Brisbane’s Lord Mayor Graham Quirk is awarding 75, 000 certificates to international students this month at Friendship Ceremonies across the state.
The ceremonies are a partnership with Study Brisbane and are part of the Brisbane City Council’s $15 million action plan to boost Brisbane and to make it into Australia’s New World City.
Lord Mayor Graham Quirk said at a friendship ceremony that the contribution from international students is key for driving job creation, guiding city-shaping, maintaining and improving quality of life, and assisting research and education expansion.
“We want to ensure through this friendship ceremony that your families understand that we appreciate the decision you have made to come and be a part of our city,” Cr Quirk said.
“The contribution of international students in innovation, economic and social advancement and understanding the environment can make Brisbane Australia’s new world city.
They [international students] are making our world stronger.”
With international education creating more than 20,000 local jobs, Cr Quirk said he is connected to businesses that will support students with real world experience.
He said he is grateful to all international students who choose Brisbane as their place of study and offers them ongoing support.
“I am continually talking to businesses about offering opportunities in this city, offering internships, traineeships, opportunities to gain some of that real life experience in Australia,” he said.
Brisbane is buzzing with international students who share a special bond with the city, sharing their culture and, in return, learning more about the Brisbane way of life.
Hailing from Japan, international student Haruka Fujihiru said the best friendships are not only between friends, but also between cities.
“Moving to Brisbane was a life-changing phase, it was the best time of my life,” Ms Fujihiru said.
“Although I was only supposed to be here for six months, I was motivated by other international students to stay.”
Brisbane Marketing Manager Trish Hannan said the current student ambassadors of Study Brisbane have up to 30,000 social media connections with whom they communicate about things to see and do in Brisbane.
“The work the ambassadors do connects them with the potential for internships and then potential jobs later down the track, and that’s what it’s all about,” Ms Hannan said.
She said Study Brisbane aims to stay in touch with students after they leave the program.
“We keep in touch to find out where they’ve gone and what type of jobs they’ve got into.”
Lord Mayor Graham Quirk said he wants to form lifelong friendships with international students and urges them to stay in touch through social media.
“For those of you who leave Brisbane to pursue careers, please stay in touch. We want to know how you’re progressing and how you’re making our world a better place,” he said.
“We ask you that when you leave, to take something of Brisbane in your heart.”