Media releases

Lord Mayor officially welcomes Sydney’s international students

Published 6 March 2024

Last night Sydney Town Hall hosted a celebration of cultural diversity and academic excellence as Lord Mayor of Sydney, Clover Moore AO welcomed 650 international students.

Hailing from more than 85 nations, the students have chosen to move to Sydney to study at various local institutions.

Bringing together community groups, health and safety services and leading tertiary education providers, the event also served as an opportunity for students to create connections and support networks vital for their time in Sydney.

“I’m delighted to welcome these students who will make an invaluable contribution to Sydney’s status as a global hub for learning, research and innovation,” the Lord Mayor said.

“As a global education destination, the City of Sydney is committed to creating an environment that inspires academic excellence and welcomes cultural diversity and cross-cultural understanding.”

In 2022, the international student sector contributed more than $13 billion to the NSW economy. It is the largest service export, and supports more than 95,000 full-time equivalent jobs in the education sector.

“Aside from the economic indicators, international students who chose to study here help boost our city’s cultural life and help create international connections that last well beyond their time studying,” the Lord Mayor said.

Toshi Kawaguchi, Director – Study NSW added: “Study NSW is proud to work closely with the City of Sydney on the Lord Mayor’s annual welcome for international students and a range of programs to enhance their study experience.

"Sydney is a premier hub for world-class education, boasting top-tier academic institutions and distinguished research centres. Drawing and fostering exceptional talent from across the world serves as an investment in the future prosperity of our city and state”.

The event also featured 24 participants from the City of Sydney’s 2024 International Student Leadership and Ambassador (ISLA) program. Comprising students from diverse countries and regions, ambassadors take part in a comprehensive year-long program that encompasses free training, work-integrated learning and volunteer opportunities aimed at honing their leadership skills and spearheading projects for international student communities.

Kamashi Sharma Pokhrel, an international student from Nepal, arrived in Sydney in 2022 to study a Master of Business Administration, and became an ISLA member in 2023.

“Being part of the ISLA program has given me the opportunity to learn about leadership, public speaking, project management, and cultural and emotional intelligence,” Kamashi said.

“Doing all this as a student ambassador has been really helpful in helping to enhance my skills and work on different projects where I’ve been able to support other international students.”

Find out more about the ISLA program at

For more details on Kamashi’s ISLA journey and the Lord Mayor’s welcome for international students visit

Media contact, Elaine Kelly on 0477 362 550 or email

For interviews with Lord Mayor Clover Moore contact