Top Merdeka award for Flinders student

Dana Jamie Chinn, a Malaysian student in the Speech Pathology course at Flinders, has received the top Merdeka Award from the Australia-Malaysia Business Council of South Australia (AMBCSA).

The Merdeka Awards were established in 1998 by the AMBCSA to recognize the top final-year Malaysian students studying at South Australia’s three universities. In addition to celebrating Malaysia’s annual Independence Day, the objectives of the awards include encouraging Malaysian students to excel not only in their academic achievements, but to be all-rounders.

As winner of the Sir Eric Neal Award for Malaysia’s most outstanding South Australian student, Ms Chinn received a trophy and $1500.

300 people attended the event at the Adelaide Convention Centre.

Ms Chinn, who has lived on campus during her degree, said she had received good support from her lecturers.

She recently completed a five-week rural placement for her course based at Port Augusta, which also included a week of testing and evaluation of Aboriginal children in settlements on the APY Lands.

“I think the best thing about the Flinders speech pathology course is that they really balance out the practical and theory work. It’s good that they recognise that education comes in many forms, and one of them is practical experience,” Ms Chinn said.

”My rural placement was one of the best experiences I’ve ever had.”

Ms Chinn said she is likely to return to Sabah to practice after gaining more experience in Australia.

AMBC president Sathish Dasan said the aim of the Merdeka awards was to encourage and help develop future leaders from among the students. As in 2011, all the awards went to female students.

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