At the beginning of 2021, I saw an advertisement on the Griffith Mates social media accounts to become a Mayor’s Student Ambassador (MSA) with Study Gold Coast.
At first, I wasn’t thinking of applying, but then I decided to take my chances and apply. I must say, I don’t regret that decision as it showed me the Gold Coast from a different perspective, and I met the most incredible people. But let’s take it from the beginning.
It all started in January 2021, when I decided to share my journey through social media. This was also one of the main reasons why I eventually submitted my application for the MSA program. The application process involved submitting a video on the ‘day in a student life’ topic. (I can provide my original video for future reference if anyone is interested, but I’m warning you, it is not my best work!)
After I submitted my application, I received an invitation for the second round of applications. What I can say is that the second round was nothing that I expected. They separated us into a few groups, and our task was to record a video about inviting people to study on the Gold Coast. We were given a targeted country, a movie quote, and a banana. Yes, you are reading correctly! They gave us a banana to show in the video. The reason was because the company that was helping Study Gold Coast with the second round of applicants was called Banana Life. After this task, 16 students, myself included, were invited to become a 2021 Mayor’s Student Ambassador.
Fast forward a few weeks, and it was time for our official induction ceremony with the Gold Coast Mayor, Tom Tate. It was my first time in the Council Chambers, and I must say, it’s an incredible building. Even though our ceremony was held in the hallway and not in the main room, (the main room was under construction), it was a lovely afternoon. One-by-one, we walked to the stage to receive our official certification and a photo with the Gold Coast Mayor and the CEO of Study Gold Coast. After the ceremony, we had a chance to talk with some of the school delegates and other people involved.
We then had an official event to attend each month. We started with the Jellurgal Indigenous Experience, where we were able to visit the Jellurgal Aboriginal Cultural Centre in Burleigh Heads and learn more about Aboriginal practices. We had a guided walk through Burleigh Hill, saw their traditional dances, and had a chance to paint our own boomerangs.
Another event I really enjoyed was at the Gold Coast Airport, where we learned more about what goes on behind the scenes, including seeing how they control the runway, which was super cool to see!
Our July event was cooking with OzHarvest. I won’t lie, I’m not a great cook, so this one was a bit of a challenge for me. But in two teams we cooked the most delicious meal I have ever contributed to. The best part about this experience was that all of the food we made was delivered to local charities. So, if you have food at home that you won’t eat, donate it to OzHarvest, and they can make great meals out of it!
There were several other events that I was able to attend including educational workshops and meetings, which was another great benefit of the ambassador program.
My favourite event of all was when we went to SeaWorld! Being passionate about marine biology, I am typically not a fan of keeping animals in captivity, but SeaWorld on the Gold Coast really cares about the animals. I was pleasantly surprised that the majority of the animals have been rescued for rehabilitation, and if they are capable of being returned to wild, they will be. We visited the turtle rehabilitation program which was incredibly moving to see, and we also got a chance to snorkel in the tropical fish tank!
Even though we are currently living in a ‘COVID world’, the Ambassador program and this experience showed me how lucky we are to be studying on the Gold Coast.
My year as a Mayor’s Student Ambassador taught me so much, and I certainly enjoyed every part of it.
And who knows, this could be you next year!
Want to become a Student Ambassador? Applications for the 2022 Mayor’s Student Ambassador Program are open now, click here to apply.