EQI eNews special edition - student success

It’s been a very busy Term 1 for schools and staff getting our new and returning international students settled in for another fantastic school year in Queensland. 

In 2018, we welcomed over 3,480 international students and almost 17,000 Study Tour students to Queensland Government schools. Year-on-year the feedback we receive from students is phenomenal, as you can see in the snapshot of our latest survey below. 

As always, we’ve also been inundated with alumni, student and teaching success stories and it is a great pleasure to share some of these achievements with you here.

Thank you for your continued support. We look forward to working with you towards another successful year.

Kind regards

Jack Stathis
Director, International Business, Recruitment and Marketing

Queensland 2018 Year 12 results

More than 50,000 Queensland students completed Year 12 in 2018, with 96.9% graduating with a Queensland Certificate of Education (QCE) or a Queensland Certificate of Individual Achievement (QCIA).  

Queensland state school students who received a QCE or QCIA, increased to 98.4% compared with 98.1% in 2017. Some of our international students are among the state’s highest achievers and will begin tertiary studies this year.

EQI students confirm they love Queensland!

EQI schools, teaching and international staff, homestay hosts and local communities work together to deliver unforgettable study experiences for international students in Queensland. 

Every year, our student surveys confirm that students from every corner of the globe love their Queensland Government school experience!

EQI alumna and PhD candidate aiming to change lives through cancer research 

We are so delighted to see the achievements of our schools’ alumni who are making their mark in industry, academia, the arts and medicine all over the world.

Cancer research is the next step for EQI alumna Clara from China. 

In 2014, Clara was just beginning the next stage of her studies in Queensland. After graduating from Cleveland District State High School with an OP 1, Clara was awarded a scholarship to study Advanced Science, majoring in Genetics at the University of Queensland (UQ).  
During her studies, Clara became a UQ student ambassador, tutored at Duchesne College and undertook winter and summer research at the university. 

When she graduated with First Class Honours in 2018, Clara was among UQ’s highest achievers and one of just 92 students awarded the prestigious University Medal from a graduating year of almost 8000 bachelor degree graduates. 

We recently met with Clara to find out more about her success and we’ll be bringing you a new video story soon. In the meantime, you can learn more about Clara’s school studies here.  

An exciting new career for EQI alumna Muychou   

Congratulations to EQI alumna Muychou who is enjoying a new career in the construction industry in Melbourne.

Muychou completed a Masters degree in Health, Safety and Environment in 2017 and is excited about developing further in this field.

“It has been a fantastic year since I started my career’, Muychou said.  

“There is a lot to learn about health, safety, the environment and quality in the construction industry and I am looking forward to the challenges in the future”.  

“What I am looking forward to over the long-term future is to gain more knowledge and experience in the health and safety profession and hope to use this to improve the safety and wellbeing of people in the workplace so that they return home safe to their loved ones”. 

“In this role, we are not only making sure people follow compliance, but it is even more compelling to help them to understand the risks and take precautionary steps toward each risk when it’s unavoidable”.

“Importantly, I hope to see more communities and workplaces have a better understanding of what the Health Safety and Environment role means, as the terminology of this profession hasn’t been widely heard and clearly explained to our families and friends”. 

To me, Health, Safety and Environment mean keeping both human beings and the environment safe from any harm and to provide a support system to ensure that we are not putting ourselves and the environment at risk”. 

Muychou from Cambodia graduated from Rochedale State High School before studying Business at Griffith University and a Masters degree at Queensland University of Technology (QUT). 

Lifelong friends, beautiful beaches and a pathway to university 

When international student Sei graduated among the highest achieving students at Centenary Heights State High School in 2017, she received a host of offers to study at some of Australia’s leading universities.

However, after five years living and studying at high school in Toowoomba, Sei from Seoul, Korea, chose to stay close to her friends in the 'sunshine state' and study a Bachelor of Pharmacy (Honours) at the University of Queensland (UQ). 

We asked her about her achievements and experiences as an international student in Queensland.  

What did you enjoy most at school and why?

I enjoyed everything about Centenary Heights but especially classes with my teachers. Teachers at Centenary Heights are more than happy and willing to help each student. Whenever I had difficulty understanding the concepts we had learned in class, my teachers would always sit with me and try to help me understand, regardless of whether it was class time or lunch break.  

What were your biggest challenges when you arrived to study here and how did you overcome them?

My biggest challenge was overcoming homesickness. As I came to Australia by myself when I was young, I struggled with the separation from my family and settling into the new environment. But staff and friends from Centenary Heights volunteered to help me throughout my homesickness and took care of me as if I was their family member. With their consistent help and care, I was able to overcome homesickness and thoroughly enjoy my life in Australia. 

Aside from your academic attainments what were your other achievements at school?

School cross-cultural captain (2017), Year 7 camp leader (2017), international student ambassador (2016), Interact club international director (2016), International Student Program mentor (2016).

How did your high school program and teachers prepare you for university?

I received various assistance from my high school teachers, especially when I was applying to universities. Since Year 11, I had appointments with the school's Guidance Officer on a regular basis and he helped me with my choice of senior year subjects. He gave me advice on my subject selections based on what I needed as pre-requisites for my planned university study.  

In particular, in Year 12, the Guidance Officer even helped me call the International Admissions Centre at every university I had applied to, to double-check I had the necessary pre-requisites, as well as the offer process for international students. Without his help, I would have been completely lost with my university applications. 

What offers did you get from the universities you applied to?

Bond University Excellence Scholarship; University of New South Wales Bachelor of Psychology offer; University of Sydney Bachelor of Pharmacy offer; UQ Bachelor of Pharmacy offer; and Monash University Bachelor of Pharmacy offer.

Why did you choose to study pharmacy at UQ?

As my father is a doctor, I always admired and wanted to study the human body and work in the health field. Therefore, I decided to study a Bachelor of Pharmacy. 

I thought Pharmacy would be interesting because drug therapy could save one's life. Even though I received many offers across the states, I’ve chosen UQ for two different reasons. Firstly, UQ is well-renowned, especially for offering the best facilities and staff for health major students. Secondly, I wanted to stay in Queensland. I have many friends from high school still living in Toowoomba, and I wanted to go back to Toowoomba and see them frequently. 

What are your future career plans?

After four years of studying at UQ, I will need to take a compulsory internship year to be a fully registered pharmacist in Australia. After my internship year, I aim to work in a hospital rather than a local community pharmacy. I would like to assist patients who are suffering from major health issues, using the knowledge I will gain during my time at university. 

What do you like most about living in Queensland?

The best thing about Queensland is that it has lots of beautiful beaches, for example, the Gold Coast and Sunshine Coast. Also, because the weather is usually very nice and warm in Queensland, it is the best [sic] for a picnic at the coast during the weekend. 

What are the most valuable things you’ve gained from studying overseas?

I was able to make so many lifelong friends who helped me throughout my five years of high school. They were always there for me when I needed help (not only with understanding cultural differences) and they always tried to learn more about my culture to get to know me better. 

You can read more about Sei’s experience in an article from the Toowoomba Chronicle newspaper.

Yilin takes top Year 10 student award  

Congratulations to Yilin who was named the most outstanding student in the 2018 International Baccalaureate (IB) preparation program at Cleveland District State High School (Cleveland District SHS). 

Yilin achieved consistently good grades in her first year at the school, including the highest possible result in mathematics, Japanese and business management; top in chemistry, second in biology and third in language and literature.

Yilin, from the province of Zhejiang, China, came to Australia after graduating from Year 8 at Hangzhou Middle School.

She attended private school before transferring to Cleveland District SHS to enrol in the Year 10 IB preparation program at the beginning of 2018. 

During her studies, Yilin lives in an EQI homestay with a family from the local school community. In her spare time she enjoys reading science fiction but misses her two dogs back home in China.

Dr Regan Neumann, Assistant Director-General, State Schools – Rural, Remote and International, presented Yilin with her award at the school’s presentation night in early November.

Yilin began a two-year IB Diploma at Cleveland District SHS in Term 1, 2019.

Visit our website to find out more about the IB program at EQI schools.

Leadership role for Simaema 

Best wishes to Simaema from Papua New Guinea as she settles into her role as Redlynch State College Captain for 2019. 

Simaema was one of the first international students at Redlynch in 2016, and has since become an inspirational leader and friend to local and overseas students.  

A love of languages and other cultures has led Simaema to study Japanese and become a student buddy to welcome and support visiting study tour students. Last year, Simaema travelled to Japan on one of the college’s annual international excursions. 

Simaema represents Redlynch State College in inter-school sports competitions and has played on the school volleyball team since Year 11. 

We are thankful to have Simaema as a student at Redlynch State College and part of our international family. 

Congratulations Simaema! You are a fantastic role model and ambassador for your family, school and country. We wish you the very best in your final year of school as College Captain.

Loving the Aussie lifestyle!

Minnie at Maleny State High School 

Hi. My name is Minnie, I’m a Chinese national who has lived in Japan since I was eight and I have come to Australia to study in a Queensland school for one year.

I am studying at Maleny State High School and when I first arrived I was surprised by the beautiful nature and animals. Each day as I walk to school I see cows in the paddock and I enjoy the fresh country air.  

Everyone has been very kind and friendly. My English at first was not so good but everyone tried very hard to understand what I was trying to say. The teachers are very nice, they are always smiling and helpful. When I don’t understand something they teach me very kindly. The classes make me very relaxed so that I don’t worry. I enjoy this very much.

Maleny High has a lot of classes that China and Japan don’t have so I’m enjoying studying different subjects.  For example, I have chosen dance as a subject and it’s amazing, I love it!  I have made a lot of friends in this subject because we share the love of dancing. 

I also go to a dance class after school, we practise every week, and I performed with my dance group at the town’s annual festival. This is a very big festival, and it was exciting to be able to perform in front of so many people.

I also enjoy sporting events held at the school. We had a cross country race and it was so much fun, other students showered us with coloured chalk at the finish line. I was very proud that I got second place in my age group. A lot of people said congratulations, even people in the supermarket! It’s nice to live in a small town where a lot of people know you.

I love my host family and they also show their love to me. I really feel as though I am a member of their family because they include me in all their activities. Whenever I have any problems I know I can talk to them and they listen carefully and help me.  We have done lots of fun activities together, such as camping and trips to the beach.  

I am loving the Aussie lifestyle and my time here is going too quickly!

Sharing language and culture through reading

Tsubasa and Hiroki from Japan were among 300 students who organised literature themed stalls and activities at Bundaberg State High School’s (Bundagerg SHS) 2018 ‘Read to Grow’ event attended by 1400 primary school students. 

As well as setting up the venue, designing reading materials and decorating the stalls, Bundaberg SHS students hosted activities that combined everything from science and drama to art and culture, to mark Australia’s National Literacy Week. 

Many students also chose to wear their traditional national dress and translated books and stories from other languages into English.  

Tsubasa helped to organise an origami class for Year 7 students. Hiroki prepared for the event by working with his English as an Additional Language/Dialect (EAL/D) teacher to translate a story to read in both Japanese and English to show students that all countries, even when speaking different languages, can tell the same stories and share their cultures.

The event was covered by local media and you can see more pictures on NewsMail and the 7 News Facebook page. 

Language and music success at Annandale State School

Music and language learning are an important focus at Annandale State School (Annandale SS) in tropical Townsville. In 2018, the school celebrated a number of successes in both subjects. 

Annandale SS student Zander won first prize in the Chinese speaking competition held against other state and non-state schools at William Ross State High School by the Confucius Institute. Mandarin Chinese is taught at Annandale SS in Years 5 and 6. 

In June, Annandale’s string orchestra ‘The Bow Jesters’ won gold and was one of seven regional finalists of the state-wide ‘Fanfare’ music festival. The biennial festival brings together school bands and orchestras from across Queensland to promote performance quality and music participation. 

The school’s concert band was awarded a silver for their performance at the George Kneipp Theatre at James Cook University.

All Annandale SS students engage in a half-hour music lesson each week. An instrumental music program is offered from Year 3, a junior choir for students in Years 3 and 4, and a senior choir in Years 5 and 6.

The instrumental music program enables students to choose to study strings, brass, woodwind or percussion delivered as a weekly lesson by teachers who work across several primary and high schools in the Townsville district.

The number of school choirs depends on the level of interest each year. These groups usually rehearse weekly and are actively involved in both the school and wider local community.

Annandale State School competitors at the Chinese speaking competition at William Ross State High School

Annandale State School student Zander with his awards from the Chinese speaking competition held at William Ross State High School

The Annandale State School choir


The Bow Jesters string orchestra

The Annandale State School concert band

Durack State School awarded for best practice in Maths teaching

An innovative maths program is helping students from diverse backgrounds to better understand and engage with maths at school.

Durack State School’s ‘Project to Practice’ program was awarded the Network Ten Showcase Award for Excellence in the Early and Primary Years at the Queensland Department of Education 2018 Showcase Awards for Excellence in Schools.  

The Durack program has resulted in students confidently engaging in related activities including robotics, coding, problem solving games and maths competitions. Learning partnerships with universities and industries are flourishing and in 2018, students from Year 4 collaborated on an international mathematics project with their peers in Singapore as part of the ASEAN Australia Bridge program.

The Showcase Awards for Excellence in Schools (Showcase Awards) are Queensland’s most prestigious educational awards and are presented annually to state schools that demonstrate excellent practices that significantly improve outcomes for students.

Education Minister Grace Grace said the Awards recognise, celebrate and reward excellence and innovation in teaching and leadership practice in Queensland state schools.

“Our schools, principals and teachers are committed to achieving outstanding education outcomes, and are continually searching for new ways to engage and educate young Queenslanders,” Ms Grace said
In 2018, the Showcase Awards organisers received more than 120 submissions reaching more than 80,000 students across Queensland.

The full list of state award winners and finalists is available here

Last updated 15 January 2021