Victoria University is an accessible and friendly university. We believe in embracing cultural difference – so we can be ourselves and feel empowered to achieve success.

We are proud to be one of the most culturally diverse universities in Australia. Our students and staff:

  • represent over 90 different cultures
  • speak over 200 different languages.

We share the belief that:

“Cultural rights are an integral part of human rights”

– UNESCO's Universal Declaration on Cultural Diversity.

Our strategy

We work with our students, staff and partners to promote a culturally inclusive environment.

Victoria University’s Cultural Diversity Strategy represents our global mindset to:

  • enrich the lives of our students, staff and the community
  • connect us all as a community dedicated to scholarship and active citizenship
  • celebrate the powerful benefits that cultural diversity provides.

Built on these principles, the strategy includes actions to:

  • provide intercultural training and mentoring for staff and students
  • build more culturally-inclusive physical spaces
  • develop more education pathways for Non-English-Speaking-Background students and refugees
  • connect international students more closely with curriculum and leadership
  • connect with community organisations around social cohesion and cultural awareness
  • strengthen research focused on community-building and intercultural engagement.

Read the full Cultural Diversity Strategy 2018-2021.

Cultural diversity at VU logo: enrich, celebrate, connect

Victorian Multicultural Commission Award

VU has won the Multicultural Business Award from the Victorian state government for our outstanding service to multicultural communities.

The formal recognition reaffirms our long-standing purpose to provide exceptional value for any student from any background while uplifting the many communities in which we operate.

It also points to VU’s incredibly diverse community that co-creates the sense of belonging and social cohesion that the University is well known for.

“Cultural diversity at VU is not just based on statistics – it has long been at the heart of the work we undertake each and every day with our students, colleagues, and the community.”

Cultural Diversity Manager Dr Teresa De Fazio

The award highlights VU’s formal Cultural Diversity Strategy with its many initiatives that advance a rich diversity of perspectives.

Vice President of Planning Registrar Ms Teresa Tija, VC Professor Dawkins & Cultural Diversity Manager Dr Teresa De Fazio

Events & community activities

Our students and staff are from a wide range of ethnic, linguistic and faith-based backgrounds.

We celebrate our cultural diversity through a range of events and activities, including:

Lunchtime seminars

Lunchtime seminars give VU staff and guests the opportunity to present ideas and research.

Diversity in higher education and the community can be discussed here in a welcoming and inclusive environment.

An example of this was the seminar 'A Double Whammy': What is it like to be a culturally diverse woman working in universities?, a discussion of unconscious bias in academia by Vice President of Planning Registrar Ms Teresa Tija; Associate Professor Nana Oishi; Siew Fang Law, Senior Lecturer, VU; Natalie Kon-Yu, Senior Lecturer, First Year College and author; and Cultural Diversity Manager Dr Teresa Fazio.

Upcoming seminars

Lunchtime panel discussion – Our cultural identity: connecting & belonging

Attend a lunchtime panel of VU staff and students in discussion with special guest Wesa Chau, director of Cultural Intelligence, winner of the Australian Leadership Award 2013, and Young Victorian of the Year 2010. 

  • 12noon–1.15pm
  • Footscray Park, building M amphitheatre or P134 if raining
  • Email: [email protected].

For more upcoming seminars check:

Speakers at a lunchtime seminar on women and diversity at universities.

Days of cultural significance 2020 calendar

The calendar below indicates some Days of Cultural Significance observed in 2020.

This Calendar is not an exhaustive list of dates, faiths or cultural entities. It's aim is to provide you an opportunity to understand the range of days of cultural significance, supporting an inclusive understanding of the many faiths, cultures and entities, and the observances followed. We encourage you to follow your curiosity, research other dates and learn as much as possible about the many days of cultural significance that are observed by various cultures. All due care has been taken to represent correct dates at the time of publication.

Please note that only St. Patrick's Day has been listed from the many Saint days, as the calendar provides only a general sense of the breadth and scope of days of significance. Also, no national days (independence, republic, etc.) have been listed.

January

  • 6 January: Ephiphany
  • 7 January: Orthodox Christmas
  • 10–12 January: Mahayana New Year
  • 14 January: Orthodox New Year
  • 19 January: World Religion Day
  • 25 January: Lunar New Year (Metal Rat)
  • 26 January: Australia Day / Survival Day

February

March

  • 1 March: Zero Discrimination Day (UN)
  • 8 March: International Women’s Day
  • 9 March: Labour Day
  • 9–10 March: Purim (Jewish)
  • 10 March: Holi
  • 17 March: St. Patrick’s Day
  • 20 March: International Day of Happiness (UN)
  • 21 March: International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination
  • 21-22 March: Isra and Mi'raj (Islamic celebration)
  • 21-29 March: Cultural Diversity Week (Victoria)

April

  • 2 April: Ramanavami (Hindu Festival)
  • 3-12 April: Victorian Youth Week
  • 6 April: International Day of Sport for Development and Peace
  • 7 April: World Health Day
  • 7-9 April: Theravada New Year (Buddhism)
  • 8–16 April: Passover (Jewish festival)
  • 12 April: Easter
  • 13 April: Baisahki (Hindu & Sikh religious festival)
  • 13-15 April: Songkran (Thai New Year)
  • 18 April: World Heritage Day
  • 19 April: Orthodox Easter
  • 22 April: Earth Day
  • 23 April: Start of Ramadan
  • 25 April: Anzac Day

May

  • 7 May: Vesak/Buddha Day
  • 15 May: International Day of Families (UN)
  • 16 May: International Day of Living Together in Peace
  • 17 May: IDAHOTB Day (International Day against homophobia, transphobia and biphobia)
  • 21 May: World Day for Cultural Diversity for Dialogue and Development (UN)
  • 21 May: Global Accessibility Awareness Day
  • 24 May: Eid al Fitr (End of Ramadan)
  • 25 May: Africa Day
  • 26 May: National Sorry Day
  • 27 May: 1967 Referendum Anniversary
  • 27 May – 3 June: Reconciliation Week
  • 29-30 May: Shavuot (Jewish Festival)

June

  • 3 June: Mabo Day (Indigenous rights commemoration)
  • 14–20 June: National Refugee Week
  • 20 June: World Refugee Day

July

  • 1 July: International Tartan Day
  • 5 July: Dharma Day (Sikh/ Hindu)
  • 5-12 July: NAIDOC Week
  • 14 July: Bastille Day
  • 15 July: World Youth Skills Day
  • 18 July: Nelson Mandela International Day
  • 28 July–2 August: Hajj (Islamic Pilgrimage to Mecca)
  • 30 July: International Day of Friendship
  • 31 July - 3 August: Eid Al Adha (Muslim Festival)

August

  • 4 August: National Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander Children’s Day
  • 9 August: International Day of the World’s Indigenous Peoples
  • 12 August: International Youth Day
  • 19 August: World Humanitarian Day
  • 19-20 August: Muharram/Islamic New Year
  • 30 August: Wear It Purple Day

September

  • 10 September: World Suicide Prevention Day
  • 10 September: R U OK? Day
  • 17 September: Australian Citizenship Day
  • 19-20 September: Rosh Hashana (Jewish New Year)
  • 19 September – 4 October: OktoberFest
  • 21 September: International Day of Peace
  • 23 September: International Day of Sign Languages
  • 27–28 September: Yom Kippur (Jewish Day of Atonement)

October

  • 1 October: International Day of Older Persons
  • 1 October: Mid-Autumn Festival
  • 2 October: International Day of Non-Violence
  • 5 October: World Teacher’s Day
  • 10 October: World Mental Health Day (WHO)
  • 25 October: Dusshera
  • 31 October: World Cities Day (UN)
  • 31 October: Dia de los Muertos (Mexico)/ Halloween

November

  • 10 November: World Science Day for Peace and Development
  • 11 November: Remembrance Day (Australia)
  • 13 November: World Kindness Day
  • 14 November: Diwali (Hindu Festival of Lights)
  • 16 November: International Day of Tolerance
  • 20 November: Universal Children’s Day
  • 25 November: International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women
  • 28 November: World Access to Higher Education Day

December

  • 3 December: International Day of Persons with Disabilities
  • 10 December: International Human Rights Day
  • 10–18 December: Hanukkah Jewish Festival of Lights
  • 18 December: International Migrants Day
  • 25 December: Christmas
  • 31 December: New Year’s Eve

Victoria University Cultural Diversity Student Interest Group

Victoria University is seeking to establish a VU Cultural Diversity Student Interest Group.

If you would like to be part of this group, we'd love to hear from you!

As part of the Cultural Diversity group, you'll get to help us develop student intercultural interactions and opportunities:

  • participate in university and community events
  • attend meetings
  • drive initiatives
  • network with like-minded students and staff.

This is a great way to get involved in your community and grow your understanding of different cultures, while making new friends who share your interests.

Let’s get together to make a difference and create a culturally inclusive VU!

Complete the expression of interest form

Make new friends and create a better community for all with the Cultural Diversity Student Interest Group.