UNE student wins Asia-Pacific leadership award

Published 02 February 2010

goldenkeylogoA student at the University of New England has won a Regional Student Leader award from the Golden Key International Honour Society.

Alicia Zikan was presented with the award of “Regional Student Leader of the Year for the Asia Pacific Region” at the Golden Key Asia Pacific conference in Sydney last week.

Ms Zikan is the President of the UNE Chapter of Golden Key – an academic honour society that recognises and encourages scholastic achievement among college and university students from all academic disciplines.

The Regional Student Leader award recognises one Golden Key member in each of the Society’s 13 regions around the world for their outstanding commitment to the Society, and for effective campus and community leadership while maintaining superior academic performance.

The UNE Chapter itself won an award for the “best fund-raising event” for 2009 – a UNE alumni and Golden Key event that raised $6,000 for the School of St Jude in Tanzania.

Ms Zikan said that she was delighted with the awards, and that both of them – including the Regional Student Leader award – reflected the joint efforts of Chapter members and staff. These included, particularly, the other three delegates to last week’s conference: Jennifer Miller (Alumni Relations Officer), Airlie Bell (Careers Counsellor), and Dr Amanda Kennedy (inaugural Chapter President).

During the conference, the UNE Chapter was awarded “Gold Chapter” status for its achievements in providing students with information and events focusing on scholarship, career development, leadership, and service.

Keynote speakers at the conference included the former NSW Premier Bob Carr, Li Cunxin, author of the autobiography Mao’s Last Dancer, and the Rev. Bill Crews, founder of the Exodus Foundation.

The Chancellor of UNE, Richard Torbay, himself an Honorary Member of Golden Key, was the moderator of a Question-and-Answer session that dealt with issues such as racism in Australia, education as a business, the role of governments in managing change through funding programs, and art and child pornography.

Dr Torbay said he was proud to be an Honorary Member of Golden Key, and proud of the UNE Chapter’s achievements. “The Golden Key Honour Society recognises community involvement as well as academic excellence – twin aspects of a student’s development that are fostered at UNE,” he said.

All four delegates from the UNE Chapter were involved in a series of workshops on topics that included engaging with alumni, applying for scholarships, and building a career while studying at university.

Clicking on the image displayed here reveals a photograph, taken at last week’s conference, of (from left) John Mitchell (CEO of the Golden Key International Honour Society), the Chancellor, Richard Torbay, and Alicia Zikan.