focus more on their career rather than making more friends. That is why sometimes international students just stay within their community to feel a small sense of belonging.

it gon be hard werk

A land of opportunity could be somehow a question without any articulate answers. When receiving an office number calling on your phone, the first question of “are you An Australian or NewZealand citizen? Or “do you have PR?” immediately disappoints all of the students, who have an HD qualification degree or loads of related industrial experience. What could these vulnerable students do to survive if these problems are unresolved, so they might end up with an unrelated career job and an underpaid position to survive?


Well, by acknowledging these challenges and hardships, if you give up, you might be unable to find a diamond mine like others international students. In order to make the right decision in your life when studying in overseas, you must conduct research and have a clear goal and mind about the ups and downs when living independently in Australia. Trusting yourself, working hard and being confident are the keys to overcoming the hardships.


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UPDATE: No Fines For Late Census form Submission

Written by Editor’s Picks, News

Last night around 5:00 pm Sydney time, the website abs.gov.au stopped responding and the phone lines were down because millions of people who are living, working and studying in Australia were trying to submit their Census form before its due date.


And at 8:00 pm, the website completely crashed because it was overloaded. The system breakdown had left behind numbers of confused and terrified living inhabitants, and the census issue was all over social media platforms last night across Australia with the hashtag #censusfail. Some international students gave up after continually logging and refreshing the Internet server and seeking friends’ assistance.


So is there a fine after all?

After acknowledging the problem, the Census Australia Facebook page has continuously updated their situation and announced “There will be no penalties for completing the Census after August 9. There’s still plenty of time to complete the Census.”


According to Chris Libreri, general manager of the Census and Statistical Network division from news.com.au: “No one has ever been fined for being late with their Census form, the fines are only if you eyes-open refuse to a Census collector.”

ABS has informed people that the final date for completing the Census form is 23rd September 2016. So there is still plenty of time to fill in your accurate information and submit it without a 180 AUD per day fine.

giphy (3)

What if I accidentally threw the letter in the bin or I haven’t received the form or the code?

1/ A Census collector could knock on your door to ask you to complete the form.

2/You can contact the Census Inquiry Service 1300 214 531 (you might have to wait another two days for a call back)

This was how Facebook was done back in the day (http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3717565/Australian-Census-2016-means-1800-fines-personal-information-kept.html)

 form (http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3717565/Australian-Census-2016-means-1800-fines-personal-information-kept.html)

3/ You can revisit the website to order the form and code online

If you would like help filling out the form, give the Translation and Interpreter Service a call on 131 450.

 What exactly is the Census?

It's this thing (http://www.businessinsider.com.au/away-on-census-night-2016-8)

It’s this thing (http://www.businessinsider.com.au/away-on-census-night-2016-8)

It is a legal form that must be completed by every individual living in Australia on the night. The information collected creates an extensive database of details such as marriage status, religion (the only question that is optional), racial background and income. This helps determine where taxpayer money will be best spent – in health, transport and infrastructure, education and so on.

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ISLA 2015/2016 Program Completion Ceremony

Written by Editor’s Picks, Student Life

On Tuesday, August 2nd, the International Student Leadership and Ambassador (ISLA) group held a completion ceremony in the grand Reception Room located in Town Hall. This reception was held to mark the successful completion of ISLA’s 2015/2016 program. The immaculate room was filled with people such as the international student ambassadors in the program, their friends and family, the students’ institution representatives, the police, Consulate Corp, international education sector key stakeholders, and NGOs. Guests were served delicious finger food as they socialized. Though the weather was damp, guests and student ambassadors didn’t let that dampen their mood and spirits.


Selected student ambassadors were given the chance to speak about their journey in this program. Mi Lainmar Oo, one of the student ambassadors, acknowledged in her speech that when she first arrived in Sydney, she struggled. She was nervous, homesick, and struggled to keep track of her life in university, just like any other international student. “If you get scared of doing something, are you going to end your life without doing anything?” is a question Mi Lainmar asked herself after a few months of studying here. She had realized that life within her comfort zones was not beneficial in any way and sought out a way to explore and push herself. That’s when she joined ISLA. She has found out who she is through the various self-development programs that ISLA offers. She’s greatly improved her confidence and found various ways to help the community.


Another noted speaker was Zaki Haidari. Even though Sydney was chilly, his speech warmed the hearts of everyone in the room. He spoke of how his father was the first in his family to be educated, a doctor. Because Afghanistan is a developing country, the medicine had to be imported from overseas and so, everything had to be written in English. His father would travel regularly to Kabul to collect medicine but one day, one journey back from Kabul in 2011, changed Zaki’s life. His father was stopped by the Taliban. His van searched. The Taliban found documents in English and accused his father of helping international organisations like NATO. Zaki has never heard from his father since. After that fateful day, he was targeted by the Taliban and spent 5 months traveling, seeking asylum.


The final part of his journey was the most frightening, Zaki was traveling from Jakarta to Christmas Island but instead of the trip taking 24 hours, he spent 5 days at sea. Zaki came to Australia to seek asylum and to seek peace. With only $100, limited English, no access to education or work rights, Zaki was isolated and stumped. But with the support from the Australian community, he was given a 3 year scholarship from Martin College. His education dream was becoming true, something that was impossible back in Afghanistan. When he first started at Martin College, he had only a few international students so he was really keen on meeting other international folks. In 2015, he was given the opportunity to join ISLA.


That was the first group that made him feel part of the community, through the events and workshops provided. He can clearly see the changes when comparing when he first started out and where he is now — he was shy and cannot speak in public. But through ISLA, he has been given many opportunities to step out of his comfort zone and talk about his experiences in front of crowds. And through his involvement with ISLA, he’s been awarded the NSW International Student Of The Year Award.

IMG_4020At the end of the speeches, the audience was treated to an original song written by one of the ambassadors. “You Are My World” was a heartfelt song written by Tian Qin. She reflects on the adventures she had over the past 18 months with her fellow ISLA student ambassadors. Everyone was attentive while Tian Qin and her friend, Joanita Wubowo, along with two guitarists performed the original. “I am strong when you’re with me…I’m home when I’m with ISLA…Forever I wish I could stay,” sang Tian Qin and her friend. The song made me realize how tight of a bond they’ve created with each other at ISLA and I found myself itching to join and establishing connections with other international students.


Through ISLA and the City of Sydney, student ambassadors have been able to meet new friends, get to know more about the city, and build leadership skills of youth leaders in the communities. Examples of events coordinated by ISLA and the City of Sydney include Journey to the Center of Sydney tours for newly-arrived international students, international student networking events, employment panel to provide advice and support to other international students, and a Youth Leadership Conference for both local and international students to develop their leadership skills.


To conclude, Susana Ng, the Senior Community Program Officer, gave a short and sweet speech congratulating the ambassadors. “Standing here today, I can’t help but feel like a proud parent, attending my kids’ graduation ceremony,” remarked Susana as the audience chuckled. She recollects the purpose of ISLA and how each and every one of the ambassadors have achieved their goals to aid and build strong international youth leaders. She then congratulated all those that made the ISLA program possible, the Mayor, Councillor Kok, the City of Sydney and their interns, international education partners, government and non government organisations.

“In the next few weeks, we will start our new round of ISLA recruitment,” Susana informs.

“So please encourage your students to apply and promote the ISLA program to your network.” Concluding her speech, Susana quotes an ancient Chinese proverb on friendship and urges the student ambassadors to stay connected to each other, Sydney, and Australia no matter how close or far away they may be

“An invisible red thread connects those who are destined to meet, regardless of time, place, circumstances. The thread may stretch or tangle but it would never break.”

The night ends with some more socializing before everyone is ushered out by security. Waiters continued serving food to the guests as they finished up their round of networking. We say our thanks to Susana for inviting the VOIS team to this prestigious event that certainly opened my eyes to such an amazing opportunity as an international student. To quote Zaki’s friend Fabian, “If you live in Sydney, you don’t need to travel the world because you have the world in Sydney.”

13350259_1033595023394196_508655237142271836_oWhat’s it like for you to study in Sydney as an international student? Use the hashtag #myfuturesydney to read about other students’ stories or to publish your own!

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Merge Termination: What next for Sydney College Arts?

Written by Editor’s Picks, News

Last Thursday, the University of Sydney’s (USYD) vice-chancellor, Michael Spence has announced the termination of the merge between Sydney College of Arts (SCA) and the University of NSW.


The merge was proposed less than a month ago and secretly signed between USYD and UNSW in June without the consultation of students. However, the students recently received an email from Spence. He stated that the two institutions ultimately had different definitions of what a “centre of excellence in visual arts” meant. Apparently, the original intention had “always been…not to proceed…unless we were clear that the vision…would benefit both the University and visual arts teaching and research.”

According to Fairfax Media, the agreement only allowed students to continue studies at UNSW Art and Design as well as the transition of some staff to UNSW. But one industry source questioned the move, saying “If [UNSW’s contemporary fine arts curriculum] was inadequate from Sydney’s point of view, why did it not include these issues in the Heads of Agreement?”


Several influential people have also expressed their discontent. Greens MP Jamie Parker had no faith in the merge from the outset: “If the University [of Sydney] had properly consulted staff and students, they would have discovered the incompatibility of the art practices at the two schools.” Neither did he believe that UNSW had adjusted their syllabus to align with SCA’s studio-based learning or had sufficient space for the new students.

Sally Breen, a well-known art collector and sponsor, told Fairfax Media that she would be “far more swayed into putting money into art schools”. When SCA was threatened, she no longer pledged money to the Art Gallery of NSW’s (AGNSW) Sydney Modern building project. To protest the planned closure, students alumni and supporters had also gathered on the steps of AGNSW. The rally coincided with the award of the Archibald Prize to highlight the social importance of art.


Although the merge has been terminated at present, Spence still states that talks of a merge with UNSW’s Art and Design may continue. Additionally, the future remains uncertain due to the planned movement of SCA students to the main Camperdown campus from the beginning of 2017. SCA’s original Rozelle campus at Callan Park will also be part of USYD’s Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences. Spence believes that this will “avoid unnecessary costs of remaining at Rozelle for more than a transition period.”1003188_659422267402083_130609927_n

Furthermore, Spence states that 2017 applicants will not be accepted for the Bachelor of Visual Arts “to create a re-imagined Bachelor of Visual Arts for commencement in 2018.”

Source: The Sydney Morning Herald 

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‪#‎YOUthCANLEAD Youth Leadership Conference

Written by Editor’s Picks, News

Sydney was raining cats and dogs over the first weekend of June 2016, but it was extremely heated at the ‪#‎YOUthCANLEAD Youth Leadership Conference, organized by City of Sydney and ISLA. It was a fantastic full day event with leadership activities, honored guest panel and, last but not least, the mind-blowing Human Sound Project. I was kindly invited by VOIS Magazine to experience the Youth Leadership Conference and learn what it means to be a great leader.

youth leadership photo 2

The speakers shared their experiences as successful young adults. They said, among other pieces of wisdom, that a leader must be able to listen to people. Participating in group games also fostered thoughts about myself: “What are your capabilities?”, “What sort of leader do you want to be?” and “How can you optimize yourself to lead better?” It was a game in which we had to raise our creative visions to think of ideas that could help develop the community.


The Human Sound Project‎ was the most spectacular finale. The lyrics were composed by words related to leadership that each group had brainstormed during the day. By singing and moving, we released our internal power and were unified by our motivation to lead.


At first, we had no clue how the program worked. However, after following the instructions, everyone was surprised at the amazing audio their performance created. If anyone attended VIVID on the 10th of June, VIVID: The Human Sound Project – Interactive Song Making Experiences will give you an idea of how the project was run by such a large group.

youth leadership photo 1

This was the first ever conference I have joined, and it was an impressive introduction. Despite the severe weather, ISLA remained professional and organized, even providing a hotline phone number in case there were any issues. I met old friends and made new ones, networked and took photos to save the moments. It was a great break after a hectic week of assignments and a heavy workload.


As I sat in the heart of Sydney, among more than a hundred students from nationalities such as America, African and Japanese, it reminded me of the reason I chose Australia to study – multi-culture. I realized that this event was also successful in teaching me one last lesson: that leadership was also about connecting people with different personalities together.


I would send a heartwarming thank you to the City of Sydney for creating such an enjoyable experience. It has helped young people have more faith in themselves, widen their knowledge and network and start to be successful leaders of the future. I am looking forward to more events from the City of Sydney or ISLA as equally as extraordinary as this one.

YOUth can lead!

Photo credit: VOIS M and ISLA 

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How do you make money from your study notes?

Written by Editor’s Picks, Student Life

Some students do not know that attending all the lectures, all the tutorials and writing heaps of notes with tips and tricks for assignments or exams during the semester could help them to buy a flight ticket and pay for other expenses for their overseas or domestic trips during winter or summer break. Thousands of university and college students around Australia have been cashing out by selling and exchanging their lecture notes, exam notes, exam materials or tutorial notes from 35 dollars to more than 1200 dollars, depending on their quality through a few platforms.


In order to upload and sell your records, you need to register your personal details on the platform. Your notes could be in English or other languages, depending on the buyers’ interest, some students could receive between 160 to 220 dollars for a 1000 word note written in Chinese. So, being international students or students speaking more than two languages could help you to increase your notes financial value.HOMER

Note purchasers can also give a rating and rank your note’s quality, which you could use as a reference for the future. The higher the ranking, the more trusted and valuable your notes, as more students are willing to purchase or download your notes.

giphy (27)


Trading records does not mean selling your property or cheating; it is just another useful method of helping each other to study, as some students are unable to attend lectures because of unexpected circumstances. It is a good way that you can help others to have a glance at the subjects that other or prospective students are interested in or intend to enroll in for the next semester.This exchanging and selling are very popular among other universities around Australia, so you can easily find the notes that you want.

Here are some of the platforms where you can freely sell your notes and inject some pocket money directly into your bank account:

1/Sell Study Notes – Stuvia

2/Buy and sell great uni notes​ –StudentVIP Notes


3/Nexus Notes


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Study hard and receive HD’s and also unlimited dollar figures in your bank account.

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