31 July 2018
A USC student who has written a policy submission to the Federal Government about visa conditions for refugees recently shared her work at the National Council of International Students Australia conference in Cairns.
Master of Social Work student Huyen Vo, 26, of Vietnam presented her work to the conference that is held annually to discuss matters that affect and interest international students across Australia.
Huyen, who has a degree in Law, wrote the policy submission this year as part of her social policy advocacy coursework at USC.
“I have a huge interest in Australian refugees, so I wrote about how to reform temporary protection and safe-haven enterprise visa conditions, which impacts significantly on their mental health and basic human rights,” said Huyen, who also is a Study Sunshine Coast Ambassador.
“It needs to be more than just an approach to support vulnerable people and comply with Australia’s international obligations.”
Huyen said she was grateful for a USC travel bursary that enabled her to attend the June conference, which had 370 delegates from around Australia.
“I discovered a lot of interesting programs from groups such as Scope Global, that runs scholarships for international students to apply their skills in government departments,” she said.
“And I was able to build a new network of passionate students and people who are keen to collaborate regarding the future movements of international students.”
USC Senior Lecturer in Social Work Dr Tina Lathouras congratulated Huyen on her innovative work.
“As social workers we need to have a breadth of knowledge so we can advocate to make systems and processes fairer, and Huyen is working hard to develop skills and knowledge in this area,” Dr Lathouras said.
“The international students in our program are coming with a vast array of previous knowledge, experience and world views, from which we all benefit from.”
Huyen is keen to work for a human rights commission or a not-for-profit organisation when she completes her studies later this year.
“I have really enjoyed the journey with USC as it blended theory and practice perfectly,” she said, ahead of starting a work placement with aged care organisation Blue Care.
“I would love to work on an international level to promote the protection of human rights and improve the accessibility of justice for people.”
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— Michelle French