MassCom Alumnus Named Brisbane Student Ambassador
A graduate of Silliman University was recently named as a Brisbane International Student Ambassador, along with 28 others from 23 countries.
Xavier Villagonzalo, who obtained a degree in Mass Communication in 2006, was tapped as one of only two Filipinos studying in Australia to promote Brisbane as an international student destination in their home countries by communicating their real life experiences.
A two-time chairperson of the elite student group Silliman University Corps of Campus Ambassadors, Villagonzalo is pursing a degree in information technology at the Queensland University of Technology.
Brisbane Lord Mayor Cambell Newman made the announcement which named Villagonzalo as among those selected by the Brisbane Marketing’s Study Brisbane program from its shortlist. His appointment, the Lord Mayor said, will provide Villagonzalo with a unique opportunity to connect with students in the Philippines, as he interacts with and helps promote cultural diversity within the Brisbane community.
When he was still a student at Silliman, Villagonzalo was a delegate to several youth leadership activities, including the 20th World Youth Day in Cologne, Germany.
Orphaned at an early age in Dumaguete, Villagonzalo struggled in life to finish schooling. His mother died in an accident involving a passenger jeepney which fell off the cliff of Bondo, Siaton in 1994, when he was at the age of 9, and his father died from complications from diabetes.
“It’s never a good excuse to mess up your life because you come from a broken family or you’re parents have passed away. All the more reasons that you need to twist the fate of your life to your advantage,” Villagonzalo said.
Villagonzalo and the other 28 Ambassadors represent some of Brisbane’s largest source markets, including China, India, South Korea, Brazil and Taiwan. The ambassadors are aged between 22 and 35, and are studying a wide range of education courses in Brisbane such as business, journalism, medicine, and government policy.