A commitment to her studies and her continuing work in the community are just two of the reasons TasTAFE student Hei Yin Lo won this year's Ueno Award.
The honour is awarded each year to an international student who has shown "high motivation, commitment to their studies and involvement in institute life".
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The award was established by the Ueno family from Japan in memory of their son, Hidetaka, a former TasTAFE student who died while studying in Tasmania in 1998. Nominations for the award are pooled from students and teachers, and the winner is awarded their name on the Ueno trophy and a $500 cash prize.
Known among her friends as "Heibrance", Hei Yin Lo won the award for excelling in her I.T. studies, despite having very little prior background in the field.
First becoming interested in computer development when she built a website for her family's business, Hei Yin Lo has since flourished inside and outside of the TasTAFE environment, most recently creating and maintaining website content for Somewhere Coffee Bar in Hobart.
Beyond her studies, Hei Yin Lo also remains an important contributor to her local community. Back in 2020, she volunteered to be a home-based carer for an elderly lady who lived by herself in Erriba.
She is also an avid swimmer and remains active in the Launceston Baha'i community, attending gatherings, dinners and board games nights.
Due to the award being held off last year during COVID-19, part of last year's prize money was split between the runners-up Panpan Liu and Juan "Sylvia" Han, who are both studying nursing.
When talking about her community work, Hei Yin Lo expressed how it had impacted her perspective.
"I don't want to live a life where I'm just working. I want to live a life where I'm happy and where the people around me are happy and healthy as well," she said.
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