Gary Lee understands the thrilling and challenging worries that occur with getting an international student, and it is the explanation why he has dedicated so significantly time to helping college students make Melbourne household.

His assistance to the community, by various organisations, saw him just lately awarded a Medal of the Purchase of Australia (OAM), a recognition he was “extremely humbled, and really, pretty grateful” to receive.

“I do what I do simply because it is section of who I am, and for the reason that I can, so to be recognised this way is totally heartwarming,” Mr Lee claimed.

“Everything I do is for the people today and causes that I treatment about. So, I hope this recognition will help glow a light-weight on the communities that are significant to me, that currently being global learners, migrants and individuals in search of asylum.”

As effectively as remaining Manager of the Intercontinental Training portfolio at the Metropolis of Melbourne, Mr Lee now volunteers as an ambassador for Welcoming Australia, Bully Zero Australia Basis, the AFL Multicultural Neighborhood Application and Melbourne Victory.

When talking with CBD News, Mr Lee expressed that during the earlier number of many years he experienced knowledgeable several vocation highlights, but of the prolonged checklist of achievements a couple of added special times stood out.

From supporting countless numbers of college students to connect by way of The Couch Worldwide University student Centre, a lounge room run in partnership with The Salvation Army, to helping learners invest in essentials at Queen Victoria Marketplace (QVM) by means of the $2 million Our Shout food stuff voucher software, Mr Lee strives to help other people.

“Projects aside, my greatest aspiration is that I inspire some others that I assistance them get to in which they will need to be, and hook up people today to their goals and targets,” he claimed.


Intercontinental learners are a big part of what tends to make Melbourne this sort of a fantastic area. They are some of the most resilient individuals I know, they are enthusiastic, they give again, and they prosper.


While serving the local community could have been what Mr Lee acquired his OAM for, he has also been renowned for dishing out some terrific dance moves and pleasurable vibes through the hip-hop dance crew he established, PoisE’n.

Though it commenced as a interest when he was studying at RMIT University, PoisE’n before long grew to become portion of the RMIT Union Arts Collective.

“Dance grew to become an escape for numerous intercontinental college students, a way to connect and an prospect to express on their own via the artwork form,” Mr Lee stated.

“Most had been inexperienced persons but getting linked to the dance crew meant they could build their self-confidence, make teamwork and cross-cultural dialogue, and it aided them have interaction with the nearby community. It was also my possibility to showcase intercontinental pupils on centre stage!”

Mr Lee then established up PoisE’n Bollypop, a collective of dancers who complete a fusion of Bollywood and hip-hop dance at cultural gatherings.

“Bollypoppers are my small military of variety champions,” he stated.

“Many sooner or later grew to become volunteers for the lots of functions that I was component of and providing back finally became a way to sense that they belong. Most have gone off to do remarkable factors in their lives.”

This coming March, Mr Lee will be playing an avid position in welcoming college students back to the metropolis through a collection of City of Melbourne activities, though also continuing to advocate for worldwide pupils.

“International college students add to Melbourne’s fascinating, lively and inclusive culture – they deliver the vibes as people, workers, organization homeowners, volunteers and pals,” he reported. •


Photo Credit score Wilari Tedjosiswoyo.

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