University of Newcastle Bachelor of Medicine student Mohamed Ehsan Ebrahim announced the winner

Student award winner

University of Newcastle Bachelor of Medicine student Mohamed Ehsan Ebrahim has been named the New South Wales Higher Education International Student of the Year.

The 2013 NSW International Student of the Year Awards, announced by Deputy Premier and Minister for Trade and Investment Andrew Stoner, showcase the initiatives and achievements of NSW-based international students across a range of educational programs, including higher education, vocational education and training, and schools programs.

Since arriving at the University of Newcastle in 2007 Mohamed has balanced a demanding Bachelor of Medicine program with a wide range of community roles. He has advocated for the rights of international students; represented the interests of Muslim and international students on various student bodies, and worked tirelessly toward cross-cultural understanding between Muslims and non-Muslims in schools and the local community.

Student award winnerDeputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic), Professor Andrew Parfitt, congratulated Mohamed on receiving the award that acknowledges the valuable advocacy role he has played at the University of Newcastle since 2007.

"Mohamed's efforts to represent the interests of international students, as well as his work to increase cross-cultural understanding between Muslims and non-Muslims in Newcastle, is of great importance.

"The University of Newcastle is immensely proud of Mohamed and as a community we congratulate him on this prestigious accolade."

As president of the Islamic Society for over three years, Mohamed organised cross-cultural activities on campus with the aim of countering negative stereotyping and misperceptions about Muslims. His passion to help his fellow students regardless of their background saw him elected as an executive of the International Students Department of Newcastle University Students' Association (ISD-NUSA) and as the Public Relations Officer for the Council of International Students Australia (CISA) in July 2012.

Mohamed has also played a key role in the Department of Education's Multicultural Ambassador program. In January 2013, Mohamed was part of a taskforce, headed by the NSW Police Commissioner, to look into student safety in Newcastle.  Since February 2013, as elected Vice-President of the Newcastle University Students Association, Mohamed has advocated for local and international students welfare on campus.