Celebrating diversity at UQ Gatton

31 Oct 2018

Students celebratingStorytelling, dancing, poetry and samosas were all part of The University of Queensland’s Diversity Festival, celebrating diversity and multiculturalism.

Recently held at UQ’s Gatton campus, the event was organised by the School of Veterinary Science’s International Veterinary Student Association (IVSA), in conjunction with UQ international student mentor and veterinary epidemiologist, Associate Professor Joerg Henning.

Event organiser and President of IVSA, Pavithra Ramesh, said that over 150 staff and students attended the multicultural extravaganza.

 “It was a fantastic day, with the Festival intelligently mixing cross-cultural dialogue, entertainment and international cuisines, helping forge new connections and friendships,” she said.

“I was blown away by the range of talent, and it reflected the cultural diversity we have here at the Gatton campus, and across UQ.

“We were lucky enough to experience Chinese pop songs, American tales, Indian dances, Australian outback poetry, and so many other great performances.”

Not to be outdone by the international students, Associate Professor Henning said that School of Veterinary Science staff were also keen to get involved.

“The School’s staff explored the indigenous history of the country, and delved into the benefits of diversity at UQ, and more broadly,” he said.

“I even introduced a little of my veterinary knowledge to the conversation, with a reflective piece about how the sounds of different animal species are perceived in different cultures around the world.

“We’re hoping to make students aware that the different cultural backgrounds and languages they’ll experience while at UQ could very well lead to new opportunities.”

PerformersRemaining true to the theme of the festival, the day ended with a range of cuisines reflecting UQ’s intercultural student experience.

“The Chinese hot pot was made fresh, and served alongside an Aussie BBQ, which turns out to be a delicious combination.

“And amidst good music – with a strong sense of fellowship and camaraderie – everyone enjoyed the hot samosas and gulab jamun with ice cream, a typical sweet & savoury combo from India.”

“We’re hoping to make this an annual or biannual happening, uncovering even more hidden talents from our students, and celebrating their contributions to UQ and the world.”

Financial support for the event was provided by the Head of the School of Veterinary Science, Professor Nigel Perkins.

Media: Joerg Henning, j.henning@uq.edu.au, +61 5460 1846 ; Dominic Jarvis, dominic.jarvis@uq.edu.au, +61 413 334 924.

Video available here: https://www.dropbox.com/sh/8e0exnpzvyuwmp3/AACAfdT-SD70TcQztePa9MAqa?dl=0

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