erad Tan won the 'Excellence in Community Engagement' prize at the 2014 Governor's South Australian International Student of the Year awards. Jerad jointly won the prestigious award for his contribution to community work both locally and internationally.
Jerad valued the opportunity to participate and initiate community engagement during his Bachelor of Management (Marketing) degree at the University of South Australia. During this time he was also an ambassador for the Global Experience program - a university-wide extra-curricular program designed to enhance students' intercultural competence and global employability. Jerad used UniSA's Global Experience program to develop his capacity for personal and professional growth.
Tell us about your experience of studying at the University of South Australia (UniSA)?
"Throughout my journey in South Australia, my interests towards building wellbeing in society have been enthusiastic. When I enrolled into the Global Experience program at UniSA the course matured me and extended my exposure in global understanding. The learning environment has changed my perspective toward community engagement.
During my time at UniSA I have been actively involved in the students’ engagement program. The Your Culture My Culture program involves domestic students as well as international students, so that not only will international students feel less isolated from their international peers, but they will also make Australian friends, and in turn those Australian students will develop their international perspectives. The outcome of this achievement is gaining international understanding and friendship.
As part of my participation in the Global Experience program, I worked with another four students to organise a fundraising event for WellWishers, an organisation building hand-dug wells in Tigray, Ethiopia. During the dinner itself, we managed to raise $6,000 or equal to a well for one of the villages. Establishing a well benefits the community, enabling them to easily access clean water, eliminate water borne diseases and provide sustainable living standards. It was amazing to collaborate with one community to help another community."
What are your future plans?
"My achievements in community engagement in South Australia has helped me identify my passions and helped me understand myself better. I have noticed my personal growth and it has opened my mindset regarding the perspectives of my life. My achievements build my self-esteem and confidence. It has taught me to appreciate my academic study that I am pursuing now and the skills I have acquired. Sharing my ideas and thoughts during volunteering, inspire me to pursue a Master in Social Work after my undergraduate degree. Community engagement cultivates my passions in the social work industry and sets my career pathway. My aim is to pursue a Master in Social Work and integrate my business knowledge to contribute to a non-governmental organisation (NGO) in the future."