A Mile in My Shoes

Updated: Apr 13

Former international student featured in museum project


An award-winning former international student has been featured in the Australian National Maritime Museum’s inaugural migration stories project - A Mile in My Shoes, a partnership initiative with the Empathy Museum UK to celebrate the voices of migrants and refugees who have made this country their home – people who have changed the face of the nation and have been changed by it.


Thomson Ch’ng joined by representatives from ISANA International Education

Association, NSWACT branch


Originally from Penang, Malaysia, Thomson Ch’ng arrived in Australia in 2009 when he first embarked on his international education journey at Curtin College in Sydney, a Navitas partnership with Curtin University. He was President of Curtin Sydney Student Guild before becoming a founding delegate and the 4th National President of the Council of International Students Australia (CISA) - the national peak student organisation for all international students in Australia.


Sue Walker, Hon Advisor of the Duke Of Edinburgh International Awards Foundation, with Thomson Ch’ng and friends, feature story by Brilliant-Online

Sue Walker, Hon Advisor of the Duke Of Edinburgh International Awards Foundation,

with Thomson Ch’ng and friends


Thomson was awarded the 2013 NSW International Student of the Year (Higher Education) for his active contribution to the international student and wider multicultural community. After graduation, he continued to pursue his passion in youth advocacy and empowerment at the global level through the United Nations Youth platform.


In October 2020, he was awarded the prestigious International Alumni of the Year - PIEoneer Award, the global awards program that celebrates innovation and achievement across the whole of the international education sector.


“We welcome the inclusion of Thomson’s story in the Australian National Maritime Museum’s A Mile in their Shoes exhibition. It embodies the potential of international education to transform individual lives and enhance Australian communities, and as such it deserves to be told and celebrated,” said Scott Jones, CEO Navitas.

“Thomson is just one of thousands of international students who have been able to reach their potential in Australia and have gone on to make positive contributions to their local community and wider society. We are very proud that he began his journey at one of our colleges.”


Kevin Sumption, Director and CEO of the Australian National Maritime Museum said, “There has never been a better time for us, as Australians, to focus on what connects us rather than divides us – our common humanity. We want to shine the light on the experiences of a wide range of Australians from diverse backgrounds, to build understanding and contribute to an inclusive and harmonious society.


“Australians are very curious about the world. When we ask someone where they are from, it is to understand them, rather than separate ourselves from them. By listening to another’s stories, we can better understand where they have come from and what has shaped them. We can share their journey, and empathise with them”.

A Mile in My Shoes is one-of-a-kind pop-up store, housed in a giant shoebox at the Australian National Maritime Museum which allows the public to understand another person by literally walking a mile in their shoes. Visitors are invited to enter the store and try on a pair of shoes that belong to someone else and to listen to their story. It might be a tale of loss and sadness, hope and love, of odds overcome.


About the Australian National Maritime Museum - A Mile in My Shoes


The Australian National Maritime Museum, through the Migration Heritage Fund, partnered with Empathy Museum (UK) to bring the award-winning exhibition A Mile in My Shoes to Sydney.


Originally created by artist Clare Patey and produced by Artsadmin, A Mile in My Shoes has been experienced in London, Sao Paulo, New York, Riga, Denver, Perth and Melbourne., among others. This new iteration, created with the Australian National Maritime Museum, celebrates the voices of migrants and refugees who have made this country their home – people who have changed the face of the nation and have been changed by it.


https://www.sea.museum/

info@sea.museum

2 Murray Street, Darling Harbour

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