Many future global leaders who graduated from The University of Queensland this July are now looking forward to returning home to create change in communities around the world.
Nissa Cita Adinia, who received her Master of Communication for Social Change on Tuesday, is one of 83 Australian Government-funded Australia Awards Scholarship recipients who have recently completed their studies.
Originally from Indonesia, Ms Adinia was selected to deliver an address at the Queensland-wide Australia Awards Welcome and Farewell Ceremony, during which she emphasized the transformational effects of education.
“From now on, it is our responsibility to apply the knowledge we have gained at UQ and make a positive impact, starting from our families and neighbourhoods to larger scale society,” she said.
Having previously worked as a Communication Specialist for water and sanitation programs and in public relations and service roles, she is now looking forward to empowering women through communication and continuing her work in international development.
“One of my profound learning experiences occurred during a course on Participatory Media Production,” she said.
“Students were encouraged to create collaborative media with the Beaudesert community to contribute to the documentary project Big Stories, Small Towns.”
“I not only learned more about the power of storytelling but experienced the full cycle of the participatory process, from listening and engaging with the community to making people’s voices heard.”
“I was thrilled to experience how communication projects can make a real contribution to the betterment of a community.”
Her master’s thesis on Indonesian migrant domestic workers also inspired the goal to be an effective advocate.
“While it was energy-consuming and emotionally-draining, my thesis was ultimately rewarding and furthered my interest in issues relating to gender and migrant workers,” she said.
“I am passionate about community work and am looking forward to working in the area of women and development, however I remain open to opportunity as I have many ideas I would like to exercise.”
“Personally, I feel much stronger and more confident than I was one and a half years ago, before I began my studies at UQ.”
Ms Adinia said that her study experience has been an important stepping stone for personal, academic and career development, noting that the networks she gained at UQ were invaluable.
“I have met people in the fields of communication for social change, development, gender and labour activism who were wells of inspiration for me and I would like to continue that connection,” she said.
“I am now equipped with the academic knowledge and practical experience of Communication for Social Change from UQ and am optimistic that I can make a difference.”
UQ Global Engagement partners with more than 70 sponsors, including Australian Government departments, to support hundreds of sponsored international students complete studies at UQ each year.