Northern Tablelands MP Adam Marshall with NSW International Student Award winner, UNE student Dunya Alruhaimi.
MEMBER for Northern Tablelands Adam Marshall today offered his congratulations to University of New England (UNE) Iraqi student Dunya Alruhaimi who was last night recognised for her outstanding and invaluable contribution to her community at the 2015 NSW International Student Awards, in Sydney.
Ms Alruhami won the International Student of the Year award in the Higher Education category at the awards ceremony in the Sydney Opera House.
Mr Marshall said the International Student Awards, a State Government initiative, celebrated outstanding contributions made by international students to communities in NSW.
“I had the pleasure of meeting Dunya last month in Armidale when she was announced as finalist and today I’d like to congratulate her on winning this prestigious award – it’s thoroughly deserved as she has made an enormous contribution to UNE’s rich cultural fabric,” Mr Marshall said.
“Dunya is an outstanding example of a leader whose actions enhance multiculturalism and encourage unity within communities. She manages to balance her family and student life with a vast range of community services.”
Mr Marshall said Ms Alruhaimi assists new Iraqi students settle in at UNE and acts as an interpreter for Arabic women at various community service centres.
“She encourages student participation in community events and represents the Arabic community at meetings pertinent to their wellbeing,” he said.
“Dunya’s involvement at events and meetings varies from participant, advisor, advocate, coordinator and interpreter – whatever the need,” he said. “Initiatives such as the International Woman’s Program arose from her desire to provide support and integration opportunities for Arabic speaking women in the Armidale district.”
Mr Marshall said the group was aimed at international students in partnership with UNE and ‘One of a Kind Community Support, a local charitable organisation.
“By generating opportunities for social contact, entertainment and learning, Dunya has shown her empathy for those experiencing isolation and homesickness and her genuine commitment to improve the quality of these people’s lives,” he said.