Scholarship sends Swinburne’s Liz Rodriguez to South East Asia symposium
Generous donations from Swinburne’s community meant alumna Liz Rodriguez could follow her dreams and attend an international humanitarian symposium.
Thanks to the Alumni Travel Scholarship, a graduate under 35 years of age can attend a significant career impacting international event, such as a conference or research activity.
Liz travelled to Cambodia’s capital Phnom Penh in 2014, for the Humanitarian Affairs University Scholars Leadership Symposium. Liz has lead a group of four Swinburne students, also funded to attend the symposium through the Swinburne Students Amenities Association.
Liz enjoyed the opportunity to join 1,000 other like-minded youth with an interest in humanitarian affairs.
“I’m really passionate about advocating for individuals without a voice, as well as motivating people around me to take action about issues that matter to them.”
“That’s why I was so thrilled to find out that I had received the Swinburne Alumni Travel award. Without this award, it wouldn’t have been possible for me to make the trip overseas”.
Attending the Cambodian symposium allowed Liz to forge meaningful connections with NGO’s, humanitarian leaders and other not-for-profit organisations.
“Over the course of the week I got the opportunity to meet influential people, who were able to inspire me with ways to further my career”.
After attending the symposium, Liz and the Swinburne students visited the village of Mayibue in Kampot, Cambodia. There they engaged with the community arts centre that Swinburne carpentry students built earlier in 2014, after receiving a Federal government AsiaBound grant.
Graduating from her International Business course at the end of 2013, Liz’s interest in humanitarian affairs grew while she was studying at Swinburne.
“My background was in business-to-business marketing, but once I was a student again and began volunteering in the not-for-profit sector I developed a real desire to work in a job that would let me have a positive impact on people’s lives”.
This interest was further sparked when Liz was named as a Humanitarian Affairs Youth Ambassador in 2013, after attending the Humanitarian Affairs Symposium in Manila.
As part of her role as a Youth Ambassador, Liz has co-ordinated a Youth Humanitarian Symposium, held at Swinburne’s Hawthorn campus in September 2014. She is also co-ordinating the 2015 Youth Humanitarian Festival, an event intended to inspire young people to make positive contributions to local, national and international social justice issues.
“It means a lot to me to receive the Swinburne Alumni Travel Award and I’m looking forward to representing Swinburne at an international level in the years to come.”
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Without this award, it wouldn’t have been possible to make the trip overseas
Liz Rodriguez, Alumni Travel Scholarship winner