the-unidays-student-awards-meet-the-winners

The UNiDAYS Student Awards: Meet the Winners

The Contiki World Leader Award

Name: Layaal Mikhael

Currently studying: Medical Sciences and Economics at UWA

Instagram handle: layaal17

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Going back to the start of your journey, what made you decide to enter the Student Awards?

I just like to put myself out there, especially when incredible opportunities are on offer. I also saw that my values personally aligned with the Contiki values, so I was really excited to apply for the World Leader Award.

What is it about the travel industry that you’re so passionate about?

I’m passionate about both volunteering opportunities and travel. I just love being adventurous, which is travel in a nutshell.

What do you think made your entry stand out?

I believe my diverse volunteering experiences definitely helped me a lot.

Who or what inspires you?

My experience with Teach Learn Grow has definitely been inspirational. The work the organisation does to help bridge the education gap and the impact I’m able to make, as a coordinator of a rural program and also as a manager on their executive team, is incredible. Making a difference really inspires me.

What’s next for you?

Finishing my medical degree and then hopefully going into rural health or doing Doctors Without Borders or RFDS [Royal Flying Doctor Service].


The Microsoft Biz Whiz Award

Name: Thomas Bennett

Currently studying: Master of Data Science

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Going back to the start of your journey, what made you decide to enter the Student Awards?

I’ve used UNiDAYS a lot for discounts during my time at university and when I saw a competition with Microsoft I thought it was worth a try.

What is it about the business industry that you’re so passionate about?

It lets you work on projects that can benefit so many people. Technology means that anyone with a laptop and access to the internet can now do something to help improve our society.

What do you think made your entry stand out? I think a lot of students think they have to wait to finish university before they can start giving back. My entry was about my experience starting a charity called Foster the Future, which provides free tutoring by university volunteers to high school students in foster care. University students already have the power to help their society: they are well educated and can pass on a lot of knowledge to members of our society that don’t have the same opportunities they did.

Who or what inspires you?

Alan Turing.

What’s next for you?

Keep building Foster the Future. The goal is to keep expanding, so we have even more university student volunteers providing mentorship and academic support to foster children. If any university students reading this want to apply, they can do so here.


The Samsung Innovation Sensation Award

Name: Tsitsi Tsidkenu Mushariwa

Currently studying: Bachelor of Medical Science (with plans to do Honours in Design Computing)

Instagram handle: Tsirae

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Going back to the start of your journey, what made you decide to enter the Student Awards?

When I saw the student awards, I didn’t think I would win, but I thought that if my experiences this year had taught me anything, I’d regret not giving it a go.

Last year was very hectic, with a lot of ups and downs, but also a lot of growth. One of the biggest highlights was working on the Strawberry Project and being able to travel to New York for the Biodesign Challenge Summit.

Participating in that challenge and enrolling in that unit were both things I couldn’t have predicted at the start of the year, but with a lot of hard work from both me and the rest of my team, it ended up being an extremely memorable experience.

What is it about innovations that you’re so passionate about?

I think the most exciting thing about innovation is that it can be done by anyone for anything.

Whether it's improving an existing design or creating something brand new, what you end up producing is something only you can do with your unique perspective.

What do you think made your entry stand out?

I think it was probably the project idea itself. However, I did try to talk about my own passions and motivations and ideas for the future, too. I’m not entirely sure, but I’m definitely glad something about me and what I’ve accomplished resonated with someone!

Who or what inspires you?

My biggest inspirations have to be my family. Even when I’m not doing the best I can, they always remind me that everything I have, and everything I want, I either deserve or can accomplish.

Having spent most of my life travelling, I’ve interacted with so many different people who feel this drive to chase their passions. Despite being from so many different industries and all having different perspectives they’re all so willing to challenge themselves.

I’m also inspired by musicians like Hwasa, from Mamamoo, and Zico; authors like Margaret Atwood; and artists like @msshanh [on Instagram]. All their work is incredible and really makes me want to challenge myself in my own field. We’re really blessed we live in a generation where inspiration is definitely not hard to find.

What’s next for you?

It's hard to say because my plans keep changing. A year ago, I had a definite idea of what was about to happen, but now I’ve found a new passion in design.

I definitely still want to pursue medicine but I’m really excited to do a year of bio design as part of a design computing course. I’m also hoping to connect with some creatives and really explore everything that piques my interest.


The Hello Molly Trendsetter Award

Name: Bree Antone

Currently studying: Bachelor of Creative Arts (Visual Arts & Design)

Instagram handle: breanart

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Going back to the start of your journey, what made you decide to enter the Student Awards?

The great opportunities!

What is it about the fashion industry that you’re so passionate about?

There are so many different careers and roles that make up the fashion industry: it’s really diverse and creative.

What do you think made your entry stand out?

I think my entry showed how passionate I am about art, design, fashion, and textiles—especially sustainable and ethical fashion practices.

Who or what inspires you?

Artists such as Frida Kahlo, Tracey Emin, and Jenny Saville have all inspired me at some point. I also feel inspired through finding second-hand materials, fabrics, and clothes.

What’s next for you?

I’ll graduate, get some good work experience, then work towards a textile or fashion design role with a great eco-conscious brand.


The HelloFresh Health Hero Award

Name: Sara Scholz

Currently studying: Bachelor of Health and Medical Science (Advanced) (Major in Nutrition), & Diploma in Languages (Japanese)

Instagram handle: sara.scholz

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Going back to the start of your journey, what made you decide to enter the Student Awards?

As I finish off my undergraduate studies in 2020, I want to make the most of opportunities at my reach—this one stood out to me as one of those unique experiences I should go for. I saw the Student Awards as a great opportunity to immerse myself in a professional setting that I am passionate about.

What is it about health/a healthy lifestyle that you’re so passionate about?

I am an advocate for health because I am conscious of the significant impact it plays on all other aspects of a person's life. For example, I am amazed by the way diet and exercise co-influence both physical and mental health. My experiences with the positive and negative effects of diet and exercise on my own body motivates me to encourage others to engage in positive health behaviours.

What do you think made your entry stand out?

I think my entry stood out because I was honest and my genuine passion for health (and sharing it with others) shone through.

Who or what inspires you?

I'm most inspired by people and their achievements—big or small. Whether it is a motivational speaker on TV, a guest lecturer at university, or a peer who has gone an extra mile to achieve their goals. I also find inspiration from quotes that resonate with me.

What’s next for you?

This year, I will complete my undergraduate studies whilst seeking out opportunities such as this to put under my belt. Next year, I hope to undertake further postgraduate studies in a Master of Dietetics, and that will lead me to a career as a dietitian.


The Creative Champion Award

Name: Tyhe Reading

Currently studying: PhD (Design)

Instagram handle: tyherone

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Going back to the start of your journey, what made you decide to enter the Student Awards?

I entered the student award because I want environmental issues to be noticeable to everyone.

What is it about creativity that you’re so passionate about?

Creativity has the potential to change people’s ways of thinking and guide their behaviour. I want to be able to assist people in understanding their environmental impact.

What do you think made your entry stand out?

Perhaps it was the focus on environmental design that made my entry stand out? I just want to make sure professional practice isn’t impacting the environment in ways that could’ve been avoided.

What inspires you?

My biggest inspiration is the natural environment.

What’s next for you?

I’m going to continue my research on developing creative strategies that assist in the generation of pro-environmental behaviour.

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