Organising Committee


Anne Louise Thorbecke

Project Manager and Board Member, Meld Community 

Anne Louise is psychologist, contemporary dancer, and a semi-full time baker since lockdown. This is her first year no longer being an international student, but rather embracing life as a international graduate. She has worked with international students in Victoria for seven years, and joined Meld as a project coordinator in 2017 to work on the Melbourne International Student Conference. Anne Louise is passionate about multiculturalism, gender equality, mental health, and LGBTIQA+ rights. Having lived in The Netherlands, Norway, eSwatini, and now Australia, Anne Louise loves to meet new people from all walks of life, and is a strong believer in the vital role international students and graduates play in making Melbourne the vibrant and culturally rich city it is.

Ritika Saxena

Secretary, Meld Community

Ritika is a young stem cell scientist (@stemcellmum) and a PhD candidate at the University of Melbourne. She was born in India but has spent time studying in Australia, USA and China. Having lived in various cultures, Ritika developed a strong understanding of multiculturalism and built on her culturally sensitive style of communication and teamwork. This led her to become a well established student leader during her undergraduate studies and get involved in different experiences that uni life has to offer. Ritika is the founder of the social enterprise called floralrestrict that raised over $10,000 for the international student and Victorian community. She wants to build collaborative communities through her leadership, particularly in the international student sector. She is an inspiring role model to young women of colour who dream of a career in STEMM and coaches international students on how to fit in and stand out at the same time in a foreign land.

Aun Ngo

Treasurer and founder, Meld Community

Aun Ngo looks after the community aspect of StartSpace at State Library Victoria – a business support service for very early-stage founders & ideas. Born in Malaysia but migrating to Melbourne at an early age, he studied Commerce and Arts before working in the education sector managing international student welfare programs. Aun then spent some time working in Asia –  through AusAID at a social enterprise in Manila then at a non-profit in Singapore. More recently he launched and managed the FYA Hub, Australia’s first free coworking space for youth social entrepreneurs. He also co-founded Meld Community, a non-profit supporting international students studying in Melbourne in 2008

Don Doughty

Board member, Meld Community

Originating from the land below the wind of Malaysia, Don is currently pursuing his degree in Business Management with Kaplan Business School. Since arriving in Melbourne in 2017, Don has developed a strong advocate interest in initiating programs and events that benefit international students’ welfare and well-being from institutional level to national peak representation body. With the initiation of the Victorian State Government’s priority response to multicultural communities program 2020, Don has joined the Huddle, the community organisation for North Melbourne Football Club as the International Student Liaison Officer to strengthen aid and connect essential local services to international students living in Wyndham municipality in particularly during pandemic.

Gary Lee

International Education Project Coordinator, City of Melbourne  

Gary Lee is a passionate advocate for international education. Dynamic, creative and forward thinking, he specialises in the areas of high level strategic planning; policy development and advice; design and delivery of complex projects (including festivals and arts programming) and student wellbeing initiatives.

Gary is the International Education Project Coordinator at the City of Melbourne. Having earned a reputation as an affable and versatile collaborator, Gary has worked on many award-winning projects and programs including the EDGE International Student Leaders’ Program; which subsequently evolved to become the Melbourne International Student Conference (through a partnership with Meld Community); which he has been involved with since its inception.

In January 2016, Gary was recognised by the Australia Day Council as the ‘New Australian of the Year’ for his contributions in empowering culturally and linguistically diverse communities through dance, sport and volunteering.

In 2018, he was the recipient of the prestigious IEAA ‘Distinguished Contribution to International Education’ award.

Joanne Holl

Community Activation and Engagement Project Officer – International Students, City of Melbourne

Joanne is passionate about events, international students and volunteering, especially when all three come together at once! At City of Melbourne she is responsible for the development and implementation of innovative projects across the International Education portfolio, to enhance opportunities and supports to international students who are living, working or studying in the City of Melbourne.

Originally from Aotearoa New Zealand, she has lived in Melbourne for the past 12 years, and before that lived in France for three years. Although she has never technically been an international student she was an exchange student for a year in France, studied her Masters of Arts with Auckland University by distance in France, and completed a post-grad diploma in translation studies from Monash University. She is an international woman of mystery and no one has ever been able to capture a profile picture of her.

Joanne loves the talent, energy, and enthusiasm that international students bring to our city, and strives to support opportunities that ensure international students can reach their full potential as members of our Melbourne community.

Akihiro Ratnayake

Master of Environments and Sustainability

Akihiro is an enthusiastic professional exploring the sustainability sphere, pursuing his second Masters in Environments and Sustainability, having both a Bachelor of Commerce and a Masters of Global Business. He strongly embodies the values of diversity, authenticity and respect, whilst discovering and embracing his journey in Australia. Akihiro is committed to empowering eco-warriors of tomorrow to ensure an inclusive, safe and sustainable future.

Chenxi (Charlie) Ye

Data Analyst 

Chenxi is a data analyst and international student pursuing his Bachelor of Science degree at the University of Melbourne. Having earned the Leaders in Communities Award by the university, he is passionate about the future of technology and helping communities of international students. He strives to use his insights and skills for social and volunteering contributions while developing an analytical career to make an impact on our lives.

Devin Nanayakkara

Data Scientist at WhyHive

Devin Nanayakkara is a proactive data scientist and a dedicated volunteer. Having earned his Masters in Engineering from Imperial College London, he entered the IT world to explore his passion for problem-solving and AI. He’s on a mission to apply technology for social impact.

Eugene Tan

Advanced Analytics Intern at Coles

Eugene is a driven individual exploring food insecurity initiatives to increase awareness of pandemic induced hunger via co-founding his start-up FoodFinderAu. He is a Singaporean citizen that has lived abroad and studied in various International Schools where he learnt the value of cultivating strong bonds with individuals from all walks of life. His mission is to improve the lives of International Students by supporting their journey and helping them navigate the ambiguous and challenging environments that Australia presents.

Gaurab Gurung

NDIS Local Area Coordinator at Brotherhood of St Laurence

Gaurab is a social worker currently working as an NDIS Local Area Coordinator and volunteering as a Multicultural Ambassador for Mental Health at Mental Health Foundation Australia (MHFA) and Vice President of International Nepali Students Association (INSA).

Recent graduate of Masters of Social Work (MSW), he is curiously passionate to make an impact and advocates for equality and justice.

Jayden (Chenglong) Huang

 Co-founder of Stepping Zone

A self-motivated, personable and results-driven individual, Jayden is passionate about leading others. He is currently working and volunteering in several positions within an NGO, community projects, commercial company and government. Jayden believes leadership is a service. He is passionate about working on community projects that can truly help others and produce a social impact. My long term aspirations are to help more students in terms of their leadership skills.

Junyi Zhao

State Treasurer

Although Junyi has a myopic eye, but he is a visionary deep inside his heart, he is a global citizen and student leader, also a DJ who is passionate about empowering international education and enthusiastically dedicated himself to mentoring, leading, and supporting international students among with various stakeholders. He truly understands the importance of cultural diversity and equity through the inspiration of music and photography.
Junyi was an accounting graduate, but looking forward to pursuing another degree in the health field.

Kgomotsego Mooketsi

Compliance officer at Ministry of Finance

Kgomotsego is an experienced banker cum regulatory compliance officer. She has an undergrad in Accounting and is now about to complete her Masters in Regulation and Compliance with Monash University. She loves teamwork and is quite a systemic thinker. she has joined some international student clubs in Uni to meet and connect with people.

Khuong Nguyen

Survey Assistant at Veris Australia

Khuong Nguyen is a friendly and passionate surveyor who loves to volunteer. He is in his final year of the Bachelor of Applied Science (Surveying) (Honours) at RMIT and has surveyed many of Victoria’s major projects. Khuong vouched to give back to the community that has supported his journey and support those who are in need.

Kimberly Mitchiko Clemencio

President, Filipino-Australian Students Council of Victoria

Kimberly is working as a Consular Officer at the Philippine Consulate General in Melbourne particularly supporting nationals. She is also a dedicated Study Melbourne Ambassador advocating for international students. While juggling her career and passion, Kimberly is also a Contributing Writer at The Philippine Times (Australia) mainly writing articles related to international student news.

In December 2020, Kimberly won the prestigious Victorian International Student of the Year Award (VET Category), awarded by the Victorian Government. Kimberly aspires to continue working in the public service.

Prerit Rajput

Data Analyst, Customer Insights & Business Intelligence Reporting 

Prerit is a data analyst and a recent Master of Information Systems international graduate. He is passionate about using data-driven approach to transform data into powerful stories and is committed to use these stories to spread positivity and make this world a better place to live. In his spare time, he enjoys making fondues, writing poetry, or reading non-fiction books on his Kindle.

Seng Doi

Digital and Technical Support Consultant

Seng is a passionate educator and art enthusiast who is pursuing a career in Information Technology to make a positive impact in society. She finds inspiration from nature in her photography, travelling and writing. Seng believes in giving back to the community by volunteering and sharing her experiences with others.

Shina Shrestha

Global Communication Facilitator at English Connect- Monash Universityort Consultant

Shina is an experienced Development Practitioner who is currently studying Master of International Development Practice at Monash University, Melbourne, Australia. Reflective with a commitment to excellence and highly passionate about equal access and opportunities to education for all, she has worked for more than 7 years in the space of education management, particularly in vulnerable communities. Her mission is to reduce educational and social inequity through youth empowerment and engagement.

Sowmiya Selvakumaraswamy


Sowmiya is a recent graduate from RMIT with a Masters in Design Innovation and Technology. As an experienced Virtual Reality developer and tech enthusiast, she is passionate about bringing technology and design together. Sowmiya’s mission in life is to stand up against discrimination in any form.

Wan Ying Ng

Data Analyst

Wan is a recent Accounting Honours graduate and a dedicated Finance Officer. She provides Finance supports to consultants that work on transformational projects in education, human services, health etc. She is committed to improving process efficiency and coming up with tailored solutions for business problems. In her spare time, she enjoys creative writing and equity research.