Previous Executives

 National President Nina Khairina

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Mustika Indah (Nina) Khairina is the National President of the Council of International Students Australia. Prior to CISA, she held positions as an executive in the Monash Student Council and was the 2014/2015 President of Monash University International Students Service at Monash Clayton Campus. As President she actively engaged with international student groups and work with the university in advancing students’ interests and needs while heading the division in organising educational and social programs and events on campus.

Her goal during her term is to “strengthen grassroots level engagement”. She is committed to initiate more activities on a state/regional level, ensure that the council members’ have a platform to voice out their concerns and are well-represented in CISA’s engagement with the government and stakeholders in international education.

Currently in her third year of Bachelor of Arts degree in Asian Studies at Monash University, her interests include: cross-cultural understanding, international development and education. She hopes to make a difference in the education system in her home country, Indonesia in the future.

Nina is also one of the four finalists for the 2015 Victorian International Education Award for Higher Education Category.

National President’s Activities (2015)

Recently in the media 

National Vice President Kofi Osei Bonsu

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Kofi Osei Bonsu was born in Christian Ghana family who has been passionate about helping others right since he was young. Kofi was fortunate enough to be given opportunities to travel and reside in five countries (New Zealand, Germany, Italy, Holland, United Kingdom) in which has widen his horizon. This is reason why he calls himself a Global Ciitizen.

The experiences that Kofi gained in New Zealand inspired him to involve and advocate in international students’ issues. He believes that quity and fairness are the foundamantal and basic rights in every institution in which these are the distinctive elements to help stand out amongst the others.

Although Kofi is doing Economics for his major, his passion in Media Studies took him to London. He started his radio broadcasting career in an original black entertainment television there, he then transitted to Italty as his radio shows were broadcasted over there. After all the hardwork, he came back to Australia and is the host of a popular radio program called ‘Inspirational Time with KOB’ in Canberra’s 1way fm.

Kofi is currently in his final year of his media studies at Canberra of Institute Technology. He is a big fan and proud of where he is living who calls his city, Canberra as ‘ the most beautiful place to live in the whole world’.

National Secretary

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National Treasurer Hassan Riaz

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Hassan Riaz is currently studying Masters of Professional Accounting at Australia National University in Canberra. Prior to this degree, he has also completed Masters of Project Management. Professionally, he has spent more than 4 years in commercial banking sector of Pakistan.

Hassan believes the international students have brought a lot of benefits to Australia. Apart from brining in different cultures and building Australia with more colours, it fosters economic growth. He thinks that the life here is more than just a student’s experience in which nowhere eles could provide such kind of memory to him.

Hassan would also like to thank all the efforts that our predecessors have made to CISA in the past 5 years. However, he believes there is still a long way to go. To make Australia the most preferred study destination in the world, he thinks that CISA’s role is more than only engaging with stakeholders. As the student representative body, he is upholding to responsibility to identify the issues faced by the international students, advocating for their timely resolution which is now ever more important in the era of transition in education sector.

“Being Treasurer of CISA, strengthening its financial stability is undoubtedly one of my aspirations. For this, he believes that bringing in more formal structure and maintaining regular and sustainable sources of income is essential in which will be instrumental for current team in advocate effectively.

Hassan is looking forward to hearing feedback from our fellow international students regarding to their concerns.

National Equity (and acting Education) Officer Saba Nabi

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Saba Nabi is a PhD Scholar in the School of Biomedical Science at Charles Sturt University based at Wagga Wagga (New South Wales).

Saba is the President of CSU International Student Club, Coordinator of Mentoring Program, Part of CSU Green and environmental committees, who was also the student representative in the University Council and Science Board. She was entitled to be the 2014 NSW International Student of the Year Award in the Higher Education Category.

“Being the Equity Officer of The Council of International Students Australia gives me the opportunity to receive more feedbacks from International Students across Australia, and that allows me to better understand them and fight for what they deserve as an International Student.” She believes the minimal knowledge of the students’ rights and being ignorant about resources seeking legal advices are the major reasons why most international students are underpaid and unfairly treated in their workplaces. Known as the “Fair go Australia”, Australia gives a preception where she treats everyone equally, in which she is here to advocate the issues faced by the international students in their personnel and professional lives.

Although Saba comes form India, she always feels Australia is “Home away from Home” once you enjoy its rich multicultural inheritance and engage more and more with the local community.

Her message for all- Enjoy life as it comes!

National Public Relations Office Lok Ching (Dorothy) Tang

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Dorothy Tang is a second year undergraudate who is doing Media and Communications and Psychology at University of Melbourne. She is passionate in events management and have been actively enrolling in leadership activities;

Being the Activities Officer in University of Melbourne Student Union International (UMSU INTL), Dorothy has gained experiences in organising events and liasing with different parties. She believes that the sharpened skills that she obtains would bring a change to CISA.

Dorothy also believes that the values of international students have been understated in which she would like to make “OUR” voices heard louder through strengthening the relationship with the federal government and all the student organisations. She is holding a dream in removing the stereotype of international students, yet, her power may be limited. John Lennon has once said, “A dream you dream alone is only a dream. A dream you dream together is reality.” She is genuinely inviting you, all of you to reach her a big hand to make her dream to come true.

No matter what size your hand is, she highly appreciates your contribution to create the “DREAM”.

National Welfare Officer Difie Boakye-Men


Difie is from Ghana and she is currently enrolled in a two year Masters in International and Development Economics programme at the Australian National University.

As a national welfare officer, she hopes to help create awareness on issues that affect intenational students’ rights. Notable issues such as employability, health, accommodation and transportation. She hopes to strengthen the linkages between the international student body and the regulatory authorities in order to ensure that students are adequately apprised on their rights in Australia.

Most importantly, together with the team, help channel students’ grievances to the right institutions and seek redress.

General Member (TAFE/VET) Sahil Puri

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Sahil Puri is an international student from India. He is studying a Bachelor of IT Networking at Victoria University in Melbourne.

Sahil was the Vice President of the International Student Association at Victoria University, and won the “Student of the Year Award” in 2013. He is a passionate volunteer activist. When he came to Melbourne, Sahil was determined to become involved in the heart of Australia’s multicultural society, which comprises 114 nations. He is passionate about the diversity and versatility of Melbourne. He encourages all international young people who come here to study to get involved as a volunteer and become empowered.

Sahil has been a team leader and has gained experience by volunteering with several non-profit organisations. He encourages students to become involved in volunteering activities because it builds skills in communication, leadership, youth empowerment and appreciation of diverse cultures.

General Member (Postgraduate) Maximilian Obinna Obiakor

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General Member (Undergraduate) Bakani Butale

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Dumela!! Bakani is from Botswana and he is currently studying doing Bachelor of Science, major in Microbiology at the University of Queensland (UQ). Once he has completed his degree, he would like to go to medicine field.

Bakani is passionate about health care and education in which has motivated him to become a doctor and get involved in CISA. He believes that joining CISA could ensure the international students’ voices will be clearly heard. He aims to do this by increasing awareness about CISA amongst the student population.

At the moment, Bakani is the treasurer of the African Students Association at UQ, a team of Brisbane International Student Ambassadors 2015-2016 which serves as the events committee of the Queensland African Communities Council (QACC). The skills and experiences that he has gained in these roles have set a strong foundation which will enable him to aptly complete his duties as the general undergraduate member and Queensland representative.