The IEAA Excellence Awards ceremony was held during the recent AIEC Conference in Tasmania to celebrate the cream of the crop of Australia’s international education sector.
Zimmerman received the Distinguished Contribution award for her commitment to improving the quality of Australian education and raising awareness of key sector issues throughout three decades of working in education.
She was described as a champion of international student voices ‘at the table’ through her involvement with the establishment of the Council of International Students Australia.
Zimmerman told The PIE News she is extremely proud to work with Australia’s international education community.
“To be recognised by IEAA for living my vocation is a wonderful and humbling feeling”
“I’ve had the privilege of experiencing first hand the power of education to change lives for the better. I love working across cultures, exploring different ways of thinking and doing, sharing and collaborating,” she said.
“To be recognised by IEAA for living my vocation is a wonderful and humbling feeling.”
Navitas CEO Rod Jones said Zimmerman continues to be an excellent campaigner for international education.
“[Zimmerman] has been a passionate advocate for the ongoing improvement in the quality of our international student outcomes and the development of government policy that has and will continue to allow the international education sector to grow. We are immensely proud of her efforts.”
Winner of the Excellence in Leadership Award was Rebecca Hall, executive director at Trade and Investment Queensland.
Hall has led the development and implementation of many significant education sector strategies, initiatives, and projects over the past 18 years.
Most recently under Hall’s leadership, Queensland’s International Education and Training Unit team have been in a unique position to roll out the 36 key initiatives pledged in the International Education and Training Strategy.
Speaking to The PIE News, Hall said she counts herself very lucky to have spent her entire career in international education.
“When I first started in 1999, after returning from a placement on the JET program in Japan, I had no idea that the industry could offer so many opportunities,” Hall said.
To date, over 850 students and 100 teachers across 70 Victorian schools have benefited from the initiative
“Through my time in Japan I experienced first hand the role of government in supporting internationalisation and wanted to do the same [in Australia].”
An award for Best Practice went to two winners: the Victorian Young Leaders to China program, and the Sydney Children’s Hospitals Network.
VYLC is a flagship student mobility initiative that provides the opportunity for 1,500 Victorian students from government, catholic and independent schools to travel to China on a six-week immersion program.
Developed by the Victorian Government, it aims to establish a ‘China aware’ student cohort with strong leadership skills, global knowledge, and intercultural understanding.
To date, over 850 students and 100 teachers across 70 Victorian schools have benefited from the initiative.
A team at Sydney Children’s Hospitals Network also received the prestigious Best Practice award for their International Postgraduate Paediatric/Nurse Certificate course.
The vision of the certificate program is to improve child health globally by empowering healthcare professionals with best practice in paediatrics.
From its beginnings in 1992, the course has expanded throughout Australia and to 25 countries, many of which have high rates of infant mortality and healthcare professionals with limited access to quality education.
A fitting tribute was also given to former vice-president of IEAA Helen Cook, who received a Life Membership award for her contribution to international education and the establishment of the IEAA Excellence Awards.
Speaking about her fellow awardees, Zimmerman said: “It was really special to share the stage with Rebecca Hall and Helen Cook, both of whom are role models for me on how to lead with integrity.”
IEAA vice president Melissa Banks added that the projects are a testament to the power of international education.
“From enhancing the Asia literacy of school aged students, to empowering healthcare professionals around the world with best practice in paediatrics, these projects really are testament to the power of international education to change lives.
“This year’s recipients are also a wonderful recognition of women in leadership and the tremendous impact they have on our sector,” added Banks.
For full details of the awardees, click here.
IEAA Excellence Awards 2017 winners
Distinguished Contribution – Helen Zimmerman, chief corporate affairs officer, Navitas
Excellence in Leadership – Rebecca Hall, executive director, Trade and Investment Queensland
Best Practice in International Education – Victorian Young Leaders to China, Department of Education and Training, Victorian Government; Sydney Children’s Hospitals Network, International Postgraduate Paediatric/Nurse Certificate
Innovation in International Education – StudyAdelaide team’s strategy to improve post-study employment opportunities for international students in South Australia
Outstanding Postgraduate Thesis – Jan Christian C. Gube, ‘Classroom, identity and diversity – Ethnic identity negotiation of Filipino students in Hong Kong multiethnic classrooms’
Life Membership – Helen Cook, associate director client relations Australasia, ETS TOEFL