"I am a firm believer in working beyond boundaries, and enjoy
There is so much yet to
discover and learn,
it's a life-long
What are the
work opportunities in Australia for an international student?
As an international student, you are allowed to work up to 20 hours
a week, and full-time during holidays. However, since late 1998,
you need to request for permission from the Department of Immigration
There is campus assistance, the university provides listing of
job opportunities, such as housesitting, typing services, courier
services, and industrial attachment where possible. In terms of
media-related work, as a newcomer, you need to be very enthusiastic.
It is important to develop a strong portfolio, write for as many
publications as you can. Try speaking to editors, making cold calls
and pitching fresh ideas.
What advice would you give someone who is thinking of pursuing their
studies in Australia?
I would say, thoroughly research what your options are; what you can
study? What courses are available? What sorts of exemptions are available?
How credible is the university, is it recognised by industry professionals?
Which universities have better programmes and how established are
they? How good are their academic staffs? What is your budget (work
in all costs, living expenses, accommodation, food, and utilities)?
What is your Masters research about?
I have a keen interest in new media and technology, and my masters
research examines the impact of the World Wide Web on news journalism
and the changing work practices of journalists. The Straits Times
(Interactive) and The Age Online (Melbourne) were my case studies,
and I will be presenting my findings at media conferences later
in the year.
I am currently on the verge of completing my studies, and work
as a researcher on internationalising the journalism course here.
We are looking at including international content and issues into
the course curriculum and faciliating students with the opportunity
to work in various global media organisations. My research interests
include; new media technologies, media convergence, internationalisation,
WWW content management, online journalism, web development and desktop
publishing and layout.
What are your responsibilities as Editor
of fineArt forum?
fAf is a pioneer non-profit online news service dedicated to the
provision of news and information to the global arts and technology
community. As editor, I manage a team of 20 staff who produce fineArt
forum. Besides overseeing production and content, I am focused on
steering its creative identity and forming alliances with arts and
Internet organisations within the Asia Pacific region. Our current
readership and ties are with Europe, USA, Australia and the western
What did you do before you came here?
After completing my 'O' levels, I headed to Ngee Ann Polytechnic
to pursue a Diploma in Mass Communication. From the early days,
I felt that it is important to balance schoolwork with industry
experience. It exciting to be able to put to practice what you learn
in the classroom, and I've enjoyed being involved with real world
During my poly years, I worked as a freelance journalist, corresponded
for an overseas magazine, dabbled in filmmaking. I was fortunate
to have an industrial attachment with Television Corporation Singapore's
Sports Unit. I think it's important to go for overseas exposure
where possible and an opportunity arose for me to work as an intern
in marketing communications in Vietnam.
As part of my national service, I was attached to the Singapore
Police Force's Public Affairs Department. There, I produced their
in-house monthly magazine, Police Life as a reporter for two years.
I assisted with events management and extending hospitality to foreign
delegates. After NS, I came over to Australia to for undergraduate
study, and then went on to pursue to my postgraduate degree.
What are the benefits of getting some work
experience before going for further studies?
I would say, with work experience in hand, there are clear benefits.
A university education is not just about textbook-theory, and study.
I think its an entry into the university of life, and with some
work experience in hand, concepts make better sense, and you can
apply your work experience to what you study and vice versa.
Are there any projects you are currently working on that
you would like to talk about?
With fAf, some of our plans, include designing a dynamic shockwave
website, developing a Singapore presence, and giving new and young
emerging talent an avenue for exposure. Whilst studying, I have
worked as an online educator, web master, and developed various
Any final words of wisdom?
I am a firm believer in working beyond the boundaries, and enjoy
diversity. There is so much yet to discover and learn, it's a life-long
learning process. I hope to continue to work in new media, in a
regional if not, international context. This is a very exciting
time and the future of news journalism is changing ever so quickly.
I believe it's all about giving the audience the news and services
they want, and not the same old tired stuff.