Become an ’employment advocate’ and stand up against work exploitation

Workplace exploitation is unfortunately not new within the international student community as stories ranging from underpayment, unsafe work conditions and other illegal practices have long plagued the community.

To address this, students who may be fed up with hearing about their fellow international students’ mistreatment at the workplace can sign up to the LEAD – Employments Advocate Project, an initiative that aims to stop international students from being exploited at work by raising the standard of basic employment laws in Victoria.

This partnership project is a collaboration between United Voice Victoria and the Council of International Students Australia and is funded by Study Melbourne.

By signing up as an employment advocate on your respective campus, you’ll be provided a free four day training course where you’ll be taught how to design and deliver activities to engage with the international student community and raise awareness around work exploitation. Advocates will work together to encourage other international students to speak up about employment grievances and ensure international students know of and are linked to organisations that can assist them.

This voluntary role offers students the opportunity to engage with different people, learn about work rights, and teach others about what to expect in the workplace. You’ll be working with a diverse group of people and have the chance to shape the program.

Prativa Tandukar, a Masters student at Holmes Institute and previous employment advocate said she got involved with the program because she wanted to change the way international students were treated by their employers.

“It is really unfair that we are treated so badly by some employers. Students need to know their rights and no one really tells us,” Prativa said.

As an invaluable tool to develop your own skills, while also giving back to the community, the LEAD project is an indispensable way to attain real-world experience outside of campus study.

If you’re an international student who would like to participate in the LEAD project or wish to know more about what to expect through the LEAD project, contact Jane Farrell, Project Manager on 0423697187 or or

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