Yani

Yani's journey began in 2004 as the recipient of a Malaysian government scholarship, accepted into a Bachelor of Medicine with the University of Newcastle.

Eight years and countless experiences later she has completed a Bachelor of Health and a Master in Educational Studies specialising in TESOL, and is preparing to leave what she calls her "home away from home".

Yani says she has been inspired and challenged to reach the best of her capability and potential at the University of Newcastle.

"My formative years have been shaped here. Not only academically but also as a better person ready to pay it forward to the community and the world with the values and integrity instilled by my learning here," she said.

"I remember being interviewed for my place. It was daunting because a lot of senior people were there but they treated us as equals which is something I really like about Australia."

Yani also cites the friendliness and warmth of the local community as pivotal factors to her experience here.

"I had only just arrived and a group of us decided to explore Newcastle. We caught the bus to find the halal butcher in Wallsend, ending up at the plaza there eating halal kebabs.

"A man approached us and asked if we were new, and welcomed us to Australia. That was the moment I felt like part of an extended family.

"Whoever he was, he did an excellent job."