The Two Reports


This website is based on two projects: “Contact Points” and “International Students and Scams in Australia” which were supported by Study Melbourne and Study NSW, respectively.

You can read about both these projects in the reports below.

International students are often overwhelmed by information on their safety, health and wellbeing when they arrive in Australia. In time, students are able to successfully familiarise themselves with the processes and procedures they require to live day to day by turning to a variety of resources (e.g., online social networks, friends, websites, teachers) to make daily decisions. When quick decisions need to be made in times of crisis (e.g., when personal safety, health and wellbeing are threatened), students may not have the specific information required to act accordingly. These projects co-created essential messages for international students to improve their wellbeing and to help keep them safe while in Australia.

To understand what key messages are crucial for international students, the project teams in both projects conducted focus group interviews with emergency and health service providers and then, focus group interviews with international students to find out if they understood and would share the messages. The team translated the messages into Chinese and conducted focus group workshops with Chinese international students to ask if they understood the messages.

Contact Points


The Contact Points Project sought to mitigate the risks that international students face in critical and emergency incidences. This project thus aimed to understand how to effectively communicate key messages to international students facing critical incidents when they may be in danger or at risk.

The Contact Points Report highlights the 20 key critical incident messages that are crucial for international students, discusses the issues raised leading to the messages being refined for understandability and accessibility to international students, and explores ways in which these messages can be shared by international students among their peers, through social media or otherwise.

The Report was funded through Study Melbourne’s International Student Welfare Program, a Victorian Government initiative.


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International Students and Scams in Australia


The International Students and Scams in Australia Project came about because of a rise in the number of scams targeting international students in Australia. These scams have been a concern for the NSW Police Force (NSWPF), education providers and international students. Service providers know that despite scam awareness messaging, international students continue to be victims and that these crimes are under-reported. These crimes not only amount to significant financial loss but can also have long term impact on the wellbeing, mental health and safety of victims and their families.

The International Students and Scams in Australia Report highlights18 key messages that are aimed at informing, educating and empowering international students about what to do when they encounter scams, and explores ways in which these messages can be shared by international students among their peers, through social media or otherwise.

The Report was funded through Study NSW’s Partner Project Grant, a New South Wales Government initiative.


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The researchers


Professor Catherine Gomes

Professor Catherine Gomes, PhD, is an academic in the School of Media and Communication at RMIT University. Catherine is an ethnographer who researches the social, cultural and communication spaces of transient migrants, especially international students, their wellbeing and their digital engagement.

Professor Shanton Chang

Professor Shanton Chang, PhD, is an academic in the School of Computing and Information Systems at the University of Melbourne. His research on information behaviour in the contexts of education and health has been published in both journals and refereed conference papers. He is also currently Associate Dean (International) at the Melbourne School of Engineering.

Manorani Guy

Manorani Guy is the Director of Asian Student Accommodation. She shares a deep passion in international education and in her spare time has volunteered as the ISANA Victorian/Tasmania President and is currently President of the Victorian Working Group on International Student Employability (VicWISE). She sits on several committees and overseas numerous projects related to international students.

Franklin Patrao

Franklin Patrao works as an analyst in the Tech Strategy and Transformation practice at Deloitte Consulting. He is a recent Master of Information Systems graduate from the University of Melbourne, where he studied as an international student. He currently leads the International Greeter group at the State Library of Victoria focusing on topics of professionalism, communication, well-being and community.

Siying He (Ashley)

Siying He (Ashley) is a first-year international student enrolled in the Master of Information Systems at the University of Melbourne. While an undergraduate, she gained experiences in the automobile industry through placements in the digital business department of Audi and consulting line of Accenture. As a subcommittee member of the Australia-China Youth Association (ACYA), she is also keen on participating in career events and volunteering.


AUSRecent is a cross-cultural consulting and integrated marketing communications (IMC) company. Established in 2012, AUSRecent is one of the earliest Chinese marketing specialised agencies in Australia and has been serving a great number of clients such as Austrade, Victoria Government, the University of Melbourne, Australian National University, and Bank of Melbourne etc.

Jo Cassidy

Jo is a Program Manager at UNSW. Jo is passionate about ensuring the health and safety of students and staff within the tertiary education sector.

Josh Rebolledo

Josh from the UNSW Student Engagement Team, leveraging student participation programs to build awareness and safety around scams.


We would like to acknowledge the contributions of Rashika Bahl and Xiaofei Yang in helping with project management, focus groups and translations.


Student journey map and categories


Learn about the background and methods