Pilot training for professional working with international students

Mr Budi Sudarto1, Dr Shanton Chang2, Dr Georgia Babatsikos3, Ms Alison Coelho4

1Australian GLBTIQ Multicultural Council, South Yarra, Australia, 2School of Computing and Information Systems, The University of Melbourne, Carlton, Australia, 3School of Health and Social Development, Faculty of Health, Deakin University,, Burwood, Australia, 4Centre for Culture, Ethnicity and Health, Richmond, Australia

Research shows that professionals working with international students often have limited understanding of the sexual and reproductive health issues facing international students (Babatsikos & Lamaro 2012; Poljski, Quiazon & Tran 2014). Both perceived and real cultural and language barriers can prevent professionals from talking about sexual health to the students. The lack of resources available to assist professionals can create another challenge, as they are unaware of culturally safe strategies that can be employed to talk about the topic to the students. Many professionals have indicated the need for a training program on sexuality and health issues so they can provide better support and service to the students.

This workshop will be run as a pilot training program for professionals working with international students. The themes will involve sexual and reproductive health topics and its relevance to international students’ well-being. Following the workshop, effective and appropriate techniques and ways of engagement with the cohort of professionals based at universities will be identified.

This workshop will further inform longer training provided to professionals working with international students. This longer training will be conducted as a part of the project on sexual and reproductive health of international students currently run by the Australian GLBTIQ Multicultural Council (AGMC), International Students Sexual Health Network (ISSHN), Deakin University, RMIT University, and the University of Melbourne, and supported by the Rainbow International Student Network (RIS’N) and ISANA.


Budi Sudarto is the Vice President of the Australian GLBTIQ Multicultural Council (AGMC Inc.). He is a former international student who is also an active advocate for LGBTIQ inclusive practice in the international education sector. Budi is the founder of Ananda Training & Consultancy offering LGBTIQ inclusive training.

Assoc Professor Shanton Chang is an ISANA life member and an academic at The University of Melbourne. His latest project in international students’ online behaviour has been published and presented internationally. He was also previously Assistant Dean (International) at the Melbourne School of Engineering.

Alison Coelho is the Acting Co-Executive Manager of the Centre for Culture Ethnicity and Health (CEH).She is the founding member and Chair of the new Australian Multicultural BBV/STI Alliance (AMBA) and the Co-chair of AFAO’s African Reference Group. She is also a coordinator of the International Student Sexual Health Network.


The Australian and New Zealand Student Services Association Inc. (ANZSSA) is a professional association for people with an interest in the role of support services in post secondary education.

For more information, please visit ANZSSA website by anzssa.com.


ISANA International Education Association is the representative body for professionals in Australia and New Zealand who work in international student services, advocacy, teaching and policy development in international education.

For more information, please visit the ISANA website at www.isana.org.au.

Conference Managers

Please contact the team at Conference Design with any questions regarding the conference.