25 October 2017

Santhi receiving her awardSix international students from the University of South Australia (UniSA) have been recognised for their achievements at the 2017 StudyAdelaide International Student Awards held last Friday at Government House.

Four UniSA students placed first in their award category while another two students were highly commended. An initiative of Study Adelaide, the awards celebrate the hard work of international students studying in Adelaide, as well as the contribution they make to the local community.

Among the winners was Bachelor of Pharmaceutical Science student Santhni Subramaniam, who won the Academic Excellence – Undergraduate category and received a Special Commendation as runner-up for the International Student of the Year.

It is the second award the Malaysian student has taken home this year, after winning the coveted Sir Eric Neal Award from the Australia-Malaysia Business Council of South Australia earlier in August.

While still an undergraduate student, Santhni says she has already had the chance to work with a number of prominent researchers to contribute to real-world research projects.

“I spent eight weeks working on formulating antimicrobial to meet the current pharmaceutical demand with UniSA researchers, Professor Clive Prestidge and Dr Nicky Thomas, through the High Achiever Research Vacation Scholarship program in 2016,” she says.

“This year I was given the opportunity to work on another research project with UniSA senior lecturer, Dr Anton Blencowe, working to develop innovative technologies for saving native wildlife animals from introduced species.”

Santhni has a long list of academic achievements – which include representing South Australia at Gothenburg University in Sweden to undertake laboratory studies and being invited to join the Golden Key International Honour Society – but it is her efforts outside of her studies that she is most proud of.

“I have dedicated a large amount of my time in Adelaide to volunteering roles, as I am passionate about giving back to the community that has welcomed me with open arms since my arrival,” she says.

“These experiences have not only taught me valuable lessons, they have helped me analyse the similarities in social issues that my home county and Australia share, with homelessness being one of them.

“This semester, I started volunteering with Do Unto Others under The Salvation Army, not just to help, but to learn their ways of fighting the issue of homelessness so that I can take those ideas back to my home country for the benefit of the wider community.

“As well as pursuing postdoctoral studies in pharmaceutical research, my main goal for the future is to take bigger steps in fighting homelessness by taking sustainable actions both in Australia and Malaysia.”

Santhni had the chance to celebrate her achievements alongside her peers and His Excellency the Honourable Hieu Van Le AC, Governor of South Australia, at the StudyAdelaide International Student Awards event.

“I dedicate this award to my parents and all the teaching staff at UniSA who are the backbone of my achievements.''

Below is a full list of UniSA international students who were honoured for their achievements:

  • Winner of Academic Excellence – Undergraduate category and Special Commendation as runner-up for the International Student of the Year award – Santhni Subramaniam from Malaysia
  • Winner of Arts and Culture category – Hung Yue Ng from Hong Kong
  • Sporting Excellence – Siew Li Ooi from Malaysia
  • Winner of Community Engagement category – Valérie Baya from Mauritius
  • Highly Commended for Community Engagement category – Sharifah Aida Hana Syed Osman Abadi from Malaysia
  • Highly Commended for Academic Excellence – Postgraduate Research category – Ahmad Abu Helwa from Jordan

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